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Who invented the microwave oven?

Radarange - The first microwave ovenThe microwave oven was invented by mistake when an engineer, by the name of Percy LeBaron Spencer, noticed that the radiation from a magnetron tube he is testing melted the chocolate bar he had in his pocket.

During World War II, Spencer was one of the leading experts in radar tube design working for Raytheon, a weapons and military  electronics contractor associated with the American Department of Defense. He headed the division tasked to develop and produce combat radar equipment for M.I.T.’s Radiation Laboratory.

while building magnetrons one day, Spencer noticed the candy bar he had in his pocket had melted while he was standing in front of an active radar set. Intrigued, he investigated on what caused the candy bar to melt. He experimented with food, including popcorn kernels, which became the world’s first microwaved popcorn.

Spencer then took a kettle and cut a hole on its side.  He placed a whole egg in the kettle and positioned the magnetron to direct the microwaves into the hole. The result was the egg exploding in the face of one of his co-workers, who were looking in the kettle to observe.

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Is it true that elephants are the only mammal that can’t jump?

Yes, it is true that elephants cannot jump, if jump refers to the state of having no feet on the ground at the same time after propelling oneself from a stationary position. The elephant’s weight makes it physiologically impossible for it to do so plus the fact that the bones on its feet are more closely packed together than other mammals.  Thus, they do not have the flexibility or spring mechanisms that would enable them to jump. Furthermore, elephants don’t really like to have more than one foot off the ground at once.

However, the elephant is NOT the only mammal that can’t jump. Sloths, rhinoceroses and hippopotamuses also known to be non-jumping mammals. But unlike elephants, it is possible for these animals to have all four feet off the ground when they run.

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Why are buttons on men and women’s shirts placed on different sides?

The reason why men’s shirts have their buttons on the right side while women’s garments have theirs on the left stems from opulence and convenience. In the 19th century, only affluent women can afford clothes with buttons. And if you are a well-off lady during those days, you don’t dress up by yourself, you have chambermaids to dress you up so their buttons were placed on the side most convenient for right-handed servants. The idea must have came from dressmakers who assist clients during fittings.

In the case of men’s buttons, even the wealthiest bloke of the olden times generally dressed themselves up, even if they have servants who can very well assist them.  Thus, the buttons are on the right side to make fastening or unfastening a piece of garment quicker and easier for the right-handed man. This proved to be useful during unexpected duels where gentlemen can easily unbutton their coats with their left hand while drawing their swords with their right.

 

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Can Apples Really Wake You Up Better Than Coffee?

Apparently, an apple a day, does not only keep the doctor away. It is also considered as a more efficient agent in waking you up in the mornings than caffeine.

Coffee has been the preferred “perk-me-up-in-the-morning” drink of many because of the caffeine it contains which is said to quickly stimulate the senses and provide mental energy. However, the effect quickly fades off as it gives little physical energy to the body.

An apple, on the other hand, contains a natural sugar called fructose  which gives the same effect as caffeine in boosting energy levels. Furthermore, apples have high carbohydrate and fiber content, which are used as the body’s fuel. The high fiber content also cause the natural sugar to be absorbed more slowly into the system, prolonging the boost.
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Is it true that everything weighs less at the equator?

Yes, anything will technically weigh less at the Earth’s equator compared to other parts of the world, say the North or South pole. Any object weighs lighter in the equator, because it is farther from the earth’s center of gravity as compared when it is weighed in the Northern or Southern Poles. You see, the earth is not a perfect sphere and it is “flattened” at the poles because of the rotation of the earth. Thus, the earth’s gravitational pull on an object is greater in the either poles than at the equator.

Furthermore, the acceleration due to the rotation of the earth also affects the weight of an object in the equator. The centrifugal force tend to “throw it off” away from the planet. There is no extreme rotation at the poles so weights of objects are not affected.

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