What is a Paradigm?

The TruthA paradigm is a system of interlocking facts, theories, and philosophies that is so widely accepted it becomes an implicit framework for thinking about scientific problems. Paradigms are most noticeable when new discoveries call into question an existing problem, demanding a new paradigm.  The result can be what is called a paradigm shift.  An example of a paradigm shift would be the rise of Lyell’s geological uniformitarianism and Darwin’s evolutionary theory, which together replaced the paradigm of supernatural creations.  The rise of quantum theory early in this century created a new paradigm in physics.

From: How The World Works by Boyce Rensberger


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What Did The Michelson-Morley Experiment Prove?

world worksA classic experiment performed in the late nineteenth century that disproved the existence of ether, a mysterious substance formerly thought to permeate the universe, and through which light waves were believed to propagate. The experiment was part of the intellectual groundwork of Einstein’s relativity theory.

From: How The World Works by Boyce Rensberger

What are those little half moons in your nails?

anatomy of a nail

The pale half moon shape at the base of each nail is called the lunule.  It shows where the hardening process is not yet complete.

The American Academy of Dermatology provided these nail facts:

Nails grow about 0.1 mm (or about .004 inch) per day.
Fingernails tend to grow a little faster than toenails.
Toenails are approximately twice as thick as fingernails.
In general, nails tend to grow faster in summer than they do in winter.
Men’s nails usually grow faster than women’s nails.
Nails on your dominant hand tend to grow faster.

Text from: Why do Men Have Nipples? by: Mark Leyner and Billy Goldberg, M.D.

Image: Getty Images

What is the “Cottage” in Cottage Cheese?

When do Fish Sleep BookFood historians speculate that cottage cheese was probably the first cheese.  And it was undoubtedly made by accident.  Some anonymous nomad was probably carrying milk on a camel in the desert and at the end of the day found lumps rather than liquid.  And much to the nomad’s surprise, the lumps tasted pretty good.

According to the United Dairy Industry Association, cottage cheese was made in the home all over Europe as far back as the Middle Ages.  “It was called ‘cottage’ because farmers made the cheese in their own cottages to utilize the milk remaining after the cream had been skimmed from it for buttermaking.”

From: When do fish sleep? by: David Feldman