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Buzz Aldrin's Mother's maiden name was Moon!


Talk about irony...or was it destiny? Buzz Aldrin was a Jersey boy born in 1930. He grew up in New Jersey and graduated a year early from high school taking him straight to West Point where he graduated third in his class with a BS in mechanical engineering.

He joined the Air Force and flew F86 Sabre Jets in 66 combat missions in the Korean War. He was decorated with the Distinguished Flying Cross for his work in Korea. He did a tour of duty in Germany flying F100s and then returned to the U.S. where he got his Doctorate of Science in Astronautics at MIT.

He wrote his thesis on Manned Orbital Rendezvous. He was well chosen by NASA in 1963 into the third group of astronauts and the only one with a doctorate. This is where we all know him from, of course.

Ironically, Aldrin's mother was named Marion Moon! He then was chosen by NASA to become an astronaut and one of the first two people to ever set foot on the moon. Aldrin was a pivotal piece in NASA's space program. He came up with the idea of using underwater training as a substitute for zero-gravity flights and the docking and rendezvous techniques he made for the spacecraft and lunar orbit were critical in the success of the Gemini and Apollo programs. His techniques are still used by NASA today.

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Bender from Futurama has the same microprocessor as the original Nintendo!


The 8-bit microprocessor MOS Technology 6502 was designed in 1975 by Chuck Peddle and Bill Mensch. It was much less expensive than the 8-bit microprocessors bigger companies like Motorola and Intel had come out with. It was also just a good as their products were.

It was the MOS Technology 6502 along with the Zilog Z80 that started the computer projects that eventually led to the home computer revolution of the 1980s. Just think, had this microprocessor not been made so affordable and well, we wouldn't have Halo or Call of Duty or even The Last of Us. It was the beginning of more than they knew.

So, in the 1980s the Atari, Apple II, and other home gaming consoles started popping up. The MOS Technology 6502 has been made in famous pop culture references, too. In the 1984 The Terminator, featuring the one and only Arnold Schwarzenegger, the audience is given a view through the T-800 Model-101 robot character's eye camera of a display of a 6502 assembly language program fragment several times.

The industrial robot, Bender, from Fox's Futurama is manufactured in the year 2998 and it was revealed in the episode "Fry and the Slurm Factory" that Bender had a 6502 as his brain. The head writer and producer of Futurama, David X. Cohen, said that he and his friends wrote a compiler for the Apple II Plus using a 6502 in high school, and that is where he got the idea for Bender's brain.

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A Colorado coal mine has been on fire since 1910!


The South Canyon underground coal fire near Glenwood Springs, Colorado has been burning since 1910. Experts, with all that time, still don't know what caused the coal mine to catch on fire.

Researchers keep a close eye on the underground inferno and test the air for carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide at surface level. It is believed to be the reason for the destruction of habitats in the area and even human diseases.

They're hoping this underground coal fire will help bring some answers to coal gas and it's condensation products and understanding their cause and effects of environmental degradation and pollution. The Coal Seam Fire in 2002 is a great example of how an underground coal fire and be brought surface level and destroy it.

The Coal Seam Fire scorched 12,000 acres and destroyed buildings all around Glenwood Springs, Colorado. There are no known was of stopping a coal mine fire, but ideas are thrown across the table all the time. Currently they are thinking of drilling data that could at least control the issue.

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The writer of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory also helped invent a life-saving device for kids with brain trauma!


Roald Dahl is known for being an accomplished children's author. He has written classics like James and the Giant Peach, Matilda, the BFG and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. While these may be light-hearted tales, Dahl's actual life was not so easy.

When Dahl's son was just four months old, he was hit by a taxi in New York City and suffered a serious brain injury. The boy developed secondary hydrocephalus and had to have a shunt implanted. The family moved back to the UK, and the shunt helped temporarily. However, it kept getting clogged with debris.

Dahl was determined to fix this problem. He contacted a toymaker named Stanley Wade and together, they began working on a device. Dahl's son's doctor, Kenneth Till, invited them into the operating room to observe how the shunts were used. Dahl and Wade invented an introducer device for the ventricular catheter and a valve to treat hydrocephalus in young children.

The valve, which was named the Wade-Dahl-Till Valve went into production in 1962. It's estimated that it helped 2,000 - 3,000 children.

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Gin & tonic glows under a black light!


A gin and tonic is the older man's drink of choice. As it's name suggets, it consists of tonic water and gin over ice and is usually garnished with a lime wedge. The ratio of gin to tonic varies according to taste. In certain parts of the world, such as Germany, France, Greece and Italy, it is just referred to as "gin tonic."

Unless you're at a bar with black lights, you probably didn't know that gin and tonic actually glows. Tonic water contains quinine, which gives the liquid it's bitter taste. When placed under a black light, this quinine glows blue-white.

This same quinine was the reason the cocktail was originally invented. The British East India Company first concocted the drink in India in the early 19th century. Quinine was known to treat malaria, a persistent problem in India. However, it was extremely bitter. In order to make the quinine easier to ingest, soldiers mixed it with water, sugar, lime and gin.

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