10 Things You Didn’t Know About Ben Franklin

Ben Franklin Portrait

Founding Father? Yes. President? No. Source: Wikimedia

As one of the leading figures of American history, Benjamin Franklin is certainly one of the most interesting as well. He enjoyed a long life filled with countless achievements and colorful adventures. Franklin truly was a polymath, wearing many different hats throughout his life: politician, businessman, civic leader, inventor, author, printer, scientist etc. It’s no surprise that someone with such a distinguished career has so many fascinating stories to tell.

1. He had a knack for pranks. Franklin was never above causing a bit of mischief for his friends and family. When he was a teenager, Ben worked for his older brother’s newspaper, The New-England Courant. When his brother refused to publish one of Ben’s letters, Ben adopted a false identity – that of a widow named Silence Dogood – and started writing letters in her name. These, of course, got published and became pretty popular. Eventually, he put an end to the prank when Mrs. Dogood started receiving marriage proposals from readers.

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The Andromeda Galaxy Reminds Us How Small We Are

There are moments when it seems as if the world truly does revolve around us. Yet when we step back and put life in perspective, our smallness quickly becomes evident; we are merely a fraction of a speck in an infinite picture. At this year’s meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Seattle, NASA released the world’s largest photo of the Andromeda Galaxy. Though the image can hardly do justice to the star system’s gargantuan size and scope, it offers us a breathtaking peek at the complexity of our universe.

World's Largest Image of Andromeda Galaxy

A much smaller version of the massive image. Source: Astro Bob

Massive Galaxy Up Close

A zoomed-in view of the Andromeda Galaxy image. Source: Hyperallergic

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This “Darwin Menagerie” Highlights The Beauty In Death

Darwin Menagerie Window View

The creative minds behind Darwin, Sinke & Van Tongeren of Fine Taxidermy recently held an exhibition of their work at Jamb Antiques Emporium during Lond’s Frieze art fair. The taxidermic art they put on display was immediately lauded for its vibrancy and truly lifelike appearance.

What makes the works of Sinke and Van Tongeren different from any other taxidermy you may have seen in the past? “Traditional taxidermy,” as Van Tongeren says, “seems a poor attempt to preserve this kind of beauty. We want our animals to look alive, alert and bright with color”. Sinke adds that “We cherish the patience, perseverance and craftsmanship of past times. Our Fine Taxidermy is as valid a piece of art as painting, sculpture or contemporary installation. It is our hope and intention that these works will be recognized for the skill, dedication and dramatic effect for which we continually strive”.

Darwin Menagerie Toucan

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The Real Story Behind The Myers-Briggs Test

Myers Briggs Test Assembly Line

During World War Two, many women were entering the workforce for the first time, and would only be aided by a test that might help them gauge their professional preferences a bit better. Source: Cleveland History

Regarded as somewhere between “a horoscope and a heart monitor” by one journalist, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is one of the most frequently taken personality tests in the world. Even though it has become somewhat laughable in recent years, 89 Fortune 100 companies use the test to gauge their employees’ strengths and weaknesses, which implies that it has managed to retain at least a shadow of its original purpose.
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