During the Mercury Program, 13 women who were mostly civilian test pilots, qualified for spaceflight under the same standards as the The Mercury 7 astronauts.

NASA declined to consider them for spaceflight. One of the people that testified against their inclusion was John Glenn. Glenn believed that “The fact that women are not in this field is a fact of our social order.”

In the 1880s Charles Darwin carried out some of the first scientifically recorded excavations at Stonehenge. He concluded that earthworms were largely to blame for the Stonehenge stones sinking into the soil and toppling over.

What are the other six things that I learned about Stonehenge? Read the history.com article to find out. Here are the high points.

  • Stonehenge was built in phases.
  • It’s a mystery how some stones got to the site.
  • Stonehenge once was put up for auction.
  • Theories abound about Stonehenge’s purpose.
  • Summer solstice gatherings were banned at Stonehenge.
  • Stonehenge is just one of several prehistoric stone circles in Great Britain.

In the mountains of West Texas…

Deep within the tunneled out recesses of a mountain in West Texas, several computer scientists, engineers and inventors are creating something that could change the way the future looks at time.

Computer Scientist Danny Hillis first came up with the idea for a 10,000 year, self-maintaining clock in the early 90’s and featured it in the 1995 “Scenarios” issue of Wired magazine. By 1999, he had an 8-foot-tall working prototype.

The full-size clock that is now under construction is being built in West Texas on land owned by Jeff Bezos, CEO and founder of Amazon, who is also actively helping to design the clock. Bezos, Hillis and others make up the geniuses behind the Long Now Foundation, who is behind the construction and conceptualization of the clock.

Rather than measuring time in minutes and seconds, the clock measures time in centuries and millennia. The clock has a century hand, and includes a cuckoo that will sound every thousand years at each new millennium. The clock also is programmed to chime from time to time, and each time it chimes it is a unique sound that will never be repeated.

Joseph Gayetty isn’t known as one of the big inventors, he didn’t invent the automobile, the airplane, or the telephone. Yet he invented something that we use every day.

Toilet paper.

He first marketed toilet paper on December 8, 1857. Each sheet of pure Manila hemp paper was watermarked “J C Gayetty N Y”. The original product contained aloe as a lubricant and was marketed as an anti-hemorrhoid medical product.

Gayetty was attacked as a quack by at least one medical society. Yet his advertisement of the same year called his product “The Greatest Necessity of the Age” and warned against the perils of using toxic inked papers on sensitive body parts.

We tend to take time for granted. It is just something that is always there until it isn’t there any more and then we don’t know what to do.

Well now you have another chance at capturing some precious seconds. The Zeptosecond is the smallest slice of time yet recorded. It is so small that it is equal to a single number one sitting 21 places behind the decimal point, a trillionth of a billionth of a second​.

I was invited to a couples baby shower recently.

I am such a sucker for parties. And when I pulled out the couples baby shower invitation adorned with baby goodness I was like a little kid. And the couples shower party was a very rewarding experience.

It was the interaction with the other guests. And not in the fashion you may think. Some of it was through a discussion that I had with one of the guests. She just didn’t get what a baby needs. She made several statements that led me in this direction. And one thing that struck me as odd was when one of the guests said that they hoped that the parent’s weren’t planning on talking to their baby with “baby talk”.

While it might seem annoying to you, simply put, babies and animals like high pitched cooing.

This is actually the reason you get a response from your child.

It feels safe and comforting to them. The high pitched baby talk portrays a positive emotion to babies, while grumbling or yelling would likely make a baby upset. While this easily explains tone, the type of language we use demands further explanation.

You see as parents we have a certain repertoire with our children.

We tend to say things like, “woooooooooow, who’s mommy’s big girl?” “Who’s playing with the rubber ducky? Quack Quack!”

This seemed like nonsense to one of the childless guests. And it felt like they were waisting both their time and that of the child.

Talking to an adult, we would never extend the vowel sounds or ask about the ducky, we would just say duck.

The reason is because as adults say these types of things, in short, to help children understand vocabulary and assign words to objects and actions. This is called caretaker speech.

When we exaggerate vowel sounds we are encouraging them to start imitating and speaking. This baby talk is an offer, a chance to play-by-play of what we are doing – “you are playing with the duck” – and state the obvious, “the duck is yellow, the duck has feathers”. We do this to let the child know what’s going on.

This is an effective method to held them, to teach them to talk. And studies have proven that is is more effective than telling them, through play they are learning. And this is how babies learn most things. Play is a big part of a child’s developmental state. While it might seem harder to say “this is a dog and it says woof”. We are providing them with a framework that the child can use.

When you under stand this it is clear that it is all about vocabulary building and word recognition.

But there is one more aspect that the person that asked the question was oblivious to. As a single they didn’t understand that it also helps us bond with our children.

There is a transition: our nurturing, loving, never swearing, always teaching side kicks into gear and we babble and coo away. It’s a learned social behavior that conveys to both the adult and baby that they are in a loving relationship.

Which is something that I hope that young lady has.

When I got done she seemed a little wiser. A little more understanding. And when it comes her turn to raise a child I hope that it will be one that has a more solid footing in what it means to help a child learn.

I think that Douglas Adams put it best when he said:

Space is big. Really big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it’s a long way down the road to the chemist, but that’s just peanuts to space.

And that is why it comes as no surprise that another planet may well be hiding out their somewhere.

Planet Nine’s days of lurking unseen in the dark depths of the outer solar system may be numbered.

The hypothetical giant planet, which is thought to be about 10 times more massive than Earth, will be discovered within 16 months or so, astronomer Mike Brown predicted.

The first person to win big on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire was John Carpenter. No not the director, this John Carpenter.

But before him there was another big game show winner that wasn’t supposed to crack the jackpot, Joyce Brothers.

The $64,000 Question became the first big-money television quiz show during the 1950s. In 1955, Joyce Brothers first earned fame by becoming the first woman to earn the $64,000 prize. It was revealed later that the show was “controlled”; the producers did not want her to win and deliberately gave her questions perceived to be beyond her ability, which she answered correctly anyway. The $64,000 Question was one of the game shows ultimately implicated to be fixed in some fashion.

When you talk to older co-workers you will almost always reminisce about the fax machine. Love them or hate them they were a part of our office life well into the first half of the 2000s.

It was during one of these conversations that a colleague and I began to discuse the history of the fax machine and its use 11 years before the invention of the telephone by Giovanni Caselli.

Scottish inventor Alexander Bain worked on chemical mechanical fax type devices and in 1846 was able to reproduce graphic signs in laboratory experiments. He received British patent 9745 on May 27, 1843 for his “Electric Printing Telegraph.” Frederick Bakewell made several improvements on Bain’s design and demonstrated a telefax machine. The Pantelegraph was invented by the Italian physicist Giovanni Caselli. He introduced the first commercial telefax service between Paris and Lyon in 1865, some 11 years before the invention of the telephone.

In 1880, English inventor Shelford Bidwell constructed the scanning phototelegraph that was the first telefax machine to scan any two-dimensional original, not requiring manual plotting or drawing. Around 1900, German physicist Arthur Korn invented the Bildtelegraph, widespread in continental Europe especially, since a widely noticed transmission of a wanted-person photograph from Paris to London in 1908, used until the wider distribution of the radiofax. Its main competitors were the Bélinographe by Édouard Belin first, then since the 1930s the Hellschreiber, invented in 1929 by German inventor Rudolf Hell, a pioneer in mechanical image scanning and transmission.

The 1888 invention of the telautograph by Elisha Grey marked a further development in fax technology, allowing users to send signatures over long distances, thus allowing the verification of identification or ownership over long distances.

On May 19, 1924, scientists of the AT&T Corporation “by a new process of transmitting pictures by electricity” sent 15 photographs by telephone from Cleveland to New York City, such photos suitable for newspaper reproduction. Previously, photographs had been sent over the radio using this process.

The Western Union “Deskfax” fax machine, announced in 1948, was a compact machine that fit comfortably on a desktop, using special spark printer paper.

I learned about the benefits of a power nap when I was well into my career. At first it wasn’t a job, it was an ambition and like a small child I didn’t want to stop. I wanted to learn more and explore every aspect of the job until I had a strong grasp of what was expected of me.

And like a child I neglected to acknowledge that I was tired.

Then I learned about a short nap. A power nap.

These short naps help in a multitude of different ways. They help you overcome problems by taking your mind off them, they help you remember complicated procedures that you are working on and the list goes on.

But like anything good there is a limit.

You feel sleepy when the ADP concentration in your brain crosses a certain threshold. Think of ADP as spent battery. ATP on the other hand is the readily available energy source, call it available battery charge. Power naps increase the ATP concentration and reduce the ADP concentration in your brain, leading you to feel recharged.

Power naps are better because they stop you from going into deep sleep; thus not making you groggy when you wake up.

On the other hand if you took a longer regular nap, the ADP concentration begins to bounce back. So you would feel groggy after a regular nap which didn’t decrease the ADP concentration significantly. Hence the duration of a power nap is very important.

Generally, when taking a nap, you should wake up after 1 hour maximum if you don’t want to feel like shit when you wake up.