It’s not hard to find interesting or useful facts when you crack open a book in the library.  Let’s see what fun facts Megan M. found when she browsed through the reference related materials.

The 2018 Nobel Prize for Physics was won by a trio of scientists for their remarkable breakthroughs in laser technology. One of the laureates, Donna Strickland, was the third woman ever to win a Nobel for physics, preceded only by Maria Goeppert-Mayer in 1963, and Marie Curie in 1903. The research Strickland did was focused on creating laser pulses with an extremely high intensity, improving precision of many medical and industrial instruments.  FROM: “Physics Nobel for laser pioneers includes first woman in 55 years (2018) Facts on File: World News Digest database.

When surveyed on the discount chains that shoppers had patronized in the previous 12 months, the majority of the 20,409 respondents aged 18-64 had shopped at Target. Respondents aged 30-49 years were the most likely to have shopped at Target in this time, with approximately 60% patronizing this store.  FROM:People who shopped at Target Corporation in the United States in 2018, by age” (2018) Statista database.

While the majority of Americans may simply buy their stamps for postage, stamp collecting is a hobby that has not yet gone by the wayside. In the past, enthusiasts have had to gather in auction houses and exhibitions, but today eBay is the most popular auction site for stamp collectors. The value of a stamp is determined through a series of grading criteria, which contains categories such as paper condition, perforations, and cancellation marks. Stamps have been present in the U.S. since 1847, and cost a mere 5 cents if the mail were to travel fewer than 300 miles. FROM: Stamp Collecting” (2015) EBSCO Discovery: Research Starters database.

Historically, the clarinet family has featured as many as 27 different sizes of the instrument. However, the most common one modernly played is the B-flat clarinet, which has a range of nearly four octaves, and is around 26 inches long. As a wind instrument, the clarinet is related to saxophones, oboes, and even bagpipes. FROM: “Clarinet” (2017)MasterFILE Complete database.
Auguste Piccard was a physics professor at the University of Brussels. During his time there, he both ascended to great heights, and descended to great depths. In 1932, he rode in a balloon of his own design to over 55,500 ft. and in 1953, at the age of 69, he took his bathyscaphe more than 10,000 ft. undersea. In 1999, Piccard’s grandson made the first nonstop balloon flight around the world.  FROM:Piccard, Auguste” (2017) Credo Reference  database.

Originally posted in the Freeman/Lozier Library’s quarterly newsletter, More Than BooksV. 22 No. 1, Winter 2018.

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