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About Wonderpedia

Wonderpedia magazine opens up a world of wonder for everybody, delivering the latest developments in science, history, nature, world events, technology and the human mind and body.

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Science

What colour is a fuel rod?

Pure uranium is a radioactive heavy metal with a silvery-white sheen. During the process of fission, uranium produces plutonium. But plutonium has to undergo further processing before it can be used as fuel in a nuclear power plant.

Science

Which elements make up the Earth?

There are 118 elements in the periodic table. But just eight of them make up 99% of the Earth’s mass: oxygen, silicon, aluminium, iron, calcium, sodium, potassium and magnesium. When the Earth was formed, the dense elements sank towards the core.

Mind & Body

Is it wise to take preventative aspirin?

For some years now, healthy people have been advised to take a small daily dose of aspirin. This is because its blood-thinning effect was thought to prevent heart attacks, while the risk of developing some cancers was also reduced.

World Events

Could a digital bomb invade the electricity grid?

Computers control energy networks everywhere from power stations to the electricity meter in your home. In some form or another, power providers are all connected to the internet.

World Events

How much fake money exists in the UK?

There are around three billion genuine Bank of England banknotes with a face value of £55 billion in circulation. Around 233,000 counterfeit notes with a face value of £4.2 million were taken out of circulation in the first half of last year.

Technology

Can a pair of jeans be hacker-proof?

Credit cards are very desirable items for hackers hoping to access the data stored on their RFID (radio frequency identification) chips. These chips allow us to make contactless transactions, but represent a boon for hackers.

Nature

How do you tow an iceberg?

A 600,000-ton iceberg is heading straight for the Hibernia oil rig, the world’s biggest offshore drilling platform. As much as 200 million litres of crude oil are stored here – and a collision would have devastating consequences for the waters of the North Atlantic.

Mind & Body

Why do our own voices sound so strange?

Everyone can relate to it: hearing your own voice on video and no longer recognising yourself. The reason: the sound waves that we broadcast during speaking are also transmitted through the body.

Technology

How safe are our nuclear power stations?

If the power fails at a nuclear power plant, diesel generators or gas turbines are automatically programmed to step in. In theory, these could bridge the gap for several weeks or even months.

History

Did Michelangelo become famous by forging?

Michelangelo’s wall and ceiling frescoes in Rome’s Sistine Chapel and his sculpture of David are world famous. But the Renaissance artist’s incomparable reputation was only made possible by the sponsorship of the Medici family.

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