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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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Technology

Could turbulence ever bring down a plane?

Although a bumpy interlude during a flight can be extremely uncomfortable, the likelihood of turbulence bringing down a plane is close to zero.

World Events

How are flu deaths counted?

Flu deaths are difficult to count as deaths are recorded as resulting from pneumonia or a secondary condition. This means Public Health England have to base their flu mortality figures on estimates.

Mind & Body

Does the human brain have seasons?

Winter blues, seasonal affective disorder, spring exhaustion – the seasons certainly influence our moods. But now Belgian researchers have found that our brain itself experiences seasonal shifts.

Mind & Body

What is the world's most deadly virus?

In 1967 African green monkeys were imported from Uganda to Germany – and the Marburg virus came with them. It is one of the most aggressive viruses in the world: the human fatality rate can be up to 80% in some outbreaks. No vaccine or effective remedy exists.

World Events

Who was struck by the most famous ricochet in history?

On 22nd November 1963 Lee Harvey Oswald shoots John F. Kennedy. Conspiracy theorists see Oswald’s second shot as a ‘magic bullet’ because Oswald hit not just the then-US president, but also Texas governor John Connally, who was travelling with him. How could one bullet hit two people?

Science

Can viruses cure cancer?

Scientists at Duke University in North Carolina have found a way to use the polio virus as a weapon against glioblastoma, the most common and most aggressive form of brain cancer. To do so, they genetically modified the virus so that it could only multiply in tumour cells, not in healthy tissue.

Technology

Can my mobile phone hunt an earthquake?

Smartphones deliver important information – but could they soon save our lives? US researchers from the University of Berkeley have developed the app MyShake, which uses an algorithm to filter vibrations that occur during an earthquake and measures them with the help of sensors in the phone.

Science

Why do cats hate water?

Cats avoid water because they can’t swim, don’t they? Wrong! The real reason felines tend to avoid water is because their fur quickly becomes sodden and loses its insulation function as a result. This means that the cat cools down fast. They become less agile and also run the risk of drowning.

Science

How dangerous are bullets in the air?

What goes up must at some point come back down: in the case of a 9mm bullet fired into the air and travelling at a speed of 350 metres per second, the turnaround would happen at a height of 1,100 metres.

Mind & Body

How safe are you from a bullet underwater?

In principle, bullets fired from a gun or rifle behave in exactly the same way underwater as they do above the surface. The oxygen contained in the cartridge is enough to release the shot, but during its trajectory the bullet quickly loses speed and rotation.

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