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Did You Know?

Want some fast, fun, and fresh facts to fascinate your friends and family? Don’t miss the “Did You Know” series where we pack short videos chock-full of info for your learning pleasure.
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Overview

If you’ve ever started a sentence with “Did you know …,” then check out Wondrium’s exclusive new series called … wait for it … yup, that’s right … “Did You Know.”

Each clip gives you the full story behind a simple topic or concept from start to finish and is jam-packed with fast, fun, and fresh facts to fascinate your friends and family. Start with our three newest releases right here—and stay tuned, because more will be added on a regular basis!

About

Bob Brier

To a great extent, the fun of history is in the details. Knowing what kind of wine Tutankhamen preferred makes him come alive.

INSTITUTION

Long Island University

Dr. Bob Brier is an Egyptologist and Senior Research Fellow at the C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University. He earned his bachelor's degree from Hunter College and Ph.D. in Philosophy from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Professor Brier has twice been selected as a Fulbright Scholar and has received Long Island University's David Newton Award for Teaching Excellence in recognition of his achievements as a lecturer. He has served as Director of the National Endowment for the Humanities' Egyptology Today program. In 1994, Dr. Brier became the first person in 2,000 years to mummify a human cadaver in the ancient Egyptian style. This research was the subject of a National Geographic television special, Mr. Mummy. Dr. Brier is also the host of The Learning Channel's series The Great Egyptians. Professor Brier is the author of Ancient Egyptian Magic (1980), Egyptian Mummies (1994), Encyclopedia of Mummies (1998), The Murder of Tutankhamen: A True Story (1998), Daily Life in Ancient Egypt (1999), and numerous scholarly articles.

By This Expert

Decoding the Secrets of Egyptian Hieroglyphs
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History of Ancient Egypt
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Scott Solomon

Insect species outnumber all the other animal groups combined.

INSTITUTION

Rice University

Scott Solomon is an Associate Teaching Professor at Rice University, where he teaches ecology, evolutionary biology, and scientific communication. He received his PhD in Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior from The University of Texas at Austin. He has also worked as a visiting researcher with the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC and with São Paulo State University in Rio Claro, Brazil.

Scott has taught field biology courses at Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory in Colorado and in the rainforests and coral reefs of Belize. He has also been a resident associate at Baker College, one of Rice’s residential colleges, and served as a faculty fellow at Rice’s Center for Teaching Excellence, where he acted as a liaison to other faculty. He received the George R. Brown Award for Superior Teaching and the Outstanding Undergraduate Research Mentor Award from Rice University as well as the Rising Star Award from the University of Illinois Laboratory High School.

Scott is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Society for the Study of Evolution. He also serves as an associate editor for the Journal of Tropical Ecology. He regularly lectures on science topics at museums, schools, churches, and TEDx events. His writing and photography have appeared in such publications as Aeon, Nautilus, Slate, and WIRED. He is the author of Future Humans: Inside the Science of Our Continuing Evolution.

By This Expert

What Darwin Didn't Know: The Modern Science of Evolution
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Why Insects Matter: Earth’s Most Essential Species
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John Greene

We will discover the traditions and natural wonders that make each region of France unique, as well as travel deep in into France’s history; a story rich with intrigue and innovation.

INSTITUTION

University of Louisville

John Greene is a Professor of French at the University of Louisville, where he also serves as director of the Introductory French Program. He earned a PhD in French from the University of Wisconsin–Madison after completing his undergraduate studies at Goldsmiths, University of London. At the University of Louisville, in addition to teaching language, literature, civilization, and culture courses, Professor Greene teaches business French, French cinema, and a theater practicum that emphasizes language acquisition through performance. He has developed and taught graduate seminars that focus on Paris, French society and class structure, and Enlightenment material culture.

 

Professor Greene is the recipient of numerous teaching awards, including the President’s Distinguished Teaching Professor Award from the University of Louisville and the Dorothy S. Ludwig Excellence in Teaching Award from the American Association of Teachers of French (AATF). In addition, he won the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies’ Innovative Course Design Competition, and the French government named him a chevalier in the Ordre des Palmes académiques for services to education and culture.

 

Professor Greene’s research focuses mainly on the representation of material culture in Enlightenment and 19th-century French fiction and maritime narratives. His published work has appeared in books and journals on both sides of the Atlantic. He has received external funding to present and publish his research at the National Library of Australia in Canberra, UCLA’s William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, the Museum of London, and Paris’s Musée national de la Marine and Collège de France. He is an assistant editor for the French Review, the official journal of the AATF.

By This Expert

The Great Tours: France through the Ages
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Did You Know … The Secret to Reading Hieroglyphs?

01: Did You Know … The Secret to Reading Hieroglyphs?

The most common mistake when reading hieroglyphs is believing that they are picture writing. In just three minutes, Egyptologist Bob Brier dispels this misconception of picture words and shows you, instead, how to read the sounds the hieroglyphs represent.

4 min
Did You Know … Johnny Appleseed Helped a New Species Evolve?

02: Did You Know … Johnny Appleseed Helped a New Species Evolve?

Learn on the fly about a new form of flies, thanks to Johnny Appleseed. Known for planting apple trees across America, Johnny Appleseed also likely triggered the evolution of an entirely new species. In this three-minute video, Professor Scott Solomon explains how the abundance of European apple trees resulted in a divergence in a common fly, creating an incipient new species.

4 min
Did You Know … Versailles’s Fountains Warn Against Rebellion?

03: Did You Know … Versailles’s Fountains Warn Against Rebellion?

The fountains of Versailles are more than just a pretty water feature. Wet your toes in history with this three-minute video, as Professor John Greene explains the story behind these symbolic installations. Designed to meet the exacting taste of monarch Louis XIV (known for believing, “The state—that’s me.”), the fountains evangelized his belief that monarchs were divinely appointed and the center of their world, and provided a warning to anyone who would consider dissent.

4 min
Did You Know… How Many Bones Are in the Human Body?

04: Did You Know… How Many Bones Are in the Human Body?

There’s a common misconception that the human body has 206 bones, but this number is just an average for adult humans. The number of bones you have varies as you age. In the third trimester, a fetus can have up to 800 tiny “bones,” while adult skeletons can have as many as 307. Join Elizabeth Murray to bone up on your knowledge of the human skeleton.

6 min
Did You Know… A Bad Drummer Helped the Beatles Find Their Beat?

05: Did You Know… A Bad Drummer Helped the Beatles Find Their Beat?

The Beatles are iconic: John, Paul, George, and Ringo. But that’s not how they started. They used to be John, Paul, George, and Pete. And as a drummer, Pete was not great. Michael Shelden shares the truly illuminating story of how Pete, the dreadful drummer, helped The Beatles become better musicians as they worked harder to compensate for Pete’s failings.

5 min
Did You Know… Muhammad’s Wife Aisha Profoundly Shaped Islam?

06: Did You Know… Muhammad’s Wife Aisha Profoundly Shaped Islam?

Prophet Muhammad, the founder of Islam, and his third and youngest wife Aisha were married for 10 years when Muhammad grew ill. At the end, he died with his head resting in her lap. Join Professor Joyce Salisbury to examine how his death was the beginning of Aisha’s extraordinary influence on the future of Islam, as she added over 2,000 hadiths—collections of Muhammad’s words, actions, or habits, which offer guidance on prayer and spiritual life.

7 min
Did You Know… Slinkys Can Defy Gravity?

07: Did You Know… Slinkys Can Defy Gravity?

Invented in 1904, the SLINKYⓇ is more than just a fun toy—it’s a physics paradox. Join Professor David Kung to see what happens when you drop a SLINKY from a certain height, and, more important, WHY it happens. You may never look at a SLINKY the same way, again.

4 min