Who Knew Research Could Be So FUN?! 

Mackenzie Carro fact-checking a Scope article

Here at Scope, we go to great lengths to research each article and story in the magazine. And those journeys can take us down some rather unusual research paths—from tracking down a rare Revolutionary War diary to talking to a chef in England who specializes in making fish head pies. Here are some of the most bizarre and delightful things that the editors of Scope have done in the name of research.

 

Ants Taste Great!

When I was writing "Would You Eat This?" about eating insects, I decided I needed to taste some bugs for myself. So I went to a local restaurant and ordered ant guacamole—yup, guacamole with ants sprinkled on it. I definitely hesitated before chowing down but to my surprise, the ants added a zippy crunch. It was delicious! Unfortunately I wasn't quite so brave when it came to the cricket tacos. 
—Kristin Lewis, Editorial Director

 

How Hot Was It?

For the article "Stinky Pits," I needed to find out how hot (and potentially stinky) it was during the summer of 1912 in Atlantic City, where an early deodorant was marketed. Luckily, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has weather data going back more than 100 years. So how hot was it? Up to 90 degrees. And people were wearing wool suits!
—Adee Braun, Senior Editor

 

Putrid Vocabulary

I do a lot of the research for the photos and videos used in Scope’s vocabulary slideshows (like this one). I have seen some images that have made me want to remove my eyeballs and run them through the dishwasher! I will simply offer a word to the wise to never type any of the following into a search bar: putrid, decompose, carcass, unsettling.
—Jenny Dignan, Senior Editor

 

A Breakfast History Mystery

For the nonfiction feature "The Shattered Sky," we wanted to paint an authentic picture of what that fateful morning in Halifax was like just before the disaster. What would people have been eating? Surely oatmeal would have been on the menu. But wait, would they have called it oatmeal or porridge? I called up the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic to find out. One of the historians confirmed that oatmeal would have been the breakfast of choice, not porridge. Mystery solved!
—Mackenzie Carro, Associate Editor

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