Who Knew Research Could Be So FUN?! 

April 18, 2018

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.

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, Managing 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, Senior Associate Editor

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