Author Archives: Daven Hiskey

That Time Christie’s Auction House Made Millions of Dollars by Winning a a Game of Rock, Paper Scissors

While you’ve probably never heard of Maspro Denkoh, a Japanese company founded in 1952 that makes various TV reception equipment, among other things, they will likely forever be remembered in the annals of business lore thanks to a rather oddball decision made by Takashi Hashiyama- the man who would head the company for a little over half a century before […]

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What’s Up with the All Seeing Eye on the Dollar Bill?

Diego Berri: Why is the all seeing eye on the dollar bill? A long standing bit of fodder for conspiracy theorists of the American persuasion includes various imagery found on the United States’ one dollar bill, with the most infamous of graphics on said nefarious item being the so-called “All-Seeing Eye”, more properly titled the “Eye of Providence”. To add […]

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Forgotten History Part 2: The First Film and the Murder That Nearly Killed It

In this episode of The Brain Food Show, we start with the rather curious way in which George Eastman, founder of Kodak, died. Next up, we have a brief message from our sponsor, Skillshare. Skillshare is an online learning community with thousands of amazing classes covering dozens of creative and entrepreneurial skills. You can take classes in everything from photography […]

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Who was “Murphy” in “Murphy’s Law” and the Amazing Dr. John Paul Stapp Who Gave Us the Expression

The universe has been finding ways to mess with people long before Edward A. Murphy uttered his famed statement in the aftermath of Dr. John Paul Stapp strapping himself onto a rocket powered sled. One of the earliest instances of this “law” being stated explicitly happened in 1877 where Alfred Holt, in an address to the Institution of Civil Engineers, […]

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How Far Back in Time Could a Modern English Speaker Go and Still Communicate Effectively?

Neikoptic asks: If I was transported back in time to Medieval times like in a Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court could I still talk to people or would we not understand each other? Contrary to what many a Grammar Nazi the world over would have you believe, language is constantly evolving, occasionally extremely rapidly, and there is nothing wrong […]

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Can Professional Wine Connoisseurs Really Not Tell the Difference Between Expensive and Cheap Wines?

Alex K. asks: Is it true that sommeliers can’t tell the difference between expensive and cheap wines? Having a seasoned tongue that can detect the subtle differences between different kinds of adult grape juice is a sure sign of class. In fact, the go-to Hollywood trope for showing that a character is refined is to give them a penchant for […]

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That Surprisingly Recent Time British Husbands Sold Their Wives at Market

While getting divorced in modern times in most nations isn’t exactly a walk in the park, options at least do exist in much of the world, even in cases where one spouse would rather stay together. But this is a relatively modern phenomenon. Classically, getting divorced was almost impossible. So much so that at one point about the only way […]

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Who Started the Flat Earth Conspiracy Theory, How Many Actually Believe This, and What Do They Believe Exactly?

Contrary to popular belief, a decent percentage of the human population has known definitely the Earth was roughly spherical for over two thousand years. Hardly impressive, as noted in our BrainFood Show podcast, bees also use this fact in their own absurdly fascinating navigation and in communicating directions to other bees. As for humans, we took a little longer to […]

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