Author Archives: Daven Hiskey

Did Any Medieval Knight Ever Actually Rescue a Damsel in Distress?

Some of the first stories humans ever deemed worthy of writing down inevitably included tales of a man or men rushing to the aid of some damsel in distress, from Perseus rescuing Andromeda, to the Achaeans assembling to go rescue, or at least reclaim, Helen. As the centuries passed, this basic theme has never gone out of style, even still […]

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Who Invented the Keyboard and is the Dvorak Really Better than the QWERTY

The origin of the keyboard starts, unsurprisingly with the first typewriters. There were a variety of type-writer-like devices around going back the 18th century, before one Christopher Latham Sholes, with some help from a few other guys, came up with one that would become the first commercially successful typewriter in the 1870s. Much like many typewriters since, Shole’s device used […]

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Can Police Really Commandeer Your Vehicle Like in the Movies?

Nohomers asks: Can police officers actually commandeer your vehicle like in movies? Inevitably in any film that has some member of law enforcement as the protagonist at some point said individual will wave their badge, and potentially their gun, at a passing car and demand to commandeer the vehicle. But if you’re ever driving along and some police officer does […]

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Has Any Passenger Ever Landed a Commercial Airliner Like You See in Movies?

Natapixie asks: Has a non-pilot passenger ever managed to land an airplane? A common Hollywood trope when dealing with commercial airline-centric plots is inevitably at some point the pilot or pilots will become incapacitated and the lead character, who may or may not have any piloting experience, will be forced to take over, lest they die a fiery death when […]

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Who Invented the Emoticon and Emoji? (And How They’re Forever Changing Written Language)

Historically, written language has always been rather limited in its ability to adequately represent the nuance of in-person communication, which comes with a whole slew of gesticulations, facial expressions, subtle shifts in tone and the like. As such, humans have been attempting to find ways around this problem seemingly as long as we’ve been writing stuff down. Going back to […]

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Do Kids Really Learn Languages Faster Than Adults?

A common thing you’ll hear monolingual adults saying whenever discussing potentially learning a second language is that they lament not having done so as a child when it is easier. But the truth is, while the notion that kids learn languages faster and more easily is an almost universally held belief, even among some linguists, it turns out adults actually […]

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That Time a Guy Put $2-$4 Million Worth of Valuables in a Treasure Chest Left Somewhere in the Rockies

Born on August 22, 1930 in Temple, Texas, Forrest Fenn did not begin his life wealthy, with his father working to support the family via a job as a principal at a local school. Things would change, however, during the latter half of his life thanks to a love of exploring and collecting various artifacts. His first such object was […]

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Why is Wine Almost Always Drunk in Wine Glasses Instead of Regular Glasses?

Macuzila asks: Why does everyone only drink wine out of wine glasses? For a lot of people, a nice glass of wine is used to enhance enjoyment of things like the four F’s that make life worth living- friends, family, food, and… one other thing… Regardless of when or where you’re drinking that wine, it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll be […]

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