Author Archives: Karl Smallwood

That Time an Accidental Plague Nearly Killed Everyone in World of Warcraft

In mid-2005 players logging on to play the popular online multiplayer game World of Warcraft found themselves besieged by a virulent virtual plague nobody knew how to cure or effectively combat. For around a month the plague spread unchecked throughout the kingdom of Azeroth, killing tens of thousands of players’ characters and intriguing experts who’ve since used the plague as […]

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What Ever Happened to Ronald McDonald? (And the Bizarre Rules for Those Playing the Character)

According to official company statements, Ronald McDonald is “second only to Santa in terms of recognition”. While this may or may not have been true at one point in time, you might have noticed of late that the formerly prominent fast-food mascot has almost completely disappeared from the lime-light. So how did Ronald McDonald come about in the first place […]

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Can the Police Commit Crimes While Undercover?

Chloe T. asks: Can police officers or FBI agents commit crimes while undercover? The use of undercover or covert law enforcement is common throughout much of the world and, for the most part, men and women tasked with going undercover are expected to, and do, follow the law. However, beyond the occasional bad officer doing things they aren’t supposed to, […]

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Do People Who Resort to Cannibalism in Survival Situations Get in Trouble?

Gina K asks: When people have to resort to cannibalism to survive, is it considered a crime? To begin with, cannibalism is absolutely legal in the United States (with the exception of the state of Idaho), the UK, much of Europe, Japan, etc. However, as Cornell Law School notes, a number of laws are in place across America “that indirectly […]

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The Bizarre Story of the Seattle Mystery Vending Machine

In the city of Seattle, Washington there exists a vending machine that over the years has become something of a local landmark amongst residents who are familiar with its mysterious history. Situated on the corner the John Street and 10th Avenue East in the bustling Capitol Hill neighbourhood, the seemingly ancient machine is well known for dispensing random, sometimes rare, […]

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One Down, Five to Go

Today in History May 23, 1533 Exactly when King Henry VIII first began contemplating having his marriage to Catherine of Aragon annulled isn’t clear, though court gossip from the time suggests that the thought possibly entered the King’s mind as early as 1520. More concrete sources suggest that the king began to seriously consider giving his first wife the old […]

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