Author Archives: Karl Smallwood

Forgotten History: The M247 Sergeant York and Its Propensity to Lock Onto Latrines Instead of Enemy Aircraft

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The M247 Sergeant York was officially designated as a “self-propelled anti-aircraft gun” but was for all intents and purposes a tank chassis with anti-aircraft guns attached to the top. The vehicle was named for one Alvin York, a famous and highly decorated WW1 hero who captured over 100 German soldiers pretty much single handedly. Unfortunately for the U.S. tax payers […]

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The Last Laugh- Millionaire Charles Vance Millar and His Practical Jokes from Beyond the Grave

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For many people, being dead is a fairly limiting handicap that prevents them from doing most of the things the living take for granted. In the 1930s, a man called Charles Vance Millar challenged that unfair stereotype via various stipulations of his will that allowed him to continue playing jokes on people despite being dead. A lawyer by trade, Millar […]

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Can Fish Get Thirsty and Why Can’t Freshwater Fish Live in Saltwater and Vice Versa?

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Helen W. asks: Is it possible for a fish to get thirsty or do they always get the water they need automatically? For fish, or at least teleost fish (which make up about 96% of all fish), the desire to drink is an urge that originates from the hindbrain, whereas in land-based animals it originates in the forebrain. It is […]

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The U.S. Navy and Their Hilariously Inept Search for Dorothy and Her Friends

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While the Ancient Greeks had their celebrated Sacred Band of Thebes, a legendarily successful fighting force made up of all male lovers, in more modern times the various branches of the United States military have not been so accepting of such individuals, which brings us to the topic of today- that time in the 1980s when the Naval Intelligence Service […]

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That Time Mozart Pirated a Forbidden Piece of Music from the Catholic Church from Memory

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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is known for many things, few of which we care to cover on this site because you probably already know all about them. Instead, we prefer to cover things that you likely didn’t know, like that the alphabet song was based on a tune by Mozart, or covering his extremely adult themed works that included a bit […]

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That Time the Italian Military Experimented with Parasheep

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Whether it’s flying tanks , literal bat bombs, surprisingly effective pigeon guided missiles, chicken heated nuclear weapons, or dogs that are trained to gruesomely take down tanks, humans have been using animals in war in a variety of bizarre ways. Today we’re here to talk about yet another seemingly absurd animal war-time event of the 20th century that actually turned […]

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That Time Hoover Accidentally Cost Itself Almost £50,000,000 by Giving Away Free Flights with the Purchase of a Vacuum Cleaner

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Giving away free stuff with a purchase is a good way to bolster sales and can result in a tidy increase in profits, provided you follow the general rule of making sure the long term projected profit from the promotion is greater than the cost of the giveaway. Appliance giant Hoover learned this seemingly obvious lesson first hand in 1992 […]

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The Story of How Two Friends Elaborately Re-Gifted the Same Pair of Pants for Over Two Decades

Santa Worker with a tool belt construction background.

To most people, re-gifting an unwanted Christmas present is rude, ungrateful and a little miserly. However, to Roy Collette and Larry Kunkel, it was not only a treasured Christmas-time tradition that they upheld for well over two decades, but an ever escalating game to see which one would fail to be able to re-gift the pair of pants in question […]

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The Nazis, Hitler, the Internet, and Godwin’s Law

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“As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one.” – Mike Godwin Coined in 1990 by author and attorney Mike Godwin, Godwin’s Law was originally, to quote Godwin “a project in memetic engineering”, partially inspired by a 1980s article he read in Whole Earth Review in which they discuss the power of […]

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That Time a Guy Parachuted onto Devils Tower… and then Made National News When No One Could Figure Out How to Get Him Down

Nestled safely in the bosom of the Bear Lodge Mountains of Wyoming is a large rock formation known simply as  Devils Tower. A popular landmark and the first recognised United States National Monument (declared such by President Theodore Roosevelt on September 24, 1906), the imposing rocky butte was at the forefront of a bizarre media frenzy in 1941 when a […]

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Nobel Prize Winner Barry J. Marshall and His Decades Long Fight to Convince the Medical World What Really Causes Ulcers

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When it comes to science, we think there’s a saying that is fairly applicable, “who dares, wins”. Fans of military history may recognise that as the motto of the Special Air Services (SAS). However, we feel scientists and researchers deserve to use it just as much, because sometimes they take risks too. Just ask Barry J. Marshall if you don’t […]

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