Author Archives: Karl Smallwood

Did Mobsters Ever Send People to “Sleep with the Fishes” Wearing Concrete Shoes

Dan P asks: Did mobsters ever really use cement galoshes on the feet of people they sent to sleep with the fishes like in the movies? If there’s one thing everyone knows about the mob it’s that they had an astonishing number of ways to off the various wiseguys, shysters and snitches who got in the way of their business. […]

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Can Sea Captains Really Officiate Legally Binding Marriages?

Wayne T. asks: What’s the deal with movies showing sea captains performing marriages? They can’t actually do this, right According to countless movies and TV shows, sea captains, in addition to getting to wear dapper uniforms and snazzy hats, have the ability to marry couples aboard their ships thanks to the power bestowed upon them by… the sea we guess? […]

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What’s the Deal with the Bizarre Clothes at Fashion Shows?

Jeremy R. asks: I wanted to know what the point of the crazy clothes you see at fashion shows is? Does anybody actually buy these? Fashion is an evolving beast with the fashionistas of the world endlessly attempting to create impossibly fabulous and unique new outfits for fashion shows. A commonly seen element of such outfits is that they’re often […]

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The Badass Story of the First Helicopter Pilot to Receive the Medal of Honor

While it might seem a little odd at first glance, it turns out the first helicopter pilot ever to receive the United States’ prestigious Medal of Honor, John Kelvin Koelsch, was born and and mostly raised in London, England. Considered an American citizen thanks to his parentage, Koelsch moved back to the US with his family in his teens, and […]

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The Japanese Battleship with Guns that Weighed More than Entire American Battleships

Prior to WW2, knowing that they couldn’t compete with the numbers of the US navy, the Imperial Japanese Navy quietly authorised the construction of the two largest battleships by weight ever seen in warfare- the Musashi and her sister ship, the Yamato. The origins of these two behemoths can be traced back to Japan’s 1934 withdrawal from the League of […]

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That Time a Luftwaffe Pilot Risked His Own Life to Save an American Bomber

The pilot community, on the whole, is surprisingly close-knit, with fellow pilots seemingly always willing to extend a helping hand to their winged brethren. This is seemingly the case even during war amongst pilots otherwise trying to kill one another, as illustrated previously in our article on the real Red Baron and in the subject of today’s article- that time […]

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That Time Coca-Cola Released a New Soda Just to Spite Pepsi

Few companies have a rivalry as fierce and longstanding as PepsiCo and Coca-Cola and in their never ending battle for soda market dominance each company has gone to some spectacular lengths to screw over the other. Arguably the most fiendishly genius move of all was one made by Coca-Cola in the early 1990s- a move that basically involved intentionally releasing […]

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Does Diplomatic Immunity Really Make It So You Can Get Away with Murder?

Mark H. asks: Is it true diplomats can get away with murder because of diplomatic immunity? While the idea of some form of diplomatic immunity has existed seemingly as long as there have been humans banding together in some form, the modern rules surrounding this were originally laid out in 1961 at the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, with to […]

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Can You Really Just Go Online and Order a Wife from Some Other Country?

Scott L. asks: Can you really just go online and order a bride/wife from some other country? Seems like this can’t really be a thing because of immigration laws, right? While people have been sending messages back and forth to arrange marriages sight-unseen throughout history, the slightly more modern concept of mail-order brides is generally considered to have originated during […]

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How Many Hamsters Would it Take to Power Your Home and Would This Be Cheaper Than Coal Power?

Jeremy A. asks: How many hamsters running on electricity generating wheels would it take to provide enough energy for an average American household?  Would this be cheaper than coal electricity? While the question of hamsters powering homes may seem a bit farcical, it should be noted that at one point humans did specifically breed a certain type of dog for […]

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