Author Archives: Karl Smallwood

The Russian Tank So Hard to Destroy One Tactic Used was Simply to Run Over Anti-Tank Guns With It

KV1

The KV-1 and KV-2 are recognised as being amongst the most heavily armoured tanks deployed during WW2. At least initially largely impervious to anything less than a direct, point-blank hit from a dedicated anti-tank weapon, the KV series was so formidable that the first time the Wehrmacht encountered them, Soviet soldiers destroyed dozens of anti-tank guns by simply driving towards […]

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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

stork-derby

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?

fish-and-beer

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

navy-gay-pride

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

sistina-interno

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

flying-sheep

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

world-travel

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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