Author Archives: Karl Smallwood

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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Visions of Rat Infested Pizza- The Genesis of Atari’s Chuck E. Cheese’s

Today in History May 17, 1977 If you’ve never had the pleasure of dining in a Chuck E. Cheese’s restaurant before, imagine for a moment an unending assault on every single one of your senses at once while a giant robotic rat mocks your existence with a dead, lifeless stare and you’ve basically got it. Conceived by Atari co-founder Nolan […]

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The Truth About the First Academy Awards and the Dog Rin Tin Tin

Today in History May 16, 1929 In comparison to the multi-million dollar star-studded display of excess that is the modern day Academy Awards, the first Academy Awards ceremony was a relatively muted affair that could even be described as quaint if you were so inclined. Held in a medium-sized banquet hall in a Hollywood hotel mostly known for being haunted […]

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That Time a Guy Landed a Helicopter on the Summit of Everest

Today in History: May 14, 2005 To many climbers, mountaineers, and general fans of low oxygen environments, summiting Mount Everest represent the literal peak of physical achievement. But while an impressive feat for a human, it turns out vultures can happily survive exposed to altitudes of 40,000 ft or 12,200 meters above sea level and, indeed, have been seen flying […]

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Stealing the Crown Jewels

Today in History: May 9, 1671 The crown jewels are a collection of historic and obscenely valuable relics closely associated with the British monarchy. For centuries these golden, jewel-encrusted trinkets have been kept under the watchful eye of burly guards in the Tower of London. And to doubly deter thieves, historically the punishment for attempting to steal them was death… […]

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Pemberton’s Tonic

Today in History: May 8, 1886 The sickly sweet sugar water known as Coca-Cola was initially marketed as a magical cure-all tonic for every kind of “nervous affliction” imaginable from headaches to hysteria- a condition that, fun fact, used to be treated in women through medically administered orgasms. This ultimately led to the creation of vibrators to help out the […]

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