Author Archives: Karl Smallwood

Can the Queen’s Guard Really Not React to People While on Duty?

Queens-Guard

Gianna D. asks: On movies the guards outside of Buckingham palace can’t move while on duty, is this true? “The Queen’s Guard” comprise of various soldiers tasked with guarding the residences of the Queen and, by extension, the Queen herself. Consisting of soldiers (mostly) hand picked from five elite regiments within the British military, the Queen’s Guard are internationally renowned […]

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Why are Kinder Surprise Eggs Illegal in the United States?

kinder-surprise

Jharel S. asks: Is it true that Kinder Surprise are illegal in America? For the uninitiated, Kinder Eggs are a chocolate treat widely available throughout Europe, Mexico and Canada, with the company that makes them, Ferrero (perhaps better known in the U.S. for being the makers of Nutella), selling a whopping 1.5 billion of the eggs per year. Where they […]

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Yadav and the Param Vir Chakra

Yogendra_Singh_Yadav

The Param Vir Chakra (roughly, the “Wheel of the Ultimate Brave”) is India’s highest military decoration for gallantry during battle and is “awarded for rarest of the rare gallantry which is beyond the call of duty and which in normal life is considered impossible to do”. The medal is known for having one of the most stringent selection process of […]

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The Curious Case of Shizo Kanakuri’s 1912 Olympic Marathon Run

shizo kanakuri2

When it comes to Olympic level track and field events, history tends to only remember those who ran the fastest, jumped the farthest and pushed themselves further than their peers. Shizo Kanakuri is an apparent exception to that rule because he’s fondly remembered for having the worst official time of any Olympic marathon runner in history, taking over 54 years […]

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Setting Fire to Glass- The “Nope” Chemical That is Chlorine Trifluoride

burning-drink

First discovered back in the 1930s, chlorine trifluoride is a rather curious chemical that easily reacts, sometimes explosively, with just about every known substance on Earth. Just to get the ball rolling, here’s a few of the more unusual things chlorine trifluoride is known to set fire to on contact: glass, sand, asbestos, rust, concrete, people, pyrex, cloth, and the […]

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Why Do Men’s and Women’s Clothes Have the Buttons on the Opposite Sides?

button-up-shirt

Matt asks: Why do men’s and women’s shirts and pants have the buttons on the opposite sides? When did this start? As with so many things in history, we can’t know with 100% accuracy why men’s and women’s clothes button up the opposite way. (Even something relatively recent like who invented Buffalo Wings is up for debate despite being invented […]

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The Fascinating Story of How the “What Would Jesus Do?” Slogan Came About

WWJD

What Would Jesus Do?, often shortened to WWJD? or W.W.J.D.  is a slogan so famous that millions of objects have been emblazoned with it. However, the person who came up with “W.W.J.D.” never saw a penny of the millions of dollars companies across the globe have made from it. The earliest known instance of the full slogan “What Would Jesus Do” […]

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Does McDonald’s or Burger King Really Hand Out Cards Granting You Free Food For Life?

mcdonalds

Jack A. asks: Is it true that McDonalds gives out special cards that give you free food for the rest of your life? If so, how do I get one? Like the American Express Centurion Card – a hyper-exclusive charge card only gifted to the wealthiest of individuals – there exists equivalently exclusive cards issued by both McDonald’s and Burger […]

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Does the UK Really Experience Massive Power Surges When Soap Operas Finish from People Making Tea?

tea-kettle

Joshua F. asks: Is it true that in the UK they have big power surges every time soap operas end because everyone makes a cup of tea at the same time? At first glance the idea of the UK being simultaneously addicted to both trashy soaps and tea to such an extent that the country’s national power grid experiences a […]

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