Author Archives: Karl Smallwood

For Nearly Two Decades the Nuclear Launch Code at all Minuteman Silos in the United States Was 00000000

nuclear-launch

Today I found out that during the height of the Cold War, the US military put such an emphasis on a rapid response to an attack on American soil, that to minimize any foreseeable delay in launching a nuclear missile, for nearly two decades they intentionally set the launch codes at every silo in the US to 8 zeroes. We […]

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Do Moths Really Eat Clothes?

clothes-moth

Gracen asks: Do moths really eat clothes? The common “clothes moth”, “clothing moth” or to give its street name, Tineola bisselliella, doesn’t actually eat clothes. In fact, clothing moths don’t even possess the ability to eat- they don’t have a mouth. Once they become a moth, rather than waste their time eating, they simply mate, the female lays her eggs, […]

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“Beam Me Up Scotty” was Never Said in the Original Star Trek

star-trek-transporter

Just like when we told you, Sherlock Holmes never said, “Elementary, my dear Watson“, today we’re going to blow your mind by telling that nowhere, in the entirety of the original Star Trek, were the words, “Beam me up, Scotty” ever uttered. They did come close several times, such as in the 1969 episode of the original series, The Savage […]

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What is in Worcestershire Sauce and Why is It Called That?

worcestershire-sauce

Karla asks: What exactly is Worcestershire sauce? Worcestershire sauce, sometimes known as “Worcester sauce” is a savoury sauce that is often added to meat and fish dishes or, if you like your alcoholic beverages, the Bloody Mary cocktail. It may (or may not depending on how much you research your sauce choices) surprise you to learn that it’s literally made […]

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What Started the “Cops Eating Doughnuts” Stereotype

cop-donut

Dan asks: How did the running gag of police always eating donuts come about? Members of law enforcement stuffing their faces full of doughnuts is one of the most enduring stereotypes about the boys and girls in blue. In virtually every media representation of the police that isn’t deadly serious, the stereotype is played out in some way- Police Academy, […]

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Sherlock Holmes Never Said “Elementary, My Dear Watson”

sherlock

“Elementary, my dear Watson“, sometimes quoted as, “Elementary, dear Watson“, is one of those phrases that everybody knows the character of Sherlock Holmes said. You know, just like everyone knows that Kirk said “Beam me up Scotty” and Darth Vader said, “Luke, I am your father”. The thing is, none of those characters ever said any of those things. They […]

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Over Half the People Involved in the Hindenburg Disaster Survived

Hindenburg

The Hindenburg disaster will probably always be remembered as the singular event that killed airship travel. In truth, there were other events that occurred which also contributed, but none stand out in the public consciousness more than the demise of the Hindenburg. The image of that huge ship falling from the sky and erupting into flames before burning to nothing […]

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Why Area 51 is Thought by Some to House Aliens

area-51

Kathy asks: Why do people think Area 51 contains alien bodies? Area 51 is now so ingrained into popular culture that it’s virtually synonymous with Aliens; it’s impossible to mention one without the other somehow creeping into the conversation, but why are the two so intrinsically linked? Why do we automatically picture little green men any time someone so much […]

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