Author Archives: Karl Smallwood

What Started the “Cops Eating Doughnuts” Stereotype

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”

“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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The First Car Accident

Car accidents are a sad fact of life. Every day thousands lose their lives in collisions, crashes and accidents. Though the car itself is a fairly recent invention, the first recorded accident involving them could have happened almost 300 years ago, depending on what your definition of a car is. Though it looked nothing like the modern cars you see […]

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Why Area 51 is Thought by Some to House Aliens

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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Why the Dodo Went Extinct

The dodo, or Raphus cucullatus if you want to get fancy, is an extinct species of flightless bird that was native to the tiny island nation of Mauritius before it sadly died out. But enough of the Discovery Channel stuff, you’re reading this to find out how this sucker went extinct. And the answer is, well, complicated. It’s commonly believed that […]

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