Author Archives: Melissa

Avenging His Dog: The Story of Famed Congressman “Good Time Charlie” Wilson’s First Foray Into Politics

Charlie_Wilson_with_Afghan_man

As well-known for leading a flamboyant, playboy lifestyle as being the mastermind responsible for funneling $5 billion dollars (about $12 billion today) to Afghan rebels (when they were on our side) in their fight against the Soviet Union, Texas Congressman Charlie Wilson was a larger than life character who serves as a stark reminder of how different the political landscape […]

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Duty Free

duty-free

Jeremy W. asks: Why do we call non-taxed items duty free? Why is this allowed? Is this really the case or are you supposed to pay taxes anyway on items to your home country? Providing shoppers with a chance to buy and transport goods across international boundaries without paying local and national taxes, duty-free shops are found in airports and […]

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When Lincoln Was Almost Assassinated Nine Months Before He was Assassinated

abraham-lincoln

In August 1864, the Sixteenth President of the United States of America was nearly assassinated about nine months before he was actually assassinated. This is the story. The Soldier’s Home Throughout the Civil War (1861-1865), President Abraham Lincoln and his family spent the summer and fall in a cottage on the grounds of the Soldiers’ Home in the country outside […]

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What Do Cockroaches Eat and Where Do They Live When There are No Houses Around?

American-Cockroach

Soshi K. asks: What do cockroaches eat and where do they live when not in our houses? Sneaky and skittering, invasive and indomitable, the disgusting peridomestic cockroach is a formidable enemy for anyone unlucky enough to live among them. Interestingly, however, they are surprisingly delicate, and at least one species is utterly dependent on humans for its survival. Of the […]

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Why is it Called Area 51?

area-51

Michael S. asks: Why is it called Area “51”? Where are the other 50 areas? Despite the CIA’s release of previously classified documents in 2013 that acknowledged the existence of Area 51 as a top-secret U.S. government research facility, many questions about the site remain unanswered. One of the most innocuous, but nonetheless puzzling, is its choice of name. Although […]

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Is It Possible to Breastfeed with Implants?

breastfeeding

Brandy R. asks: Is it possible to breastfeed after getting a boob-job? Given the well-documented benefits of breastfeeding to the long- and short- term health of children, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends exclusively breastfeeding infants for at least the first six months, and continuing to nurse, along with giving supplemental foods, throughout the first year of life. In […]

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The Amazing Heroism of Ben L. Salomon- the Army Dentist Who Killed 98 Attacking Enemy Soldiers Single-Handedly

captain-salomen

On the morning of July 7, 1944, Captain Ben L. Salomon of the U.S. Army’s 105th Infantry, commissioned as a dentist, single-handedly held off a fierce attack of an overwhelming force of Japanese soldiers in order to allow sufficient time for approximately 30 of his comrades to safely retreat. After 15 hours of terrible fighting, when relief finally arrived, Salomon […]

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Why Does the New Year Begin on January First in Many Countries?

newyears

Jamie asks: Why is New Year’s day January 1st? Because Julius Caesar said so. Early Roman Calendar Since long before Caesar’s time, date keeping was dicey. In fact, the 355-day Roman calendar that immediately preceded Caesar’s Julian, worked on a four year cycle where every other year, an additional month was inserted between February (Februarius), the last month of that […]

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