Author Archives: O'rene Daille Ashley

Why Are Some People Claustrophobic?

Noah R. asks: What causes people to be claustrophobic? If you have a friend who refuses to ride the elevator to his 15th floor office every day, he may be a fitness freak, but chances are, he is claustrophobic. Similarly, when someone’s action seems illogical as shown by their persistent, determined avoidance of enclosed spaces or restrictive clothing, the likely explanation […]

Read more

From Scouring Soap to Chewing Gum- William Wrigley Jr. and His Freebies

Most of us who have been chewing sticks of Spearmint or Juicy Fruit gum over the last several decades probably assume that the manufacture and sale of gum was what Wrigley was always about. After all, the company, which was founded by William Wrigley Jr., is famous for being the leading gum manufacturer globally, with an array of brands like […]

Read more

The U.S. Military’s Proposed “Gay” Bomb

One doesn’t commonly associate the slogan “make love not war” with the U.S. military. Indeed, the United States military is feared and formidable precisely because it has proven so effective at conceptualizing clever and innovative ways to search, find and destroy, often with the simple push of a button.  However, in a departure from these hostile traditions, in 1994 the Wright Laboratory, part of […]

Read more

When Did Men Start Getting Circumcised?

Mark asks: When did people first start cutting the foreskins off penises? Having served variously as a mark of virility, servility and gentility, circumcision has throughout the centuries worn many symbolic hats. While anthropologists disagree as to the definitive origins of circumcision, the earliest hard evidence comes from the first ancient Egyptian mummies of considerable vintage, around 2300 BC. That […]

Read more

Et Tu Brute? Not Caesar’s Last Words

In terms of famous last words, Julius Caesar’s supposed “Et tu, Brute?” may be the most well known of any in history. For context, William Shakespeare would have us believe, Julius Caesar, in his final moments called out: “Et tu, Brute? Then fall Caesar!” to his longtime friend Marcus Junius Brutus, prior to succumbing to stab wounds inflicted by Brutus […]

Read more