Category Archives: Featured Facts

How the Nazis Teamed Up with IBM for Mass Murder, and the Incredible Story of the First Ethical Hacker

In the era of Big Data, few figures are more divisive as that of the hacker. On the one hand, malicious or “black hat” hackers cause billions of dollars of damage every year, breaking into private and public networks to steal money or personal data or simply to create chaos. On the other hand, so-called ethical or “white hat” hackers […]

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‘Kaputnik’: America’s Disastrous First Attempt to Launch a Satellite

On July 20, 1969, astronaut Neil Armstrong stepped onto the lunar surface and uttered the immortal words “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” While five more Apollo crews would land on the moon over the next three years, for many that moment marked the triumphant end of the Space Race, which over the previous twelve […]

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That Time a Farmer was Given Ultimate Power Twice and Changed the World Forever By Walking Away Both Times

The subject of what a political leader in a democracy does after his term has ended and the merits of gracefully resigning from power has been on the news recently. Enter the subject of today’s story which takes place in ancient Rome, at the dawn of the Republic Era. The person in question was Cincinnatus, whose actions in terms of […]

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Where Did the NASA Expression Steely-Eyed Missile Man Come From?

In the 2011 novel The Martian and its 2015 film adaptation, orbital dynamics expert Rich Purnell devises a maneuver to get NASA’s Hermes spacecraft back to Mars and rescue marooned astronaut Mark Watney. Upon carrying out the maneuver, the crew of the Hermes sends a signal back to Mission Control, stating: “Houston, be advised: Rich Purnell is a steely-eyed missile […]

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Why It Sucks to Be Rich

To paraphrase famed scholar Christopher Wallace- more money means more problems. As paradoxical as this claim may seem given yet another famed scholar more recently claimed “Whoever said money can’t solve your problems, must not have had enough money to solve ’em”, Mr Wallace, or Biggie Smalls as he was better known to those who had no respect for his […]

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How Much Would it Cost to Fill a Swimming Pool With Booze? Has Anyone Ever Actually Done This?

JohnJohn asks: Has anyone ever really filled a pool with alcohol? Several hotels around the world catering to the uber-wealthy offer a bizarrely specific package that offers customers the chance to float around in a hot tub filled with champagne. As pleasant as it sounds to have your nether regions soak in warm bubbly, you’d think someone, somewhere would have […]

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Why can We Make Vaccines for Some Viruses and Not Others and Why Do Most Experts Think One Will be Successful for Covid-19 Very Soon?

If you were born in the United States in 1900 you had about a 1 in 3 chance of dying from an infectious disease.  If you were one of the unlucky third, 40% of you would die before the age of 5. In fact, the top three causes of death were infectious disease at this time- namely, pneumonia and flu, […]

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The President Who Randomly Liked to Challenge People to Fist-Fights

If you’ve followed this website, our YouTube channel, or BrainFood Show podcast very long, you know one of our favorite historic individuals is Theodore Roosevelt- among countless other reasons to be admired, a man who enjoys a reputation as one of the most terrifyingly badass individuals to ever hold the office of leader of a nation, with countless stories detailing […]

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