Category Archives: Featured Facts

The Bizarre Story of the Sex.com Heist

In 1983, Paul Mockapetris proposed a distributed database of internet name and address pairs, now known as the Domain Name System (DNS).  This is essentially a distributed “phone book” linking a domain’s name to its address, allowing you to type in something like todayifoundout.com instead of the IP address of the website.  The distributed version of this system allowed for […]

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The Truth About the First Academy Awards and the Dog Rin Tin Tin

Today in History May 16, 1929 In comparison to the multi-million dollar star-studded display of excess that is the modern day Academy Awards, the first Academy Awards ceremony was a relatively muted affair that could even be described as quaint if you were so inclined. Held in a medium-sized banquet hall in a Hollywood hotel mostly known for being haunted […]

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Can You Really Sign Things in a Legally Binding Way By Just Writing a Big X?

Orlando D. asks: Does it matter what you sign on contracts? Could you draw a picture or put an X and have it still be legally binding? With so many facets of modern life being automated, signatures being easy to forge, and given how difficult it is to prove based on signature alone whether a given person actually signed something, […]

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Forgotten Heroes: The Accidental Farmer

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Bob Fletcher was an agricultural inspector working in California’s Central Valley in the early 1940s. He might have stayed one, too, had the outbreak of World War II not changed everything. INFAMY Shortly before 8:00 a.m. on the morning of December 7, 1941, Japanese military forces attacked the U.S. naval […]

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Has Anyone Ever Tried to Pay for Something with a Briefcase Full of Cash?

Darren W. asks: Are there any records of someone paying with a briefcase full of money or is this just a Hollywood trope? A briefcase full of cash is a trope so common that even TV Tropes, a website dedicated to cataloguing cinematic cliches, requests that users only mention “exceptions, parodies and subversions”. While you’d expect something so ridiculous to […]

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The Fascinating Origin of Pong and Atari + Interview with the Creators of Quest for Glory and the Upcoming Hero-U (The BrainFood Show Episode 4)

In episode 4 of The BrainFood Show podcast, we discuss the fascinating origin of Atari and the game that more or less gave birth to an industry- Pong. Next up, we talk with award winning computer game designers Lori and Corey Cole, most notably creators of one of the greatest game series in history, the groundbreaking Quest for Glory (which […]

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Timothy Evans, Derek Bentley, Ruth Ellis and Banning the Death Penalty

Timothy Evans was no saint and there was good reason for the police to suspect him of murdering his pregnant wife and baby daughter. He and said wife, Beryl, had a long history of angry quarrels including witnesses stating that the couple occasional came to blows with one another. Seemingly a constant source of argument was Beryl being upset with […]

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The BrainFood Show Episode 1: Throwing Tomatoes

In this debut episode of our new The BrainFood Show podcast, we discuss the surprising similarities between online commenters and audiences throughout history, as well as how the practice of throwing tomatoes at performers got started.  We’ll also be looking at the various ways to monetize on youtube and websites and just generally explaining how all that works. Finally, we […]

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