Category Archives: Featured Facts

The Surprisingly Mysterious Life of Famed Artist Bob Ross


Amongst the pantheon of notable public television personalities, Bob Ross easily ranks alongside the likes of Mr Rogers and Elmo as a star who is almost universally loved and respected by the public. Despite being famous the world over for his balmy, soothing demeanour, his show The Joy of Painting and his amazing ‘fro, we know surprisingly little about arguably one of the best […]

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From Wallpaper Cleaner to Kid’s Toy- The Origin of Play-Doh


The story of Play-Doh began when Kutol, a Cincinnati based soap company, was about to go under in the late 1920s. Cleo McVicker, just 21 years old, was tasked with selling off the company’s remaining assets, which at the time comprised mainly of powdered hand soap. Once that was done, the company would be too. Cleo, however, managed to turn […]

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Robert Frost’s Commonly Misinterpreted “The Road Not Taken” and the Role it Played in the Death of His Best Friend


Robert Frost is one of the most critically acclaimed American poets of the 20th century, which is a roundabout way of saying you almost certainly studied one of his poems in school. Most likely, it was a short piece called The Road Not Taken- a poem famous for being one of the most misunderstood and misinterpreted poems ever written, and […]

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A Dinner Jacket, the Nazis, the “British” Accent, and What This All Has to Do With the BBC News


The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is an institution known and respected the world over for its relative impartiality and objectivity compared to many other news sources, with numerous surveys showing that the BBC is one of the most trusted sources of news in both the UK and the US. But we’re not here to talk about that. We’re here to talk about […]

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The Real First Person Around the World, Exploding Dogs, the Superhero Who Powered Up By Smoking and More


In this week’s “best of” our YouTube channel, we discuss who was the real first person to circumnavigate the globe, the superhero who powered up by smoking, what a “blue moon” really is, the sad story of the exploding anti-tank dogs of WWII, why aluminum foil is shiny on one side and not the other, and what people used for toothpaste […]

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First Look at Your Baby: The Fascinating History of the “Sonogram”


The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader If you have kids, there’s a good chance that the very first time you laid eyes on them was via a “sonogram” image taken before they were even born. The grainy images are so common that they’ve become a rite of passage for parents all over the world. Here’s the […]

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Barney Curley and the Yellow Sam Coup


On June 26, 1975, professional gambler Barney Curley pulled off one of the most famous betting coups in all of sports. With careful planning and skillful execution, Curley and his compatriots won just over IR£300,000 (or about $2.6 million today) on the “slow but steady” mostly unknown horse named Yellow Sam. Curley’s father, Charlie, had been a grocer before sinking […]

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The Aloha Shirt and the Interesting Origin of Casual Friday


Today, Casual Friday is a day when the conventional dress codes of most offices are cast aside in favour of denim jeans, comfortable t-shirts with movie slogans on them and shirts with the sleeves rolled up. But few people realise that this time-honored tradition of “sticking it to the man” forcing you to wear a noose around your neck four […]

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“The Queen of Thieves”- The Story of Criminal Mastermind, Ma’ Mandelbaum


Over a 20-year career in post-Civil War New York, Fredericka “Marm” Mandelbaum is estimated to have fenced as much as $10 million in stolen property (around a quarter of a billion dollars when adjusted for inflation). Sitting at the center of a vast crime web the spanned large areas of the United States, Ma Mandelbaum was then known as “the […]

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