Category Archives: Featured Facts

How Two Major Companies Used an Arm Wrestling Match Instead of Litigation to Resolve a Dispute


David vs. Goliath. Burr vs. Hamilton. Ali vs. Frazier. These fights have captured the public’s imagination like few others. On March 20, 1992, another battle entered this conversation. Herwald vs. Kelleher. Okay, so most likely, you probably don’t have any clue who Kurt Herwald and Herb Kelleher are and why they decided to match up against one another, but you […]

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Why the Mass Avoidance of Some Business is Called “Boycotting”


This term was named after a nineteenth century Englishman, Captain Charles C. Boycott (who originally had the surname “Boycatt,” but the family changed the spelling when he was nine years old). If you guessed that at a certain point Captain Boycott became quite unpopular with the masses, you’re correct. Shortly before Boycott would find himself boycotted, the situation in Ireland […]

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The Surprising Truth About Cousins and Marriage


Jamie M. asks: When did people stop thinking it was OK to marry your cousin? In modern western society, marrying your cousin is not well accepted, particularly in the United States. Through a combination of old prejudices and present-day conventional wisdom about inherited birth defects, first cousin marriage is seen by many as a little too close for comfort, as […]

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The Fascinating History of Eugenics


The name deriving from the Greek “eugenes,” meaning “well-born,” it should be no surprise that “eugenics” seeks to engineer a better human race by purposefully selecting good traits, and eliminating bad ones, as is common when breeding animals. Over the years, eugenics has had a number of proponents, from some of the greatest and most admires thinkers in western civilization […]

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One of the Greatest Scientists of the 20th Century You’ve Probably Never Heard Of


There’s a perception that religion and science go together about as well as mayonnaise and marshmallows. In some instances, this is, perhaps, true. But on a typically warm Southern California January in 1933 at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California (the same place and same time that Jack Parsons of rocket science fame was doing his experiments – […]

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How Blood Works


Our resident medical expert, Scott, and a buddy of his have just started The Medicine Journal, where you can learn all sorts of interesting facts about all things medical related. Below is their first video. If you like it, please subscribe to their YouTube channel here: If you liked this video, you might also enjoy: Does Cauterizing a Wound Really […]

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Why We Break A Bottle of Champagne Against New Ships


This is an excerpt from our new book, The Wise Book of Whys, available in: Print | Kindle | Nook | Audiobook While today breaking a bottle of champagne over the hull of a ship is considered tradition before launching a vessel in certain countries, particularly Britain and the United States, people have been performing ceremonies at launches seemingly as long […]

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Smedley Butler and the Business Plot


In 1933 and 1934, an alleged plot to overthrow the government of Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) by Wall Street Bankers may have happened. While contemporary newspapers called it a “gigantic hoax,” others, including the House’s Special Committee on Un-American Activities, found the allegations “credible.” You decide: The Bankers & Power Brokers During the campaign of 1932, FDR’s promise of jobs […]

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


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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