Category Archives: Featured Facts

Interesting Halloween Facts Roundup

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We’ve covered quite a few Halloween related facts here on TodayIFoundOut over the years. Here’s a list of all of them, as well as some interesting facts about various candies. Happy Halloween! Halloween Related Facts: Why are Carved Pumpkins Called “Jack O’ Lanterns”? The name “Jack O’ Lantern” was originally one of the numerous names given to ignis fatuus (Medieval […]

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What Happens to Your Social Security Number When You Die?

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U. Grening asks: What happens to your social security number when you die? Does it get used again? Since 1935, the Social Security Administration has been issuing numbers to permanent residents of the United States.  Nine simple digits distinguish each American from his or her fellow residents.  Today, assigned randomly and never recycled, a social security number is as unique […]

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Why Don’t Vultures Get Sick When Eating Dead Things?

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Scott K. asks: Why don’t vultures get sick when eating dead things? How come humans can’t do the same? As an animal that is synonymous with death and disease, the vulture understandably has a poor reputation in many cultures across the globe, despite, ironically enough, being a huge boon to humans in terms of being able to reduce instances of […]

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The Fascinating Reason Witches are Commonly Depicted Flying on Broomsticks

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Emily A. asks: Why do witches fly on broomsticks? We’ve heard this one. To get high, of course! But seriously, it’s thought the idea of witches flying around on broomsticks came from the practice of concocting “witches flying ointment” (read  hallucinogens) and then using a broomstick to administer the drug to certain sensitive regions, thereby bypassing some of the negative […]

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Why We Call Certain Types of Threats “Blackmail”, and The Origin of the Lesser Known “Buttockmail”

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Karl M. asks: Why is it called blackmail when you threaten to reveal something about someone if they don’t give you money? “Blackmail” has its roots in the early 16th century, first used by English farmers living on the England/Scotland border. It derives from the Middle English word “male” which itself is thought to derive from the Old English word […]

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Are There Any Animals Other Than Humans That Commit Suicide?

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Mark I. asks: Are there any known animals other than humans that intentionally commit suicide? Animal suicide is a hugely controversial issue in the world of animal research and psychology, because although there are numerous documented instances of animals seemingly intentionally ending their own lives, no one is exactly sure whether these cases can technically be classified as suicide. First […]

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Who is McDonald in McDonald’s Restaurant

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Mark R. asks: Was there a real “McDonald” that started McDonald’s or is it like the fictitious Betty Crocker? McDonald’s is, without question, the most successful, popular, and influential fast-food restaurant chain in recorded history. The name most commonly associated with McDonald’s is Ray Kroc.  Kroc was the entrepreneur who founded the McDonald’s corporation.  So how did it come to […]

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Al Jolson- Misunderstood Hero or Villain?

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Ask most movie fans, “What was the first ‘talkie’?” The most frequent reply tends to be “The Jazz Singer” starring Al Jolson. This is a “sort of” correct answer, but not really. The earliest “sound” movies were made by synchronizing motion pictures to phonograph records. In 1926, (a year before “The Jazz Singer”) Warner Brothers re-released the previously silent film […]

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