Category Archives: Featured Facts

What Ever Happened to Confederate President Jefferson Davis?


Cailin asks: What happened to Jefferson Davis after the Civil War? Jefferson Davis was attending a Sunday church service in the capital of the Confederacy, Richmond, Virginia, when he heard the news. Union General Ulysses S. Grant had broken General Robert E. Lee’s defenses in Petersburg, less than twenty five miles from Richmond. By nightfall, the evacuation of Richmond needed […]

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The First Commercially Successfull Video Game was Meant as a Training Exercise and Wasn’t Intended to Be Released


Today I found out “Pong” was originally meant only as a training exercise for a new gaming developer at Atari, Allan Alcorn, and wasn’t intended to be released as a consumer product. When Alcorn was hired by Atari in 1972, Nolan Bushnell, who founded Atari along with Ted Dabney, told Alcorn that he had recently signed a contract with GE […]

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Did the Warrior Women Known as the Amazons Ever Exist?


Marleen asks: Did Amazon women really ever exist? They are mentioned time and again by the ancient Greeks in both their history and mythology, going all the way back to Homer in approximately the 8th century B.C.  They were described as formidable warriors who cut off one breast to be better archers (one wonders if being lopsided would affect their […]

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Why Aren’t There Many Female Commercial Pilots?


Sarah T. asks: Why do you never see commercial airline pilots that are women? When it comes to gender disparity, the world of commercial airline piloting is one of the most skewed with a whopping 97% of all commercial pilots being male (4000 female commercial pilots vs. 130,000 male worldwide according to The International  Society of Women Airline Pilots).  Those […]

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How Did “911” Become The Emergency Call Number in North America?


Kaiden asks: Why is 9-1-1 the emergency call number? Before the 1960s, the United States didn’t have one universal phone number for Americans to call if they needed help from the police or fire department. Callers simply had to know the phone number for each department in the area they were currently in. In the case of large cities, there […]

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Why Are Continental Breakfasts Called That?


Austin asks: Why are continental breakfasts called that? Many hotels offer guests a free breakfast consisting of muffin, coffee, cereal and milk, toast, juice, bagel, and, at some, even scrambled eggs and make-your-own waffles. Born in the Gilded Age, today’s continental breakfasts reflect the West’s transition from a mostly agrarian culture to an industrial (and today, service) society. Luckily, however, […]

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Why Do Men’s and Women’s Clothes Have the Buttons on the Opposite Sides?


Matt asks: Why do men’s and women’s shirts and pants have the buttons on the opposite sides? When did this start? As with so many things in history, we can’t know with 100% accuracy why men’s and women’s clothes button up the opposite way. (Even something relatively recent like who invented Buffalo Wings is up for debate despite being invented […]

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