Category Archives: Featured Facts

What Really Happens When Someone Enters the Witness Protection Program, How to Avoid Being Sued with the “Small Penis Rule”, That Time the U.S. Accidentally Nuked Britain’s First Satellite and More


In this week’s “best of” our YouTube channel, we discuss what really happens when someone enters the witness protection program, why breathing helium changes the sound of your voice, do road hazard signs like deer crossing and falling rocks actually prevent accidents, that time the U.S. accidentally nuked Britain’s first satellite, how to avoid being sued with the “small penis […]

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The Story of


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 instead of the IP address of the website.  The distributed version of this system allowed for […]

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Who Started the Red Carpet Tradition?


David asks: When did the tradition of rolling out a red carpet for celebrities start? Throughout history, red carpets have led luminaries to momentous events, both good and bad. Aeschylus (525 BC – 455 BC), the “father of tragedy,” wrote various plays where his heroes fell from grace due to a combination of unwinnable circumstances, arrogance and/or simply stepping on […]

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Dustbin of History: Aero-Nuts


The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader From our “Dustbin of History” files, here’s the harrowing tale of a little-known milestone in aviation history. LOADED It was January 7, 1785, and two men were preparing for the first ever balloon crossing of the English Channel. The one who financed the adventure was John Jeffries, a well-to-do American […]

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Why a Final Performance is Called a “Swan Song”


Gideon S. asks: Why is a final performance called a swansong? When someone performs for the last time, we often refer to it as a “swan song” which seems odd given that swans aren’t particularly known for their stage presence… So where exactly did this phrase come from? This expression is generally thought to have its genesis in the over […]

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