Category Archives: Featured Facts

The Story of Bob.com

internet-domains

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 todayifoundout.com 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?

red-carpet

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

crossing-the-channel

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”

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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Has There Ever Been an Actual Case of Someone Being Pelted With Tomatoes During a Performance?

thrown-tomato

Andthen2 asks: Has there ever been a real case of someone being pelted with tomatoes during a performance? As we’ve discussed in detail before (see: The Curious Case of the Claque), audiences haven’t always been kind to performers throughout history as evidenced by the fact that there was a thriving industry of people who made a rather lucrative living during […]

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A Historic Defecation: The Curious Case of the Lloyds Bank Turd

viking

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader It may sound gross, but it’s real and it’s considered a national “treasure.” And although we might wish we did, we didn’t make up the name—that’s really what it’s called. Get ready to learn about bathroom archaeology. BEAUTY, SKIN DEEP If you’ve ever been to the English city of York, […]

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What Happened to Huey, Dewey, and Louie’s Parents?

huey-dewey-louie

Karla asks: I was just wondering if it’s known what ever happened to Huey, Dewey, and Louie’s parents? In 1934 Walt Disney introduced the world to Donald Duck, Mickey Mouse’s lovable ill-tempered friend. Donald was an instant success, becoming one of the most popular cartoon characters of all time. Three short years after his creation, comic artist Al Taliaferro got […]

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