Category Archives: Articles

Weekly Wrap Volume 113

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This is a weekly wrap of our popular Daily Knowledge Newsletter. You can get that newsletter for free here. The U.S. Military’s Proposed “Gay” Bomb One doesn’t commonly associate the slogan “make love not war” with the U.S. military. Indeed, the United States military is feared and formidable precisely because it has proven so effective at conceptualizing clever and innovative […]

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Why aren’t the Windows Aligned with the Rows of Seats in Commercial Aircraft?

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M. Silverman asks: Why aren’t the windows aligned with the rows of seats on planes? While airplane manufacturers do design the planes with general row positioning and pitch (the measurement from one seat to the same exact point on the seat in front or behind it) in mind, with the windows often lining up with the seats, the designers’ exact […]

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The U.S. Military’s Proposed “Gay” Bomb

gay-flag

One doesn’t commonly associate the slogan “make love not war” with the U.S. military. Indeed, the United States military is feared and formidable precisely because it has proven so effective at conceptualizing clever and innovative ways to search, find and destroy, often with the simple push of a button. However, in a departure from these hostile traditions, in 1994 the […]

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The Behavior Changing Parasite That Could Be Living Inside You Right Now, Toxoplasma Gondii

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If we were to tell you that there is a parasite out there that can infect virtually any warm-blooded creature on Earth; is found just about everywhere; approximately 33% of humans are infected; and is also mysteriously linked to people committing suicide and brain cancer, then we told you that it was most commonly found in cats, you’d say we […]

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Weekly Wrap Volume 112

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This is a weekly wrap of our popular Daily Knowledge Newsletter. You can get that newsletter for free here. How Dick Came to Be Short for Richard The name Richard is thought by most etymologists to derive from the Proto-Germanic ‘Rikharthu’, meaning more or less “hard ruler” (‘Rik-‘ meaning ‘ruler’ and ‘-harthu’ meaning ‘hard’).  This was adopted into Old High […]

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The United States’ First Trip to the Olympics

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The 1890s were a gilded age of sports in America. Backed by the country’s moral and intellectual elite in the form of ministers and urban reformers, institutions like the YMCA were popularized, enforcing the rather novel idea of healthful recreation via organized sports. While this may seem obvious to us today, this was only decades after a time when watching […]

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Why Doesn’t the Queen of England Need a Passport?

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Marco Rossi asks: Is it true that the queen of England isn’t required to have a passport when she visits other countries? As the reigning monarch of the United Kingdom, the commonwealth, and certain other countries that have since declared independence but decided they kind of like having the Queen on their money, Queen Elizabeth II enjoys a number of […]

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The Pivotal WWII Gun That Nobody Wanted to Put Down- The “Plumber’s Nightmare”

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Initially designed and produced during WW2 for British soldiers, the Sten was developed as a direct response to both dwindling supplies of American made Thompson machine guns and the evacuation of Dunkirk, during which the British abandoned many thousands of guns. In an effort to re-arm its troops as quickly as possible for the defense of the homeland, the British […]

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Why are Breasts Called “Boobs”?

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Jared M. asks: Why are breasts called boobs? There’s an oft repeated and decidedly untrue claim that Eskimos have hundreds of words for “snow”. (Beyond the fact that there is no single “Eskimo language”, when talking about the wider Eskimo-Aleut language family, these actually have roughly the same number of root-words for snow as English.) The false claim that they […]

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Weekly Wrap Volume 111

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This is a weekly wrap of our popular Daily Knowledge Newsletter. You can get that newsletter for free here. The Strange Story of the First Olympian Disqualified for Doping Olympians have been bending (and occasionally breaking) the rules in an effort to give themselves an edge over the competition since the games began. Despite this, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) […]

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That Time Howard Hughes Purchased a TV Station So He Could Have Netflix in the 1960s

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Howard Hughes, the legendarily reclusive billionaire business magnate, is a man about whom much has been written and most people know at least a little bit about. However, as we did when we covered JP Morgan’ giant, purple, knobbly nose that he largely managed to keep hidden from the world, today we’re going to focus on a lesser known aspect […]

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