Category Archives: Articles

What was Up with David Bowie’s Left Eye?

David_Bowie

Andy D. asks: What was up with David Bowie’s eye? Did he wear contacts or something to make it like that or have some sort of medical condition? David Bowie was a man who reinvented himself countless times throughout his roughly half-century long career; one thing that remained constant about Bowie’s appearance, though, were his eyes. For anyone who doesn’t […]

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The Fascinating Family Feud that Led to Adidas and Puma, and Allowed Nike to Dominate the Market

adidas

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Here’s the strange story of a family-owned business so dysfunctional that business schools teach it as a lesson in how not to run a company. FOOT SOLDIER Not long after the end of World War I in 1918, an 18-year-old German soldier named Adolf Dassler returned to his hometown of […]

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Are the “Snozzberries” in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Referring to Male Genitalia?

snozzberry

Domenic V. asks: Is it true that the snozzberries in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory were dicks? Given the dark undercurrent of Roald Dahl’s works, perhaps it wouldn’t be surprising if his famous snozzberries mentioned in the book, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1964) made into the film Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971), were, in fact, penises. […]

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Who is McDonald in McDonald’s Restaurant

mcdonalds

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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Americans and The Date Format and How That Relates to Data Storage, Holy Wars and Soft-Boiled Eggs

declaration_of_independence

M. Seager asks: Why do Americans write dates Month/Day/Year and most others Day/Month/Year? In the United States, the date format begins with the month and ends with the year (MM/DD/YYYY), and this arrangement is relatively unique. In most of the rest of the world, the day is written first and the year last (DD/MM/YYYY), although in some places like China, […]

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Do Words Get Removed from a Dictionary When People Stop Using Them?

dictionary-unlimitted

Kerry U. asks: When words fall out of usage are they removed from the dictionary? The Second Edition of the Oxford English Dictionary is generally regarded as the single most comprehensive record of the English language to exist. Included in this work are many thousands of words considered completely “obsolete” by lexicographers. You see, in something of a Hotel California […]

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Weekly Wrap Volume 166

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This is a weekly wrap of our popular Daily Knowledge Newsletter. You can get that newsletter for free here. The Curious Case of Octopus Wrestling Arising out of the peace and prosperity of the post-war world, in the middle of the 20th century Americans threw themselves into a variety of weird fads, with goldfish swallowing, pet rocks (see: How Did the […]

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That Time Teddy Roosevelt Got Shot in the Chest But Gave a 90 Minute Speech Anyway

Roosevelt

To most of the approximately 10,000 people packed into Milwaukee Auditorium on October 14, 1912, nothing seemed out of the ordinary in the moments before Teddy Roosevelt was scheduled to give what was supposed to be a simple campaign speech. The former President of the United States was running for a near unprecedented third term, this time as the Progressive […]

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Nixon’s Tactic of Acting Unbalanced as a Political Strategy- The Madman Theory

richard-nixon

Developed from game theory and a key tactic of his early administration, President Richard Nixon came into office with a clear plan – scare the hell out of other world leaders to get them to do what he wanted. Called the “madman theory,” it depended on possessing a massive nuclear arsenal, then simply acting sufficiently erratic and unbalanced to convince […]

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The Strange Fate Of Benito Mussolini Jr.

Benito Albino Mussolini

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Bad news: We have no control over who our parents are. Good news: Most of us did a lot better than Benito Mussolini Jr. did. OUT OF WORK In 1912, a 20-year-old political activist named Benito Mussolini became the editor of Avanti! (“Forward!”), the Italian Socialist Party’s newspaper. He held […]

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How To Make a Proper Cup of Tea According to Famed English Author George Orwell

tea and biscuits

According to George Orwell, “tea is one of the main stays of civilization,” and like many of his countrymen, Orwell had rather strong opinions on the proper method of its preparation. Realizing one day in 1946 that the cookbooks of the age gave scant instruction in how to make tea, he decided to remedy that deficiency and published his personal […]

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Do Vending Machines Really Kill More People Than Sharks?

vending-machine-of-death

Samantha F. asks: Is it true that more people are killed every year by vending machines than sharks? As we’ve discussed at length in another article, sharks, contrary to their fearsome reputation, rarely attack, let alone kill, humans; it would seem that they don’t deem us to be suitable prey, though it seemingly has little to do with taste, as […]

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The Surprisingly Heartwarming Story of the Man Who Invented Sriracha Sauce

Sriracha-Hot sauce

Vicki M. asks: Who invented sriracha sauce? The genesis of Sriracha hot sauce (pronounced sir-ah-cha, contrary to what many think) becoming the condiment staple it is today can be traced back to 1975 and an unassuming Vietnamese refuge called David Tran- the founder and current CEO of Huy Fong Foods. Following the Vietnam war, Tran, who was a Major in […]

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