Category Archives: Articles

The Aloha Shirt and the Interesting Origin of Casual Friday


Today, Casual Friday is a day when the conventional dress codes of most offices are cast aside in favour of denim jeans, comfortable t-shirts with movie slogans on them and shirts with the sleeves rolled up. But few people realise that this time-honored tradition of “sticking it to the man” forcing you to wear a noose around your neck four […]

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“The Queen of Thieves”- The Story of Criminal Mastermind, Ma’ Mandelbaum


Over a 20-year career in post-Civil War New York, Fredericka “Marm” Mandelbaum is estimated to have fenced as much as $10 million in stolen property (around a quarter of a billion dollars when adjusted for inflation). Sitting at the center of a vast crime web the spanned large areas of the United States, Ma Mandelbaum was then known as “the […]

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The Mysterious Kugelpanzer: The Nazi-Designed, One-Man Spherical Tank


During World War II, Nazi engineers designed and built a number of revolutionary super or “wonder weapons” (wunderwaffe), including a wide array of aircraft, guns and ships. Among these weapons is a mysterious small, round tank named the Kugelpanzer (literally meaning “spherical tank”). This odd little tank was never seen in the European theater, and very little is definitively known […]

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The Story Behind the Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde


In the fall of 1885, poet, essayist, travel writer and novelist, Robert Louis Stevenson, had a nightmare so terrifying that his tossing about impelled his wife to wake him up. Rather than being grateful, however, Stevenson chastised his bride, barking: “Why did you wake me? I was dreaming a fine bogey tale.” A longtime sufferer of consumption (see: Why Tuberculosis […]

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Weekly Wrap Volume 93


This is a weekly wrap of our popular Daily Knowledge Newsletter. You can get that newsletter for free here. Who Invented the Emoticon? “Emoticons,” short for “emotive Icons,” (emotive meaning “appealing to or expression emotion” hence “icons that express emotions”) have been around in vertical form for some time. However, sideways emoticons seem to be a surprisingly recent invention, going […]

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Why is Home Plate in Baseball Shaped Differently Than the Other Bases?


Mitchell asks: Why is home plate shaped different than other bases? Oftentimes the most exciting part of a baseball game is the competition between the pitcher and the batter. The pitcher stares down the batter as he adjusts his grip on the ball and prepares for the most perfect pitch his arm can throw; the batter returns the pitcher’s glare […]

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What Beatles’ Record Did Kelly Clarkson Break?


Here’s your bar-trivia question of the day- What Beatles’ record did Kelly Clarkson break? Well, the whole strange little story begins with one of the Beatles’ greatest songs: “Can’t Buy Me Love”. In January of 1964, the Beatles were in Paris, staying at the five-star hotel, the famous “George V”. They were staying there during 18 days of concerts they […]

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One Bad Line- A Dark and Stormy Write


The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Alas, life just isn’t fair. Consider the case of Edward Bulwer-Lytton, a successful 19th –century author who was forgotten by history, then rediscovered…but only so that readers could ridicule him for one really bad opening line. BAD TO THE BONE It’s a rare author who can generate a single sentence […]

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Swapping Assassination Attempts- Unit 124 and Unit 684


In 1968, a group of 31 highly trained North Korean special forces commandos culled from the country’s most elite and secretive unit, Unit 124, crossed the Korean DMZ with a singular mission- kill the South Korean leader, Park Chung Hee. The unit supposedly trained for 2 years prior to the mission, with their initial selection being conducted soon after what is […]

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Raymond Belle and the Birth of Parkour


While David Belle is unquestionably known as the original innovator and spiritual figurehead of parkour, the discipline’s origins can be traced directly back to his father, Raymond, and his time as a child in Vietnam. Though details surrounding Raymond’s early life are rather hazy, it’s generally accepted that he was separated from his parents during the First Indochina War and taken in […]

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Melting Cars, The “Walkie Scorchie” Skyscraper


The 525-foot skyscraper at 20 Fenchurch Street in London, England earned the nickname “Walkie Talkie” thanks to its unique design. Slim at the bottom and wider at the top, locals could not help noticing its similarities to a handheld, two-way radio. However the Walkie Talkie also has another nickname- Walkie Scorchie. Construction began on the skyscraper in 2011 amidst controversy […]

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