Category Archives: Articles

The Man Who Was Too Sexy For Hollywood

While the entertainment industry has never exactly been a bastion of diversity, fascinatingly, a century ago in fledgling Hollywood, during the so called “Yellow Peril” era no less, one of their most bankable heartthrobs and one of the highest paid actors of the age was a Japanese man- Hayakawa Kintarō, better known by his stage name, Sessue Hayakawa. Born in […]

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How Do Sodas in Outdoor Vending Machines Not Freeze in Winter?

Trunksme32 asks: How do outdoor vending machines keep the coke from freezing in the winter? Vending machines of some form or another have been around at least since the 1st century AD, with the first known of such being supposedly made by Hero of Alexandria, a Greek engineer who invented, among many other remarkable machines, one to automatically dispense holy […]

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That Time the British Rioted for Three Months Over the Cost of Theater Tickets

In September of 1808 Covent Garden Theatre in London burned to the ground. The exact cause of the fire has never been established but due to the extensive amount of flammable items throughout combined with an amazing number of flaming light fixtures, fires of some sort at theaters were relatively common, even inspiring a London fire code requiring several wet […]

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Who Started the Lizard People Conspiracy Theory?

MarcoDerp asks: You covered who started the flat earth and moon landing conspiracy theories. What about the lizard people? People have been referencing sentient reptilian entities, sometimes humanoid, sometimes not, going back to some of the earliest written works and legends known to man. In more modern times, according to a survey done by the firm Public Policy Polling approximately […]

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Who Invented Rock, Paper, Scissors and What’s the Best Way to Win Consistently?

Jay Soy asks: Who invented rock, paper, scissors? Hand based games have been around seemingly as long as humans have been humaning. As to the exact genesis of Rock, Paper, Scissors, however, this appears to originate in hand games from China, supposedly going back about two thousand years, though primary documented evidence of this is scant. That said, the trail […]

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That Time Christie’s Auction House Made Millions of Dollars by Winning a a Game of Rock, Paper Scissors

While you’ve probably never heard of Maspro Denkoh, a Japanese company founded in 1952 that makes various TV reception equipment, among other things, they will likely forever be remembered in the annals of business lore thanks to a rather oddball decision made by Takashi Hashiyama- the man who would head the company for a little over half a century before […]

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What’s Up with the All Seeing Eye on the Dollar Bill?

Diego Berri: Why is the all seeing eye on the dollar bill? A long standing bit of fodder for conspiracy theorists of the American persuasion includes various imagery found on the United States’ one dollar bill, with the most infamous of graphics on said nefarious item being the so-called “All-Seeing Eye”, more properly titled the “Eye of Providence”. To add […]

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How Did the Whole Stan Lee Cameo Thing Start? (And the Hilariously Awkward Way He Convinced His Future Wife to Go Out With Him)

UrselD: How did the Stan Lee cameo in the Marvel movies thing start? Born Stanley Martin Lieber almost a century ago in 1922, the man who would become far better known by his pen name, Stan Lee, was born into a family of very modest means with Stan, his brother, and Romanian immigrant parents sharing a single room apartment in […]

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Do People Really Have Repressed Memories or Is It Just Things They’ve Forgotten?

Astryx_x asks: Do suppressed memories actually exist? We’ve all seen it in movies- a character will be going along in their lives blissfully unaware of some extremely traumatic event in their long distant past… that is, until a bit of syrup dribbles onto their cheek and they are transported back in their mind to that time they were abducted by […]

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How Did the Ancient Romans Manage to Build Perfectly Straight, Ultra Durable Roads?

Marbleezy asks: How did the ancient Romans manage to build perfectly straight roads hundreds of miles long? The ancient Romans were a people famed for their architectural prowess, something no better demonstrated than by their ability to build almost perfectly straight and incredibly durable roads spanning expansive distances. For example, in Britain alone, the Romans built well over 50,000 miles […]

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That Time Pablo Picasso was Arrested for Stealing the Mona Lisa

Leonardo da Vinci started work on the Mona Lisa around 1503, thought to be a commissioned painting of Lisa Gherardini, the third wife of silk merchant Freancesco del Giocondo. As to why da Vinci never delivered it, it has been speculated that he received a much more lucrative commission shortly thereafter and thus abandoned the painting at the time. Another […]

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That Time Two Comic Artist Independently Created Dennis the Menace on the Same Day an Ocean Apart

We’ve talked before about the bizarre Hollywood phenomenon of Twin Films – essentially films with near identical premises inexplicably released around the same time – and all of the machinations that can lead to them existing. Today, rather than focusing on an industry wide trend, we’re going to discuss a specific example of something similar- the bizarre tale of the […]

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