Category Archives: Articles

Equal Rights and Free Love- The Remarkable Story of the First Female U.S. Presidential Candidate

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The 19th amendment to the United States Constitution, which was the result of many decades of hard work and lobbying from tireless suffragists who battled on both the state and national fronts, prohibits any US citizen from being denied the right to vote on the basis of their sex. Nearly a half century before this Constitutional amendment was ratified on […]

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The First Female Presidential Candidate of a Major Political Party in the United States – The Remarkable Margaret Chase Smith

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On January 27, 1964, then three-term Senator Margaret Chase Smith put the first crack in the “hardest, highest glass ceiling” when she announced her candidacy for the Republican nomination for President of the United States. Although she never really came close to winning it, Senator Smith’s presidential campaign helped dispel centuries of chauvinism and paved the way for female political […]

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The Hit Man

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The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Even if you’ve never heard of Otis Blackwell, you’ve almost certainly heard his music—he was one of the most influential songwriters of the 20th century. Here’s the story of the most famous songwriter most people have never heard of. TIGHT CHRISTMAS In the mid 1950s, Otis Blackwell was a struggling […]

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Weekly Wrap 117

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This is a weekly wrap of our popular Daily Knowledge Newsletter. You can get that newsletter for free here. Why Doesn’t the United States Use a Popular Vote to Determine the President? On December 13, 2000, Vice President Al Gore conceded the presidential election to Governor Bush. A day earlier, a lengthy and expensive manual vote recount process in Florida […]

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Hollow Mountains and Exploding Bridges, How Switzerland Remained Neutral With WWI and WWII Raging Around It

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Jeremy R. asks: How did Switzerland manage to stay neutral during WWI and WWII? The tiny mountainous country of Switzerland has been in a state of “perpetual neutrality” since the major European powers of the time declared it as such during the Congress of Vienna after the end of the Napoleonic wars in 1815. Why did they do this? The […]

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That Time Coca-Cola Spent $100 Million Intentionally Filling Coke Cans With Water That Smelled Like Farts

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Conceived in early 1990, the MagiCan campaign was supposed to be the spearhead of a massive summer promotion the cola giant dubbed “Magic Summer ’90”. In a nutshell, the promotion involved hiding cash prizes ranging from $5-$500, as well as some other goodies such as coupons for free Coke, inside of 750,000 of the several hundred million cans of Coke […]

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Why Does the United States Use the Electoral College Instead of a Simple Vote Count When Deciding the Next President?

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Mike C. asks: Why don’t we use the popular vote to pick the president? On December 13, 2000,  Vice President Al Gore conceded the presidential election to Governor Bush. A day earlier, a lengthy and expensive manual vote recount process in Florida was stopped by the United States Supreme Court despite Bush leading by only 537 votes. With Bush winning […]

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Weekly Wrap Volume 116

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This is a weekly wrap of our popular Daily Knowledge Newsletter. You can get that newsletter for free here. Is the Ocean Getting Saltier? Most sea salts come from water-caused erosion, whereby rivers ultimately carry the dissolved salts to the oceans. Absent a few key processes, the ocean’s salinity would continuously increase; however, there are several mechanisms, called “salt sinks,” […]

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The Truth About Legendary Highwayman Dick Turpin

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Richard Turpin, better known by his nickname, Dick, was a legendary highwayman who stalked the English countryside. A century or so after his death by hanging in 1739, Turpin was idealised as a dashing rogue or gentleman thief type in a multitude of supposedly factual stories purportedly based on his life. In reality, he was not exactly dashing, with a […]

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Why do Golfers Yell “Fore,” When was the Mulligan First Used, and Other Questions You Might Have Wondered About Golf

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There is a long-standing belief that golf was invented by the Scottish, sometime in the 14th or 15th centuries. This maybe false, at least according to Chinese professors and the Hong Kong Heritage Museum. In 2006, evidence was presented that the game may have originated from the ancient Chinese game “Chuiwan” – loosely translated to “hitting ball.” Two paintings, one […]

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When Did Humans Start Wearing Clothes?

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M. Schane asks: When did humans start wearing clothing? Determining exactly when humans began wearing clothes is a challenge, largely because early clothes would have been things like animal hides, which degrade rapidly. Therefore, there’s very little archaeological evidence that can be used to determine the date that clothing started being worn. There have been several different theories based on […]

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