Category Archives: Articles

Weekly Wrap Volume 182

Crown_Jewels

This is a weekly wrap of our popular Daily Knowledge Newsletter. You can get that newsletter for free here. Stealing the Eiffel Tower In this episode of The Brain Food Show podcast, we discuss that time a man managed to successfully sell the Eiffel Tower… even though he didn’t own it. We also lament the lack of awesome World’s Fairs in […]

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Weekly Wrap Volume 181

signing

This is a weekly wrap of our popular Daily Knowledge Newsletter. You can get that newsletter for free here. Forgotten Heros: The Accidental Farmer Shortly before 8:00 a.m. on the morning of December 7, 1941, Japanese military forces attacked the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor, on the Hawaiian Island of Oahu. More than 2,400 soldiers were killed in the attack, […]

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Who was the Red Baron?

Manfred_von_Richthofen

It was a century ago when famed World War I German fighter pilot Manfred von Richthofen was fatally shot out of the sky. Yet, his nickname – “Red Baron” – remains part of American vernacular. Charles Schulz’s comic strip character Snoopy famously took on the Red Baron in his imaginary air battles aboard his doghouse, often yelling “Curse you, Red Baron!” […]

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Can You Really Sign Things in a Legally Binding Way By Just Writing a Big X?

signing

Orlando D. asks: Does it matter what you sign on contracts? Could you draw a picture or put an X and have it still be legally binding? With so many facets of modern life being automated, signatures being easy to forge, and given how difficult it is to prove based on signature alone whether a given person actually signed something, […]

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Forgotten Heroes: The Accidental Farmer

evacuation

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Bob Fletcher was an agricultural inspector working in California’s Central Valley in the early 1940s. He might have stayed one, too, had the outbreak of World War II not changed everything. INFAMY Shortly before 8:00 a.m. on the morning of December 7, 1941, Japanese military forces attacked the U.S. naval […]

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Mark Twain’s Hilarious “Thoughts on the Science of Onanism”

Mark Twain at age 15

Through the latter half of the 19th century, Mark Twain was on a mission to attack pretense with satire. One of his most hilarious, if completely scandalous and by many standards inappropriate, works was a lecture he gave to The Stomach Club in 1879 about masturbation titled, “Some Thoughts on the Science of Onanism.” During the 19th century, medical practice […]

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The Curious Case of the Night Parrot – The World’s Most Elusive Bird

night-parrot-homeland

Pezoporus occidentalis, better known simply as the “night parrot”, is often described by ornithologists as being the most mysterious and enigmatic bird on Earth- a moniker the night parrot earned by being so rare and elusive that fewer people alive today have seen one with their own eyes than have ever walked on the Moon. Described bluntly by one of […]

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The Curious Case of the Campden Wonder

Double Nooses in Gallows in a Courtyard - path included

On the 16th of August, 1660, an approximately 70 year old William Harrison walked toward the village of Charingworth, about two miles from Chipping Campden, with the intention of collecting rent for his employer, the Lady Viscountess Campden. When he failed to return home, Harrison’s wife sent out their servant, John Perry, to find him, but neither man returned that […]

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