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The Invention of the Pencil Sharpener

The Invention of the Pencil Sharpener

Matt Blitz January 28, 2015 2

For years, the knife was the most commonly used tool to sharpen the wooden writing instrument known as a pencil (which historians believe was invented in the 15th or 16th century). But whittling the

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The Invention of the Piano

The Invention of the Piano

Sarah Stone January 26, 2015 1

The names that come to mind at the mention of the Italian Renaissance are the likes of Medici, Da Vinci, and Galileo. Few, however, know the name Bartolomeo Cristofori, an accomplished craftsman who lived

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The Teenager Who was Executed Twice

The Teenager Who was Executed Twice

Daven Hiskey January 19, 2015 0

Today I found out about a 16 year old sentenced to death who had to have that sentence carried out twice. The teenager was Willie Francis, the youngest of 13 children in a poor

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The Rubber Band: Holding It Together Since 1820

The Rubber Band: Holding It Together Since 1820

Matt Blitz January 19, 2015 2

Matthew L. asks: Who invented the rubber band? Cheap, reliable, and strong, the rubber band is one of the world’s most ubiquitous products. It holds papers together, prevents long hair from falling in a

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Why Children Get Summers Off of School

Why Children Get Summers Off of School

Sarah Stone January 5, 2015 0

Xing U. asks: Why do kids get the summer off of school? The commonly touted explanation for students having summers off from school dates back to a time when the United States’ economy relied

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A Brief History of the Movie Rating System

A Brief History of the Movie Rating System

Matt Blitz December 30, 2014 7

When you were a kid, sneaking into a rated R movie was a big deal. Everyone had their own tricks, but this author’s was to buy a ticket to a rated G Disney movie,

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The Real Feud Between the Hatfields and McCoys

The Real Feud Between the Hatfields and McCoys

Matt Blitz December 29, 2014 0

As with a lot of historical events, Hollywood has glamorized and largely fictionalized the feud between the Hatfields and the McCoys. So what really happened? It is believed that both families came to America

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When Art was an Olympic Sport

When Art was an Olympic Sport

Matt Blitz December 22, 2014 3

When Baron Pierre de Coubertin founded the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 1894, he declared that one of the missions of the modern Olympiad would be “to reunite in the bonds of legitimate wedlock

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The Archives of Terror

The Archives of Terror

Sarah Stone December 18, 2014 0

On December 22, 1992, former school teacher Martin Almada discovered thousands of documents that detailed the systematic repression of Paraguayans under the government of dictator General Alfredo Stroessner. Almada stumbled upon what has come

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The Real “Doc” Holliday

The Real “Doc” Holliday

Matt Blitz December 15, 2014 2

In the 1993 movie Tombstone, Doc Holliday (portrayed by actor Val Kilmer) is depicted as a good guy at heart, helping Wyatt Earp to keep order and law in the dangerous old west town

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Krampus, the Christmas Demon

Krampus, the Christmas Demon

Matt Blitz December 11, 2014 5

Santa Claus has long been the symbol of Christmas, bringing joy and presents to all the good girls and boys. But if you are child in Germany, Austria, and other parts of the Alps

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Wyatt Earp – The Great American… Villain?

Wyatt Earp – The Great American… Villain?

Matt Blitz December 8, 2014 3

The history books (and Hollywood) often describe the famous lawman, Wyatt Earp, as many things: brave, courageous, moral, law-abiding, and honorable. In the story of the “Gunfight at the OK Corral,” Earp is often

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When Did People Start Smoking Tobacco?

When Did People Start Smoking Tobacco?

Matt Blitz December 1, 2014 3

John A. asks: When did people start smoking tobacco? While who exactly was the first to smoke tobacco has been lost to history, Jordan Goodman, in his book Tobacco in History, theorizes that tobacco

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The Panama Canal and Its Amazing Locks

The Panama Canal and Its Amazing Locks

Melissa November 28, 2014 0

Jill A. asks: Why does the panama canal have locks? Isn’t the ocean the same level on both sides? Rising 85 feet above the surface of one ocean, and then descending again to be

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The Shockingly Old Origin of the Fax Machine

The Shockingly Old Origin of the Fax Machine

Matt Blitz November 20, 2014 1

Today, we mostly think of the fax machine as an outdated piece of technology. While there are still some uses for it in an office-setting, technological advances are sending the fax machines to the

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How Were Kamikaze Pilots Chosen?

How Were Kamikaze Pilots Chosen?

Karl Smallwood November 19, 2014 0

Pat A. asks: Were Kamikaze pilots all just volunteers or how exactly did they get selected? During WWII, thousands of Japanese pilots made the ultimate sacrifice for their country by becoming, essentially, flying suicide

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The Invention of the Vacuum Cleaner

The Invention of the Vacuum Cleaner

Matt Blitz November 11, 2014 1

In central Missouri, about hundred miles from St. Louis and right off of Route 66, sits the small town of St. James. Despite this town having only about four thousand people, it is proudly

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Terrifying Fluffy Bunnies and The Little Albert Experiment

Terrifying Fluffy Bunnies and The Little Albert Experiment

Karl Smallwood November 10, 2014 3

The Little Albert Experiment was a study conducted back in 1920 by famed psychologist, “the father of behaviorism”, John B. Watson. It essentially involved conditioning a baby, identified only as “Albert. B” to experience

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