Category Archives: History

The Aloha Shirt and the Interesting Origin of Casual Friday

hawaiian-woman

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 […]

Read more

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

Kugelpanzer

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 […]

Read more

Swapping Assassination Attempts- Unit 124 and Unit 684

korea

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 […]

Read more

Maximinus Thrax: The Giant Who was a Roman Emperor That Never Set Foot in Rome

Maximinus_Thrax

In the third decade of the third century CE, climate issues, civil war, economic depression and plague combined to seriously destabilize the Roman Empire. Beginning a fifty-year period where leadership of the empire passed between at least 26 men was the short reign of perhaps the largest emperor of Rome, Maximinus Thrax. Born Gaius Julius Verus in about 173 CE […]

Read more

When Did Men Start Getting Circumcised?

circumcision

Mark asks: When did people first start cutting the foreskins off penises? Having served variously as a mark of virility, servility and gentility, circumcision has throughout the centuries, worn many symbolic hats. While anthropologists disagree as to the definitive origins of circumcision, the earliest hard evidence comes from the first ancient Egyptian mummies of considerable vintage, around 2300 BC. That […]

Read more

Bonsai!

bonsai

Long before the bonsai art form of creating miniature trees came to Japan, the wealthy in China were perfecting their craft known as “penzai” and “penjing.” The former means “tray plant” and the latter “tray scenery.” It is from the Japanese pronunciation of “penzai” that the word “bonzai” ultimately derives- “bon” meaning “tray-like” and “sai” meaning “planting.”  (The Japanese equivalent […]

Read more

The Origin of the Color Belt Scheme in Martial Arts

blackbelt

White, yellow, orange, green, blue, purple and black, the colors of martial arts belts denote student development, skills and experience. However, contrary to popular belief, using colored belts to denote rank or ability in martial arts is a relatively recent invention in the otherwise ancient arts- one that was only introduced around the turn of the 20th century. Much of […]

Read more

Erased from History- Hatshepsut, the Bearded Female King of Egypt

Hatshepsut

Hatshepsut was the eldest of two daughters born to Egyptian King Thutmose I and Queen Ahmose Nefertari. Her younger sister died in infancy, meaning twelve year old Hatshepsut was Thutmose I’s only surviving child from his marriage to the queen. However Thutmose I, like other Egyptian pharaohs, maintained secondary wives also known as harem wives. Any sons born from those […]

Read more

How Did the Practice of Women Jumping Out of Giant Cakes Start?

pie-girl2

Diane F. asks: Who started the tradition of girls jumping out of cakes? Almost everyone has seen depicted the bizarre bachelor party tradition of a scantily-clad woman jumping out of a giant cake. It turns up most often in decades-old films, TV shows, and comics, but it still persists today at lavish Vegas shindigs—though the cakes are now usually made […]

Read more

Nixon’s List

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader As 1972 approached, President Richard Nixon started to get more and more concerned about his coming reelection campaign.   He became convinced that his political adversaries weren’t just opponents-they were “enemies” and had to be stopped. He and his advisers compiled this list of 20 public figures who they felt could […]

Read more
1 2 3 22