Category Archives: History

That Time the Soviets Decided to Try to Extinguish a Fire with a Nuke For Reasons…

The phrase ‘the peaceful use of nuclear weapons’ might sound like the ultimate oxymoron. While nuclear reactors are widely used to peacefully generate electricity and medical isotopes, it is difficult to imagine a peaceful use for atomic bombs on account of the whole, you know, radioactive BOOM. But incredibly, between 1961 and 1989, both the United States and the Soviet […]

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Were Nunchucks Ever Actually Used in Combat or are They Just Primarily a Hollywood Thing?

Colin O. asks: Were nunchucks really used in battle? Famously a weapon of choice for legendary martial artist Bruce Lee, at least in certain films, nunchaku, or nunchucks, are a popular facet of pop-culture and there are those who’d have you believe that this humble weapon used to widely shatter jawbones like Samson during a particularly bad hair day. But […]

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A Bunch of ‘Wangers- The Nazi Unit Who Were so Awful, Even the Nazi SS Were Disgusted by Them

The SS-Sturmbrigade Dirlewanger, better known to historians as simply the Dirlewanger Brigade, holds the dubious distinction of being amongst the most reviled units of the Nazi war machine. Infamous for its brutality and the open sadism displayed by its commanding officer, a man previously imprisoned for raping a young teen girl, the unit and their actions were so detested that […]

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Death Before Defeat- the Badass Story of Arrichion of Phigalia

The ancient Olympics are littered with spectacular stories of athleticism and peculiar characters, like Melankomas of Caria, an ancient boxer who won several Olympic wreaths by reportedly doing nothing but avoid his opponents punches until they gave up. Perhaps the most bizarre Olympic story of all, however, is that of Arrichion of Phigalia, who once won an Olympic wreath despite […]

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What was It Actually Like to Be a Knight in Medieval Times?

Anakin_bagel asks: What was the daily life of a medieval knight like? There are a variety of myths about what it was like to be a knight during medieval times, not just spread by Hollywood, but even by the contemporary legends during medieval times themselves- in both featuring widespread depictions of the chivalric knight rushing to the aid of damsels […]

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Why Do Outhouses Have a Crescent Moon on the Door?

Literally Everyone asks: Why are outhouses traditionally depicted with a crescent moon on the door? In all the years we’ve been answering questions from our abnormally attractive readers, one that has popped up in our inbox and in comment threads more times than any other is some form of the question “What’s the deal with crescent moons on outhouse doors?” […]

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Who Invented the Keyboard and is the Dvorak Really Better than the QWERTY

The origin of the keyboard starts, unsurprisingly with the first typewriters. There were a variety of type-writer-like devices around going back the 18th century, before one Christopher Latham Sholes, with some help from a few other guys, came up with one that would become the first commercially successful typewriter in the 1870s. Much like many typewriters since, Shole’s device used […]

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