History »

The Invention of Morphine

The Invention of Morphine

Melissa September 2, 2014 0

Justin V. asks: Who invented morphine? Derived from opium but far more reliable and powerful, the invention of morphine changed pharmacology and pain relief. A (Very) Short History of Opium  Derived from the seedpods

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The Twisted Tale of Delphine LaLaurie and Her House of Horrors

The Twisted Tale of Delphine LaLaurie and Her House of Horrors

Melissa September 1, 2014 0

Over 200 years ago, a torture chamber was discovered in the attic of a wealthy socialite. Through the years, the tale of her brutality has grown and shifted, and today, it is difficult to

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That Time About Two-Thirds of China’s Population, and then a Decade Later About Half of Europe’s, Up and Died

That Time About Two-Thirds of China’s Population, and then a Decade Later About Half of Europe’s, Up and Died

Melissa August 27, 2014 2

Pandemics have been the bane of humanity throughout history. Although the past few centuries have witnessed numerous epidemics, and even a handful of pandemics, none compare to the Black Death of the 14th century

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A Brief History of the Ballpoint Pen and Whether NASA Really Spent Millions Developing a Pressurized Version Instead of Just Using Pencils

A Brief History of the Ballpoint Pen and Whether NASA Really Spent Millions Developing a Pressurized Version Instead of Just Using Pencils

Karl Smallwood August 18, 2014 7

Kyle S. asks: There’s a story circulating around that NASA found out pens didn’t work in space, but still needed a writing device that would work there, so they spent millions of tax payer

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The Bum Brigade

The Bum Brigade

Matt Blitz August 15, 2014 0

On October 29, 1929, on what would become known as “Black Tuesday,” the stock market crashed. In one terrible day, the market lost fourteen billion dollars (about $188B today), signaling the beginning of the

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The Greatest Practical Joke of the 19th Century

The Greatest Practical Joke of the 19th Century

Daven Hiskey August 11, 2014 0

Today I found out about the greatest practical jokes of the 19th century, the Berners Street Hoax.The year was 1809. Famed English author, Theodore Hook, made a bet with one of his close friends,

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The Legend of Spring Heeled Jack

The Legend of Spring Heeled Jack

Kathy Padden August 7, 2014 0

During the early years of the Victorian era, an imposing figure dressed in black terrorized the English countryside almost unchallenged. According to eyewitness accounts, this specter had bulging, red eyes, pointy ears and razor-sharp

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The Eradication of Smallpox

The Eradication of Smallpox

Melissa July 29, 2014 0

Despite ethnic, religious, regional and political differences, every now and then people are able to set aside disagreements, look to their common humanity, and make the world a better place. Perhaps one of the

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The Many U.S. Presidents Before George Washington

The Many U.S. Presidents Before George Washington

Sarah Stone July 29, 2014 3

Today I found out about the presidents before the U.S. Constitution went into effect. Schools in the United States teach children from an early age that the first president of the United States was

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A Brief History of Taxes in the U.S. & Why They are Due on April 15th

A Brief History of Taxes in the U.S. & Why They are Due on April 15th

Matt Blitz July 23, 2014 3

Ian K. asks: Why are taxes due on April 15th? As Ben Franklin wrote in a 1789 letter to Baptiste Leroy, “… in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death

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What Ever Happened to Confederate President Jefferson Davis?

What Ever Happened to Confederate President Jefferson Davis?

Matt Blitz July 21, 2014 5

Cailin asks: What happened to Jefferson Davis after the Civil War? Jefferson Davis was attending a Sunday church service in the capital of the Confederacy, Richmond, Virginia, when he heard the news. Union General

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Did the Warrior Women Known as the Amazons Ever Exist?

Did the Warrior Women Known as the Amazons Ever Exist?

Kathy Padden July 11, 2014 2

Marleen asks: Did Amazon women really ever exist? They are mentioned time and again by the ancient Greeks in both their history and mythology, going all the way back to Homer in approximately the

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From Desert to Party Central: The Birth of Las Vegas

From Desert to Party Central: The Birth of Las Vegas

Matt Blitz July 3, 2014 0

For thousands of years, Mohave tribes dotted the land in and around what is now the modern-day city of Las Vegas. Sometime in the 1770s, Spanish missionary Francisco Gracias became the first foreigner to

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The Origin of the QWERTY Keyboard

The Origin of the QWERTY Keyboard

Samantha July 2, 2014 0

Today I found out the origin of the QWERTY keyboard.The first typewriter was introduced to the United States in 1868 by Christopher Latham Sholes. His first attempt to build a typing device consisted of

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The Men Who Walked on the Moon

The Men Who Walked on the Moon

Melissa July 1, 2014 4

Marcus L. asks: How many people walked on the moon? Who were they? Forty-five years ago this month, a human being first set foot on the moon. Despite four and a half decades and

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Why Does Rhode Island Have “Island” in the Name When It is Not One?

Why Does Rhode Island Have “Island” in the Name When It is Not One?

Matt Blitz June 20, 2014 2

Aaron asks: Why is Rhode Island called an island when it is not? Most think the history of Rhode Island starts with Roger Williams, but the state’s “discovery” (at least by Europeans) dates back

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Why Graduates Wear Caps and Gowns

Why Graduates Wear Caps and Gowns

Kathy Padden June 19, 2014 6

Karla asks: Why do graduates wear caps and gowns? Also, why do we throw our caps in the air when we graduate? Inquiring minds want to know!!! Wearing academic robes is a tradition that

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Glowing in the Dark, The “Radium Girls”

Glowing in the Dark, The “Radium Girls”

Daven Hiskey June 12, 2014 5

On December 21, 1898, Marie and Pierre Curie discovered the radioactive element radium (in the form of radium chloride), extracting it from uraninite. They first removed the uranium from the uraninite sample and then

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