Category Archives: History

That Time When the Elite of the Western World Rented Pineapples by the Hour


The humble pineapple is most often seen today either sitting proudly in the centre of an uncomfortably well stocked fruit bowl or being used as the home of a lovable talking sponge. However, between the 16th and 18th centuries, pineapples were so expensive and rare that they were often displayed like fine works of art. Converting exactly how much a […]

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François-André Danican Philidor and Blindfold Chess


In 1744 at the age of 18, François-André Danican Philidor (1726-1795) enthralled Parisian society after playing two simultaneous games of chess in a public demonstration, all while blindfolded. And even though he lost one game and only drew the other, the display established Philidor as a chess master par excellence, and blew new life into the ancient practice of blindfold […]

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First Look at Your Baby: The Fascinating History of the “Sonogram”


The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader If you have kids, there’s a good chance that the very first time you laid eyes on them was via a “sonogram” image taken before they were even born. The grainy images are so common that they’ve become a rite of passage for parents all over the world. Here’s the […]

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


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 […]

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Swapping Assassination Attempts- Unit 124 and Unit 684


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 […]

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