Category Archives: Misc.

How the Weird British Tradition of Putting Topless Women on the Third Page of Newspapers Got Started


David J. asks: How did the tradition of putting photos of random naked women in some newspapers start? We British are often stereotyped as being prudish and stoically reserved in all aspects of intimacy. As such, it may surprise non-natives to learn that for over four decades, one of the most popular newspapers in the entire country had a large […]

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That Time Someone Gave a Homeless Person $100,000 Just to See What Would Happen


In 2005 a homeless man called Ted Rodrigue stumbled upon a briefcase filled with crisp $20 and $50 bills totaling $100,000 (about $123,000 today). Ted was then told by screenwriter Wayne Powers that the money was his to keep and do with as he wished, so long as he would allow a film crew to document the result. Rodrigue, understandably, […]

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Who is McDonald in McDonald’s Restaurant


Mark R. asks: Was there a real “McDonald” that started McDonald’s or is it like the fictitious Betty Crocker? McDonald’s is, without question, the most successful, popular, and influential fast-food restaurant chain in recorded history. The name most commonly associated with McDonald’s is Ray Kroc. Kroc was the entrepreneur who founded the McDonald’s corporation. So how did it come to […]

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The Futurists


The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader What do today’s top forecasters see looming on the horizon? That simple question introduced us to the fascinating field of “futures studies”—its checkered past, muddled present, and uncertain tomorrow(s). NOSTRA-DUMB*SS For most of human history, professional prognosticators could only guess what the future would bring. If you sought advice from […]

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Hollow Mountains and Exploding Bridges, How Switzerland Remained Neutral With WWI and WWII Raging Around It


Jeremy R. asks: How did Switzerland manage to stay neutral during WWI and WWII? The tiny mountainous country of Switzerland has been in a state of “perpetual neutrality” since the major European powers of the time declared it as such during the Congress of Vienna after the end of the Napoleonic wars in 1815. Why did they do this? The […]

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That Time Coca-Cola Spent $100 Million Intentionally Filling Coke Cans With Water That Smelled Like Farts


Conceived in early 1990, the MagiCan campaign was supposed to be the spearhead of a massive summer promotion the cola giant dubbed “Magic Summer ’90”. In a nutshell, the promotion involved hiding cash prizes ranging from $5-$500, as well as some other goodies such as coupons for free Coke, inside of 750,000 of the several hundred million cans of Coke […]

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Why aren’t the Windows Aligned with the Rows of Seats in Commercial Aircraft?


M. Silverman asks: Why aren’t the windows aligned with the rows of seats on planes? While airplane manufacturers do design the planes with general row positioning and pitch (the measurement from one seat to the same exact point on the seat in front or behind it) in mind, with the windows often lining up with the seats, the designers’ exact […]

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The U.S. Military’s Proposed “Gay” Bomb


One doesn’t commonly associate the slogan “make love not war” with the U.S. military. Indeed, the United States military is feared and formidable precisely because it has proven so effective at conceptualizing clever and innovative ways to search, find and destroy, often with the simple push of a button. However, in a departure from these hostile traditions, in 1994 the […]

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Why Doesn’t the Queen of England Need a Passport?


Marco Rossi asks: Is it true that the queen of England isn’t required to have a passport when she visits other countries? As the reigning monarch of the United Kingdom, the commonwealth, and certain other countries that have since declared independence but decided they kind of like having the Queen on their money, Queen Elizabeth II enjoys a number of […]

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The Pivotal WWII Gun That Nobody Wanted to Put Down- The “Plumber’s Nightmare”


Initially designed and produced during WW2 for British soldiers, the Sten was developed as a direct response to both dwindling supplies of American made Thompson machine guns and the evacuation of Dunkirk, during which the British abandoned many thousands of guns. In an effort to re-arm its troops as quickly as possible for the defense of the homeland, the British […]

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Why Don’t They Bother Putting the Apostrophe in “DONT WALK” signs?


Jared L. asks: Why aren’t there apostrophes in the Don’t Walk signs by street intersections when it’s spelled out rather than using pictures? No one is sure when exactly the first WALK/DONT WALK style signs were installed. Even the Federal Highway Administration isn’t sure, though it is thought that the first such sign was likely installed sometime in the early […]

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