Category Archives: Misc.

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

switzerland

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

coke

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?

view-from-airplane

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

gay-flag

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?

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”

Churchill-sten

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?

dont-walk

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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That Time a Guy Bought an Egg at a Flea Market That Ended Up Being Worth Millions and the Seven More Eggs Like It That Might Be Out There- The Great Egg Hunt

imperial-egg

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader As we told you a few weeks ago (see: The Story Behind the World’s Most Expensive Eggs), there may be as many as seven Russian Imperial Fabergé eggs out there somewhere, hiding in plain sight. Do you have an antique egg lying around? It may be worth a lot. EGG-CEPTIONAL […]

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The Popular Oneida Silverware and the Polyamorous Religious Cult That Started It All

oneida

For many Americans in the 20th century, holiday meals meant getting out the special Oneida Silverware. Stainless steel, ornamental and moderately expensive, it wasn’t a fancy dinner unless there was a Silverplate Oneida spoon on the table. Despite its traditional look, the history of Oneida Silverware is anything but. The company was originally founded by a 19th century upstate New […]

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