Category Archives: Misc.

Picasso’s Doodles

Stravinsky_picasso

With the possible exception of the mysterious, enigmatic figure known only as Bob Ross (see: The Surprisingly Mysterious Life of Famed Artist Bob Ross), Pablo Picasso is perhaps the most well-known artist from modern times. (Although, I think most are probably unaware that his actual name was Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano […]

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Why “C” is the Default Hard Drive Letter in Many Computers

hard-drive

Julie N. asks: Why is “C” the default drive letter in computers? For nearly as long as hard disk drives have been placed in personal computers running certain popular operating systems (notably MS-DOS/Windows), the primary hard disk has been designated with the letter “C”.  But why? The idea for designating different storage devices with simple letters is generally attributed to […]

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The Morton’s Salt Girl

salt2

Most people are familiar with the “Morton”s Salt girl“. With her bright yellow dress, oversized umbrella, and leaking container of table salt, she’s an iconic figure in American grocery stores. But who is the Morton’s girl, and where did she come from? The Morton’s story begins in the 1880s, when a man named Joy Morton invested in a Chicago-based salt […]

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The Russian Tank So Hard to Destroy One Tactic Used was Simply to Run Over Anti-Tank Guns With It

KV1

The KV-1 and KV-2 are recognised as being amongst the most heavily armoured tanks deployed during WW2. At least initially largely impervious to anything less than a direct, point-blank hit from a dedicated anti-tank weapon, the KV series was so formidable that the first time the Wehrmacht encountered them, Soviet soldiers destroyed dozens of anti-tank guns by simply driving towards […]

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Duty Free

duty-free

Jeremy W. asks: Why do we call non-taxed items duty free? Why is this allowed? Is this really the case or are you supposed to pay taxes anyway on items to your home country? Providing shoppers with a chance to buy and transport goods across international boundaries without paying local and national taxes, duty-free shops are found in airports and […]

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The Hand of Faith

gold

Sitting in the back of a dark, old-fashioned Las Vegas casino sits, rather unremarkably, the largest gold nugget on display in the world. Slowly spinning on a table in a place not uncoincidentally named “The Golden Nugget,” the so-called “Hand of Faith” gold nugget is not as glamorous nor as shiny as cartoon gold nuggets would have you believe. While […]

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The Curious Case of the Pillownauts

sleepingiss_astronaut

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Just because you’re not an astronaut, that doesn’t mean you can’t contribute to the space program. You don’t even have to get out of bed. Meet the “pillownauts.” LOST IN SPACE Today we take it for granted that astronauts can function in the weightlessness of spaceflight, but at the dawn […]

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Why is it Called Area 51?

area-51

Michael S. asks: Why is it called Area “51”? Where are the other 50 areas? Despite the CIA’s release of previously classified documents in 2013 that acknowledged the existence of Area 51 as a top-secret U.S. government research facility, many questions about the site remain unanswered. One of the most innocuous, but nonetheless puzzling, is its choice of name. Although […]

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