Category Archives: Misc.



Taking the job as President of the United States means that people across the world know just about everything you do or say, including occasionally making a fool of yourself. Former President George W. Bush understood that when he choked on a pretzel while watching a football game, and President Barack Obama knew that the whole world would find out […]

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The Curious Practice of Trepanning


Older than writing, evidence of the practice of drilling a hole in someone’s head in order to improve their health and well-being has been found from as far back as 6,500 BC. Although most proper physicians today eschew the procedure and write it off as simply a function of superstition, the tradition of trepanning remains alive and well among adherents. […]

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Does Drinking Gasoline Cause You to Go Blind?


Matthew B. asks: Is it true that drinking gasoline will make you go blind? Probably not, although anecdotal evidence shows it has a strong correlation with stupidity. What it may do is cause vomiting, vertigo, confusion, drowsiness, breathing difficulties, burning in the esophagus, sore throat, weakness, and diarrhea, even when ingested in small amounts; in larger portions, it can cause […]

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Is It Possible to Breastfeed with Implants?


Brandy R. asks: Is it possible to breastfeed after getting a boob-job? Given the well-documented benefits of breastfeeding to the long- and short- term health of children, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends exclusively breastfeeding infants for at least the first six months, and continuing to nurse, along with giving supplemental foods, throughout the first year of life. In […]

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How Soap Works


Janet B. asks: How does soap kill bacteria? For well over a century, public health officials have been pushing regular hand washing with soap as one of the most effective methods of inhibiting the spread of disease and infection. The result of physical, as opposed to biological processes, proper hand washing with regular soap will thoroughly remove bacteria. Yes, contrary […]

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Why Elections Are Held on Tuesday in the United States


Brenda V. asks: Why are elections held on Tuesday? Why not Saturday when most people aren’t working? Americans traditionally head to the ballot box on the Tuesday after the first Monday of November to vote in national elections. Tuesday elections only became the official country-wide rule in 1845, something that hasn’t changed much since. So why Tuesday? The Founding Fathers […]

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What are Blue Laws?


Jen asks: What are “Blue Laws” and how did they come to be? Rooted in the basic Christian tenet that Sunday is to be reserved as “the Lord’s day,” blue laws were originally enacted across the United States to encourage church attendance and restrict activity only to that worthy (at least according to some) of observation on the Sabbath. Transformed […]

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The Anonymous Publishing of “The Night Before Christmas,” and Other Interesting Christmas Staple Origins


Aiko S. asks: Who wrote Twas the Night Before Christmas? On December 23, 1823, the poem A Visit from St. Nicholas, better known today as The Night Before Christmas was first published. The poem first appeared in the New York Sentinel with no author listed, having been delivered for publication by a friend of Clement Clarke Moore, who was a […]

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