Category Archives: Misc.

The Novel ‘Gadsby’ has 50,110 Words, Yet None of them Contain the Letter “E”

Today I found out Ernest Vincent Wright’s 1939 novel Gadsby is over 50,000 words long, yet doesn’t contain a single letter “e” anywhere other than the cover. Given that ‘e’ is the most commonly used letter in English, you might think this would have been impossible, but Wright stated this wasn’t nearly as limiting as one might think.  For instance, […]

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In High School, MLB Star Justin Verlander Traded a Small Percentage of His Eventual $3.12 Million Signing Bonus for a Chocolate Milk

Today I found out that in High School, Major League Baseball star pitcher Justin Verlander traded a small percentage of his eventual $3.12 million signing bonus for a 50 cent chocolate milk. This happened while the future MLB superstar was in the 10th grade at Goochland High School in Virginia.  Short 50 cents needed for a chocolate milk that day, […]

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Why Anvils are Shaped as They Are and Why Blacksmiths Often Tap the Anvil After a Few Strikes on the Object They’re Working On

Today I found out why anvils are shaped the way they are and why blacksmith/farriers/etc. sometimes tap the anvil after a few strikes on the object they’re working on. Anvil shape has evolved greatly since the earliest anvil-like objects.  These primitive objects used for anvils were typically made of stone, often just a slab of rock. The first metal anvils […]

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The Origin of Basketball

Today I found out the origin of the sport basketball. Surprisingly, unlike most sports whose origins are somewhat obscure, often being the combination of other sports and developed gradually through time, basketball has a very precise and fully known origin (the inventor himself wrote an account of it, published after his death; see the “Sources and Further Reading” below).  Even […]

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The Development of the Video Game “Pong” was a Training Exercise for a New Gaming Developer at Atari and Wasn’t Originally Intended to Be Released

In 1972, a 29 year old Nolan Bushnell and a 35 year old Ted Dabney were fresh off a sort of successful failure in an arcade game known as Computer Space, which was more or less just a very blatant rip-off of a previous game Bushnell had come across called Spacewar! The pair had gotten a company called Nutting Associates […]

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Keanu Reeves’ First Name is Pronounced “Kay-ah-noo” Not “Key-ah-noo”

Today I found out Keanu Reeves’ first name is pronounced “Kay-ah-noo”, not “Key-ah-Noo”. That isn’t the only misconception surrounding his name. The name itself means “the coolness”, but is often incorrectly said to mean “cool breeze over the mountains”. Reeves’ was named after his uncle Henry Keanu Reeves. In Keanu Reeves’ early days in Hollywood, his agent thought his name […]

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