Misc. »

What Does Rx Mean and Where Did It Come From?

What Does Rx Mean and Where Did It Come From?

Melissa June 2, 2014 2

K. Jones asks: Where does the symbol “Rx” come from? The phenomenon of ubiquitous prescription drugs (retail sales in recent years have topped $200 billion in the U.S. alone) is a relatively new experience

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That Time a Commercial Aircraft Ran Out of Fuel Mid-Flight- The Gimli Glider

That Time a Commercial Aircraft Ran Out of Fuel Mid-Flight- The Gimli Glider

Melissa May 27, 2014 19

On July 23, 1983, in the small town of Gimli, Manitoba, Captain Robert Pearson and Co-Pilot Maurice Quintal expertly glided a 100-ton Boeing 767 carrying 69 people to a safe landing without engines, air

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The Cargo Cults and John Frum (America)

The Cargo Cults and John Frum (America)

Melissa May 21, 2014 0

“When the outside world, with all its material wealth, suddenly descend[ed],” on remote cultures whose technology was limited to stone and wood, new belief systems often arose. On many of the islands of the

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Mozart’s Much Less Family Friendly Works

Mozart’s Much Less Family Friendly Works

Terynn Boulton May 20, 2014 6

Warning: By necessity, this one contains profanity and vulgar references. So you may or may not want to read through it first if you normally share these articles with humans of the particularly youthful persuasion.

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When Women Started Growing Out and Painting Their Nails

When Women Started Growing Out and Painting Their Nails

Emily Upton May 19, 2014 8

Becky asks: When did women start growing out and painting fingernails? On humans and other primates, nails are a flattened version of a claw which likely developed to aid in gripping and climbing. However,

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When Doctors Literally “Blew Smoke Up Your Arse”

When Doctors Literally “Blew Smoke Up Your Arse”

Terynn Boulton May 19, 2014 20

When someone is “blowing smoke up your arse” today, it is a figure of speech that means that one person is complimenting another, insincerely most of the time, in order to inflate the ego of the individual being flattered.

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When Aluminium Cost More than Gold

When Aluminium Cost More than Gold

Karl Smallwood May 13, 2014 6

Aluminium is literally one of the most common elements on Earth.  So how did it come to be that aluminium cost more than gold? Was it similar to how the relatively common and easily acquired

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Are You Really Entitled to a Phone Call When Arrested?

Are You Really Entitled to a Phone Call When Arrested?

Karl Smallwood May 9, 2014 12

Chellie asks: Do people really only have the right to one phone call when put in jail in the United States? Being arrested is a terrifying and frightening thing with all the horror stories

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Plaka – The Neighborhood of the Gods

Plaka – The Neighborhood of the Gods

Theodoros II May 8, 2014 7

It wouldn’t be much of an exaggeration to say that the oldest district of Athens, Plaka, might be one of the most unique, beautiful and historic neighborhoods on earth. Also known as the “Neighborhood

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Why Do Fingernails on a Chalkboard or Scraping on a Plate Make Us Cringe?

Why Do Fingernails on a Chalkboard or Scraping on a Plate Make Us Cringe?

Melissa May 6, 2014 2

Masa C asks: Why do fingernails on a chalkboard make us cringe? Listen to this. Irritated? Angry? Just glad it’s over? Here’s why. Your Ear After examining the results of a 2011 study, researchers

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Who Invented the Elevator?

Who Invented the Elevator?

Emily Upton May 1, 2014 2

Terryn asks: Who invented the elevator? The history of the elevator, if you define it as a platform that can move people and objects up and down, is actually a rather long one. Rudimentary

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Vincent Kosuga and His Onions

Vincent Kosuga and His Onions

Karl Smallwood April 23, 2014 1

Remember that scene in the movie Trading Places where Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd bankrupted those two old rich guys by cornering the frozen orange juice market? It turns out that a guy actually

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How Large is a Barrel of Oil and Why Do We Measure It That Way?

How Large is a Barrel of Oil and Why Do We Measure It That Way?

Melissa April 22, 2014 0

Sue T asks: Why do we measure oil in barrels instead of gallons or liters? How much oil is in a barrel? More than just gasoline for our cars, crude oil is transformed into

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Origin of the Military Song “Taps”

Origin of the Military Song “Taps”

Melissa March 28, 2014 0

M. Havens asks: Where did the Taps song come from that is played during military funerals? Since 1862, “Taps” has played at military funerals to honor the sacrifice of fallen service members. Originally, however,

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Why Do We Cross Our Fingers for Luck and When Lying?

Why Do We Cross Our Fingers for Luck and When Lying?

Emily Upton March 18, 2014 1

Rouise asks: Why do we cross our fingers for luck and when we’re lying?  It’s odd that the same gesture is used for both. Turns out, people have been crossing their fingers for luck

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Why Proper Sterilization Procedures are Used During Lethal Injections

Why Proper Sterilization Procedures are Used During Lethal Injections

Daven Hiskey March 12, 2014 0

Jeremy R. asks: Why do they bother sterilizing the needles when executing people? Besides the fact that manufacturers sterilize the needles (so no real extra effort is needed), other sterilization procedures are also used

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Why We Throw Coins Into Fountains

Why We Throw Coins Into Fountains

Emily Upton March 10, 2014 8

Today I found out why we throw coins into fountains and how the tradition got started. People have been throwing coins into fountains seemingly as long as there have been coins and fountains. The

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Why Coupons Sometimes Say They are Worth a Fraction of a Penny

Why Coupons Sometimes Say They are Worth a Fraction of a Penny

Daven Hiskey March 7, 2014 0

Depending on where you live, you may have noticed that coupons have small print stating they are worth some fraction of a penny, usually something like 1/100th or 1/20th of a penny. In truth,

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