Category Archives: Articles

The Origin of the Color Belt Scheme in Martial Arts

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White, yellow, orange, green, blue, purple and black, the colors of martial arts belts denote student development, skills and experience. However, contrary to popular belief, using colored belts to denote rank or ability in martial arts is a relatively recent invention in the otherwise ancient arts- one that was only introduced around the turn of the 20th century. Much of […]

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The Truth About Your Flammable Farts

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Alex B. asks: Why are farts flammable? Contrary to popular belief, it’s probably not methane leaking from behind that reckless “bros” light on fire (known as pyroflatulence); rather, it’s most likely primarily hydrogen. In a typical, healthy body, human farts are comprised primarily of hydrogen, nitrogen, some carbon dioxide and potentially a small amount of methane and oxygen. These farts […]

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Erased from History- Hatshepsut, the Bearded Female King of Egypt

Hatshepsut

Hatshepsut was the eldest of two daughters born to Egyptian King Thutmose I and Queen Ahmose Nefertari. Her younger sister died in infancy, meaning twelve year old Hatshepsut was Thutmose I’s only surviving child from his marriage to the queen. However Thutmose I, like other Egyptian pharaohs, maintained secondary wives also known as harem wives. Any sons born from those […]

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Not Guided By Policy- Hunter S. Thompson and the Birth of Gonzo Journalism

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“We were somewhere around Barstow, on the edge of the desert, when the drugs began to take hold.” This is the opening line from the highly acclaimed roman à clef Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream written by Hunter S. Thompson, one of America’s most countercultural and anti-authoritarian writers. The […]

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Sherlock Holmes’ Mail

221B-Baker-Street

When Sir Arthur Conan Doyle first began writing Sherlock Holmes stories back in the late 19th century, 221B Baker Street didn’t exist. While Baker Street itself existed, and still exists today, the numbers on the street back when Doyle wrote the Sherlock Holmes novels and when Holmes was supposed to reside there (1881 to 1904 according to Doyle’s original stories) […]

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How Did the Practice of Women Jumping Out of Giant Cakes Start?

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Diane F. asks: Who started the tradition of girls jumping out of cakes? Almost everyone has seen depicted the bizarre bachelor party tradition of a scantily-clad woman jumping out of a giant cake. It turns up most often in decades-old films, TV shows, and comics, but it still persists today at lavish Vegas shindigs—though the cakes are now usually made […]

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Nixon’s List

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader As 1972 approached, President Richard Nixon started to get more and more concerned about his coming reelection campaign.   He became convinced that his political adversaries weren’t just opponents-they were “enemies” and had to be stopped. He and his advisers compiled this list of 20 public figures who they felt could […]

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Setting Fire to Glass- The “Nope” Chemical That is Chlorine Trifluoride

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First discovered back in the 1930s, chlorine trifluoride is a rather curious chemical that easily reacts, sometimes explosively, with just about every known substance on Earth. Just to get the ball rolling, here’s a few of the more unusual things chlorine trifluoride is known to set fire to on contact: glass, sand, asbestos, rust, concrete, people, pyrex, cloth, and the dreams of children… […]

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Weekly Wrap Volume 88

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This is a weekly wrap of our popular Daily Knowledge Newsletter. You can get that newsletter for free here. Why Some Cheeses Come in Wheels and Others in Blocks Whether a block, a wheel, a cylinder or a pyramid, a cheese’s shape is dictated by concerns with pressure, salt absorption, ripening, economics and/or tradition. Cheeses that are made in wheels, […]

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Fourth of July Fact Round Up

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For those in the United States celebrating Independence Day and looking to have something interesting to talk to your friends and relatives about at your respective barbeques, here is some conversation fodder to both make yourself look smarter and avoid having to discuss once again how your cousin’s three year old daughter is already showing every sign of being the […]

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