Category Archives: Articles

Why Do Outhouses Have a Crescent Moon on the Door?

Literally Everyone asks: Why are outhouses traditionally depicted with a crescent moon on the door? In all the years we’ve been answering questions from our abnormally attractive readers, one that has popped up in our inbox and in comment threads more times than any other is some form of the question “What’s the deal with crescent moons on outhouse doors?” […]

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Who Invented the Keyboard and is the Dvorak Really Better than the QWERTY

The origin of the keyboard starts, unsurprisingly with the first typewriters. There were a variety of type-writer-like devices around going back the 18th century, before one Christopher Latham Sholes, with some help from a few other guys, came up with one that would become the first commercially successful typewriter in the 1870s. Much like many typewriters since, Shole’s device used […]

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Can Police Really Commandeer Your Vehicle Like in the Movies?

Nohomers asks: Can police officers actually commandeer your vehicle like in movies? Inevitably in any film that has some member of law enforcement as the protagonist at some point said individual will wave their badge, and potentially their gun, at a passing car and demand to commandeer the vehicle. But if you’re ever driving along and some police officer does […]

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Has Any Passenger Ever Landed a Commercial Airliner Like You See in Movies?

Natapixie asks: Has a non-pilot passenger ever managed to land an airplane? A common Hollywood trope when dealing with commercial airline-centric plots is inevitably at some point the pilot or pilots will become incapacitated and the lead character, who may or may not have any piloting experience, will be forced to take over, lest they die a fiery death when […]

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Who Invented the Emoticon and Emoji? (And How They’re Forever Changing Written Language)

Historically, written language has always been rather limited in its ability to adequately represent the nuance of in-person communication, which comes with a whole slew of gesticulations, facial expressions, subtle shifts in tone and the like. As such, humans have been attempting to find ways around this problem seemingly as long as we’ve been writing stuff down. Going back to […]

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