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Noah Webster and Moving Away from British English

Noah Webster and Moving Away from British English

Melissa October 7, 2014 6

Eliminating the unnecessary u, many duplicate consonants, the redundant e, converting diphthongs into simple vowels and turning the combination of e and r at the end of a word the right way around, Americans

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Who Invented the TASER?

Who Invented the TASER?

Sarah Stone October 7, 2014 1

Tom R. asks: Who invented tasers? Early use of an electronic control device, like the TASER, by law enforcement occurred in the 1960s when American police officers used electric cattle prods to disperse Civil

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Why Don’t Americans Use Bidets?

Why Don’t Americans Use Bidets?

Melissa October 6, 2014 6

Sarah H. asks: Why do Americans only use toilet paper and not bidets? A spray wash for your nether region, bidets are a popular way worldwide to keep said regions tidy. So why has

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Why Do Men Snore More Than Women?

Why Do Men Snore More Than Women?

Sarah Stone October 6, 2014 2

Kelly asks: Is it true that men snore more than women? If it is true, why and if not where did this stereotype come from? Thanks! When humans sleep, the muscles around our throats

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Weekly Wrap Volume 58

Weekly Wrap Volume 58

Daven Hiskey October 4, 2014 0

This is a weekly wrap of our Daily Knowledge Newsletter. You can get that newsletter for free here. Why Asparagus Makes Pee Smell The smell comes from the way certain chemical compounds in asparagus

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For the Last 1,000 Years, the Same Families Have Owned Most of England

For the Last 1,000 Years, the Same Families Have Owned Most of England

Melissa October 3, 2014 1

Shortly after the Normans conquered England in 1066, their monarch, William, seized all of the lands, then divvied up control among those soldiers and nobles who helped him defeat the Anglo-Saxons (and keeping a

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The Timely Death of Kodak Founder George Eastman

The Timely Death of Kodak Founder George Eastman

Matt Blitz October 3, 2014 1

It was March 14, 1932 when George Eastman, famed inventor, philanthropist, and founder of Eastman Kodak, invited a few loyal friends over to witness the rewriting of his will. He had made the decision

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Why Do We Say Costs Can Be “Footed” by Someone?

Why Do We Say Costs Can Be “Footed” by Someone?

Melissa October 2, 2014 1

Ryan F. asks: Why do we say someone “footed the bill”? Turning a noun into a verb and then employing it in a way that seems completely out of context, the phrase “foot the

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Is There Any Difference at all Between Men’s and Women’s Razors and Shaving Creams?

Is There Any Difference at all Between Men’s and Women’s Razors and Shaving Creams?

Karl Smallwood October 2, 2014 3

Katy E. asks: Are there any differences between razors and shaving cream for men and women beyond cosmetic? Shaving companies almost universally put out both a men’s and women’s version of each of their

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Why Do American Footballers Say “Hut, Hut, Hike!”

Why Do American Footballers Say “Hut, Hut, Hike!”

Melissa October 1, 2014 0

Michael R. asks: Where did the football saying hut… hut… HIKE! come from? An integral part of the game, immediately prior to the start of play, the football quarterback begins his cadence. More than

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Origins of the Jedi (and Other Star Wars Stuff)

Origins of the Jedi (and Other Star Wars Stuff)

Melissa September 30, 2014 0

No one can dispute George Lucas’ significant contributions to cinema history, including both the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises. His company also played a role in advancing special effects, top quality post-production audio and even digital

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A Brief History of the “Happiest Place on Earth”

A Brief History of the “Happiest Place on Earth”

Matt Blitz September 30, 2014 1

On November 15, 1965, at approximately 2:00 pm in the Grand Ballroom of the Cherry Plaza Hotel in Orlando, Florida, Governor Haydon Burns sat between the brothers Disney, Walt and Roy during a press

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How are Baby Carrots Made?

How are Baby Carrots Made?

Sarah Stone September 29, 2014 4

Amy W. asks: How do they make baby carrots? Unlike cut baby carrots, farmers grow “true” baby carrots to be naturally small, or other times they are simply carrots harvested before they get a

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Why Does Moist, Baled and Stacked Hay Spontaneously Catch Fire?

Why Does Moist, Baled and Stacked Hay Spontaneously Catch Fire?

Melissa September 29, 2014 0

Mark R. asks: Why does wet hay that is bailed catch on fire? Plant reactions and bacterial growth combine to raise temperatures in even the driest hay bales, although most never catch fire on

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Weekly Wrap Volume 57

Weekly Wrap Volume 57

Daven Hiskey September 27, 2014 0

This is a weekly wrap of our Daily Knowledge Newsletter. You can get that newsletter for free here. Who was Cunningham of Cunningham’s Law? Cunningham’s Law is an internet adage that states “The best

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Why is Aluminum Foil Shiny on One Side But Not the Other?

Why is Aluminum Foil Shiny on One Side But Not the Other?

Melissa September 26, 2014 3

Noah asks: Why is it that aluminium foil on the outer part is very shiny, but the other side isn’t? The most abundant metal in the Earth’s crust, aluminum naturally occurs as a compound

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Why Do Screws Tighten Clockwise?

Why Do Screws Tighten Clockwise?

Melissa September 26, 2014 10

Jim R. asks: Why is it “righty tighty, lefty loosey” with screws? One of the six simple machines, a screw is nothing more than an inclined plane wrapped around a center pole. While today

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Why the Bellies of Starving Babies Swell

Why the Bellies of Starving Babies Swell

Melissa September 25, 2014 0

Jane R. asks: In photos of starving children and babies, their stomachs often seem to be swelled up. What causes this? Of all the tragic, indelible images that come from places of famine, none

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