Category Archives: Articles

Peanuts, Peeing on the Side of a Bus, and Planting Trees- The Traditions of Going to Space

yuri-gagarin

Although you’d expect people tasked with going to space to be a fairly rational lot, astronauts and cosmonauts are noted as being an exceptionally superstitious group, many of whom conform to a number of seemingly arbitrary and often unusual rituals before each flight. While there is a perfectly reasonable explanation for most, if not all, of these traditions and customs, […]

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That Time the Nazis Nearly Completed a Super-Cannon Capable of Hitting London from France

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WW2 saw the nations of the world investing massive amounts of manpower and money into the development of better ways to extinguish life in hopes of turning the tide of the war in their respective favors, sometimes including coming up with outlandish contraptions like (surprisingly effective) bat bombs and pigeon guided missiles, anti-tank dogs, flying jeeps and tanks, suicide torpedoes, […]

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Weekly Wrap Volume 95

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This is a weekly wrap of our popular Daily Knowledge Newsletter. You can get that newsletter for free here. What is the Hottest Temperature Possible? The idea of absolute hot springs from its better-known cousin, absolute zero, which, as you may recall, is 0 K, -273.15° C or -459.67° F. And although abridged definitions of the lowest temperature will frequently state […]

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John Lennon and the Rock ‘n’ Roll Lawsuit

morris-levy

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader In the Beatles song “Come Together,” John Lennon included a lyric that referenced a Chuck Berry song, an act intended as a tribute to one of the founding fathers of rock ’n’ roll. Instead, it got Lennon embroiled in a years-long legal battle with one of the most colorful—and nefarious—characters […]

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The Origins of Mother’s Day and Its Inventor’s Campaign to Put a Stop to It

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Today, Mother’s Day is a holiday of joy, brunches, gifts, flowers and phone calls. In fact, phone traffic spikes more on Mother’s Day than any other holiday. This annual celebration of moms everywhere was first officially established in 1914 when President Woodrow Wilson issued a presidential proclamation, which read that this is the day we “[publicly express] our love and […]

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That Time a Professional Gambler Turned $50 into $40 Million, Then Promptly Lost It All

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In the world of professional gambling, there is a well documented hot streak of near-mythical status referred to by many as “The Run”. During this streak, a man known as Archie Karas turned $50 into $40 million by primarily shooting pool and playing poker in Vegas. What makes this run so infamous is that, after winning more money than most […]

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Can Color Blind People See More Colors When They Take Hallucinogenic Drugs?

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Sam asks: If you gave a color blind person something like LSD or some other sort of hallucinogenic drug, would they see colors they couldn’t before? First a little primer on colour blindness from the good people at ColorBlindAwareness.org: Most color blind people are able to see things as clearly as other people but they unable to fully ‘see’ red, […]

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How Commercial Airplanes Keep a Steady Supply of Fresh Air and How the Emergency Oxygen Masks Supply Oxygen Given They are Not Hooked Up to Any Air Tank

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Jimmy K. asks: Why is there a plastic bag attached to airline oxygen masks if they don’t inflate? Because the economics of having large oxygen tanks aboard airliners simply doesn’t work out (not to mention that the air quality inside the plane would rapidly become unpleasant if fresh air wasn’t constantly supplied, regardless of the oxygen levels), commercial airplanes have […]

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