Category Archives: Articles

The Truth About Legendary Highwayman Dick Turpin


Richard Turpin, better known by his nickname, Dick, was a legendary highwayman who stalked the English countryside. A century or so after his death by hanging in 1739, Turpin was idealised as a dashing rogue or gentleman thief type in a multitude of supposedly factual stories purportedly based on his life. In reality, he was not exactly dashing, with a […]

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Why do Golfers Yell “Fore,” When was the Mulligan First Used, and Other Questions You Might Have Wondered About Golf


There is a long-standing belief that golf was invented by the Scottish, sometime in the 14th or 15th centuries. This maybe false, at least according to Chinese professors and the Hong Kong Heritage Museum. In 2006, evidence was presented that the game may have originated from the ancient Chinese game “Chuiwan” – loosely translated to “hitting ball.” Two paintings, one […]

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When Did Humans Start Wearing Clothes?


M. Schane asks: When did humans start wearing clothing? Determining exactly when humans began wearing clothes is a challenge, largely because early clothes would have been things like animal hides, which degrade rapidly. Therefore, there’s very little archaeological evidence that can be used to determine the date that clothing started being worn. There have been several different theories based on […]

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The Duel That Wasn’t


It was a beautiful spring day on the banks of the Potomac River in 1826 when Secretary of State Henry Clay and Senator John Randolph of Roanoke counted paces, cocked their guns and prepared to fire at one another. The two notable American politicians were engaged in an illegal duel that, by nearly all accounts, should have never happened. Shots […]

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Why Do Daft Punk Dress Like Robots?


McKayla asks: Why do Daft Punk always dress like robots? Have they ever shown their faces? Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter, more succinctly known as Daft Punk, are arguably two of the most famous and easily recognisable musicians on Earth, having won countless major awards including six Grammys and even managed a “Best Original Score” award for the absolutely […]

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Why a Typical Work Day is Eight Hours Long


During the Industrial Revolution, companies attempted to maximize the output of their factories by keeping them running as many hours as possible, typically implementing a “sun up to sun down” work day.  Wages were also extremely low, so workers themselves often needed to work these long shifts just to get by, including often sending their children to work in the […]

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Weekly Wrap Volume 114


This is a weekly wrap of our popular Daily Knowledge Newsletter. You can get that newsletter for free here. A COPS Story COPS has been a Saturday night TV staple for so long—29 seasons—that it’s easy to forget what a groundbreaking show it was when it debuted in 1989. FIRST-PERSON PERSPECTIVE In the early 1980s, an aspiring filmmaker named John Langley […]

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That Time Annie Oakley Offered to Put Together an All Female Team of Snipers for the United States’ Military


Phoebe Ann Moses, better known as “Annie Oakley,” made a name for herself as one of the best sharpshooters in the world throughout her lifetime. In the process, she overcame a childhood filled with abuse and adversity to become not only an enormously successful entertainer, but a role model for women and young girls. Born in 1860, Annie’s father, Jacob, […]

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Where the Term “Bootlegging” Came From


Mark Y. asks: Why were people who made alcohol during prohibition called bootleggers? Although Prohibition officially began on January 16, 1920, the impetus for banning the production, sale, importation and transportation (though not the consumption) of alcohol had been brewing for decades before. Part of a string of reforms introduced by Progressives, Protestants and other activists to cure all of […]

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