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The Vela Incident

The Vela Incident

Melissa February 27, 2015 2

As the 1970s were drawing to a close, the global political situation was uncertain. Peace in the Middle East was imminent for some, while others in the region were witnessing dramatic revolution; at the

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Duty Free

Duty Free

Melissa February 27, 2015 0

Jeremy W. asks: Why do we call non-taxed items duty free? Why is this allowed? Is this really the case or are you supposed to pay taxes anyway on items to your home country?

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Why are Green Cards Called That?

Why are Green Cards Called That?

Sarah Stone February 26, 2015 0

Amar F. asks: Why are green cards called that when they aren’t green? A Permanent Resident Card from the United States government allows immigrants to legally work, live, and study inside the country. Despite

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Ketchup or Catsup?

Ketchup or Catsup?

Melissa February 26, 2015 0

Byron H. asks: Why is it sometimes catsup and other times ketchup? The two distinct spellings for what today is essentially the same condiment are simply the reflection of the evolution of nearly everyone’s

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Why Gnats Swarm

Why Gnats Swarm

Melissa February 25, 2015 0

Gerry D. asks: Why do nats swarm in a ball in the air? A common sight in the spring and summer, the seemingly unprofitable and pointless habit of gnats to hover in a cloud

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Elsie Nicks and Akinetic Mutism

Elsie Nicks and Akinetic Mutism

Melissa February 25, 2015 0

Immobile and silent, those who suffer from the severest forms of akinetic mutism either lack the ability or the will to move or to speak. Caused by any of a number of conditions, diseases

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The Mock Execution of Fyodor Dostoevsky

The Mock Execution of Fyodor Dostoevsky

Matt Blitz February 25, 2015 2

On December 22, 1849, members of a Russian intellectual literary group known as the Petrashevsky Circle were sent to Semyonov Square to meet their fate – death by firing squad. With the men pointing

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Havildar Bhanbhagta Gurung’s Knife Wielding WWII Assault

Havildar Bhanbhagta Gurung’s Knife Wielding WWII Assault

Karl Smallwood February 24, 2015 1

In March of 2008, the world lost one of the most fearless soldiers to have served during WWII; a man who single-handedly cleared five heavily fortified positions with nothing more than a knife, a

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That Time Pre-Sliced Bread was Banned in the United States

That Time Pre-Sliced Bread was Banned in the United States

Daven Hiskey February 24, 2015 0

In 1943, Claude R. Wickard, the head of the War Foods Administration as well as the Secretary of Agriculture, got the bright idea to ban pre-sliced bread in America, which he did on January

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I Before E, Except After C

I Before E, Except After C

Melissa February 23, 2015 1

Jeremy R. asks: Is it true that more words break the I before E rule than follow it? If so, how come this is taught at all? If you ever want to start a

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Under the Lights: The First Baseball Game Played at Night

Under the Lights: The First Baseball Game Played at Night

Matt Blitz February 23, 2015 1

On a field about fifty miles from Boston, Strawberry Hill, on the evening of September 3, 1880, history was made. It is unlikely the department store employees who were tossing around a ball knew

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Weekly Wrap Volume 75

Weekly Wrap Volume 75

Daven Hiskey February 21, 2015 0

This is a weekly wrap of our popular Daily Knowledge Newsletter. You can get that newsletter for free here. The Surprisingly Poor Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air Prior to his role as Will Smith in

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Why Do Baseball Managers Wear the Team’s Uniform Instead of a Suit Like In Other Sports?

Why Do Baseball Managers Wear the Team’s Uniform Instead of a Suit Like In Other Sports?

Sarah Stone February 20, 2015 1

Denny G. asks: Why do baseball managers wear the team’s uniform instead of a suit or something like that like you see in other sports? It especially seems weird because managers in baseball seem

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Where the Word “Jumbo” Came From

Where the Word “Jumbo” Came From

Karl Smallwood February 19, 2015 1

Jim R. asks: Is it true that the word jumbo came from the name of an elephant? The word “jumbo” can roughly be understood to mean “a large specimen of its kind” and it’s often

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The Victorian Moustache Cup

The Victorian Moustache Cup

Karl Smallwood February 19, 2015 1

Beyond being a staple of any self-respecting peace officer, thanks to the popularity of things like Movember, the humble moustache has made a glorious, bristly return to the faces of men all over the

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Rock-a-Bye Baby

Rock-a-Bye Baby

Melissa February 18, 2015 0

Kyle H. asks: Who wrote rockaby-baby and how did it become a nursery rhyme? Seems kind of morbid to sing to a baby. First found in print in 1765 in Mother Goose’s Melody (see:

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The Many Myths Surrounding Charles Darwin

The Many Myths Surrounding Charles Darwin

Matt Blitz February 18, 2015 5

Charles Darwin said humans descended from monkeys. Darwin coined the term “survival of the fittest.” Darwin was the first person to theorize evolution as the origin of species. Darwin did not believe in God.

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A Chicken Egg In a Chicken Egg in a Chicken- The Elusive Xzibit Egg

A Chicken Egg In a Chicken Egg in a Chicken- The Elusive Xzibit Egg

Karl Smallwood February 17, 2015 2

Unless you didn’t quite get enough info from the title- yes, it is entirely possible for a chicken to lay an egg that contains another fully developed egg, what we now officially dub an

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