Category Archives: Articles

Weekly Wrap Volume 41


This is a weekly wrap of our Daily Knowledge Newsletter. You can get that newsletter for free here. What Causes the Smell After Rain There are three primary sources of smells that commonly occur after rain. The first, the “clean” smell, in particular after a heavy thunderstorm, is caused by ozone.  Ozone (scientifically known as trioxygen due to the fact […]

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A Brief Look at the Werewolf Through History


Since ancient times, the fusion of man and wolf has been the stuff of legend and folklore (“wer” was the word for “man” in old English, with “man” being completely gender neutral). Virtually every culture across the globe has its own werewolf mythology, with this beastly shape-shifter being one of the oldest monsters to terrorize humans. Werewolf legends span so […]

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The Slave Who Helped Assemble the Famous “Freedom Statue” in Washington D.C.


The Statue of Freedom sitting atop the dome of the U.S. Capitol building in Washing D.C. has more alternate names than the obscure half of the Wu Tang Clan. Over the years, the names attributed to it have ranged from things like “Freedom Triumphant in War and Peace” to the far simpler, “Armed Freedom“. However, the one, common thread is […]

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How One Man’s Attempt to Create the Philosopher’s Stone Out of Human Urine Led to the First Element Discovered Since Ancient Times


Phosphorus is an essential element for life. Forms of it are found in DNA, RNA, and all living cell membranes. It is the sixth most abundant element in any living organism. Phosphorus can also be highly poisonous and combustible (white phosphorus is used in many destructive weapons, such as napalm). It was also the first element discovered since ancient times. […]

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That Time a Commercial Aircraft Ran Out of Fuel Mid-Flight- The Gimli Glider


On July 23, 1983, in the small town of Gimli, Manitoba, Captain Robert Pearson and Co-Pilot Maurice Quintal expertly glided a 100-ton Boeing 767 carrying 69 people to a safe landing without engines, air brakes or flaps, and minimal control of the aircraft. Bad Math The flight plan for Canada 143 that day began with a short jaunt from Montreal, […]

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How Dwight D. Eisenhower Playing Semi-Pro Baseball for a Handful of Games Nearly Changed American History

Eisenhower signs baseball

U.S. Presidents and sports have always been connected. Gerald Ford played football as a University of Michigan undergrad. George H.W. Bush played in the first two College World Series. George W. Bush was part owner of the Texas Rangers’ baseball franchise. Barack Obama frequently plays pickup basketball games with his staff (no doubt all terrified of accidentally hurting the Commander-in-Chief […]

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