Category Archives: Articles

The Truth About the Origin of the Potato Chip


The prevailing story of the origin of the potato chip starts in Saratoga Springs, New York, a historically affluent and resort community. It was 1853, eight years before the beginning of the Civil War. Known for its mineral springs and their supposed rejuvenation properties, Saratoga Springs had just started becoming a tourist destination with help of the railroad that cut […]

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What Causes Warts?


John A. asks: What causes warts and how do you get rid of them safely? A viral infection caused by one of several ubiquitous strains (there are more than 100 known, with the vast majority of humans acquiring at least one strain at some point in our lives) of the pesky human papillomavirus (HPV), skin warts happen as the virus […]

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The Only Major League Baseball Team to Go Bankrupt: The Story of the Seattle Pilots


Few outside of Seattle remember or know anything about the Seattle Pilots, the only Major League Baseball team to go bankrupt. It started with such promise on April 11, 1969, when 17,000 Seattleites saw the Pilots open their first – and only – season with a seven to nothing win over the Chicago White Sox. As the Seattle Times’ headline […]

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What Killed Mozart?


Karly N. asks: What did Mozart die from? In 35 short years, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart produced over 600 works for symphony, concert, chamber, opera and choir, including Don Giovanni, The Magic Flute and The Marriage of Figaro (and some less than family friendly works that few speak of today) before suddenly dying in 1791. Despite 200 years and countless theories, […]

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Why Michael Jackson’s Skin Turned White as He Got Older


Scott L. asks: Is it true that Michael Jackson bleached his skin to turn himself white? Many scandals marred Michael Jackson’s personal life, overshadowing his otherwise remarkable musical career. One such scandal was the obvious change in his appearance, especially his skin color, which started from the mid-eighties to slowly but surely turn from dark to white. By the mid-nineties […]

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The Invention of Morphine


Justin V. asks: Who invented morphine? Derived from opium but far more reliable and powerful, the invention of morphine changed pharmacology and pain relief. A (Very) Short History of Opium  Derived from the seedpods of the poppy, Papaver somniferum (opium) has been used since early civilizations first cultivated it from a wild strain, Papaver setigerum. A 6,000 year old Sumerian […]

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A Murder of Crows And the Exploding Toad Epidemic


In the spring of 2005 during their mating season, toads in Germany and Denmark began exploding. Spewing guts, blood and skin for nearly a yard in every direction; the disturbing phenomenon at first baffled concerned scientists, although they eventually discovered the cause of the fatal condition. Pools of Death Observed near two ponds during that spring, one in the Altona […]

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Weekly Wrap Volume 53


This is a weekly wrap of our Daily Knowledge Newsletter. You can get that newsletter for free here. Split Infinitives are Not Incorrect Grammatically As mentioned in the recent Star Trek “to boldy go” article (check that out here), the majority of modern English grammar guides list split infinitives as being perfectly acceptable.  This has also been the case, not […]

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