Category Archives: Articles

Magellan Was Not the First Person to Circumnavigate the Globe, The Man Who First Did It May Have Been Magellan’s Slave

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Myth: Ferdinand Magellan (Fernão de Magalhães) was the first person to circumnavigate the globe. There’s no doubt that Magellan intended to have a successful journey when his expedition set off from Spain on September 20, 1519. He had planned for the departure meticulously, hoping to prove that people could sail all the way around the world, and to be the […]

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How One of the Most Beautiful Women in 1940s’ Hollywood Helped Make Certain Wireless Technologies Possible

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Did an exotic actress from Vienna, considered one of the most beautiful women in Hollywood in the 1940s, really invent wireless? Not exactly, but the non-sensationalized facts of the matter are no less fascinating, involving Hollywood, the World War II Axis Powers, and remote control technology. Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler, better known as “Hedy Lamarr”, once really did patent a […]

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The Origin of the Phrase “Close, But No Cigar”

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J. Ramhit asks: Where did the phrase “close, but no cigar” come from? This popular idiom, which means “to fall short of a successful outcome” or “close call,” was first coined in the United States in the late 19th or early 20th century. While it can’t be proven definitively, it’s likely that the phrase originated at fairgrounds around this time. […]

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When People Started Wearing Clothes

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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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Weekly Wrap Volume 3

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This is a weekly wrap of our Daily Knowledge Newsletter. You can get that newsletter for free here. Why Multivitamins Make Your Urine Bright Yellow If you’ve ever taken a daily multivitamin you too might have noticed your urine turning a bright yellow-ish color. Take your vitamins and eat some asparagus and you might just think you’re dying the next […]

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Who is Craig From Craigslist?

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Melissa asks: Was there really a “Craig” who started “Craigslist” or is that just a marketing gimmick? Craig Newmark is the Craig of Craigslist whose estimated net worth as of 2010 was around $400 million. This is in direct contrast to his financial wealth during childhood, where his mother struggled to support Craig and his brother, Jeff, after the death […]

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Manfred Albrecht Freiherr von Richthofen, a.k.a., The Red Baron, Crashed In His First Solo Flight

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Even after our most heart breaking failures, parents, teachers and coaches encourage us to get back up and try again. Perhaps this is because they know that rather than being a permanent condition, failure is an opportunity to learn and improve. This was certainly the experience of Manfred von Richthofen. After cracking up his aircraft on his first solo attempt, […]

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The Origin of Language

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Kaden asks: What was the first language spoken by humans? It is virtually impossible to know which language developed first, but that doesn’t mean linguists haven’t taken a good whack at it. The main problem is that scientists think language probably developed around 100,000-200,000 years ago. That’s around when modern humans, Homo sapiens, developed with the same skull structure—with the […]

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