Category Archives: Articles

Who Invented the Vacuum Cleaner?

In central Missouri, about hundred miles from St. Louis and right off of Route 66, sits the small town of St. James. Despite this town having only about four thousand people, it is proudly the location for the Tacony Corporation’s vacuum cleaner factory, a giant facility that produces cleaners for 13 different lines and brands, including for Maytag, Riccar, and […]

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The Origins of the Mathematical Convention of Using “X” as the Unknown

Linda P. asks: Why do we always use “x” for everything in math? For hundreds of years, x has been the go-to symbol for the unknown quantity in mathematical equations. So who started this practice? Algebra was born in the Middle East, during the Golden Age of medieval Islamic civilization (750 to 1258 AD), and its early form can be […]

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Terrifying Fluffy Bunnies and The Little Albert Experiment

The Little Albert Experiment was a study conducted back in 1920 by famed psychologist, “the father of behaviorism”, John B. Watson. It essentially involved conditioning a baby, identified only as “Albert. B” to experience fear at the sight of anything fluffy. Putting aside the egregious methodology problems and questionable ethics exhibited during the experiment, the reported results of the study, […]

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Can You Really Bust a Gut from Eating Too Much at Once?

R. Lee asks: In Seven an obese man is made to stuff himself until his stomach bursts. Is this really possible? Wouldn’t you just naturally throw up? Although extremely rare, some people actually have ruptured their stomachs after eating too much, and, perhaps not surprisingly, many did not survive. When a stomach ruptures, the billions of bacteria that normally live […]

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Nixon’s Tactic of Acting Unbalanced as a Political Strategy- The Madman Theory

Developed from game theory and a key tactic of his early administration, President Richard Nixon came into office with a clear plan – scare the hell out of other world leaders to get them to do what he wanted. Called the “madman theory,” it depended on possessing a massive nuclear arsenal, then simply acting sufficiently erratic and unbalanced to convince […]

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Did English Speakers Really Not Use Contractions in the 19th Century as Depicted in True Grit?

Karl A. asks: In the movie True Grit, they don’t use contractions. Is it true that people back then didn’t use them? Won’t, don’t, wouldn’t, isn’t and even ain’t- where would we be without our contractions? Prevalent in spoken English and increasingly accepted in written pieces, contractions enable brevity and make written works more accessible and friendly. Contractions in some […]

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How is Silk Made?

Mark D. asks: How do they make real silk from worms? One of the softest fabrics on the planet, shiny, breathable and comfortable, silk has been a highly prized cloth since it was first harvested thousands of years ago. And despite advances in production methods and new possibilities for cultivation, still today the only reasonable way to glean the thread in […]

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Interesting Halloween Facts Roundup

We’ve covered quite a few Halloween related facts here on TodayIFoundOut over the years. Here’s a list of all of them, as well as some interesting facts about various candies. Happy Halloween! 🙂 Halloween Related Facts: Why are Carved Pumpkins Called “Jack O’ Lanterns”? The name “Jack O’ Lantern” was originally one of the numerous names given to ignis fatuus […]

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Interesting Facts About the Beatles and the Monkees

The Beatles vs. “The Monkees”… Well, that’s really no contest, is it? Isn’t that rather like comparing Marilyn Monroe to J. Lo? Jim Carrey to Pauly Shore? As we all well know and readily concede- fame-wise, talent-wise, popularity-wise, music-wise, and immortality-wise, it’s no contest. But did you know The Monkees’ records outsold both the Beatles and the Rolling Stones combined […]

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What Happens to Your Social Security Number When You Die?

U. Grening asks: What happens to your social security number when you die? Does it get used again? Since 1935, the Social Security Administration has been issuing numbers to permanent residents of the United States.  Nine simple digits distinguish each American from his or her fellow residents.  Today, assigned randomly and never recycled, a social security number is as unique […]

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