Category Archives: Articles

Plaka – The Neighborhood of the Gods

plaka

It wouldn’t be much of an exaggeration to say that the oldest district of Athens, Plaka, might be one of the most unique, beautiful and historic neighborhoods on earth. Also known as the “Neighborhood of the Gods,” Plaka lies right under the cradle of Western civilization, the Acropolis. Plaka is filled with many archaeological monuments and sites spanning millennia.  It’s […]

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The Jackson State Massacre of 1970

monument

Overshadowed by the coverage of the Kent State Massacre that occurred not two weeks prior, when two people were killed and 11 injured while protesting at Jackson State College in the spring of 1970, the nation barely noticed – and today few remember. The Protest About 4,300 black (and only five white) students were enrolled at the historically black college […]

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The Origin of the Term “Brownie Points”

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Andrew M. asks: Why do we say “You just earned some brownie points.” What were brownie points originally for? There are many, many origin theories for this one. One of the most often repeated and widely accepted theories is that “brownie points”—imaginary points earned by someone for doing a good deed, and lost by doing something unfavourable—stem from the Brownies, […]

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Why Toenails Turn Yellow

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Our resident medical expert, Scott, and a buddy of his recently started The Medicine Journal, where you can learn all sorts of interesting facts about all things medical related. Below is a sample article from their site. Have you ever seen the toenails of your grandfather and thought he might be a troll?  Those yellow, misshapen and brittle nails tend […]

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That Time 26-Year-Old Edgar Allan Poe Married His 13-Year-Old Cousin

VirginiaValentine

As if his stories weren’t occasionally disturbing enough, it turns out Edgar Allan Poe’s love life was more than a little creepy as well. Creepy Courtship Poe met his bride-to-be, Virginia Clemm, when she was 7 years old, and he was 20, shortly after his mother’s death in 1829. Their parents, his natural father (David Poe) and her mother (Maria […]

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Weekly Wrap Volume 37

poppy-seed

This is a weekly wrap of our Daily Knowledge Newsletter. You can get that newsletter for free here. The Eleven Thousand Year Old Contagious Cancer Still Multiplying Today Eleven thousand years ago, one saucy canine got busy and, as can happen with unprotected sex, gave its partner a venereal disease, although uniquely, this VD was cancerous. Over the course of […]

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Damnatio Memoriae: When the Romans Purposely Erased People from History

If you're curious, Emperor Geta is the one erased in this case.

Damnatio memoriae (condemnation of memory) was a punishment reserved for certain people the Romans decided to dishonour for one reason or another. Rather impressively, it involved trying to get rid of all records that the person ever existed. Understandably, historians aren’t aware of any people to whom this dishonor was successfully applied, since if they did, it wouldn’t have been […]

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The Origin of the Phrase “Mind Your Own Beeswax”

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Today I found out the origin of the phrase “mind your own beeswax.” “Mind your own beeswax” and “it’s none of your beeswax” are common phrases you might hear being shouted by six-year-olds on the school playground. For the uninitiated, they basically mean “mind your own business” or “it’s none of your business,” but some people think it’s more complicated […]

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What is Non Dairy Creamer Made Of?

creamer

Craig asks: What is non-dairy creamer made from? Yucky stuff. But you have alternatives…. The chemicals, oils, sugars and milk products (yes, milk, in a “non dairy” product) vary depending on your brand. Carrageenan: Extracted from the red seaweed more commonly known as Irish moss (Chondrus crispus), carrageenan is used as a thickening agent and emulsifier to make foods creamier. […]

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Chastity Belts Were Never Actually Used in Medieval Times

victorian-woman

The lasting images of what most of us perceive to be the “medieval times” includes heroic knights, stampeding horses, court jesters, giant turkey legs, ruling kings, and pure maidens wearing chastity belts. But the fact is that, besides the more obvious of those that aren’t accurate, most scholars believe that the chastity belt didn’t actually exist during medieval times, but […]

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Who is Murphy of Murphy’s Law?

StappSled

Bill D. asks: Who is the “Murphy” who made Murphy’s Law? For those not familiar, Murphy’s Law states: “Anything that can go wrong will.” Early Origins Pessimists have existed long before the Murphy whose name today graces this fundamental law. One of the earliest instances of this “law” being stated explicitly happened in 1877 where Alfred Holt is believed to […]

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