Category Archives: Articles

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

phosphorous

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

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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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The Accidental Discovery of Saccharin, and the Truth About Whether Saccharin is Bad for You

sweeteners

Saccharin is noted as being the first artificial sweetener, outside of the toxic Lead(II) acetate, and the first product to offer a cheap alternative to cane sugar.  Interestingly enough, like the Chocolate Chip Cookie, it was also discovered entirely by accident. The chemical was discovered in 1878/9 in a small lab at Johns Hopkins University. The lab belonged to professor […]

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The Cargo Cults and John Frum (America)

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“When the outside world, with all its material wealth, suddenly descend[ed],” on remote cultures whose technology was limited to stone and wood, new belief systems often arose. On many of the islands of the southwest Pacific, the affluence and power of Western explorers, missionaries and colonists led to the creation of a number of religious sects that all shared a […]

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Is it Possible to Target Belly Fat When Losing Weight?

belly-fat

This is yet another great article from our friends over at The Medicine Journal– Jessica asks: Is it true there are ways to target losing the fat around your stomach? If so, how? A quick internet search will yield countless claims of ways to remove the unwanted fat from around your mid-section.  From over-hyped diet pills promising to reduce levels […]

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The Man Who Captured Four Armed German Soldiers With an Empty Gun

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Very little is known about Lance-Corporal James Welch prior to his actions during WWI. However, we do know some basic details.  According to Welch’s grave in Bournemouth crematorium, he was born in 1889 on July 7th in the small English village of Stratfield Saye. Welch must have had a fairly boring childhood because literally the next thing recorded about his […]

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Mozart’s Much Less Family Friendly Works

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Warning: By necessity, this one contains profanity and vulgar references. So you may or may not want to read through it first if you normally share these articles with humans of the particularly youthful persuasion. 😉 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is famously known for being a child prodigy and one of the greatest musical composers of all time. Eine Kleine Nachtmusik is one […]

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When Doctors Literally “Blew Smoke Up Your Arse”

smoke-enema-kit

When someone is “blowing smoke up your arse” today, it is a figure of speech that means that one person is complimenting another, insincerely most of the time, in order to inflate the ego of the individual being flattered. Back in the late 1700s, however, doctors literally blew smoke up people’s rectums. Believe it or not, it was a general mainstream medical procedure used to, among many […]

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Weekly Wrap Volume 39

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This is a weekly wrap of our Daily Knowledge Newsletter. You can get that newsletter for free here. WWII Files: Japan’s Secret Weapon- Exploding Balloons WWII saw the development of some zany designs for weapons, such as when the U.S. developed pigeon guided missiles and (literal) bat bombs (the latter of which were a little too effective, accidentally destroying the testing base […]

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