Category Archives: Articles

The Soviet Superman: Red Son


If you’ve ever sat around thinking, “What if Superman was a communist?”  (Who hasn’t, right?) Well, wonder no more. The answer was masterfully provided in Superman: Red Son written by famed comic book writer and member of the “Most Excellent Order of the British Empire”, Mark Millar. The specific comic book in question was a mini-series (3 issues) published by […]

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The Fascinating Origin of Arlington National Cemetery


The final resting place of presidents, bandleaders, war heroes, astronauts, inventors, civil rights leaders, Pulitzer Prize winners, boxers, Supreme Court justices and sports stars, Arlington National Cemetery stands as a memorial to the melting pot of the United States. With connections to some of our nation’s most influential people and pivotal events, its history is as interesting as its denizens. […]

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Weekly Wrap Volume 16


This is a weekly wrap of our Daily Knowledge Newsletter. You can get that newsletter for free here. The Exploding Anti-Tank Dogs of WWII These dogs, usually Alsatians, were also called “Hundminen” or “dog mines.” They were  trained to carry explosives on their bodies to enemy tanks, where they would then be detonated. No, it did not end very well […]

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Nobel Prize Winner Barry J. Marshall in Part Proved What Causes Ulcers by Ingesting the Bacteria He Thought Was Causing Them


When it comes to science, we think there’s a saying that is fairly applicable, “who dares, wins”. Fans of military history may recognise that as the motto of the Special Air Services (SAS). However, we feel scientists and researchers deserve to use it just as much, because sometimes they take risks too. Just ask Barry J. Marshall if you don’t […]

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A Genius Among Us: The Sad Story of William J. Sidis


Before the terms “Tiger Mom” or “Helicopter Mom” entered our vernacular.  Before the moms on “Toddlers and Tiaras” tried to turn their daughters into beauty queens. Before Earl Woods showed off his two year old son Tiger’s golf skills on the Mike Douglas Show. Before Lindsay Lohan’s dad, the mother in Psycho, and every other overbearing parent we know from […]

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The Origin of the Phrase “The Whole Nine Yards”


Byron asks: Where does “the whole 9 yards” come from? For those outside of North America who aren’t familiar, “the whole nine yards” is an American phrase which loosely means “everything” or “the full extent of something.” As to the exact origin, it’s a slight mystery.  One linguist called it “the bigfoot of word origins” because there are so many […]

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Is it Possible to Cash Oversized Novelty Prize Checks?


Mark J. asks: Can people actually cash those big novelty checks? The giant novelty check (cheque to our readers of the non-American persuasion) is a comedy staple, even if you’ve never been lucky enough to handle one in real life, you’ve likely drawn a cartoonishsly huge moustache on a picture of someone holding one in a newspaper. (Just me?) You’ve […]

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WWII Files: Pigeon-Guided Missiles and Bat Bombs


Today I found out about Project Pigeon and Project X-Ray, WWII plans to use pigeons to guide missiles and (literal) bat bombers. The man behind Project Pigeon was famed American behaviorist and Harvard professor B.F. Skinner, who teamed with the U.S. Army to develop such a system.  Pigeons were trained using operant conditioning, a type of learning pioneered by Skinner […]

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