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The “Witch of Wall Street”

The “Witch of Wall Street”

Daven Hiskey July 14, 2014 3

Long before the likes of Warren Buffet, Hetty Green dominated Wall Street through extremely shrewd investing, frugality, and exploiting the lax investment rules of her age, managing to amass one of the greatest fortunes

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The Remarkable Nellie Bly and Her Adventure in a Mad-House

The Remarkable Nellie Bly and Her Adventure in a Mad-House

Emily Upton July 8, 2014 0

Today I found out about Nellie Bly, the woman who purposefully got herself committed to a notorious insane asylum so that she could report on what actually went on inside. Born Elizabeth Jane Cochran

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The Disappearance of the Prime Minister of Australia

The Disappearance of the Prime Minister of Australia

Melissa July 7, 2014 1

On Sunday, December 17, 1967, the Prime Minister of what was then the 9th wealthiest nation on Earth disappeared off of the coast of Cheviot Beach, Portsea, Victoria in the southeast of Australia. Harold

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The Curious Case of “The Spark Ranger”

The Curious Case of “The Spark Ranger”

Matt Blitz June 5, 2014 2

Roy Sullivan was born 1912 in Greene County in central Virginia, today home to just a shade over eighteen thousand people. He was the fourth of eleven children and lived in the Blue Ridge

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

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

Karl Smallwood May 20, 2014 2

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

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Roger Ebert’s Other, Less Respectable Movie Job

Roger Ebert’s Other, Less Respectable Movie Job

Staci Lehman May 8, 2014 1

Today I found out about Roger Ebert’s somewhat lesser known movie-related job, making X-rated films. Ebert got his start in the public sector at the age of 15 reporting on high school sports for

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Was Beethoven Really Deaf When He Wrote All His Music?

Was Beethoven Really Deaf When He Wrote All His Music?

Emily Upton and Karl Smallwood May 8, 2014 2

Carmen asks: Was Beethoven really deaf when he wrote all his music? If there is one Ludvig van Beethoven fact everyone knows it’s that he was deaf. But just saying “he was deaf” leaves a

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

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

Melissa May 5, 2014 3

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

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What Was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. a Doctor of?

What Was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. a Doctor of?

Melissa May 2, 2014 5

Stefan asks: What was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. a Doctor of? On June 5, 1955, Martin Luther King, Jr. was awarded a Doctorate of Philosophy in Systematic Theology from Boston University. From that

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Who is Murphy of Murphy’s Law?

Who is Murphy of Murphy’s Law?

Melissa April 30, 2014 4

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

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The Speech That Cost Nearly a Billion Dollars

The Speech That Cost Nearly a Billion Dollars

Karl Smallwood April 30, 2014 4

Have you ever said something that you ended up immediately regretting or wanted to take back straight away? Well, unless your words cost someone nearly a billion dollars, then you haven’t messed up quite

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Jan Zizka: The General Who Had His Skin Turned Into a Drum

Jan Zizka: The General Who Had His Skin Turned Into a Drum

Karl Smallwood April 23, 2014 1

Jan Zizka (aka Jan Žižka z Trocnova a Kalicha)  is regarded as one of the single finest military minds in world history. He also had his skin turned into a drum. Before we get

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Was Colonel Sanders Actually a Colonel?

Was Colonel Sanders Actually a Colonel?

Matt Blitz April 21, 2014 9

Rachel M. asks: Was Colonel Sanders really a Colonel? Kentucky Colonel is the highest honor that can be bestowed by the Commonwealth of Kentucky. (Incidentally, if you’re curious: Why Colonel is Pronounced “Kernel”) To

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The Curious Case of Mary Hamilton

The Curious Case of Mary Hamilton

Melissa April 14, 2014 1

In 1746 in Taunton, Somerset, England, Mary Hamilton was imprisoned and whipped for impersonating a man and marrying possibly as many as 14 women (not all at once). Few records of these events have

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The Unmasking of Moriarty

The Unmasking of Moriarty

Melissa March 25, 2014 0

Jill T. asks: My dad told me Professor Moriarty in Sherlock Holmes was based on a real person. Is this true and if so, who? Genius and philosopher, with a “brain of the first

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The Man Who Parkinson’s Disease is Named After Was Implicated in a Plot to Assassinate King George III

The Man Who Parkinson’s Disease is Named After Was Implicated in a Plot to Assassinate King George III

Emily Upton March 19, 2014 2

Today I found out they named Parkinson’s disease after a man who was involved in an assassination attempt on King George III. Parkinson’s disease is a movement disorder characterized by tremors or shaking, with

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Whatever Happened to Ambrose Bierce?

Whatever Happened to Ambrose Bierce?

Melissa March 19, 2014 1

Witty, prickly, bitter and brilliant, for 50 odd years, author and newspaperman Ambrose Bierce eloquently chronicled the latter half of the 19th, and first few years of the 20th, centuries. From moving descriptions of

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The Year’s Free Wages That Resulted in the Novel “To Kill a Mockingbird”

The Year’s Free Wages That Resulted in the Novel “To Kill a Mockingbird”

Emily Upton March 18, 2014 0

Today I found out about the year’s “free wages” that led to Harper Lee writing To Kill a Mockingbird. The book, which was Lee’s first and only published novel, was heralded as an “instant

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