Author Archives: Matt Blitz

That Time Teddy Roosevelt Got Shot in the Chest But Gave a 90 Minute Speech Anyway

Roosevelt

To most of the approximately 10,000 people packed into Milwaukee Auditorium on October 14, 1912, nothing seemed out of the ordinary in the moments before Teddy Roosevelt was scheduled to give what was supposed to be a simple campaign speech. The former President of the United States was running for a near unprecedented third term, this time as the Progressive […]

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The Very Canadian Origin of “Hawaiian” Pizza

hawaiian-pizza

Jim L. asks: What sick and twisted person invented Hawaiian pizza? On June 8, 2017, Greek-born, Canadian-bred pizza maker Sam Panopoulos died. His career slinging pies was rather unremarkable save for one notable thing – he was the inventor of the popular, yet infamous pineapple-topped “Hawaiian Pizza,” named as such because of the brand of canned fruit he used. Loved by some […]

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Why Do People Eat Whale Poop?

sperm whale

Some refer to the rock-like substance as “floating gold” because of its hue and value. (For reference, 175 pound, 79 kg, lump of it was recently found floating off the coast of Qurayat, netting the fishermen who found it a cool $3 million when they sold it at auction.) Others call it “ambergris,” derived from the Old French “ambre gris,” […]

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Why the French-Founded Notre Dame School’s Athletic Teams are the “Fighting Irish”

fighting-irish

Nathan K. asks: Why is Notre Dame’s slogan “Fighting Irish”? When the green and blue uniformed athletes of the University of Notre Dame run on to the field or court, their fans are rooting for the “Fighting Irish.” Represented by a small green leprechaun- hat tilted with his fists up, ready to fight- the athletic teams of this South Bend, […]

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Why the Chicago Cubs are Named After a Baby Bear and The Long, Weird History of Their Mascot

1906_Chicago_Cubs

It was a weak ground ball to third base that ended over a century’s worth of baseball futility. On November 3, 2016, the Chicago Cubs won their first World Series in 108 years. Much like the Red Sox win in 2004 that also put the brakes on a similar streak, it propelled the Cubs into another stratosphere in terms of […]

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From Oswald the Rabbit to Mickey Mouse

mickey mouse

On September 4th, 1927, a jolly goofy animated bunny named “Oswald the Lucky Rabbit” made his silver screen debut. In the five minute and forty-six second short entitled “Trolley Troubles,” the earnest conductor drives his trolley full of rabbits through (and under) a variety of obstacles – including a stubborn cow, a seemingly insurmountable hill and a panic-inducing brake failure. […]

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The Large Number of Human Remains Found In Ben Franklin’s Basement

human-bones

For eighteen years, Ben Franklin, the great American inventor, diplomat, and signer of the Declaration of Independence, was a tenant in a beautiful four story Georgian house at 36 Craven Street in London, mere blocks from the River Thames. As ambassador from the colonies, he entertained, lived, and even allowed other intellectuals of the time to stay at the house […]

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Forgotten History: The First Movie and the Scientific Question It Sought to Answer

The first films were little more than what we would consider short clips, a boxer throwing a single punch or train arriving at a station– the type of scenes that today you might only see in the form of animated gifs.  While popular perception is that movies got their start around the early twentieth century, the real seed that grew […]

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