Category Archives: Featured Facts

Why Do We Eat Turkey on Thanksgiving?

thanksgiving-turkey

Katie H. asks: Why do we eat turkey on thanksgiving when the pilgrims didn’t? Every year on the fourth Thursday in November, over three hundred million Americans sit down at a table filled with culinary delights. From overstuffed turkeys to whipped-cream-topped pumpkin pies, it’s probably not a shock to learn that many of the traditional foods we eat on Thanksgiving […]

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Did People in the Middle Ages Really Throw Fecal Matter Out of Their Windows?

poop-cupcake

Aaron H. asks: Before sewer systems, did people in England really toss their poop into the streets? Although Medieval Britons weren’t exactly the cleanest lot by modern standards (though contrary to popular belief, despite some well-known exceptions, they did, in general, bathe in some form or another relatively regularly), the idea of them just dropping trou and dumping half a […]

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The Bizarre Hollywood Phenomenon of “Twin Films”

filming

Yachna N. asks: Why do movie studios release near identical movies at the same time? “Twin films” is the term used to describe a peculiar Hollywood phenomenon that just about every year sees different major studios releasing movies with almost identical plots and themes to their competitors current offerings. Popular examples of twin films include Deep Impact and Armageddon, two […]

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Are the “Snozzberries” in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Referring to Male Genitalia?

snozzberry

Domenic V. asks: Is it true that the snozzberries in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory were dicks? Given the dark undercurrent of Roald Dahl’s works, perhaps it wouldn’t be surprising if his famous snozzberries mentioned in the book, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1964) made into the film Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971), were, in fact, penises. […]

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Do Words Get Removed from a Dictionary When People Stop Using Them?

dictionary-unlimitted

Kerry U. asks: When words fall out of usage are they removed from the dictionary? The Second Edition of the Oxford English Dictionary is generally regarded as the single most comprehensive record of the English language to exist. Included in this work are many thousands of words considered completely “obsolete” by lexicographers. You see, in something of a Hotel California […]

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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 Strange Fate Of Benito Mussolini Jr.

Benito Albino Mussolini

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Bad news: We have no control over who our parents are. Good news: Most of us did a lot better than Benito Mussolini Jr. did. OUT OF WORK In 1912, a 20-year-old political activist named Benito Mussolini became the editor of Avanti! (“Forward!”), the Italian Socialist Party’s newspaper. He held […]

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Do Vending Machines Really Kill More People Than Sharks?

vending-machine-of-death

Samantha F. asks: Is it true that more people are killed every year by vending machines than sharks? As we’ve discussed at length in another article, sharks, contrary to their fearsome reputation, rarely attack, let alone kill, humans; it would seem that they don’t deem us to be suitable prey, though it seemingly has little to do with taste, as […]

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The Surprisingly Heartwarming Story of the Man Who Invented Sriracha Sauce

Sriracha-Hot sauce

Vicki M. asks: Who invented sriracha sauce? The genesis of Sriracha hot sauce (pronounced sir-ah-cha, contrary to what many think) becoming the condiment staple it is today can be traced back to 1975 and an unassuming Vietnamese refuge called David Tran- the founder and current CEO of Huy Fong Foods. Following the Vietnam war, Tran, who was a Major in […]

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The First Joke

joke

David N. asks: What is the first joke ever told? Born from cultures we can only read about and making fun of customs we don’t always understand, many of the world’s oldest jokes, to a modern audience, simply aren’t that funny. That said, humans being humans, with the oldest joke that has survived through today, it would appear little has […]

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Can Staying Awake Too Long Really Kill You?

sleepless-woman

Valerie C asks: Can staying awake too long really kill you? Every college student knows the eye-stinging pain of a caffeine-induced all-nighter.  It’s been well documented that prolonged sleep deprivation will lead to lower cognitive and motor function, as well as impaired memory; it might even give you the tired-giggles.  No one has ever definitively shown why sleep is necessary […]

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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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In Which We Discuss a Variety of Fascinating Eclipse Related Facts for Your Reading Pleasure

eyeball

Columbus and the Lunar Eclipse After initially welcoming Christopher Columbus and his crew to Jamaica and supplying them with food and supplies after he became shipwrecked in 1503, the Arawak Indians grew weary of Columbus’ men robbing and cheating them and subsequently halted all trade with their island guests Without a significant source of food or means to leave, Columbus’ […]

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