Category Archives: Articles

The Nazi Hypothermia Experiments Whose Results Are Still Used Today

Among the most horrific facets of the Holocaust were the medical experiments performed by Nazi doctors upon concentration camp inmates. This sadistic practice was epitomized by the work of Josef Mengele, the ‘Angel of Death,’ who between 1943 and 1945 performed hundreds of cruel human experiments at the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp – including on over 1000 pairs of twins, of […]

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Do Spaceship Escape Pods Actually Exist in Real Life?

In the 1969 science fiction film Marooned, a trio of astronauts manning an experimental space station attempt to return to earth, only for their spacecraft’s main engine to fail. Without sufficient fuel either to initiate reentry or return to the space station, the astronauts find themselves – well, marooned – in orbit, doomed to slowly suffocate unless some bold rescue […]

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Alexander Graham Bell’s Forgotten Greatest Invention

Artists often come to resent their greatest hits, and while inventor Alexander Graham Bell didn’t hate his most famous creation, the telephone, it was far from his only priority and passion. An inveterate tinkerer, throughout his long life Bell pursued hundreds of projects across dozens of fields, inventing early versions of the metal detector and iron lung, improving Thomas Edison’s […]

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What’s So Special About McDonald’s Fries?

Ah, McDonald’s French Fries. According to a poll we recently ran here, 48% of about 42,000 of you prefer this restaurant’s slender tan starch sticks to all the other restaurant tuber cutting offerings, with this percentage more than double the next runner up which was a blanket choice of “Other”- i.e. nearly all other restaurant french fries combined. While many […]

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“The Thing” the Revolutionary Soviet Spy Gadget That Baffled the West

On August 4, 1945, William Averell Harriman, United States ambassador to the Soviet Union, received a delegation of the Vladimir Lenin All-Union Pioneers, the Soviet equivalent of the Boy Scouts. As a symbol of cooperation between the two Allied nations during the still-raging Second World War, the Young Pioneers presented Harriman with a gift: a hand-carved wooden version of the […]

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The Truth About the Freemasons- The Not-So-Secret Secret Society

Ask people to note conspiracy theories they’ve heard of, and inevitably you’ll hear the name Freemasons brought up. Our conceptions of them are influenced by arcane symbols on the American greenback and older government buildings, vague conjectures of their involvement in revolutions, wacky fringe radio hosts rambling about conspiracy theories, and popular culture. Freemasonry is featured in high school standards […]

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The Fascinating Story of One of the Most Elegant and Powerful Experiments in the History of Science

On March 31, 1851, a crowd of curious Parisians gathered at the Pantheon to witness a historic scientific demonstration. In the centre of the building, directly beneath its towering dome, they found a deceptively simple piece of equipment: a 28-kilogram brass-coated lead sphere, suspended from the building’s dome by a 67-metre-long wire. Beneath this was placed a wooden platform covered […]

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What Happens if You Commit a Crime Aboard an Aircraft or in International Waters?

Imagine for a moment you are on a long overseas flight – say, for example, Flight SQ22 between Singapore and New York, the longest regularly-scheduled nonstop route in the world. Around halfway through this gruelling 18 hour, 40 minute marathon, having run out of in-flight movies to watch and grown bored of the latest Dan Brown literary abomination you purchased […]

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Where Did the Keep Calm and Carry On Thing Come From?

You can find it almost everywhere: in every gift shop, on every online merchandise store, on every souvenir stand – and on every object imaginable, from posters and postcards to coffee mugs, water bottles, t-shirts, and phone cases: the brick-red background, the stylized white crown, and in big, bold letters, those five iconic words: Keep Calm and Carry On. …or, […]

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How was the Italian Mafia Established in the U.S.?

Films, books, TV series and even video games have narrated, and often celebrated, the story of the Italo-American Mafia. A story of violence, oppression, corruption at all levels of society, which swings between the two extremes of turning Mafia dons into folk heroes, and painting the entire Italo-American community as a criminal minority. Both extremes are, of course, far from […]

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