Category Archives: History

Were Nunchucks Ever Actually Used in Combat or are They Just Primarily a Hollywood Thing?

Colin O. asks: Were nunchucks really used in battle? Famously a weapon of choice for legendary martial artist Bruce Lee, at least in certain films, nunchaku, or nunchucks, are a popular facet of pop-culture and there are those who’d have you believe that this humble weapon used to widely shatter jawbones like Samson during a particularly bad hair day. But […]

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A Bunch of ‘Wangers- The Nazi Unit Who Were so Awful, Even the Nazi SS Were Disgusted by Them

The SS-Sturmbrigade Dirlewanger, better known to historians as simply the Dirlewanger Brigade, holds the dubious distinction of being amongst the most reviled units of the Nazi war machine. Infamous for its brutality and the open sadism displayed by its commanding officer, a man previously imprisoned for raping a young teen girl, the unit and their actions were so detested that […]

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Death Before Defeat- the Badass Story of Arrichion of Phigalia

The ancient Olympics are littered with spectacular stories of athleticism and peculiar characters, like Melankomas of Caria, an ancient boxer who won several Olympic wreaths by reportedly doing nothing but avoid his opponents punches until they gave up. Perhaps the most bizarre Olympic story of all, however, is that of Arrichion of Phigalia, who once won an Olympic wreath despite […]

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What was It Actually Like to Be a Knight in Medieval Times?

Anakin_bagel asks: What was the daily life of a medieval knight like? There are a variety of myths about what it was like to be a knight during medieval times, not just spread by Hollywood, but even by the contemporary legends during medieval times themselves- in both featuring widespread depictions of the chivalric knight rushing to the aid of damsels […]

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Why Do Outhouses Have a Crescent Moon on the Door?

Literally Everyone asks: Why are outhouses traditionally depicted with a crescent moon on the door? In all the years we’ve been answering questions from our abnormally attractive readers, one that has popped up in our inbox and in comment threads more times than any other is some form of the question “What’s the deal with crescent moons on outhouse doors?” […]

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Who Invented the Keyboard and is the Dvorak Really Better than the QWERTY

The origin of the keyboard starts, unsurprisingly with the first typewriters. There were a variety of type-writer-like devices around going back the 18th century, before one Christopher Latham Sholes, with some help from a few other guys, came up with one that would become the first commercially successful typewriter in the 1870s. Much like many typewriters since, Shole’s device used […]

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That Time the U.S. Military Launched a Half a Billion Needles to Space for Reasons…

In the early 1960s, international communications were limited to transmissions through undersea cables or occasionally unreliable radio signals bounced off of the ionosphere. As you might imagine from this, many in the Western world weren’t too keen on the state of the situation given that were to someone, say, the Soviet Union, cut those cables before launching an attack, international […]

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That Time the British Rioted for Three Months Over the Cost of Theater Tickets

In September of 1808 Covent Garden Theatre in London burned to the ground. The exact cause of the fire has never been established but due to the extensive amount of flammable items throughout combined with an amazing number of flaming light fixtures, fires of some sort at theaters were relatively common, even inspiring a London fire code requiring several wet […]

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Who Started the Lizard People Conspiracy Theory?

MarcoDerp asks: You covered who started the flat earth and moon landing conspiracy theories. What about the lizard people? People have been referencing sentient reptilian entities, sometimes humanoid, sometimes not, going back to some of the earliest written works and legends known to man. In more modern times, according to a survey done by the firm Public Policy Polling approximately […]

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