Category Archives: History

The Key to Humans Humaning

Living with the Animals While modern humans have existed for at least a few hundred thousands years, we didn’t really start massively progressing from our earliest ancestors until we began forming large and very complex societies after transitioning away from small hunter-gather groups for various reasons. Critical to all this being able to happen was creating sets of rules which […]

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How on Earth Did Winston Churchill Lose the Election Directly Following Germany’s Defeat?

Nazi Germany officially surrendered on May 7, 1945. With the war still raging in the Pacific against Japan and sporting a popularity rate at around 83%, Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill seemed a shoe-in to maintain his position as Prime Minister of the British Empire. Just before the announcement of the results of the election, Churchill had been at the […]

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An Incredibly Deep Dive Into the Fascinating Invention of the Helicopter

“Helicopter’s don’t fly – they just beat the air into submission.” and “Helicopters aren’t aircraft – they’re just ten thousand parts flying in close formation.” are just two of the many tongue-in-cheek sayings which have been levelled at rotorcraft. Yet despite their often ungainly and precarious appearance, it cannot be denied that helicopters are remarkable pieces of engineering, capable of […]

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How Does Nuclear Waste Disposal Work?

31 countries currently use some form of nuclear power, with the 455 currently operational reactors generating some 393,000 Megawatts of electricity – nearly 20% of the world’s total energy production. Despite high-profile disasters such as Chernobyl, Three-Mile-Island, and Fukushima, nuclear power is actually among the safest and cleaner forms of electricity generation, placing dead-last in terms of deaths per kilowatt-hour […]

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The Surprisingly Long and Determined Effort to Create a Literal Flying Tank

The Great War of 1914-1918 has been described as the first “industrial war”, and saw the battlefield debut of a number of advanced weapons, including the aeroplane, poison gas, the tank, the flamethrower, and the submarine. Of these, the tank and the aeroplane would go on to completely revolutionize modern warfare. The post-war years saw great leaps in the development […]

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Harry Houdini, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and the Crusade Against Spiritualism

Erik Weiss, better known by his stage name Harry Houdini, was one of the greatest entertainers in history, and among the first modern mega-celebrities. Over a 35-year career spanning the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Houdini thrilled audiences the world over with his headline-grabbing feats of stage magic and death-defying escapology, making entire elephants disappear and wriggling his way […]

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The Machine that Bankrupted Mark Twain

Samuel Langhorne Clemens, aka Mark Twain, is one of the most important and celebrated American writers and wits in history. His keen observations and biting satires of 19th Century America remain beloved classics to this day, while his pithy quips will likely continue to infest our social media feeds for decades more to come. Yet despite Twain’s legendary intelligence and […]

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The Time a King Let the Leader of a Cult Become King to See if the World Would End

In today’s age of relatively stable international relations, it is hard to imagine the impact of something like the Mongol invasions. Starting in 1206, It was a trying time for those who initially witnessed them: mountains of skulls, burning cities, murder and pillaging on a wide scale. Even if Genghis Khan’ descendants became more urbane and grew closer to their […]

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What Actually Defines an ‘Assault Rifle’ and Who Invented Them?

In June 2021, Southern District of California Judge Roger Benitez made headlines when he struck down the state’s 30-year ban on assault weapons, concluding that: “Like the Swiss Army Knife, the popular AR-15 rifle is a perfect combination of home defense weapon and homeland defense equipment.” Benitez’s landmark decision was but one episode in the long-running political debate over gun […]

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