After Escaping Cannibals, Dealing With Politicians Was Easy

In September 1944 nine US airmen were shot down over Chichi Jima, a small island 700 miles south of Tokyo, Japan. Of these nine men, only one evaded capture by the Japanese. That man, Lt. George H.W. Bush, went on to become the 41st President is the United States. What he didn't know -- and... Continue Reading →


Lady Liberty Almost Ended Up in the Desert

The majestic image of the Statue of Liberty is so firmly connected with the United States that it is hard to imagine it being anywhere else. In fact, the USA received Lady Liberty only when its designer's first choice rejected the gift. Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi visited Egypt as a young man and became captivated by... Continue Reading →

Rhubarb: It Has a Sound, Even if it Doesn’t Sound Tasty

When it comes to rhubarb, few people are undecided. People either love its taste or they hate it. Voices on either side are so loud that they can easily drown out another sound: the sound of rhubarb growing. One method of growing rhubarb is called "forced growth." Using this method, farmers keep the rhubarb outdoors for up... Continue Reading →

Do You Know the Real Names Of These Famous Fictional Characters?

Their faces are famous, and you may think you know their identities, but just how well do you these fictional characters? Test your knowledge of the full names of these famous figures. 1. Barbie Mattel has sold more than a billion Barbie dolls, but despite the toy's popularity, most people are unaware of the fact... Continue Reading →

You May Need to Adjust Your Clock … By 300 Years

Were you one of those history students who had difficulty grasping the details of the Middle Ages? Perhaps that's because the Middle Ages didn't actually take place. In 1986 Heribert Illig published Das erfundene Mittelalter (The Invented Middle Ages). He posits that a nearly-300 year period of time, AD 614–911, did not really take place... Continue Reading →

Dog Dinner Parties and Shoe Calendars: the Life of Francis Egerton

Francis Egerton, 3rd Duke of Bridgewater (May 21, 1736 – March 8, 1803), is remembered as the "father of British inland navigation." He is credited for the Bridgewater Canal, commonly identified as the said to be the first true canal the modern world. History also remembers him as one of its biggest eccentrics. Egerton loved... Continue Reading →

Keeping Up on the Rent, Even When the Property is Lost

For 800 years the city of London has been careful to make sure it pays its annual rent for two pieces of land it leases from the Crown. In its determination not to fall delinquent in payments, it unfortunately overlooked one thing: the location of these properties. It continues to pay the rent, even though... Continue Reading →

Step Aside, Wolverine; Meet the Horror Frog

Imagine a creature that can extend its bones through its hands as deadly claws. No, it's not a rip-off of Marvel Comic's superhero Wolverine. We are talking about a true-to-life marvel of nature known as the horror frog. Found in Central Africa, the horror frog (Trichobatrachus robustus) is also known as the hairy frog or... Continue Reading →

Don’t Judge a Product by its Name

In marketing, deciding product's name is the first big step to letting the world know why it needs that particular item. Unfortunately, the language barrier sometimes presents its own obstacles and sends an unintended message to the rest of the world. Consider some of the following products, whose names do not lend themselves well to... Continue Reading →

How Bad Scheduling and a Misguided Con Scheme Changed the World

Johannes Gutenberg (circa 1400 – February 3, 1468) was responsible for one of the pivotal inventions in all of history: the moveable-type printing press. That invention, more than any other, allowed mankind to begin to collect and disseminate its collective knowledge and progress into the scientific and industrial revolutions. It almost didn't happen. We owe... Continue Reading →

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