This Is Why Teens Generally Don’t Get to Choose Their Names

In 2008 19-year-old George Garratt legally changed his name to "Captain Fantastic Faster Than Superman Spiderman Batman Wolverine Hulk And The Flash Combined." He said he wanted to "be unique." Not to be outdone, these guys went a step further a couple of years later.  They still didn't match the complexity of this fellow, whose given... Continue Reading →

Scramble for a Top Scrabble Score

Why would you need to know about oxyphenbutazone? If you have an interest in medicine, you need to know it as a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug. If you are a Scrabble player, however, you definitely want to store it away in your memory because it can bring you more points than any other word. Playing under American rules,... Continue Reading →

Nothing Half-Baked About First Televised Toy Commercial

The first toy commercial to appear on television was for Hasbro's Mr. Potato Head in 1952. Watch the commercial here. Unlike today's version of the popular toy, the 1952 version required children to use a real potato and affix plastic eyes, mouths, and ears. It wasn't until 1964 that a plastic potato came with the kit,... Continue Reading →

Meet the Man Who Made Us Marvel

Stan Lee has almost mythical standing among comic book aficionados. Without him, the world would never have heard of Spider-Man, the Hulk, the Avengers, the Fantastic Four, Iron Man, or any of the other 350 comic book characters that sprang from his fertile mind (see the list here). Born Stanley martin Lieber on December 28, 1922,... Continue Reading →

LEGO Never Tires of Making Tires

When it comes to the business of making tires, the LEGO toy company doesn't play around. In 2012 LEGO was awarded the Guinness World Record for "Largest Tire Manufacturer Per Year" in recognition of the 318 million tires produced annually. That amounts to a staggering 870,000 per day. The competition doesn't even come close. Consider... Continue Reading →

Mark Twain: Patently Multi-Talented

Mark Twain was much more than an accomplished author. He was also an inventor who was awarded patents for three different innovative devices. Ironically, because of his inventions, this well-known author's most profitable book was blank. A lifelong lover of scrapbooks, Twain thought there had to be a better way to save pictures and clippings. When... Continue Reading →

Balloon Spectacle or Ecological Debacle?

The date: September 27, 1986. The location: Cleveland, Ohio. The occasion: a fundraiser for the United Way and an opportunity to break the world record for the largest simultaneous release of helium balloons. What could possibly go wrong? For weeks volunteers worked in preparation for the big event. As the big day dawned, 2,500 volunteers... Continue Reading →

And This Was Supposed to Be a Children’s Toy?

Hasbro introduced a toy in 1962 called "Flubber" (tied to the movie Son of Flubber). It was made from synthetic rubber and mineral oil. Unfortunately, it made people sick. In 1963 it was recalled when more than 1,600 people developed sore throats, rashes and other reactions from contact with the stuff. What do you do with... Continue Reading →

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