history
Why We Say “O’Clock”

The practice of saying "o'clock" is simply a remnant of simpler times when clocks weren't very prevalent and people told time by a variety of means, depending on where they were and what references were available. Read More >>

design
Why Screws Tighten Clockwise

One of the six simple machines, a screw is nothing more than an inclined plane wrapped around a centre pole. While today screws come in standard sizes, and typically are tightened by turning clockwise (and loosened by turning anti-clockwise), this is a recent invention. A great example of how things that seem simple can be really hard to do right, the development of the predicable system we enjoy today took 2,000 years to invent. Read More >>

happy hour
The US Once Poisoned Alcohol Supplies to Scare People Away From Drinking

Today I found out that in an effort to scare people away from drinking alcohol, the American government once poisoned certain alcohol supplies; this resulted in the death of over 10,000 American Citizens. Read More >>

happy hour
Everything There is to Know About Beer’s Most Important Ingredient

For millions of drinkers, it is perhaps the most important ingredient in the world. Read More >>

gaming
Pong Was Never Supposed to be Released to the Public

"Pong" was originally meant only as a training exercise for a new gaming developer at Atari, Allan Alcorn, and wasn't intended to be released as a consumer product. Read More >>

medicine
How One Man’s Blood Donations Saved Over Two Million Lives

Today I found out about a man who saved over two million lives just by donating his somewhat unique blood plasma. Read More >>

giz explains
How Hot Dogs are Made and What’s Actually Inside

After the steaks, chops, breasts, ribs, thighs, hams, tenderloins and briskets are removed, there's a fair amount of gristle, fat and offal remaining on a butchered animal, and early on, people realised this could be put to good use. One of these products is the hot dog, a classic of pre-cooked, processed meat. Read More >>

history
“Blowing Smoke Up Your Arse” Used to be Literal

When someone is "blowing smoke up your arse" today, it is a figure of speech that means that one person is complimenting another, insincerely most of the time, in order to inflate the ego of the individual being flattered. Back in the late 1700s, however, doctors literally blew smoke up people's rectums. Read More >>

science
Why Our Bodies Actually Age

Gray hair, memory loss, wrinkles and brittle bones, sooner or later, each of us gets old (if we're lucky). Yet scientists tell us that there is no evolutionary reason for us to age. So why do we? Read More >>

movies
The Men Inside of R2-D2 and C-3PO Actually Hated Each Other

In 1975, George Lucas was casting for his upcoming sci-fi film The Star Wars (name later changed to simply Star Wars. After a joint casting session with Brian De Palma, who was looking to hire actors for his new horror movie Carrie, Lucas was able to cast many of his principal actors. He decided on two young no-names, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill, as well as a friend from his previous film, American Graffiti, Harrison Ford, to portray the three main characters; Princess Leia, Luke Skywalker, and Han Solo. Read More >>

science
The Life-Saving Science Behind Sunscreen

Every summer we slather layers of sunscreen with the highest SPF we can find, and bravely venture outside hoping our slimy cloak will shield us from the sun's death rays. So how does this work? Read More >>

science
Can Eating Poppy Seeds Really Cause You to Fail a Drug Test?

When Elaine on Seinfeld failed a drug test after eating a poppy seed muffin back in the 1996 episode "The Shower Head," the idea that you could fail a drug test after eating poppy seeds took off. Turns out, this wasn't yet another Hollywood writer invention—you really can potentially fail a drug test if you eat poppy seeds. Read More >>

booze
A Brief History of Beer

Beer brewing and drinking are activities that have been part of the human experience seemingly since the dawn of civilisation. Around 10,000 years ago, mankind began to move away from living life as nomadic hunter gatherers, and began settling down in one spot to farm the land. Grain, a vital ingredient in beer making, was cultivated by these new agricultural societies. Read More >>

history
That Time the Whac-A-Mole Inventor Accidentally Blew Up His Warehouse

It was lunch time on a muggy late September day in 2013 when an explosion shook downtown Orlando, Florida. A warehouse on west Jefferson street was the casualty. Police cars, ambulances, and fire trucks were already on their way by the time Tim Roth, a good Samaritan, was on the scene. As he searched through the rubble and debris for injured humans, what he found was something else entirely. Read More >>