• The Hanging Gardens of Babylon: A Brief History

    The city of Babylon was one of the most important cities in all of ancient Mesopotamia. It dates back to at least 4,000 B.C. and remained a major metropolis for many centuries after that. Not only was Babylon the capital of the Babylon empire, but it was considered the largest city in the world twice in its history, around 1770 BC and then once more in 610 BC.

    And what does one do with the grandest largest city in the world?…

  • How Stonehenge Was Gifted to the British People

    My folks’ anniversary is coming up, so I’m sure they’re both working on a master plan to outdo the other with their gifts. But I’d be shocked if they could outdo this guy’s “gift.”

    Cecil Chubb once bought Stonehenge in 1915 using money from his brother-in-law’s inheritance, gifted to the couple.

    The price?

    A tidy little sum of £6,600, which would be over half a million in today’s equivalent. But it wasn’t just a nice gift for his wife with her money, he had another important reason — keeping it out of the hands of dirty, nasty, foreigners!…

  • Ultra Rich People Problems: They Used to Hire Real-Life Garden Gnomes to Live on Their Estates

    I’m sure you’ve spotted them in your many travels. Some of you may have even had the bad luck of knocking one over, spilling out their ceramic guts onto the soft earth below.

    Of course, I’m talking about garden gnomes.

    Those silent g-having faux-furry little creepy beasts that adorn so many of our front lawns, lord knows why.

    But rewind 300 years ago, and you probably wouldn’t have wanted to spill one of their guts out on the ground. There’d be a lot more blood and probably a few screams.…

  • We’re All Living in Potemkin Village

    I noticed an interesting building facade the other day. It stood out to me as I’ve looked at that exact building at least 50 times and never noticed the feature before. In the old wild west, they would’ve called it a ‘false front’.

    It’s where the front of the building extends upwards beyond the actual roof, with nothing of substance situated behind it. If you’ve ever seen a Western film, they were the tall flimsy wooden front-facing walls of the Main Street buildings.…

  • The Printing Press: The Story of the Greatest Invention in History

    What is the greatest invention in human history? It’s definitely an arguable point, that’s for sure.

    Some scholars say it was the wheel, as it allowed us to move great distances much faster. Others like to point to nails and screws, as they gave us the ability to create structures, from small chairs to giant buildings.

    The combustible engine, for crossing great distances. The telephone, for making long-distance dating a plausible thing (ya right).

    Perhaps you’re more inclined to look at the medical side of things.…

  • Crying, Cheating, and Croaking - 4 Powerful People Who Died While Cheating on Their Spouses

    “We have reason to believe that man first walked upright to free his hands for masturbation.” ― Lily Tomlin

    Not all good stories have a happy ending.

    When people make the ultimate commitment to their significant others, they state their vows and live happily ever after until the very end.

    Usually.

    But sometimes those two points can intersect in a naughty fashion. That’s what happened to these 5 people who died making love and breaking their vows at the same time.…

  • How Star Trek Helped Elect a U.S. President

    I’ve always been a bit of a low-key Trekkie myself — I’m a huge fan of the movies and watched The Next Generation after school almost every day growing up.

    And there are millions of us out there.

    But I never imagined in my wildest dreams that Trekkies could have a huge impact on the world at large. Especially not starting a domino effect leading to the election of a president of the United States.

    And yet here we are.

    Star Trek continues

    A new iteration of the Star Trek series came out in January of 1995, Star Trek: Voyager.…

  • The Surprising Story of The Satanic Temple and Satanism

    Lucien Greaves is by all accounts an honorable and decent man. He donates to charities. He organizes scholarships for young students. He started an organization called the Protect Children Project which aims to eliminate corporal punishment in America’s schools.

    Yet, he receives death threats almost daily from established groups around the country.

    Because Lucien Greaves is the founder of The Satanic Temple.

    Don’t Judge a Book by its Cover

    If someone believes the following, what kind of a person do you think they’d be?…

  • The History Behind the Nobel Prize

    “Everybody’s a mad scientist, and life is their lab.” — David Cronenberg

    Alf was born in Stockholm, Sweden in the black and white years of 1833 to an intelligent but relatively poor family. His father, a generalist, had the various occupations of engineer, inventor, and architect.

    Some of his genes passed onto his 8 children, as the 4 who survived childhood in the harsh environment all went on to dominate their chosen careers.

    But even among future industrial giants, Alf was a bit different.…

  • Why One Life-Saving Vaccine Worked Great and Another Didn’t

    Not all vaccines are created equal. At least in the eyes of different groups of people, that is.

    But one of the most widely adopted vaccines in recent years has been for Hepatitis B. It’s is a terrible virus that infects the liver, eventually causing cirrhosis, cancer, and possibly death in around 25% of the cases. It’s neither a small problem nor a new one.

    Every year we see around 350 million people worldwide — including 1.5 million in the US — living with a chronic ongoing form of the virus.…