• 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?…

  • 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.…

  • 3 Insane Serial Killers Who Could Be Sitting Beside You Right Now

    Serial killers have become a point of fascination in recent years. From the amazing award-winning Bear Brook podcast to Mindhunter on Netflix, media producers guessed (correctly) the public would become captivated by these outliers of society.

    So today I wondered, would people also be interested in knowing about several notorious killers who could be sitting beside them in a cafe right now?

    Because here’s 3 of them.

    1. The Norwegian Kiss of Death

    Born on October 25, 1934, in Norway, Arnfinn Nesset was a manager at a nursing home who became one of the most notorious serial killers in Scandinavia.…

  • This Grandfather of a US President Made His Fortune Illegally in Prostitution and Gambling

    If that face above doesn’t look familiar to you, look a bit closer. He’s the grandfather of one of the most famous US presidents in the last 100 years.

    And he has quite the life story behind him.

    Born in the small Bavarian town of Kallstadt, modern-day Germany, Friedrich was the son of Christian and Katharina. Kallstadt at the time was a land known for viticulture, the caring for and harvesting of grapes destined for vineyards. But caring for grapes isn’t as blissful as the end-product tastes.…

  • The Telegram That Saved the World

    January of 1917 was a tumultuous time, to say the least. America had not yet joined the war. Germany and its allies looked to be on a winning trajectory. The world was fraught with fear.

    Over in the US, politics raged over whether or not to come to the assistance of the Allies. A lot of money was to be made in supplying the war effort by shipping ammunitions and material across the Atlantic.

    But there was one tiny speed bump — Germany’s U-boats.…

  • Shocking Origins of 5 Famous Nursery Rhymes

    We fondly remember nursery rhymes from our childhood. I’m sure you can even recall most of them by heart, or at least hum along when it pops up from time to time.

    But did you ever stop to wonder where these ancient rhapsodies came from? Turns out, a lot of them are a strange form of remembering famous events.

    Or more appropriately, infamous.

    Let’s dig into the stories behind 5 surprisingly dark nursery rhymes.

    5 Dark Nursery Rhyme Origins and Meanings1.…
  • What Year is it? The World’s Different Calendars and Years

    “Don’t just count your years, make your years count.” — George Meredith

    Time is a wonderful thing. Some people don’t think it exists. We know the theory of relativity challenged a lot of our preconceptions about the idea, too. The fact is, time for the most part in our silly little simian brains is a construct, a measurement of our surroundings.

    And since we are human, after all, the measurements that go into our time-based traditional calendars tend to be a little off, too.…

  • Halloween: Everything You Wanted to Know About the Spooky Holiday

    A few years ago, I was driving to a business meeting with a French colleague when I asked her what she was going to dress up as for Halloween. She replied curtly, “We don’t celebrate pagan holidays in France.”

    That’s when I realized two things:

    Growing up in Canada, I never thought of Halloween as having religious connotations. She’d probably make a good Grinch.

     

    It also sparked a curiosity I had never been satisfied with until just now. As in, here’s an article full of all the weird facts, history, and reasons behind what Halloween is today!…