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Why Does Soda Taste Significantly Better When Carbonated vs. Flat?

Tyler K. asks: Why does soda taste worse when it’s flat? A notion that will come as a surprise to just about no one is that most people think soda and other carbonated drinks taste significantly better when they still contain a lot of fizz as opposed to being “flat.” It turns out that, contrary to popular belief, this phenomenon has nothing to do with bubbles popping on your tongue or the like.

Tinkle Bells, the Parasitic Poop Twig, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Marketing Stunt and more, in a Special Christmas Quick Fact List

1016: Mistletoe tends to spring from bird droppings that have fallen on trees, with the seeds having passed through the digestive tract of birds.

The Man Who Put the Chicle in Chiclets

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader CHEWING THROUGH HISTORY People have been chewing gum (and gumlike substances) since ancient times.

The McDonald’s Monopoly Scam: Operation Final Answer

McDonald’s first started the Monopoly promotion in 1987, and its premise was simple: attach Monopoly pieces to food cartons and cups, with each piece signifying a Monopoly property or a small prize.

Becoming Santa

Born in 1955 in Baltimore, Jonathan Meath studied at New York University, graduating with honors in 1979 before embarking on a lucrative career as a children’s television producer, with arguably his most famous credit being that of senior producer for almost 300 episodes of Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?

Does Tapping on a Shaken Soda Can Actually Reduce Fizz?

Michael P. asks: Does tapping on the top of a shaken pop can really prevent it from fizzing up? For the uninitiated, it’s commonly held that when opening a recently shaken can of soda, you can avoid, or at least reduce, the inevitable shower of sugary carbonated liquid by simply tapping the top or side of the can briskly with your finger a couple dozen times.

The Curious Case of the Fruit That Transforms Sour to Sweet

Growing on tall shrubs with dense foliage, the small, red, mildly sweet berries known as miracle fruit seemingly magically can turn sour flavors sweet.

The Many Myths Surrounding the Pilgrims and Thanksgiving

Myth: Pilgrims wore black and white clothing with buckled top hats. The myth that they dressed like this stems from a popular clothing style in England in the late 17th century, which carried over to 18th and 19th century artist depictions of Pilgrims.

Why Do We Eat Turkey on Thanksgiving?

Katie H. asks: Why do we eat turkey on thanksgiving when the pilgrims didn’t? Every year on the fourth Thursday in November, over three hundred million Americans sit down at a table filled with culinary delights.

The Curious Case of Hermits for Hire

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader What do millionaires do to show off their wealth?

Gravy Stockings and TNT Hair Dye – Fashion in WW2

LONDON IN THE SPRING OF 1941: EVERYDAY LIFE IN LONDON, ENGLAND© IWM (D 2937) For fashion, even war is no excuse to let standards slip, as many British women found out during WW2.

The Curious Case of Gregory Packer- The Everyman

For over two decades now, if the New York news (or any other present) needs a soundbite or quote from an “everyman” or “man on the street” to round off a story, there has been one man they’ve been able to rely on with an almost staggering level of consistency- Gregory Packer.

What Caused the Red Rain of Kerala?

Between July 25 and September 23, 2001, the people of the southern India state of Kerala witnessed, on numerous occasions an extraordinary sight: blood colored rain.

How Metals are Made

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Do you have a ring on your finger? Is it made from gold, silver, platinum, or another natural metal?

Weekly Wrap Volume 168

This is a weekly wrap of our popular Daily Knowledge Newsletter. You can get that newsletter for free here.

Is Water Fluoridation Bad for You?

Clark H. asks: I see you’re taking on many controversies like salt and aspartame. Any chance of you looking at the health risks fluoridation of water?

Did People in the Middle Ages Really Throw Fecal Matter Out of Their Windows?

Aaron H. asks: Did people in England really empty their chamber pots directly into the streets? Although Medieval Britons weren’t exactly the cleanest lot by modern standards (though contrary to popular belief, despite some well-known exceptions, they did, in general, bathe in some form or another relatively regularly), the idea of them just dropping trou and dumping half a pound of fecal matter into the street below isn’t exactly a fair or representative image.

The Man Who Was Nominated for the Nobel Prize 84 Times, But Never Won

Personally nominated for the Nobel Prize a record 84 times, Arnold Johannes Wilhelm Sommerfeld was one of the most influential physicists of all time, both because of his own accomplishments in the field and the many dozens of his students who turned into superstars in the world of science (including having four doctoral students go on to win the Nobel Prize, along with three of his other postgraduate students also taking home the award- the most eventual Nobel laureates all taught by one person).

Secrets of the Avocado

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Inside that textured green skin, it’s ripe with mystery.

The Curious Case of Merkins (aka The “Vagina Wig”)

Called by some a “vagina wig,” the Oxford English Dictionary defines the noun, merkin, as “an artificial covering of hair for the female pubic region.” And although given the recent popularity of meticulous waxing and grooming of one’s nether regions you may think the merkin must be a modern invention, in fact, it has actually been around for at least five centuries.