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Forgotten History: The First Movie and the Scientific Question It Sought to Answer

The first films were little more than what we would consider short clips, a boxer throwing a single punch or train arriving at a station– the type of scenes that today you might only see in the form of animated gifs.  While popular perception is that movies got their start around the early twentieth century, the real seed that grew into the film industry came a few decades before that in Eadweard Muybridge’s truly revolutionary 1878 “Horse in Motion.” While it and hundreds of subsequent similar works Muybridge filmed wowed audiences the world over, this first film was not created to entertain, but to answer a question.

Does the U.S. President’s Dog Get Its Own Secret Service Agents?

Ryan asks: If the president has a pet dog, do their bodyguards also watch over his dog like they do his family?

The Origin of the Phrase “Jump on the Bandwagon”

Today I found out the origin of the phrase “jump on the bandwagon.” For those not familiar, when you jump on the bandwagon, it means you begin supporting a hobby, idea, person, etc.

Frogs and Milk- How to Keep Milk from Spoiling Without Refrigeration

For centuries, before refrigeration, an old Russian practice was to drop a frog into a bucket of milk to keep the milk from spoiling.

Mr. Toilet

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Sim Jae-duck is probably the only person in history who was born in a toilet, lived in a toilet, and died in one, too.

FACT OR FICTION?: A Young Bill Murray Was Arrested for Carrying 10 Pounds of Marijuana

Among those who use recreational drugs, Bill Murray is something of an icon, having played several pot-smoking characters over the years, including the cannabis-loving sea captain Steve Zissou from The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, and noted drug user Hunter S.

Why Marijuana Gives You the “Munchies”

If you’ve ever smoked marijuana, then you’ve probably had some experience watching all three Lord of the Rings movies while eating the most delicious steak you’ve ever had owing to the fact that you decided to cover it in peanut butter and jelly.

The Rubber Band, The Invention of Post it Notes, The Invention of the Cardboard Box, Why Area 51 is called that and More

In this week’s “best of” our YouTube channel, we look at the inventions of everyday items, where Area 51 and ambulances got there names, the story behind Lincoln’s beard and finally why there are Bibles in hotel rooms.

Should You Put Hydrogen Peroxide on Cuts and Why Does It Fizz?

Neal H. asks: Why do we put hydrogen peroxide on our cuts? As a child, did you ever skin your knee and fear telling your parents, afraid of your mom breaking out the brown bottle of pain containing hydrogen peroxide to “help heal” your wound?

When Did People Start Making Bread?

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader We hope you get a rise out of this story—it cost us a lot of dough to put it together, but it was the yeast we could do!

Can Sharks Really Grow an Unlimited Number of Teeth?

Ryan G. asks: Is it true that if a shark loses a tooth it just grows a new one? Is there a limit to how often a shark can do this?

Baseball’s Muddy Business and How It Might End

For major league pitchers, getting a grip on a baseball can get a bit muddy. That’s because, at least for now (this may well be changing in the next few years), every single baseball used in a major league game is coated with a little bit of actual mud, known as Lena Blackburne Original Baseball Rubbing Mud, which comes from a secret location on a tributary of the Delaware River in southern New Jersey.

Why is Ham Traditionally Eaten on Easter?

Rita H. asks: Why do we serve ham on Easter? Under Jewish dietary laws (called kashrut), eating pork in any form is strictly forbidden.

The Jiggly Origins of Jell-O, The Story of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Judge Judy, and More

In this week’s “best of” our YouTube channel, we look at the origins of Jell-O and the potato chip, how Judge Judy got her job, and much more .

The Vampire of Cinkota

Other than the fact that he killed at least 24 people, drained them of blood, pickled them in alcohol-filled metal drums and was never caught, there isn’t a lot to say about Bela Kiss- the Vampire of Cinkota… Kiss’ story begins in the town of Cinkota, Hungary (at the time about 7 miles or 11 kilometers outside of Budapest) in 1900, where he rented a house at 9 Kossuth Street.

Sue Me, Sue You Blues

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader The business side of music can be a world of cutthroat legal practices and endless litigation.

Picasso’s Doodles

With the possible exception of the mysterious, enigmatic figure known only as Bob Ross (see: The Surprisingly Mysterious Life of Famed Artist Bob Ross), Pablo Picasso is perhaps the most well-known artist from modern times.

Why “C” is the Default Hard Drive Letter in Many Computers

Julie N. asks: Why is “C” the default drive letter in computers? For nearly as long as hard disk drives have been placed in personal computers running certain popular operating systems (notably MS-DOS/Windows), the primary hard disk has been designated with the letter “C”.  But why?

The Morton’s Salt Girl

Most people are familiar with the “Morton”s Salt girl“. With her bright yellow dress, oversized umbrella, and leaking container of table salt, she’s an iconic figure in American grocery stores.

The Man Who Passed SAS Selection With a Shattered Ankle

The British Special Air Service, better known simply as the SAS has one of the toughest and most unforgiving selection processes of any military unit on Earth.