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The BrainFood Show Episode 1: Throwing Tomatoes

In this debut episode of our new The BrainFood Show podcast, we discuss the surprising similarities between online commenters and audiences throughout history, as well as how the practice of throwing tomatoes at performers got started.  We’ll also be looking at the various ways to monetize on youtube and websites and just generally explaining how all that works.

What Ever Happened to the Creator of Calvin and Hobbes?

Image from the cover of Exploring Calvin and Hobbes – An Exhibition Catalogue It was on November 18, 1985, when Calvin met Hobbes.

Why Do Drawn Hearts Look Nothing Like Real Hearts?

Mark R. asks: Why do drawn hearts look nothing like real hearts? Who first drew them this way? The heart symbol is one of the single most enduring and widely recognised symbols in modern culture.

How Do They Make White Gold White Given That It’s an Element?

Elizabeth F. asks: Is white gold really gold? If it is, how do they make it white when it’s an element?

That Time an Argument Over the Quality of Ale Resulted in a Battle Between Oxford Students and the Townsfolk

Oxford University is well known for being one of the most prestigious and elite places of learning in history.

Does the President Get Sick Days?

Joseph R.asks: What happens if the president is too sick to work? The president of the United States never technically takes a day off.

That Time Parisians Ate the Zoo

For four months from September 19, 1870 to January 28, 1871, the Prussian Army laid siege to the city of Paris, as part of the Franco-Prussian War.

26 Fascinating Football Facts

With the Super Bowl this weekend, we thought we’d do a “Football facts” roundup to help you impress your buddies with amazingly interesting Football knowledge.

What Ever Happened to Miss Cleo the TV Psychic?

Felix H. asks: Where did Miss Cleo disappear to? For those unfamiliar, around the turn of the century no psychic was more famous than the purportedly Jamaican-born Miss Cleo (née Youree Dell Harris) representing the Psychic Readers Network (PRN).

The Origin of Valentine’s Day

While not thought to be directly related to modern Valentine’s Day traditions, the beginnings of celebrating love (of a sort) in February date back to the Romans.

The Dome Dodgers

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Nobody likes to move—it’s a hassle to pack up all your stuff and head for someplace new and unfamiliar.

The London Garrotting Panic of the Mid-19th Century

Although crime in England’s capital was on the decline in the mid-19th century, thanks in part to the relatively recent formation of the London Metropolitan Police Force in 1839, fear of crime was a persistent, reoccurring issue thanks to a few instances of robbery and murder, and, of course, the news media.

A $25 Bonus- H. Tracy Hall and the Invention of the Synthetic Diamond

As you may know, naturally created diamonds are formed from carbon subjected to extreme pressure (725,000 pounds per square inch or so) and heat (1,650 to 2,370 °F) some 90-120 miles down.

How Did the Practice of Women Jumping Out of Giant Cakes Start?

Diane F. asks: Who started the tradition of girls jumping out of cakes? Almost everyone has seen depicted the bizarre bachelor party tradition of a scantily-clad woman jumping out of a giant cake.

The Bizarre Spending Habits of Nicolas Cage

At one point in time, Nicolas Coppola, better known as Nicolas Cage (he changed his last name so as not to seem to be trying to cash in on his uncle, Francis Ford Coppola’s, name), was among the highest paid actors in the world, earning some $40 million in a year at the apex of his success.

Will Hospitals Give Back an Amputated Limb if You Ask For It?

Ron G. asks: Your donating bodies to science article left me wondering. What do hospitals do with limbs of people they amputate?

The Difficult Decisions of Robert E. Lee

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader If you look back on your life, you can probably point to a time or two where you were faced with a really tough decision.

How Do They Train Drug Sniffing Dogs?

Jesse K. asks: How are drug sniffing dogs trained? I mean, they don’t have them actually sniff drugs, right?

Stabbing Bed Bugs, Lloyd Christmas, Cliff from CliffsNotes and More in Yet Another 10 Quick Facts

1026:  Bed bugs reproduce via the male bed bug literally stabbing the female in the abdomen with his hypodermic genitalia rather than using the female’s reproductive tract.  Once he’s stabbed the female, he then releases his sperm insider her body cavity.

The Curious Case of Giant Concrete Arrows That Stretched from New York to California

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader DAY TRIPPERS When the U.S. Post Office introduced airmail service in 1920, the mail could only be flown during daylight hours, when pilots could see where they were going.