Monthly Archive: March 2014

New Beer’s Eve: The Ultimate Post-Prohibition Party

Prohibition caused a whole host of problems for the United States, and when it ended on April 7, 1933, the streets were packed with people celebrating. April 6 was affectionately known as New Beer’s Eve, and at midnight, alcohol returned to the streets. New Beer’s Eve is still sporadically celebrated, along with the weird history of the end of Prohibition.

What The American Flag Salute Once Looked Like

It was called the Bellamy Salute, after the Socialist Baptist minister who wrote the Pledge of Allegiance. Originally, there was no right and wrong way to salute the American flag while reciting the declaration of loyalty every schoolchild knows by heart. When Congress met after World War I to standardize the salute that would be performed before the flag, they settled on one in which the pledge would be started by the person with their hand on their heart, and halfway through they would extend their arm, palm up, in a gesture of respect. Until, that is, Hitler decided to use almost the exact same thing.

The Amazing Real-Life Version Of The Tortoise And The Hare

The story of the tortoise and the hare is a well-known children’s tale that aims to teach the importance of steadiness over speed. While it makes sense in theory and might even have been true in ancient times, it doesn’t necessarily hold true in today’s world. One notable exception is the case of Cliff Young, who went on to win a race the exact same way as the tortoise in the tale, with his competitors even sleeping midway to let him take over.

The Color Of The Universe Is Constantly Changing

A couple of scientists at Johns Hopkins were curious about the color of the universe, so they decided to try to figure it out. After measuring the light given off from 200,000 different galaxies and blending the samples together, they found that it’s a rather boring shade of beige. More than that, however, the colors of the universe have told them just what’s happening to stars, and the colors that it’s been and that it’s becoming have shown the increasing maturity of the galaxy.

The Bizarre Plan To Resurrect George Washington

After George Washington died, his physician and close friend, William Thornton, announced a bizarre plan to revive the deceased president. He proposed thawing Washington’s frozen body, introducing air into his lungs through a hole in his trachea, and giving him a transfusion of warm lamb’s blood. Luckily, his morbid offer was declined.

The Day That Gravity (Allegedly) Weakened

Patrick Moore was a British astronomer with a sense of humor. On April 1, 1976 (and the date should have been the first clue) he announced on BBC 2 that an unusual planetary alignment was going to be taking place at exactly 9:47 AM, making Earth’s gravity momentarily weaker. Countless people jumped into the air when he told them to, and then called in to report their various experiences. And 35 years later, the hoax is still going strong.

The Literal Music Of The Stars

Singers aren’t the only stars that make beautiful music. Surprisingly, the stars in outer space also compose a symphony of melodic sounds. Though in science class students only learn that stars can be seen, stars can also be heard. Just like vocalists, every star has a different sound, tone, and pitch. The smallest stars can be thought of as flutes, the medium-sized as trombones, and the largest as deep tubas. All contribute to the stellar orchestra.

Stalin Liked To Deface Pictures Of Nude Men

Head of the Communist Party, instrumental in establishing the Soviet Union, responsible for the deaths of millions . . . and nude art critic. Joseph Stalin had something of an odd hobby, and that was writing vaguely humorous or downright strange pieces of commentary on prints of paintings by 19th-century artists. Some historians use the drawings as reasons to question Stalin’s sexual orientation, while others say he merely had the humor of a schoolboy.