Monthly Archive: September 2014

The Scientific Reason Beer Goggles Are Real

Your buddy’s just woken up next to someone he wouldn’t look twice at on any other day, and he claims it was only because of beer goggles. While it might be tempting to call him out on just how unlikely that is, it’s actually been scientifically proven that beer goggles are a real thing. It all has to do with not just a lowering of our inhibitions with alcohol, but also with how alcohol changes our ability to perceive symmetry in faces—and therefore, altering how attractive we think someone really is.

The Most Dangerous Toy In The World (Cost $50)

A.C. Gilbert was the founder of one of the largest toy companies in the world—even if you don’t know his name, you know the toys he created. While many of the Gilbert toys, like the Erector set, were educational toys that would result in a few pinched fingers at worst, others ranged from bizarre to downright deadly. Their microscope kits came complete with insect parts, while their Gilbert Kaster Kit allowed kids to use molten metal to pour their own die-cast figures. And we can’t forget about the Atomic Energy Lab, which came with a few different kinds of uranium and instructions for mining your own.

The Bogus Haunting That Fooled A King

People conning each other is as old as history. While we in the modern age are taken in by sophisticated scams, in the more simple time of the Middle Ages, cons would seem childish and even comic in our eyes. One such hilarious scheme was pulled of by a group of monks, who instigated a haunting straight out of Scooby Doo to scam the King of France into handing over royal property.

The First Commercial Jingle Saved A Cereal Icon

Long before jingles on TV commercials became mainstream, these short, memorable tunes made their debut on radio stations. Of course, advertisements, and even musical ads, were around since the very beginning of radio, but it wasn’t until 1926 that General Mills introduced the first, legitimate commercial jingle. The ditty was promoting Wheaties breakfast cereal and was so successful that it saved the brand and motivated businesses everywhere to create their own jingles.

The First Computer Programmers Were Women

In today’s universities, computer science course work is statistically dominated by men. However, the study of computing and automated arithmetic has not always been so male-dominated. In fact, the person regarded as the “world’s first programmer” was Ada Lovelace, the daughter of writer Lord Byron. Her contributions included designing an algorithm for execution on a theoretical adding machine.

The Tragic Tale Of Victor Jara’s Last Song

On September 11, 1973, residents of Santiago, Chile awoke to chaos. Fighter jets were bombing the president’s palace, tanks had taken to the streets and ordinary Chileans were being rounded up and tortured in the city’s sports stadiums. One of those detained was folk singer Victor Jara, whose incarceration, mutilation, and brutal murder would come to symbolize the tragic cruelty of the Pinochet regime.

The Weird Case Of The Electric Sugar Fraud

The late 1800s were a time of industrial innovation, so we can almost understand why investors would be eager to believe that one man had come up with a way to revolutionize sugar refining. They invested hundreds of thousands of dollars, and the whole thing went on for years before they finally realized it was all a massive hoax, and the owners of the company were simply swapping out refined sugar for raw, with no machinery or technology whatsoever.