Author: Ian Fortey

Every summer in cities across the world construction projects begin that cause detours and traffic jams and seem to take weeks or even months. They can be noisy and frustrating and an eyesore until they’re done. And they’re also just barely a splash in the pan compared to some of these projects which took decades.…

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In an ideal world everyone gets along, no one hates anyone and we certainly never try to ruin anyone’s career or life or anything else, for that matter. But when has the world even been ideal? We can’t even keep sabotage out of the world of pop culture which is mostly just dedicated to keeping…

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Modern medicine is a term we use to describe what is generally considered the best and most advanced kind of health care we have available. This is in contrast to things like ancient Chinese medicine or old school quackery and ill-informed procedures like lobotomies and trepanning and such. But there are a number of treatments…

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By the time you’re old enough to walk your parents will probably have put some serious effort into trying to get you to understand the difference between what’s safe to eat and what isn’t. We have symbols on packaging to let us know if some things are poisonous and then rules and regulations for other…

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The military has long had its own set of rules and regulations that are overseen by military courts. Often, the military justice system exists outside the one that applies to the rest of us and they handle their issues internally. And sometimes the investigators in the military are tasked with looking into issues they think…

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Throughout history there have been numerous events that were left mostly unexplained by those who witnessed them. Incidents where people all began to act mysteriously and demonstrate symptoms that seemingly made no sense, like nuns that bark or children that can’t stop laughing. As quickly as they come, they often fade away and few people…

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People sometimes talk about that eureka moment when something occurs to them, and a great discovery is made. And it’s called a moment because it seems like it happens instantly. But if you spend years working on something before that moment, did it really happen instantly? Or was it a discovery years in the making?…

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The world is full of con artists and frauds who are highly skilled at playing people. Some of their victims are too trusting, some too gullible. But sometimes even the best of us can get taken in by a fraud who just went above and beyond to convince us that they were legitimate. If someone…

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Every month of every year, all across the globe, cities and towns and even tiny villages are celebrating one festival or another for countless reasons. Some are religious, some are to celebrate the harvest, the passing of seasons, local heroes, historic events, you name it. You can’t keep a good festival down. But for all…

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Research has suggested that, in the last 50 years, animal populations have fallen by a stunning 70%. In the greater world at large it’s not just animals that vanish, it’s just about everything you can think of. When’s the last time you saw a rotary phone? A cassette player? Animals, companies, technology, even countries come…

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In movies people hire private detectives to catch cheating spouses or find missing people all the time. In real life that goes on, but they also get hired by corporate clients to investigate competitors, clients, and even their own staff members for a variety of reasons. In most cases this is probably pretty standard stuff;…

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When the police get in the news these days it’s almost never for a good reason. Over 1,000 people per year are shot by police. There’s also evidence police have seized nearly $70 billion since the year 2000 from ordinary citizens through the process of civil asset forfeiture whether the people are criminals or not.…

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When you’re a child, your parents have to teach you what’s dangerous or else you’ll probably bumble your way into all kinds of chaos and trauma. Hot stoves, sharp knives, electrical outlets, there are all kinds of hazards that look great to you as a toddler but you need to learn they are dangerous. Ironically,…

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The word “chemical” brings to mind a lot of imagery of science labs and dangerous compounds, even though everything has a chemical structure from corn syrup, which is C6H14O7 to good ol’ water which everyone knows as H2O. So a chemical compound can take literally any form, some of which are harmless, some of which…

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Language can be a very slippery thing some days. We can play fast and loose with the rules of language and grammar to the point that words can end up meaning totally different things over time, like how literally has gradually come to mean the exact opposite thing. We also routinely make up new words…

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Everything comes from somewhere, as vague a statement as that may be. But sometimes the origins of things can be surprising, like how bagpipes don’t come from Scotland or pasta doesn’t come from Italy. And then there’s another level of surprising origins when you discover that multiple things all come from the same place.  10.…

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Every age probably thinks of itself as pretty enlightened. Today, we all seem to be fairly certain that we know how the world works but we can still see examples of people believing some stunningly foolish things all the time. In the future, it’s very likely people will be writing articles about the world of…

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Short of going back in time, the best way most of us have to get a feel for what battle was like back in the day is by watching TV and movies. Unfortunately, both of these have bred a number of misconceptions about what went on in ancient warfare. Such as… 10. Spartans Were Great…

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