The image of Col. Harlan Sanders tends to evoke happy thoughts. The founder and symbol of Kentucky Fried Chicken is a grandfatherly, pleasant-looking chap. The last thing you would associate with him […]
What Happens When You Declare War and Forget About It?
Robert E. Lee famously said, “It is well that war is so terrible, or we should grow too fond of it.” Whether terrible or otherwise, war should be so significant that it […]
How a Full Bladder Started a Bloody War
Not to be indelicate, but there are some things we just can’t control. After all, when you’ve got to go, you’ve got to go. While it is true that some of us […]
The Unsolved Mystery of the WWII Ghost Blimp
It had been only ten months since the United States entered World War II. The country was on high alert, particularly on the west coast. Fears of Japanese attacks prompted the authorities […]
Are You Afflicted by Retired Husband Syndrome?
Most happily married couples look forward to opportunities to spend extended time together. As retirement years approach, they begin to dream about all the things they will be able to enjoy together […]
Exploring the Weird, Funny, and (Un)Useless Inventions of Chindogu
The philosophy of Commonplace Fun Facts centers around the principle that there is no such this as “useless knowledge.” Perhaps that is why we found ourselves drawn to a practice of developing […]
The Fearsome Foot That Terrified and Trampled Japanese Homes
Japan is a land rich with folklore. It is also the land that gave us Godzilla and many other iconic monsters. This predilection for mythology and gargantuan creatures comes together in the […]
“A Cacophony of Hell” — The Terrifying Crocodile Massacre at the Battle of Ramree Island
War can be terrifying enough when humans are the only combatants. Imagine how much worse it can be when nature takes sides. Such was the case during the Battle of Ramree Island […]
The Geographic Knowledge of Britney Spears
An earlier Commonplace post noted that the music of Britney Spears is one of the most effective deterrents to Somali pirates. Lest that be construed as some kind of derogatory judgment on […]
The World Record for the Most World Records
What must it be like to be recognized as the best in the entire world at something? There can only be one recipient of the most honorary degrees, owner of the biggest […]
Which Costs More — A Volkswagen Beetle or a Stag Beetle?
If you are in the market for a beetle and you find yourself on a tight budget, which should you buy — the insect or the car that bears its name? Contrary […]
Visit the Island Where Rabbits Reign
Readers of this site know that rabbits can be fearsome creatures that have struck terror in the hearts of the President Jimmy Carter and Napoleon Bonaparte. Most people, however, think of rabbits […]
USS William D. Porter: The Navy’s Unluckiest Ship
When a new ship is commissioned, those associated with the vessel always have high hopes that it will be remembered. For those connected with the USS William D. Porter, that goal was […]
A Company with a 1,400-Year History
When it comes to having a proud corporate history, no company can outdo Japan’s Kongō Gumi Co., Ltd. Established in 578 AD, it is the oldest, continually operating company in the world.
Does Finland Really Exist?
You’ve heard the conspiracy theories about Area 51, that Paul McCartney died in 1967, and that “conspiracy theories” are just a big conspiracy. Did you know that every time you looked at […]