Who hasn’t misplaced something? We waste so much time looking for car keys, reading glasses, and the television remote. We turn over every seat cushion and look under the sofa, only to […]
That Time the USA Accidentally Launched a Missile at Mexico
Even the best-intentioned friend can make a mistake. If you borrow your buddy’s car and accidentally scratch the paint, it’s embarrassing. If in your excitement at a ball game, you wave your […]
Colorado’s Constitution Requires Voters to Approve Nuclear Explosions
It’s probably safe to say that you wouldn’t want a nuclear explosion in your backyard. All things being equal, you likely would prefer that your neighborhood remain free of nuclear fallout. Would […]
How the Baby Ruth Candy Bar Influenced the Bombing of Hiroshima
This morning’s headlines are filled with reports of war, pandemic, political turmoil, and — perhaps most distressingly — further chronicles in the lives of a couple of people named Harry and Meghan. […]
JFK Checked to Make Sure Santa Was Safe From Russian Nuke Tests
With all the responsibilities that fall upon the President of the United States, it’s nice to know he has time to check in on the welfare of Santa Claus.
For 50 Years the U.S. Nuclear Computer Used 8-Inch Floppy Disks
In the 1983 movie WarGames, NORAD’s computer system is so sophisticated that it becomes sentient and assumes control of the nation’s nuclear arsenal. The film leaves its viewers pondering the wisdom of […]
Did the USSR Have Nukes Aimed at a Hot Dog Stand?
The elite command and military intelligence officers of the United States gathered every day at a high-security location. The timing of their meetings left no doubt that it was not a coincidence. […]
That Time a Missile Successfully Struck a U.S. Military Base — and Why It Didn’t Start WWIII
It was during some of the scariest days of the Cold War that the submarine surfaced off the coast of the United States. On the submarine was the most powerful cruise missile […]
How Did Lightning Nearly Trigger World War III?
Alarms sounded in military installations all around the world, reporting the unthinkable. A nuclear detonation had just been detected in Bell Island, Newfoundland. Satellites designed to notify military and government leaders of […]
Stand Up and Salute Some Supremely Strange Flags
Thanks to The Big Bang Theory’s “Fun With Flags” feature, we have seen a noticeable increase in our articles about flags. In recognition of this interest in vexillology, we present you with […]
It’s the End of the World As We Know It…. And We’re Still Waiting
If you spend any amount of time looking at the headlines, you might wonder whether humanity’s clock is about to run out. If so, you would not be the first to come […]
How a John Wayne Movie Killed Nearly Half of its Cast and Crew
In terms of its artistic legacy, The Conqueror leaves much to be desired. Routinely making the listing of “The Worst Movies Ever Made,” the 1956 movie starring John Wayne was an unfortunate […]
Some of the Articles We Never Got Around To
“How do you come up with ideas for articles on Commonplace Fun Facts?” Not a week goes by without that question being posed to members of the Commonplace creative team. The tone […]
Using a Nuke to Put Out a Fire
Since the dawn of the nuclear age, much of the diplomatic and military strategies of nations have centered around preventing the world from going up in flames in a nuclear holocaust. Some […]
Was the USA Nuclear Launch Code Really ‘00000000’?
In the 1983 movie WarGames, the fictional W.O.P.R. succeeds in hacking NORAD’s launch code, revealed to be “CPE1704TKS.” National security experts at the time reassured the public that the movie was a […]