The Oxford English Dictionary defines “poison” as “a substance that is capable of causing the illness or death of a living organism when introduced or absorbed.” At first glance, that seems to […]
Was Elizabeth I Poisoned By Her Makeup?
”If looks could kill…” No, we’re not talking about the imperious glare for which Queen Elizabeth I was feared. The killing looks in this case refer to the appearance of Her Majesty. […]
Why Are There No Rats in Alberta, Canada?
The official editorial position of Commonplace Fun Facts takes a skeptical view toward government programs. We adhere to Ronald Reagan’s warning, “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, ‘I’m […]
This Is One Sandbox You Won’t Want to Play In
Few things can seem more suited for children than a sandbox. It is a place of safety, creativity, and playfulness. For that reason, if you have young children, you might be inclined […]
This Tree Is So Deadly That You Can’t Even Stand Near It Without Danger
Joyce Kilmer wrote, “I think that I shall never see a poem as lovely as a tree…” Kilmer intended to express the beauty and serenity embodied by trees. If Kilmer’s inspiration had […]
Copycat Children Get Sick After Watching Disney Film
The Disney film The Princess and the Frog was released on December 11, 2009. Within a month of its release, over fifty children in the United States were hospitalized for salmonella poisoning. In the […]
Nutmeg: the Deadly Drug Hidden in Your Spice Cabinet
It just wouldn’t be Christmas without nutmeg. The tasty spice found in virtually every kitchen adds just the right zing to pumpkin pie, eggnog, mulled cider, wassail, and countless other holiday dishes. […]
The Toxic Tale of the Murder Tree
When it comes to murder mysteries, we typically don’t consider trees when trying to figure out who the killer might be. Perhaps that’s just one of the reasons it has taken so […]
Meet Michael Malloy: The Man Who Wouldn’t Die
If things get so desperate for you that you contemplate killing someone to collect on insurance, be sure you find a cooperative victim. That lesson was learned the hard way by […]
The Seeds of Death
Castor oil has been used for centuries as a laxative and all-purpose curative. Ironically, the same plant that makes possible this healthful oil also happens to be the world’s deadliest plant. The […]
Kids (and Adults, for that Matter), Do NOT Try This at Home!
Mischievous students are often eager to start Chemistry class with dreams of creating explosives, mixing up deadly poisons, or dissolving things in corrosive acid. Much to the surprise and harm of many […]
The Mathematician Who Died From Being a Picky Eater
The Austrian/American logician and mathematician Kurt Gödel died on January 14, 1978, from being a picky eater.
Rasputin — the Mad Monk Who Wouldn’t Die
Grigori Rasputin, the Mad Monk, was poisoned, but he didn’t die. So he went after the guys who poisoned him, and they stabbed him. He still didn’t die and kept going after […]