Updated: 8:29 PM UTC, Jul 16, 2017

Dewey Defeats Truman - A Famous False Headline

"Dewey Defeats Truman" was a famous banner headline on the front page of the Chicago Tribune on November 3, 1948. This happened the day after incumbent president Harry S. Truman won an upset victory over Republican challenger and Governor of New York Thomas E. Dewey in the 1948 presidential election.

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Sweden Opts Out of British Driving System

In 1967, Sweden changed the direction of traffic. Instead of driving on the left side of the road as the were used to, they converted to right side driving like the rest of continental Europe. Authorities had to ban traffic for 5 hours in order to change all the signs, and the army was requisitioned to help.

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The Smell Of Natural Gas - Artificially Added

Natural gas is odorless. The odor is artificially added. The component in question is Methanethiol, also known as methyl mercaptan, so that we can detect any leak.

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Why Pens Like Bic Have A Hole In The Cap?

Bic pens have a hole in the cap so that, if ingested by a child, a stream of air can still continue to pass, therefore avoiding asphyxiation.

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Alice In Wonderland - An Autobiographical Book?

Lewis Carroll, the author of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, was a victim of visual hallucinations due to severe migraines with aura (a relatively new name for the less common type of migraine headache. Aura refers to feelings and symptoms you notice shortly before the headache begins. These early symptoms are also called a prodrome). This had significant influence on his writings, and in particular the story of Alice, who suffers from several kinds of physical metamorphoses

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Adam And Eve Didn't Bite Into The Forbidden Apple

Nowhere in the Bible does it say that Adam and Eve had bitten into an apple. The apple nevertheless became the symbol of original sin, but it is never mentioned anywhere in Genesis. It simply speaks of the 'fruit of the tree which is in the garden.

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Recaptcha - An Anti-spam System That Digitizes Old Books

You've probably already used the human verification system reCAPTCHA which helps fight against spam, retyping two words written in a contact form. But did you know that this system allows a clever way to digitize thousands of paper books through your own contribution? Indeed, the two words you type, only one is known and verified.

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John Kennedy Toole - A Successful Writer After His Death

John Kennedy Toole, a writer, was convinced at the age of 31 that he was a failure and committed suicide. After his death, and through the efforts of his mother, his book "A Confederacy of Dunces" was published and sold over 1.5 million copies. He even won the Pulitzer Prize in 1981. Toole's novels were always rejected during his lifetime.

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The Intentionally Blank Pages At The End Of A Book

The blank pages at the end of books aren't there to take notes. It's rather the result of technical constraints assembling the pages. A typical first chapter will start using an uneven number (i.e., 1). Since books are printed in multiples such as 8, 12, 16 etc., if a subsequent chapter starts with an even number, for technical reasons blank pages are accumulated at the end.

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Sherlock Holmes Never Said "Elementary My Dear Watson''

The phrase "elementary my dear Watson" does not appear in any of Sir Arthur Conan Doyles novels of the adventures of the famous detective Sherlock Holmes. This phrase was only used in the television adaptations that have famously coined the phrase.

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The Shortest Written Exchange Was Between Victor Hugo And His Publisher

In 1862, after completing his literary work ''Les Miserables'', Victor Hugo was so exhausted, he was forced by his doctor to go on vacation and have no contact with the outside world. Worried about the success of the release of his book, he could not resist sending a telegram to his publisher. The question asked was ''?''. The answer was "!'' to indicate success.

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Position Of The Sun At Noon - North Or South?

In the northern hemisphere, the sun rises in the east. At noon, it points to the south and sets in the west. However, if the observer is in the southern hemisphere, or if he is close to the equator at noon, the sun will appear in a northerly direction.

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