Monday, September 01

The Debunker: Did Mrs. O'Leary's Cow Really Start the Great Chicago Fire?

by Scott Lydon

Did you know that September is National Preparedness Month? The catchy government slogan is "Be disaster aware! Take action to prepare!" But how disaster-aware are we really? Lots of the things we know about life's worst calamities are actually wrong--and in some cases, dangerously so. Luckily, Ken Jennings, Jeopardy! survivor and professional know-it-all, is here to set us straight. Because what could be more disastrous than ignorance? Well, maybe a big volcano. Ignorance, and also a big volcano.

The Debunker: Did Mrs. O'Leary's Cow Really Start the Great Chicago Fire?

On the night of October 8, 1871, a terrible fire laid waste to Chicago, at the time the fifth largest city in the nation. Nine square miles of the city were wiped off the map, leaving a third of the city's infrastructure down and over 100,000 Chicagoans homeless. The causes of the fire are easy to see in hindsight: a crowded city built almost entirely of wood, drought conditions, high winds to carry cinders aloft. But what set off the first spark?

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Wednesday, August 27

 

Tuesday, August 26

The Debunker: How Often Did Lassie Have to Rescue Timmy from a Well?

by Ken Jennings

Dog lovers: could there be a better month than August to salute our canine companions? After all, August 10 is the day poor Rin Tin Tin died, and it’s the day Snoopy celebrates his birthday, in a 1968 Peanuts strip. Two weeks later, on August 26, it’s National Dog Day, according to the Animal Miracle Foundation & Network. To celebrate the dog days of summer, we’ve unleashed Jeopardy!’s Ken Jennings, who will correct some of man’s worst misconceptions about man’s best friend.

 

The Debunker: How Often Did Lassie Have to Rescue Timmy from a Well?

Comedians have often poked fun at the remarkable communication skills of TV’s heroic collie, Lassie. Despite not speaking English or having opposable thumbs, Lassie is always able to get help appropriate to the specific evil has befallen her master. In the traditional version of this joke, a few quick barks from Lassie are enough for owners to get the picture: “What’s that? Timmy fell down a well?”

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Monday, August 25

Music Monday: The Final Beach Songs

by Scott Lydon

Happy Music Monday! We’re sad to say that summer’s pretty much come to a close. It was grand, wasn’t it? We’ll always remember those special times. However, there’s still a BIT more time for one last beach run. So hurry up! Make the most of it! And maybe use some of these songs as inspiration.

Martha & The Muffins - Echo Beach

 

The beach is somewhere nobody forces you to visit (usually) so it’s got those special childhood memories attached to it. Unlike, say, your desk at the office. Sigh.

See you after the jump!

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Wednesday, August 20

 

Tuesday, August 19

The Fabulous TCONA4

by Kristy Tye

Trivia is an industry, and every industry has a trade show of their own! In this case, it's TCONA, the Trivia Championships Of North America. For one weekend each year, the casual and the powerhouses combine to have a little fun, swap a few secrets, learn all sorts of useful facts and maybe, just maybe, take home a medal. Social butterfly Kristy Tye (aka agingdragqueen on our forums) forsook the pool and gave trivia her full attention. How did that go? FUNNY YOU SHOULD ASK US...

A lot of people have asked me how the Trivia Championships of North America went (aka TCONA, as you may have heard about here), since, as it turned out I was not good at preempting the curiosity by telling my nerdy brethren in time to actually register and head to Vegas. Lesson learned, here’s a whole year’s notice: it went very well and I had a fabulous time, and you should come next year.

 

our hero

 

Come on inside and enjoy the recap. Oh, yeah, and you'll find some trivia questions waiting for you too.

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The Debunker: Can Dogs See Colors?

by Ken Jennings

Dog lovers: could there be a better month than August to salute our canine companions? After all, August 10 is the day poor Rin Tin Tin died, and it’s the day Snoopy celebrates his birthday, in a 1968 Peanuts strip. Two weeks later, on August 26, it’s National Dog Day, according to the Animal Miracle Foundation & Network. To celebrate the dog days of summer, we’ve unleashed Jeopardy!’s Ken Jennings, who will correct some of man’s worst misconceptions about man’s best friend.

 

The Debunker: Can Dogs See Colors?

Fans of the children’s book hero Encyclopedia Brown may remember the 1966 classic “Case of the Boy Bullfighter,” in which we learn that young Miguel Sebastian must have lied about his dog being able to see the color red—because dogs are color blind! A humiliated Miguel returns his ill-gotten loot, a stolen tooth collection, and has his mom repair the seat of Charlie’s red pants. A happy ending!

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Monday, August 18

Music Monday: 80s Ballads That Are Close To Our Hearts

by Scott Lydon

Happy Music Monday! Scott’s rested after his vacation and he’s ready to take the long, hard trip back to the 1980s, where he can collect some ballads. Join him, won’t you?

Heart - Alone

 

The 1980s were a great time for the bombastic power ballad. Be it the first dance at the prom or a gloomy dream-sequence beside a Christmas tree, the ballad was there! And Heart was super-good at using the ballad to create the perfect atmosphere for all situations. Singing alone in the car? Works! Dreaming about a lost love? Works! Trying to win over someone at karaoke? Works!

The ‘80s ballads are only gettin’ better. See you after the jump!

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