Cool, Compelling and Curious: Our Best Stories You Might Have Missed This Week


"The Marriage Settlement" (c. 1743), seen here, is scene one from a series of six satirical paintings by artist William Hogarth. CG Wilson/Corbis via Getty Images
"The Marriage Settlement" (c. 1743), seen here, is scene one from a series of six satirical paintings by artist William Hogarth. CG Wilson/Corbis via Getty Images

Even the most voracious of you knowledge seekers out there can get caught up in the daily grind, and miss out on some of our fascinating stories. Do you know why people talked so strangely in old movies or why frogs owe dinosaurs a huge debt? If not, that means you've got some catching up to do! Read up on our latest articles and podcasts below.

The Cool

Whiskey's got a reputation for being a "manly" drink, but those touting its masculinity might be surprised to learn that women played a large role in the drink's American history. Bridget and Emilie explain the liquor's origins in a new episode of the podcast Stuff Mom Never Told You.

Stuff You Missed in History Class hosts Holly and Tracy have a knack for digging up supercool figures from years past. This time, they explore the life and work of William Hogarth, an influential painter and printmaker known for his satirical and witty art. Listen to the episode here.

Even if you're not a horror fan, it's hard not to appreciate the ingenuity and talent it takes to make a movie truly scary — from special effects, to clever surprises, to downright disturbing gore. Hosts Josh and Chuck run down their picks for horror films that shook up the genre. Their first pick is ... Just kidding! We're not giving them away yet. Listen to the episode here.

The Compelling

It's no news that Americans are a gun-loving bunch: There are more guns than people in the United States. But the production of pistols and rifles has reached new heights in recent years. Learn how this increase is linked to the desire for self-defense in a new article.

We're not saying we're happy nonavian dinosaurs died off in a mass extinction. We are saying that the event had a fortunate effect: Frogs were allowed to flourish, as explained in this article. Ah, the cycle of life.

As with many controversial topics, there's more than one side to the cultural appropriation story. Sometimes it's cultural exchange or borrowing that encourages diversity. And sometimes it's harmful, perceived as a threat to the original culture. Stuff to Blow Your Mind hosts Robert and Christian explore the fine line between cultural appropriation and misappropriation in a new episode of the podcast.

The Curious

U.S. presidents have had some pretty outlandish quirks. Because even though they hold the highest office in the land, presidents are still, you know, people. A new article details an episode of Part-Time Genius in which hosts Will and Mango attempt to determine who the weirdest president was — no easy feat.

Cinephiles, if you think actors had an odd manner of speaking in old movies, you aren't imagining things. That blend of British and American English cadences is a distinct accent. Learn about it in a recent episode of the podcast BrainStuff.

We've learned a lot about the red planet since the first rover successfully landed and traveled on Mars in 1997. So much, in fact, that billionaire businessman Elon Musk has plans to build a million-person Martian city, and HowStuffWorks founder Marshall Brain has written a book about said plan. Check out the conversation between Brain and Stuff They Don't Want You to Know hosts Ben, Matt and Noel here.



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