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The Birth of Tater Tots

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The Tater Tot Is American Ingenuity at Its Finest. What was once cattle feed became an American classic.

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A Short History of Fire Marks, The World’s Hottest Insurance-Related Antiques. They designated which private fire brigade might respond to your burning building.

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Jack Kirby: Comics' Greatest Storyteller. He helped to elevate comic books from child's play to real entertainment.

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The Day van Gogh Cut Off His Ear. Read Paul Gauguin's account of that night and the aftermath.

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What Would Aliens Look Like? Four scientists tell what they expect from real extraterrestrial life.

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11 Cool, Funny or Just Plain Strange Patents for Back to School. One even made a middle-schooler wealthy.

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Why I Miss Antenna TV. With only a couple of channels, you never felt you were missing out.

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11 Gross Things That Could Be On Your Toothbrush. Disinfect that thing—or better yet, replace it.

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Game of Thrones Has Changed the Real World
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HBO

6 Ways Game of Thrones has Changed the Real World. Even those who don't watch it know the characters as cultural metaphors.

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The Only Thing Worse than Watching an Offensively Bad Comedy is Watching One You Supposedly Wrote. A.J. Via got a movie deal and lost all control of the finished product.

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To Fight Smallpox in the Spanish Colonies, King Charles IV Sent a Ship on a Vaccination Mission in 1803. The expedition included 22 orphans carrying the fresh vaccine in their bodies to keep it safe enough to last the voyage around the world.

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For Centuries, People Celebrated a Little Boy’s First Pair of Trousers. Once he was toilet-trained and could dress himself, he could become a real boy.

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What A Doctor Calls A Condition Can Affect How We Decide To Treat It. A familiar term carries a lot of baggage, while a new term will encourage patients to just follow doctor's orders.

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Ben Stiller's Never-Ending Midlife Crisis. His new movie Brad's Status is the fourth that explores that theme.

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Sir Arthur and the Fairies. After a thorough but flawed investigation, the Sherlock Holmes author believed the Cottingley Fairies were real.

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Getty Images
Great Stephen King Stories
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Getty Images

16 Great Stephen King Stories to Read This Fall. In case you want to scare yourself silly alone in the dark.

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Cowabunga! Strange Cow Stories. Bossy has gotten herself into some weird places.

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How Two Lesbians Fought the Nazis With a Typewriter. Lucy Schwob and Suzanne Malherbe kept up a propaganda war from their home in the Channel Islands.

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Can You Survive on Potatoes Alone? Maybe, but there are drawbacks to potatoes as a life-sustaining food.

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Why Back-to-School Season Feels Like the New Year—Even for Adults. The majority of people spend more than half their lives tied to the school calendar.

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A Visual History of Lunchboxes. Come for the nostalgia, stay for the trivia.

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An Austrian Ossuary Holds Hundreds of Elaborately Hand-Painted Skulls. The custom is a combination of memento mori and identification.

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A Brief History of United States Currency. Until the Civil War, money was printed privately by banks.

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