Daredevils, Honeymooners and the the Cornelian Ice Sheet: It’s Niagara Falls
We go over the edge in a cheap barrel as we investigate America's deadliest honeymoon hotspot.

Dan Van Oss Complete Columns, History Leave a Comment

Known for decades as an attraction for adventure seekers and honeymooners alike, visited by tens of thousands of awe-struck tourists each year who flock to marvel at the majestic, multi-colored tableaus of its unbridled superfluity, Las Vegas is not the home of Niagara Falls, which is what we really came here to talk about. The advance of the Cornelian Ice …

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
The glowing history behind Christmas's most stop-motiony character.

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Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is a fictional Christmas-time character that first appeared in 1939 as the ninth reindeer pulling Santa’s forced servitude toy-distribution sledge. Known for his glowing red nose and inability to successfully convince his co-workers to allow him to participate in common playtime activities for reindeer, he was the creation of a low-paid advertising copywriter for Montgomery Ward. …

Get to the Choppa! (Helicopters)
A brief history of vertical flight, plus, lots of accent thingys

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Helicopters are aviation devices that utilize rotating blades for lift, used primarily for transport and for dumping Bond villains into tall smokestacks. They are also used for military purposes, law enforcement, medical use, and for providing something for Arnold Schwarzenegger to point to while yelling “Get to the choppa!”. Here come those accent thingys again Although helicopters are one of …

Campaign Hats, Opposable Thumbs and Evil Space Loggers (Smokey Bear)
We dig into the history behind America's favorite topless fire hater.

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Smokey Bear is a mythical sentient forest creature with a penchant for wearing jeans but going topless. He has been the official mascot of the US Forest Service (Official Motto: “The Trees… So Many Trees… Everywhere… Who Knew? WHO KNEW?!?!”) since 1947, although he was first introduced on a 1944 poster as part of an advertising campaign for the “Cooperative …

Gotta Have That New World Smell (Columbus Day)
Uncovering the unsordid history behind the not-quite discoverer of America

Dan Van Oss Biographies, Complete Columns, Events and Holidays, History Leave a Comment

Every American schoolchild is probably familiar with that famous poem about Christopher Columbus, so if some of you schoolchildren out there know it could you please send it to me? Because I can’t think of it right now and I’m too lazy to Google it. In the meantime, let’s take a look at the day behind the man behind the …

Ladies and Gentlemen: The Famous Flaming Rock! (Halley’s Comet)
A brief synapses of the universe's most famous inedible peanut.

Dan Van Oss Complete Columns, History 1 Comment

Hurtling through space at a speed of 254,000 mph, plowing through the celestial void on its long, lonely, looping mission of futility, lies the quaint Idaho town on the planet earth called Hailey, from which a celebrated chunk of space ice might have taken its name, if it weren’t for some pesky things called correct spelling, facts and the correct …