Come See The Best Thing Since Itself (The Bread Slicing Machine)
Taking a whack at history's most important invention (next to the cigarette umbrella).

Dan Van Oss Complete Columns, Food, History, Inventions Leave a Comment

In the pantheon of history there exists a singular crowning achievement, a kairotic moment if you will, or even if you won’t; a truly pivotal event in the unfolding saga that is this flowering enigma called mankind, so signaled by an invention exhibiting the pinnacle of American know-how, which has since proved to be the benchmark of and ultimate standard …

Just Don’t Say Anything About the Granite Boogers (Mount Rushmore)
Our historically inept discourse on the Monument To A Bunch Of Guys With Really Big Heads.

Dan Van Oss Complete Columns, History 2 Comments

At an elevation of some 5,725 feet nestled in the rugged Black Hills of South Dakota, chiseled into the cold granite of the mountain the native Lakota Sioux indians called “Six Grandfathers”, there lies a gift shop from which you can purchase a snow globe featuring one of America’s most impressive National Memorials, Mount Rushmore. Not your average Danish intestinal pathosis …

Castle Thingys, Horsies, and Pointy Guys (Chess)
We make some moronic moves in the world's brainiest game.

Dan Van Oss Complete Columns, History, Sports 2 Comments

Chess is a classic two-person strategy game designed to show players that they really weren’t as smart as they thought they were. Once considered the only game of choice for non-football-playing high school boys or college grad students who knew all of the lines from “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” — which, come to think of it, are pretty …

Gravity Roads, Scenic Railways and Skittle Vomit (Roller Coasters)
Take a spin on our fact-mangled history of the roller coaster.

Dan Van Oss Complete Columns, History, Inventions Leave a Comment

A roller coaster is an amusement mechanism devised to separate the stomach contents of passengers from their owners. First popular in the late 19th century, it has become a staple of the modern amusement park, along with sunburn, Skittle vomit, and lukewarm, ten-dollar hot dogs. Don’t Gorka your Katalnaya when you’re eating Skittles The origins of the roller coaster can …

Leggo My Legos!
Piecing together the story of one of the most popular toys in shag carpet history.

Dan Van Oss Complete Columns, History, Toys 2 Comments

Legos are a line of small, plastic, foot-impaling carpet mines consisting of colorful, interlocking bricks, gears, wheels, minifigures, creatures, silverware, ice cube trays, Death Stars, alarm clocks – pretty much anything that can exist in three dimensions. Created by Ole “Oxen Free” Kirk Christiansen, a wooden toymaker from Denmark, the ubiquitous building blocks have dominated the toy industry for decades, …

For the Last Time, He’s Not a Doll, He’s an “Action Figure”! (G.I. Joe)
Our kung-fu-grippy perspective on G.I. Joe.

Dan Van Oss Complete Columns, History, Toys 1 Comment

In the early 60s the Hasbro (Remember Our Darth Vader Chopper?) Company determined too many boys were drawing camo on their sister’s Barbie outfits and dropping them from the front porch with Kleenex parachutes, and so decided boys needed their own line of doll-like toys. Thus was born history’s most kung-fu-grippy action figure, to the delight of 50-year-old mint-in-box toy …