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The Hollywood Sign Transformations and Pranks

On New Years Day residents woke up to see that the famous "Hollywood" sign had fallen victim to a prank overnight.
But this wasn't the first time the Hollywood sign has fallen victim to a prank or been altered. Here's a quick list of the changes the sign has seen since its creation.

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Back in the 1980s, Coca Cola was in trouble. Sales were down as America went crazy for the taste of a new generation, Pepsi, and wanted desperately to be accepted by Generation Next.

Oh, to be a part of Generation Next, with their skateboards and aluminum jackets.

Coke actually realized that if it wasn’t for their lucrative contracts with distributors, Pepsi would be killing them in sales. This coupled with the fact that people, somehow, preferred the taste of Pepsi and even the gross Diet Coke to the all-american classic taste of Coke in taste tests — because focus groups are filled with complete mad mee. So Coke decided that they needed to update the taste of Coke and introduced New Coke.

What happened next will shock you…

People liked old Coke and wanted it back.

But how it got there is one of the most interesting marketng misteps in history. 

Check out the video for the history of why we went back to old Coke and still enjoy Blue Pepsi.

via Manhattan

Via truTV
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The War on Christmas has been going since the beginning of Christmas, apparently. 

Adam might have ruined the history behind It’s a Wonderful Life, but today today he’s going for the yuletide jugular.

In this clip from “Adam Ruins Christmas,” Adam Conover takes audiences on an animated journey back to ancient solstice festivals to mark the end of Harvests. These parties were filled with cool things like cross dressing and fire — not tinsel, Aunt Mary-Anne. They were also the original Christmas celebrations, before a certain someone crashed the party.

Eventually, Adam tells that when Christians took over, they gradually introduced Jesus into these celebrations as a compromise. Citizens of newfound Christian municpalities could continue their celebrations if they included Jesus, so December 25 became Jesus' birthday party. 

lost city in greece discovered under a hill
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After 2,500 years of searching and not asking for directions, researchers have finally found the ruins of a lost village near the Greek town Vlochós, which is about 190 miles north of Athens. While the area was known and researched, many assumed this part to be irrelevant. Who puts a city under a hill, anyway? Researchers can be so stubborn.

However, a group from the University of Bournemouth and the University of Gothenburg decided against their better judgement and took a closer look at the little village under the hill and found a society of gnomes. Just kidding, they found the the remains of a lost city, reports The Daily Mail.

via Warner Archive

You can actually see the city’s fortress walls, towers, and gates from the air but nt from the ground, explaining why no one noticed this before.

“We found a town square and a street grid that indicate that we are dealing with quite a large city,” said fieldwork lead Robin Rönnlund, a PhD student in Classical Archaeology and Ancient History at the University of Gothenburg.

While they hoped to not do any serious excavation, the team already found some “ancient pottery and coins dating as far back as 500 BC.” According to The Daily Mail, the city was abandoned, perhaps due to Roman conquest, around 300 BC.

via Univeristy of Gothenburg

The First Rockefeller Christmas Tree Was a Real Charlie Brown Tree
Via TIME
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The annual Christmas tree lighting at 30 Rockefeller Center in New York City is a hallmark of the holiday season and has been since long before the “War on Christmas” began. Heck, it’ll probably be there long after the “War on Christmas” ends, if a day ever comes.

94 feet tall, the Norway spruce that lights up 30 Rock has five miles of mult-colored LEDs and a Swarovski star packed with 25,000 crystals. Modesty is not this tree’s strong suit. The same could not be said for the first Rockefeller Christmas tree, however. 

85 years ago, on Christmas eve 1931, construction workers stopped building Rockefeller Center long enough to put up a 20-foot-tall balsam tree, which they decorated with cranberries, paper, and tin cans. You can see this Charlie Brown-esque tree in the photo above, along with a foreman “standing on a wooden crate and passing out holiday checks and bonuses to laborers wearing overalls and boots coated in dust,” says Time.

via Randar

This was all during the depression, so everyone was understandably pretty miserable. In fact, Rockefeller Center construction was responsible for putting tens of thousands people back to work. “It was also the single largest and most expensive private development in the history of the world at the time,” says Daniel Okrent, author of Great Fortune: The Epic of Rockefeller Center and a former LIFE magazine managing editor.

Two years later, in 1933, the official Christmas tree lighting ceremony kicked off “when a 40-ft.-tall tree illuminated with 700 lights debuted outside the old RCA building. And while NBC broadcasted the festivities on the radio, the first televised tree lighting ceremony took place in 1951 on The Kate Smith Show.”

via Peanuts

 Man Looking for Toilet Finds Evidence of Australia's Oldest Human Civilzation
Via The ABC
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“You better go before we leave because we’re not stopping.”

Sounds like a fair warning before a road trip, but it’s that kind of authoritarian driving that keeps people from discovering the oldest settlement in Australia. Sound crazy? It’s not.

ABC reports that an Australian man, Clifford Coulthard, looking for a bathroom stumbled across 49,000-year-old evidence of Australia's oldest human settlement. So next time someone tells you that they can’t stop because they’re “making great time,” remind them that their are ancient civilizations to be uncovered.

via Make a Gif

"A man getting out of the car to go to the toilet led to the discovery of one of the most important sites in Australian prehistory,” said Giles Hamm, an archaeologist and PhD student at  La Trobe University.

“The site, known as Warratyi, shows Aboriginal Australians settled the arid interior of the country around 49,000 years ago,” says ABC. “Some 10,000 years earlier than previously thought.”

Coulthard and Hamm were surveying gorges in the area when they made the discovery, so it helps to kind of know what you’re looking for. Regardless, the excavations at the site have been successful, thus far. The crew has found 4,300 artifacts and 200 bone fragments dating back 46,000 to 49,000 years ago.

Road trip passengers, when nature calls, answer.

via Gif Sec

money history president Harriet Tubman Will Replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 Bill
Via justinjm1
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Originally, the plan was to replace Alexander Hamilton on the ten dollar bill but fans of Hamilton (presumably the man and the musical) protested due to his influence on creating the modern American economy. 

Instead, she will replace Andrew Jackson on the 20 dollar bill although he will probably still be featured on the back. 

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The Internet Just Used #MemeHistory to Create the Only History Lesson You'll Ever Need

History can be a tough subject but don't worry, Twitter's got you covered. You'll never forget these important moments in history now that they've been told in memes.

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hitler history Historic Medical Records Suggest That Hitler Had a Micro-Penis
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It turns out that Hitler's medical records show that he had some serious issues with his manhood. New documents have been discovered that go into more detail. Historians Jonathan Mayo and Emma Craigie wrote about it in their new book Hitler's Last Day: Minute by Minute which was quoted by the Telegraph

Hitler himself is believed to have had two forms of genital abnormality: an undescended testicle and a rare condition called penile hypospadias in which the urethra opens on the under side of the penis. 

According to The Telegraph, hypospadias often leaves the sufferer with a micro-penis. So, there you have it. 

They say size doesn't matter but that hasn't stopped the internet from speculating. 


via @JohnRLucas

History Lesson of The Day: Academic Claims Australians Have Accent Because Settlers Were Always Drunk
Via The Age
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Have you ever wondered why Australians don't finish the ends of their words and generally sound like they're super chill?

It's because their ancestors were super chill. And super drunk.

Dean Frenkel, a communications expert at Victoria University in Melbourne, claims that early Australian settlers from Britain were big fans of alcohol. So much so, that they developed a slurred accent that lives on today.

"Our forefathers regularly got drunk together and through their frequent interactions unknowingly added an alcoholic slur to our national speech patterns," he wrote in The Age.

"For the past two centuries, from generation to generation, drunken Aussie-speak continues to be taught by sober parents to their children."

He says the average Australian only speaks at two-thirds capacity and with improper articulation.

What does the queen have to say about this lazy approach to language?

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StoryCorp has been conducting interviews with thousands of people since 2003, collecting oral histories that they later animate. Today, they bring us three stories from veterans in honor of Veteran's Day. See them here, but be sure to pack some tissues. And a warning for language and adult content in some of these.



And one more:

Via Vsauce
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Finally there's someone within the scientific community (well...sort of) who claims that there's a possibility that eating your boogers is a healthy habit. Michael of VSauce discusses the correlation between this nasty behavior and the act of cannibalism.

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Of the 50 United States, the etymology is rather wide spread. Business Insider has put together an interesting list to explain the origin and meaning of each.

old Italy art history michelangelo grocery list - 7975078144
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The great Michelangelo was an Italian sculptor, achitect, poet, and painter. And like anybody else, the man had to eat. But when he needed one of his servants to run to the market for a few things, he didn't just write them down like the rest of use. As you can see, the great artist made sure to be clear which items he wanted to be purchased.
All of Michelangelo's works, including this grocery list, are stored at Casa Buonarroti in Florance, Italy.