Monthly Archives: December 2012


today I learned: thomas j. grasso wanted spaghettiOs for his last meal, but he was given spaghetti instead. he wanted the press to know this. also, coffeemate is allowed to say that it has no trans fats despite having a lot (it is the second ingredient) because they made the serving size absurdly small. next, the mall of america has no central heating system. all the heat is generated by people, lighting, and skylights. they have to run the air conditioner during the cold winter months just to keep the mall comfortable. finally, male puppies purposely let female puppies win by playing. crazy!



today I learned: carl sagan was denied tenure at harvard university and was unable to become a member of the national academy of sciences because his role as a ‘popularizer’ of science had caused other scientists to dislike him, claiming he wasn’t a ‘pure’ scientist. also, the US military has a secret, nearly silent type of velcro which reduces the ripping noise by over 95%. next, christian bale’s publicist got PTSD from being around him and wrote a book about how much of a dick he is. finally, oprah winfrey was sued for causing $11 million in damages to cattle farmers simply for mentioning that she would not eat another burger after a show about mad cow disease. no-reason-not-to-include-a-bonus-bonus: in switzerland, because they get lonely, it is illegal to keep just one guinea pig.


today I learned: there is a book called “the hipster huckleberry finn” where it replaces all use of the n-word with ‘hipster’. also, in 1980, 16 stranded and frozen danish fishermen were rescued and after being given a warm drink, all 16 dropped dead from constricted capillaries being reopened almost all at once, causing a sudden drop in blood pressure. next, the royal canadian mint is issuing a glow-in-the-dark dinosaur quarter. finally, the name of the TIME magazine actually stands for “The International Magazine of Events”. had no idea.


today I learned: an american woman sent her adopted russian orphan back on a plane to russia with a note saying “I no longer wish to parent this child”. also, america’s public school teachers almost uniformly now come from the bottom 25 percent of their college classes. next, the baseball player tim raines would often use cocaine between innings in the dugout, and would slide head first to avoid breaking the cocaine vials that he carried in his back pocket. finally, most of the smoke billowing up from a space shuttle launch is not exhaust. it is water vapor form the pool of water under the shuttle designed to absorb the acoustic shock waves that could otherwise tear the shuttle apart (!!)


today I learned: the difference between a “gift” and a “present” is that a present must be presented. also, there’s a place in mongolia that was declared sacred by genghis gkan. the only people allowed to enter were the mongol royal family and a tribe of elite warriors, and the darkhat, whose job it was to guard it. punishment for entering was death. they carried out their task for 697 years, until 1924. next, when the mona lisa was stolen in 1911, pablo picasso was a suspect. finally, during the prohibition, the US government poisoned alcohol, killing as many as 10,000 people (boxing-day add-on: they still poison the ethanol you use to power your car, spiking it with gasoline so people can’t get booze for so cheap. woah.)


today I learned: the earth’s rotation is slowing at a rate of approximately 17 milliseconds a century, and the length of a day for the dinosaurs was closer to 22 hours. also, while japan is 52nd in terms of land size and 10th in terms of population, it has the 3rd largest economy in the world. not only that, but it has the 2nd lowest homicide rate in the world, and 2nd highest life expectancy. wow. next, in the UK, a pregnant woman can legally pee anywhere she wants. finally, the first scripted inter-racial kiss on US television (in star trek) was meant to be filmed with and without the kiss. shatner and nichols deliberately screwed up every take of the shot without the kiss so that it could not be used 🙂 christmas booonuuuusss: in 2013, you can re-use calendars from the years 2002, 1991, 1985, 1974, 1963, 1957, 1946, 1935, 1929, and 1918. any hoarders out there waiting for their time to shine?


today I learned: our brain perceives people who annoy us as moving slower than they actually are. also, if you walk outside george orwell’s old house in london, you are now captured on surveillance cameras 33 times. next, identical twin brothers had sex with the same women on the same day and both resulted in a child. paternity tests showed each male was both the father and the uncle of the child, and thus, the true identity of the father for each child remains unknown. finally, a secret radio belonging to a british prisoner of war in WWII was kept so well-hidden that when he visited the camp 62 years later, it was still there. woah!


today I learned: neil armstrong once sued his barber of 20 years after he sold his hair to a collector for $3,000. also, in 2001, two 1,000-year-old mississippian burial grounds were excavated in order to built a wal-mart supercenter. BOO. next, if you pour cold water into a person’s ear, their eyes will move in direction of the opposite ear, and if you pour warm water into their ear, their eyes will move towards that ear. this is used to test for brain damage and is called ‘caloric stimulation’. finally, in 1946, the electric chair failed to kill willie francis, who subsequently filed a lawsuit claiming he had been executed even though he did not die, and should be a free man based on ‘double jeopardy’ laws in the 5th amendment. “yeah-yeah-we’re-still-alive-give-us-more-knowledge” bonus: when saddam hussein was captured, he was forced to watch the south park movie repeatedly. I am not kidding.


today I learned: the american gothic painting by grant wood is not a painting of a husband and wife, but rather, father and daughter. also, the man who designed saddam hussein’s bunker was the grandson of the woman who designed hitler’s. next, sign language users have “accents”, and can often tell where another sign language user comes from because of this, just like spoken language. finally, a massachusetts man who was wrongly imprisoned for 18 years for murder was finally freed after his high-school drop-out sister went to law school to prove his innocence. 6 months after his release, he died in a freak accident :(. we’re-all-still-alive bonus: a large group of people thought the world was ending in 1806 because someone wrote “christ is coming” on eggs and stuffed them back into the hen. genius.


today I learned: in 2007, a tennessee man on death row requested that, instead of a last meal, a pizza be donated to a local homeless person. the request was denied. also, charles guiteau chose an ivory-handled revolver to shoot president garfield because he wanted it to look nice when it was put on display in a museum after he used it. next, artist siren elise wilhelmsen designed a clock that knits a scarf a year. awesome. aaand finally, guy debord, french marxist literary theorist, published his first book with a sandpaper cover so that books placed next to it would be destroyed. end of ze world bonus: the idiom “turning a blind eye” is attributed to admiral horatio nelson who, in the midst of battle and given the permission to retreat by his superior, lifted the telescope to his eye (blinded from an earlier injury) and said, “I really do not see the signal”, and pressed on the attack. awesome story. oh, and just in case tomorrow never comes (nawwww it’s actually cause I just have an excess of knowledge I’d like to share on this special, non-end-of-the-world day): a guy, before committing suicide on the steps of harvard memorial church in front of a tour group of  30 people, wrote a 1,905-page suicide note and e-mailed it to over 400 people. some view it as a masterpiece of modern philosophy.