Monthly Archives: April 2013

30/04/13

today I learned:

  • redheads don’t feel pain to the same degree as everybody else. redheads are less sensitive to electrically-induced pain, but are more sensitive to thermal pain.
  • 53% of people in fiji have no access to safe drinking water, despite the fiji water bottling company’s activity there.
  • a french woman, jeanne de clisson, became a pirate in the 1300s for revenge after her husband was beheaded. selling her lands to buy 3 ships, they were painted black with red sails. hunting french ships, when she caught nobles, she personally beheaded them with an axe.
  • in 2002, an 86 year-old man was held 45 minutes at the airport due to a strange metal item and his pocket that TSA couldn’t understand– it was a medal of honor.
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28/04/13

today I learned:

  • henry ford was the first industrial giant to give his workers saturday and sunday off in hope that it would encourage more leisure use of automobiles, and thus popularizing the idea of “the weekend”
  • nestle aggressively distributes free formula samples in developing countries til the supplementation has interfered with the mother’s lactation. after that, the family must continue to buy the formula since the mother is no longer able to produce her own milk.
  • icelanders have no family names. instead, their surname is just their father’s name plus “son” or “dottir”
  • US interrogators tortured an afghan detainee to death by hanging him by his arms for four days and beating his legs so badly they needed amputation. they did this despite most interrogators believing him to be “an innocent man who simply drove his taxi past the american base at the wrong time”
  • al queda’s strategy involved specifically using terrorism to provoke the west into long wars in numerous places that would lead to its financial collapse
  • navy seals used to be waterboarded as a part of their training but the process was stopped when no seal could pass it, leading to bad morale.

26/04/13

today I learned:

  • an orangutan from a zoo reintroduced into the wild began spear-fishing after watching local fishermen.
  • north and south korean armies choose their physically toughest looking soliders to have a constant “stare-down” across the korean border to determine who is more powerful.
  • there is a micro nation in nevada named molossia that consists only of a house, front yard, and back yard (classic family guy, anyone?) also, it declared war on east germany.
  • canada is the most educated country in the world.
  • the last surviving WWI veteran….was a woman.

25/04/13

today I learned:

  • the 1938 labor law giving protection to working children doesn’t include agriculture. because of this, approximately 500,000 children pick a quarter of the food produced in the US.
  • in 1943, three belgian men held up a train and set 200 jews free, using only one gun and some wire cutters.
  • children who speak mandarin are far more likely to have perfect pitch because of tone association with words. also, one word can have up to four different meanings depending on its pitch.
  • taser is short for “thomas A switf’s electric rifle”
  • lady gaga once bought $1000 worth of pizzas for fans who were waiting in line to see her.
  • magnesium can be very effective in treating anxiety, as many people are deficient in it. the supplement has been shown to be as effective as meds, and includes other positive side effects (better sleep, for example!)
  • a group of sloths is called a ‘bed’ of sloths. how fitting.

23/04/13

today I learned:

  • mars candy corporation (the makers of snickers, three muskateers, milky way, twix, etc.) have cut down the size of the chocolate bars by 11% this year….referring to it not as cutting size, but “cutting calories”
  • from 9pm to 12am, netflix accounts for 33% of all bandwidth in north america
  • in 2006, the FBI planted an informant in a south california mosque who pretended to be a radical muslim. the muslims at the mosque reported him to the FBI.
  • the “da vinci rule of the trees” (all branches of a tree put together are equal in thickness to the trunk) appears to be true.
  • carl sagan was not an atheist, stating “an atheist is someone who is certain that god does not exist, someone who has compelling evidence against the existence of god. I know of no such compelling evidence”

22/04/13

today I learned:

  • there is a pizza place in alaska that delivers by plane.
  • professional porn actors are 80% less likely to have an STD than members of the public of the same age.
  • the white house functions like a luxury hotel, and at the end of each month, the president receives a bill for his food and incidental expenses.
  • martha stewart ended a relationship with anthony hopkins after seeing him in the silence of the lambs, as she was unable to dissociate him from his character, hannibal.
  • daniel day-lewis hasn’t appeared on stage since 1989, after he played hamlet and claimed to see the ghost of his own father during the performance.
  • ladies may be attracted to promiscuous (read: slootey) males because that would increase her future sons’ breeding successes, a phenomenon known as the “sexy son hypothesis”. mmm. ain’t nuttin’ like a sexy son…

21/04/13

today I learned:

  • there is a 4 year old hippo and a 130 year old tortoise in a kenyan wildlife preserve that are best friends. they sleep and play together.
  • the game of thrones is filmed in the same studio that the titanic was built in– not the movie, but the actual RMS titanic.
  • the book ‘zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance’ was rejected by 121 publishers and then sold 5 million copies worldwide (great book, by the way)
  • a man won the right to a retrial as members of the jury used a ouija board to contact the victims
  • johnny depp adopted the one-eyed horse that played ichabod crane’s steed, gunpowder, in sleepy hollow to save him from being put down.
  • japan has over 50,000 people that are over 100 years old.
  • if humans were capable of hearing frequencies lower than 20 hz, we would hear our muscles moving.

19/04/13

today I learned:

  • WD-40 stands for “water displacement- 40th attempt”
  • the blast of air you feel when walking into a store is to prevent insects from flying in.
  • when a woman is attracted to a man, she speaks in a higher pitch than normal
  • falling in love costs you, on average, two friends, according to an oxford study.
  • penn jilliette thinks south park is the strongest force for critical thinking on television. matt and trey are also his heroes.

17/04/13

today I learned:

  • around 6000 patients a year, in the US, leave operating rooms with surgical sponges, forceps, and other tools left inside them. often they don’t realize it until a life-threatening infection develops 
  • japan does not officially recognize north korea
  • all polar bears alive today can trace their ancestry back to one female brown bear who lived in ireland
  • living at high altitude can protect you from certain diseases….but increases your risk of suicide. aaand we’re not quite sure why.
  • in 1893 an amendment was proposed to rename the US to the “united states of earth”…..dicks

16/04/13

today I learned:

  • 1 in every 100 american adults are in prison. the US has more people in prison than china.
  • netflix uses disguised warehouses and unmarked trucks for security purposes.
  • iranians held a candlelight vigil on 9/11 2001 to express sympathy and support for the american people.
  • stephen hawking has survived for over 50 years after being diagnosed with a disease that only 4% of people survive for 10 years with (!)
  • in the 60s, the CIA sponsored a harvard study where undergrads were humiliated and subjected to “brutalizing psychological experiments”. the student who had the worse reaction to the experiments was ted kaczynski, who later became the “unabomber”