Edgar Allen Poe died mysteriously after having been missing for six days. Though still alive when he was finally found, he was wearing someone else’s cheap clothes and not coherent enough to tell where he’d been. He had disappeared en route to his own wedding. history.com/news/how-did-…
In 2018, A hacker broke into people’s routers (100,000 of them) and patched their vulnerabilities up so that they couldn’t be abused by other hackers. zdnet.com/article/a-myste…
Zach Galifianakis had a two-week trial run as a writer on “SNL” before being let go. He wrote a sketch with Will Ferrell being the bodyguard of Britney Spears’s belly button that bombed so bad in the writer’s room that Tina Fey put her hand on his shoulder to comfort him. phillyvoice.com/zach-gali…
Milhouse from the Simpsons was named after U.S president Richard Milhous Nixon. The name was the most "unfortunate name Matt Groening could think of for a child". Later in the series, it was also revealed that Milhouse's middle name was Mussolini cinemablend.com/televisio…
Dave Thomas named the hamburger chain “Wendy’s” after his daughter Melinda. Wendy was actually born Melinda Lou Thomas but her siblings had difficulty pronouncing her name and called her “Wenda.” Thus, the nickname Wendy was born. people.com/food/why-wendy…
Suzanne Somers was fired from 'Three’s Company' for asking for equal pay with her male co-star, John Ritter, who was earning five times her salary. biography.com/news/suzann…
James Earl Jones decided to go uncredited for his role of voicing Darth Vader because he considered David Prowse’s performance inside the Vader costume to be the more defining of the two performances. whatculture.com/film/10-a…
, the Brussel sprouts grown today taste better because they are genetically different. In the 1990's a Dutch research identified heirloom varieties that are less bitter and bred them to be tastier and have a higher yield. npr.org/sections/thesalt/…
In 1915, a pilot planned a stunt to drop a baseball into an MLB coach’s glove from a plane during a flyover. As a prank she dropped a grapefruit instead; it exploded in the coach’s glove and covered him in red pulp, and he was convinced he was seriously injured and bleeding to death. mlb.com/news/wilbert-robi…
In nightclubs in Ireland in the 80's & 90's the music had to be turned off and lights turned on half ways through the night because the nightclub had to serve a substantial meal by law so the clubs could keep their alcohol licence dublininquirer.com/2017/0…
In 1939 a 24 year old Orson Welles attempted to adapt Conrad's 'Heart of Darkness' but had to cancel due to budget constraints. The studio asked him for a more conventional project. He suggested a B film of his, an exploration of a newspaper tycoon’s rise and downfall. He called it Citizen Kane. oneroomwithaview.com/2015…
There was a product sold in the 80's and 90's called the "Electric Worm Getter". It was sold to fishermen for the collection of earthworms for bait. It sent an electric shock through the top layer of soil forcing the worms to surface. It had to be recalled in 1993 after 30 people died using it. cpsc.gov/Recalls/1993/ele…
Prince’s “Breakfast Can Wait” album cover features Dave Chappelle impersonating Prince. Chappelle said he had to appreciate the way his joke was co-opted. "That's a Prince judo move right there.” diffuser.fm/prince-breakf…
Unobtainium, a metal featured in films like "Avatar" and "The Core", was an engineering term coined in the 50's to describe any highly desirable material that is hypothetical, scientifically impossible, extremely rare, costly, or fictional en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uno…
Kobe’s grandma only came to see him play one game his entire career. That game he scored 81 points versus the Toronto Raptors. opencourt-basketball.com/…
Ryan Reynolds paid $10,000 of his own money for the right to wear a shirt with The Golden Girl’s Bea Arthur on it in Deadpool. The estate agreed for a donation in that amount to a charity of their choosing. Ryan paid it himself because he felt you couldn’t have Deadpool without Bea Arthur. vulture.com/2016/06/ryan-…
During the U.S. Civil War, Andrew Carnegie was drafted for the Army; however, rather than serve, he paid another man $850 to report for duty in his place, a common practice at the time. history.com/topics/19th-c…
The U.S. Navy employed a dolphin, Tuffy, to regularly deliver tools and mail to scientists living in an experimental underwater laboratory. navalhistory.org/2019/04/…
Jimi Hendrix was formally discharged from the military due to injury, however, Hendrix’s official discharge request reads: “Behavior problems, requires excessive supervision while on duty, little respect for regulations, apprehended masturbating in platoon area while supposed to be on detail.” taskandpurpose.com/histor…
European Starlings are an incredibly invasive species, introduced to the US by Eugene Schieffelin. Convinced the country needed every bird in Shakespeare’s works, he had ~100 starlings released in NYC in 1890. They are now one of the most abundant birds in North America, numbering at ~200mil. sciencefriday.com/article…
Marlon Brandon was in the Civil Rights movement throughout his career, and later advocated for the rights of indigenous Americans. His outspoken activism, in the midst of the harshly segregated '60s, earned him a reserved place near the podium of Martin Luther King Jr.'s 1963 "I Have a Dream" youtu.be/WNWxtr3is6k
Today I learned about the U.S. Air Force's doomsday weapon, SLAM. The rocket was designed to fly fast and low over the Soviet Union, dropping hydrogen bombs over predetermined targets while its unshielded nuclear reactor contaminated everything in it's path. popularmechanics.com/mili…
The rocket in Jules Verne’s 1865 story From the Earth to the Moon launched from Florida and landed in the Pacific Ocean because of Verne’s calculations. In 1969, Apollo 11 took off from Florida and landed in the Pacific Ocean. io9.gizmodo.com/how-jules…
A single dose of the antibiotic azithromycin, taken orally, can cure yaws, a horrific tropical disease that causes disfiguring, ulcerating wounds and usually occurs in children. There’s hope that the disease can be completely eradicated, like smallpox has been. sciencemag.org/news/2018/…
The unofficial motto of the U.S. Air Force crews serving in America's nuclear missile silos is 'Death Wears Bunny Slippers' because of the tendency for missileers to wear pajamas and Snuggies while on duty. mentalfloss.com/article/2…
Today I learned about the ancient Italian city of Matera, where up until the 1950’s, some people were living in caves as old as 9,000 years en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sas…
At least 3.3 million Soviet POWs died in Nazi custody, out of 5.7 million, primarily through deliberate starvation. This figure represents a total of 57% of all Soviet POWs. This is compared with 8,300 deaths (3.6%) out of the 231,000 British and U.S. prisoners. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ger…
Danny DeVito’s height is the result of Fairbank’s Disease, a rare genetic disorder that affects bone growth. biography.com/actor/danny…
The matador’s red cape does not need to be red to provoke the bull. The bull is colour blind. The red colour hides splatters of blood from the audience during the finale stabbing. scienceabc.com/nature/ani…
When future US President Lyndon B. Johnson was Senate majority leader, he instructed his staff to make his scotch and soda significantly weaker than his guest’s, so that he could keep a clearer head history.com/news/a-brief-…
Bill Murray once drove a taxi cab so that the cab driver could spend time playing saxophone in the backseat. The cab driver mentioned that he never had time to play his sax since he had to work 14 hours a day. Murray took the driver’s seat so that he could finally play some tunes. pagesix.com/2014/09/05/bi…
Nearly half of the world’s twins are born in Africa. The small West African nation of Benin has the highest concentration of twins in the world while Japan has the lowest rate of twinning. businessinsider.com/what-…
Humans often experience ‘illusions of control’ over events we cannot actually change. While psychologists in the past thought this meant we evolved to be deluded, some neuroscientists now think these false beliefs are our brain’s rational response to an uncertain and unpredictable world. psyche.co/ideas/its-not-n…
In Sierra Leone, before getting a driver's license, you have to buy a board game called "The Drivers' Way" and play it at least once. The game involves rolling stoplight-themed dice and moving models of classic cars around a board, together with answering questions about the country’s road laws newsfeed.time.com/2013/10…
There’s a cemetery in the Netherlands consisting of 8,300 US veterans who died in WWII. For the past 70 years, Dutch families have come to the cemetery every Sunday to care for a grave they adopted. Hundreds of people are currently on a waiting list to become caretakers. sidneydailynews.com/news/…
Sugar can be dangerously explosive. In 2008, 14 people died and 40 were injured when sugar dust combusted at Imperial Sugar's refinery in Georgia. A U.S. Chemical Safety Board report found the explosion was entirely preventable. The sugar industry has been aware of explosion risks since 1926. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/200…
In April of 1996, Taco Bell announced in seven leading U.S. newspapers, including the New York Times, that the company had purchased the Liberty Bell to "reduce the country's debt" and renamed it the "Taco Liberty Bell". Outraged people were happy to hear that it was an April Fools Day prank. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tac…
The only U.S. Secret Service officer killed protecting a president is Leslie Coffelt. Shot three times in the abdomen, he fired one round and hit Truman's attempted assassin in the back of the head from 31 feet away with his revolver. wtop.com/gallery/white-ho…
Leaving cookies and milk for Santa started to become popular in the U.S during the Great Depression. Parents wanted to teach their kids it was better to give and to be grateful for presents they received during times of economic hardship. history.com/news/dont-for…
Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier in 1947 only after Bell Aircraft balked at the $150,000 bonus requested by their own test pilot. Yeager completed the task as part of his standard USAAF $283/month Captain’s salary. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chu…
Baskin Robbins used to have a milkshake that contained 2600 calories, 1700mg of sodium, 135g of fat, and 263g of sugar. Unsurprisingly, Men’s Health Magazine dubbed it the worst food in the U.S. riverfronttimes.com/foodb…
At the beginning of the 19/20 English Premier League football (soccer) season, a fan jokingly placed a £10 bet on infamous Manchester United attacker Jesse Lingard not scoring all season. He lost out on £670 when Lingard scored with his final touch in the final minute of the season’s final game. futballnews.com/jesse-lin…
In the 1960’s, Paul Klipsch was found in his office, stripped down to his skivvies with the thermostat set to high. He was trying to determine why early calculators would quit when operated at high temperatures. He later sent a letter to the manufacturer, explaining the source of the problem. madmikesamerica.com/2010/…
29 of the 30 most watched broadcasts in the United States were Super Bowls, with the other one being the final episode of M*A*S*H en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lis…
The man with the world’s longest-ever beard, four and a half feet long, broke his neck and died after tripping over it. atlasobscura.com/articles…
As a schoolboy, JRR Tolkien felt "bitter disappointment and disgust" that the woods did not actually march on the villain's castle and Shakespeare’s prophecy was revealed as a rhetorical trick (Macbeth). Later, Tolkien made a point of writing a story where the trees performed as advertised. tolkienestate.com/en/writ…
Following his resignation as U.S. President in the midst of the Watergate scandal, Richard Nixon forged a successful post-presidency as an author and elder statesman, meeting many foreign leaders such as Gorbachev. In 1986 he was ranked by Gallup as one of the ten most admired men in the world. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ric…
Kurt Vonnegut adopted his sister’s three sons after she died of cancer two days after her husband died in a train accident. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kur…
“The Mahabharata,” one of India’s two major Sanskrit epics, is staggering. At about 100,000 stanzas, it is 15 times longer than the Bible and eight times as long the “Iliad” and the “Odyssey” combined. latimes.com/archives/la-x…

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