During WWII, the Germans developed the first select fire rifle: the StG44. However, automatic fire was ineffective so German soldiers were directed to only fire the weapon in semi-automatic, except in emergencies. lonesentry.com/articles/t…
Today I learned of the Scholomance, a school of black magic located in Romania. According to legend, the teacher of the school was the Devil. Upon graduation, the Devil would select one of the students to be the Weathermaker, a dragon rider responsible for controlling the weather. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sch…
Japan's All Nippon Airways is now asking passengers on select flights to empty their bladders before boarding.If all 216 passengers on an ANA Boeing 767 had pretty full bladders, that extra urine would weigh about 240 pounds. abcnews.go.com/Travel/air…
Today I learned about Mangold Hurling, a sport where competitors stand in a basket and hurl mangelwurzels (a relative of the beet) at a target. The winner is crowned Mangold King and the prize is to select the Mangold Queen from among the Mangold Maids. mangoldhurling.co.uk/
The International Space Station carries a large memory device, which contains digitized DNA sequences of a select group of humans, including physicist Stephen Hawking and talk show host Stephen Colbert, to preserve human DNA, in case some global cataclysm occurs on Earth-called Immortality Drive en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imm…
β€˜Nigerian Prince’ scam e-mails are intentionally filled with grammatical errors and typos to filter out all but the most gullible recipients. This strategy minimizes false positives and self-selects for those individuals most susceptible to being defrauded. businessinsider.com/why-n…
In 1978, The House Select Committee on Assassinations reported John F. Kennedy's brain is missing. During the autopsy, his brain was removed and placed in a stainless steel box given to the Secret Service. The box was moved to the National Archives building in 1965. As of 1966, it was gone. theguardian.com/world/sho…
Methuselah is the world’s oldest known living tree. Seeded in 2833 BC (4,851 years old). The tree is so well protected that its exact location is a closely guarded secret, known only to a select few. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Met…
An increasing number of these new apples are "club apples" β€” varieties that are not just patented, but also trademarked and controlled in such a way that only a select "club" of farmers can sell them. npr.org/sections/thesalt/…
The Chinese referred to the Roman Empire as "Great China" (Daqin) because they thought of Rome as a civilized counterpart to the Chinese Empire, and describing: "Their kings are not permanent. They select and appoint the most worthy man. [...] The people of this country are all tall and honest." en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daq…
The Sacred Band of Thebes was a troop of select soldiers, consisting of 150 pairs of male couples which formed the elite force of the Theban army in the 4th century BC, and were responsible for the defeat of the Spartans at the decisive Battle of Leuctra (371 BC). wikipedia.org/wiki/Sacred…
Bottle bills are refunds that consumers can obtain if they return select beverage containers to supermarkets or other redemption centres. The refund is only available in 10 states and ranges from 2 cents to 15 cents per container, most commonly being five cents. ncsl.org/research/environ…
Today I learned about the Baedeker blitz, when the Nazis used German guidebooks to British towns (Baedeker was the Lonely Planet of the day) to select bombing targets that would demoralize the British. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bae…
Every year a German linguists panel selects a term to be the "Un-word of the Year", believing that it is being used to attack democracy or human rights. Past Un-words have been "collateral damage", "human capital", "traitor of the people", and "alternative facts". en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Un-…
Sears once offered mail order houses. You'd select your house then Sears would ship it to you by RailRoad and you'd assemble it yourself based on the instructions en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea…
On May 11, 1995, during the first E3, Sega announced their new Saturn console would cost $400 and shockingly had been shipped to select retailers that same day. During their keynote, Sony announced the Playstation would launch at $300. Sega would exit the console business six years later. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seg…
Abraham Lincoln was challenged to a duel in 1842. As the challenged party, he would have the right to select the weapons used. He accepted the challenge and chose broadswords "of the largest size" in order to take advantage of his superior reach. battlefields.org/learn/ar…
San Francisco voters select their first, second, and third choices for mayor en.wikipedia.org/wiki/201…
Today I learned about Premium Bonds issued by the UK, which functions as a low-risk lottery. The bonds don't accrue interest, but every month prizes up to Β£1 million are distributed to select winners after a drawing. Even if you don't win, the government will buy back the bond at the original price. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pre…
Some countries require its citizens to pay a "TV license" if they intend to watch select television broadcasts. This allows broadcasters to raise fund for their services without having to show advertisements. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tel…
In 1941, Time Magazine planned to select the Disney character Dumbo as its Person of the Year, even designing a formal portrait for him and the title of "Mammal of the Year". This was until the Pearl Harbor attacks happened, forcing them to instead give the award to President Franklin Roosevelt. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tim…
The Sacred Band of Thebes was a troop of select soldiers, consisting of 150 pairs of male lovers which formed the elite force of the Theban army in the 4th century BC, ending Spartan domination. Its predominance began with its crucial role in the Battle of Leuctra in 371 BC. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sac…
The actual Coca-Cola syrup formula remains a secret, known only to a very few select (and anonymous) employees. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coc…
That, in July 2005, the British radio station Planet Rock invited their listeners to select a singer, guitarist, bassist and drummer to create the "ideal supergroup". The members of Led Zeppelin won in each category. news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/enter…
Today I learned of the Kleroterion, a device used by ancient Athenians to randomly select citizens for state councils, offices and court juries during their period of democracy. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kle…
Shoe stores used to have fluoroscopes (x-ray machines) to help customers select a size. They were used until the 1970's in the USA. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sho…
Dragonflies are capable of higher-level thought processes when hunting its prey. The discovery is the first evidence that an invertebrate animal has brain cells for selective attention, which has so far has only been demonstrated in primates. It selects one target and filters out all others phys.org/news/2012-12-dra…
In France they have short story vending machines in public locations. You can select 1, 3, or 5 minutes, and the machine prints a story on a strip of paper for free. atlasobscura.com/articles…
Today I learned about the early history of American souvenir shops. Prior to specialized gift shops, visitors often removed random aritifacts as mementos leading to decay. In an effort to combat this activity, George Washington's MT Vernon estate began making items for sale from select trees on site. pgavdestinations.com/2016…
Claw machines can be rigged by programming them to have a strong grip only part of the time, allowing the owner to select a desired level of profit and then automatically adjust the claw strength to make sure that players are only winning a limited number of times vox.com/2015/4/3/8339999/…
The Oval Office has been the main office for the President since Taft first worked in it about October 1909. After his inauguration President Taft held a competition to select an architect to enlarge and make permanent the West Wing's "temporary" Executive office whitehousehistory.org/que…
Russian Wolf hunting: Hunters on horseback would select a place in the open where the wolf or wolves may break. Each hunter held one or two borzoi wolfhounds, which would be released the moment the wolf takes flight. Once the wolf was caught by the borzois, a rider killed the wolf with a knife. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wol…
For the 200th episode of Inside the Actors Studio, James Lipton was, for once, in the other chair as the guest who was interviewed. They allowed Lipton to select his interviewer. His choice? Dave Chappelle uproxx.com/viral/classic-…
Jewish applicants to the math department of Moscow State University were given select problems. These were designed to prevent them and other "undesirables" from getting a passing grade arxiv.org/abs/1110.1556
In the 1980’s McDonald’s served McPizza in select test markets. They would even bring the pizza to the table on a rack just like sit-down Pizza Hut restaurants. But the pizzas took too long to bake and we’re mostly discontinued by 2000. mcdonalds.fandom.com/wiki…
Today I learned of Hermann Ebbinghaus, a German psychologist known for his research on memory. He created thousands of three-letter "nonsense syllables" such as PIQ or LUF. He would then select some at random, write them down, and attempt to recall them. One set took over 15,000 repetitions to remember. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Her…
British Airways allows you to select one of 19 personal titles when booking a flight reservation including Rabbi, Baron, Viscount, and The Rt Hon businessinsider.com/briti…
Spielberg often became emotionally distraught while filming Schindler's List. He was one of many crew members who found they could not watch while shooting the scene where Jews are made to run naked for Nazi doctors to select for Auschwitz. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sch…
There was a competition between professional investors, teenagers, and Orlando the Cat to see who could earn the most money in the stock market during 2012. Orlando, with an increase of 10.8%, beat the investors (3.5%) and the teenagers (-3.2%) by throwing his toy mouse to select his stocks. theguardian.com/money/201…
The "Nigerian Prince" scam is deliberately crafted with an outlandish premise and using poor english, because by sending an email that repels all but the most gullible the scammer gets the most promising marks to self-select, reducing "false positive" responses and increasing profitability research.microsoft.com/ap…
The location of the worlds tallest tree, 'Hyperion', is kept secret from all but a select few scientists. npr.org/blogs/krulwich/20…
Jim Moylan invented the gas tank indicator arrow (the little triangle on your gas gauge) in 1986 and was introduced in select Ford models in 1989. He chose not to patent it and other manufacturers soon copied his idea in their vehicles. jalopnik.com/the-inventor…
In 2012 a cat named Orlando beat top investment bankers in a year long investment competition, which he chose by throwing his favorite mouse toy at a grid to select companies to invest in theguardian.com/money/201…
McDonald's Monopoly was rigged against winners in Canada in the mid 90s. When the computer would randomly select a factory in Canada, they would rerun the program until it selected somewhere in the US. thedailybeast.com/how-an-…
Piggly Wiggly revolutionized grocery shopping in 1916 by allowing customers to select their own items, "To have no store clerks gab and smirk while folks are standing around ten deep to get waited on." mentalfloss.com/article/8…
The Dalai Lama searches & selects a Panchen Lama - the person responsible for finding the reincarnated Dalai Lama. The Panchen Lama was found in 1995, aged 6, and was subsequently kidnapped by the Chinese Government, replaced with a boy of their choosing, and never seen again. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ged…
A prison in Washington pairs up β€œdeath row” shelter cats with select inmates as part of a rehabilitation program. catster.com/the-scoop/pri…
If you randomly select 30 people, there is a 70% chance that 2 share the same birthday. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bir…
Today I learned of the Sacred Band of Thebes, a troop of select soldiers, consisting of 150 pairs of male lovers, every man selected for his ability and merit instead of high birth. They formed the elite force of the Theban army in 4th century BC and once defeated the Spartans while outnumbered. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sac…
You can actually donate your voice to help people with speech impairments so they can select a vocal identity of their own vocalid.org/about/

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