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TIL after journalist Paulette Cooper wrote an article criticizing the Church of Scientology, they tried to get her committed to a psychiatric ward by writing her name and number on street walls, subscribing her to pornographic mail lists, and faking bomb threats with her stationary and fingerprints.
TIL the scientist John von Neumann (1903-1957) could by the age of 6, divide two 8 digit numbers in his head and converse in ancient Greek. He published over 150 papers during his lifetime, and is considered by many to be among the most intellegent humans to have ever lived.
TIL that Marjory Stoneman Douglas fought against efforts to drain the FL Everglades and reclaim land for development when she was 79 years old. Her tireless efforts earned her several variations of the nickname "Grande Dame of the Everglades.” She also received the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
TIL Australian Don Ritchie talked at least 160 people out of committing suicide at Watson's Bay by offering them a cup of tea and someone to talk to. He was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia for his efforts.
TIL the last name of "How to Win Friends and Influence People" author Dale Carnegie was not originally named Carnegie - in an example of how to influence people, he changed the spelling from Carnegey to resemble the name of the more influential Andrew Carnegie
TIL Jóhann Jóhannsson had spent a year writing the score for Darren Aronofsky's "Mother" and at some point realized that the film was better with no music at all. He convinced Darren to delete everything.
TIL In 1981, horse meat labeled as beef was discovered at a plant that supplied hamburger and taco meat to Jack in the Box. The meat was originally from Australia, and during their checks on location, inspectors discovered other shipments destined for the US that included kangaroo meat.
TIL California is the 6th largest economy in the world behind USA, China, Japan, Germany, UK. It's bigger than India, France, Brazil, Italy, Russia, Canada, Spain, Australia, South Korea, Mexico.
TIL of Brian Spencer, a former NHL hockey player who's father, upon hearing his son was starting in his first game, held a Canadian TV station hostage and forced them to broadcast it, before being shot and killed. After his career, Brian too was shot & killed during a robbery after buying crack.
TIL one of the first science fiction stories, ‘Description of a New World, Called a Blazing World,’ was written in 1666 by the Duchess Margaret Cavendish. She helped popularize scientific advancements, like the telescope and microscope, and was considered the first female philosopher of her time.
TIL the fact that there are seven days to the week, internationally, and that the Sun day is followed by the Moon day, happened thanks to ancient Mesopotamia or Egypt passing it on to Greece, Rome, India, Japan...
TIL that in 2015, Americans left 658 million vacation days unused. 222 million of those days were lost because they could not be rolled over, meaning Americans worked $61 billion dollars worth of time for free.
TIL that Elvira Taylor, was a notorious 'Allotment Annie' during World War II who was discovered to have married six sailors at the same time. She was found out due to a fight between two of her husbands when they learned that they were both married to the same girl.
TIL that in future millenia, carbon dating specimens from our lifetime may not be possible because of the altering of current natural Carbon-14 levels by nuclear weapons and nuclear/fossil fuel power plants.
TIL that Hans Zimmer's "Spider Pig", from The Simpsons Movie soundtrack, entered the UK singles chart at #24. The running time for the song is a mere 1:04, making it the second shortest single to ever chart.
TIL The FedEx logo has won over 40 design awards and was ranked as one of the eight best logos in the last 35 years. The white arrow in the logo was an intentional design choice, created by blending two different fonts together.
TIL Andrew Myrick, a storekeeper on a Minnesota Native American reservation, told starving natives to get grass if they were hungry. He was found dead on the first day of the Dakota War of 1862 with grass stuffed in his mouth.
TIL that the word with the most meanings in English is the verb 'set', with 430 senses listed in the Second Edition of the Oxford English Dictionary, published in 1989. The word commands the longest entry in the dictionary at 60,000 words, or 326,000 characters.
TIL Warren Buffett, worth $78 Billion, gave his son Peter a single inheritance of $90k worth of stock at age 19. He has never given him more financial assistance. Peter spent the money on recording equipment. Had he kept the stock it would be worth over $70 million today.
TIL in 1997 Kleberg County, Texas voted unanimously to adopt "Heaven-O" as the county's official greeting. The resolution was the result of years of campaigning by local resident Leonso Canales who opposed the use of 'Hello' because it contained the word 'Hell.'
TIL on September 25, 2000, NBA player Paul Pierce was stabbed 11 times in the face, neck, and back and had a bottle smashed over his head. On November 1st, Pierce played the season opener scoring 28 points and went on to play in every game that season.
TIL the first known instance of a railway was not in modern history - written references place it as early as 600BC. The Diolkos, a grooved road paved with hard limestone, was used to roll ships across the land, saving long transport times on goods and assisting in naval campaigns.
TIL about the Flehmen response, or “stinky face.” When cats smell something they like, they open their mouths and curl up their lips because an organ on the roof of their mouths contains extra scent receptors that help them get a better whiff.
TIL the oldest restaurant in the world is Sobrino de Botín of Madrid, Spain. This has been officiated by the Guinness Book of World Records. The restaurant opened in 1725 which would make it 293 years old.
TIL In 363 AD an earthquake destroyed much of Petra, and crippled the vital water management system. The last inhabitants abandoned the city after it was further weakened by another major earthquake in 551 AD.
TIL the first atomic explosion in the United States was delayed by over two hours because the switchboard operator who was supposed to be controlling all the phone calls in Alamagordo, New Mexico was asleep on a sofa.
Today I learned that in racing, there is a very dangerous fire called an “invisible fire.” It’s caused by methanol igniting. It usually gets all over the pit crew and is very hard to put out because it’s so hard to see the flames.
TIL that when a man had a heart attack at a grocery story in rural Minnesota, 20 people lined up and performed CPR on him for over an hour and a half until paramedics arrived - and he survived
TIL In normal humans the overbite is about 3-5mm between the teeth. Overlaps greater than 5mm are classified as an abnormal overbite. The overbites make up about 70 percent of the dental disorders in children making it the most common malocclusion
TIL of the "Chicken poop prison" in Thailand. The ceiling of the cells was a grate, and chickens were cared for above the cell. Their dung was allowed to drop freely onto the criminal within.
TIL that in the 1936 Olympic games, boxer Thomas Hamilton-Brown lost his opening bout so went on an eating binge to console himself. An error was soon discovered and it turned out he didn't lose, but was disqualified from competition because he had gained so much weight from binge eating.
TIL Leonard Nimoy released multiple albums, including a two sided record titled "Two Sides of Leonard Nimoy". One side featured him singing songs as Spock; the other side featured songs related to his personal interests.
TIL the Whopper Jr was created by accident in 1963 by the manager of the first Burger King restaurant in Puerto Rico. The molds for the standard Whopper buns didn't arrive so he used a much smaller local bun. The result was such a success that BK adopted it worldwide and called it the Whopper Jr.
TIL Surgeons in The Republic of Georgia replaced a cancer patient's amputated penis with a "fully-functioning" substitute made from skin grafts and the man's middle finger. He has two girlfriends and a full sex life.
TIL that honey badgers' skins are so tough that spears and arrows are almost useless against them, and it's commonly held that the only certain way to kill them is "a direct shot in the head with a fairly powerful rifle."