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TIL in 2015 a Chinese woman was stopped at an airport in Beijing for having a bottle of Cognac in her carry-on. Instead of handing it over to airport security, she chugged the entire bottle on the spot before taking her plane.
TIL There are three types of dashes. A hyphen (-) connects compound works, like Anglo-Saxon. The En-Dash (–) is used when showing a type of distance or range, like Mon–Fri. The Em-Dash (—) is used to add a thought into a sentence, like "I memorized the state capitals — all fifty of them."
TIL Robert Lane named his sons Winner and Loser. Winner Lane became a small-time crook, racking up over 30 arrests and a stint in state prison, while Loser Lane was a star student and athlete, who became a police detective in New York City.
TIL Switzerland accidentally invaded Liechtenstein in 2007 when 170 Swiss soldiers got lost in the rain. The Lichtenstein government accepted a Swiss apology, saying that "it has happened before" and "nobody really realised it"
TIL In December 1969, a Korean Air Lines plane was hijacked by a North Korean agent soon after taking off from Gangneung.The pilot was forced to fly to and land in North Korea. The crew, aircraft, and seven of the passengers have yet to be returned.
TIL Robert Rodriguez and John Malkovich made a film that will not come out until 97 years from now. The film is being kept in a high-tech safe behind bulletproof glass that will open automatically on 18 November 2115, the day of the film's premiere.
TIL Angkor Wat actually used a much greater amount of stone than every one of the Egyptian pyramids combined. On top of that, if also occupied a surface area greater than Paris in its entirety
TIL Dr. George Archibald spent 3 years with a highly endangered whooping crane named Tex, acting as a male crane – walking, calling, dancing – to shift her into reproductive condition. Through his dedication and the use of artificial insemination, Tex eventually laid a fertile egg.
Til the American Government tried to instill the values of home ownership in the American people with federal programs in 1917 to prevent the rise of communism as they believed people who owned their own homes had a stake in the capitalist system.
TIL that in 2013, Margit Arrobio bought a Powerball ticket for a $360 million jackpot that matched all winning numbers. The next day, she saw the media report that nobody had won, so she called the store that sold her the ticket and found out she bought it an hour after the numbers were drawn.
TIL the word “spam” used in reference to e-communications (commonly emails) comes from a 1972 Monty Python sketch in which two customers are lowered into a restaurant and everything on the menu contains spam. The connection is that no matter want you want, you can’t get away from the unwanted spam.
Today I Learned that due to the popularity of the song “Hey Ya” by OutKast, specifically the line “shake it like a Polaroid picture,” the Polaroid company had to issue a statement informing consumers that shaking the Polaroid picture will not assist in developing the photo and can actually ruin it.
TIL Bolivia became landlocked in 1904 after losing the War of the Pacific. However, the country still observes the Day of the Sea, "where politicians give speeches and people listen to the recorded sound of seagulls."
TIL of the United Flight 811 disaster; a jumbo jet's cargo door blew out, tearing a hole dozens of feet wide in the plane's body, killing nine people, and destroying two engines with debris. Despite the heavy damage, the plane kept flying and the crew landed safely, saving 346 people.
TIL the female backing singer during Elvis's infamous "laughing" version of Lonesome Tonight, who keeps singing as Elvis struggles to regain his composure because of it, was Cissa Houston, Whitney Houston's mother
TIL that when the Declaration of Independence was being drafted, Benjamin Franklin suggested that the word "sacred" be replaced with "self-evident" because he believed that the nation should be founded on reason, not faith.
TIL Indian businessman/billionaire Mukesh Ambani has invested $31 Billion to improve India's mobile and internet infrastructures since 2011, when his daughter, who was back home from Yale for holiday and tried to submit her coursework, told him that "the internet in our house sucks".
TIL During WWII, the British housed captured Nazi generals in country estates which were secretly bugged. They were invited to garden parties, lunches at the Strand in central London and were each given servants. It was so extravagant that an outraged Churchill ordered the "pampering" to stop
TIL When Leland Stanford set aside the acreage of his horse farm on the southernmost tip of San Francisco Bay to found Stanford University, he stipulated that the land could never be sold. Stanford's 8,180-acre campus is the largest in the nation
TIL: In 1795, a French cavalry unit surrounded the Dutch navy, which was blocked in by ice near Texel Island. The cavalry commander demanded and received the navy's surrender. This was not only a rare bloodless defeat but a rare defeat of a navy by cavalry.
TIL extermination camp Treblinka II was disguised as a transit camp for deportations further east, complete with made-up train schedules, a fake train-station clock with hands painted on it, names of destinations and a fake ticket window.
TIL the world's foremost expert on ants chose to study ants because when he begun his entomology career in 1947, insect pins were hard to come by due to WWII metal shortages. Unlike other insects, ants are stored in vials, not pinned.
TIL Hawaii's King Kamehameha II (1819-24) was heavily influenced by Christian Missionaries. He ended the ancient religious laws, disbanded Hawaiian priests and destroyed temples. However he never converted to Christianity because he refused to give up his five wives, especially his half-sister.
TIL that scientists have a method of growing tomatoes and fish together in a sustainable way in glasshouses using hydroponics and aquacultures. The tomatoes are called fish tomatoes, and the project was named Tomatofish.
TIL JK Rowling initially allowed the American version of Harry Potter to say "mom". She later regretted this change, and all future editions of Harry Potter used the original British words instead. A lot of other words were also 'lost in translation' e.g. crumpet became muffin.
Til in 1987 a North Korean spy blew up a plane,killing 115 people. She was sentenced to death, then pardoned, and finally married one of her interrogators—they now have two children together.
TIL Jordan Peele was initially offered the role of the Poop emoji in The Emoji Movie, ultimately leading him to take a voluntary retirement from acting. The part subsequently went to Sir Patrick Stewart.
Today I learned the name "IKEA" is actually an acronym that stands for Ingvar Kamprad Elmtaryd Agunnaryd. Ingvar Kamprad is the founder's name while Elmytrad is his farm name and Agunnaryd is his hometown.
TIL The steel from WWII battleships was used for the hugely thick walls needed in Fundamental Particle experiments – in part because it was cheap or free, and in part because it was less radioactive than later steel. Steel from the USS Missouri was used in Lederman’s Muon-Neutrino Nobel discovery.
TIL that thermometers were 1 foot long, took 20 minutes to work and were REJECTED by 50% of doctors when first introduced in the 1700's by doctors that insisted their touch was more accurate in detecting fevers
TIL singer of metal band Mötley Crüe, Vince Neil, was sentenced to 30 days in jail. He was out getting booze after partying for hours and lost control of a car which resulted in the death of Hanoi Rocks drummer Razzle and 2 people suffered brain damage. Neil got out in 15 days for good behavior.
TIL Chuck Yeager went on a Twitter tirade against the UK. Called the country 'ungrateful', 'arrogant' and 'nasty' demanded British people to say 'thank you'. Jeremy Clarkson called Chuck Yeager the biggest wanker he has ever met.
TIL in 1988, TACA flight 110 suffered a dual engine flameout during a thunderstorm. The pilot (who had lost an eye in a crossfire) managed to land the plane on a levee with only 1 minor injury. The plane was in such a good shape it was flown straight off the levee for repairs and returned to service
TIL that in 1948 a man became fatally stuck underneath his tractor, and used his pocketknife to scratch the words "In case I die in this mess, I leave all to the wife. Cecil Geo Harris" into the fender. His scratching constituted a valid will.
TIL after Columbine, Marilyn Manson wrote an article condemning the media’s coverage of the event. In it he writes, “the media, since their inception, have turned criminals into folk heroes. They just created two new ones... Don’t be surprised if every kid who gets pushed around has two new idols.”
TIL that biologists sort all animal species into 33 groups called phyla. More than half of them consist of some kind of worms. Mammals, birds, reptiles and fish are all in one phylum together.
TIL that on a small field outside of the town of Cromwell in the South Island of New Zealand is a beetle called the Cromwell Chafer (Prodontria lewisi). The beetle is found nowhere else on the planet. The entire species can be found on a 81 hectare nature reserve.
TIL, according to Italian scientists, chickens can do basic arithmetic, so if you shuffle five items in a game, they mentally keep track of additions and subtractions and choose the area with the higher number of items.
TIL In France, a chemist named Pilatre de Rozier tested the flammability of hydrogen by gulping a mouthful and blowing across an open flame, proving at a stroke that hydrogen is indeed explosively combustible and that "eyebrows are not necessarily a permanent feature of one’s face".
TIL after the infamous "Malice at the Palace" the NBA suspended nine players for a total of 146 games, which led to $11 million in salary being lost by the players. The fight also led the NBA to increase security between players and fans, and to limit the sale of alcohol in games.
TIL There is a commercial and nightlife district in Nanjing called "1912", the year the Republic of China was established. Major foreign chains like Starbucks and KFC have set up shop in historic, brick Republican-era buildings next to the Presidential Palace
TIL that Saint Lawrence was executed by being burned alive on a giant gridiron. After being burned for some time, he said "I'm well done on this side. Turn me over!" He is the patron saint of cooks and comedians.
TIL Kings Harold II Godwinson of England and Sweyn II Estridsen of Denmark had the same grandfather, Thorgil Sprakling. Many people during the medieval era believed that Thorgil Sprakling was fathered by a bear.
TIL in 1657 an English widow sued a sea captain for claiming he saw her husband running into Hell. The captain was on the island of Stromboli and saw him being chased by a man in black up and into the mouth of a volcano. The widow sued for slander, but lost because 30 witnesses backed the captain.
TIL Harrison Schmitt was the first professional scientist on the Moon. He earned his doctorate at Harvard with a 1963 thesis entitled “Petrology and Structure of the Eiksundsdal Eclogite Complex, Hareidland, Sunnmore, Norway.”
TIL Michael Asher made the first known crossing of the Sahara desert from west to east, by camel and on foot, covering a distance of 4,500 miles from Nouakchott, Mauretania, to Abu Simbel, Egypt.
TIL When Mare Moscoviense was discovered by the Luna 3, and the name was proposed by the Soviet Union, it was only accepted by the International Astronomical Union with the justification that Moscow is the state of mind.
TIL that Air Force One has 1 more takeoff than landing because President Nixon was aboard when his resignation letter was released by Secretary of State Kissinger. The pilot called to change the call sign to SAM 27000 mid-flight over Missouri.
TIL that the last thylacine died in 1936, and, due to the fact that the zoo expected to find a replacement, they did not bother to keep records of the animal. In fact, its gender was only determined in 2011 by a team of researchers looking frame-by-frame at a video of it.
TIL between 1944 and 1945, Admiral William Halsey led his Third Fleet straight into two major typhoons in the Pacific, resulting in 33 destroyers damaged, 221 aircrafts destroyed, and 796 lives lost.
TIL: The tune to "God Save the King" was used for the national anthem of Hawaii, Prussia, Bavaria, Switzerland, Siam, Greece, and Norway, at various times in their histories, as well as England and the British Empire.
TIL A Danse Macabre (Dance of Death) is an artistic reminder of the universality of death. It usually conjures up popes, emperors, kings, children and labourers. "Emperor, your sword won't help you out; Sceptre and crown are worthless here; I've taken you by the hand; For you must come to my dance"
TIL Are You Afraid of the Dark? was nominated for a NAACP award because it featured such a diverse cast. Nickelodeon turned away kids for the show that were "too Disney." Creator D.J. MacHale described "too Disney" as "apple pie, freckles, cute, over-the-top acting."