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TIL red spider lilies are poisonous and were planted near burial sites in Japan to prevent animals from digging up corpses. As a result the flowers are now associated with death, funerals, and the afterlife.
TIL in 1976, a woman sued Disney for $150,000 because she claimed that one of the Three Little Pigs grabbed and fondled her. Allegedly she gained 50 pounds due to the incident, but dropped charges after Disney's lawyers presented her with a photo of the costume, which had only inoperable stub arms.
TIL That when Crystal Pepsi was released, Coca-Cola released a competitor called Tab Clear, however Tab Clear was intentionally marketed poorly in order to hurt Crystal Pepsi's image by product association. The "born to die" strategy was successful and both campaigns were dead 6 months later.
TIL The mouses cursor is tilted because in the early days it was first a vertical arrow pointing up, but it was difficult to see a vertical line on a low res screen, so it was tilted to make it easier to find
TIL William Shatner developed tinnitis after an explosion on the set of 'Star Trek.' He coped with the condition by wearing a white noise device, which diminishes the physiological response to repeated stimuli. He became the official spokesman for tinnitis and talked someone down from suicide.
TIL the Carménère grape was considered extinct. That was until 1994 when a oenologist went to Chile and discovered that the Merlot he was tasting was, in fact, Carménère. Turns out the grape was accidentally planted and preserved when it was mistaken for Merlot.
TIL that in 2004 a flawless diamond worth $300,000 was attached to the nose cone of each Jaguar Formula One car in order to promote the film Ocean’s 12. On the first lap of the Monaco Grand Prix, one of the drivers crashed into a barrier, and the diamond was lost.
TIL the most decorated American unit in history is the 442nd Infantry Regiment, which was almost entirely made up of Japanese Americans. Out of the 14,000 who served, 9,486 earned the Purple Heart and 21 earned the Medal of Honor. The unit itself was awarded 8 Presidential Unit Citations.
TIL about Ariana Austin, an American woman who became an African princess in Oct. 2017. She married Yoel Makonnen, grandson of the last Emperor of Ethiopia & direct descendant of King Solomon & the Queen of Sheba. Prince Yoel, who met Ariana at a club in DC, initially kept his royal status a secret.
TIL A satellite launched in 1978, and thought to be shutdown in 1997, was actually discovered in 2008 still be fully operational with plenty of fuel. Through efforts of crowd funding and approval from NASA, a group successfully established contact and fired the engines for the first time since 1987
TIL the grandson of Aztec ruler Moctezuma II was baptized and married a Spanish noblewoman, his son became the first count of Moctezuma and his descendants are a part of Spanish nobility to this day.
TIL of Planned obsolescence, the practice of making a product obsolete thru various means, such as HP who designed certain inkjet printers and cartridges to shut down on an undisclosed expiration date which prevented consumers from using the ink that remained in the expired cartridge
TIL of Lachhiman Gurung, A Nepalese Gurkha who lost his arm in battle but continued to fight with his bolt action rifle, single handedly holding off over 200 Japanese troops and killing 31 until the next morning.
TIL The World Record for the fastest growing plant belongs to a certain species of bamboo. They have been found to grow up to 35 inches per day at a rate of 0.00002 mph. That’s nearly 1.5 inches an hour. You could literally watch bamboo grow before your eyes.
TIL that during his time in the Army, Jackie Robinson was put on trail for refusing to sit in the segregated portion of an army bus. Robinson was acquitted by an all-white panel of nine officers. His unit became the first black tank unit to see combat in WWII but Robinson missed combat due to court.
TIL that in 1997, CircuitCity developed DIVX, an alternative to DVDs, that could only be viewed for 48 hours before paying addition cost to continue viewing using phone lines to detect whether disc were still valid, it was estimated to be a $337 million dollar loss
TIL that in 1518 a "dancing plague" hit Strasbourg in the Holy Roman Empire driving 400 people to dance for days without rest until some collapsed or even died of heart attack, stroke, or exhaustion.
TIL on May 25, 2000, Philippines Airlines flight 812 was hijacked by a man who robbed the passengers of their valuables and then asked the pilot to depressurise the plane so that he could jump out. He was pushed by a flight attendant out from the plane and his body was found three days later.
TIL March 1, 1954, the United States carried out its largest nuclear detonation, “Castle Bravo”. Approximately five hours after the detonation, it began to rain radioactive fallout. Within hours, the atoll was covered with a fine, white, powder-like substance. No one knew it was radioactive fallout.
TIL emperor Wu of Jin (China) had so many concubines that he could not choose between them, he often rode his goat-driven carriage around the palace until the goats decided to stop. Because of this many of the women planted bamboo leaves and salt outside their bedrooms to attract the goats.
TIL that Pyongyang, North Korea has the deepest underground public transportation system on Earth. It goes 360 feet below the ground which is the equivalent of a 36 story building. The escalator trip from the surface to the platform takes 3 and a half minutes.
TIL that the famous 500 year old Treaty Oak was deliberately vandalized in 1989 with enough herbicide to kill over 100 oak trees. It managed to survive and still thrives today, albeit two-thirds it’s original size
TIL horses at shows usually have a colored ribbon attached to their tails. They each represent different things: a red ribbon means the horse is a kicker, green means the horse is inexperienced and likely to misbehave, blue means the horse is a stallion, and white means the horse is for sale.
TIL that Donkey Kong creator Miyamoto used "donkey" to convey "stubborn" in English; the name Donkey Kong was intended to convey "stubborn ape" to the American audience. When he suggested this name to Nintendo of America, he was laughed at, but the name stuck.
TIL that in the 16th century, Queen Elizabeth I of England—thinking some bottles might contain secret messages sent home by British spies or fleets—appointed an "Uncorker of Ocean Bottles," making it a capital crime for anyone else to open one.
TIL the British built a 1,100-mile hedge through the middle of India. With parts 12 feet tall and 14 feet across, the hedge was constructed along part of the Inland Customs Line, a barrier that the British created to impose a high salt tax on people living on the relatively saltless side of the line
TIL in 2009 a Japanese whaling fleet used a sonic weapon against a helicopter caring a camera crew of conservation activists. The conservationists noted that their helicopter was also equipped with a similar sonic weapon, but had only used it thus far to play a recording of "Ride of the Valkyries".
TIL Since 2006, Julia Louis-Dreyfus has been nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series (for The New Adventures of Old Christine & Veep) in all but one year (2010-11) and won 10 out of those 14 nominations.
TIL on two separate occasions, Lance Sergeant Johnson Beharry was leading a convoy of vehicles when his vehicle was hit by RPGs. On both occasions, his commander and others inside the vehicle were wounded. Both times he drove his burning vehicle out of the ambush, despite suffering head injuries.
TIL in the 1920s there was a wide ranging conspiracy to murder Osage Indians over their wealth. The murders involved friends, doctors, judges, and even some husbands of the Osage. Unable to stop the murders with local/state action, the case become one of the first major investigations at the FBI.
TIL that the Maharaja(Indian King) of Jamnagar took in and agreed to look after 1000 orphaned Polish children — Jews and Catholics alike — who faced an uncertain future during World War II. The Maharaja told the children, “You may not have your parents, but I am your father now.”
TIL Hormel's "Spam" is so popular in Hawaii it has debuted it's "Portugese Sausage", "Black Pepper", and "Teriyaki" flavors at the Waikiki Spam Jam, an annual Honolulu street festival devoted to spam. "Honey Spam", "Spam and Bacon", and "Hot and Spicy Spam" are only available in Hawaii.
TIL During the University of Texas shooting, pregnant student Claire Wilson was shot, and her fiance killed. While Wilson lay crying out for help directly in the sniper's view, student Rita Starpattern ran to her and played dead for 90 minutes, talking to Wilson to keep her awake until help arrived.
TIL Yellow crazy ants build super-colonies with up to 1,000 Queens, and can devastate the local ecosystem. The Northern Territory of Australia has an infestation covering 2,500 square kilometres.
TIL Fritz Bauer, a jew and Germany's first post-war Federal Attorney was essential in building up a democratic Germany. He prosecuted former nazis but got threats from his own work colleagues and his superiors. He was found dead in 1968 and cremated immediately without autopsy against court orders.
TIL Turkey was planning a TV show where a rabbi, a Buddhist monk, an Orthodox priest, and an imam attempt to convert 10 atheists each week, with any converts offered a free pilgrimage to one of the four holy sites. The Diyanet denied permission for an imam to appear and the program was cancelled.
TIL that President Abraham Lincoln considered granting Giuseppe Garibaldi, the man who united Italy, total control of U.S. forces during the American Civil War. Garibaldi was interested in assuming control of federal troops, but only under the condition that the U.S. abolish slavery.
TIL John Carlos forgot his gloves in the iconic 1968 Olympic Anthem protest, leaving them in the Olympic Village. It was Peter Norman who suggested Carlos wear Smith's left-handed glove. For this reason, Carlos raised his left hand as opposed to his right.
TIL, in the span of three years (1986-1989) the Soviet Union had the Chernobyl accident, the UFA train disaster and the SS Admiral Nakhimov sinking happen, claiming a total of roughly 5000 lives
TIL that ants farm another species of insect called aphids similarly to how humans farm dairy cows. The aphids secrete a sugary substance from their skin, which the ants “milk” by stroking the aphids with their antennae
TIL Of ornithologist Ken Stager, appalled at the depredations by feral pigs upon an island's brown and masked booby colonies(reduced to 500 and 150 birds), procured a shotgun and blasted all 58 pigs on the island, saving the birds which rebounded to the largest colonies in the world(25k+ & 112k+).
TIL that in 1903, a circus elephant named Topsy killed a drunken man who was using a cigarette to burn its trunk. A movie company planned to hang Topsy to death, but after protests from animal groups, instead electrocuted it to death while filming the execution for a movie.
TIL there was a man who won Olympic gold and silver in tennis, won doubles at Wimbledon, compiled a 147 break in snooker, made a century at Lord's Cricket Ground, captained the British Davis Cup team, captained league runners-up Manchester City FC, and captained the England national football team
TIL 46% Mexicans and 15% Americans suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), a disorder that causes abdominal pain, stomach cramps and change in bowel movements. Causes of IBS are still unknown, it has no specific diagnosis test, it is often misdiagnosed and it has no cure.
TIL there is a company that speeds up old TV shows so that networks can squeeze in an extra minute worth of ads. So if Monica from 'Friends' for Fez from 'That 70's Show' sound like Mickey Mouse, it's because of this.
TIL September 12 is day of conception in the Russian region of Ulyanovsk. Couples have a day off to procreate and are awarded prizes. One of the prizes includes a home. If they give birth 9 months later on Russia's national day.
TIL about one of the most one-sided trades in sports. Kris Draper was traded from the Winnipeg Jets to the Detroit Red Wings for $1. He went on to play 1,137 games and win 4 Stanley Cups as a Red Wing.
TIL of Enric Marco an impostor who claimed to have been a prisoner in Nazi concentration camps. He was awarded the Creu de Sant Jordi (one of the highest civilian awards) by the Catalan government and wrote a book on his experiences. Later on he admitted his claims were false.
TIL that most chewing gum made since WWII is based with synthetic petroleum polymers, making it non-biodegradable. Gum is the 2nd most littered object, and is expensive and time consuming to clean up.
TIL On September 8, 2009, Sgt. Dakota Meyer disobeyed a direct order to pull back from his position so he could rescue wounded soldiers from a firefight a mile away. He ended up going back five times, saving the lives of 36 soldiers, saying “That’s what you do for a brother”.
TIL "a long filament of solar material that had been hovering in the sun's atmosphere . . . erupted out into space" on 31 August 2012. This coronal mass ejection (CME) "did not travel directly toward Earth, but did connect with Earth's" magnetosphere. The CME "traveled at over 900 miles per second."