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TIL about an orangutan named Ken who escaped from his enclosure at the San Diego Zoo multiple times in the 80's. His apparent goals were visiting other animals, throwing rocks at a despised orangutan rival and taking photos with tourists.
TIL sharks enter a trance-like state known as tonic immobility when turned upside down. A female orca off the coast of California was observed rolling a Great White over to induce this state and was one of the first cases of predation on a Great White in the wild by anything other than a human.
TIL Frank Zappa was a futurist who was enthusiastic for the possibility of holographic imagery. So much so that he recorded footage of himself in the early 70s with the intention to be used when technology got to that point. A Frank Zappa holographic tour using that footage starts next year.
TIL of Hussain al-Shahristani. An Iraqi who was forced into solitary confinement in prison for 8 years under Saddam Hussein. He kept his sanity by “making up mathematical problems, which he then tried to solve.” He later became Iraq’s minister of higher education and scientific research.
TIL on 22nd January 1943, the temperature at Spearfish (South Dakota) rose 27°C in just 2 minutes from -20°C to 7°C, then plummeted back from 12°C to -20 °C over a 27 minute period causing windows to crack
TIL Jeff Goldblum tried to hire a prostitute at the age of 13. He had heard about the red light district so stole $5 from his father and went to pick a girl. On the way to the room, he chickened out.
TIL James Doohan, Scotty from Star Trek, was shot six times on D-day, four in his leg, one in the chest, and one that cost him the middle finger on his right hand...something he would conceal on-screen during most of his career as an actor.
TIL that the sandwich was popularised by the 4th Earl of Sandwich, who ordered that meat be placed between two slices of bread for easy consumption. He therefore was able to gamble and eat at the same time.
TIL that Alexander Fleming, discoverer of the miracle drug, Penicillin, almost gave up on it entirely because it was very hard to extract. It was only with the help of Sir Howard Florey and Ernst Chain, whom developed a method of mass production, could penicillin be made available to millions.
TIL the X in Xmas literally means "Christ." In Greek, the word Christos (Christ) begins with the letter "X," or chi. Early in the early fourth century, Constantine the Great popularized the shorthand for Christ. Most scholars agree the first appearance of Xmas dates to an Anglo-Saxon scribe in 1021.
TIL That the tetanus is not directly related to rust, it's caused by a soil bacterium. Iron just gets usually rusty after spending some time in the soil, and the rust is a nice place for the bacterium to live in.
TIL that there are poop banks that will pay you for your stools. The stool samples are processed and are used to treat people suffering from infections of C. difficile -- a bacteria that causes severe gastrointestinal distress. Dedicated poopers can make up to $13,000 a year.
TIL the term "Freelancer" refers to a knight in the Middle Ages not under feudal oaths who sold his services to the highest bidder. Since a knight's primary weapon was a lance, he was a "free" "lancer"
TIL Hulk Hogan was fired by WWF chairman Vince Mcmahon Sr. for accepting the role of Thunderlips in Rocky III. Due of his popularity from this film, two years later Mcmahons son Vince Jr, brought him back to the WWF using Hogans fame to eventually create WrestleMania.
TIL about Abigail and Brittany, a pair of conjoined twins who have lived remarkably regular lives; each girl has total control of one arm and they coordinate movement through unexplainable processes, demonstrating a deep connection despite having their own brains and spines.
TIL when NBC decided to air 'The Office' after the Super Bowl, execs encouraged the show's producers to cast celebrity guest stars. They booked Jack Black, Jessica Alba, and Cloris Leachman but instead of writing them in with the regular cast, they stared in a fake movie the cast watched.
TIL that in "Back To The Future", Doc Brown always has a notable hunch because actor Christopher Lloyd, at 6 feet 1 inch, towered over Michael J. Fox's 5 feet 5 inches. The two characters needed to look closer in height, so he was told to hunch down during scenes with Fox.
TIL That Frederick II, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire who was highly interested in languages, raised 6 young infants without any human interaction in an effort to discover the "natural" language of the human race. The only result was the death of the babies, as they needed human contact to survive
TIL Cotton-Eyed Joe is actually an American folk song that pre-dates the Civil War. It likely originated from slaves, but the earliest recording was made by a white man known as Fiddlin' John Carson. Today the best known recording of it is by a Swedish band called Rednex.
TIL that while camels now live in Australia as an invasive species, there are records of aboriginal people first seeing them. One man, Andy Tjilari, recalled following the camels with his family, concluding that "this horse is ignorant".
TIL: In the Star Trek universe, Enterprise is called Enterprise because of a line of space ships with that name starting with one of the first manned spaceships from Earth. In real life, the first space shuttle was called Enterprise because of Star Trek.
TIL about a set of twins that reunited after 37 years in 1979. Both were named Jim by their adoptive parents, loved carpentry and math, and pursued careers in security. Even stranger, they had each married a woman named Linda and then remarried a woman named Betty.
TIL Sherlock Holmes never speaks the line "Elementary, my dear Watson" in the books by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. It was said by Basil Rathbone in the movie 'The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes'
TIL French doctor Ludovic O'Followell in 1904 used x-ray technology to demonstrate the negative health effects of corset tightlacing, using striking radiological images to great effect in his paper Le Corset.
TIL that countries in Central Asia end with stan, such as Kazakhstan and Tajikistan, because it comes from the Persian root istan which means land. So Kazakhstan means land of the Kazakhs.
TIL about Albert Göring, younger brother of prominent Nazi leader Hermann Göring. Albert "despised" the Nazi party and used his brother's name and influence to help Jews and dissidents escape the Nazi regime.
TIL of Buford Pusser, the inspiration for the "Walking Tall" movies. As sheriff he waged a one-man war against the Dixie mafia in his small town. He survived multiple assassination attempts, including one which killed his wife. He eventually died in a one-person car accident at 36 years of age.
TIL The American soldiers guarding Saddam Hussein grew to have an attachment to him. At his execution, they were distraught, feeling like they betrayed and murdered a close friend or family member.
TIL Mark Twain,at 70 years, had a disturbing passion for “collecting” girls age 10-16 in a club and called them “angelfish”. He would stop talking to them once they aged 16 due to not being “innocent” in his eyes anymore.
TIL the Doolittle Raid was an air raid led by LtCol Jimmy Doolittle of the USAAF in reprisal for the Pearl Harbor attack. On April 18th, 1942, 16 bombers launched from the USS Hornet, causing negligible damage, but proved Tokyo was vulnerable, and caused significant psychological trauma to Japan.
TIL Ancient Greeks preferred small penises, as it was thought a man with a large penis was a barbarous half-animal with no self-control, while a man with a small penis was smarter and closer to the wisdom of the gods.
TIL that gas is priced in tenths of a cent because of a $0.01 gas tax to get out of the Great Depression in 1932. The tax never went away and the government kept it as 9/10 because it appeals more to the consumer than if it was rounded up to the nearest cent.
TIL: Laurence Tureaud named himself professionally as Mr. T because he hated how his father, uncle, and brother who returned from Vietnam, were disrespectfully called "boy" by whites. He wanted the first word from everybody's mouth to be "Mister" when speaking to him.
TIL Hitler didn't plan on utilizing established Nazi groups within the U.S. during a prospective invasion, but instead had plans to leverage Native American groups to undermine the Roosevelt administration.
TIL: About the "Rabbit Test". An early pregnancy test where they would inject a woman's blood or urine into a rabbit. The rabbit would then be killed and dissected. If the woman is pregnant, a chemical in their blood and urine will cause the rabbit's ovaries to enlarge.
TIL that Chuck Norris served as an Air Policeman in the Air Force, 1958-1968. It was during his military service that he started using the name "Chuck" and first began learning martial arts.
TIL in 2001, Honda prepared to release a car called the Fit, or in European markets, 'Fitta', unaware that in Swedish, the word translates to a vulgar term for a vagina. The slogan would have been, 'The all-new Fitta, small on the outside, big on the inside.' It was renamed the Jazz before release
TIL: Covent Garden Ladies was London's directory of prostitutes published from 1757-95. It advertised different women, for example: "Miss Clicamp: finest, fattest figure as fully finished for fun and frolick as fertile fancy ever formed. Fortunate for the true lovers of fat."
TIL that San Francisco passed an ordinance in 1912 that evicted all existing cemeteries from its city limits. Most of the interred were moved to cemeteries in a town called Colma, just south of SF. This lead to Colma having, by 2015, an estimated 1,500 residents and over 1.5 million deceased.
TIL about the mass sacrifice at the Great Pyramid of Tenochtitlan. Spanish sources claim the Aztecs sacrificed 80,000 people over four days, which would be 840 sacrifices per hour. Some modern scholars claim it was closer to 4,000, which would still be 41 sacrifices per hour for the entire festival.
TIL June Foray voiced so many familiar characters in her career- from Tweety/Sylvester's Granny, Cindy Lou Who, Rocky the Squirrel, even Chatty Cathy the first talking doll- that Chuck Jones said, "June Foray is not the female Mel Blanc. Mel Blanc was the male June Foray."
TIL The film "The Message" (1976) tells the story of early Islam and the life of Muhammad without depicting him, in accordance with Islamic law. His face is not depicted on-screen, his voice is not heard and his presence is only announced with "light organ music".
TIL: The Donner Party set out from Springfield, Illinois. A local lawyer named Abraham Lincoln considered joining them on their journey. The ill-fated group of pioneers set out in 1846 to travel to California but got trapped in the Sierra Nevada Mountains for the winter.
TIL that drinking coffee longterm reduces your alertness level to less than that of a normal non-drinker due to daily acute withdrawal effects, and you need to drink coffee just to temporarily return to normal alertness levels
TIL Psychosis can be contagious, for example - Lasègue-Falret syndrome: Transmission of psychotic symptoms from a sick person to one person or several healthy individuals who elaborate on the induced delusions.
TIL a review led by a team of international researchers found that dairy consumption did not pose a cardiovascular/stroke risk. The review included studies totaling 938,465 participants. The data showed no association between dairy consumption and cardiovascular/stroke risk.
TIL that Imperial Japanese pilot Sakio Komatsu tried to save his home carrier Taiho by kamikaze ramming an oncoming torpedo. Though he did manage to set that torpedo off, another one hit and sunk the Taiho.
TIL In the 3 volume 2000 page Principia Mathematica it takes until page 86 in Vol.II to prove that 1+1=2, a proof humorously accompanied by the comment, "The above proposition is occasionally useful."
TIL that the NASA Apollo guidance computer used 'Rope Memory' - actual woven ropes of copper wire bound in ferrite cores - as contemporary computer disks could never survive the radiation of space
TIL The Philadelphia Eagles stadium is well known for its renewable energy due to very visible wind turbines on top of the stadium. But together they can only power a single hair dryer, with the bulk of the renewable energy coming from solar panels over the parking lots.
TIL That while the 2nd Earl of Grey abolished slavery and reformed child labor laws in England during his political leadership, he will be most famously remembered for the beloved tea he helped introduce to the world.
TIL: The first food consumed on the Moon was Christian sacramental bread and wine by Buzz Aldrin. He kept it a secret due to lawsuits filed by American Atheists over the Genesis reading on Christmas 1968.
TIL about the Iffland-Ring, a diamond-studded ring, the holder of which is considered to be the "most significant and most worthy actor of the German-speaking theatre". It is passed down by will from each actor to the next and the current holder is Bruno Ganz, who played Hitler in "Untergang".
TIL: Jack "King" Kirby designed sets for the film version of Robert Zelazny's *Lord of Light*. The movie was never made, but the set designs were picked up by the CIA who used them to rescue hostages from Iran and renamed the would-be film *Argo*.
TIL that the tragedy of the Library of Alexandria burning down and "setting knowledge back centuries" is a myth. In reality, the Library slowly declined over many years and by its end, most major cities had similar libraries with many of the same works.
TIL that Ben Franklin has an illegitimate son named William, who was a prominent loyalist leader and organized troops to fight on the side of Britain in the revolution. After the war he was exiled to Britain and died without ever reconciling with his father.
TIL that Edward Lear coined runcible, a nonsense word. It apparently was one of his favorite inventions, appearing in many of his works (such as his self portrait). The word is also used especially in runcible spoon "spoon with three short tines like a fork," which first took the name 1926.
TIL Oslo, Norway was founded in 1040 by Harald Hardrada. The city was destroyed by a fire in 1624 & renamed Christiania. It was then renamed Kristiania from 1877-1897 & only renamed Oslo again in 1925.