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  1. When the classic musical The Sound of music first hit South korea, it was so popular that one Cinema owner in the capital city of Seoul edited it to make it shorter so he could get in more viewings and more customers each day. All he cut out were all of the songs.
  2. Fishing may be relaxing, but it is also the activity most frequently associated with drowning and other water-related fatalities.  From 1991-2000, there were 5,900 water-related deaths in Canada; of those, 889 died fishing or 15%.  More fishers drown than power boaters, canoeists, scuba divers, sailors and kayakers *combined.
  3. Where do the Irish go on St Patrick’s day? Not to the pub, at least not between 1926 and 1960, when the pound were ordered closed for the religious holiday.  You couldn’t get a pint on Good Friday either, the Friday before Easter Sunday, and that lasted until 2017, but you could still drink at the Royal Dublin dog show.  
  4. Across the Ages
  5. Saudi authorities have cracked down on beauty pageant contestants using botox, filler, facelifts and other cosmetic procedures.  Specifically, camel beauty pageants.  The King Abdulaziz Camel Festival invites the breeder of the most beautiful camels to compete for $66 million in prize money.
  6. giraffes love acacia, so acacia have evolved to defend themselves.  They release a compound called ethylene when predated.  Nearby trees detect this and begin to increase tannin biosynthesis, which makes the leaves poisonous.  To avoid that, giraffes only eat from trees that are upwind of trees other giraffe are eating.
  7. Mount Howe in Antarctica harbours the southernmost known indigenous life — a colony of bacteria and yeasts.  All bacteria and other life on the ice as far south as the pole appear to be weather-deposited strays. 
  8. Against All Oddities
  9. Ever find an old laptop and think “wow, this thing is heavy and thick.”  Be glad it wasn’t the Osborne I, one of the first laptop computers.  Released in 1981, it weighed 23.6 pounds (10.7 kg), as much as a big sack of dog food.  It had no battery and a 5 in CRT screen, but you did get dual 5.25 in single-density floppy drives.   Pause the show if you need to explain to your kids what physical media was.
  10. In Barrow, Alaska, 300 miles north of the Arctic Circle, after the sun sets on November 18, it won’t be seen again until January 23.  On the flip side, they also get 80 days of uninterrupted sun in the summer.
  11. Ever wonder why the smoke that beekeepers pump over the bees calms them? What it’s actually doing is masking attack pheromones from the guard bees. Basically, it drowns out the security alarm.
  12. Based on a True Story
  13. In 1912, Congress made it illegal to distribute films of boxing matches, to suppress black boxer Jack Johnson’s victory over a white opponent for the heavyweight world title, which had provoked racial violence from whites in the cities where it was shown. 
  14. If you get annoyed with people who still insist on phone calls rather than texts or want to fax you something, you will be chagrined to learn that 17 million telegrams are sent every year.  One reason for this is that a telegram is considered to be sent when it is given to the telegram company, so if you have to submit something official in writing, telegram beats mail. (Again though, you could probably just email it.)
  15. The role of Frasier Crane on Cheers was written specifically for John Lithgow, but he didn’t take the role because he wanted to focus on movies, and by “focus on movies,” he was quoted as saying that episodic television was beneath him.  Seeing as how the spin-off show Frasier got 11 seasons, Lithgow has also been quoted as saying he regrets that decision.
  16. Because Language
  17. The molecular arrangement of the aroma of a lemon is a mirror image of the molecular arrangement of the aroma of an orange. I don’t know what we’re going to do with that information, but we have it.
  18. If Marty McFly went back in time the same amount from right now rather than 1985 instead of getting out of the DeLorean and hearing Mr sandman, he would hear enter sandman. I both love and hate this fact.
  19. Like a canary in a coal mine, slugs were used in the trenches of WWI to alert troops to mustard gas attacks.  Slugs can detect mustard gas in much smaller concentrations than humans, meaning further in advance of the deadly cloud rolling in, and would close their breathing pores and scrunch up their bodies to protect themselves, signalling to the men to put on their gas masks.
  20. Ben Franklin’s World
  21. Operation Persist is a program by an Australian police department to try to solve cold cases by printing the victim and case details, along with the reward for information, on playing cards which it distributes in prisons.
  22. Dweezil’s registered birth name was Ian Donald Calvin Euclid Zappa.[5] The hospital at which he was born refused to register him under the name Dweezil, so Frank listed the names of several musician friends. “Dweezil” was a nickname coined by Frank for an oddly curled pinky toe of Gail’s. At the age of five years, Dweezil learned that his legal name was different, and he insisted on having his nickname become his legal name. Gail and Frank hired an attorney and soon the name Dweezil was official.
  23. China has more billionaires than the United States, but at the same time, if their population of migrant laborers were to leave to form their own country, it would be the fourth most populous country in the world.
  24. Bewilderbeast
  25. Upper Egypt was in the south and lower Egypt was in the north, because the names were based on the flow of the Nile, starting in the upper and going to the lower.
  26. If you don’t believe that language is fluid and words change their meaning, just look at the fact that the word Nimrod was the name of an especially wise judge in the Bible for x number of years, until bugs Bunny set it to Elmer fudd sarcastically and it has been an insult ever since.
  27. More Canadians live south of the 49th parallel than Americans living in the states of Washington, Montana, ND and of course Alaska. In fact, more Americans live north of the southernmost point of Canada than Canadians do.
  28. Bound by the Cloak
  29. Of the 206 countries who competed in the 2020-21 Tokyo Olympics, over 70 countries have never won a single medal in any Olympic games ever, about 1 in 3.  Since that was a summer Olympics, which includes equestrian events, no, the horses don’t get medals; they get ribbons.
  30. While it’s a ubiquitous Halloween classic now, when Hocus Pocus was released in theaters, it only earned $35mil at the box office –profitable but not by enough– probably because Disney released it in July 1993, long before celebrating spooky-tide year round was a thing.  Disney also sat on the home video release for over a year.
  31. What size qualifies as “microscopic” varies depending on what kind of science you’re working in.  In thermodynamics, it described objects and events too small to measure or observe directly.  in biology, microscopic is loosely objects that are most commonly too small to see but of which some members *are large enough to be observed with the naked eye.  In physics, the microscopic scale is measured in micrometers, a millionth of a meter.
  32. Box of Oddities 
  33. If you don’t think ancient Polynesian wayfarers navigating the Pacific is impressive, bear in mind the Pacific Ocean covers more of the Earth’s surface than all the dry land on all seven continents combined.
  34. In addition to having larger ears than Asian elephants, African elephants, both male and female have tusks, we’re only some male Asiatic elephants do, and the females never do.
  35. One of the puppets in the horror classic Puppet Master was based on actor Karl Kinski, who was so difficult to work with, refusing to respond to “action” or “cut” and physically attacking crewmembers, that one director gave real consideration to killing him for the insurance money instead of finishing the movie, and the cast and crew agreed.  
  36. Bunny Trails  
  37. Ben Hammersley, British author and journalist, minted the word “podcasting” in an interview with The Guardian in 2003, as he pondered what the RSS_based media should be called.  Other terms he said in the same breath included audioblogging and guerillamedia, one word.
  38. Despite what you might have seen on Gladiator or any of the Spartacus runs, historians still aren’t sure if the thumbs-down meant a gladiator would be killed or if it meant the winner should drive his sword into the sand and spare the loser.  Accounts are vague, since everyone at the time knew what it meant, and probably shifted or completely reversed its meaning at least once along the way.
  39. When Elvira Mistress of the dark was at the height of its popularity, a Miami TV station ran a billboard with her picture. A few dozen people called in to complain about her cleavage, so they slapped on a sensor bar. Then hundreds of people called to complain.
  40. Calling All Creatures
  41. The brains of left-handed people have more even activity levels across the hemispheres than the brains of right-handed people, because they are forced to use their non-dominant hand so much of the time out in the world.
  42. Big Babylon was a super gun created under orders from Saddam Hussein, with an intended barrel length of 500 ft/156m and a barrel diameter of 3 ft and would have used 1300lbs/600kg projectiles.  It’s just as well it was never used – the recoil force would have been 27,000 metric tons – equivalent to a nuclear bomb and sufficient to register as a major seismic event all around the world. 
  43. Sri Lanka has a big problem with athletes “decamping” when competing in foreign countries – and not just defecting, full on disappearing.  In 1993, only 1 of the 11 athletes in Canada for a wrestling competition came home.  In 2007, an Olympic coach disappeared in Italy. They lost a hockey player and a beach volleyball player During the 2014 Asian Games in South Korea, but the most infamous case was in 2004, when the entire handball team of Sri Lanka just up and disappeared in Germany.  
  44. Calm History
  45. You know how web domains sometimes denote the country of origin, like .jp for Japan?  The truly choice domain .tv comes from the island of Tuvalu, a tiny isolated Pacific island nation.  Fishing and selling fishing rights used provides most of their $50 million GDP, but 10% comes from 
  46. American folding money is boring and dumb.  In Mexico, flip over a new 50 peso bill and you’ll be greeted by a smiling axolotl.  The axolotl, or water monster, is an endangered amphibian endemic to Mexican waterways lakes.  The front of the 50 peso bill shows the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan.  And what do we have?  Mostly slave-owners, with one in particular who even hated banks and paper money.  We really need to get on the native wildlife kick.
  47. If you’re in a fast food joint that sells chicken nuggets in boxes of 6, 9, and 20, it is impossible to order 43 nuggets.  You can order any number lower than 43 or higher than 43, but you cannot order exactly 43 nuggets.  It *is possible if you get a kids meal or the value 4-pack, but you didn’t come here for practical, real-world advice.  At least, you shouldn’t.
  48. Chasing Enlightenment 
  49. Uganda has the greatest female representation in any world parliament at 63%.  Rwanda is a close second with 61%, Cuba has 54% and Nicaragua 51%.  The US, if you’re curious, is at 27%.  Uganda was also the first country to ban plastic bags.
  50. We say “cheese” when having our picture taken to get a nice, toothy smile, while in South Korea, they say kimchi, France says outstiti, which is a little marmoset monkey.
  51. Messak Settafet is in the Sahara, and is known for having more prehistoric tools than any other place on Earth, at 75 artefacts per square metre (nearly 200 million per square mile). Over 100,000 tools were made from local sandstone. It has been claimed that the rock used to make the tools would be enough to build three Great Pyramids of Giza for every square mile over the entire continent. 
  52. Coffincast
  53. Bolivia, despite being a landlocked country, maintains a 5000 person navy.  Bolivia lost access to the Pacific Ocean during the 1879 War of the Pacific. In 1963, the Bolivian government established a freshwater force (Fuerza Fluvial y Lacustre) to patrol Lake Titicaca and Bolivia’s larger rivers.  Their navy is still bigger than Estonia’s; they have only 6 ships, despite being nearly surrounded by water.
  54. If your midlife crisis manifests as a change of location and career, why not move to China and become a panda nanny.  You’ll make $32,000 per year, plus meals, board and the use of an SUV.  Applicants should be 22, have writing and photography skills, and “some basic knowledge of pandas.”
  55. It has been law in the Ottoman Empire that if the Grand Vizier were sentenced to death, he could try to win his life back by beating the executioner, who was also the head gardener, in a 300m foot race.  If the Vizier won, he’d only be banished.  You know how pirates supposedly had the black spot to tell someone ‘that’s your ass’?  For the vizier, it was being served a bowl of sherbet that was red, rather than the usual white.  
  56. Everything I Learned from Movies
  57. The 1976 episode of Sesame Street with guest star Margaret Hamilton, aka the Wicked Witch of the West, was long considered lost.  It only aired once and was removed from syndication or home releases after complaints flooded in from parents who said it was too scary.  It was never really “lost,” since it was archived at the Library of Congress, but the public didn’t have easy access to it until it was put on YouTube the week I recorded this.
  58. Bruce Willis became the subject of an entire category at the 2021 Golden Raspberries (Razzies). He appeared in 8 movies that year, none of which has a Rotten Tomatoes score higher than 20%. 5 of the 8 have scores of 0.  I’m not here to judge; make your paper, booboo.
  59. The movie Titanic saved three sailor’s lives.  An explosion on a tanker ship in 2004 had it heading straight for the bottom.  Most of the crew jumped off the boat immediately, but three sailors hung on as long as possible, just like Jack and Rose did.  And a good thing, too – they were the only survivors.
  60. Who Arted?
  61. Elephants are a real problem for farmers in Tanzania.  They can’t kill the elephants to stop them gobbling up huge swaths of crops, and most methods to keep them away long-term cost a lot of money.  That’s why farmers instead fill condoms with hot chii powder and use bottle rockets to launch them at the elephants.  The resulting cloud of capsaicin, as well as the noise of the ordinance, makes the elephants pick another dining spot.
  62. The oldest continuously played sport in the world is Turkish oil wrestling, or Yagli Gures.  A festival dedicated to it has been held annually since 1364, and you know it’s older than that.  Two men, covered in oil, wear trousers and wrestle, battling it out in matches that can last for hours.  You’re allowed to stick your hands down your opponents pants for leverage, but the rules explicitly forbid grabbing the other lad’s tackle.
  63. Russian nesting dolls trace their roots back to Japanese nesting dolls kokeshi.  A Russian artist brought the idea home after seeing some at an exhibition in Paris in the 1890’s.  You know what *is Russian, though?  Tumbleweeds.  They’re not native to North America.
  64. Footnoting History
  65. Stereotype, cliche, ditto, typecasting, and even the phrase “make an impression” all began as printers’ terms.  Stereotyping was making lots of something with a single printing plate, cliche is the French word for it.  Ditto comes from the Italian word, “detto,” which means “to say” and gave its name to an early for of copy machine called a ditto machine, like a mimeograph without the purple ink.
  66. The Alfred Hitchcock  classic Rope (1948) is comprised of 10 continuous takes, single shots with no edits. Hitchcock wanted to do longer takes, but was limited by the size of the film magazine. Each take used approximately 1000 feet of film.
  67. We like to joke that every animal in Australia wants to kill you.  Some, like sugar gliders, are too small, or koalas, too slow, to kill you, but they still want to.  The deadliest animal in Australia is not a snake, shark, or spider – it’s horses and cows.  In a 9 year period, they killed the most people at 77, three times more than all stinging insects, more than insects, reptiles, dogs and crocodiles combined.  Kangaroos killed 60 people, btw
  68. How Good It Is [find link]
  69. It takes 47,000 gallons of paint to cover the Golden Gate Bridge. The paint adds 500,000 pounds of weight to the bridge, and is a custom color called Golden Gate Bridge International Orange.
  70. The least spoken language in the United States is Chemehuevi, a member of the Uto-Aztecan language family. As of today, there are 3 fluent speakers of the language. It has a 2500 word dictionary and is actively being revived by Simuvaats Junior College.
  71. Curly hair is an adaptation in mammals to help retain heat. In humans, it is not known why hair is still curly, though follicle shape plays a role. The follicle in curly headed folks has an elliptical shape, whereas straight hair follicles are round.
  72. I Know Dino
  73. Since 1966, Batman has appeared in 10 live action films and 2 animated features, with 8 different actors portraying the Dark Knight, to say nothing of the 9 solo animated serieses plus ensemble cartoons like Justice League.  And yet there are not enough people who sufficiently worship the video for Batdance.  Looks, you either love it or you’re wrong.
  74. Scientists have discovered the world’s largest bacterium in a mangrove swamp in the Caribbean, Thiomargarita magnifica, which is visible to the naked eye, at about the size of an eyelash.  That’s not very big, but again, we’re talking about bacteria, so it’s 1k times normal size. 
  75. The loudest sound possible is 194 decibels. This creates a pressure deviation of 101.325 kPa, which, in essence, creates a vacuum between the sound waves. Sounds louder than 194 decibels become shockwaves.  The loudest shout on record is that of Belfast primary school teacher Annalisa Flanagan, who yelled the word “quiet” at 121.4db, louder than a rock concert.
  76. Jordino Talks
  77. The most  powerful laser in the world is located at the Extreme Light Infrastructure for Nuclear Physics (ELI-NP) in Romania, with a power output of 10 petawatts, or 10,000,000,000,000,000 watts.  The power for an average laser pointer is a measly 0.005 watts, but that doesn’t mean it’s safe – if you pointed it directly at your eye from an arm’s length away, the little illuminated dot on your eyeball would be 30 times brighter than the midday sun.
  78. Good news, everyone!  You don’t have to wait to die to be an organ donor.  Living organ donors can donate a lung, a kidney, a lobe of the liver, and parts of the pancreas and intestines.
  79. The mascot of Yuma High School in Yuma, AZ is the Criminals. This unusual mascot is a nod to the Yuma Territorial Prison, which housed prisoners from 1876 to 1909, and was the home of the high school from 1910 to 1914.  There’s also the Arkansas school for the deaf and their mascot, the leopards.  If you didn’t get that, you’re probably under 35.
  80.  Legendary Africa
  81. The youngest Grammy winner in the history of the award is Leah Peasall of the Peasall Sisters, who was 8 years old.  The trio of sisters were the singing voices for the Little Wharvey Gals in the soundtrack for O Brother Where Art Thou.
  82. It is estimated that Bitcoin mining, the process of creating more bitcoin by solving incredibly complex computational problems, uses about 91 terawatt-hours or electricity per year, roughly equivalent to the annual power needs of Finland.
  83. The Australian Football International Cup is a triennial competition to crown the best Australian Rules Football team in the world. Ironically, Australia is not allowed to participate due to its overwhelming advantage in player development.  There, see, a sports fact.  This show truly is all things to all people.
  84. Lost Spaces
  85. The hurdy-gurdy is a mechanical string instrument that produces sound by a hand-crank-turned, rosined wheel rubbing against the strings. It is used interchangeably with bagpipes in a number of regions in Europe to produce a droning sound. [sfx]  I love them and I’ve always had my eye on the kit to build one from the Lark in the Morning catalog.
  86.  The song with the longest title to ever chart in the top 40 is Rod Stewart & The Face’s /  1974 no. 12 hit: You Can Make Me Dance Sing Or Anything (Even Take The Dog For A Walk, Mend A Fuse, Fold Away The Ironing Board, Or Any Other Domestic Shortcomings).  Is it a good track?  It’s fine, like objectively, but I didn’t finish it.  So on behalf of the people of 1974, the best excuse I can offer is “cocaine’s a helluva drug.”
  87. Every time you shuffle a deck of cards, the smart money says you have put them in an order that has never been seen in the history of the universe.  That’s because there are 52! (52 factorial) ways to arrange the cards. That means 52 x 51 x 50 x 49 x … x 2 x 1.  The number is 68 digits long; if I tried to read it, we’d be here all day.  Factorial is written as an exclamation point and can be referred to as a shriek.
  88. Contrarians
  89. When you get a suspicious email and klaxons go off in your head, saying this is not legit, this is a scam, that’s exactly what the scammers want you to think.  Even the best-constructed scam emails will have typos to weed out the people smart enough to notice them and therefore too smart to fall for the scam if they responded.  Fastidious pedantry saves the day again!
  90. If you hear the phrase “Abandon Ship,” you expect to next hear “Women and children first.”  This is the “Birkenhead Drill” and it’s only ever happened *twice.  The first was on a ship called the Birkenhead, natch, when the captain held a gun to his crew and ordered that it should be women and children first.  So definitely not in the manual.  The second time was on the Titanic.  You need sailors in the lifeboats to row, navigate, and generally keep those women and children alive.
  91. Part 2 If you need to avoid pig-based products for medical or moral reasons, good luck to you, friend.  Pig derivatives can be used in safety gloves, collagen for cosmetic surgery, energy bars, low-fat butter, chewing gum, X-ray film, drug capsules, ballistic gelatine, bread-flour improver, tambourines, heart valves, cheap wine corks, stabilizing propellant in bullet-making, inkjet paper, concrete, match heads, bone china, train breaks, yogurt, fabric softener, beer, wine and ice-cream; bio-diesels, soap, shampoo, crayons; cigarette filters, toothpaste, and paintbrushes. 
  92. Reindeer noses are so packed with blood vessels, they can in fact turn red. The cold, dry air is warmed by capillaries and moistened by a thick layer of mucus. Reindeer can breathe in air at -40 degrees Celsius, and by the time it reaches their lungs the air is +38 degrees Celsius in a single second. Then is cooled by about 20 degrees before it exits the nose and the moisture is recaptured in the nasal mucus.
  93. Lots of lies get spread on purpose as part of wartime propaganda, but sometimes it just happens.  A newspaper accidentally swapped the caption under two pictures, one about the war and the other about dead horses being processed into soap and other products.  It wasn’t uncommon for concentration camp guards to threaten captives with being killed and turned into soap, so this looked like proof.  There is no evidence of any organized efforts to make soap out of human corpses.    
  94.  Talk Tull to Me
  95. The Argentinian army has 20 llamas on staff with Artillery Group 5.  Their job is “operational movements,” basically carrying materials and ordnance through remote and treacherous mountains in the country’s northern province.
  96. A pair of British officers in India got into a quarrel and decided to duel with pistols, but they had such a hard time setting a date, that their letter writing back and forth took five years.  They eventually gave up.  No word if the inciting [] was ever resolved.
  97. The classic ’70s rock band steely dan, which is a whole band and not one person named Dan, takes its name from a steam-powered marital aid from the author’s name novel The naked lunch.  This is a family show, so I shan’t say with the original Steely Dan was.  
  98. “The Most Unwanted Song” is an avant-garde novelty song created by artists Komar and Melamid and composer Dave Soldier in 1997.  The song was designed to annoy listeners with cowboy music, an opera singer rapping, bagpipes, because some of yall got no taste, and a children’s choir that urged listeners to go shopping at Walmart.
  99. According to a study by Weizmann Institute of Science, women’s tears contain chemical signals that decrease sexual arousal and testosterone levels in men.  That being said, the effects of pheromones on humans, if any, is still very much debated.,.
  100. Pop-up Filmcast/That was great, wasn’t it?
  101. After a flood of heaps of piles of anti-Spam hate mail from American GIs during WWII, which the Hormel company kept in their “Scurrilous File,” founder Jay Hormel defended the product, saying ‘If they think Spam is terrible, they ought to have eaten the bully beef we had in the last war.’  
  102. The film Dr. No features a replica of the painting ‘Portrait of the Duke of Wellington’ by Goya in the villian’s lair because the original had been stolen the year earlier. The replica was used for film promotion and like the original it was later stolen.
  103. In 1855, there was a run on a bank in Sacremento, CA.  Learning this, successful cattle dealer on horseback nonstop through February snow to Portland, OR, to outrun the ship carrying the news of the bank’s collapse to all its branches.  He was able to get all his money out.
  104. India’s Only Flying Ace (meaning a pilot with at least 5 kills) Was Indra Lal Roy.  He Served In The Royal Flying Corps Of Britain in WWI, where he claimed ten aerial victories; five aircraft destroyed (one shared), and five ‘down out of control’ (one shared) in just over 170 hours flying time.  He was 19.
  105. Ever notice how books have two barcodes, one UPC and one ISBN?  The International Standard Book Number was invented by British retailer W H Smiths because they were moving to a computerized warehouse in 1967.
  106. Ready Set Roll
  107. Despite the observable universe’s vastness, it only takes 39-40 digits of pi to calculate its size to an accuracy of 1 hydrogen atom.  Because of this, NASA uses only 15 digits of pi in even their highest accuracy calculations.  That’s all you need.  Now there’s a nerd tattoo for you!  But, people, please, I don’t care what you saw on Stranger Things, do NOT tattoo numbers on your forearms.
  108. The reason that so many Marvel Comics characters have alliteration in their names (Peter Parker, Bruce Banner) is so that Stan Lee would find it easier to remember their names.  
  109. Nannie Doss, a serial killer known as the Giggling Granny, the Lonely Hearts Killer, the Black Widow and Lady Bluebeard. After her fifth husband had died, it was revealed that she had killed four husbands, two children, two sisters, her mother, two grandsons and her mother-in-law.
  110. J. W. Westcott II is a 45-foot-long tugboat operating out of Detroit, MI that has its own postal code.  That’s because it’s a floating post office.  The ship acts as contracted mail courier, delivering mail and other packages to vessels while they are underway.  It’s the only floating ZIP Code in the United States. 
  111. Don’t believe cable companies that drop phrases like “speed of light” when talking about fiber optics.  The refractive index of the cable material, even the quality of insulating material, slows the signal. A Cat5e connection propagates signals at approximately 64% the speed of light.
  112. Reel Feels
  113. July 1 is Moving Day in Quebec. Because of a previous law, the vast majority of leases in Quebec end on or around July 1.  As much as 4% of the population can move house at the same time.  Moving companies work around the clock, with charges often being 3x normal rates. 
  114. About 2% to 4% of gift card money goes unused every year. That adds up to between $2 billion and $4 billion — just in the U.S.  For the companies, this is called breakage revenue.  In 2019, Starbucks had breakage revenue of more than $140 million, department store Nordstrom had $17 million and The Cheesecake Factory got $8 million.
  115. The death of ancient Greek athlete Theagenes wasn’t enough to get one of his rival’s to bury the hatchet.  The rival attacked a statue of Theagenes, which fell over on him, killing him stone dead.  But wait, there’s more.  The statue was then put on trial, convicted of murder, and exiled by being thrown into the sea.
  116. Kummakivi is a large balancing rock in Ruokolahti, Finland. The 7-metre long boulder lies on a convex bedrock surface with a very small footprint but so firmly that it cannot be dislodged by idiot humans.
  117. Get me a time machine and take me to the Elephantine Colossus: A 200-foot-tall elephant-shaped hotel that was built on Coney Island in 1885, that housed a concert hall, museum, observatory, and more.  It later became a brothel but burnt down under mysterious circumstances.
  118. Sleep Whispers
  119. NASA research has created over 1920 Spinoff products. NASA Spinoffs include memory foam, DustBusters, and cochlear implants. But contrary to common belief, NASA did not invent Tang, Velcro, or Teflon.
  120. The Pacific island of Guadalcanal and the Mexican city of Guadalajara have the same origin – the originally Arabic word wādī meaning valley. 
  121. the office cubicle was created by designer Robert Propst for Herman Miller and released in 1968 under the name “Action Office II”. It was meant to encourage spontaneous conversation and idea sharing.  Truly history’s greatest villains.
  122. The Farallon Islands, off the CA coast, has the highest rodent density of any island in the world, with over a thousand mice per acre. Visitors to the islands can, at times, see the ground moving when the mice are burrowing their underground tunnels.
  123. The first ever film performed entirely in American Sign Language was Deafula (1975). It was released with no audio track in the original release, but later releases include a dub for hearing audiences.  Yes, it is about a deaf vampire.
  124. Middle-aged Gaming podcast
  125. In 1972, Bhutan issued a set of seven “talking stamps” –  miniature, one-sided vinyl records that had adhesive backs so that they could be affixed to letters, but also played on a standard turntable. The stamps featured audio recordings of folk songs, the national anthem, the history of Bhutan in its national language and in English.
  126. A mile was defined by ancient Roman armies marching one thousand paces (mille passus). The nautical mile however is based on the size of the earth.  Wait, mile is based on people marching, is that why the miles breaks down into feet?  Remind me to google that later.
  127. If you have a bladder the size of a filbert or a penchant for the munchies, and always miss 5 minutes in the middle of every movie, hit the cinemas in Iceland, Switzerland, Egypt, Turkey and India, where 10 minute intermissions during movies are standard.
  128. Disney doesn’t own the copyright to their theme tune, “When You Wish Upon a Star” from 1940’s Pinocchio. The rights to that song, as well as several other Disney songs, were sold in 1933 to a music publisher because Disney “had no means of commercially exploiting” them at the time.
  129. Talk about a niche hobby – parahawking is an activity that combines paragliding (that’s the one where you’ve got a narrow parachute and a big fan strapped to your ass) with falconry in which Birds of prey are trained to fly with paragliders, guiding them to thermals.  It was developed by a British falconer in 2001.
  130.  Teach 2 Dumb Dudes
  131. the color of US Coast Guard vessels’ hulls identify their function. White hulled vessels are patrol, lifesaving and law enforcement vessels. Black hulled vessels maintain navigation buoys and construction. Red hulled vessels are ice breakers.  Ice breakers don’t crack ice with a sharp bow, rather they break it by first riding the bow up on top of the ice, and then crushing it to pieces underneath the ship’s immense weight
  132. the only Cat successfully launched into space was Félicette, she was launched on 18 October 1963 from the Algerian desert.  Like Laika in Russia, Felicette was a stray, but unlike Laika, Felicette came back to earth alive.
  133. Palenquero, a Spanish-based creole spoken in the Colombian town of San Basilio de Palenque that mixes Spanish with Kikongo, a language spoken in the Congo region of Africa. It is the last Spanish-based creole language of its kind in Latin America.
  134. Competitive eater, why is that a thing, Edward Archbold died in 2012 after winning a cockroach-eating contest.  After the contest, he choked to death as his airway was obstructed by “arthropod body parts.”  The prize for that contest was a pet python.  
  135. Speaking of Florida, because of course that happened in south Florida, Florida has almost 8,500 miles of shoreline, which if made into a straight line would be more than 1/3 the circumference of Earth.
  136.  The Escape Podcast
  137. The  first episode of Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares tried saving a bookmaking front for the Bonanno crime family.  Failed restaurateur Peter (Peter Pasta) Pellegrino was also disavowed by the crime family he was trying to make a name in.
  138. some people are born tongue-tied. This anomaly restricts mobility of the tongue due to an unusually short, thick lingual frenulum, the membrane connecting the underside of the tongue to the floor of the mouth. The condition is easily fixed by surgically cutting the frenulum.
  139. Singapore has the longest driverless metro system in the world with it being fully automated. It currently has 199km(124mi) of automated lines with an additional 43km(27mi) planned to be completed by 2024. In second place is the Shanghai Metro with 164km(102mi) of automated lines.
  140. Leon Lederman, recipient of a Nobel Prize in Physics and author of The God Particle, faced overwhelming medical debt near the end of his life and was forced to sell his Nobel Prize to pay it off.  Sad as that is, at least he wasn’t trying to sell an Oscar; you’re only allowed to sell it back to the Academy and only for the princely sum of $1.
  141. Behold the greatest statue in the world!  Fontana delle Tette in Treviso, North Italy, a XVI century topless statue of a woman sprinkling water from each nipple. During celebrations, it spouts red and white wine, free to drink.
  142. Greatest Song Ever Sung Poorly
  143. Venomous injuries from hornets, wasps and bees resulted in an average of more than 56 fatalities per year in the United States, compared with about one per year from alligator attacks.
  144. the Ignalina nuclear power plant located in eastern Lithuania is identical to the Chernobyl plant in Pripyat. The plant remained operational until 2009 and was used as the set for the HBO Chernobyl miniseries.
  145. For millennia, Europeans did not know where birds went in Winter time. The mystery was partly solved in 1822, when a German hunter shot down a stork. The stork had a 80cm long Central African spear impaled in its neck. This provided the first evidence that they migrated to Africa.
  146. Wenceslao Moguel, a Mexican soldier fighting for Pancho Villa who was captured and sentenced to death without a trial in 1915. He was shot 9 times in the body and once in the head but managed to survive and live (disfigured) until 1976.
  147. the world’s longest golf course is in the scrubland of Australia, it’s 848 miles long and has many unique hazards.  This par 72 course takes as long as seven days to play – longer even, if you keep on hitting your balls into the scrubland or suffer the indignity of having them stolen by an errant dingo.
  148. Jury Room
  149. one of the unifiers of Japan, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, once built an entire castle in secret near a castle he had put under siege. After 80 days, he had the trees covering it cut down, making it seem like a castle had sprung up overnight. His enemies surrendered shortly thereafter.
  150. George Orwell’s “Nineteen Eighty-Four” was originally titled “The Last Man in Europe”, Orwell later considered “1980” and “1982” before settling on “1984”. The title was not just an inversion of the year it was written (1948) which is often suggested.
  151. Ghost ships, where a ship is found floating abandoned and it’s not clear what happened to the crew, still happen!  The most recent occurrence was January 2021, when the Yong Yu Sing No. 18 out of Taiwan was discovered adrift near Midway Island with all crew and a lifeboat missing, and with damage from what appeared to be a collision.
  152. Joseph Trombino, a security guard for the Brinks armored car company, was seriously injured during a robbery in 1981, was almost killed in the 1993 WTC bombing, and ultimately died in the 9/11 attack on the WTC, all while on the job.  I almost wish I was still in retail so I could drop that –without provocation or warning– on the Loomis guys when they bring the change order.
  153. The kereru (New Zealand Wood Pigeon) have earned a reputation as the drunkest bird in New Zealand, and been known to fall from trees after consuming rotting fruit left lying on the ground. During the summer when fruit is in abundance drunk kererū are sometimes taken to wildlife centres to sober up.  They have earned the reputation for being “clumsy, drunk, gluttonous, and glamorous.”  
  154. The Unwritable Rant
  155. When Charlie Hall was trying to invent the waterbed in the 1960’s, he polled doctors and physical therapists about how to make a human body more comfortable, whirlpool therapy came up repeatedly.  The first thing he tried was a chair filled with Jell-O, but it weighed 300 pounds.  More recently, designer Pouyan Mokhtarani came up with a chair that uses water-filled cushions for comfort.  Kinda looks like a giant metal pelvic held up by Loki’s horns.
  156. Here’s probably the only nice thing you’ll hear me say about George Lucas.  When Mel Brooks approached him for permission to parody Star Wars really quite closely to make Spaceballs, Lucas not only gave his blessing, he also handed the movie over to his effects company, Industrial Light and Magic, to provide the space effects and postproduction.  Still sucks what he did to his wife.  Grab the YBOF book if you don’t know that story.
  157. after becoming the first Black woman to argue at the U.S. Supreme Court, and winning 9 of 10 landmark civil rights cases, Constance Baker Motley became a U.S. Judicial Court judge and handed down a decision giving women sports reporters equal access to Major League Baseball locker rooms.
  158. Locust swarms fly with the wind at roughly that speed and can cover from 60-120mi/100-200km a day, and fly up to about 2,000 metres (6,600 ft) above sea level before the cold temp stops them.  This means they can’t cross tall mountain ranges.  They also don’t venture into the rain forests.  Before you feel too safe. swarms are even reported to have crossed the Atlantic Ocean from Africa to the Caribbean in 10 days during the 1987-89 plague.
  159. Robin Williams was offered, and accepted the role of The Joker in the 1989 film, “Batman.” Warner Brothers had only made the offer to bait their first choice, Jack Nicholson, into signing on, which he eventually did. Williams was furious, and demanded an apology from the film studio.  That was a real Richard motion, but I gotta say Williams circa 1988 was not right for the tone of the movie.
  160. What I Heard Was 
  161. The Great Pyramid of Giza Has Eight Sides and Not Four.  Professor of Architecture, Vice dean for teaching and Learning British University in Egyot Great Pyramid showing side with two panels with a very shallow angle where they meet.  
  162. Lake Superior State University of Michigan has a “Department of Natural Unicorns” and has been issuing Unicorn Questing licenses since 1971. The questing season is everyday except Valentine’s Day and times Santa or the Tooth Fairy are around. They discourage the use of “simulated” virgins.
  163. 1909, Kellogg’s pioneered the first cereal box prize. A free book, The Funny Jungleland Moving Pictures Book, was offered to in-store customers with the purchase of two cereals. Later in 1945, Kellogg’s inserted pin-back button in each Pep box cereal that included U.S. Army squadrons.  No way to tell how much sugar was in a mid-century cereal called Pep, but I’m going to guess…all of it.
  164. two other people were planned to be assassinated the night Abraham Lincoln was. One of them was Lincoln’s Vice President Andrew Johnson. The man assigned to kill him instead got drunk instead and couldn’t work up the nerve to do it.
  165.  The remains of Dr Josef Mengele, the Nazi war criminal nicknamed the “Angel of Death” for the sadistic medical experiments on concentration camp prisoner, are in Brazil, where he fled after the war and ultimately died.  His remains are being used to teach forensic medicine courses.  Normally, I’d stamp my foot over post-mortem body disposition consent, but Brazil can have a pass on that one.
  166. Ink and Ash 
  167. Iceland and the U.K. almost went to war in the 70s over fishing rights for cod, and that it was only resolved when the U.K. backed down due to Iceland’s threat to close it’s NATO base which would’ve been disastrous at the time as this was in the middle of the Cold War.
  168. Mary Anning, who discovered the first ichthyosaur fossil at age 12. She would go on to discover many more fossils and revolutionize the science of paleontology. However, due to being a woman in the early 1800s, she rarely received full credit for her discoveries.  But she is the she in she sells seashells by the seashore, so she’s got that going for her, which is nice.
  169. In 1846, Joesph Leidy became the first person to solve a crime using a microscope. A farmer accused of murder claimed the blood on his clothes was chicken blood.  Highly plausible and impossible to disprove before that point, but Leidy examined the red blood cells and proved that it was in fact human blood.
  170. Contrary to popular belief, the City of New York was not named directly after York in England, but for the Duke of York, who was later crowned as King James II. When England seized the area from the Dutch, he was appointed as its proprietor by his older brother, King Charles II.  As for the previous name New Amsterdam, that’s exactly what you thought.
  171. Pluto’s moon, Charon, has a rusty red section crowning its polar region. New Horizons investigators discovered that it comes from methane gas escaping from Pluto’s atmosphere due to its weak gravity and freezing on Charon.
  172. Love Life’s Comedy
  173. in 2016, for its one-year anniversary, the Filipino game show Wowowee planned a massive blow-out episode with tons of prizes for the 5,000 people they anticipated would attend the taping.  30,000 people showed up.  Someone in production announced that only 300 people were going to be allowed in and a stampede resulted that injured 400 and killed 73.
  174. the ruins of “Great Zimbabwe” in Africa were constructed with geometric precision instead of mortar and had religious sculptures matching the sophistication of other medieval civilizations. Chinese and Persian artifacts found at the site also prove they had far-reaching trade networks.
  175. there were several different types of Mammoths. The most known variety, the Wooly Mammoth, was one of the smaller kinds, and were comparable in size to modern elephants, At one time there were Mammoths living from North Africa, across all of Eurasia, and into Central America.  The last mammoth population lived on Wrangel island in the east siberian sea at the same time the great pyramids were being built.
  176. Helium was first discovered in 1868 on the SUN. Astronomers at the time noticed a certain wavelength in sunlight which could not be produced by any known element at the time. It was thought that the gas was only present on the sun, thus was named after the Greek god Helios.
  177. in 1950 the country of Jordan’s population was only 449,000 and slightly larger than that of Guyana at the time (today 773, 000). 72 years later, and with less territory, it’s estimated to be hitting 7.9 million.
  178. Useless Information 
  179. Iron Man (2008), the movie that launched the MCU, was only the 8th highest grossing film that year. It was outpaced by movies such as Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa in 6th place, and Kung Fu Panda in 3rd.
  180. self-taught inventor/engineer E. Lilian Todd was the first woman to design and build an airplane, only 3 years after the Wright brothers’ first flight.   This wasn’t just a design, but a fully oeprational prototype.  Todd wanted to fly it herself, but she was denied a permit because… guess.  Just freaking guess why.  Todd was also credited with inventing and patenting a cabinet with a folding table, a cannon that could be triggered by solar power, a sundial, and an aeolian harp device that could be attached to a tree. 
  181. in 1991 a musician on the sinking cruise ship Oceanos, coordinated the rescue of passengers when the Captain abandoned his responsibilities. Everyone lived thanks to Moss Hills’ actions and other entertainment crew members. Moss was the last person to evacuate the ship.
  182. Cecil Chubb was the last person to own Stonehenge. Stonehenge was put up for auction in 1915 and Chubb bought it on a whim. It is speculated he bought the stones as a present for his wife and she was less than pleased. Chubb donated Stonehenge to the nation in 1918 and was made a baronet.
  183. King Simeon II of Bulgaria who was exiled in 1946 after Bulgaria became communist. He returned 50 yrs. later in 1996 after the fall of communism and later become the Prime Minister of Bulgaria. He is also the only living person who has borne the title “Tsar”and the last person to do so.
  184. My Handle is Jonathanblade
  185. In 1911, Antarctic explorer George Murray Levick observed the sexual habits of Adélie Penguins.  He found they engaged in necrophilia, coercion, and homosexuality. [sfx gasps] The report was deemed too indecent at the time and sat forgotten for 101 years, only being published in 2012.
  186. FBI and J. Edgar Hoover, the FBI director at the time, refused to acknowledge the existence of the Mafia. It was only when a local state trooper watched the home of mobster Joe Barbara on a hunch, that he stumbled onto a meeting of around 100 members, confirming their existence.
  187. to save the Hawaiian culture and people from disappearing, Kalākaua, the last king of the Hawaiian kingdom, went on a world tour in 1881, and travelled to Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and the United States, and he became the first reigning monarch to circumnavigate the globe.
  188. Despite a 40+ year career and tons of singles, Weird Al’s song White & Nerdy is his first and only song to reach the Top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at #9 in 2006.  What do we think about Daniel Radcliffe playing Weird Al?  he looks like he’s having fun.  Radcliffe’s a good 7” shorter than Yankovic though.  It’s the same thing as his roll in The Young Doctor’s Notebook –highly recommend, it’s on the Tubi app– where he supposedly grows to be John Hamm in the span of like a decade.
  189. If you do die in space, your body will not decompose in the normal way, since there is no oxygen. If you were near a source of heat, your body would mummify; if you were not, it would freeze. If your body was sealed in a space suit, it would decompose, but only for as long as the oxygen lasted.
  190. What Would Ted Lasso do?
  191. pioneering physician Mary Putnam Jacobi was one of the first women to publish articles in medical journals. Her last publication was titled “Descriptions of the Early Symptoms of the Meningeal Tumor Compressing the Cerebellum. From Which the Writer Died. Written by Herself.”
  192. Sark is one of the few remaining places in the world where cars are banned from roads and only tractors and horse-drawn vehicles are allowed, and that in 2011, Sark was designated as the first Dark Sky Island in the world.  A dark-sky preserve (DSP) is an area, usually surrounding a park or observatory, that restricts artificial light pollution. 
  193. composer John Williams has been nominated for 51 Academy Awards (winning 5) second only to Walt Disney who has 59. Williams has been nominated in six different decades, receiving his first for Valley of the Dolls in 1968 and his last for Star Wars: The Last Jedi in 2018.
  194. curry has a longer history of being served in Britain than fish and chips, with the first Indian restaurant opening in 1809 and fish and chips only served from 1858 at the earliest.
  195. Shakespeare’s Globe, a reconstruction of the original Globe Theatre, is the first and only building in London permitted to have a thatched roof since the Great Fire of 1666.
  196. Get Out Alive
  197. while walking in Manhattan’s Central Park that each lamppost has a set of numbers at the base. The first 2-3 numbers indicate the closest cross street, and the last number indicates what side of town you’re closest to. An odd number indicates you’re on the west side, and even means east.
  198. The Denny’s diner chain can be found in 49/50 US states.  The only state without one?  Not Hawaii or Alaska.  It’s Delaware.
  199. They first recorded the “Coca-Cola” version, but had to make a version which refered to a generic cola for it to get played on the BBC, who didn’t allow for corporate references/sponsorships, etc.  After Plastic Man (a song they seem to have written solely to get a hit on the charts as they were in financial distress in ’69) was banned from the BBC for having the word “bum” in it, The Kinks wouldn’t risk it again (although they seemed to play with it again with the next single, “Apeman” whose narrator may either have “fogged” or “f#%/ked” up eyes depending on how you hear it!) “Lola” went to #2 in the UK charts so it’s definitely wise they made the Cherry Cola version!
  200. The Appalachian Mountains are older than the Atlantic Ocean. In fact, the Appalachian mountains are 480 million years old. For context, that’s about 100 million years before the first animals walked on land.