16 Facts About Mummies, Monkeys, and Moneys
We looked hard at the craziness of the NBA this week, including some weird coincidences related to the league, funny stuff players do on the side, and of course the ridiculousness of the Knicks. But Halloween is also stalking toward us, so we’ve been looking at scary stuff, like werewolves, mummies, and how to summon your own demon.
Here's a look back at the facts we learned this week. These short summaries are not meant to be appreciated by themselves—each one links to a full article we put out this past week with much more info, so click every one that interests you, or you don’t get to play with the bears.
1. A temple in Egypt housed eight million dog mummies.
These dogs were sacrificed to Anubis, and many were just hours old when they killed, so the complex also ran a puppy mill to churn out sacrificial pups.
2. A mystery man impersonated Truman to make Israel a country.
Someone phoned up Haiti, claiming to be President Truman, telling the country to vote Israel’s way in 1947, and Haiti obeyed.
3. Werewolves, while terrifying, have also always been closely linked to comedy.
They stand in for puberty, they comment on social hierarchies, and it was inevitable that audiences would laugh at werewolves because early special effects depicting them were so hilarious.
4. Someone assassinated a goose named Andy, who was born without feet.
Andy wore boots as protheses, till someone stole him from his enclosure and dumped his body, after cutting off his head and wings.
5. Poop to the eyes killed a monkey researcher.
6. Bern in Switzerland has built hundreds of cat ladders to help cats climb into apartments.
It’s called animal-forward architecture, and another example is structures specially designed to attract pollinating bats.
7. ’50s people bought receipts for art that (they knew) didn’t exist.
Artist Yves Klein sold “imaginary spaces,” and 70 years later, someone sold one of these receipts of nothing for $1.2 million.
8. A criminally insane train robber got elected to Congress in 1920.
His pet project while there was to ban beauty contests. To prove this was a good idea, he hosted a contest of his own, whose entrants ended up suing him.
9. UK cops can break down your door if they suspect foreign bees.
They don’t need a warrant—a 1980 law gives them specific authorization to enter any building that they suspect may be harboring infectious foreign bees.
10. Rita Hayworth was painted on atomic bombs.
11. Larry Bird only became a superstar when the Celtics traded away his drinking buddy.
Bird used to go out drinking a lot with Celtics center Rick Robey, and as soon as the team lost Robey, Bird won three straight MVPs.
12. The new Batman movie shares some surprising connections with the Adam West series.
Along with such explicit Easter eggs as sticking a Shakespeare bust in Bruce’s place, The Batman includes some elements never seen on screen since the show, like a costumed Batman openly hanging with the entire force and an older female presence in Wayne Manor.
13. In the ’60s they tried using high school jocks for farm labor.
It was called the A-TEAM plan—“Athletes in Temporary Employment as Agricultural Manpower”—and the students who did sign up for this character-building exercise predictably found the work far too much for them.
14. Hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of gold and silver was recovered underneath the World Trade Center.
Comex, which people use to trade futures in precious metals, stored thousands of bars in a warehouse underground, and they retrieved every ounce of them after the attacks.
15. Jessica Fletcher’s house from Murder She Wrote is available for vacations.
The place urges you to read their pet policy, which charges a $20 fee for dogs.
16. Professional bears certify equipment as bearproof.
A bear sanctuary in Montana keeps a bunch of grizzlies on staff and has them try to break into coolers and dumpsters. Only containers that thwart the bears get the bearproof label.