15 Electric Speckles Of Trivia We Learned This Week
Danny DeVito had his birthday this past week, so we did a Danny DiveDeepo, examining such movies as Twins as well as his behind-the-scenes accomplishments. Meanwhile in today’s theaters, Wakanda Forever released, which sent us interviewing an actual metallurgist and attacking some of the jerks in these Marvel movies.
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 Geoff will come visit.
1. A high schooler took a cardboard cutout of Danny DeVito to the prom.
You might have heard this story back when it happened, but we talked to her years later for more details, such as how much the cutout scared her dog.
2. A British billionaire paid $100 million to the government so they’d drop bribery charges.
This is an established custom in Germany, where he was charged: Paying the government makes them drop the charges, with no guilty verdict.
3. Movie reviews of Starship Troopers called Paul Verhoeven a Nazi.
The movie, unlike its source material, mocked fascism hard and did not try to be subtle about it, but the Washington Post review (for example) spent a dozen paragraphs accusing the movie of Nazism without noting the satire or even assessing the film’s quality.
4. An American threw Roman busts because he couldn’t see the Pope.
He visited the Vatican, was told he’d get no chance to see His Holiness, and so he threw the busts to the ground, necessitating hundreds of hours of repairs.
5. Just a weeks before his death, Coolio recorded lines for Futurama.
He’d previously played the character Kwanzaabot, and it looks like that character’s returning.
6. Dustin Diamond’s sex tape was not what it seemed.
7. AT&T invented an answering machine back in 1934.
They predicted that people would stop using phones out of fear of being recorded, so they buried the invention for decades.
8. Pakistani police arrested six donkeys last month.
The police were investigating the timber mafia, but with the human culprits having taken off, leaving just donkeys behind, the cops took the beasts of burden into custody.
9. In the ’70s, Warner Bros. suddenly shut down a publishing house.
They were scheduled to release a book by Noam Chomsky, and Chomsky alleged in court filings that they shuttered the house specifically to kill that one book.
10. Australia built a 3,500-mile fence to keep out dingoes.
As a result, the huge fenced-off area saw a rise in kangaroo populations, and then vast ecological damage.
11. 30 years after Jim Morrison died, two of The Doors went on tour together.
They weren’t legally allowed to call themselves The Doors though, so they went as The Doors Of The 21st Century and disappointed everyone
12. America’s only nuclear dump had a spill in 2014.
13. The Black inventor of the first gas mask hired a white actor to take the credit it.
When people found out the truth, sales fell.
14. In 2017, a British man pumped six weeks of his feces through an enemy’s mail slot.
He blamed his marriage’s collapse on this formal friend, and this was his revenge.
15. In 2009, Malaysia acquitted two twins accused of drug trafficking because police couldn’t identify which of them was guilty.
Literally identify: The officer saw the guilty party but later couldn’t say which of the two twins that was. Both men had otherwise risked facing the death penalty.