15 Refreshing Servings of Trivia We Found This Week
Animals have been acting strangely and scarily this week. Robots are acting like dogs, dogs are acting like killers and pigs go on living as brains in jars. We’ve also been looking back at war, both the slippery consequences and the alcoholic causes. And we’ve been looking at (real) government conspiracies, such as where they keep the good cocaine.
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 will have to deal with the bees.
1. Guinness got rid of their award for beer drinking.
They no longer give awards for several dangerous categories, and so the award for most beer drunk in an hour forever belongs to an Irishman who managed 36 pints.
2. “Always a bridesmaid, never a bride” came from an ad about curing bad breath.
The decades-long campaign argued that you need Listerine to freshen your breath so you can land a husband.
3. The Library Congress has preserved some cocaine.
This was cocaine from a larger stash shared by Sigmund Freud with a colleague of his, when they were looking to expand their minds.
4. Four illegitimate kids managed to claim $90 million each when the founder of DHL died.
His body was lost at sea, and they couldn’t prove his paternity without his DNA, and yet the four children from various Asian countries convinced the court.
5. We all have a new reason to stay clear of California.
6. Miracle on 34th Street contains some references people today won’t understand.
The psychiatrist’s quick examination mocks the then-current trend of offices forcing personality tests, tests improperly co-opted from PTSD evaluations.
7. The CIA hounded a reporter till he died.
Gary Webb wrote about cocaine moving from Nicaragua to Los Angeles, which didn’t put the CIA in a great light. The CIA collaborated with the media to take down Webb, who then killed himself.
8. The University of Colorado has a buffalo as its mascot.
No, not a student wearing a buffalo costume and doing funny dances. An actual 1,500-pound buffalo, guided by five student handlers, none of whom have been killed (yet).
9. Pearl Harbor shipwrecks are still leaking oil 80 years later.
The Arizona sank with enough oil to leak for 500 years, and we’ve decided it’s best to let it go on leaking for now.
10. Woody Allen movies long used a single font, and now other movies are using it to mock him.
The font is called Windsor, it appeared in dozens of Allen films, and we’re suddenly seeing it in non-Allen films, including those that explicitly criticize the guy.
11. China has been enforcing COVID lockdowns with robo dogs.
12. Beekeeping hasn’t changed in nearly 200 years.
In 1851, someone discovered how to make hives that we can cleanly pull apart, and we’ve used those exact designs ever since.
13. Scientists have managed to keep pig brains alive in buckets, isolated from their bodies.
There’s no scientific reason they can’t do this with humans too, just severe and overpowering ethical reasons.
14. The father of the Hass avocado made a total of four grand from it.
We all eat the avocado variety that Rudolph Hass patented in 1932, but buyers just grew their own plants without his permission, spreading the Hass avocado worldwide.
15. The Austrian Army once got drunk and started attacking itself.
Someone shouted about an invading Turkish army, two different halves of the Austrian army mistook the other for Turks and a thousand died in the ensuing battle.
Top image: Armineaghayan/Wiki Commons