Moon Toilets, and 14 Other Facts We Learned This Week
With rumors spreading of imminent worldwide financial catastrophe, we took comfort this week in tales of financial fraud, or how Kanye is dealing with poverty and how anyone just might strike it rich. If you ever fall into complete poverty, you might want read about Marx’s drunken adventures, or you can just turn to advice on how to eat potatoes without them killing you or tasting disgusting. But if you stay rich, we can recommend you vacation to Spain, or to the Moon.
Here’s a look back at the facts we learned this week. Something to keep in mind, though: 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 beatings will continue.
1. An art student lost eight fingers molding some plaster in class.
She wasn’t supposed to dunk her hands deep in and leave them there, because when the plaster heated up, she couldn’t pull free.
2. Fast-food fries taste worse because of one angry customer.
Phil Sokolof convinced fast-food restaurants to stop cooking their fries in beef tallow and to switch to vegetable oil. Good job, Phil: The replacement oil had trans fats and was worse than the beef stuff.
3. Astronauts left behind many bags of feces on the Moon.
Now that we’re visiting the Moon again, these bags offer a lot of potential scientific insight, as we’ll see how they changed after decades in lunar conditions.
4. In 1975, bad airline food sent 144 people to the hospital.
The catering manager of the airline felt so much shame, he died by suicide.
5. Someone won a tropical resort in a raffle, and has run the place for the last six years.
The raffle sold only 75,000 tickets, and the entry fee was $50, so it was a better gamble than any lottery, and it paid out big time for the winner.
6. Kanye fans launched a (likely fraudulent) donation campaign to raise money for the guy.
For more, read “15 Ridiculous Celeb Crowdfunding Campaigns.”
7. Potatoes are secretly very, very poisonous.
Every part of the plant other than the potato itself is poisonous, and even the potato can release poison given the right conditions, enough, in fact, to kill you.
8. A Spanish town painted itself blue to promote The Smurfs 3D.
They chose to keep the entire town blue even afterward, and we don’t know if that makes this story better or worse.
9. Karl Marx once left cops on a chase after a pub crawl.
During his time living in London, he and his friends visited 12 bars one night, smashed a bunch of streetlights with stones they found, then had to run from the police.
10. Sylvester Stallone speaks that way because of a severed nerve.
This also gives him his trademark look, as the nerve damage partially paralyzes his chin and lip.
11. Swear words sound similar in all languages.
Linguists identify sounds called approximants, which make words and phrases sound more palatable, and profanity contains fewer approximants.
12. An airplane passenger claims Jesus told her to open the door, midair.
For more, read “15 Bizarre Facts from Around the World.”
13. Actors who played Alfalfa in The Little Rascals always seem to suffer bad fates.
This started with original 1930s actor Carl Switzer., who got shot in the groin, and continued from there.
14. Banking employees have to take vacations, so co-workers can spot their fraudulent activity.
So says the FDIC anyway, though banks vary in how well the follow the recommendation.
15. “Spare the rod, spoil the child” comes from a 1600s sex poem.
“Spare the rod” comes from the Bible, but the full line comes from “Hudibras” by Samuel Butler. With this line, a widow argues that a knight should let her whip his backside, the way lovers do.