15 Missiles of Trivia That Landed in Our Dartboards This Week
In 1885, a man named John “Babbacombe” Lee was convicted of murder. Was he really guilty? We don’t know. All we know is he was in a house when his boss was killed, and he had a criminal record as a thief. A court sentenced him to die, and so, he went to the gallows.
For most people, that would be the end of their story, but not Babbacombe Lee. Find out why below, along with some crucial information about why you should not inject excessive tanning compounds directly into your bloodstream.
Boston still uses telegraph fire alarms. They debuted the system two decades before the telephone was invented, and they still use it now. It works well. Faster than any alternative, actually.
2. Quick Rebound
A Texas woman in 2005 announced that her husband had died, but the corpse she presented was just one she’d dug up. She’d wanted to collect on the insurance money. Then she reintroduced her still-living husband as her new boyfriend, even lying to their children about it.
3. Smelly Pennies
There’s no such thing as a metallic smell. You’re instead smelling compounds on your own hands, activated and transformed when they touch metal. If someone else hands you a coin and it smells metallic, you’re smelling their body odor.
4. Distracted Driving
There were a few reasons the first windshield wiper was rejected. One was people thought drivers wouldn’t be able to look past that eye-catching swishing.
5. Khalifa bin Hamad al-Thani
Qatar’s leader until 2013 got power by locking out his dad when he was on vacation. He pulled a coup, but not a bloody one. He worked with an American bank to lock his father out of all bank accounts when he was traveling to Switzerland.
6. Hopeful Sparrows
Birds famously have some slightly unusual family units, hence the concept of “cuckolding.” But sparrows try a more desperate form of this. When a couple nests, another male will become a “helper,” hanging around without mating, in the hope of swooping in when the male dies.
7. Marvel Whiteside Parsons
There’s a lot to say about NASA rocket scientist Jack Parsons, who dabbled in sex magic. But the weirdest part was his death. He died in a laboratory fire while researching how to create a living being without a soul.
8. Voltron Ship
Japan spent four years in World War II converting their superbattleships to one giant aircraft carrier. A sub sank it right after it left the shipyard.
9. Life and Death
Wild hamsters in a Vienna cemetery have learned to live off the candles that mourners leave there. Though these candles are haunted, the wax contains enough protein and fat to keep the rodents alive.
10. Looking After Number One
Right before ordering the Cuba embargo, JFK personally ordered a thousand Cuban cigars. His press secretary later admitted carrying out this task for the president.
11. Weaponize It
Labs have failed time and again to cultivate leprosy. Most bacteria grow fine on nutrient mediums, but leprosy only grows in living cells, hurting our ability to study the disease.
12. The First State
Delaware was named for Thomas West, 3rd Baron De La Warr. He was sailing to the New World to investigate abuse when he died, possibly by poison.
13. Fifty Shades Darker
A scientist was trying to find the effects of a tanning compound on the male libido. He accidentally gave himself double the intended dose, resulting in an eight-hour erection that an ice pack could not quell.
14. The Man They Could Not Hang
In 1885, Britain tried hanging John “Babbacombe” Lee three times. He survived each attempt, so they commuted his sentence.
15. Migrant Mother
One famous photo by Dorothea Lange is used to represent the hopelessness of the Great Depression. But not only did the subject of the photo survive the Depression — so did all seven of her children, plus three more whom she later had. She ended up owning her own house and reached the age of 80.