12 Locally-Sourced Facts We Harvested, Painstakingly Refined Using Hand-Crafted Traditional Tools, Molded Into Glimmering Trivia Tidbits, and Wove Into an Elegant Yet Durable Listicle That’s as Practical as It Is Gorgeous
We’re sick-to-death of goofy, lovable everymen being turned into cookie-cutter Hollywood hunks. John Krasinski transformed from the boy next door into the beefy, chiseled face of military recruitment propaganda. Chris Pratt went from pudgy local numbskull to the backbone of an entire Marvel franchise. And now, just as we all feared, they've made the Quaker Oats guy hot. It’s only a matter of time before we find out he’s part of some weird, semi-obscure sect of Christianity.
Read on for more of the tragic details, and a bunch of other Earth-shattering bits of trivia.
Glacier National Park’s Name Grows Less Apt Every Day
The park’s main glacier has already shrunk by over 90 percent, and may disappear entirely within 10 years. They could just change the “Glacier” part; after all, the ice has melted. But the lack of ice water streams will also decimate the local ecosystem, so there won’t be much “Park” left, either. (Source)
Did Kermit the Frog Feel Up Sarah Silverman?
While playing some confusing game on Craig Kilborn’s show in 2002, Silverman suddenly recoiled and yelled, “Ow! He pinched me!” Kermit initially refuted the allegations, saying, “It wasn’t me! I can’t even reach her!” But he later, bafflingly, claimed he would have given her a cheeky little pinch, if he thought he could get away with it. (Source)
A Death Sentence in Japan Is a Living Nightmare
Japanese death row inmates have no idea when they’re going to be executed. The government says it’s to keep prisoners from suffering, somehow, but prisoners say they “live in fear every morning that that day will be their last.” (Source)
Will Ferrell Plays Mattel’s Actual CEO in the Barbie Movie
Ynon Kreiz was a TV executive who was brought on to Mattel in 2018, with the explicit goal of transforming it from a toy company into an “entertainment brand.” There’s a palpable irony to a rich, powerful man championing a movie about smashing the patriarchy, which is evident in Ferrell’s bumbling, well-meaning, but ultimately oblivious CEO character. Kreiz is cool with it — in fact, it was probably his idea: “We do enjoy self-deprecation, and we’re happy to play the game.” (Source)
How to Lose a Court Case in Eight Words
A Detroit judge lost his temper and declared about a Black defendant: “This guy looks like a criminal to me.” He refused to recuse himself, and ultimately sentenced the man to 10 years for distribution of heroin. Two years later, an appeals court decided that that’s pretty messed-up, actually, and gave the defendant a new trial with a different judge. The wheels of justice turn slowly, but they’re also extremely cruel. (Source)
The Leatherman Cometh. And Leaveth. And Cometh Again!
For decades in the mid-1800s, a mysterious dude with a full-body leather suit used to walk a 365-mile loop between the Connecticut River and the Hudson River, living out of a series of caves. He’d arrive at various towns like clockwork, pay for food and provisions, say almost nothing to no one, then get right back to his trudging. One town arrested him, just to see what his deal was, but he was declared sane and sent on his way. (Source)
The World’s Longest Fan Fiction Is Too Long to Measure
Often recognized as the longest work of fan fiction in the world, The Loud House: Revamped has eclipsed fanfiction.net’s word count capacity, which is capped at 16,777,215. The story is… hard to explain. You should just read it for yourself. (Source)
Larry Hankin Believes Mr. Heckles was Killed Off to Save Money
Hankin explained that his sixth Friends appearance made him officially a recurring character, which comes with a pay bump. So there’s a certain irony and agony to his character being killed off on his sixth appearance, when he thought he was on the cusp of a huge career break: “I got a house, I started to pave the driveway — Friends took my house away!” (Source)
People speculate that the Quaker Oats mascot is Ben Franklin, or various other chubby, smirking, mite-hosting, bewigged historical figures. But Quaker says he’s just some guy named Larry. To keep him fresh, hip and hot, they gave Larry a whole slate of plastic surgeries in 2012, removing his double chin, and un-plumpening his neck and face: “We took about five pounds off him.” (Source)
The $200 Million Adam Sandler ‘Candy Land’ Movie That Never Happened
In 2014, leaked emails revealed that Sandler was playing hardball, demanding $200 million to write and star in a movie that probably wouldn’t have been a Barbie, exactly, but would have at least been better than Battleship. Those leaks also revealed a hilariously typo-laden email sent by a furious Sony exec to her team: “Adam is an asshile and this is more his fault than anyone’s…” (Source)
The Brilliant Idiot Who Taste-Tested the Periodic Table
Carl Scheele is responsible for the discovery of at least seven elements, including a real fan favorite known as oxygen. Having suffered from a bad case of living in the 1700s, Scheele got into the habit of sniffing and tasting chemical compounds as part of his standard lab procedure, and died at age 43 from mercury poisoning. (Source)
Pee-wee Herman Was David Letterman’s Worst Nightmare
Between 1982 and 2001, Paul Reubens racked up almost 2.5 hours of in-character screen time on Letterman. The late-night host looked harried and perturbed for, like, 90 percent of it, with introductions like, “Please hang on to something; welcome, Pee-wee Herman.” (Source)