15 Cartons of Trivia We Stacked This Week
The brain is the most important organ in the body, according to the brain. It took a while, however, for us to get any idea of just what it did. When the Ancient Egyptians preserved organs after someone died, they didn’t bother with the brain, since they didn’t know what use it had. Later, Aristotle had a theory about the brain — it was wrong, but it was interesting.
Read on to find out what it was, along with the meaning behind the slogan “penis can surprise you.”
Grounds for Appeal
A British defendant suffered a bit of an inconvenience in 1999, when a judge sentenced him to two years in prison. The judge did this after hearing a jury deliver a verdict of “guilty.” The jury foreman had actually said “not guilty,” but someone coughed, drowning out the word “not.”
The strongest natural material isn’t any metal or gem. It’s mollusk teeth. Sea snail teeth are a mixture of iron crystals and protein and are harder than diamond and stronger than Kevlar.
Damn You, Autocorrect
Actress Thandiwe Newton was known as “Thandie Newton” for years, and this was never some conscious professional move. It followed her name being accidentally misspelled “Thandie” in the credits of her first film, Flirting.
The Mislabeled Drug
In 2003, Johns Hopkins put out a study on the mental effects of ecstasy. Later, they had to retract the paper when they discovered an error. By accident, instead of ecstasy, they’d given all but one of the research subjects meth.
Always a Smaller Fish
One Peruvian spider constructs a larger fake spider in its web out of leaves. Prey flee the sight of the fake spider and land right in the clutches of the real one.
E. Frenkel was a Russian who described himself as a psychic, claiming to be able stop bicycles with his mind. When people doubted him, he took it up a notch, standing in the path of a freight train so he could stop it using his mental powers. That was the end of E. Frenkel, Russian psychic.
There may be a link between sex and nasal function. Early experimental nasal surgeries to treat sexual dysfunction worked out terribly for everyone, but scientists have had more luck with experimental sex to treat nasal dysfunction.
The Death Mask
Franklin Roosevelt died following a hemorrhage that he experienced while sitting for a presidential portrait. That makes him the rare person to have his final conscious moment captured on canvas.
Worms Are Gross
You might have heard earthworms create rich soil, which is great for plants. That’s not quite true. Most earthworm species are invasive, and their munching actually hurts forests.
All Natural Sugar
Jif is not legally allowed to call their signature natural product “peanut butter.” They have to call it “peanut butter spread.” It contains too much sugar and oil to qualify as peanut butter under FDA rules.
People 2,300 years ago thought that the brain’s only function was cooling the blood. They concluded this because the brain has so many folds, and anything with that much surface area is usually designed to radiate heat.
A Modest Proposal
The first recorded suggestion of daylight saving time came from Benjamin Franklin. He proposed it as a joke, because the idea was ridiculous.
To combat a chlamydia outbreak, Norway commissioned a giant penis costume that blew gold confetti on people. “Penis can surprise you” was the message of the campaign.
Know the smell of natural gas? No, you don’t. It’s odorless. The smell we associate with it is a substance called mercaptan that is artificially added to it so that we’re able to detect leaks.
The Smartest Man
Sherlock Holmes didn’t know the Earth revolved around the Sun. When Watson brought this fact up in an early conversation, Holmes expressed both ignorance and apathy. “What the deuce is it to me?” he asked. “If we went round the Moon, it would not make a pennyworth of difference to me or to my work.”