12 Salacious Bits of Trivia That Could Absolutely Ruin Us If They Got Out
We’re gonna give it to you straight; this is make-or-break for us. If people found out about the spiteful origins of the PNG, or the prevalence of ruthless guard llamas, or the dreaded ladybird taint, it would be Game Over. You know the drill — start making some calls and have Cheryl whip up some NDAs. Go ahead and name your price, this one’s for all the marbles.
PNGs Were Born Out of Spite
GIFs were developed by CompuServe, but they relied on a compression algorithm developed by infotech company UniSys. In 1994, the latter decided to charge a $5,000 licensing fee — a move that went over so well, the entire internet banded together to develop PNGs as a non-patented substitute. PNG technically stands for “Portable Network Graphics,” but 1990s tech nerds often explained that the acronym meant “PING Is Not GIF.”
Children’s Teeth Are Becoming Prohibitively Expensive
According to a 2022 national survey, the going rate for a child’s tooth is $5.36 — and rising. The average price paid out by Tooth Fairies across the U.S. was $3.70 in 2019, $4.03 in 2020 and $4.70 in 2021.
The ‘Die Hard’ Bank Heist Was So Plausible, It Whipped the FBI Into a Paranoid Frenzy
Screenwriter Jonathan Hensleigh says they called him up, “extremely concerned about how I knew so much about the Federal Reserve, and how the Federal Reserve's vaults were really close to a subway.” The reason was because the Federal Reserve took him on a guided tour of their vault and showed him their blueprints.
A Town in Nebraska Is Inhabited by 100 Percent Mayors
Monowi, Nebraska has one lone 80-something resident named Elsie. She owns two-thirds of the homes in the town (two houses), runs a library dedicated to her late husband, and in her capacity as mayor, granted herself a liquor license.
A Dog and a Fox Have Finally Mated
An animal shelter in Brazil caught a weird little guy after it was hit by a car, and couldn’t figure out what it was. It refused to eat dog food, insisting on chowing down on live rodents instead. They eventually had it genetically tested, which determined it was a fox-dog hybrid. Stranger still, it’s apparently the first time a dog and a fox have ever produced offspring.
China’s Cross-Eyed Panda Solar Farm
In 2019, China built a 250-acre solar farm shaped like an adorable, goofy little panda. It claims this one farm will replace one million tons of coal over 25 years.
How to Survive an Elevator Fall, According to Science
Instinct probably tells you a perfectly-timed jump is the best way to survive the impact of a free-falling elevator, right? Congratulations, you’re DEAD. What you want to do is lie as flat as possible, with your hands over your face. Lying flat on the ground will spread out the impact, and keep your spine and long bones from compressing in the exact wrong direction. Meanwhile, there’s gonna be a lot of debris, so you want to cover your moneymaker.
A City Clerk Collected 500K by Keeping Her Mouth Shut
A Buffalo Fire Department clerk was put on administrative leave after she was caught fudging payroll numbers to rake in a little extra cash. She continued collecting her salary while the city figured out what to do with her — but they got distracted and forgot about her entirely. She’s been quietly cashing her paycheck for the last 7 years, while working an entire second job.
Climb the Corporate Ladder by Cursing Off Your Boss
A survey about cussing in the workplace found that the people in an office who curse the most tend to be in management. When used appropriately, coarse language can create an atmosphere of direct communication, social bonding and mutual respect. Assuming that correlation implies causation, we can deduce that the foulest mouth is the de facto leader, and we hereby endorse openly and honestly telling your boss what you think about them in the strongest possible terms.
Llamas Are Violent, Loyal Guard Animals
Lots of farmers use llamas instead of dogs to protect their herds. One study showed a decrease in attacks on livestock of up to 21 percent when using llamas, who have zero compunctions about maiming and murdering coyotes.
‘Ladybird Taint’ Ruins Wine
“Ladybug taint” and “ladybird taint” are the official wine industry names for the chemical compound pyrazine — the stink given off by a ladybug when it’s threatened. If too many ladybugs are crushed during grape collection, ladybug taint can reach critical mass, and entire batches of wine can be compromised.
If Athens Hated You, the Entire City Would Blackball You (and Then Wipe Their Asses With Your Name)
The practice of ostracism more or less entailed everyone writing the name of a person they hated on a small shard of pottery, called an ostracon. If enough people wrote your name, you were kicked out of the city for 10 years. Since pottery shards were sometimes used like toilet paper, some people would wipe their asses with the ostracon to really drive the point home.