12 Feral Bits of Trivia We Wouldn’t Get Too Close to If We Were You
They’re all spayed and neutered, and they have all their shots. And sure, they look cute. But trust us, they will absolutely tear you to pieces if you get anywhere near them. These are wild factoids; they spend every waking moment fighting for survival. If you come into their territory, and they see you as a threat, they will swarm you and show no mercy.
There’s a feisty li’l guy about the corrupt New Jersey official who got busted for corruption. A spunky fella about the schmear of neurons that learned to play Pong. Oh, and don’t let your guard down around the one about Johnny Sins and Elon Musk making space porn. That one really sucks.
Anyway, it’s your life, but you’ve been warned.
The Dictionary Had a Fake Word for Over a Decade
In 1931, the chemistry editor of G. and C. Merriam Company wrote a confusing memo, trying to add the word “density” to a list of words that could be abbreviated by a capital D or a lower-case d. What he wrote was “D or d, cont./density.,” which other staff took to mean: “dord (dôrd), n. Physics & Chem. Abbreviation for density.” That definition appeared in the 1934 edition of the New International Dictionary, and wasn’t fully eradicated from the official record until 1947.
A New Jersey County Official Who Accused ‘The Sopranos’ of Glorifying Corruption Later Pled Guilty to Corruption
Essex County executive James W. Treffinger refused to let the show film at a park in his county, saying it “depicts an ethnic group in stereotypical fashion.” The next year, he was charged with 20 counts of extortion, fraud and conspiracy.
LEGO’s Recycled Plastic Bricks Were Punching the Environment in the Face
LEGO gave up on its trial run of bricks derived from recycled plastic, after finding production “didn’t reduce carbon emissions.” Meaning: It was as bad, or possibly worse, for the environment than the normal process.
A Guy Used a Live Hand Grenade as a Nutcracker for 25 Years
After a quarter century of using a mallet-shaped mystery item to crack open walnuts, a man in China noticed a picture of his nutcracker on a poster of prohibited explosives. He brought it to authorities, who confirmed it was a stick grenade, and was probably still live the whole time he was whacking his nuts with it.
Johnny Sins Wants to Make a Space Porn
He’s also pretty convinced that he can get Elon Musk to finance it: “I think Elon would get on board with it, too. He is the type. That would be an amazing promotion for SpaceX, actually.”
The Vacation Island With a Strict No-Boys-Allowed Policy
American entrepreneur Kristina Roth sold her consulting company for $65 million, and used that cash to buy a private island in the Baltic Sea. She transformed it into SuperShe Island, a highly exclusive retreat campus where women — vetted through the SuperShe app — can indulge in yoga, kayaking and discussion groups in the presence of exactly zero dudes.
Scientists Taught an Artificial Brain How to Play ‘Pong’
Calling their abomination DishBrain, researchers slathered about 800,000 neurons in a dish and hooked them up to a computer. They incentivized the brain to learn a simple computer game by giving it a pleasing pulse of electricity when it won, and a barrage of static when it lost. At first, DishBrain didn’t know what was going on, but it evidently very clearly started picking up the rules and the stakes of the game.
The Great Pyramid of Giza Technically Has Eight Sides
No one noticed until 1940, when a British Air Force pilot flying overhead saw it clearly: Each of the four sides that are evident from the ground are actually made up of two slightly concave faces.
Silly String Was Part of the U.S. Army’s Defensive Tactics in Iraq
Before entering a building, they’d pepper a room with Silly String as a way to detect trip wires.
An SEO Company Has Scientifically Determined the Sexiest Bald Man in the World
SEO company Reboot developed an algorithm that considers shininess of head, symmetry of face and public opinion, among other factors, to determine that Vin Diesel was 2022’s Sexiest Bald Man.
Not Flushing Is Against the Law in Singapore
You can be given a fine of approximately $150 if you’re caught not flushing, and that can be reinforced with jail time if you refuse to pay.
The EU Flag Means Nothing, On Purpose
Technically, the stars stand for unity, solidarity and harmony. But by our count, that’s three things, not 12. There’s no symbolic reason for there being 12 stars at all — they just wanted a number that no member nation had any nationalistic emotional connection with.