12 Bits of Trivia That Suddenly Appeared on Our Shoulder and Started Whispering Morally-Charged Advice into Our Ears
We’re in a bit of a pickle over here. It’s kind of a “devil on one shoulder, angel on the other” type situation… except there are twelve of these fuckers. They each represent some specific point on the spectrum between conscience and temptation, but they’re all trying to yell-whisper over each other, and nothing’s getting through.
Here, have a listen. Maybe you can make sense of this moral cacophony.
Guinness World Records Started Because of an Argument About Birds
Brewery manager Hugh Beaver was hunting with a friend, and claimed to have missed his shot because his target, the golden plover, was the fastest bird in Europe. His friend disagreed, saying the red grouse was in fact the fastest. Beaver recognized the need for the ultimate tome of useless facts, and the Guinness Book of Records was born. (Beaver was right).
Fruit Flies Will Get Drunk If They Can’t Get Laid
If a male fruit fly’s courtship rituals somehow don’t work (tapping his prospective mate’s belly and headbutting her junk), he’ll seek out a meal that contains alcohol. Incel flies will produce lower levels of a particular chemical in their brain, which causes them to crave a non-sexual reward; namely, gettin’ wastey-faced.
There Are 32 Vacant Homes for Every One Homeless Person in the U.S.
There are approximately 500,000 unhoused individuals in the country, but about 16 million houses and apartments with no occupants.
The List Where Steven Spielberg and Harvey Weinstein Come Out Ahead of God
A study found that, as of 2018, Steven Spielberg topped the list of people who were given the most shout-outs in Oscar acceptance speeches. The top six most-thanked entities are: Spielberg, Harvey Weinstein, James Cameron, George Lucas, Peter Jackson and God.
White Cats with Blue Eyes Are Highly Likely to Be Deaf
Eye color has nothing to do with blindness, but it has a clear correlation to deafness. About 22 percent of white cats with non-blue eyes are born deaf, but that number jumps to 40 percent if a white cat has one blue eye, and as much as 85 percent if it has two blue eyes.
A Polish Doctor Saved 8,000 People from the Nazis With a Fake Epidemic
Dr. Eugene Lazowski got the inside scoop from an old med school buddy that being injected with a particular strain of bacteria can cause people to test positive for typhus (without actually having it). He gave as many people as he could a shot of Proteus, and convinced the Nazis that there was a typhus outbreak. They stayed the hell away for the remainder of the war.
Jessica Simpson Got Hooked on Nicotine Without Ever Smoking a Cigarette
A friend’s mom gave her a piece of gum, which she said immediately felt like “a party in my mouth. It’s like drinking three Red Bulls.” She had no idea it was Nicorette, a nicotine-infused gum meant to help smokers wean themselves off of cigarettes, and that “party” was the onset of a nicotine addiction.
Prisoners Could Once Get Out of Jail by Marrying a Sex Worker and Moving to Mississippi
France only had about 700 people living in Louisiana back in 1716, when they still owned the territory. Economist John Law somehow found himself promising he’d get 9,000 people to move there, but had no real plan to pull it off. One Hail Mary was to offer prisoners their freedom — and a wife! — in exchange for packing up and moving to what would become Mississippi. It went horribly wrong, and Law was banished from Brussels.
Curry Can Reduce the Carbon Footprint of Sheep Farts
Feeding coriander and turmeric to sheep can reduce the amount of methane gas they release by 40 percent.
Conversation Cadence Is Universal
Studies have found that, across languages — including sign language — conversations follow two steadfast rules: Each participant speaks for two seconds at a time on average, and everyone leaves a gap of 200 milliseconds of silence between “turns.”
Mongolia Used to Have a Navy (Despite Being Landlocked)
They no longer technically have a functioning Navy, but up until the 1990s, they maintained one ship and seven sailors, stationed on Lake Khövsgöl. Only one of those sailors knew how to swim, reportedly.
One Peruvian Province Has a Festivus-Style Airing of Grievances
The annual festival of Takanakuy, held on December 25th, includes sanctioned fistfights between anyone who has unsettled beef, followed by a ton of drinking.