Episode 150!

Host Moxie LaBouche celebrates the 150th episode of her podcast, Your Brain On Fact (name also shared by her fascinating book).

  1. Think you’ve got a cool skill that could break a Guinness World Record?  It cost $5 to apply, but if you want an official adjudicator with a stopwatch and a clipboard to come watch you do it, that’ll cost $10,000.
  2. An adult queen bee’s body can be 25% ovaries by weight.  Until 1670, people thought hive life revolved around a king bee, until one was examined under a microscope by biologist Jan Swammerdam and he was surprised by the size of the king’s ovaries.
  3. Skylight, Charlie’s seesaw, half-moon, Regretful Climb, Silence Mill, and Patriotic shortener were all nicknames for the guillotine.
  4. Bunny Trails – According to the Oxford English Dictionary, “Elvis Has Left the Building” is “used to express the finality of a situation when a person has died or made a dramatic or notable exit.”   As early as 1956, the phrase was commonly used as a public announcement at the end of singer Elvis Presley concerts to inform the fans there was no possibility of his performing another encore. So it was a literal usage.  The phrase’s earliest figurative use was an allusion to Elvis’ death on August 16, 1977.  
  5. The groundbreaking movie Akira was the most-expensive anime movie when it was created in 1988, costing 700mil yen, or about $6.32mil or 5.37mil euros.  Adjusted for inflation, that’s about $14mil today.
  6. Since 2001, the US department of health and human services maintains about a million chickens to produce the eggs required to produce enough flu vaccine to immunize the entire population if need be.  Unfortunately, eggs  can’t be used for covid vaccine.
  7. Built-in obsolescence is when a product is designed to have a finite usable life. Dynamic obsolescence is bringing out new models so that people don’t want their old ones.
  8. A Star Wars podcast                                  
  9. Singapore’s Land Transport Authority reported in 2017 that 12% of Singapore’s total land area had already been taken up by roads.  If that were the US, that would be almost two Texases of road surface.
  10. Fairyflies, a 1,400 member strong subset of wasps, are so tiny that some don’t even have a heart. Males of the smallest species are points 7 mm fully grown.
  11. The entire global supply of gold ever mined would fill 3.27 Olympic swimming pools.  That nearly-arbitrary unit of measure, by the way, is 660k gal or 2.5mil liters.  11% of the world’s gold, or 72,600gal or 275,000L, is in the form of the jewelry collections of Indian women.
  12. Footnoting History
  13. Pakistan is an acronym for Punjab, Afghania, Kashmir, Sindh, Baluchistan.  Ever wonder why so many places have “-stan” in their name?  It just means “place of,” so 
  14. Legendary Native American athlete Jim Thorpe had his shoes stolen before he was meant to compete in the 1912 Olympic games in Stockholm.  He ended up digging through trash cans until he found two shoes, which did not match, to run in, and won the gold medal.
  15. How much bigger is one billion than one million?  A million seconds is about two weeks, but a billion seconds is about 32 years. 
  16. Grammar Girl
  17. The furthest you can be from land on Earth is a spot in the ocean between NZ and Chile, 1700 miles from the nearest coast, is called Point Nemo or the oceanic pole of inaccessibility.  A ship at Point Nemo can be closer to the ISS than dry land.
  18. In the US alone, domestic cats are responsible for the deaths of 22 billions small animals annually.
  19. The most dangerous plastic surgery procedure is the Brazillian butt lift, where fat is taken from other parts of the body and injected around the glutes.  1 in 3000 patients will die from fat getting into blood vessels and going to the lungs.
  20. Reel Feels – The Chiodo Bros. are well known for their work in writing, directing and doing all the special fx in 1988’s “Killer Klowns from Outer Space”.   But it was just three years later in 1991, that those same molds for the Killer Klowns would be seen again, but altered for another purpose in the classic children’s comedy “Ernest Scared Stupid”  You may never have guessed it, but the same molds and extra pieces not used in 1988’s “Killer Klowns from Outer Space” allowed for the Chiodo Brothers to once again use their talent for creating the nightmarish and gross looking trolls that Jim Varney went head to head with as the beloved, if not bumbling, underdog hero Ernest P. Worrell.
  21. The oldest building in the world that you can visit as a tourist is the Funerary Complex in the ancient Egyptian city of Saqqara.  This sprawling necropolis also contains the oldest pyramid, built in 2630 BCE.
  22. One reason skirts and dresses started to shorten toward the end of the Victorian age was the sheer volume of horse manure in the streets of London.  50,000 horses could work in the city with each horse producing 15-35lb/7-15kg of manure a day. 
  23. The most effective hunter in the world is the dragonfly. They don’t chase their prey, they intercept them, and catch more than 94% of what they’re hunting. They are so agile in the air because they can control each of their four wings independently.
  24. Die-alougue
  25. Shark teeth are scales.  Shark kills globally the same as British people killed by livestock.
  26. Dolly Parton’s husband of 57 years doesn’t like country music and only goes to her gigs when she’s playing a state fair, because he likes watching tractor pulls.
  27. The emancipation proclamation didn’t free all people enslaved in the US, only those in the Confederate states.  There were still people enslaved in Union states, particularly where slavery was used as a legal punishment.
  28. Gurus of Comedy The earliest written examples of comedy surviving today were produced by Aristophanes around 400 BCE.  One play was famous as a satire that mocked celebrity of the time Socrates.  Some of the accusations in the play was used as evidence in the trial against Socrates 20 years later, where he was accused of corrupting the minds of the youth of Athens.  Socrates lost that trail and was sentenced to death!
  29. Estelle Getty, who played Sophia in The Golden Girls, was one year *younger than Bea Arthur, who played her daughter Dorothy, so big props to the makeup and costuming folks.  She also had the least acting experience of the four and initially lived in constant fear that someone would realize she was no good and fire her. 
  30. There are so many species of insects, that we *know of, that if you made an insect-of-the-month calendar, you could go through 80,000 years worth before you had to repeat one.
  31. In 2003 a US submarine came under attack from a polar bear.  The USS Connecticut had partly surfaced when the bear spotted it. After 40 minutes of gnawing on the exposed rudder, the bear lost interest and the brutal war was over.
  32. If you ever feel lonely or isolated, think about this — a cubic meter of air has about 100,000 different living organisms in it.  A cubic meter of soil has 10 billion.
  33. Lexitecture – the words “slug” and “sluggish” applied to people hundreds of years before they applied to the mollusk.
  34. The silent movie trope of the damsel tied to the train tracks never happened in any silent movie.  It comes from a play in which a *man is tied to the tracks and saved by the female lead, leading him to gratefully declare, “And these are the women who ain’t got the vote.”
  35. Khutulun, a Mongolian noblewoman, declared she would only marry a man who would beat her at wrestling, but if she won, they had to give her 100 horses.  By her death at age 46, she had 10,000 horses.
  36.  Bodies aren’t the only preserved things found in Irish peat bogs.  Archeologists have also found butter.  Lots and lots of butter.  The cool, oxygen-free environment of the mud is a good place to store food.   
  37. The Castle Bravo explosion, a nuclear bomb test on Bikini Atoll, was 2.5-3x larger than it was supposed to be, 15 megatons instead of  the predicted 6.0 megatons, due to unforeseen additional reactions involving lithium-7.
  38. Ignorance Was Bliss  Kate, as always, went above and beyond for me and for us.  Rather than one 20-30 second fact, she sent in over 14 minutes worth.  You can hear the full list of lesser-known disorders on our patreon.
  39. It has been repeatedly tested and proven that “wine experts” can’t tell cheap wine from expensive, French from American, or even red from white when blindfolded.  So pop open your Three Buck Chuck or Aldi store brand.
  40. In 1990, despite the objections of president George HW Bush, the release of 15 American prisoners held in Iraq was secured by boxer Muhammed Ali after he met with Saddam Hussein.
  41. If you put a rope around the world, but then wanted to raise the whole thing up by a foot, you would only have to add about 3ft/1m to the rope to make that happen.  
  42. Happily Ever Aftermath
  43. US English only has about 20 swear words.  Everything else is a combination of those words.  But emperial Roman Latin had 800 individual swear words.
  44. In ancient China, emperors used eunuchs as servants and only the imperial family had eunuchs.  Some famous eunuchs even gained the emperor’s trust, and had power to control the court.  Boys or men from poor families castrated themselves in hopes of getting a high-placed job in the palace.  
  45. Legendary stuntman Evil Knievel adopted the nickname “Evil” when he was in jail alongside a man whose last name was Knoffle, who the guards called Awful Knoffle.  He figured, if he’s Awful Knoffle, I should be Evil Knievel.
  46. The fastest growing bodily tissue in the class Mammalia is antlers, which can grow up to an inch a day.  Counterintuitively, antlers, which are similar to bone, are shed annually, but horns, which are made of keratin like hair and nails, are permanent.
  47. Doomsday
  48. Despite being only .06% of the world population, the Kalenjin community of Kenya produce the athletes that hold 70% of the distance running races in the world.  In the 2013 Berlin marathon, for example, Kenyan runners took 7 of the top 10 places across both genders.
  49. Emus are the only birds with calf muscles.  Emus can’t walk backwards and no one knows why, but it’s that quality that landed them on the early Australian flag, along with kangaroos for the same reason.
  50. In a California high school in 1967, a history teacher’s social experiment to illustrate how easily people can get caught up in facist movements grew from the class of 25 to over 200 students from different schools…in five days.
  51. Strange Animals
  52. Your lips don’t touch when I say, “touch” but they do when I say, “separate.”  You can stretch out a vowel, but you can’t stretch out a consonant.  
  53. There is no such thing as an average person.  According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the average woman is 37, 5’4”, with a 6 yr old son and 9 year old daughter, lives in a 3bd house with $200k left on the mortgage, but not one single person could be found that met that description.
  54. Sahara, Gobi, and Namib all mean “desert,” so it’s redundant to say “desert” in the name.  This is called a tautological place name, which often results from two languages being combined to name the same place.  
  55. In the Doll World
  56. There was a two-day long riot in Toronto in 1855, that started in a brothel, when a clown knocked a fireman’s hat off.  If you want me to into that long-form on the show, soc med.
  57. The reason we think Inuit languages have many words for snow is because the word for snow appears in many compound words for different types or uses of snow.
  58. Pigeons that live near hairdressers only have two toes. It’s not an evolutionary thing.  Improperly disposed of hair gets wrapped around their toes and cuts off the circulation.
  59. MyhandleisJonathanBlade (damn that’s a nice voice!)
  60. During their muscly rivalry, Arnold Schwarzenegger tricked Sylvester Stallone into starring in what Stallone would later describe as ‘the worst movie in the solar system,’ “Stop!  Or My Mom Will Shoot,” by acting really excited for the project, but asking for entirely too much money, so the studio took it to Stallone and told him he could steal the role out from under Schwarzenegger. 
  61. In 2018, German researchers asked participants to turn off a robot, but in the second round the robot was programmed to ask them not to turn it off. A third of the subjects took twice as long to turn it off, and about one in eight couldn’t bring themselves to turn it off at all.
  62. A day on Venus lasts longer than its year. In fact, that you could walk on its surface, you could walk at the same speed, meaning you could make it be the same time forever, relatively speaking.
  63. Self Shoots from the Hip
  64. The country with the most wild camels is Australia with an estimated million and a quarter. They actually export them to Arab states for meat and racing.
  65. The greatest temperature change in 24 hours occurred in Loma on January 15, 1972. The temperature rose exactly 103 degrees, from -54 degrees Fahrenheit to 49 degrees.  For those in the home counties, that’s -48C to 9C.
  66. Most bottles of oil labelled “truffle oil” have never been anywhere near a truffle.  Their fabulous funk comes from the addition of methyl mercaptan, a naturally-occurring gas that smells of rotten eggs, cabbage, or swamp water.
  67. Jackie Watches Stuff – Morgan Freeman’s son, Alfonso Freeman, was also in the film. Not only is he one of the prisoners cheering the arrival of “Fresh Fish” at the beginning of the film, but you’ll also find him as Red’s mugshot…which explains the uncanny resemblance.
  68. In 2009, a pigeon named Winston raced Telkom, South Africa’s largest ISP, to see who could deliver 4GB of data to a location 60 miles away the fastest. By the time Winston arrived with the 4GB flash drive, Telkom had transmitted only 4% of the data.
  69. The scientific name for food coma is postprandial somnolence (“postprandial” means after a meal, “somnolence” means drowsiness).
  70. 10% of the pagers still active in the world today or and used by the British National Health Service.  They were also until recently the largest buyer of fax machines.
  71. Nerd Lab
  72. The original name of the Decatur, GA restaurant that would launch the Applebee’s chain was T.J. Applebee’s Rx for Edibles and Elixirs.
  73. The term “gaslighting,” or telling someone that their perception or memory of events is wrong, comes from the play “Gas Light,” wherein a man messes with the gas lighting in the house, but tells his wife she’s imagining it when she comments.
  74. In the US and UK, cats are said to have 9 lives; but in Spain, Greece, Germany, and Brazil, they have 7; and in Turkey and other Arabic-speaking regions, they have 6.
  75. Nutrition Diva
  76. Nicknamed “Ranavalona the Cruel,” Queen Rabodo-andrian-ampoin-imerina of Madagascar ordered the deaths of 2.5 *million people, half the island nation’s population, during her reign from 1828 until her death in 1861.
  77. While sleeping in his train car in 1920, French president Paul Descanel rolled out of the window and falls out of train.  When he was found by a railway inspector and declared he was the president, the inspector assumed he was mad, but put him to bed and called him a doctor.
  78. Samuel Morse didn’t create Morse code.  The bulk of the work was done by his colleague Alfred Vail.  Also, it’s not technically a code, but a cypher.  And while we’re here, SOS isn’t an acronym for “save our ship” or “save our souls.”  It’s simply a distinct and readily-recognizable sound.
  79. Ready, Set, Roll
  80. The Rh or rhesus factor, whether your blood type is positive or negative, comes from rhesus monkeys, whose blood contains the same protein.
  81. Skid marks aren’t rubber, usually.   The heat from the friction of tires suddenly moving or suddenly stopping loosens up the bituminous oils in the asphalt, leaving dark marks.
  82. In 2002, Thad Roberts, former NASA college intern, and three others stole $21mil worth of moon rocks, contaminating them and making them virtually useless to scientists, and that was before Roberts and his girlfriend had celebratory sex on top of them.  They also destroyed three decades worth of handwritten research notes, I suppose just to be thorough.  
  83. Shame Pinata
  84. The air bubbles around a completely-submerged boat propeller are from the surrounding water boiling.  Because low pressure equals lower boiling points, the pressure on the water near the trailing edge of the propeller blade gets so low that the water vaporizes, forming a bubble of air.  
  85. Did you hear about the message “Dare mighty things” coded into the colors of the Perseverance rover’s parachute?  The Jet Propulsion Lab also hid a message on Curiosity, in the tread of its wheel.  As the rover drove around, the tracks it left in the dirt said JPL in Morse code, or should we say, Vail’s cypher.
  86. Sleep Whispers
  87. Limousines, the disgusting color chartreuse, clementines, Des Moines, Iowa, cappuccino, and capuchin monkeys are all named after monks.
  88. During WWII, the British Government bought the world’s entire supply of black tea to ensure they wouldn’t run out.  It was the government’s second biggest wartime purchase by weight, less than bullets, but more than artillery shells, but stop and think about how little tea weighs.
  89. The first vertebrates born in space were quail, which hatched on the Mir space station in 1990.  They did not do well in zero-g and had to be hand-fed as chicks.  As adults, they had no interest in mating and even produced fewer sperm cells and laid fewer eggs.
  90. Sony has engineered a standard-sized cassette tape that holds 180 terabytes of data, enough for 47 million songs, half as many songs as Spotify’s entire music catalog.  Imagine seeing that unspooled on the side of the road.
  91. NocaNews
  92. The most isolated vertebrate population is devils hole pupfish.  Their entire species of around 135 fish live in a single part of a single cave called The Devil’s Hole in, of all places, Death Valley.  You can visit if you like, but good luck getting past the security cameras and over the barbed wire fence that’s been erected to protect them.
  93. The very first car theft was perpetrated by a woman, Bertha Benz, wife of Carl Benz of Mercedes-Benz, who knew the car could be a hit if people saw it and drove it 50mi/88km from mannheim to Pforzheim, at a whopping 9mph/14kmph.   She also effectively invented brake pads, by asking a cobbler to add a leather pad to the brakes to make them more quiet. 
  94. The Chinese department of defense doesn’t own the country’s army, the communist party does.
  95. Quiz and Hers
  96. In Sanca, British Columbia, there is a castle-like house made of a most unusual building material.  Embedded in the cement walls are about half a million square glass bottles that originally held embalming fluid.  It was built in 1953 by a retiring funeral director.  I am Jack’s total lack of surprise
  97. There are more ways to sort a deck of cards then the amount of atoms estimated to be on earth. The standard 52-card deck has 8×10^67 possible arrangements of the cards.
  98. The first color TV broadcast in Australia in 1975 started in the middle of the show Aunty Jack and was worked into the plot.  You can look it up on YouTube to watch “the color monster” take over the screen.  
  99. This is Her Place
  100. Scientists have nicknames for genes.  The gene that causes fetal hearts to fail to develop is the Tin Man gene, the Spock gene causes pointed ears, and the gene that causes hyper-sensetivity to alcohol is the Cheap Date gene.
  101. Neutron stars, the result of the explosive death of other stars, are so dense that a piece of one the size of a sugar cube would weighs 100 million tons.
  102. 2nd Lt Owen J. Baggett, shooting down a Japanese aircraft with an M1911 pistol. Owen hit the pilot in the head while he was parachuting out of his own damaged B-24 liberator, becoming the only pilot in history to down a plane with a handgun. WWII
  103. Savvy Psychologist
  104. Remember how in episode 100, I said the longest place name in an English-speaking country was the Welsh village of Llan fairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch?  This time we’re giving an honorable mention to a hill in New Zealand called, and bear in mind this is one word, Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateapokaiwhenuakitanatahu.
  105. More people live in the 57k sq mi of Bangladesh than live in the 6.6mil sq mi of Russia, 163 million vs 144 million people.
  106. There was an answer to Lewis Carol’s question, “Why is a raven like a writing desk?” — “Because it can produce a few notes, tho they are very flat and it is nevar put with the wrong end first,” but “never” was spelled “nevar,” or raven backwards, but somewhere along the line, a well-meaning editor “corrected” it.
  107. Useless Information
  108. Successful businessman, prolific author, college-founder, and philanthropist Roger Babson devoted a great deal of time and money into fighting the scourge of “our enemy number one” …gravity.  He blamed gravity for the drowning death of his sister.  Water seems to have gotten off scot-free.  
  109. The children’s book Ferdinand the Bull, about a bull who’d rather smell flowers than fight matadors, was banned in Germany and Spain during WWII as subversive propaganda. 
  110. Teeth can reattach to their roots after being knocked out if they are put back into their place.  That’s why it’s important to keep the tooth clean and moist and get to the dentist with all due haste.
  111. Ballsy History – At the beginning of the 19th century, trading Chinese goods such as tea, silks, and porcelain was extremely lucrative for Britain. However, they would not buy British products in return and only wanted to sell their goods in exchange for silver.  In order to stop this, the East India Company and others began to smuggle Indian opium into China illegally—and they demanded payment in silver which moved the balance back to the way Britian wanted it. The silver, in turn, was then used to buy tea and other goods. By 1839, opium sales to China covered the entire tea trade. When the first Opium War began, it was in large part thanks to tea.
  112. The best-selling car of all time is the Little Tykes Cozy Coupe.  The highest-volume tire manufacturer in the world is Lego.  And the biggest toy distributor in the world is McDonald’s.
  113. Clouds may look light and fluffy, but the average cumulus cloud can weigh 1.1 million lbs or 500,000 kg.
  114. The CIA headquarters has its own Starbucks, but baristas don’t write names on the cups or call them out.  Receipts say “Store Number 1” instead of “Starbucks,” and baristas need an escort to leave their work posts.  As a lifelong retail worker, hard pass.
  115. Percy Spencer was working for American Appliance Company (now Raytheon) when he accidentally invented the microwave.  The company was the one to file the patent.  They gave Spencer a $2 bonus but no royalties.
  116. Varmints
  117. A Belgian bar had such a problem with people stealing their signature glasses that they started making customers hand over one of their shoes as collateral.  The baskets of shoes quickly became a photo-op for locals and tourists alike.
  118. In 1909, Vancouver debuted their first ambulance, which picked up their first patient during their test-drive around town.  They coincidentally had also run him over.
  119. 6000 world languages can be traced back to a single mother tongue spoken in Africa 70,000 years ago.
  120. In 2008 an app was released called I Am Rich.  Described as “a work of art with no hidden function at all,” it displayed the message “I am rich.  I deserve it.”  It cost $999.99 and eight people bought it before Apple took it down.
  121. Worst Foot Forward
  122. There’s only one letter that doesn’t appear in any U.S. state name.  Can you guess before I say it?  There’s a Z (Arizona), a J (New Jersey), and even two X’s (New Mexico and Texas)—but not a single Q. 
  123. Carrie Fisher agreed to be in the infamous and objectively bad Star Wars Holiday Special if she would be allowed to sing, because she wanted to do more theater and musicals in her career.  Mark Hammil agreed to be in it only if his contract specified he would *not have to sing.
  124. While Agent Orange is the best known and most heavily used defoliant of the Vietnam war, there was a whole horrible rainbow of herbicides, including green, pink, purple, blue, and white.  Agent Blue specifically targeted crops, because we’re awful.
  125. The Jury Room
  126. The first actor to voice the character Porky Pig, Joe Doherty, stuttered just like the character does.  Unfortunately and ironically, he was fired from the role because his stuttering was severe enough to caused delays
  127. Samsung tests phone durability with a butt-shaped robot, complete with jeans, to “sit” on their phones to make sure they can take the pressure.
  128. Richard Attenborough always wears a blue shirt when filming because filming dates for any one documentary can span months and he wants to maintain continuity.
  129. The longest confirmed-kill sniper shot was performed by a Canadian special forces sniper when he took out an Islamic State militant from 2.19mi/3.54km away.
  130. Because Language
  131. While the line “Elementary, my dear Watson” was never written in any Sherlock Holmes novel, it *was said in the 1939 Basil Rathbone film The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.
  132. Firefighters use wetting agents to make water wetter.  The chemicals reduce the surface tension of plain water so it’s easier to spread and soak into objects, which is why it’s known as “wet water.” 
  133. A cattle rancher in New Jersey is credited for inventing glitter in 1934.  Henry Ruschmann crushed up some plastic while trying to find a way to dispose of it and thus made glitter.
  134. Green hats are a serious fashion-don’t for men in China.  It signifies that their wife has cheated on them, since the words for cuckold sounds similar to the word for green.  This dates all the way back to the 13th century, when families of prostitutes were forced to wear green hats.
  135. I Know Dino
  136. Churches in Malta often have two clocks, set at different times.  The one with the correct time is for parishioners and the wrong clock is meant to trick the devil so he can’t interrupt mass.
  137. Mercedes invented a car controlled by joystick in 1966.  The F200 concept car used the joystick in place of both the steering wheel and pedals.  The car could also sense which side the driver was sitting in, so someone could control it from the passenger seat.
  138. The language spoken by Pingu, the claymation penguin beloved by children around the world, isn’t jibberish.  It’s a “nonsense language” called Grammelot, used by by clowns and in satire for centuries.
  139. In July 2013, 800k volunteers in India planted an estimated 50mil trees in a single day.  Ethiopians topped that in 2019 with a staggering 350mil trees in 12 hours.  The most trees planted by an individual person was 15,170 by a Canadian man in 2001. 
  140. When the MTS Oceanos cruise ship began flooding in 1991, the captain and crew abandoned ship without sounding the alarm.  One of the entertainers on board, Moss Hill, used the ship’s radio to call for rescue and the crew were brought up on charges.
  141. The Curious Professor
  142. Despite physical length, there are more bones in the neck of a sloth than a giraffe. There are seven vertebrae in the neck of giraffes, and in most mammals, but there are ten in a sloth.
  143. Before American painter John G. Rand invented metal paint tubes with screw caps in the 19th century, paints were often stored in pig bladders tied closed with string.
  144. Neil DeGrasse-Tyson bought his first telescope at age 14 with money he earned as a dog-walker, charging 50 cents per dog per walk.
  145. Pharaoh Ramses IV of Ancient Egypt had his eyes replaced with small onions when he was mummified. The rings and layers of onions represented eternal life.
  146. Ink and Ash
  147. When 9th century a Persian polymath, physician, alchemist, and philosopher Abū Bakr Muhammad Zakariyyā Rāzī was tasked with choosing the location for a new hospital, he hung up pieces of meat in different places around Bahgdad and had the hospital built in the area where the meat rotted the most slowly. 
  148. In the Norse mythology that JRR Tolkien ripped off, I mean, borrowed heavily from, there is no mention of dwarves being short, as we see them depicted in all fantasy stories and games for the last 65 years.  They are miners by trade, though, but instead of being ginger, as pitch black in color.
  149. Ashkenazi Jews of Europe can trace their lineage back to a group of about 350 people who lived 700 years ago.
  150. Among his many eccentricities, Nikola Tesla couldn’t stand to be in the presence of pearls.  When his secretary showed up for work one day with a pearl necklace on, he made her go home. 
  151. And we’ll finish up back where we started.  The Guiness Book of World Records holds the world record for the best-selling copyrighted book of all time, having sold over 130 million copies at last count, and is also the book most commonly stolen from libraries.

Your Brain On Facts

Things You Didn’t Know, Things You Thought You Knew, and Things You Never Knew You Never Knew

The world is full of things you didn’t know, things you thought you knew, and things you never knew you never knew. From the eponymous podcast comes Your Brain On Facts.

Train your brain. So what if you picked up some historical inaccuracies (and flat-out myths) in history class. Your Brain On Facts is here to teach and reteach readers relevant trivia. It explains surprising science in simple language, gives the unexpected origins of pop culture classics, and reveals important titbits related to current issues.

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