Gene Roddenberry never gave Captain Kirk a birthplace more specific than the state of Iowa. In 1985, when trying to find a theme for its annual festival, the town of Riverside voted to proclaim itself the future birthplace of the Starfleet officer. Roddenberry gave the town his blessing.
2. Victor Klemperer, a Jewish concentration camp inmate and post-WWII professor of German literature, wrote a book that analyzed how Nazis introduced a nearly Orwellian kind of German language. Examples are, “crisis” for defeat, “connection” (Anschluss) for annexation, and “enhanced interrogation” for torture.
3. Thurl Ravenscroft, the man who voiced Tony the Tiger in the Frosted Flakes commercials (“They’re g-r-r-r-eat!”), was the uncredited singer of the song “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch.”
4. The Japanese work philosophy of “kaizen” translates to an approach where people constantly seek to find ways to improve methods instead of just doing it the same way.
5. A group of fans made an award-winning web series completing the 5-year mission of the Enterprise in the original Star Trek series and named it “Star Trek Continues.” It is so good that Gene Roddenberry’s son considers it to be canon.
Stephen King based his first novel, “Carrie”, on two girls from his school. One was bullied for wearing used clothes, while the other was raised in a highly religious family. The first girl committed suicide by hanging herself at the age of 14, while the other died of an epileptic seizure.
7. There’s a famous scene in the 1931 film “The Public Enemy” where James Cagney smashes a grapefruit in Mae Clarke’s face. Clark’s ex-husband loved that scene so much he would repeatedly buy tickets and watch it over and over again, getting shushed when his laughter got too loud.
8. When considering what to name Idaho, a man named George M. Willing suggested Idaho claiming it was an indigenous word meaning “Gem of the Mountains.” The name stuck. Afterward, it came out that it wasn't an indigenous word and George Willing had made it up.
9. The US National Guard will airdrop hay bales to stranded livestock that the farmers can’t get to.
10. Since the studio didn’t have enough budget to shoot Riddick (2013). Vin Diesel had to mortgage his house, obtain loans and spend most of his own money on the production.
There is no such thing as premium vodka, at least in the USA. Title 27, Section 5.22 of the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Code says that vodka must be distilled or treated until it is, quote, “without distinctive character, aroma, taste or color.” If it has any distinction, it’s not Vodka.
12. The cannibalized remains of a 14-year-old girl were discovered in a 17th-century trash deposit inside Fort James. This proves that early colonists resorted to cannibalism to survive during 1609-1610. This was after eating their horses and pets. Only 60 colonists survived.
13. Between 33,000 and 55,000 Canadians fought in the American Civil War. 29 were awarded Medals of Honor, one was a noted Union Spy, and one was a Union Army officer who formed and led the detachment that captured and killed John Wilkes Booth, the assassin of Lincoln.
14. Nikola Tesla once spent over $2,000 on an injured white pigeon. The amount includes building a device that comfortably supported her so her bones could heal. “I loved that pigeon as a man loves a woman, and she loved me. As long as I had her, there was a purpose to my life,” he said of her.
15. Dr. Seuss was childless, but he invented a whole clan of fictional offspring with bizarre talents that he could bring up whenever friends annoyed him by boasting about their own kids’ accomplishments. He even got a group of neighborhood kids into posing as them for a fake Christmas card photo.
After World War 2, Japanese insurance companies started putting in one-year exemption clauses in their policies, so that people who would sign in must wait one year before killing themselves to get the money. As a result, the suicide rate in Japan spiked on the thirteenth month of the contract.
17. The “Million Dollar Quartet” is a recording of an impromptu jam session involving Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, and Johnny Cash on December 4th, 1956.
18. Mike Tyson’s Training Regiment included waking up at 4 am, jogging 5-miles. Then he would do 2000 sit-ups, 500 pushups, 500 dips, 500 shrugs and about 30 minutes of neck bridges daily. He repeated this 6 days a week.
19. Pierre Joubert (1701-1814), aged 113, was believed to have been the oldest person who ever lived. It was later discovered that Pierre died in 1766 at the age of 65 and his son by the same name died in 1814, causing the confusion.
20. While recording “I’m Coming Out,” Diana Ross had no idea “coming out” meant one revealing they’re gay. When Ross found out, she went back to the recording studio in tears, thinking songwriter Nile Rodgers tried to ruin her career.
Scatman John from ‘Scatman’ the popular song from the '90s had a really severe stutter and he discovered scat/piano to cope with his impediment, causing him to be a pop star at the age of 53.
22. Wenman Wykeham-Musgrave was thrown overboard when his ship was torpedoed and sunk in World War 1. He was picked up by another ship, which was also torpedoed and sunk. He then swam to a third ship, which was also torpedoed and sunk. He managed to survive the war.
23. The submarine resembling a Lotus Esprit, from the Bond film ‘The Spy who Loved Me’, went unclaimed for 10 years in a prepaid storage unit. When its lease ran out, a buyer bought the unit for less than $100, including the submarine. In 2013, the submarine was sold at auction for £550,000.
24. Project 100,000 was a controversial Vietnam War era program by the United States Department of Defense to draft 100,000 low-IQ men a year for the Vietnam War. It was dubbed, “Macnamara’s Morons.” More than 5,000 recruited under this program were killed in the war, 3 times the rate when compared to other soldiers.
25. Washington Irving, who created the first illustration of Santa on his sleigh, was also the creator of the Headless Horseman from Sleepy Hollow.