During the Cold War, a system administrator named Clifford Stoll tracked a $0.75 accounting error back to an East German spy ring. It was one of the first documented cases of a computer break-in.
2. Switzerland has no landfills. 50% of the municipal waste is recycled, 50% is incinerated to produce electricity.
3. Every year on September 11, firefighters in the United States will climb 110 flights of stairs in full gear in buildings or at the gym to remember the 343 firefighters who lost their lives that day.
4. Warner Bros. allowed Bugs Bunny to appear in 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit?' under the stipulation that he only appears opposite Mickey Mouse, and that the two receive the same amount of screen time. The resulting scene is the only time in film history that the two have shared the screen together.
5. When rats are offered the choice of a tempting chocolate treat, or rescuing a drowning rat, they chose to rescue the drowning rat.
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Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa, who is often portrayed as the epitome of Mexican machismo, never drank alcohol. He actually was so worried about alcoholism spreading in Mexico, that he banned alcohol from his province of Chihuahua.
7. Upton Sinclair's novel "The Jungle" was never about the meatpacking industry. Sinclair intended it as a "breaking of human hearts by a system which exploits the labor of men and women for profit."
8. A Norwegian Ethnographer named Thor Heyerdahl sailed from Peru to Polynesia on a primitive balsa wood raft to prove that ancient trans-oceanic travel was possible. When experts called it a fluke, he made an Egyptian reed boat and sailed it from Morocco to Central America to prove them wrong.
9. Honey bees sleep between five and eight hours a day, some bees hold each other's legs as they sleep. Colonies are divided into different sectors of work. There are cleaners, nurses, security guards, also collection bees whose sole job is to cache nectar in the comb. Promotions happen as well.
10. When Weird Al Yankovic asked the publishers of The Kinks' Lola whether songwriter Ray Davies would allow his parody, Yoda, to be released. He got a negative response. However, when Yankovic met Davies five years later, Ray told him that he had never been asked and allowed Al to release Yoda.
11Code of Hammurabi
The Code of Hammurabi, while notorious for its eye for an eye punishment and the removal of body parts of the guilty party, was also one of the earliest pieces of written law to have it a requirement for an innocent person to be assumed innocent until proven guilty.
12. The Monkees named their movie Head so that if they ever released a second film they could use the tag line “from the people who gave you Head.”
13. A man named Richard Proenneke left his career as a heavy equipment operator, flew to a remote Alaskan lake, built a log cabin by hand, and lived there alone for 30 years.
14. White Castle became popular because of public reaction to Upton Sinclair’s “The Jungle”. To make sure that customers thought their food was clean, the buildings were painted completely white, the interiors were made of stainless steel, and the employees all wore spotless uniforms.
15. In 2015, a Texas professor named Irwin Horwitz failed his entire class and quit because he thought that all of his students were disruptive or dishonest and therefore didn’t deserve to pass the course. He said the class was his worst in his 20 years of teaching.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology offers a "pirate certificate" to students who complete the archery, sailing, fencing, and pistol or rifle shooting courses. The department frequently holds "pirate induction" days and has had a steady stream of students awarded the achievement.
17. A 67 million-year-old dinosaur mummy was found in 2007 with a lot its body still intact. This borealopelta was discovered with the protective armor, skin, and partial stomach still intact. It's been so well preserved that scientists deemed it closer to a mummy than a fossil.
18. In 1972, Canadian radio station CBC held a poll to find a national simile (an answer to 'As American as apple pie'). The winning response was "As Canadian as possible under the circumstances."
19. There is a 25 foot replica Statue of Liberty in the river outside of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. It was erected as a prank in 1986, and was originally made of Venetian blinds and plywood. A local lawyer admitted his role in the prank 25 years later, “well after the statute of limitations had expired.”
20. In 1983, US Interior Department secretary James Watt banned the Beach Boys from playing at the National Mall, saying the concerts encouraged drug use and attracted the wrong element. He was forced to apologize after finding Ronald Reagan was a fan.
21Ivan the Terrible
Ivan the Terrible died without ever telling anyone where he put the library he inherited from his grandfather, and ever since there has been a treasure hunt for it.
22. An engineer named Vic Tandy established a connection between supposed paranormal activity and infrasound frequency (~19Hz), which is below the range of human hearing and also roughly the resonant frequency of our eyeballs, causing some people to 'see' things that aren't there.
23. Willem Kolff created the first dialysis machine in the Netherlands during World War 2. Lacking materials, he used sausage casings, tin cans, a washing machine, and saltwater. He also saved more than 800 people from the Nazis by hiding them in his hospital. He later invented the artificial heart.
24. During the Trial of Joan of Arc, the prosecution, headed by Pierre Cauchon, sent an agent to France to collect dirt on her life in her home village. Cauchon was enraged when the agent "had found nothing concerning Joan that he would not have liked to find about his own sister."
25. Being a NASCAR pit crew member is so physically demanding that today instead of giving mechanics physical training, they take athletes and give them auto mechanic training.