1Louisiana State Penitentiary
One of the most brutal prisons in the US was Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola, Louisiana, which was run like a plantation. In the 1930s, hardened prisoners broke down upon learning of their sentence there. At one point, 10% of Angola prisoners were stabbed.
2. There is a fruit called "Miracle Berry" that, when eaten, causes your taste buds to not detect sour flavor for about half an hour, causing sour foods to taste sweet.
3. Corona never paid to be in 'Fast and the Furious' but received an estimated $15 million in free advertising.
4. The HGTV show 'House Hunters', is staged and some houses featured on the show aren’t even for sale.
5. The vending machine was invented in the 1st century. In exchange for a coin, it dispensed holy water.
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6James A. Garfield
The 20th President of the United States, James A. Garfield, contributed an original proof of the Pythagorean Theorem before he became president. He came up with it during a discussion with other members of Congress, and it was published in the New England Journal of Education.
7. 30 square kilometers of marijuana was found growing in New South Wales, Australia 25 years after it was made illegal. It took 9 years to remove it fully, during which time people regularly harvested it and distributed it in Sydney.
8. Mount Kosciuszko was thought to be the highest mountain in Australia until Mount Townsend was found to be slightly taller. Rather than re-educating the public that Townsend was the new highest mountain, the New South Wales Lands Department simply switched their names.
9. In 1865, the dictator of Paraguay, Francisco Solano Lopez, plunged his country into an ill-advised war with Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay. In just 5 years, Paraguay lost over half its population, including up to 90% of its men. It was arguably the worst military defeat ever suffered by a modern nation-state.
10. Natural history museums use teams of flesh-eating beetles to clean the flesh off from the specimens.
There is a certain temperature and humidity at which a human can't cool down, and we will die from the heat of our own metabolism. A sustained wet-bulb temperature (i.e. temperature at 100% relative humidity) exceeding 35 °C (95 °F) is likely to be fatal even to fit and healthy people, unclothed in the shade next to a fan; at this temperature our bodies switch from shedding heat to the environment, to gaining heat from it. Thus 35 °C is the threshold beyond which the body is no longer able to adequately cool itself.
12. Jack Black's mom, Judith Love Cohen, was a famous satellite engineer who worked on the Minuteman Missile and Hubble Space Telescope project.
13. 'Moron', 'Idiot', and 'Imbecile' were once valid Psychology terms for people with low IQ. When these terms entered vernacular usage as insults, they were disused in favor of 'Mental Retardation' which in turn was disused in favor of 'Intellectual Disability'.
14. Anthony Perkins (Norman Bates in "Psycho"), discovered he was HIV positive after reading an article by the National Enquirer, which claimed that he was HIV positive. It is suspected that someone illegally obtained his blood samples and had them tested for the virus, leaking the news to the tabloids.
15. The experimental T-13 grenade of World War 2 was designed similar to the size, weight, and shape of a baseball, thus making it easy for young American men to properly throw the grenade with both accuracy and distance.
A study discovered that when Christian students were reminded of the “religion and science don’t mix” stereotype, their intuitive reasoning dropped while Christian students who weren't reminded of that stereotype performed as well as the non-Christians.
17. In Japan, letting a sumo wrestler make your baby cry is considered good luck.
18. Napoleon Bonaparte struggled to learn English, and some of his attempts were saved. One such attempt read, “Since sixt week j learn the Englich and j do not any progress.”
19. Many fire departments, including the San Francisco and Florida, still prefer wooden ladders because they are non-conductors of electricity, the best natural insulator against heat, and only burn on the outside while the center of wood remains solid and strong.
20. In 2013, a man named Malcolm Myatt had a stroke that made him lose the ability to feel sad.
A woman named Clara Brown was born as a slave in Virginia, who after receiving her freedom went on to start a laundry business, became the owner of mines in Colorado during the gold rush, and even traveled to Kansas to help the freed slaves build communities.
22. During the 2013 elections in the Maldives, a coconut was detained on the suspicion of 'vote-rigging' through the use of black magic. A magician was called in and established that the coconut was innocent.
23. There is a theme park named Diggerland Construction Theme Park in West Berlin, New Jersey where you can operate real heavy machinery for fun.
24. Guugu Yimithirr is an aboriginal language that doesn’t have words for egocentric/relative directions like “left and right.” Rather, its speakers are trained to keep track of pure cardinal directions. For example, they say “north leg” when referring to the left leg of an eastward facing person.
25. Some 9th-century Scottish nuns literally cut off their noses and upper lips in order to make themselves too grotesque for invading Viking pirates to plunder (rape) them.