Harper Lee’s friends gave her a full year’s salary for Christmas in 1956 so that she’d be able to take a year off from work to write. Lee used that time to write “To Kill a Mockingbird,” which has since sold over 30 million copies.
2. The infamous streaker Mark Roberts was sponsored by GoldenPalace.com to streak in Super Bowl 38. He was paid $1 million, given front row tickets on the 50-yard line, and provided with one of the best defense attorneys in the US who was able to reduce his charges down to a misdemeanor and $1,000 fine.
3. The Japanese used houseflies coated in a bacterial slurry to spread cholera in China and kill an estimated 410,000 people during World War 2.
4. Hospitality company Marriott was fined $600,000 by the FCC in 2014 for blocking customers' personal Wi-Fi. They were using jammers to jam the customers’ personal Wi-Fi device so that they would be forced to pay for the internet.
5. American singer Bob Dylan introduced the Beatles to cannabis. He rolled a joint and passed it to Ringo, who didn't realize he was supposed to pass the joint and smoked the whole joint to himself.
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Animal rescue organizations in the US are placing "unadoptable" cats with businesses as natural pest control. In many cases, this positive socialization leads to the cats becoming affectionate permanent employees of the companies.
7. In 2016, firefighters in Pana, Illinois found German cockroach infestation so massive that the city council agreed that the best option was to burn the house down.
8. Clocks run clockwise because in the Northern hemisphere that's how sundials cast a shadow.
9. Broccoli is a human innovation and a man-made food, being a result of the selective breeding of wild cabbage plants, which started around the 6th century B.C.
10. Astronaut Neil Armstrong took a piece of fabric from the left wing of the Wright Brothers' 1903 Flyer and also a part of the propeller to the moon, aboard the lunar module Eagle on July 20, 1969.
Ham, the chimp who was the first hominid in space, was trained by NASA to operate a capsule in space. His trainer described the moment he was recovered from his capsule following the project as “I have never seen such terror on a chimp’s face.”
12. It costs less than a dollar to charge your phone all year.
13. A Spanish archives director named Carles Recio only showed up to work to sign-in and sign-out for 10 years. During the time that he was "working," he ran a male brothel and was an erotic comic book artist who created a busty superheroine named Fallarela "who hurls flaming Valencia oranges at her enemies."
14. Following LeBron James' decision to leave Cleveland and join the Miami Heat, the sports memorabilia company Fathead lowered the price of wall graphics depicting James from $99.99 to $17.41: the birth year of infamous American traitor Benedict Arnold.
15. The Memorial to Heroic Self Sacrifice is a London monument commemorating ordinary people who died saving the lives of others and who might otherwise have been forgotten.
The ‘Slow Movement’ advocates a cultural shift toward slowing down life's pace, and “doing everything as well as possible, instead of as fast as possible.” It began with a protest against the opening of a McDonald’s in Rome in 1986. “It’s about quality over quantity in everything.”
17. Japanese Yakuza have a unique form of extortion known as sōkaiya. Instead of harassing small businesses for protection money, the yakuza harasses the stockholder meetings of large corporations.
18. Hasbro has trademarked the smell of Play-Doh. It is described as a “sweet, slightly musky, vanilla-like fragrance, with slight overtones of cherry, and the natural smell of a salted, wheat-based dough.”
19. Three composers created "The Most Unwanted Song" based on an opinion poll of annoying musical elements in 1997. It includes bagpipes, a rapping opera singer, children singing about Christmas shopping at Walmart, and much more. It is twenty-two minutes long.
20. Lebron James was so hated back in 2012 that even a captured Al-Qaeda member wrote letters expressing his disgust at his decision to go to the Miami Heat. He told his lawyer that “LeBron James is a very bad man and should apologize to the city of Cleveland.”
Caterpillars don't "morph" into butterflies. Their bodies turn into a protein 'goop' within their chrysalis and rapid DNA-driven cell-division takes care of the rest.
22. In India, the police aren't allowed to handcuff prisoners unless they are at an extreme risk of escaping. The Supreme Court said that handcuffing is against the dignity of an unconvicted prisoner and thus violative of his fundamental rights. So policemen hold hands instead.
23. A Curaçao woman named Odette Doest rescued a flamingo that had crashed into a window. She named it Bob and nursed it back to health. When she realized Bob couldn’t be released back to the wild, she made it an ambassador for his species, visiting schools with him to teach children about island wildlife and the importance of conservation.
24. In 1971, Nike paid a college student named Carolyn Davidson $35 for the "swoosh" logo she designed.
25. Wax worms can eat and break down one of the most common plastics, polyethylene. Their digestive process breaks the plastic's chemical bond, producing an organic compound.