1Cherokee Writing System
The Cherokee writing system was made by one man, Sequoyah. It's one of the only times in history that someone in a non-literate group invented an official script from scratch. Within 25 years, nearly 100% of Cherokee were literate, and it inspired dozens of indigenous scripts around the world.
2. The USA was supposed to adopt the metric system, but the ship carrying the standardized meter and kilogram was hijacked by pirates in 1793, and the measurements never made it to the States.
3. In 1998, part of the hull of the Titanic was recovered and is now displayed at the Luxor Casino in Las Vegas. Visitors are given a "boarding pass" with the name of a passenger and find out the fate of their passenger at the end of the exhibition.
4. Warren Buffett bought Berkshire Hathaway purely out of spite. In the 1960s, it was a failing textile company in which he wanted to sell his stake. When its president lowballed him, he bought the whole company just to fire him. In 2010, he said it was the biggest investment mistake he ever made.
5. Ken Fritz is an audiophile who has spent close to 30 years developing in his home what he and others consider the world's greatest stereo sound system and listening room, which boasts 35,000 watts, nine-foot-tall speakers, and a 1,500-pound turntable.
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6RZA's Ice Cream Truck Jingle
The ice cream truck jingle most Americans grew up with was often used in minstrel shows, so RZA (of the Wu-Tang Clan) created a new, publicly available ice cream truck jingle that the ice cream trucks can now use for free.
7. Free divers' heart rates can drop as low as 11 beats per minute (as low as that of diving seals, whales, and dolphins) in order to preserve blood-oxygen levels.
8. There were 121 witnesses to the assassination of John F. Kennedy, and 51 of them thought shots were fired from the grassy knoll. In another study of 64 witnesses, more than half said they heard gunshots coming from the knoll.
9. In 1988, with the 1,390th pick, the Dodgers drafted Mike Piazza because the manager of the team owed a favor to Piazza's father. Piazza ended up staying in the league for 16 years and is known as one of the best offensive catchers in baseball history.
10. When John F. Kennedy was shot in the head, doctors gave him a blood transfusion in an attempt to save him. This is standard procedure because a gunshot to the head is not always a death sentence. Around 42% of civilians shot in the head survive. Even when the wound causes massive brain trauma, it's survivable.
11Devil's Hole Pupfish
Devil's Hole Pupfish is a critically endangered and rare fish species. They live exclusively in "Devil's Hole," a single, tiny pool of water of unknown depth, roughly 90 miles northwest of Las Vegas. As of September 2022, only 263 were left in the wild.
12. When bears hibernate, they "hold it in" for almost half a year. This is due to a fecal plug that forms in their lower intestine and prevents them from pooping while hibernating.
13. The first known résumé was written by Leonardo da Vinci when he applied to be a military engineer for the Duke of Milan. It was mainly just a list of his designs for siege weapons (including trebuchets). He briefly also mentioned, "In painting, I can do everything possible." He got the job.
14. The song "Baby, It's Cold Outside" was written by Frank Loesser to sing with his wife, Lynn Garland, at parties to indicate to guests that it was time to leave.
15. Mice don't actually like cheese and are even repelled by many cheeses due to the smell. If they're hungry enough, they'll try to eat anything, but they won't actively seek out cheese.
16Cheryl Gates McFadden
Cheryl Gates McFadden (who played Dr. Beverly Crusher from Star Trek: The Next Generation) was Director of Choreography on The Labyrinth (1986). She goes by Cheryl McFadden when doing choreography, and Gates McFadden when it's an acting role.
17. Senator William Alden "Watertight" Smith, who led the US investigations into the sinking of the Titanic, famously asked why passengers couldn't take shelter in watertight compartments.
18. During World War 2, workers at Henry Ford's Willow Run aircraft factory built an astounding 8,685 B-24 bombers in three years. No one had ever manufactured airplanes on such a scale before. At its peak in 1944, it produced a B-24 every hour.
19. While filming Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975), Graham Chapman developed delirium tremens (DTs) from a lack of alcohol on set. Even with treatment, DTs can be fatal. They typically affect habitual drinkers who have consumed 0.5 liters of liquor or 7-8 pints of beer per day for at least 10 years.
20. Gilles Garnier was a recluse who lived in a forest in France in the 1500s. Due to his lifestyle, he had trouble finding food, so he began hunting children and eating them raw, like an animal. People initially thought the attacks were done by a werewolf, so he was convicted of lycanthropy and witchcraft and burned at the stake in 1573.
Restaurants can lose their Michelin star(s). If there is an inconsistency and things become less than satisfactory in an awarded restaurant, Michelin stars can be taken away. Gordon Ramsay once equated losing his Michelin stars in 2014 to breaking up with a girlfriend.
22. Thomas Edison tried to discredit Nikola Tesla's work with AC electricity by killing dogs, cats, cows, horses, and even an elephant with AC electricity.
23. It takes approximately 20 minutes from the time you start eating for your brain to send out signals of fullness. When you eat slowly, your brain has plenty of time to send the message that you're full.
24. After the Titanic sank, one of its crewmen, Herbert Pitman, made an attempt to row his lifeboat over to rescue people in the water but was overruled by the other occupants of the boat, who were worried about people swarming them and duly complied. Pitman said that this haunted him throughout his life.
25. Movie theater sound quality was greatly improved thanks to Star Wars. The audio quality of "Return of the Jedi" was generally inconsistent or low in movie theaters. George Lucas then co-created THX to fully project the audio quality of the film.