For years after CD players hit the market, they remained unpopular and were mostly limited to fans of classical music. When British rock band Dire Straits released "Brothers in Arms", the first totally digital album in 1985, they sold 30 million copies and are credited with launching CD players into the mainstream.
2. In Texas, two parties can legally settle a dispute by fighting as long as they don't kill or seriously injure one another.
3. In one survey, 56% of pilots have admitted to sleeping on the job, with 29% waking up to find the other pilot asleep as well.
4. Fire can't burn in a zero-gravity environment. Without gravity to create convection, the combustion byproducts become trapped around the flame and quickly deprive it of oxygen, thus snuffing it.
5. Back in 1984, religious fanatics in Iran sent children marching over minefields to clear them. The children were given plastic keys that would “open the gates of heaven for them”. Later, they were also given blankets so that body parts wouldn't be blown everywhere.
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15 Most Controversial & Costly Blunders in History
6South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut
South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut would've got an NC-17 rating had they used more than 400 swear words in the movie. They intentionally used only 399 swear words.
7. In the year 2000, a new type of ant named Martialis heureka was found in the Amazon. It was so unlike anything previously recorded that it was not only recognized as a new species, it also became the sole member of a new genus and subfamily.
8. The femur bone can support 30 times the weight of your body; ounce for ounce. It is stronger than steel.
9. Red and yellow cards in FIFA were introduced after a referee got the idea when he was at a traffic light and thought “Yellow, take it easy; red: stop, you're off.” This also helped address the communication issues referees face due to various languages players speak on the field.
10. In 1922, Nikola Tesla imagined that his favorite pigeon told him she was dying. When she actually did die shortly after, he said “something went out of his life and he knew his life’s work was finished.”
Uruguay's world cup player Luis Suárez has bitten three opponents under high-pressure situations. He doesn't know why he does it.
12. “The Dirty Dozen” movie was inspired by a World War 2 paratrooper squadron called ‘The Filthy Thirteen’, who wore warpaint and mohawks into war. They were also famous for disregarding military rules and laws.
13. In the Bazoule village in Africa's Burkina Faso, crocodiles and humans have lived side-by-side in peace for over 600 years.
14. In 1969, upon request from Richard Nixon, NASA made 250 display plaques for the 50 US states, 135 countries, and the UN. Flags from all the countries and states were flown on board Apollo 11 to the moon and back and were gifted to each respective state along with fragments of the lunar surface.
15. German-Jewish poet Heinrich Heine once wrote in a play from 1821, "Wherever they burn books, in the end, will also burn human beings." Over a century later, copies of Heine's books were among the many burned in Berlin's Opernplatz.
Larry Bird once got bored halfway through a game and decided to challenge himself by only shooting left handed. He scored 20 points using only his left hand.
17. Earth has had 5 mass extinctions, and we are currently in the 6th.
18. Researchers at IBM made a stop-motion movie from the world’s smallest characters with the canvas measuring just 45x25 nanometers. They achieved this by rearranging individual atoms to create images.
19. In the early days of film and television, filmmakers thought nothing about painting a white stuntman with black makeup to double for a black actor, until Bill Cosby refused to let a white man with black face double for him. His actions paved way for the Black Stuntmen's Association.
20. Britain incurred so much debt fighting World War 2 that it didn't make its final loan payment until 2006.
The arrow symbol (→) is a rather recent invention. The first arrow symbols were used sporadically in the 18th century and arrow symbols only became widely used in the late 19th century. Pointing hand symbols (☞) were used for centuries before the arrow symbol was invented.
22. When saturation divers are not diving to extreme depths, they can spend up to two months at a time living inside a tiny pressurized tank onboard a ship. Inside they can only breathe a mixture of helium and oxygen as normal air will kill them. They do this to stay acclimated to the intense pressures they work in.
23. After the Spanish Civil war, many Republicans fled to exile in France. During World War 2 more than 60,000 Spanish Republicans, experienced in guerrilla warfare, joined the French Resistance and Free French Forces. The first allied division to enter Paris was almost entirely Spanish.
24. The original Brewster's Millions (1945) was banned in Memphis, Tennessee because Brewster's African-American servant was "treated too well."
25. Horses are the only mammals other than humans that can produce large amounts of sweat. Most of it is produced in their armpits.