A scientific study found that starting high school one hour later than usual allowed students to sleep more than half an hour more, and was associated with reduced sleepiness and increased academic performance.
2. In Japan, a home loses value from Day 1, losing half its value in 10 years and becoming almost entirely worthless in 25. When a property is sold, the existing house is almost always razed and rebuilt. Even the most important shrines in Japan face regular rebuilding.
3. In 2001, a Cantor Fitzgerald employee named Monica O’Leary survived 9/11 because she had been laid off less than 24 hours before the attacks. Afterward, she learned she had never technically been fired because the HR employees that would have processed her layoff all died on 9/11.
4. Wild Bill Hickok usually sat with his back to a wall so he could see the entrance of the building he was in. On his last day, when he went to play poker, the only seat available was one facing away from the door. He tried changing seats twice, but couldn’t. He was shot in the back of the head.
5. During a debate in 1843, Kentucky abolitionist politician Cassius Marcellus Clay survived an assassination attempt. Despite being shot in the chest, Clay drew his Bowie knife, tackled his would-be assassin, cut out his eyes, and threw him over an embankment.
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After a 1979 court case ruled the city could not be held responsible for people tripping and falling on cracked sidewalks unless the city had been previously notified of the hazard, the Trial Lawyers formed a committee to map every crack, pothole, and other hazards in the city and report them.
7. A meteorite originating from Mars’s moon Phobos fell on a Russian military base in Yemen in 1980. It contains the mineral Florenskyite, which is not found anywhere else on Earth.
8. All raindrops have a speck of dirt inside them. Raindrops can only form when they have something to condense on to, thus the need for a particle of dirt.
9. Gene Roddenberry never gave Captain Kirk a birthplace more specific than the state of Iowa. In 1985, when trying to find a theme for its annual festival, the town of Riverside voted to proclaim itself the future birthplace of the Starfleet officer. Roddenberry gave the town his blessing.
10. Victor Klemperer, a Jewish concentration camp inmate and post-WWII professor of German literature, wrote a book that analyzed how Nazis introduced a nearly Orwellian kind of German language. Examples are, “crisis” for defeat, “connection” (Anschluss) for annexation, and “enhanced interrogation” for torture.
Thurl Ravenscroft, the man who voiced Tony the Tiger in the Frosted Flakes commercials (“They’re g-r-r-r-eat!”), was the uncredited singer of the song “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch.”
12. The Japanese work philosophy of “kaizen” translates to an approach where people constantly seek to find ways to improve methods instead of just doing it the same way.
13. A group of fans made an award-winning web series completing the 5-year mission of the Enterprise in the original Star Trek series and named it “Star Trek Continues.” It is so good that Gene Roddenberry’s son considers it to be canon.
14. Stephen King based his first novel, “Carrie”, on two girls from his school. One was bullied for wearing used clothes, while the other was raised in a highly religious family. The first girl committed suicide by hanging herself at the age of 14, while the other died of an epileptic seizure.
15. There’s a famous scene in the 1931 film “The Public Enemy” where James Cagney smashes a grapefruit in Mae Clarke’s face. Clark’s ex-husband loved that scene so much he would repeatedly buy tickets and watch it over and over again, getting shushed when his laughter got too loud.
When considering what to name Idaho, a man named George M. Willing suggested Idaho claiming it was an indigenous word meaning “Gem of the Mountains.” The name stuck. Afterward, it came out that it wasn't an indigenous word and George Willing had made it up.
17. The US National Guard will airdrop hay bales to stranded livestock that the farmers can’t get to.
18. Since the studio didn’t have enough budget to shoot Riddick (2013). Vin Diesel had to mortgage his house, obtain loans and spend most of his own money on the production.
19. There is no such thing as premium vodka, at least in the USA. Title 27, Section 5.22 of the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Code says that vodka must be distilled or treated until it is, quote, “without distinctive character, aroma, taste or color.” If it has any distinction, it’s not Vodka.
20. The cannibalized remains of a 14-year-old girl were discovered in a 17th-century trash deposit inside Fort James. This proves that early colonists resorted to cannibalism to survive during 1609-1610. This was after eating their horses and pets. Only 60 colonists survived.
21Canadians in the American Civil War
Between 33,000 and 55,000 Canadians fought in the American Civil War. 29 were awarded Medals of Honor, one was a noted Union Spy, and one was a Union Army officer who formed and led the detachment that captured and killed John Wilkes Booth, the assassin of Lincoln.
22. Nikola Tesla once spent over $2,000 on an injured white pigeon. The amount includes building a device that comfortably supported her so her bones could heal. “I loved that pigeon as a man loves a woman, and she loved me. As long as I had her, there was a purpose to my life,” he said of her.
23. Dr. Seuss was childless, but he invented a whole clan of fictional offspring with bizarre talents that he could bring up whenever friends annoyed him by boasting about their own kids’ accomplishments. He even got a group of neighborhood kids into posing as them for a fake Christmas card photo.
24. After World War 2, Japanese insurance companies started putting in one-year exemption clauses in their policies, so that people who would sign in must wait one year before killing themselves to get the money. As a result, the suicide rate in Japan spiked on the thirteenth month of the contract.
25. The “Million Dollar Quartet” is a recording of an impromptu jam session involving Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, and Johnny Cash on December 4th, 1956.