-Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Harry Houdini were friends, and it turns out that Houdini opposed the Spiritualist movement of the 1920s and actively worked to expose a lot of frauds who claimed to be psychic/mediums. However, Doyle truly believed Houdini had actual magical powers and when Houdini kept trying to prove they were illusions, they had a public fight about it and stopped being friends! (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_Conan_Doyle under the “Spiritualism” category)
-We discovered Neptune in 1846, and on July 11th, 2011, Neptune completed it’s first full orbit since then! Neptune’s orbit around the sun takes 164.79 Earth-years. Because it has a similar tilt as Earth and Mars, Neptune has similar seasonal changes, though of it’s seasons last 40 Earth years. (Yay! Science!)
-Bill Gates has a laser than can detect specifically female mosquitoes (females are the only ones that bite) and either burn its wings, or outright murder it. A non-lethal laser detects and identifies the mosquito, and then the deadly one is shot to kill the malaria-carrying insect.
-The Incans were located in a highly seismic area of what is now Peru, and they were some of the best stonemasons the world has seen. They created “dry stone” walls, where the stones were cut so precisely that they didn’t need mortar to fit together. The walls were able to move slightly and resettle without collapsing or causing damage--they were actually “earthquake-proof.”
-Pineapples are actually berries. They were named because of their resemblance to pinecones.
-The unit of measurement, a “megadeath” is equal to one million deaths as a result of nuclear explosion. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Megadeaths) It’s actually sad that we have to have a meansurement for that...but the word for it is super-rad.
-Pandora’s Box was actually a jar. The original word used was “pithos,” a large storage jar. It was mistranslated by Erasmus of Rotterdam, who translated Hesiod’s story of Pandora’s Box into Latin. He was a 16th century humanist and translated “pithos” into the Latin “pyxis,” which meant box. (Dammit, Erasmus!)
-The word “turquoise” (for both the color and the stone) comes from an Old French word for Turkey. This is because Turquoise the blue-green gemstone was originally introduced to Europe from a Turkish mine in the land of Persia.
-The very first drag race was in Chicago in 1895, sponsored by The Chicago Times-Herald to boost newspaper sales and promote automobiles, which had only been introduced 2 years previous. Apparently, 83 cars were entered, but only 6 showed up for the race. Charles Duryea won the first car race after driving for over 7 hours at a top speed of 7 miles per hour.
|In this. Yep|
-Will Smith’s full first name is actually Willard. (My whole life has been a lie.)
-Bruce Lee’s reallife accomplishments are almost more rad than all the fake Chuck Norris jokes! Dude! “In a move that has been dubbed "Dragon Flag", Bruce Lee could perform leg lifts with only his shoulder blades resting on the edge of a bench and suspend his legs and torso horizontal midair.” and “Lee could thrust his fingers through unopened cans of Coca-Cola. (This was when soft drinks cans were made of steel much thicker than today's aluminum cans).” Holy carp! (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bruce_Lee#Physical_feats)
-For $4000, a company called Angel's Flight will custom create 210 rockets from your ashes, and you can be a set of fireworks! For an extra $1000, all the mourners can watch the fireworks display from a yacht. (I can’t decide if this is genius or morbidly creepy...)
-The inventor of the whip is not known, and it can be traced back to ancient Eqypt and and Japan to “motivate” slaves to continue working. HOWEVER, the whip is the FIRST manmade object that breaks the sound barrier! The "crack" of the whip is actually a sonic boom.
-Going underwater CAN actually prevent a bullet from hitting you. Not 100% of the time, but water slows the bullet down (at varying speeds and types of bullets). The Mythbusters report on it is found here: http://mythbustersresults.com/episode34
And now, I leave you with the picture I saw on 9gag yesterday and am currently obsessed with. :)
You are most welcome for that.