“The Knowledge Library”

Knowledge for All, without Barriers…

An Initiative by: Kausik Chakraborty.

“The Knowledge Library”

Knowledge for All, without Barriers……….
An Initiative by: Kausik Chakraborty.

The Knowledge Library

Did You Know Facts

1. Did you know it’s illegal to feed pigeons on the sidewalks and streets in San Francisco

A sprinkle of breadcrumbs to feed hungry birds may seem harmless but in the popular Californian city, you could get into trouble. San Francisco’s Public Works Department explains this law is in place because there “are dozens of reasons why” you shouldn’t feed your new pigeon friends, “but mainly: feeding pigeons harm our neighborhoods and also harms the birds.”

2. Did you know an astronaut was allergic to the moon?

Seems like someone had a tre-moon-dous allergy problem! During the Apollo 17 mission, astronaut Harrison Schmitt found out that he had a severe reaction to moon dust.

3. Did you know there’s a toilet museum?

In New Delhi, the Sulabh International Museum Of Toilets features a rare collection that details the historic evolution of toilets from 2500 BC all the way up to the present day. When you browse through the exhibit, you’ll learn about the plumbing system of ancient societies, marvel at the elaborately decorated toilets of 18th and 19th-century Europe, and even get to sit upon one from Austria that is shaped like a lion!

4. Did you know the official bird of Redondo Beach, California, is the Goodyear Blimp?

In 1983, the coastal city made the Goodyear Blimp their official city bird in anticipation of the 1984 summer Olympics. They even presented a plaque to a team from Goodyear Airship Operations to help celebrate the decision!

5. Did you know 3 US Presidents have won Grammys?

Former President Jimmy Carter won three Grammy Awards in the Best Spoken Word Album category. The first one was for Our Endangered Values: America’s Moral Crisis in 2007. Next came, A Full Life: Reflections at Ninety in 2016. Finally Faith: A Journey For All in 2019.

In 2004, Bill Clinton won Best Spoken Word Album for My Life. Just a year prior in 2003, he won the Best Spoken Word Album for Children with Prokofiev: Peter And The Wolf/Beintus: Wolf Tracks.

Finally, Barack Obama has won a couple of golden megaphones of his own. He won Best Spoken Word Album in 2006 for the narration of his book, Dreams from My Father audiobook. In 2008, he took home another one when he took home the Grammy for  Best Spoken Word Album for the audiobook version of The Audacity of Hope.

6. Did you know Viking men wore makeup?

It’s no doubt that Vikings were some of the toughest men in history books. However, they cared about their appearance enough that makeup was a part of their everyday routine.

7. Did you know you can get your eyeballs tattooed?

If you’re looking to get your entire body tattooed, you don’t need to stop at your eyeballs! Many hardcore tattoo fans are getting the whites of their eyes injected with the ink of all kinds of colors ranging from green to purple. However, there are some risks involved such as pain and prolonged blurred and double vision.

8. Did you know the Eagles’ stadium once had a courtroom?

Veterans Stadium, where the Philadelphia Eagles once played, had a stadium courtroom and jail to handle the team’s notoriously rowdy fans. However, one of the judges for said courtroom reported that 95% of the “inmates” were actually not from the city itself!

9. Did you know “Q” is the only letter that doesn’t appear in any U.S. state name?

Go through the list of the fifty nifty states and we can guarantee you won’t find any state that has the letter Q in its name!

10. Did you know a jockey once won a race after he died?

Frank Hayes was hailed as the winner of a race at Belmont Park right outside New York City in 1923. However, there was a slight problem. Hayes suffered a heart attack and died in the middle of the race so the celebration wasn’t exactly sweet.

11. Did you know sharks love the taste of the Internet?

If shark attacks give you the heebie-jeebies, you and the people over at Google aren’t alone. In 1987, it was reported by The New York Times that sharks “have shown an inexplicable taste for the new fiber-optic cables that are being strung along the ocean floor linking the United States, Europe, and Japan.”

12. Did you know Winston Churchill was hit by a car and nearly killed during a New York visit?

Talk about an all-American welcome! During a lecture tour in the U.S. in Dec. 1931, Winston Churchill was struck by a car while crossing Fifth Avenue and nearly killed. Fortunately, he survived the accident.

13. Did you know it would cost $18.3 million to make a replica Darth Vader suit?

Sure, an exact Darth Vader replica would make an awesome Halloween costume but it’s probably a little over budget. According to Time, it would cost the average person $18.3 million to make a real-life replica of the infamous black suit that features a voice modifier, breathing apparatus, prosthetic limbs, and an augmented reality filter.

14. Did you know Neil Armstrong once threatened to sue his barber for selling his hair?

In 2005, Neil Armstrong once threatened legal action to his former barber who had earned $3,000 for selling a lock of the astronaut’s hair. The barber took no heed of the threat and went on to make over $38,000 in 2016 by selling both the hair and the barber’s comb and scissors.

15. Did you know “strengths” is the longest word in the English language with one vowel?

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, “strengths” is the longest word in the English language with one vowel. The word contains nine letters, eight of them being consonants.

16. Did you know your liver’s size fluctuates significantly throughout the day?

While studying mice, a team of Swiss researchers found that the mice’s liver cells swelled and contracted up to 40% while doing their daily activities. Though research is being conducted on whether that happens to that extent in humans, one study from 1986 found a person’s liver swells about 20 percent between day and night—presumably related to the fact that the liver is not working as hard when a person is sleeping.

17. Did you know there are actually two Air Force Ones?

When its only job is to transport one of the world’s most influential leaders all over the globe, it’s important that it is maintained in tip-top shape. So when Air Force One’s SAM 28000 Boeing 747-200B plane is getting fixed, there’s an identical plane standing by!

18. Did you know Liechtenstein has just one jail?

Wedged between Switzerland and Austria, the country of Liechtenstein only has 10-20 people in total in its single prison! Any criminal requiring a sentence of more than two years is sent to prisons in Austria or Switzerland.

19. Did you know actor Daniel Radcliffe went through nearly 70 wands and 160 pairs of glasses during the making of the Harry Potter films?

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the production team for the seven films also made 40 versions of Salazar Slytherin’s locket, 250 paintings for the Marble Staircase, 900 Memory Vials for the cabinet in Dumbledore’s Office, and 210,000 coins for the Gringotts bank scene just for last two films alone. Talk about magic!

20. Did you know the filling in Kit Kats is made from damaged Kit Kats

The folks at the Kit Kat factory sure know how to recycle! Whenever a Kit Kat bar is somehow made imperfect during production like air bubbles or some other issue, the chocolate bar isn’t thrown out. Instead, they are ground up into a fine paste and turned into a filling that’s then incorporated back into the production process to create new Kit Kat bars!

21. Did you know it only takes six minutes for alcohol to affect your brain?

Give yourself 6 minutes and you’ll see your favorite alcoholic beverage can go to your head a lot quicker than you think. Researchers at Heidelberg University Hospital found that just six minutes after consuming alcohol, changes are already taking place in the brain!

22. Did you know a mailman made a castle in France?

Le Palais Idéal is an 85-foot-long, 33-foot-high castle located south of Lyon made from rocks that a 19th-century French postman picked up during his mail route over the course of 34 years. Even though the mailman had no formal architecture training, he built the castle himself including the pillars, grottoes, and flying buttresses. Today, the massive structure still stands and visitors still go see it today.

23. Did you know professional cheesemakers are studying if music can change the taste of cheese?

Sweet dreams are made of cheese! Swiss cheesemaker, Beat Wampfler, plays songs from bands like Led Zeppelin and A Tribe Called Quest during his cheese-producing process and, with the help of students from the University of the Arts in Bern, he’s studying to see if and how music can change the flavor of his Emmental cheese.

24. Did you know Loch Ness contains more freshwater than all of England’s lakes combined?

Located in Scotland, Loch Ness holds more freshwater than any other British lake at a volume of 7,452 cubic meters! If any lake could hold a mythical dinosaur-like monster, it’s this one.

25. Did you know wombat feces is cube-shaped?

Known for being adorably cute, the wombat is known for producing around 80 to 100 pieces of excrement each night and no one knew why it was cube-shaped. Then, in 2018, researchers found that the Australian animal’s intestines are made up of stretchy and stiff sections, that create cubing during the digestive process.

26. Did you know the youngest Olympian was 10 years old?

According to official Olympic records, the youngest athlete to win an Olympic medal was Greek gymnast Dimitrios Loundras, who finished third at the 1896 Olympic Games when he was 10 years old.

27. Did you know there are 118 ridges on the side of a dime?

There are also 119 ridges on the side of a quarter, 150 on the side of a half dollar, and 198 on a dollar coin.

28. Did you know only 18 out of 1 million Lego pieces are defective?

The molds at the manufacturing plant at Lego are so precise and effective that just 18 out of 1 million are found to be defective. That’s out of the 20 billion pieces that are manufactured every year!

29. Did you know there’s a planet that’s shaped like a potato?

About the same size as Pluto, the dwarf planet Haumea orbits the sun beyond Neptune and has rings that are similar to Jupiter. But what makes this object even more interesting is that it’s shaped like a potato!

30. Did you know there is a museum dedicated to failure?

Boasting around 159 failed products and innovations, the touring Museum of Failure features displays of such bad ideas as Harley-Davidson perfume, Colgate frozen entrees, and Microsoft Zune.

31. Did you know there’s a basketball court in the US Supreme Court building?

Located on the top floor of the US Supreme Court building, the former storage room was turned into an exercise area for courthouse employees in the 1940s before nets were eventually installed. It is now known as the “highest court in the land.”

32. Did you know the Twitter bird has a name?

It’s Larry! The infamous bluebird of social media was named after former NBA player Larry Bird, who used to play for Twitter co-founder Biz Stone’s home-state team, the Boston Celtics.

33. Did you know almost half the world’s population watched both the 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cup games?

In 2010, the FIFA World Cup in South Africa was shown in every country and territory on the globe, including Antarctica and the Arctic Circle. That meant a record-breaking 3.2 billion people around the world watched the game in their homes. Four years later, the FIFA World Cup in Brazil drew the same astounding number of viewers.

34. Did you know there’s a 3,400-year-old song?

“Hurrian Hymn No. 6″ is considered one of Earth’s earliest melodies, dating back to the 14th century. It was inscribed in cuneiform on clay tablets, which were excavated by archeologists from the ancient city of Ugarit (which is now known as Syria). You can actually listen to the tune performed on lyre by composer Michael Levy!

35. Did you know it’s illegal to own just one guinea pig in Switzerland?

Guinea pigs are highly social critters that prefer the company of other guinea pigs. That is why it’s illegal to own just one of these adorable pets in Switzerland. Also, if one of your guinea pigs passes away and you’re not ready to commit to another, the Swiss government will also allow you to rent a guinea pig as a companion to your remaining pet.

36. Did you know a penguin achieved knighthood?

A penguin living in the Edinburgh Zoo was granted knighthood in 2008. The penguin, named Nils Olav III,  is the mascot of the King of Norway’s Guard, making it a special figure for the country’s military, and the knighting ceremony, was an opportunity to celebrate the relations between Norway and Scotland.

37. Did you know the Statue of Liberty wears a size 879 shoe?

It’s no wonder that Lady Liberty in New York Harbor is a massive monument. The copper statue alone is 151 feet and one inch tall. However, if she needed a new pair of sandals it would take size 879 shoes to cover her ginormous feet.

38. Did you know the original Back to the Future time machine was a fridge?

The DeLorean was not always the way Marty McFly was supposed to travel to the past in the Back to the Future movie franchise. In fact, in early drafts of the script, the time machine was attached to a refrigerator and driven to the Nevada desert into a testing site for the atomic bomb, where it was strapped into the back of a truck and driven into the atomic explosion in order to harness its true power.

39. Did you know birds in Minnesota get drunk off of berries?

In October 2018, the Gilbert Minnesota Police Department issued a notice to the public warning about birds that appeared to be a little under the influence. It turns out that the airborne animals were apparently eating berries that had fermented due to early frost, which was making them feel a little less than sober!

40. Did you know one of Marilyn Monroe’s iconic dresses sold for millions?

The iconic sparkly dress that Marilyn Monroe wore to serenade “Happy Birthday” to President John F. Kennedy sold for a staggering $4.8 million at auction in 2016. To this day, this transaction remains the world record for the most expensive article of clothing ever sold, beating out the record previously held by yet another one of Monroe’s dresses, the infamous white costume dress from the film The Seven Year Itch.

41. Did you know there’s a Starbucks cup in every shot in Fight Club?

The urban legend may be false that there’s a Starbucks on every corner in every city but that’s not the case in the 1999 film, Fight Club. Starring Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, and Helena Bonham Carter, the infamous white coffee cup made it to every scene in the movie. Rumor has it this stunt was inspired by a line in the film, when Norton’s character explains, “When deep space exploration ramps up, it’ll be the corporations that name everything, the IBM Stellar Sphere, the Microsoft Galaxy, Planet Starbucks.”

42. Did you know goosebumps are caused by a muscle?

At the base of every hair follicle are tiny fan-shaped muscles called Arrector pili. These muscles contract when the body is cold in an effort to warm the body up and cause a person’s hair to “stand up straight” on their skin aka goosebumps.

43. Did you know a lifeboat drill was canceled the morning of the Titanic tragedy?

According to passenger Arthur Godfrey Peuchen, a routine lifeboat drill was scheduled on the morning of the day of the Titanic disaster. However, the crew never assembled for one and it was canceled.

44. Did you know the tallest man in the world saved a pair of dolphins?

Standing at almost 8 feet tall, Mongolian herdsman Bao Xishun was the record holder of the world’s tallest man in 2006 when he saved the day when a couple of dolphins were found to have swallowed plastic shards and the bits could not be extracted from their stomachs using standard instruments. His particularly long arms proved to be the most effective tool and saved both of the dolphins’ lives!

45. Did you know extreme ironing is an actual sport?

If you long to combine your love of cleaning with something more extreme—the world of extreme ironing might be the sport for you! Founded in 1997, this challenge proves that it’s not for the faint of heart! Competitors have to press shirts in unexpected locations like high up in trees, hanging over cliffs, or paddling white-water rapids.

46. Did you know Princeton University’s first graduate student was a US president?

Even though the Ivy League university didn’t officially start granting doctorates until 1879, they actually had their first graduate student in 1771. His name was James Madison and he eventually became the fourth president of the United States.

47. Did you know scientists once gave mice superhero-like night vision using nanoparticles?

While testing in a lab, a few lucky mice were granted the ability to see perfectly in the dark when scientists utilized nanoparticles that convert infrared light to visible light. Goes to show you that the Avengers aren’t the only ones with superpowers!

48. Did you know ancient cats once led to the extinction of ancient dogs?

The tension between cats and dogs goes back way longer than you may think. During ancient times, some 20 million years ago, cats and dogs battled for food, and the cats won!

49. Did you know one of the largest pyramids in the world is a Bass Pro Shops in Memphis, Tennessee?

No, you don’t have to go all the way to Egypt to see some of the world’s largest pyramids. You just need to head on over to the Birthplace of Rock’ n’ Roll! At 321 feet tall, with a 535,000-square-foot interior, the Bass Pro Shops Megastore is one of the largest pyramids in the world and features a hotel, an indoor swamp, an aquarium, and a bowling alley.

50. Did you know people in Medieval England had rap battles?

Before rap battles, there was something in medieval times called “flyting.” This is when two opponents would trade insults at each other and it was widely popular in the 15th and 16th centuries.

51. Did you know there’s a Guinness World Record for the stretchiest skin?

Hailing from the United Kingdom, Garry Turner holds the Guinness World Record for the stretchiest skin due to the fact that he can pull the skin on his stomach 15.8 centimeters. He is able to achieve this almost impossible feat thanks to a collagen-defective condition called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome.

52. Did you know there’s a precise speed where jogging becomes running?

Calling all fitness nuts! According to conditioning coach, Mike Antoniades, jogging means moving at “speeds less than 6 mph.” Any faster than that, and you’re running for the hills!

53. Did you know the fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth has a name?

Sure, it’s a common fear to be afraid of snakes or spiders but if you have arachibutyrophobia, you’re among a small percentage of people that have a fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of their mouths. This phobia also goes along with a fear of choking or a fear of sticky textures.

54. Did you know there’s a peak cuteness for puppies?

In 2018, a study was conducted by Arizona State University comparing how people viewed the “cuteness” of dogs. They found that puppies actually hit their ultimate cuteness around 6-8 weeks old!

55. Did you know Antarctica is covered in a sheet of ice that’s 7,000 feet thick?

That’s about 19 football fields thick! The US Antarctic Program also says that if the ice sheet ever melted, it would raise the sea levels all across the globe to an estimated 200 feet. That’s enough to submerge much of the Gulf and Atlantic coastal areas of the US!

56. Did you know our sharpest memories are from early adulthood?

Usually called the “reminiscence bump”, this psychological concept theorizes that as adults reflect on their lives, they remember more events from their twenties than from any other time!

57. Did you know a Brazilian man was killed in bed when a cow fell through the roof and landed on him?

In 2013, Joao Maria de Souza was taking a nap in bed when a cow that had been grazing on grass on a hill behind his house walked onto the asbestos roof and fell through, landing on de Souza. The injured man was taken to a hospital where he later succumbed to his injuries.

58. Did you know there is a species of jellyfish that never dies?

Turritopsis dohrnii aka The Immortal Jellyfish is known to be able to revert back into its adolescent state after going through adulthood—making it basically eternal!

59. Did you know a single watermelon once sold for $6,125?

A man in Japan 2008 bought a nearly black Densuke watermelon for ¥650,000 or $6,125. This special kind of watermelon is only grown on the island of Hokkaido and has a different kind of sweetness than the watermelon we’re used to eating!

60. Did you know the art of Bambi was inspired by Chinese landscape paintings?

Created by the innovated Chinese-born lead artist of the film, Tyrus Wong, the backgrounds in Disney’s Bambi were inspired by landscape paintings of the Song dynasty. Even though the film was a critical success, Wong would face discrimination and poverty before finding acclaim once again in the 90s.

61. Did you know Einstein’s brain was stolen when he died?

When Nobel Prize-winning physicist Albert Einstein passed away on April 18, 1955, he left behind specific instructions. He didn’t want his body to be “worshipped” or his brain to be studied so he wished to be cremated. However, Thomas Harvey, the pathologist who was on call when Einstein died didn’t quite respect Einstein’s wishes. Instead, he stole Einstein’s brain. When Einstien’s family found out, they didn’t press charges or quite object to the theft and Harvey was able to keep the brain in two jars in his basement.

62. Did you know King Tut owned a dagger from outer space?

King Tutankhamun had lots of cool things that were buried with him when he died, but one of his most intriguing may have been a dagger made of meteoric metal when archaeologists found it in his tomb in 1925. Recently scientists were able to confirm the dagger was made of iron, nickel, and cobalt which strongly suggests an origin that is out of this world!

63. Did you know Santa Claus was given an official pilot’s license in 1927?

When the big man in red makes his annual trip around the globe on Christmas Eve, you can sleep even more soundly knowing he’s legal to drive. In 1927, Santa Claus was given a pilot’s license from the US Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Aeronautics, William P. MacCracken.

64. Did you know spaghetto, confetto, and graffito are the singular forms of spaghetti, confetti, and graffiti?

Even though it sounds a little strange to say out loud, according to Merriam-Webster, a single piece of spaghetti is called a spaghetto. The same goes for confetti, which is confetto, as well as a single piece of graffiti, which is graffito.

65. Did you know Shakespeare invented more than 1,700 words?

William Shakespeare is known for centuries as being one of the greatest playwrights of all time, producing masterful pieces like Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. However, in order to create his infamous plays and poems, he sometimes resorted to making up his own words– some of which we use today! You can thank The Bard for words like moonbeam, laughable, eyeball, bump, puking, champion, bedroom, excitement, and zany.

66. Did you know bubble wrap was originally invented as wallpaper?

If you find popping bubble wrap one of the best things about getting mail, imagine it being plastered all over the walls of your home! Engineer Al Fielding and Swiss inventor Marc Chavannes invented bubble wrap by accident in 1957 while trying to create a textured wallpaper by sealing two shower curtains together to trap air bubbles.

67. Did you know there was a prehistoric dragonfly that’s wings spanned more than two feet?

More than 300 million years ago, the Meganeura was considered the largest insect on Earth. The dragonfly-like creature had a wingspan that stretched around 2.5 feet!

68. Did you know the longest place name in the world is 85 letters long?

Nearly impossible to pronounce, Taumatawhakatangi­hangakoauauotamatea­turipukakapikimaunga­horonukupokaiwhen­uakitanatahu is a city in New Zealand and the name itself is 85 letters long. Good luck trying to repeat this did you know facts of your friends?

69. Did you know Japan is suffering from a ninja shortage?

If you ever dreamed about becoming a ninja when you were little, now is the time to make your childhood dreams a reality! In 2018, the city of Iga, which claims to be the birthplace of the ninja, suffered from a ninja shortage despite the fact that they’re willing to pay salaries as high as $85,000!

70. Did you know lobsters have clear blood?

Many of us know that lobster shells change color when they’re exposed to heat but only a few people know that the sea creature’s blood is also intriguing! Lobster blood is initially clear and turns blue when it hits oxygen.

71. Did you know the average U.S. household has 300,000 things in it?

No matter how many times you follow Marie Kondo’s advice to “spark joy”, you probably still have more than you need in your home. According to recent reports, the average U.S. house has around 300,000 things in it.

72. Did you know chewing gum is banned in Singapore?

In efforts to keep up the city’s reputation for being spotlessly clean, Singapore banned chewing gum in 1992, following laws against spitting and urinating anywhere but in a toilet. In 2004, the ban was slightly lifted for therapeutic, dental, or nicotine gums.

73. Did you know McDonald’s once created bubblegum-flavored broccoli?

McDonald’s is always known for going above and beyond for creating the best products for their customers but sometimes the ideas coming out of the Golden Arches headquarters aren’t always the best. In 2014, the fast-food chain developed bubblegum-flavored broccoli which turned out to be an utter failure. McDonald’s CEO Don Thompson admitted that kids were confused by the taste!

74. Did you know the first item sold on eBay was a broken laser pointer?

It’s a truth universally acknowledged that you should be careful when you shop online. Thankfully, Mark Fraser was apparently fully aware that he was getting a broken laser pointer when he bought it for $14.83 from Pierre Omidyar, eBay’s founder, in 1995.

75. Did you know grapes light on fire in the microwave?

In 2011, a physicist at the University of Sydney went viral after he placed a grape in the microwave, filmed the blazing results, and stumped scientists until 2019! Published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, it was reported that the spontaneous combustion of grapes occurs as a result of the loose electrons and ions that cluster to form plasma when the fruit gets hot.


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