Sunday, November 18, 2012

Things I learned this week 18 Nov

  • Tiffany, Young and Ellis was a stationer before Tiffany switched its core business to jewellery.
  • Colgate originally made soap, candles and starch, not toothpaste.
  • Reading Railroad, from the Monopoly game? They're still around, but now they operate movie theatres in the US, Australia and New Zealand as Reading Entertainment.
  • In a few centuries, due to population mixing, we're mostly going to look Brazilian.
  • The single most important object in the global economy (since WWII) is the pallet. An article in a 1931 railway trade magazine said it took 3 days to unload a boxcar containing 13,000 cases of unpalletized canned goods. When the goods were on pallets, the identical task took only 4 hours.
  • The trick to flipping food in a pan is a forward slide and a backward jerk. Not an up and down movement. The pan should never leave the stove.
  • The Soviet Union once sent probes to land on Venus. Venera 9 landed on Venus on October 22, 1975. The lander remained operational for 53 minutes, which isn't bad considering the planet has hydrochloric acid and hydrofluoric acid in the atmosphere and a surface temperature (measured by Venera 9) of 905°F (485°C).
  • One of the first books to make it into the Library of Congress was Thomas Jefferson's copy of The Koran. In fact, Jefferson's entire library was sold to the Library of Congress.
  • Boston Pizza has nothing to do with Boston. It's a Canadian chain that started in Edmonton. The US version is called Boston's. Made in Canada. During the first round of the 2011 Stanley Cup playoffs, when the Bruins played the Canadiens, the company temporarily rebranded their Montreal locations as "Montreal Pizza".
  • You know those annoying corn silk / hairs? Well there is one strand for each kernel on an ear of corn.
  • In an average football game (US), the ball is in play for 11 minutes total. 
  • High school physics students are not required to learn about any physical phenomenon discovered or explained more recently than 1865. Things not required teaching in high school physics: photons; anti-matter; GPS; lasers; transistors; LEDs; MRI; black holes; the big bang; relativity and quantum mechanics.

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