Saturday, May 16, 2015

Things I learned lately - 16 May

  • Canada is currently the only major country located along the Pacific Rim’s Ring of Fire not producing geothermal energy.
  • ALL beef cattle are grass-fed. At least until the last year of their life. In the last year or so, a cow is fed grain to put more meat on the bones (finishing), which gets more money for the cow.
  • Canadian cable TV companies Cogeco, Rogers, Shaw and Videotron all saw their subscriber numbers drop since 2012.
  • A New Zealand woman sleep-drove for almost 300 km over 5 hours, even sending texts along the way. She was on sleep medication.
  • In 2006, US physicians agreed that the majority of over-the-counter cough medicines don't work. These syrups typically contain doses of codeine and dextromethorphan that are too small to be effective. Only cough suppressants that contain older antihistamines like brompheniramine, seem to relieve coughs.
  • Whitening toothpastes don't actually 'whiten' your teeth. The peroxides and other strong abrasives just remove stains.
  • It's estimated that 32 million Toyota Corollas were sold between 1966 and now.
  • Back when the first European settlers reached North America, it is said that lobsters were so plentiful, two foot high piles would wash ashore. Lobsters were so plentiful yet undesirable that they were commonly used as fertilizer and fish bait. Their abundance also meant people had easy access to protein during bad seasons or harvests, so lobster garnered a reputation as the poor man's meal. Lobster was also fed to prisoners and slaves to save money.
  • Large chain bookstores throw out perfectly good books. Paperbacks are cheap to manufacture and get shipped in huge volumes. For some publishers, when the bookstore wants more shelf space, it's not worth the cost of taking books back and finding someone to sell it. But they don't want anyone getting the books for free, so bookstore employees rip the front and back covers off the books, then tear the book at least in half so that no one can read it. The covers get sent back to the publishers and books that could have been donated to a library or school get put in a locked recycling container out back. 
  • Word with no English equivalent: 'kummerspeck' (German). Excess weight gained from emotional overeating. Literally translates to 'grief bacon'.
  • There are more than 17,000 music performances in London every year.

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