Saturday, June 20, 2015

Things I learned lately - 20 Jun

  • Dancing in Tokyo nightclubs after midnight won't be illegal much longer, as long as the blub has an ambient light level of at least 10 lux, roughly the brightness of a movie theatre with the lights up.
  • 30% of American shoppers choose gluten-free options and 41% believe gluten-free foods are better for you. But in fact, only 1% of the population have celiac disease, while only 6% have gluten sensitivity.
  • 80% of Americans own just 7% of the country's wealth.
  • Nobody is quite sure where the expression 'OK' came from, but there are many theories
  • There is an owl cafe in Ikebukuro, a district in Tokyo, Japan. 
  • Human senses (there are more than 5): sight; taste; touch; pressure; itch; thermoreception; sound; smell; proprioception; tension; nociception; equilibrioception; stretch receptors; chemoreceptors; thirst; hunger; magnetoreception; time.
  • Peruse actually means “to read thoroughly or carefully” or “examine carefully at great length”.
  • In the late 1950's, community newspapers would talk about the sicknesses residents were experiencing and mention who was out of town on vacation, for how long and where.
  • The biblical expression “40 days and 40 nights” was not literal. At the time among the Jews, 40 wasn’t generally used to signify a specific number, but more used as a general term for a large figure. When it was used in terms of time, it meant a “long time”.
  • French army medical officer Antoine-Augustine Parmentier was taken captive and as a part of his prison rations, was given potatoes during the Seven Years War. At this time, the French had previously used potatoes only for hog feed and never ate them. They thought potatoes caused various diseases. In 1748, the French Parliament banned cultivation of potatoes as they were convinced potatoes caused leprosy. While in prison in Prussia, Parmentier was forced to cultivate and eat potatoes and found that they were safe to eat. When the potato was introduced to Ireland and Scotland, it was met with resistance from Protestants there because the potato wasn’t mention in the Bible, so it wasn’t clear whether it was acceptable to eat.  The Catholics chose to sprinkle them with holy water before planting, thus making them acceptable to eat.
  • In France, the Supertramp album Breakfast in America is the biggest selling English album of all time and the 3rd biggest selling album overall.

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