Saturday, July 04, 2015

Things I learned lately - 4 Jul

  • In recent mock dogfights, the new F-35 fighter couldn't even keep up with an F-16 fighter. Designed 40 years ago. A 20 year old jet. Which also happened to be lugging two extra under-wing fuel tanks, which made it even slower. [hangs head in shame]
  • California just passed a vaccination bill that eliminates the option for parents to abstain from vaccination due to religious or other personal beliefs and requires all school-aged children to have undergone 10 complete vaccinations before enrolling in California schools.
  • The most recognized song in the English language, Happy Birthday, is owned by Warner Music Group, and for decades they have charged a license fee for the use of the song. Movies and TV shows that feature a birthday party get around the fee by never completing the song (someone will come in and interrupt the singing), or by singing “For He's A Jolly Good Fellow” (which is in the public domain), or by just not singing at all when it's cake time. The 2003 documentary, The Corporation, notes that Warner has charged as high as $10,000 for the song to appear in a film.
  • Pringles chips only contain 42% potato-based content.
  • In 1899, 90% of New York City taxis were electric vehicles. In fact electric cars outsold any other type at that time. It was Henry Ford's Model T that started the end of the electric era especially due to the lower price.
  • The first known human killed by a robot was in 1981, when a robotic arm crushed a Japanese Kawasaki factory worker.
  • If you followed the Milk River in SE Alberta downstream, you'd eventually end up on the Missouri River, then the Mississippi River and finally empty into the Gulf of Mexico.
  • The 'Seuss' in Dr Seuss is supposed to be pronounced 'zoice" (rhymes with voice).
  • We haven't been to the moon in over 40 years.
  • Country music used to be called 'hillbilly music'.
  • Pigathia Lee - the full name of Miss Piggy.
  • There once existed B batteries, but they never caught on commercially.

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