Friday, November 25, 2016

Things I learned lately - 25 November

  • A 7 meter wave of molasses swept down the streets of Boston on 15 Jan 1919. 21 people died suffocating deaths as the molasses flattened buildings and coated several blocks, making a roaring sound as it moved at speeds of up to 56 km/h. A 15 meter tall tank holding nearly 9 million liters of molasses, destined to be turned into booze, erupted. 150 people were injured.
  • The Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock because they had run out of beer. The ship's crew drank beer, a gallon per person, per day, because in those days, water was unsafe to drink.
  • Just Eat, a restaurant delivery business, is trialing 'starship robots', which look like giant Coleman coolers on wheels, to delivery food autonomously. 
  • There are more molecules in a cup of water than there are cups of water in all the oceans of the world. It is theoretically possible that at least one molecule of water in your last serving had also passed through the digestive system of Jesus, or Genghis Kahn.
  • Mickey Mouse was supposed to enter the public domain (no copyright protection) in 1984. But Disney successfully lobbied the US government to extend copyright terms. Mickey was protected until 2003. Then extended again to 2024. Because Disney would collapse if anyone could make their own Mickey stuff, right? Also, much of Disney's money came from adapting works that were in the public domain.
  • Air Canada is the world's 10th largest passenger airline by fleet size and also won Global Traveler magazine's award for the best airline in North America for 10 consecutive years.
  • There's a machine for removing rubber from airport runways.

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