15 Rockets of Trivia We Set Off This Week
Another year is almost done. We don’t know if you’re any richer or any stronger than you were a year ago. However, we’re at least confident you’re smarter. You could hardly have gotten any stupider, could you have?
No, you can only gain more experience and knowledge. In fact, all you need are 15 more facts, and then you’ll know everything. Here they are…
The Flaming Rat
One day in 1949, an employee at a Mississippi company was using gasoline to clean a vending machine. This alone needn’t have led to his death. But then a rat ran through the room, got soaked in the gasoline and ran toward a lamp with an open flame. The rat exploded, and the employee died.
Money, Money, Money
The group Abba was famous for sequined costumes when they performed. This wasn’t entirely an artistic choice. The way Swedish taxes worked at the time, they could declare these costumes as business expenses but only if they were so theatrical that they couldn’t be worn as normal streetwear.
Guilty of Littering
Last year, construction workers in Tennessee found something strange discarded on a pile of salt: a dried-up human heart. The owner of the heart has yet to claim it.
A French nun in the 18th century, Louise Marie-Thérèse, grew famous thanks to rumors that she was secretly the daughter of the Queen. She died in 1730 in the hospital. She first let out a long fart, then said her last words: “Good. A woman who can fart is not dead.”
Chickens engaging in cannibalism have traditionally posed a bit of a problem for chicken farmers. The farmers came up with a solution, however: They gave the chickens little sunglasses, which calm them down.
Mutually Assured Confection
The military has an official guide on how to make just chocolate-covered oatmeal cookies and brownies. Among other tips, this 26-page guide lists several possible “major” defects, including the oatmeal cookie interior not being sufficiently crisp.
The Loyal Talero
A man named Bernardo Leónidas Quirós died in 2013 in Argentina after getting lost in a snowstorm. His German Shepherd accompanied him during this walk and stayed by his body for three weeks till a search party arrived.
When the founder of the Boy Scouts reached the age of 21, his father presented him with a bill for his entire upbringing, including the hospital charges for his birth. The son paid the bill and did not maintain a close relationship with his father afterward.
If you’ve been worrying about tigers attacking you from behind, consider wearing a mask on the back of your head. This mask, with a face on it, will deter (some) predators from tackling you.
You’re Never Safe
In 2014, three people died from a plane crash while in a plane simulator. They were not in an airplane. They were in a building, flying a plane simulator. Then a real airplane crashed into the building and killed them.
Bring Back Vanilla
The 3 Musketeers candy bar used to include three bars in each wrapper: one chocolate, one vanilla and one strawberry, hence the name. They dropped to a single chocolate one for World War II, thanks to shortages, and they never went back.
The Peter Principle
The J. Peterman Company, which you might only know through mentions on Seinfeld, went bankrupt in 1999. They were bailed out by John O’Hurley, the actor who played the part of J. Peterman on Seinfeld.
Oil and Water
The diesel engine, and the material diesel, was named after German inventor Rudolf Diesel. His life was cut short in 1955. He was sailing to the U.K., then the next thing anyone heard of him was his body floating in the ocean, presumably murdered.
During the Inquisition, one scholar wrote secret messages on eggs. The next step was to boil them till the words disappeared and moved under the shell. When someone cracked the egg and peeled the shell away, it revealed the message.
This year, if you shopped in the right place, you could buy a turkey for the same price per pound as they were in the 1930s... not taking inflation into account. If you do take inflation into account, turkey was 1,800 percent as expensive back in the 1930s. You live in the time of plenty. Rejoice!