13 Tiny Bits of Trivia I Discovered With A Magnifying Glass
Remove the rubber plug from the top of your brain and cram these in!
‘Mork & Mindy’ Scripts Were Short Because of Robin Williams’ Improv
As the tale goes, in what is a beautiful blend of laziness and respect, writers for Mork & Mindy would regularly leave extra room in their scripts, knowing Williams would inject some of his own genius. They’d simply write something to the effect of “Mork does his thing."
Burger King Introduced A Left-Handed Whopper
It was released, by which I mean they called regular Whoppers “left-handed,” as an April Fool's Prank in 1998.
The Collarbone Is the Most Commonly Broken Bone
The collarbone, or clavicle, is the most commonly broken bone in the body due to its exposed placement, the fact that it bears the force of most falls onto the arm or shoulder and because it has almost no muscle support.
We Know the Size of Noah’ s Ark
Despite the fact that it seems like halfway to a fairy tale, actual measurements are given for the ark, and according to them, it would be 300 cubits long, 50 cubits wide and 30 cubits high. In more modern measurement units, this would make it roughly 150 meters long, 25 meters wide and 15 meters high.
Mercury Was What Made Hatters ‘Mad’
The expression “mad as a hatter” comes from the fact that the process of turning pelts into felt for hats involved a whole lot of mercury nitrate. This, obviously, led to a high rate of mercury poisoning in the profession, which could cause mood swings and hallucinations.
Llamas Have, Count 'Em, Three Stomachs
Llamas have a three-chambered stomach that helps them digest less-than-ideal vegetation, and three’s a weird number in two ways. Obviously, it’s not the single stomach we’re more used to, but it’s also one less than most animals with a similar setup, like cattle.
Castaway Stopped Filming So Tom Hanks Could Get Skinny
Obviously, if you’re going to be in a movie where you need to look alternately perfectly well-fed and on the brink of starvation, you’re going to have to do a little physical transformation. Director Robert Zemeckis actually stopped production on the film for a full year to allow Hanks to lose 50 pounds and get suitably scraggly.
Andre the Giant Was Samuel Beckett’ s Neighbor
Talk about brains and brawn. Famous playwright Beckett lived in a tiny French village named Ussy-sur-Marne at the same time as a young Andre “The Giant” Roussimoff. Had there been more crime there, I have no doubt they would have formed a fantastic tag team.
Cream Cheese Was NOT Invented in Philadelphia
Given the near-monopoly held on the product by the Philadelphia brand, you might assume that Philly is the birthplace of cream cheese. It was actually invented by a farmer in Upstate New York, and debuted in New York City, which, given the city’s love for the stuff, seems more natural. Even more confusing? We are still talking about the famous “Philadelphia Cream Cheese” brand we know and love, but it was named for Philly’s apparent reputation for good cheese back then, not because of any actual geographic origin.
Fear of God, But in a Real, Scientific Sense
Fear of god is a pretty common phrase for a particularly pious person. Usually, it’s more of a figurative description, but if someone is particularly terrified of a god or god and their vengeance, there is a scientific word for it: theophobia. Everyone in the Bible? Huge theophobes, but I think it was pretty reasonable given what he’d been up to.
The Word Eclair Means Flash of Lightning
The name of the French pastry the eclair translates as “flash of lightning.” It’s a reference to how quickly they’re eaten, and absolutely not the speed of anyone who’s just eaten a couple.
The Unicorn Is the National Animal of Scotland
Despite being an animal that’s completely made-up and probably just a drunk man seeing a rhinoceros, the national animal of Scotland is the unicorn. They were likely adopted because of their reputation as strong, independent creatures that couldn’t be tamed, long before they were something that you’d get shoved in a locker for having on your backpack.
Winnie the Pooh’s Full Name Is Winnipeg
This whole time we’ve been calling the classic bear by a shortened moniker. It’s a longer story than you’d expect: a bear, bought by a Canadian soldier, was named Winnipeg after his hometown. Eventually, that same bear would end up in the London Zoo, beloved by the real Christopher Robin, A.A. Milne’s son. When IRL C-Rob got a teddy bear, it inherited the name, and it was that bear that would inspire the literary Winnie.