15 Trivia Tidbits for Saturday, April 6, 2024

Everyone, stay away from the dangerous chemical cat
15 Trivia Tidbits for Saturday, April 6, 2024

Hexavalent chromium is a chemical used in electroplating and dyes. You might know it from the Erin Brockovich case, where traces of the chemical in drinking water gave residents cancer. But that movie (and the real case it depicted) failed to address the question on everyone’s mind: What do we do if we have a barrel of hexavalent chromium, and a cat jumps in?

Find out below, along with a conspiracy to make you like art.  

Old Mexico

The state of New Mexico isn’t named for the country of Mexico. Both are instead named for the same place — the uncharted land of the Mexica people. The people in the place we now call Mexico thought this mysterious uncharted Mexico lay to the north.

Give It 110 Percent

All electric heaters are 100-percent efficient, in that all the electricity that goes through them is converted to heat. However, alternative heaters can get a lot more efficient than that. A heat pump can be 400-percent efficient or more, in that it transfers much more heat from outdoors than the amount of electricity it consumes. 

Dirty Politics

In 1936, workers digging around the U.S. Capitol building discovered a couple of old marble bathtubs. This revived knowledge of an old tradition: Senators used to bathe in the Capitol, because their own living quarters had no bathing facilities of their own. 

Hypnotizing a Chicken

The next time a chicken is rude to you, hold the bird down and move a finger down its beak then along the ground. It will freeze for up to half an hour, a condition known as tonic immobility.

The Inner Secret

A bowling ball is not solid. It contains a core, which defines how it rolls. And professional balls contain special cores with unique shapes, to make it swing more sharply. 

Travis Rathbone

We have now completely lost respect for champion professional bowlers.

Always Rings Twice

Old homes had no mailboxes and no mail slots. Mailmen had to knock and deliver by hand. Boxes and slots would be useless without an established practice of using them, and this practice had to be mandated by law before homes started including them.

Roofman, Deliverer of Toys

A North Carolina man told his girlfriend that he had a secret job working for the government. He actually spent his days in a secret lair he built in a Toys ’R’ Us, and he robbed this place regularly for gifts for her kids. 

Eating at a Table

McDonald’s introduced drive-thrus to China in 2005. They didn’t do a very thorough job of explaining the service's benefits, though. Drivers would collect food from the drive-thru window then park and come inside the restaurant to eat it. 

Our Teeny Galaxy

In 1920, scientists held a day-long debate in Washington over whether the Milky Way contains all the stars in the universe. It took till later in the decade for this question to be resolved — no, it turns out there many other galaxies, maybe even trillions of them. 

Cat in a Vat

A cat fell into a vat of poisonous chemicals last month in Fukuyama, Japan. People only realized this when they saw the cat’s orange paw prints trailing from the vat, and the city had to warn all residents to steer clear of the deadly unseen cat. 

Nomura Plating

And that was how it became the Joker.

The Pollock Conspiracy

The CIA covertly funded art movements in the U.S. during the Cold War. The goal here may have been to promote abstract expressionism as revering individual freedom, the exact opposite of what Soviet realist art tried to do. 

Prune Juiced

The most deadly job in America may well be tree trimmer. Tree trimmers have the highest rate of death in some years, due mainly to having to handle automatic saws all day. 

Hot Merchandise

A trio of thieves broke into a plant in 1999 to steal some radioactive Cobalt-60. One of them died in half an hour from handling the stuff, while a second died shortly after. 

Exotic Cuisine

Other than in big cities, bagels were little-known in America as recently as 1960. A New York Times Magazine article from that year defined the dish for readers as “an unsweetened doughnut with rigor mortis.”

What a Burn

A serial killer of 100 victims was sentenced to death in Pakistan in 2001. “You will be strangled to death in front of the parents whose children you killed,” said the judge. “Your body will then be cut into 100 pieces and put in acid, the same way you killed the children.” That punishment could not actually be legally carried out, so inmates killed him in his cell later that year. 

Scroll down for the next article
Forgot Password?