12 Paternal Bits of Trivia We Found After Passing Through the Seven Levels of the Candy Cane Forest, Through the Sea of Swirly-Twirly Gumdrops and Then Walking Through the Lincoln Tunnel
It’s that time of year again — when we find out that everything we thought we knew about our lives is utterly and devastatingly wrong, Bob Newhart isn’t our biological father and we’re not even the species we thought we were. There’s only one thing to do in times like these — travel by foot (and briefly, by iceberg) to find the bits of trivia who birthed us, in New York City. We’re sure they’re alive and emotionally available.
The Mad Scientist Who Predicted Quantum Entanglement (Except It Was Snail Fucking)
French occultist Jacques-Toussaint Benoît invented the “pasilalinic-sympathetic compass” (aka “snail compass”), based on the theory that snails develop a telepathic connection after they mate. He made a bunch of snails fuck, then separated them onto separate, identical planks, with each snail pair representing a letter of the alphabet. He would then have someone tap a snail, and its mate on the other plank was supposed to react. At his big unveiling, he insisted that he had to walk back and forth between both planks each time, to ensure his tapper was tapping correctly. The guy who’d been funding him immediately figured out he was being scammed, and Benoît skeedaddled out of there.
A Kidnapper Asked His Victim’s Dad for Investment Advice
After gangster “Big Spender” was given the $162 million ransom he demanded to return the son of Asia’s richest man, Li Ka-Shing, Mr. Spender asked Mr. Li how he should invest it. Li told him to throw some money at an up-and-coming media company — and also suggested he should quit being an asshole and get out of the crime game.
Who Crapped Mark Twain’s Pants?
Nikola Tesla idolized Mark Twain as a kid, and the two became buds after Tesla grew up and became a mad scientist. One day, Twain confided in Tesla that he was chock-full of shit, and in desperate need of a way to excrete it. Tesla invited him to stand on a big-ass oscillating disc he was working on, and it jumbled his insides so effectively, he crapped his white pants as he sprinted for the toilet, yelling, “Tesla! The water closet! Where is it?”
Building Solar Panels on About 1 Percent of the Sahara Desert Could Cover the World’s Energy Demand
2015’s global energy usage has been estimated at 13,000 MTOE (Million Ton Oil Equivalent). 43,000 square miles of solar panels would easily eclipse that figure, and would only cost about $5 trillion. MrBeast come thru! (Or, you know, any government)
‘Titanic’s Stars Paid the Last Titanic Survivor’s Medical Debt
Millvina Dean was two months old when she escaped the Titanic with her mother. In her 90s, she broke her hip, and had to start selling her possessions to Titanic memorabilia collectors. When they found out, Kate Winslet, Leonardo DiCaprio, James Cameron and Celine Dion cobbled together $40,000 to cover her mounting medical bills.
The United States Has Been in Debt for All But Two Years of Its Existence
Andrew Jackson paid off the national debt in 1835, and we stayed in the black until 1837. It’s all been downhill from there — but maybe this is our year!
Each Sperm Contains Roughly Half an N64 Game’s Worth of Data
A single sperm cell has about 37MB worth of data, in DNA form. An N64 cartridge has a capacity of 64MB. Think about that the next time you Banjo your Kazooie.
NASA Accidentally Recorded Random Satellite Data Over the First Moon Walk Footage
In 2004, NASA figured out that the most precious home movies in the history of humankind were either taped over or buried in a landfill. As one NASA video engineer from the time put it, “It slipped through the cracks, and nobody’s happy about it.”
Poop Crime: Someone Kept Dooking on a Norwegian Golf Course for at Least a Decade
In 2015, it was reported that a golf course in Stavanger, Norway had been ramping up security — since 2005 — to catch a person who kept riding his bike onto the course in the dead of night and dropping logs in the cups. The groundskeeper said he knows only one thing for sure: “We know it is a man because the poos are too massive to be from a woman.”
No One Knew Where the Fuck Birds Went Until the 1800s
The world’s greatest minds had some fucked-up ideas about what happened to birds in the winter — people were sure they either lived underwater, burrowed in the mud, flew to the moon or just turned into other birds. It wasn’t until 1822, when a hunter shot down a stork and found a spear from Central Africa already lodged in it, that they figured out birds were doing the unthinkable: flying.
The Producers of ‘Tokyo Drift’ Paid Someone to Go to Jail (Instead of Getting a Filming Permit)
Director Justin Lin found out that it’s hard to get a permit to film in the bustling Shibuya District, so he hired someone to hang out and pretend to be him, in case the fuzz came around. Sure enough, police kicked them out of town, and the fall guy had to spend the night in jail.
A Guy Broke into Buckingham Palace and Pissed on Queen Elizabeth’s Dog Food
In 1982, unemployed and recently divorced British dude Michael Fagan got the idea to try and take a leak in Buckingham Palace. He crawled in a window, but couldn’t find a bathroom, so he just let loose in a closet full of dog food. He grabbed a bottle of the King’s wine and walked out unaccosted. He went back about two months later, this time climbing up a drain pipe, finding the Queen’s bedroom and spontaneously attempting to kill himself with an ashtray in front of her (it didn’t work).