12 Enormous Copper Bits of Trivia Gifted to Us by the People of France, That We Need to Build a Gigantic Pedestal for ASAP
It was a really thoughtful gift, these 12 expertly-crafted (if unwieldy) trivia tidbits. We understand they were also very expensive. But man oh man, is it gonna be tough to find a place to put these things. Hey New Jersey, you got an island in the middle of nowhere you’re not using?
The Infamous ‘Red Telephone’ Is Neither Red Nor a Telephone
The Moscow-Washington hotline that provides direct communication between the leaders of the U.S. and Russia is called the “red telephone,” but it’s never been either of those things. It was originally a Teletype (a proto-fax machine), and today it’s just a couple of computers that exchange super-secure emails.
Johnny Cash Almost Single-Handedly Drove the California Condor Extinct
In 1965, Cash’s camper started a fire that destroyed 508 acres of forest and scared off 49 of 53 endangered condors from a nearby refuge. By way of defense, he said, “I didn’t do it, my truck did, and it’s dead, so you can’t question it,” and later said, “I don’t care about your damn yellow buzzards.”
John Quincy Adams Was a Big-Time Hollow Earth Guy
He once set aside funding for an expedition to the center of the planet, saying, “I declare the earth is hollow and habitable within. I pledge my life in support of this truth, and am ready to explore the hollow, if the world will support and aid me in the undertaking.” Andrew Jackson killed the project when he took over.
Dave Navarro Was Kicked Out of the Playboy Mansion for Orgying Too Close to the Sun
Navarro kicked a Playboy party up a notch in the 1990s when he took heroine, partook in an orgy and then wrote on the walls with his own blood.
Drew Carey Is a Professional Sports Photographer
He takes press photos for the U.S. National Soccer Team, going by the professional name Brooks Parkenridge.
Samuel L. Jackson Held Martin Luther King Jr.’s Father Hostage
While studying at Morehouse College in the 1960s, Jackson was part of a student protest that locked board members in a building for two days — including King Sr. This was about a year after he served as an usher at King Jr.’s funeral.
Lindsay Lohan Claimed She Was Forced to Carry Whitney Houston’s Body for Community Service
Lohan said that, while serving a court-ordered community service sentence in 2012, they made her handle Houston’s body: “A lot of other people were meant to do it, and they were like, ‘No, they can’t handle it. Lohan can.’” The Coroner’s Office explained that no, that’s not at all how community service works.
Michael Douglas Says the Best Cure for Throat Cancer Is a Little Hair of the Dog
Douglas said of HPV: “It's a sexually transmitted disease that causes cancer. And if you have it, cunnilingus is also the best cure for it.” He was right about the first half at least!
A Criminal Was Sentenced to Two Months of Working in the Fast-Food Industry
A woman who was arrested after throwing her burrito bowl at a Chipotle employee had her sentence reduced from 180 days in jail, to 120 days in jail and two months working at a fast-food restaurant.
Salma Hayek Says Having Children Puts an Enormous Strain on Her Personal Chef
Explaining why she didn’t want to have more kids, she described a nightmare scenario where one child doesn’t want cheese on their pizza and another doesn’t want tomato. This, of course, is emotionally draining to her personal chef: “Our chef sometimes looks so downhearted. He’s always saying, ‘Madam, what are we going to do?’”
A Butt Massage May Cure Hiccups
Hiccups are associated with the vagus nerve, which runs a strange route throughout the body, and therefore can be stimulated in strange ways. While treating a patient who had been hiccupping 30 times a minute, a doctor tried a bunch of weird stuff to stimulate the nerve: making him gag, pulling his tongue and poking his eye. Finally, he hit the jackpot: “Digital rectal massage was then attempted using a slow circumferential motion. The frequency of hiccups immediately began to slow, with a termination of all hiccups within 30 seconds.”
A Homonym May Have Led to the Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
The 1945 Potsdam Declaration demanded Japan’s unconditional surrender. Japanese Premiere Kantaro Suzuki’s response included the word “mokusatsu,” most likely indicating that he’d seen the declaration and was considering it. But the word can also mean something along the lines of “to ignore with contempt,” which may have been the translation that President Truman saw, prompting him to order the bombing 10 days later.