12 Trivia Tidbits for Thursday, February 22, 2024

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12 Trivia Tidbits for Thursday, February 22, 2024

Bet you had no idea when you woke up today that this batch of 12 incredible bits of trivia would be dumped right in your lap.

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DARPA Created a Robot That Eats — And Possibly Murders?

The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency wanted to see if they could make robots literally eat to power themselves, so they gave one a chainsaw and programmed it to cut down plants and trees. Ethical questions began to swarm: Would this machine learn to consume dead animals? What about dead humans on a battlefield? Would it decide to use its chainsaw to turn alive humans into fuel?

12 Trivia Tidbits for Thursday, February 22, 2024

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Being a Hairdresser Used to Suck

An ornatrix was an ancient Greek or Roman hairdresser, a job that was basically alchemy. Black dyes included bile and rotten leeches, while lighter colors required pigeon droppings and urine.

12 Trivia Tidbits for Thursday, February 22, 2024

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Marseille’s Plague Protocol Included a Wall and the Death Penalty

The Great Plague of Marseille struck in 1720, killing about 100,000 people. To combat the spread, the French government erected a waist-high stone wall around the city, and threatened to murder anyone inside or outside of the wall who attempted to travel to the other side. Despite these thoughtful and humane precautions, it took 45 years for the population to recover.

12 Trivia Tidbits for Thursday, February 22, 2024

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Australia’s Abandoned Subways Are Being Turned Into Restaurants

Sydney had begun digging an extensive system of subway tunnels, but threw in the towel when the Depression hit. In recent years, plans have been made to build a bunch of bars and restaurants down there.

12 Trivia Tidbits for Thursday, February 22, 2024

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The Early Aviator Who Succeeded His Way Into an Early Grave

Aurel Vlaicu was an aspiring Romanian inventor who made a series of innovations from the late 1800s to the early 1900s. He created a small glider in 1909, which led to his propeller vehicle called The Bug, the success of which got him funding for the Vlaicu I and Vlaicu II. He died when the Vlaicu II crashed in the Carpathian Mountains.

12 Trivia Tidbits for Thursday, February 22, 2024

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Smedley Darlington Butler Saved American Democracy

With a name like that, its no wonder he became a decorated Marine general. A group of right-wing anti-Semites cobbled together millions of dollars and a viable plan to replace President Franklin D. Roosevelt with a fascist military regime, and thought theyd found a kindred spirit and leader of their movement in ol Smedley. When asked to join them, Butler instead reported their plot to Congress, who was able to quash it.

12 Trivia Tidbits for Thursday, February 22, 2024

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Cleopatra Was Super Inbred

Cleopatra was destined for incest: Most people have eight great grandparents, but she only had two. In her own lifetime, she married not one, but two of her own brothers.

12 Trivia Tidbits for Thursday, February 22, 2024

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A DEA Agent Sued the DEA Because He Accidentally Shot Himself

The agent accidentally shot himself in either the leg or the foot while teaching a firearm safety class. Footage of the mishap leaked, the entire world dunked on him, and he (unsuccessfully) sued the DEA for violating his privacy.

12 Trivia Tidbits for Thursday, February 22, 2024

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The Ancient Chinese City That Deliberately Self-Destructed

The Sanxingdui civilization thrived near modern Chengdu for about 350 years. Discoveries made as recently as 1986 show that they had mastered advanced sculpting and other artistry techniques, previously thought unattainable to civilizations in 1200 B.C. All collected evidence indicates that they abruptly destroyed any remnants of their culture before dispersing from their walled city, and no one knows why. 

12 Trivia Tidbits for Thursday, February 22, 2024

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Was the Ark of the Covenant God’s Walkie-Talkie?

People have culled passages from the Bible and other contemporary sources to support a theory that the Ark acted like a phone, and could project the image of God like a Star Wars hologram or Shrek dancing at a rave.

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The White House’s Woke-Ass Christmas

In December 2009, Barack Obama broke with tradition and sent out official White House Christmas cards that read Seasons Greetings instead of Merry Christmas for the first time. South Carolina Representative Henry Brown introduced a resolution calling for a defense of the sacredness of the Christmas holiday, and it received 40 bipartisan votes in favor.

12 Trivia Tidbits for Thursday, February 22, 2024

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The U.S. Military Chose a Date for the Apocalypse

January 1, 1957 was circled on the calendar for a massive nuclear assault on the USSR. The plan was to hurl 300 nukes at 200 different sites, then quickly tidy things up via land assault. Before that date came around, Russia ran a test that proved they had achieved nuclear capability, and America went back to the drawing board.

12 Trivia Tidbits for Thursday, February 22, 2024

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