Weekly Wrap Volume 8

This is a weekly wrap of our Daily Knowledge Newsletter. You can get that newsletter for free here.

first-spacewalkThe First Person to “Walk” in Space Nearly Got Stuck Out There

That lucky individual was Alexei Leonov, who was born in the Soviet Union on May 30, 1934. He was one of the twenty Soviet Air Force Pilots to be chosen for the first cosmonaut group. Originally, his historic walk was supposed to have happened on the Vostok 11 mission, but as that was cancelled; it was later performed on the Voskhod 2 mission instead. After eighteen long months of training for the event, Leonov was ready to become the first person to walk in space. The Voskhod 2 launched on March 18, 1965… (more)

bite-downHollywood Medical Myths Part 3: You Should Put a Bite Block in the Mouth of Someone Having a Seizure

Seizures seem to be an ailment that befalls numerous actors in everything from movies to television shows. Whether it’s the condition that leads to their immediate death on screen, or just a reaction to some dramatic situation, the quivering usually leads to the same thing- someone trying to put a bite block, like a wallet or stick, in the mouth of the person who’s having the seizure. This is presumably to keep the person from either “swallowing” their tongue (not possible), or biting it. The truth is that you should never put anything in the mouth of someone who is having a seizure… (more)

worcestershire-sauceWhat is in Worcestershire Sauce and Why is It Called That

Worcestershire sauce, sometimes known as “Worcester sauce” is a savoury sauce that is often added to meat and fish dishes or, if you like your alcoholic beverages, the Bloody Mary cocktail. It may (or may not depending on how much you research your sauce choices) surprise you to learn that it’s literally made from fermented fish and spices. Yes, when you order a Bloody Mary, you’re pretty much asking the guy behind the bar… (more)

star-trek-transporter“Beam Me Up, Scotty” is Never Said in Star Trek

Just like when we told you, Sherlock Holmes never said, “Elementary, my dear Watson“, today we’re going to blow your mind by telling that nowhere, in the entirety of the original Star Trek, were the words, “Beam me up, Scotty” ever uttered. They did come close several times, such as in the 1969 episode of the original series, The Savage Curtain, Kirk says,… (more)

abraham-lincolnWhen Lincoln was Almost Assassinated Nine Months Before He was Assassinated

Throughout the Civil War (1861-1865), President Abraham Lincoln and his family spent the summer and fall in a cottage on the grounds of the Soldiers’ Home in the country outside of Washington, D.C. Relatively isolated and poorly guarded, Lincoln was dismissive of any danger to himself or his family. He is reputed to have said: “It would never do for a President to have guards with drawn sabers at his door, as if he fancied he were . . . an emperor.”  Many in his administration were concerned about the lack of security,… (more)

Bonus Quick Facts:

  • In 2005, a 22 year old man by the name of Ronald MacDonald robbed a Wendy’s fast-food restaurant (stealing the money in the store’s safe) where he worked at the time.
  • Nearly 1/3 of the world’s socks (about 8 billion pairs per year) are made in the district of Datang in Zhuji, China, also sometimes known as “Sock City”.
  • In 1670 in France, Louis XIV decreed that if you committed suicide, your body would be dragged through the streets face down and then placed in a garbage heap. Any property you may have owned, also would be forfeit.
  • Diet 7 Up was originally named “Like”, but was rebranded as “Diet 7-Up”, then “Sugar Free 7 Up”, then finally in 1979 back to simply “Diet 7 Up”.
  • “Odd” and “Even” are popular names for male children in Norway, but they have nothing to do with mathematics. The name “Odd”, in this instance, is after the Old Norse word “Oddr”, a word for the “sharp end” of some object or “edge of a blade”. “Even”, in this case, is from the Norse “Eivindr”, which in turn comes from the Old Norse “auja-“ and “-winduR”, meaning “gift” or “winner”.
  • “Astrology” in Afrikaans is “sterrewiggelary”, which sounds about right.
  • “Pilkunnussija” is a Finnish word for people who have a tendency to point out any and all spelling or grammatical mistakes (a.k.a. Grammar Nazis). The word comes from “pilkku”, meaning “comma”, and “nussia”, meaning “to fuck”- so literally translated into English- “comma fucker”.
  • According to a study published in The British Medical Journal in 1997 that analyzed just under 1,000 men from 45-59 years old starting in 1979, the more frequently a man has sex, the longer his life expectancy is. Specifically, men who have sex at least twice per week were 50% less likely to die during the scope of the study than those who reported only having sex about once a month. Of course, it may simply be that healthier people are likely to have more sex, but that isn’t as fun as saying “more sex = longer life”. Whatever the case, there does seem to be a correlation between frequency of sex and life expectancy in males.
  • While plankton often gets the headlines, aquatic organisms you may not know about are nekton, which unlike plankton are able to move independently of water currents.
  • Every year in the United States several dozen people attempt to kill themselves with BB guns. From 1993 to 2003, an average of 4 people per year did manage to get themselves killed as a result of a “non-powder” guns (pellet / BB or other air guns), so apparently it is possible…

Other Interesting Stuff:

Happy_Ostrich_is_Happy-e1264421537422Ostriches Don’t Hide Their Heads in the Sand

When an Ostrich feels genuinely threatened, it will actually take off running.  Considering it is the fastest animal on two legs, it can pretty much out run most other animals.  In fact, Ostriches have been clocked as high as 45 miles per hour when being chased by a close predator.  Just as impressive, Ostriches have been shown to be capable of a sustained run of around 30 miles per hour for an extended period.  So they can pretty much outrun the vast majority of predators… (more)

Theodore-Hook-e1299156499610One of the Great Practical Jokes of the 19th Century: The Berners Street Hoax

The year was 1809.  Famed English author, Theodore Hook, made a bet with one of his close friends, the noted architect and writer, Samuel Beazley, that within one week, he could make any house in London the most talked about place in the city.  The house he ended up choosing was the home of the widow Mrs. Tottenham on 54 Berners Street, London, which was the same street that Earl Stanhope and the Bishop of Carlisle and of Chester, among other wealthy and well-to-do individuals, lived on at that time. The event began on November 27… (more)

cellulite-340x186Is Cellulite Different from Regular Fat?

In a sense, yes, but your question is a tad like comparing orange juice to the texture of an orange peel.  While cellulite, also known as gynoid lipodystrophy, is often thought of as fat, that isn’t quite accurate. Fat is just a component of what causes cellulite, so perhaps more aptly cellulite is a possible manifestation of fat. The presence of fat doesn’t mean you have cellulite. Cellulite itself is the result of the overlying skin structure combined with underlying fat cells protruding outwardly, while simultaneously the connective tissue, called septae, hold the skin in place causing a rippled, or orange peel appearance- similar to a leather chair that has large amounts of stuffing pillowing out while buttons hold the leather skin tightly to the internal rigid structure of the chair… (more)

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