School Supply Boxes Brain Candy for Nerds
Whether you’re five or fifty, everyone should learn something new every day. Social media websites are fun, but it’s important to remember to spend a little time filling our heads with information and not just pictures of cute puppies and kittens. Of course, if you’re spending your days cramming for an exam, sometimes it feels good to fill your head with a little useless knowledge every now and then.
20 Random Facts - January Edition
1) Pencils Don’t Contain Lead
No, getting poked by your best friend with a pencil was never going to give you lead poisoning. In fact, the dark substance inside pencils is graphite, which has been used since its accidental discovery in the 1500's. The #2 denotes the hardness of the graphite.
2) Before Rubber Erasers, there was Bread
Bread was the best way to remove the markings made by graphite because it was spongy, absorbent, and had just enough rough of a texture to remove it from paper.
3) Collect Books but Never Use Them? There’s a Word for That
The Japanese word Tsundoku, not to be confused with sudoku, is the act of acquiring books and not reading them.
4) Black Cats are Good Luck…Sorta
Everyone knows if a black cat crosses your path, it’s bad luck. While that may be so in the US, in Great Britain and Japan it’s the complete opposite. Brides in the English Midlands are given black cats as a blessing for their marriage. Japanese black cats are good luck, especially if you’re a single lady.
5) The Musical Road
In New Mexico, there’s a patch of road on the world-famous Route 66 where if drivers follow the 45mph speed limit, the rumble strips will play a rendition of America the Beautiful.
6) Friends Until the End
Both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson died on July 4th, 1826, 50 years after the signing of the declaration of independence.
7) Gotta Catch ‘em All
For one single day in 1998, the city of Topeka Kansas renamed itself “ToPikachu” to honor the U.S. debut of Pokemon.
8) The Name Behind the Candy
Have a deep love for Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups? You can thank Harry Burnett Reese. Reese was a former Hershey employee who created the famous peanut butter and chocolate cups back in the 1920s.
9) Food Fit for a Prisoner
In the days of colonial America, lobster wasn’t considered the delicacy it is now. Back in those days, lobster was so readily available and cheap, it was fed to prisoners. Serving time doesn’t sound too bad, now does it?
10) No News is Good News
On one day in April of 1930, the BBC played piano music after reporting, “There is no news.” Apparently, no cats were stuck in trees that day.
11) Laughing for Your Health
You’re not just feeling good when you laugh. Laughter boosters the immune system, burns calories, and reduces the stress hormones in your body. So, laugh more. It really is good for you!
12) Want Great Conversation? Talk to yourself!
People who talk to themselves aren’t weird. They’re likely better at figuring out problems and finding lost things. When we talk to ourselves, we slow down the thought processes of our brain and use the language processes. This allows you to think slower and process everything more efficiently versus staying quiet.
13) Water Expires?
No, the water in water bottles doesn’t expire, but the bottle the water comes in does. Eventually, the bottle begins to leak chemicals into the water, which ultimately change the taste of the water.
14) Nothing to do with Germany
German chocolate cake has nothing to do with the country of Germany. It is an American invention. Sam German developed a sweet baking chocolate for a chocolate company in 1857. The company ended up naming the chocolate after him. However, the famous cake didn’t appear until 1957 when a Dallas news paper published a recipe sent in by a reader.
15) Beautiful in Any Color
The Statue of Liberty wasn’t always iconic green as she is now. Her green color is due to the fact she’s made from copper. When she was completed in 1886, Lady Liberty was copper brown. However, with time and natural weathering, her copper body has turned the greenish-blue color we see now.
16) Nowhere to Land
Because Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune are all made of gas and have no solid land mass, humans will never be able to land on them.
17) Ridin’ Shotgun
Back in the days of stagecoaches, riding shotgun was an important job. A guard usually accompanied a stagecoach driver and carried an actual shotgun in the event they were attacked by robbers. Now, we just call shotgun if we want to sit in the front seat.
18) Jingle Bells is a Thanksgiving Song
While it might be played during Christmas time, the original composer of the song, James Lord Pierpont, intended the song to be played during his Sunday school class on Thanksgiving to celebrate the Medford sleigh races.
19) Christopher Columbus Who?
Ever wonder why every picture of Christopher Columbus looks different from each other? That’s because no portrait of Columbus survives and likely none were ever made. So, no one knows exactly what Columbus looked like.
20) California’s Bear FlagEven though the state of California’s flag features a grizzly bear, the bears were hunted into extinction in the mid-1800s. Men hoping to strike it rich during the famous gold rush captured or killed well over 10,000 grizzly bears in California.