Archive for the ‘Fun Facts’ Category

Diseases often jump from animals to humans. Smallpox, measles and probably tuberculosis came from cattle, influenza from birds and pigs, whooping cough from pigs or dogs, malaria from chickens and ducks, ebola from bats, and HIV from monkeys and chimps.

 

The racial wealth gap kept widening well after the Civil Rights era.

The nation’s demographics are on a clear trajectory: White people are dying faster than they are being born, which means they are on target to become a minority in the United States in 30-years.

“This is without historical precedent,” said Kenneth Johnson, the senior demographer at the University of New Hampshire’s Carsey School of Public Policy. “The minority population is growing, and the non-Hispanic white population is not.”

Whites currently account for 62% of the population but 78% of deaths, according to Johnson’s analysis.

“I don’t think people fully appreciate how much natural increase [more births than deaths] contributes to the nation’s growing diversity,” Johnson said. “If you ask people why is America more diverse, they would say it’s because minorities are being born. What nobody ever thinks about is that a lot more whites are dying.”

Well, well. How the tide has turned. Honestly, I can’t decide if this is good or bad for the White Supremacy crowd. On the one hand, how can they be supreme if they’re a minority? Can’t have that. Somebody might build a wall to keep them out, man. We can’t be getting all diverse and whatnot, that’s un- American!

On the other hand, they may soon be getting all those great privileges they say minorities get, like getting the first shot at jobs and the cute girls and stuff.

The world, man. How dare it change like this on us?

PS- Is it me or does Kenneth Johnson seem a little too happy about all these white people dying?

PPS- I swear to God I’ll get messages from people who don’t recognize sarcasm and think I’m serious. I can’t wait to show them to you.

In a study by the Smell & Taste Research Foundation, the scent women found most arousing was Good & Plenty candy mixed with cucumber.

 

The entire state of Wyoming only has two escalators.

 

A-n-d, here they are.

Before settling on the Seven Dwarfs we know today, Disney also considered Chesty, Tubby, Burpy, Deafy, Hickey, Wheezy, and Awful. Is  it me or are these names better? I’d have loved to have seen Chesty and Awful. The mind reels.

Dr. Ruth, whose real name is Ruth Westheimer, was trained as a sniper by the Israeli military. She was also a Holocaust survivor, but you probably know her as a world famous sex therapist. Hell of an interesting life right there.

 

 

The Lebowski-inspired Church of the Latter-Day Dude says it has ordained over 400,000 Dudeist priests. On a related note, I have found my calling. Here’s the actual link: The Church of the Latter-Day Dude. I’m all in, bro. After all, the Dude abides.

*Not really, but I knew a lot of people wouldn’t click on a link about bananas, and this blog is about bananas. It’s a banana blog. However, since you’re here you might as well stick around, right? After all, Shoe:Untied prides itself on its eclecticism. It also prides itself in using words like eclecticism. Full Disclosure: I originally typed eclecticness but spell check kept telling me I was dumb. But seriously, stick around. On to the bananas…

Bananas, man. Did you know they’re consistently the #1 selling item at Walmart superstores? True story. Bananas have been around the USA forever, true?

False.

Americans were first introduced to bananas in 1873. Think about that, man. Abe Lincoln never had a banana. That’s wild.

Anywho, author Jules Verne introduced bananas to us in his novel Around the World in 80 Days, which was eventually turned into a movie starring Jose′ Greco but that’s neither here nor there. In the book, Verne described bananas as being “as healthy as bread and as succulent as cream.” Perhaps an overstatement but people were intrigued, man.

Fun Fact:  The scientific name for banana is musa sapientum, which means “fruit of the wise men.” Cool. Plus banana is way more fun to say.

Bananas were originally from Asia but were brought to Central America by the Spanish along with smallpox, measles, mumps, whooping cough, influenza, chicken pox, typhus, and oh yes, slavery. Good times.

Actually some people from our country had eaten bananas, but very, very few. Why, you ask? Because it took too long for them to get here and they would go bad. Of course that all changed later with steamships and airplanes and whatnot, and by then we could all enjoy the wonder that is the banana.

There was a downside, of course. The big banana companies used the governments of the countries where the bananas were grown for their own good, manipulating and bribing the politicians, organizing coups, and exploiting their workers. Basically, the companies stunted the country’s growth and cultivated a corrupt form of so-called capitalism. A lot of the problems in places like Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Honduras still continue today. Sad really. On a related note, that’s where we got the term  “Banana Republic” which is defined as ” A small country, especially one in Central America or the West Indies, that is dependent on a single export commodity (traditionally bananas) and that has a corrupt, dictatorial government.”

Random thought: Are Banana Republic stores still a thing? I haven’t seen one in awhile.

Before you go, take a look at this awesome banana trivia:

  • Rubbing the inside of a banana peel on a mosquito bite or on poison ivy will help keep it from itching and getting inflamed.
  • Rubbing the inside of a banana peel on a scrape or burn will help the pain go away, keep the swelling down, and keep the wound from getting infected.
  • Bananas don’t actually grow on trees—they grow on plants that are officially classified as an herb. They’re in the same family as lilies, orchids, and palms, and are actually berries.
  • The band Bananarama had a #1 hit song with “Venus” in 1986. Thought I’d throw that in there.

So now you know more about bananas than you did 5-minutes ago. Your life has been enriched ways you never have imagined when you awakened from your slumber this morning. You’re welcome.

PS- On a personal note, is it odd that I like to eat a banana but I hate anything banana flavored or anything with bananas in it? The world is a vast, complex and confusing place, man.

PPS- Next up, my Beet blog. Stay tuned.

 

 

Kool-Aid was originally marketed as “Fruit Smack.”

Or maybe you do. What the hell do I know? Anywho, my crack staff here at Shoe: Untied did some intensive research and came up with these fascinating true facts about Easter. Enjoy . . .

  1. Since time immemorial, the egg has been considered the symbol of rebirth. On a related note, that’s the first time I’ve ever used the word “immemorial” on this website.
  2. The first Easter baskets were designed to give them an appearance of bird’s nests. Seems obvious but I’m not sure it ever occurred to me.
  3. The custom of giving eggs at Easter time has been traced back from Egyptians, Gaul, Persians, Greeks and Romans, to whom the egg was a symbol of life. You know, rebirth and all that as I mentioned above.
  4. The Easter Egg originated like this – during medieval times, a festival of egg throwing was held in church during which the priest would throw a hard-boiled egg to one of the choirboys. It would then be tossed from one choirboy to the next and whoever held the egg when the clock struck 12:00 was the winner and would keep the egg. Hey, it doesn’t sound that fun but throwing eggs in church would be sort of cool.
  5. The first chocolate egg recipes were made in Europe in the nineteenth century.
  6. Each year nearly 90-million chocolate bunnies are made, but that pales in comparison to the 700-million peeps that are made. Yowza.
  7. When it comes to eating of chocolate bunnies, 76% of people eat the ears first, because of course they do.
  8. The Easter Bunny is thought to have started in Germany during the Middle Ages. For some reason this surprises me.
  9. 88% of American families celebrate Easter.
  10. Here’s a good one. Peep connoisseurs swear that by letting them breath for a few days out in the open air, it produces a crunchy outside and a chewy inside.
  11. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the largest Easter egg ever made was unveiled in Cortenuova, Italy in 2011 weighing in at 8,968 lbs. Holy Smokes that’s a big egg.
  12. Eggs contain nearly every nutrient known to be essential to humans. If you really think about what an egg is that makes perfect sense.
  13. After Halloween, Easter is the top-selling candy holiday. Arbor Day? Dead last.*

* I have no idea if that last one was true but it seems right.

 

In 1961, Martha Stewart was selected as one of Glamour magazine’s “Ten Best-Dressed College Girls.” Here’s a photo from the shoot:

Reno, Nevada is farther west than Los Angeles, California.

 

Fredric Baur invented the Pringles can. When he passed away in 2008, his ashes were buried in one.

 

Fact: Spiders could theoretically eat every human on earth in one year. Want more? No? Sorry, here goes . . .

Spiders are quite literally all around us. A recent survey of North Carolina homes turned up spiders in 100% of them, including 68% of bathrooms and more than 75% of bedrooms. In addition, soak up this horrifying truth – there’s a good chance at least one spider is staring at you right now, where you sit, sizing you up from a darkened corner of the room, eight eyes glistening in the shadows.

Chills, man.

Spiders mostly eat insects, although some of the larger species have been known to snack on lizards, birds and even small mammals. Given their abundance and the voraciousness of their appetites, two European biologists recently wondered: If you were to tally up all the food eaten by the world’s entire spider population in a single year, how much would it be?

Their estimate was published in the journal Science of Nature earlier this month, and the number they arrived at is a tad jarring. The world’s spiders consume somewhere between 400-million and 800-million tons of prey in any given year. That means that spiders eat at least as much meat as all 7-billion humans on the planet combined, who the authors note consume about 400-million tons of meat and fish each year.

Or, for a slightly more disturbing comparison, the total mass of all adult humans on Earth is estimated to be 287-million tons. Even if you tack on another 70 million-ish tons to account for the weight of kids, it’s still not equal to the total amount of food eaten by spiders in a given year, exceeding the total weight of humanity.

In other words, spiders could eat all of us and still be hungry.

Sweet Mother of God, man.

And as I did some research for this article, I found a couple more interesting tidbits:

  • The mass of every spider on Earth today is equivalent to 478 Titanics.
  • It would take approximately 2,000 pounds of spiders to consume a 200-pound man in one day.

Woot! Good to know I guess?

One of the longest tape worms taken out of a human body was over 108-feet in length. On average, tapeworms are found to be at most 50-feet.

 

It’s nuts how much the focusing muscle of the eye gets done. On an average, this spectacular muscle of the human eye moves about 1-million times every single day. If that doesn’t blow your mind, let’s put it in perspective –  for your leg muscles to get the same kind of workout, you would have to walk 50-miles every day. That’s cray-cray man.

Human’s eyes are always the same size from birth but our nose and ears never stop growing.

 

A little over 50% of the people in the world have never made or received a telephone call. On a related note, only 35% of U.S. phones still have landlines.

 

28% of Africa is classified as wilderness. 38% of North America is classified as wilderness.

 

The prototype of the chainsaw we are familiar with today in the timber industry was pioneered in the late 18th century by two Scottish doctors as a surgical tool to aid in the process of difficult childbirth.

 

chain

Yep. Just as awful-looking as expected.

The mask used by Michael Myers in the original “Halloween” movie was actually a Captain Kirk from Star Trek mask painted white, due to low budget.

 

shatner

If you sneeze too hard, you can fracture a rib. If you try to suppress a sneeze, you can rupture a blood vessel in your head or neck and die. If you keep your eyes open by force, they can pop out.

 

sneeze

 

The original name for butterfly was flutterby.

 

butterfly

olymons

Olympus Mons is a giant mountain on Mars. How giant, you ask? Well, is 13.6 miles high big enough for ya?

Olympus Mons is so large at its base that an observer at its peak wouldn’t know he was standing on a mountain because its slope would be obscured by the curvature of the planet itself. Read that again slowly. Yeah, I know. I had to read it 3-times to understand it too.

Try this fact then. Olympus Mons has sheer 5-mile high cliffs at its base. Imagine standing at this mountain’s base and staring up at cliffs the size of Mount Everest. Yowza.

Here’s Olympus Mons compared to Mt. Everest and Mauna Kea, two of Earth’s largest mountains:

olympus-mons

So anyway, yeah. Large. Massive. Enormous. Sizable. It’s big.

So you may be asking yourself (I know I was), how could a mountain become more badass? Well kids, Olympus Mons is also a volcano. Awesome.

So to summarize, baddest mountain in the solar system? Olympus Mons. End of discussion.

PS- You say you want video? OK.