# Trivia

### Myths

• The Vomitorium is not a room used by Romans for binges
• There are no different parts in the tongue for the 5 tastes
• Napoleon was taller than an average Frenchman of his time
• You don't need to wait 24 hours to file a missing person's report
• Oil doesn't stop stuck pasta, but it can stop the water from foaming or boiling over
• Vikings' horned helmets were created by a costume designer for a 19th century Wagner opera
• Bats can not only see, but also use echolocation
• Eating before swimming doesn't increase the risks of cramps
• We actually have close to 20 senses, including balance, pain, movement, hunger, thirst
• Einstein failed an entrance exam for a school but still excelled in math
• US undercover police don't have to identify themselves as such
• Goldfish have a memory that lasts about 3 months
• Caffeine doesn't dehydrate you – the water in the coffee drink offsets the effect of caffeine
• Shaving doesn't thicken hair – shaved hair is simply no longer tapered
• There is no solid division between the brain hemispheres – the left part can "learn" the functions of the right part etc.
• Nowhere in the New Testament does it say that there were three wise men
• The Bible doesn't say that Satan rules hell
• Adding a sprinkle of water makes no difference in its boiling point
• Alcohol doesn't kill brain cells
• The chewy part of gum passes through, and the rest of absorbed when you swallow it
• Black belts were introduced in 1880 to show competence in basic techniques
• LSD is not retained in your spinal cord
• Sugar does not cause hyperactivity in children
• You don’t lose excess body heat from your head. (You can leave your hat at home if you don’t want to muss your hair!)
• We use much more than 10% of our brains – only 10% of neurons fire at the same time
• Eating at night does not make you fat. (Though the obvious rules still apply—you can’t eat more calories than you burn)
• Unfortunately, there is no scientific evidence that you can cure a hangover
• Shaving does not cause hair to grow back faster, darker, or coarser
• You don’t need to drink eight glasses of water a day, so save yourself the bloat
• You are not more likely to catch a cold when it’s cold outside
• The red part of a strawberry is not a fruit
• The definition of a species is debated. Two organisms belong to the same species if they can mate. Not true in practice. Perhaps in the future look at similarities in DNA, or the number of identical proteins in both organisms
• “Irregardless” is a real word and means exactly what you think it does
• Tacoma Narrows Bridge collapse wasn’t resonance with the wind. It was aeroelastic flutter
• The Great Wall of China is not visible from space
• Cracking your knuckles does not cause arthritis
• You don’t only use 10% of your brain
• Eskimos don’t really have 100 words for snow (they have words for Icy Snow, Yellow Snow, etc.)
• You don’t need 8 glasses of water a day
• Gum does not take 7 years to decompose
• People don’t swallow 8 spiders a year sleeping
• Alcohol does not kill brain cells
• Soymilk is found in the refrigerated section simply to convey the image to consumers that it is freshly made, not because it needs to be refrigerated.
• NASA did not actually spend $12 billion on a Space Pen while the Russians used a pencil • Neandertalus was not primitive — had religion, burial, made decorations. Common misconception: the first found skeleton belonged to an individual who suffered from arthritis ### People • Lief Ericson discovered North America 500 years before Columbus using Iceland Spar, a stone that refracts light in 2 visible wavelengths, enabling him to find the sun on cloudy days. • James Joyce would pick fights in Paris, then hide and call Ernest Hemingway to beat the shit out of the guy • Paul Revere never actually said "The British are coming!". The operation was meant to be conducted as discreet as possible and colonial Americans at the time still considered themselves British • In late 1918, A British Soldier Serving in France encountered a wounded German Corporal in No Mans Land, and raised his rifle to shoot him. The two men caught eyes, and nodded, than the British Private lowered his rifle, and let the German go. That German soldier was Adolf Hitler • Spielberg returned to college in 2002 to finish his film degree. When the assignment was to submit a sample of filmmaking proficiency, he submitted Schindler's List • Teddy Roosevelt is the only person to have ever received both the Nobel Peace Prize and the Congressional Medal of Honor, the two highest nationally recognized honors for war and peace • In 1847, a doctor performed an amputation in 25 seconds, operating so quickly that he accidentally amputated his assistant’s fingers as well. Both later died of sepsis, and a spectator reportedly died of shock, resulting in the only known procedure with a 300% mortality rate. • Isaiah Mustafa (the Old Spice guy) won the money to pursue his acting career on The Weakest Link thanks to his knowledge of comic books • Joseph Späh, an acrobat, survived the Hindenburg crash by doing an acrobatic roll out one of the windows • None of The Beatles could read music • The last two speakers of a dying language are refusing to talk to each other (the language is Ayapaneco) • The sphincter muscles in Bowie’s left eye were torn by a fingernail when his friend fought over girl and was punched in the face. His pupil remains permanently open • Eistein’s dying words were lost because his nurse didn’t understand German • Kevin Spacey refused top billing for Seven to avoid giving away the killer’s identity in the opening credits • Bill Paxton is the only actor to have been killed by a Predator, an Alien, and a Terminator • Francis Perkins is the father of all modern work-related systems (health insurance, social security, minimum wage) • Washington invented the word bakery • Thomas Midgley invented leaded fuel and freon: he had more impact on the atmosphere than any other single organism in Earth’s history • In 1824, Lozier and DeVoe came up with a hoax — made people believe they will separate Manhattan and turn it upside down! • Henry Ford retired — took up sailing to avoid the traffic jams he had created • Franklin wanted to drop c, j, q, w, x, y, put in 6 new ones so that every sound could be written with one letter • 1793, A girl in Tourcoing, France was born with one eye in the middle — lived to the age of 15 • Al Capone’s business card — Second-hand furniture dealer • In 1608, Thomas Coryat introduced the Italian custom of eating with a fork to England, first thought it was an insult to dignity • Between 1665 and 1666 Newton returned home from Cambridge. He couldn’t talk to anyone, and so singlehandedly invented calculus, gravity • In 321 A.D. the Roman emperor Constantine officially reduced the week from eight days to seven • The founder of Adidas and founder of Puma were brothers – Adolf and Rudolf • Norman Borlaug is said to have saved over a billion people from starvation • Chevy Chase’s name is Cornelius Crane Chase • The second person to survive going over Niagara falls later died from slipping on an orange peel. • In 1947, German logician/mathematician Kurt Gödel told Albert Einstein that he discovered a loophole in the Constitution allowing the US to become a dictatorship. However, Einstein prevented Gödel from revealing the proof because he knew it would hurt Gödel’s chances of gaining citizenship. • Christopher Walken worked briefly as a lion tamer in a circus at the age of 15 • The Most Interesting Man In The World is 73 years old, and fakes the accent used in the commercial. • When Stephen Hawking guest starred on the Star Trek: TNG, he paused in front of the warp core set piece and remarked, “I’m working on that”. • David Bowie was using so much cocaine in 1975 that he can’t remember recording Station to Station, one of his most acclaimed works. • The current head of the Korean imperial dynasty (and de facto Emperor of Korea) works as a general manager in a department store. • Charles Darwin Ate Every Animal He Discovered • Einstein actually had excellent grades • “Psycho”, “Silence of the Lambs”, and “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” are all based on the same guy and he wasn’t even a serial killer • During a blizzard in 1996, the Orlando Magic, Marilyn Manson, and the cast of Sesame Street Live were all stranded in a hotel together • Mark Twain was born under Haley’s Commet, and said “It will be greatest disappointment of my life if I don’t go out with Halley’s Comet.” He did. • The Surgeon General of the United States of America is obese. • While in the Army Clint Eastwood was in a plane that ran out of fuel and crashed into the Pacific, where afterwards he and the pilot swam 3 miles (5 km) to the California coast. • A Berkeley student named George Dantzig once mistook two unproved theorems that his professor wrote on the chalkboard as a homework assignment and ended up solving both within a few days • Queen Elizabeth II is descended from the Prophet Muhammad • Boston Red Sox slugger Ted Williams missed almost five full baseball seasons (1943, 1944, 1945, 1952 and 1953) fighting as a fighter pilot in World War II and the Korean War and still managed to hit 521 home runs • Louis Pasteur, a French microbiologist from the 1800's, kept a loaded gun in his laboratory while working on a vaccine for rabies; if he or one of his lab assistants got infected, they were to be shot in the head. • Apple used 'Carl Sagan' as a codename for a computer in the 1990s. Carl Sagan sent Apple a cease-and-desist letter, and Apple changed the name to 'Butt-Head Astronomer'. Carl Sagan sued for libel and lost, and Apple changed the name to 'Lawyers are Wimps' • In 1883 a bullet meant for Henry Ziegland hit a tree behind him. All was well until 20 years later when Henry decided to dynamite said tree, causing the bullet to fly into his head and kill him • There is a small island in the US state of Virginia. Its in inhabitants speak the same language as its settlers in 1686-some linguists consider it the closest surviving accent to Shakespearean English • A Chicago street prostitute is more likely to have sex with a cop than to be arrested by one. • Nicolas Cage once did shrooms with his cat...After staring into each others eyes for hours, Nicholas concluded "I had no doubt that he was my brother." • Abraham Lincoln delivered a speech so mesmerizing that the reporters in attendance were said to have put down their pencils in amazement, failing to transcribe what was said. No record of the speech exists; it’s known as “Lincoln’s Lost Speech." • There is a blind guy who can ride his bike in traffic using echolocation • Pythagoras and his contemporaries were so overwhelmed by the usefulness of numbers in describing nature, that Pythagoras was able to organize a sect based on this connection. The members of the inner circle of this sect were called ‘learned people,’ in Greek ‘mathematicians’ ### Words • Vin Diesel is an anagram for “I end lives” • In English, turkey is called turkey because the Brits thought it came from Turkey, but in Turkey, turkey is called hindi — because they thought turkeys came from India • The San Diego Wild Animal Park features a “Wgasa line”. It is short for who gives a shit anyway • The Greek word for fish is ichthys — Iesus Christos Theou Yios Soter — Jesus Christ son of God, the savior • Dulles airport renamed to Washington Dulles (reagan was confused with Dallas airport) • The "Screwdriver" cocktail got its name from American petroleum engineers in Saudi Arabia who secretly added vodka to small cans of orange juice and stirred the mixture with their screwdrivers • Ultracrepidarianism: the habit of giving opinions outside of one's domain of expertise • The largest Japanese character is called Taito, consists of 84 strokes and means "the appearance of a dragon in flight" • "Kiwi" is actually a branded name for the fruit when it was first introduced to the US. It's actual name is "Chinese Gooseberry" • Shrimp is called an abomination 4 times more than homosexuality in the bible • English words for livestock (cow, sheep) are Germanic-based and the words for meats (beef, mutton) are French-based because in the Middle Ages the people who raised the animals were Anglo-Saxon peasants and the people who ate them were Norman aristocrats • The symbols used to censor swear words are called grawlixes • It’s actually “Houston, we’ve had a problem” • English Words with Uncommon Properties • Second string — the terms comes from when the archer used to carry a second string for his bow • Get fired — clans would set houses on fire to get rid of somebody • Aglets — plastic things on the end of shoelaces • Devil’s advocate — opposite view when appointing a saint • Philtrum — lines connecting lip to nose • Lunula — white part of the fingernail • 2 words containing a, e, i, o, u in order: abstemious, facetious • Left bank of a river — left of a person looking downstream. St. Louis on the right bank of Mississippi, Manhattan forms on left bank of the Hudson • Greenland was named by Eric the Red in an attempt to induce followers to settle • A is the first letter everywhere except Old German (fourth), Ethiopian (it’s the 13th) • Longest sentence in Les Miserables 823 words, 93 commas, 51 semicolons, 4 dashes (3 pages) • Laser, Radar, Scuba, Snafu, Sonar — all abbreviations • Cities: Accident (MD), Difficult (TN), Intercourse (PA), Social circle (GA), Truth or Consequences (NM) • Longest name of lake, Lake Chargogagogmanchaugagogchaubunagungamaug near Webster MA (officially Webster Lake) means “You fish on your side, we fish on our side, nobody fishes in the middle” • Yucatan — means “what do you mean?”, after asking the Indians “Where are we?” • The Carthaginians gave the land the name Spania (“land of rabbits”) • Longest name of a city — Welsh town of Llanfairpwllgwynggyllgogerychwyrndrobwell-Llantysiliogogogoch • Centillion — 10^600 • There are double contractions in English, e.g. wouldn’t've. • It’s called a “second” because it’s the second division of an hour by sixty • The word mortgage is a Law French term meaning “death contract”. • "Percussive maintenance" is the technical term for hitting something until it works. • California = from Latin: calor = heat, fornicare = have sex ### History • A genocide in Ukraine in the 30s killed up to 4 million more people than the holocaust, in less than one year. • The US printed special money for Hawaii during WWII, to be deemed invalid in case of a Japanese invasion • In 1957 scientists may have inadvertently shot a steel plate cap in to space at up to 6x the escape velocity of Earth whilst conducting nuclear tests – potentially making it the first man-made object to depart the Solar System • The US warned the civilians of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to evacuate before the 1945 atomic bombings • Vermont abolished slavery in 1777, while still an independent nation. This means Vermont was both the first state, and the first nation in the Americas to abolish the institution of slavery • The Ottoman Empire was still in existence the last time the Chicago Cubs won the World Series • The Eiffel Tower was originally planned to be demolished in 1909, but was saved because it was repurposed as a giant radio antenna. And in 1913, the tower transmitted a signal all the way to Washington DC • A Greek prime minister in 1830's tried to spread the potato in Greece but people weren't interested so he put armed guards in front of shipments of potatoes so people would think they were important. People later started stealing these potatoes a lot which spread the crop to all of Greece • There was a song written in the 1630s that was performed only in the Sistine Chapel. The Vatican kept the composition of the piece secret for 150 years until the 14-year-old Mozart listened to the piece two times, transcribed it from memory, and produced the first unauthorized copy of the song • Nixon’s secret Apollo 11 failure speech: “Fate has ordained that the men who went to the Moon to explore in peace will stay on the moon to rest in peace” • City of St Pierre on Martinique island was completely destroyed when Mt Pelee erupted on May 8 1902. Of 30,000 inhabitants, only 1 was found alive — a prisoner deep underground the prison • Shortest war — 38 minutes England and Zanzibar, 1896 • When modern Italy was formed, the Florentine dialect was chosen as the universal language largely due to the works of Dante. • After the fall of the Roman Empire the technology to make concrete was lost for 1000 years. • Plans to assassinate Hitler were cancelled because it was feared his successor would be a more rational and effective leader. • Galileo would have discovered Neptune if the planet hadn’t begun its retrograde motion that very day • The Soviet Union, in 1922, (under Vladimir Lenin) was one of the first countries in Europe to decriminalize homosexuality • Time had not been standardized (synchronized) in the U.S. until the advent of the rail – there was no need until then • You can look at prices of imperial bonds (correlated to war preparations) to see that WWII was not expected ### Animals • In ancient times, hares were thought to be hermaphrodites, and could give birth while virgins. That’s why bunnies are associated with Easter. • Cattle use 30 percent of the land on Earth. • All Polar bears present today may have descended from a single female brown bear from Ireland • Gazelles never drink — chemical process transform part of their solid food into water • If a sea sponge (phylum Porifera) is forced through a sieve to disintegrate it down to its cellular level, those cells, if left alone, will recombine into a sponge again • Koala will touch nothing but eucalyptus to eat • Almost all bears can climb trees, so can’t climb the tree to escape the bear! • Lemmings do commit mass suicide, when their population grows too big • Gophers like to eat the lead around telephone cables, disrupting transcontinental service • There are only 4,000 species of viruses (and 4,000 of bacteria) but 950,000 of insects • Bacteria discovered in the 1960s by Hans Pflug in (low-radioactivity) salt deposits in Fulda (Germany) have hibernated for 250 million years • A famous unanswered question: how did the first kefir grains form? Kefir grains produce the kefir drink when covered with milk for about 8 to 12 hours. The grains consist of a balanced mixture of about 40 types of bacteria and yeasts. All kefir grains in the world are related. But how did the first ones form, about 1000 years ago? • At night, Disneyland becomes overrun by stray cats. Disney embraces them because they keep the mouse population in check and treats them like pets, including spaying and neutering them and giving them shots • Chimpanzees deliberately seek out and eat fire ants, presumably to enjoy their venom in the same way we enjoy spicy food • Apes that have been taught sign language have answered our questions, but no ape has ever asked a question • Fish can get seasick if kept on board a ship • There is a type of frog that breaks its own legs, and uses the protruding bones as claws to maim enemies if attacked • Military Working Dogs are always one rank higher than their handlers, in order to ensure that if a handler ever mistreats his dog, it is considered an assault on a superior, which in the military is a major offense. • Men and monkeys — only ones to distinguish color • An Eagle can swim and is something that most of them do, although it is rarely seen • During metamorphosis, what happens in a cocoon is that most of the caterpillar gets dissolved by enzymes into a soup of undifferentiated cells and then the butterfly grows out of the same DNA • Elephants are all evolving smaller tusks due selection pressure put against the large tusked males by ivory poachers, which allows small tusked males to produce more calves • Leaping flea accelerates from 0 to 3 feet per second in 0.002s — 150G (driving car into brick wall at 200mph) • Only gesture man doesn’t share with any other animal — smile • Tuna would suffocate if it ever stopped swimming (needs continuous flow of water through gills) • Cats have scent glands in their paws. When they kneed their paws into us they are marking their territory • All pandas in the world are on loan from China, and when a baby Panda is born, by agreement, it is sent back to China to help expand the gene pool. The baby pandas are shipped back by FedEx • Domestic cats instinctively don't want to drink from the water bowl next to their food, and therefore seek it out first elsewhere in the house, because in the wild any water next to their kill might be contaminated • There is an organism that can survive: temperatures of -272C to 151C, pressure of 6,000 atmospheres, and can survive in the vacuum of space for at least 10 days • There is a species of jellyfish that is immortal (turritopsis nutricula) • A small enough animal can fall at terminal velocity without suffering any injury upon impact. An ant (or even a smallish spider) dropped from a tall building will be just fine • In some countries, octopuses must receive anesthesia before surgery because of their intelligence • Cows have best friends and get stressed when they are separated • Playing a deep B flat on a Tuba gets gators horny • Koko, the gorilla who was taught sign language, once lied to her trainers, blaming her kitten for tearing a sink out of the wall. • There are about 500 feral dogs in the Moscow Metro, and some of them have figured out how to commute through it • Dead ants give off a scent to signal other ants that they need to be carried away. The dead are brought to a designated graveyard in order to avoid bacteria spreading • The New York Times wrote an article about the loneliest whale in the world. Scientists have been tracking her since 1992 and they discovered the problem: she sings at 52hz, and so no other whales can hear her • A hawk can have 20/2 vision. This means that a hawk can see an object 20 feet (6 meters) away that a human could only see from a distance of two feet (0.6 meters) • In a world with more than 6 billion people, only 4 of them died in 2001 from shark attacks. More people are probably run over each year by TV news vans • The CIA spent$20 million on a cat equipped to spy on Soviets, but it got hit by a taxi.
• The reason why spiders legs curl up is because a spider uses hydraulic pressure to push liquid into its legs that allow it to move, and when it dies the liquid drains out making the legs curl up
• We're more closely related to chimps and bonobos than african elephant to indian elephant
• The time difference between when Stegosaurus and Tyrannosaurus lived is greater than the time difference between Tyrannosaurus and now

### Things

• Liquor Laws by State
• Magic: the Gathering is Turing Complete
• Shoppers moving in a counterclockwise direction spend on average $2.00 more at the supermarket • Muslim babies born 9 months after Ramadan are far more likely to be disabled due to their mothers fasting in the first month of pregnancy • In 1994, when the Northridge earthquake knocked out the power in LA, people contacted authorities and observatories wondering what the strange bright lights in the sky were. They were stars. • Volcano Island crater lake: the world's largest lake on an island (Volcano Island) in a lake (Taal Lake) on an island (Luzon) • Fedex uses the United States Postal Service to ship almost a third of its packages in order to save money • Better Business Bureau ratings depend on whether the company has paid membership fees to them or not • Sweden's recycling program is so successful that they are asking Norway for their trash to power their own Waste-to-Power plants because they don't have enough non-recycled waste • The Mysterious Imagery of the Dollar Bill • More people are bitten by New Yorkers each year than sharks. • Clocks today move clockwise because sundials were first used in the Northern Hemisphere. • Loophole Land: where crimes can't be prosecuted • Printed dates on food are not required by the FDA and are not intended to mean food safety, only quality. An avg family of 4 throws out 1,344 lbs of perfectly good food each year bc of the misconception of the meaning of these dates • Mountain Dew was made to be mixed with whiskey • Smokey Bear has his own ZIP code (20252), and is the only individual other than the US President to have one. • As a British passport is issued in the name of Her Majesty, it is unnecessary for The Queen to possess one. All other members of the Royal Family, including The Duke of Edinburgh and The Prince of Wales, have passports. • If someone commits suicide by train in Japan, the railroad company sends a (very expensive) fine to the deceased’s family. • The flavor "Blackcurrant" is largely unknown to people in The United States, due to a ban on the berry in the early 1900s • Your credit score is BY FAR the most predictive of car insurance claims (i.e., people with lower scores tend to have more accidents) • There are only 2 escalators in the entire state of Wyoming • In 2011 German Police fired 85 bullets all year while US Police used 90 on one single person • There is a narcotic named 'Scopolamine', that, when blown into your face or placed in your drink, renders you incapable of exercising your free will, and wipes your memory of the events that took place • The film 'Waterloo' had so many extras in the battle scene that the director was in command of the 7th largest army in the world • Aerosmith made more money from Guitar Hero than any album • Ice cream cones were popularized in America during the 1904 World's Fair in Saint Louis when an ice cream vendor ran out of cups and asked a nearby waffle vendor to roll up his waffles to hold the ice cream • 29% of San Francisco's air pollution comes from China • In June 2008, a tornado hit Kansas State University’s campus destroying only one building: their Wind Erosion Lab • You consume 59 times the calories licking a British stamp than an American stamp. • There is a pepper grown in Japan called the Shishito pepper. Only 1 out of 10 is spicy and there's no way of knowing beforehand • After water, concrete is the most used substance in the world • In some countries such as Mexico,Germany and Austria Prison escape is not punishable by law if the escaper doesn't break any other laws due to the fact that the human instinct is to be free • Hewlett and Packard tossed a coin to decide whether the company would be called Hewlett-Packard or Packard-Hewlett. Packard won the toss and put Hewlett’s name first • The area that is now the Mediterranean Sea was once dry, but about 5 million years ago the Atlantic Ocean poured through the Strait of Gibraltar at a rate 1000 times that of the Amazon, filling the Mediterranean Sea in about 2 years • The IRS has a plan in its employee handbook how to collect taxes following a nuclear attack • In the 200,000 years since Homo Sapiens took her first steps across the African plains, just 57 billion people have ever lived -- meaning over 12% of all the people ever born are walking the planet at this very moment • 1 sperm has 37.5MB of DNA information in it. That means a normal ejaculation represents a data transfer of 1587GB in about 3 seconds • The budget for Reservoir Dogs (1992) was so low that many of the actors used their own clothing as wardrobe. • Silica Gel (the deoxidizing stuff in beef jerky packets) is actually non-toxic, and only says “DO NOT EAT” because it’s not food and could be a choking hazard. • TIL every person with blue eyes descends from one ancestor, born 6,000 to 10,000 years ago, whose genes mutated away from brown. • In 1984, due to the complaints of the gore in “Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom” and “Gremlins”, Steven Spielberg requested that the MPAA create a new category, called PG13, for movies that have too much adult content to be rated PG, but not enough to be rated R. • Back in 1978, a Russian scientist accidentally stuck his head into a particle accelerator and survived • Spearfish, South Dakota holds the world record for the fastest temperature change. 27C (49F) in two minutes • That the only road leading Gibraltar to Spain intersects with the airport’s runway. meaning it has to be closed down every time a plane lands or takes off • In 1938 a person had his office built inside of an elevator so that he could move from floor to floor to manage his businesses. This elevator office also has a working sink, a working telephone, and had built in air conditioning • 87% of the U.S. Population are uniquely identified by {date of birth, gender, ZIP} • Dr Pepper is bottled by both Coca-Cola and Pepsi, depending on location • It is estimated 1 in 10 Europeans was conceived on an Ikea bed • You can take your own personal parachute on commercial flights as long as it meets certain requirements • In Malta, by law, if a shop owner doesn’t wish for a seeing-eye dog to enter the shop, a coin is flipped to determine the outcome • Over 3 billion people live on less than$2.50 a day (in USD using purchasing parity power)
• A pencil has the potential to draw a line 38 miles long
• Pixar Movies: The A113 Easter Egg, The Pizza Planet truck and the next Pixar movie are hidden in their films
• If you properly shuffle a deck of cards, in all likelihood, the resulting deck has never been seen before in the history of the world
• The bushes in Super Mario Bros. were just recolored clouds
• Most sunglasses are made by the same company. Ray-Ban, Oakley, Bulgari, Dolce & Gabbana, Salvatore Ferragamo, Prada: They’re all made by one company, Italian manufacturer Luxottica
• The only plane allowed to fly on 9/11 after the attacks was a plane from San Diego to Miami delivering anti-venom to a man bitten by a highly poisonous snake; it was accompanied by two jet fighters
• Underground river ‘Rio Hamza’ discovered 4km beneath the Amazon – up to 6000km long, it flows at just 1 mm/hr
• There is an opera house (Haskell Opera) that straddles the US/Canada border, and inside, the seats are separated by a line. If you do not exit the same side that you entered, you have committed an international incident, and are subject to arrest.
• On 6/28/2011 in a ceremony in Rome, the United Nations has officially declared that for only the second time in history, a disease has been wiped off the face of the earth. The disease is rinderpest. Everyone has heard of smallpox. Very few have heard of the runner-up.
• Most gas stations only have two tanks – one for the lowest octane and one for the highest. When you pump the mid-grade, it pulls from both and mixes the two together
• A Swiss national is serving a 4 year jail term in UAE, after 3 poppy seeds from a bread roll he ate at Heathrow airport were found on his clothes
• The movie industry is based in Hollywood because movie makers were trying to get away from Thomas Edison (based in New Jersey). He had patents covering virtually all of the movie making process but the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in California was known to rule againt patent claims.
• Half of all human deaths from the beginning of time can be attributed to malari
• A Hungarian psychologist wrote a book on how to raise a genius. He proposed his ideas to a teacher. They married and raised three chess grandmasters, two of them became record-breakers and one even became the first female to beat the top ranked male
• Cuteness in Japanese Culture is a result of teenage girls switching to mechanical pencils
• Both the United Kingdom and Canada have banned the Westboro Baptist Church from entering their countries
• There are no clocks in a casino, or windows.
• Two-thirds of all people who ever reached the age of 65 are alive today
• Japan doesn’t overbook flights
• Foreign governments can spy on one another in the US just not on US citizens
• Secret first screening of Star Wars — to Spielberg, Coppola, Scorcese, de Palma. They hated it
• Soap floats — it’s its most useful property
• Airline pilots are not allowed to have the same dish during the flight
• Norma Talmage stumbled onto cement on board walk in LA
• Adventures of Huckleberry Finn has the word nigger in it, so it was removed from two school districts
• Secret daily flight to cuba — for journalists
• The original James Bond theme comes from a stage musical called A House For Mr Biswas set in the Asian community of Trinidad
• Spanish flu was the most lethal disease in the U.S. (1 in 152 people died) in 1918-9
• The wind power we can potentially capture is 23 times the current need of Mankind (1% of Sun’s power converted to wind)
• The building on One Times Square is empty because the owner can afford it from just advertising on it alone
• Icelandic language remained unchanged since 12th century
• A 10-gallon hat holds 3/4 of a gallon
• English police in Sussex asked girl pedestrians to wear miniskirts (long legs stand out more at night)
• Guards at Alamos must serve out sentence of any escapee
• Flag of Denmark — oldest unchanged, since 13th C
• In the last 3500 years there have been 230 years of peace in the civilized world
• Falcon Island disappeared in 1913, appeared in 1926, disappeared again in 1949
• Total cost of constructing Eiffel tower was recovered from fees for the first year of operation!
• The spoon dates from the 18th century!
• The Tour d’Argent — oldest restaurant in Paris — writes the name of the guest who orders canard rouennais. 112151 (Roosevelt), 253652 (Charlie Chaplin)
• It’s impossible to catch a cold or another germ-based disease in Verkhoyansk (-90 F recorded once), the air is too cold for the germs to live; food won’t spoil for years
• Quito, capital of Ecuador, sits almost directly on top of equator. but it’s 9300 feet above ground, enjoys springlike climate all year
• First book written with a typewriter — Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain. He didn’t admit, fearing he’d be questioned about the operation of the machine
• In Uruguay, duelling is legal as long as both parties are registered blood donors
• Until 1600, diners brought their own knives, which between meals served as daggers
• If air conditioning was turned off in Houston Astrodome, entrance of warm humid air could cause it to rain in the stadium
• A party yacht tipped over when the passengers all moved to one side of the boat as it passed a nude beach
• The offspring of two sets of identical twins are legally cousins but genetically siblings
• When his Mercury space capsule lost power, Astronaut Gordon Cooper used a only a wristwatch, his knowledge of star patterns, and math estimations to correct the pitch for Earth re-entry
• On a clear day, you can see seven states from a point near Chattanooga, TN (TN, AL, GA, SC, NC, VA, KY)
• A 23-foot iron pillar in Delhi has not rusted in 1500 years, no one figured out why
• 46BC: 2 months and 29 days were added to February (Caesar). 1582: 5 october became 15 october (Gregor XIII)
• In “rinse, lather, repeat”, repeat was added to double sales
• “After opening refrigerate” is a sales move — if you put in the fridge, you’ll be reminded of the product
• “Eat within 8 weeks” is a sales move to make you buy more of the product
• Most Powerful Companies You’ve Never Heard Of – Cerberus, Serco
• Greenland can’t join FIFA because they can’t grow grass for a regulation (soccer/football) field
• Area codes were assigned based on how long it would take to dial them on a rotary phone
• Black boxes are not black. They are orange to make it easy to find it.
• You cannot buy a house in China, you lease it for 70 Years from the Government
• The consumption of energy in the US has dropped since the 70′s and has plateaued.
• Sassafras, the tree that gives us root beer, also contains the oils which produces ecstasy
• The reason you can’t buy cashew nuts in their shell is because they are toxic to the touch, similar to poison ivy
• There are six taste signals: sweet, salty, bitter, sour, proteic (umami, 1907) and fat (2005)
• Germany captures 43% of the world’s solar power
• In each scene with Detective Donald Kimball (Willem Dafoe), Mary Harron asked Defoe to portray his character three different ways: 1) Kimble knew Patrick Bateman killed Paul Allen, 2) Kimball didn’t know Bateman killed Allen, and 3) Kimball wasn’t sure if Bateman killed Allen. Harron would then edit the takes together, giving the audience an unsure vibe of what Detective Kimball thought of Bateman
• Candy Canes were initially created to get kids to shut-up in Church.
• The movie “Thank You For Smoking” didn’t have any one smoking a cigarette throughout the whole movie.
• During the filming of “The African Queen”(1950) in the Congo, most of the crew and actors (including Katharine Hepburn) became ill with dysentery except Humphrey Bogart, who refused water and only drank whiskey during his time there
• There is a mutation that causes your bones to become super dense causing things like sinking like a rock and walking away from automobile accidents without a single fracture.
• There is an Island Off the Coast of Virginia in Which Inhabitants Speak a Dialect Similar to Elizabethan English
• There is a movie about a murderous car tire named Robert, and the entire movie is the tire rolling around, killing people and blowing things up
• PETA kills 95% of all animals it rescues.
• Sentinelese people refuse any contact with outside civilization; they drove off a helicopter with arrows
• A Congressman, while defending a murder suspect, accidentally killed himself while recreating a scenario where the victim could have accidentally killed himself. The defendant was acquitted.
• On average 70% of the time ice from fast food restaurants is dirtier than toilet water
• The price of pizza has matched, with uncanny precision, the cost of a NYC subway ride for 50 years. Economists have named it “The Pizza Principle.”
• You can’t legally watch MLK’s “I Have a Dream Speech” for free — you have to buy it for $10 — thanks to the King family and US copyright laws • In 1979 a woman jumped from the 86th floor of the Empire State Building, only to be blown back onto the 85th floor. Her only injury was a broken hip. • Henrietta Lacks’ cells are “immortal” and still used today for research. • The Founder of FedEx Once Saved the Company by Taking its Last$5,000 and turning it into $32,000 by Gambling in Vegas. • There is a town in the Alps that does not get any direct sunlight for 84 days. However the town fixed that by installing a giant mirror on the side of the mountain. • At the premiere of Beethoven’s 9th, police had to break up the applause, as the amount he was receiving was considered inappropriate for a private citizen • Guinness Brewery wanted to improve the quality of its beer so they hired a statistician to help them. The statistician, William Sealy Gosset, did such a good job his work created the T-Test. The T-Test can be found in most every stats book published today • The farther back you sit on an airplane, the better your odds of survival in the event of a crash. Passengers near the tail of a plane are about 40 percent more likely to survive a crash than those in the first few rows up front. • During WWII, George de Hevesy dissolved two Nobel Prize medals with aqua regia to prevent the Nazis from stealing them. After the war, the gold was precipitated out of the acid, and the medals recast. • There is a boat which sails around to countries with restrictive abortion laws, and offers abortions in international waters. • *NSYNC's "I'll Never Stop" is the best selling cassette single of 2009, 2010, and 2011, selling 24 copies, 13 copies, and 11 copies respectively. • Coke cost a nickel for 70 years • The United States ranks 3rd in liking the United States • Seth MacFarlane and Mark Wahlberg both were booked on AA flight 11 which crashed into the World Trade Center. Wahlberg decided last minute to fly to Toronto, and MacFarlane missed it by just 10 minutes due to a hangover • A single volcanic eruption practically reversed, albeit temporarily, the cumulative global warming of the previous hundred years • There are more human bites (65) than rat bites and cat bites combined (30), including 1 instance of being “bitten by client at work.” • Not all of the September 11 aftereffects were harmful. Thanks to decreased airline traffic, influenza—which travels well on planes—was slower to spread and less dangerous. In Washington, D.C., crime fell whenever the federal terror-alert level went up (thanks to extra police flooding the city). And an increase in border security was a boon to some California farmers—who, as Mexican and Canadian imports declined, grew and sold so much marijuana that it became one of the state’s most valuable crops. • Today, when you admire old New York brownstones and their elegant stoops, rising from street level to the second-story parlor, keep in mind that this was a design necessity, allowing a homeowner to rise above the sea of horse manure • If the ambulance lights are on but the siren is off, the passenger is dead • Real household income has been flat for three decades • In 1976, an underachieving Princeton junior undergraduate wrote a term paper describing how to make a nuclear bomb. He got an "A", but never got his paper back because it was seized by the FBI • Someone addressed an envelope with a wrong encoding of Cyrillic characters. The postmaster was kind (and savvy!) enough to translate the mojibake back to Cyrillic • • Men and women's clothes are buttoned on opposite sides because in high society, men generally dressed themselves whereas women were dressed by servants. Reversing the buttons on women's clothes made the job faster and easier. • There are actually seven different types of twins: Identical, Fraternal, Mirror-Image, Polar Body (Half Identical), Mixed Chromosome, Superfecundation, and Superfetation. • There are seven states in the US where atheists are barred from public office • Early Protestants objected to priestly celibacy on the grounds that it promoted masturbation. According to Martin Luther, "To say it crudely but honestly, if it doesn't go into a woman, it goes into your shirt." • In 1967 Australia lost their prime minster, as in they couldn't find him • When bitten by caterpillars, plants send Chemical SOS signals to parasitic wasps that attack the caterpillars • IKEA Let Loose a Herd of 100 Cats Into Store to "See What Happens" • Hair actually helps wounds to heal. It acts like sutures, knitting together wounds and tears. makes biological sense to have hair over those other body parts where skin might tear. Over the scalp, on the jawline, brow ridges etc. ### Technology • The internet speed on the ISS is faster than the average internet speed in Australia • The Agricultural Revolution freed up millions of hands that went on to power the Industrial Revolution. By 1850, worldwide population had grown to 1.3 billion; by 1900, 1.7 billion; by 1950, 2.6 billion. Over the next fifty years, the population more than doubled, reaching well beyond 6 billion. If you had to pick a single silver bullet that allowed this surge, it would be ammonium nitrate, an astonishingly cheap and effective crop fertilizer. Ammonium nitrate feeds the world. • A reliable way of detecting art forgeries is to test for cesium-137 and strontium-90 as these isotopes did not exist in nature prior to the first use of nuclear weapons in 1945. • The new Texas Instrument calculators have ABC keyboards because if they had QWERTY keyboards, they would be considered computers and wouldn't be allowed for standardized test taking • The Wikipedia page on copyright is under investigation for copyright infringment • HTTP status 418 is “I’m a Teapot” • In 1963 MIT made a artificial ring around the earth with 4.8*10^8 copper needles • It is estimated that a 100-millisecond delay reduces Amazon’s sales by 1 percent • 1962 — most costly punctuation error — omission of a hyphen destroyed Venus space probe rocket • 1870 a law firm in Utah built a machine that gave divorce papers for$2.50, legal when signed by both man and woman
• First traffic light was for safe passage of pedestrians in 1868 (two semaphore arms). The semaphore blew up killing a policeman
• It is no longer legal to manufacture 100 watt standard incandescent bulbs in the US.
• When Winston Royce described the Waterfall Design model, he presented it as what NOT to do
• Wikileaks expressed “outrage” at not being granted a speaking slot at UNESCO event: “The Media World after WikiLeaks and News of the World.”
• In 2008, test subjects could not tell the difference between audio played through Monster Cables and audio played through coat hangers.
• MIT has invented a new type of LED that is so energy efferent, it cools the environment around it
• Computer hardware has fulfilled Moore's Law for 40 years and may continue to do so
• The guidance computer from the Apollo 11 mission ran at 1.024 MHz, about 1/6th of the processing power of a TI-83 calculator, and it took human beings to the moon
• Kodak developed the first digital camera, but kept it secret for fear it would disrupt their film industry. Ultimately this would be their undoing
• In a competition to build the world's tallest building, the architect of the Chrysler Building secretly built it with a 125 ft long spire inside of it. When his competitor’s building was completed, the spire was pushed up through the building making it taller by 119 ft
• The 125 ton restaurant at the top of the Space Needle rotates using a 1.5 hp electric motor
• The foaming agent in shampoo, toothpaste, and laundry detergent is a marketing scheme to give a feel of cleanliness, but does nothing in and of itself
• No one knows who invented the fire hydrant, because its patent was burned in a fire
• The GNU Foundation does not consider the JSON license as free because it requires that the software is used for Good and not Evil
• Humans landed on the moon, and it happened over 40 years ago
• Germans couldn't see many of the Russian meteor videos (feb '2013) because a radio was playing music in the background. The German version of the MIAA wanted a penny per view

### Science Trivia (most are from “Motion Mountain")

• Space and time are not continuous — nothing infinite in our universe. This is because there is a smallest entropy for any system
• There is no way to distinguish space from time, vacuum from matter from radiation
• Proofs of three-dimensionality of space: knot and vestibular labyrinth in inner ear of a mammal
• We see the colors that we do because that is just about the only spectrum of light that passes through water, the area where eyes first evolved. There hasn't been any evolutionary reason on land to see any broader spectrum
• Fingers prune underwater not because of them absorbing the water or washing away the oil, but because of an evolutionary trait caused by the brain to enhance the grip of your fingers underwater
• Measure the speed of a gun bullet with a stop watch without electronics
• Fractal dimension of real-life objects (plot density as a function of scale)
• Higher derivatives of (displacement, speed, acceleration): jerk, snap, crackle, pop
• Antimatter has positive mass
• Center of mass moves straight during fall even if the body is rotating
• How to find center of mass for an arbitrary body? – Hang from two ropes, prolonged ropes cross at center of mass
• Simplest experiment to show rotation of the earth: metal rod slightly longer on one side of the axis, supported with a wire to a frame. When wire is burned with a candle, moment of inertia decreases by a factor of 10^4 — rotates with 10^4 rate of rotation of earth — can shine light beam on mirror and observe reflection moving on the wall
• Firefighters use water to fight fire becasue it expands to steam and displaces oxygen, not because it cools the fire down
• Good scale does not show constant weight when you step on it — heart pumping changes your weight
• No energy is needed for the tree to pump its materials upwards: the materials are pulled upwards by the water columns inside the tree; the pull is due to the negative pressure that is created when the top of the column evaporates. Hence, a tree grows purely by adding material to its surface. This implies that when a tree grows, a branch that is formed at a given height is also found at that same height during the rest of the life of that tree
• Only impact of a meteorite could cause earthquakes 12 in Richter scale
• Staircase only comfortable if depth + twice height is a constant 0.63m (+- 2cm)
• As a result of tidal forces, the Moon always has the same face to Earth
• Do not hold your breath when you’re decompressed in vacuum
• If you walk on an escalator, it consumes more energy
• Show that light is a wave with your fingers only — two fingers in front of your eye, almost touch, see black lines
• We would not be able to talk in an even number of dimensions! (Waves don’t stop in even dimensions)
• A 7x7x7 Rubik’s cube is not possible
• Measure weight of a car with a rules (measure area of contact of tires and multiple by tire pressure)
• Nature doesn’t allow precision of more than 20 digits
• Lowercase letters added to save paper surface by shortening written words
• You can’t measure the one-way velocity of light
• Sky is dark because of maximum force in nature. Also the reason for universe being of finite size
• Joseph Kittinger stepped out of balloon at 31.3km (900 km/s!), didn’t feel anything. Free fall = rest (principle of equivalence)
• Universe is spatially flat, expansion accelerating, no big crunch
• A black hole is independent of how it was formed or the materials
• You can get a lot of energy from a rotating black hole (Penrose effect)
• Black holes are not black (because they have entropy, and hence temperature!) but are blackest objects in the universe
• Full theory of general relativity: All observers agree on a perfect speed in nature (maximum energy speed relative to matter — massless radiation); All observers agree on a perfect force in nature (on event horizons). Deduce from this: spacetime and space are curved near mass and energy
• Kelvin generator: create a spark with two streams of water flowing from one set of buckets to the other
• Older people can sense approaching thunderstorms in their joints: coincidence between the electromagnetic field frequency emitted by thunderclouds – around 100 kHz – and the resonant frequency of nerve cell membranes.
• Triboluminescence — pulling Scotch tape quickly produces sparks
• Rubbing a plastic spoon with a piece of wool charges it. Such a charged spoon can be used to extract pepper from a salt–pepper mixture by holding the spoon over the mixture.
• Ionosphere around the Earth has a resonant frequency of 7Hz. Light makes seven turns of the Earth in one second
• Measure speed of radio waves: Put the chocolate bar (or a piece of cheese) in the microwave and switch the power off as soon as melting begins. The bar melts at regularly spaced spots, half a wavelength apart.
• Everyday nature is left-right symmetric
• Colors in human language have a natural order, same in all languages. in the following order: 1. black and white, 2. red, 3. green and yellow, 4. blue, 5. brown, 6. mauve, pink, orange, grey
• Human bone is piezoelectric
• Gold absorbs light. Therefore it is used, in expensive books, to color the edges of pages
• Logical thinking requires energy — AND gate erases information and entropy is created when information is erased (not locally, but totally)
• Magenta doesn't appear in the rainbow – your eye makes up a color when the red and the blue cones fire, but the green one doesn't
• Unusual Units of Measurement
• Marie curie notebooks from the 19th century are still too radioactive to be handled
• Farts smell worse in the shower because our nose works better in high heat and humidity
• Meteorites that fell on the early Earth brought reduced phosphorus to the planet. This allowed oxidation to phosphates, thus providing a mechanism for the generation of DNA and RNA
• If you collapse an underwater bubble with a soundwave, light is produced, and nobody knows why
• In about 800 million years, carbon dioxide levels fall (due to weathering of Earth’s surfaces increasing with Sun’s luminosity) to the point at which C4 photosynthesis is no longer possible. All plant species die. Free oxygen eventually disappears from the atmosphere. Multicellular life dies out.
• So many new isotopes of elements were created with the explosion of atomic bombs that you can test whether or not a painting is a forgery by examining the isotopes of elements used in it, as some of these didn’t exist prior to 1945.
• There is such a thing as water too clean to drink. Drinking it could kill you
• Raindrops fall on Sahara, but rain never reaches the desert (Evaporates)
• Not all liquids are wet — Mercury at room temperature
• Most poisonous substance is the toxin of Clostridium botulinum bacteria — 1/3000 of an ounce could poison entire human population
• A train doesn’t tip over when going around a curve because the outside rail is higher than the inside rail
• A heart does not produce enough pressure to pump blood — the veins themselves have their own muscle tissues
• Big mystery: the appearance of flowering plants around 65 million years ago
• Each item on the food chain uses up 90% of the energy for its own purposes (hence people don’t eat lions — they would be 10 times more expensive than beef, which is below lions on the food chain)
• How were first cells created? We don’t know. Catch 22: if proteins were created from aminoacids in the air or on the surface of the ocean, UV radiation will destroy them. If they were created in the ocean, they will be destroyed by water. Solution: high concentration of aminoacids so water can’t get to them (tidal basins where aminoacids are accumulated) or in protective bubbles made of fats
• 99.9% of all species has already gone extinct
• Every human on earth today has had a single ancestor — called Eve — living in Africa about 200,000 years ago
• Good question: why aren’t leaves black? They would absorb most of the lightA single magnetic pole (a monopole) could not so far be found. Weird — otherwise there is a complete symmetry between electricity and magnetism
• Only three experiments were enough for scientists to accept the general theory of relativity
• In the middle of the Indian Ocean there is a “valley” in the ocean’s surface about 300m deep (but its diameter is thousands of kilometers)
• The Sun works because of quantum tunneling
• An upright posture allowed the air to cool the body most effectively in the tropical environment where humans evolved. For even better cooling, humans have also no body hair, except on their head, where it protects the brain from direct heating by the Sun. The upright posture in turn allowed humans to take breath independently of their steps, a feat that many animals cannot perform. This in turn allowed humans to develop speech. Speech in turn developed the brain
• If you could fold a piece of paper in half 50 times, its thickness will be 3/4 the distance from the Earth to the Sun (71 million miles)
• There are more cells of bacteria in your body than there are human cells. (Indeed, there are more cells of E. coli alone than of human cells.)
• It takes a photon, on average, 200,000 years to travel from the core of the Sun to the surface, then just a little over 8 minutes from the Sun's surface to your eyeball, sliding in at 1,100,000,000km/h
• If you cut up a hologram, the entire image is retained in each piece
• If Earth weren't tilted on its axis, we wouldn't have woodgrain, just "tree brown"
• The Earth's diameter is about 3mm larger than its circumference divided by pi
• The reason rubbing alcohol burns when applied to cuts is because exposed VR1 nerve cells in the cut, which normally detect burning hot temperatures, have their pain threshold lowered by alcohol--so much that your own body temperature causes the burning sensation
• Black holes are the most disordered systems known
• You can move on perfect ice in a number of ways, using classical mechanics, thermodynamics/electrodynamics, general relativity, quantum effects, materials science/astrophysics, chaos theory/biophysics, quantum gravity (see Motion Mountain, Volume 5, Page 118: How can one move on perfect ice?)
• Shortest possible summary of quantum electrodynamics: Everyday matter is made of charged elementary particles that interact through photon exchange in the way described as such: charged matter, i.e. charged lepton or quark, spin 1/2 can emit a photon (massless, uncharged, spin 1) and get reflected, with conservation of E, p, S, q
• Cosmic rays are responsible for jagged propagation of lightning (which advanced in pulses for about 30 m)
• Cosmic rays are one of the reasons long space flight is hard: we would get weak, sick and die after 2-3 years
• Earth hasn't cooled down in its core because of radioactivity: potassium-40, uranium-235 and thorium-232
• Smoking causes cancer primarily because of polonium, lead, potassium and other radioactive nuclei found in tobacco
• Fusion reactors are not safe as suggested: the only reason we don't feel the radioactive effects of the Sun is because we are so far away from it.
• Nuclei lighter than iron are made in stars through fusion; heavier than iron: through neuron capture
• We don't know why positron and proton have the same charge
• We don't know the origin of the masses
• All grand unified models predict the existence of magnetic monopoles, which we haven't observed yet
• Unsolved problem in physics/math: Make a knot. By how much does the rope get shorter?
• Lift generated by a fixed wing follows the relation mg = f A v^2 rho; f = angle/shape coefficient, usually 0.2-0.4; A = surface of the wing; v = speed of wing in fluid of density rho
• Physics Cube that shows the conceptual unification of concepts
• Hypothesis about fundamental (unexplained) conditions: if any of these parameters were to change slightly, the universe would have either too few or too many black holes
• A selection of consequences of changing the properties of nature – Motion Mountain, Volume 5, Page 294 (Table 25)
• Things science doesn't have an explanation for:
• Why we sleep: can't be good for the brain (plants sleep), some people don't need to sleep, gene mutation allows you to only sleep 2-4 hours a day
• Why ice is slippery: we don't compress ice back into water when we walk on it
• How a bicycle works: gyroscopic effect isn't it - disproved in the 70s
• Why we yawn
• The Sun's corona is several million degrees hotter than the surface (coronal heating problem)
• Why some people are left-handed
• How many species manage to come back to the precise same location of the world after a migration. Especially monarch butterflies: it's the children of the butterflies that left, that come back
• Why the giraffe has a long neck
• Why black holes evaporate despite conservation of energy
• The United States experiences 75% of the worlds known tornadoes
• What we know about the Universe in six simple rules
• Galilean Physics: In nature, motion takes place in three dimensions of space and is described by the least action principle (motion minimizes change). It implies that motion is predictable and that energy is conserved
• Special Relativity: In nature, there is an invariant maximum energy speed, the speed of light c. This invariant maximum implies special relativity. Among others, it implies that mass and energy are equivalent. c is achieved by massless particles
• General Relativity: There are maximum force and power values in nature. In nature, there is an invariant highest momentum flow, the Planck force c4/4G. This invariant maximum implies general relativity, which implies that things fall and that empty space curves and moves. It also implies that point particles don't exist
• The evolution of the universe is described by the cosmological constant Λ. It deter- mines the largest distance and the largest age that can presently be observed
• In nature, there is a non-zero, invariant smallest change value, the quantum of action ħ. This invariant value implies quantum theory. It explains what life and death are and why they exist
• There is a smallest entropy value k in nature
• In nature, matter and radiation consist of quantum particles. Matter consists of fermions: six quarks, three charged leptons, three neutrinos and their antiparticles. Radiation consists of bosons: the photon, three intermediate weak vector bosons and eight gluons. In addition, the year 2012 brought the discovery of the Higgs boson. Fermions and bosons move and can transform into each other. The transformations are described by the electromagnetic interaction, the weak nuclear interaction and the strong nuclear interaction. Together with the masses, quantum numbers, mixing angles and couplings, these transformation rules form the so-called standard model of particle physics. Among others, the standard model explains how lightning forms, why colours vary, and how the atoms in our bodies came to be
• Matter and radiation are made of extended and fluctuating constituents of infinite size. Space is also made of extended constituents of infinite size

• Nature is thus modeled by an entity which is one single ‘object’ (to eliminate distinguishability), which is extended (to eliminate localizability) and which is fluctuating (to ensure approximate continuity). Nature is a far-reaching, fluctuating fold. Nature is similar to an amoeba. The tangled branches of the amoeba allow a definition of length via counting of the folds.

• Over 10 000 man-years have been invested in the exploration of the superstring conjecture: compare this with about a dozen man-years for electrodynamics, a dozen man-years for general relativity, and a dozen man-years for the foundation of quantum theory.

• Nature is made of unobservable, fluctuating strands. Planck units are defined through cross switches of strands. Strands are impenetrable: crossing doesn't happen through the strand, but by deformation (like a double twist). Nature is one strand, folded in a complicated way. Elementary particles are families of tangles of strands

• What we know about cosmology in a paragraph: Since the sky is dark at night, the universe is surrounded by a horizon and is of finite size and age. Cosmic age is around 13 800 million years. The universe expands; the expansion is described by the field equations of general relativity. The universe’s expansion accelerates; the acceleration is described by the cosmological constant – also called dark energy – that has a small positive value. The universe is observed to be flat, and, averaged over large scales, homogeneous and isotropic. The observed average matter density in the universe is about 18 times smaller than the energy density due to the cosmological constant. In addition, there is a large amount of matter around galaxies that does not radiate; the nature of this dark matter is unclear. Galaxy formation started from early density fluctuations; the typical size and amplitude of the fluctuations are known. The topology of space is observed to be simple.

• Nature is neither infinite nor finite. It's indivisible (all parts we experience are approximations; the "many" exists only approximately)

• Corollaries
• There is no infinity in nature, includes angular momentum, action
• There is no arbitrarily small amount in nature (of anything – time, length, volume, acceleration, etc.)
• Nature has (virtual) particles that move faster than light, show actions below the quantum of action, and that experience forces larger than the force limit
• at Planck scales, time and space cannot be distinguished from each other, we can't know if space has 3 dimensions, special relativity doesn't apply, we can't determine if a particle is real or virtual, matter and antimatter cannot be distinguished, matter and vacuum are interchangeable
• Mysteries
• The origin of color and the fine structure constant
• The nature of dark matter
• The way thinking forms in our brain