Hit me with your favourite facts


#1

I’m writing my office’s christmas pub quiz and need help with fun facts. Please share yours so we can all be interested. (Bonus points for evidence and bonus bonus points if it’s christmassy)

Here’s some of mine:
(Stolen from 99% Invisible)

  • Companies will often put sequins and pockets on their kids clothes as a cost cutting measure. Kids sleepwear needs to be fireproof, but sleepwear is technically classed as “anything a child might potentially sleep in”. Sequins and pockets both make the clothes more active seeming but also make the clothes uncomfortable to sleep in. This makes it easier to defend the clothes as not sleepwear for legal purposes if they aren’t fireproof.
  • Eton Fives is a spin on handball that can only be played in one particular courtyard in Eton, England. The courtyard has the end of a staircase and a lopsided step in the middle. However, the sport has started spreading across the world which means there are now official squash court sized rooms with a completely useless replica of a staircase, gutter and step in them solely for the purpose of playing eton fives http://www.etonfives.com/the-game/laws-of-the-game

(Not stolen and coincidentally all about office supplies)

  • The punched circles that collect in a hole-puncher are officially called “Chad”.
  • A quire is the name for 25 sheets of paper. A ream is 500, a bundle is 1000 and a bale is 5000.
  • IKEA is the world’s largest distributor of pencils solely because of those rubbish brown ones they give out for free (which, not coincidentally, have a shout out in the British Medical Journal for being ideal for marking patient skin before surgery as they are cheap and disposable https://www.bmj.com/content/341/bmj.c6595.full)

#2

Sharks have been on earth longer than trees.


#3

Robert Liston, “The Fastest Knife in the West End” is, quite possibly, the only surgeon to have achieved a 300% mortality rate during an operation.

When attempting to amputate a leg (he also, accidentally, cut off the patient’s testicles), he sliced off the finger of an assistant as well as the coattails of a wealthy patron who was watching. The first two later developed gangrene and died and the third had a heart attack and died on the spot.


#4

Ernest Hemingway was impotent.


#5

Richard E Grant, who portrayed an alcoholic in WIthnail and I is a teetotaller because he lacks the enzymes in his blood needed to metabolize alcohol *jazzhands* ACTING *jazzhands*

People may well be familiar with larger-than-usual wine bottles being called Magnums, but even larger sizes exist which have oddly biblical names including Jeroboam, Salmanazar, Balthazar and Nebuchadnezzar.


#6

you could stop at five or six stores, or just one


#7

For a large chunk of his life, yeah, but he had children I believe so couldn’t have been all the way through.


#8

He may have also been a soviet spy.


#9

Speaking of spies, Coco Chanel was a nazi collaborator.


#10

Some others:

  1. Crematory ashes were used in developing some post mortem photographs.

Furthermore, in Europe, too, the idea existed that the act of photographing entails a transference of substance from the person photographed. The French photographer Nadar reported that Balzac was convinced that with each photograph taken, the depicted person lost a layer of skin, thus losing substance.
There were also attempts to counteract the discorporation associated with photography: For example, with the aid of the rubber-bichromate process, human substance was added to certain post mortem photos. The ashes of the deceased were hereby brought together with a photo taken earlier in the following way: “The ashes will adhere to the parts unexposed to light, and a portrait is obtained composed entirely of the person it represents.”

  1. Some types of sharks are born ovoviviparous-ly, that is their eggs hatch within the mother. In such species, in utero cannibalism can occur when one hatched shark eats another while still in the womb. Which is PRETTY METAL.

#11

Hugo Boss designed the Nazi Uniforms.


#12

High fashion: a mistake, it seems.


#13

A group of foxes is referred to as a skulk, leash, or earth. Or a rad ass party depending on who you ask


#14

Maybe. Julius Caesar basically dressed like a Roman version of a hipster. He wore his toga baggy and louche.


#15

matabele ants will carry wounded ants back to the nest after a battle and treat their wounds! they also have a form of battlefield triage, but instead of the medics deciding who can be saved and who can’t, ants who believe they have been mortally wounded will resist assistance and force their nestmates to leave them behind. ants are pretty neat imo.

source


#16

During the Burning of Washington, Rear Admaral Cockburn wished to burn down the building of the local D.C. newspaper, the National Intelligencer but was persuaded against it by numerous women worried about neighboring houses. The reason for wanting to burn it you ask? Reporters had given him the nickname “The Ruffian” and he was very upset by it.

He instead ordered for the building to be torn down & for the “C” type destroyed “so that the rascals can have no further means of abusing my name”.

The 10 Lita bill has an image of pilots Steponas Darius & Stasys Girėnas. Steponas is credited with bringing Basketball & Baseball to Lithuania after publishing the first booklets on the sports. While Baseball is not very popular in the country and has only recently had a person play in the MLB, Basketball is considered the national sport and has had at least 12 people play in the NBA.


#17

Over 90% of malware is delivered by email.

The MyDoom worm is estimated to have caused 38.5 billion dollars worth of damage.

Humans.txt is a file that lists those involved in making the site.

The creator of the PIN initially wanted 6 to be the standard length but his wife complained that it was too long to remember and shortened it to 4.

Contrary to popular belief international banking standards say that PINs can be anywhere from 4 to 12 digits long.

A GTX 970 can compute about 150,000 hashes a second, at that speed a 4 digit PIN (10^4) can be guessed in about 0.0667 seconds a 12 digit PIN (10^12) can be guessed in roughly 77 days. This is, of course, assuming you had to generate every single possible combination.

After Michelangelo finished The Last Judgment a church official described it as “it was mostly disgraceful that in so sacred a place there should have been depicted all those nude figures, exposing themselves so shamefully” and that it belonged more in a public bathhouse or a tavern. In response Michelangelo went back and modified the officials face into the work as Minos judge of the underworld and gave him donkey ears and a snake to cover his genitals.

Over 90% of the internet is considered deep web.


#18

One of WoW’s first major bugs has been used by the CDC as an example of how real people might react to plague on a global scale.


#19

-There is a class of worker Bees known as Mortuary Bees who are responsible for transporting the dead out of the hive to prevent disease

-The Michelin Star rating system and the Michelin guide are published and produced by the Michelin tyre company. Yes a tire company is considered the arbiter of fine cuisine on a global scale.

-Alberta Canada has been practically rat free since the 1950s due to its government operated pest control program


#20

In the 1979 Italian horror movie “Zombie Flesh Eaters” a live tiger shark was used for an underwater scene involving a zombie being eaten by a shark. The stuntman who had trained for the scene was sick on the day of shooting, so the shark’s handler stepped in to wrestle with the shark (which was heavily sedated) in full zombie makeup.