In the 16th century, toothpicks – even combination toothpicks and ear wax scoopers – became fashionable and were worn around the neck.
In 2009, for the first time in the U.S., the amount of data sent from mobile devices exceeded the sum of transmitted voice data.
Want to protect your countertop with an easy-to-clean, water-resistant surface? How about liquid glass? Technically termed "SiO2 ultra-thin layering," liquid glass was invented in Turkey and the patent for making it is held by Nanopool, a German company. It produces a coating that's about 100 nanometers (15-30 molecules) thick.
The late Shirley Temple asked to hear the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper album before she gave consent to use her likeness to artist Peter Blake, who designed the album cover.
Mr. Gas Pipe is left-handed.
Ed Asner collects shells.
Nouadhibou, Mauritania, is one of the largest ship graveyards in the world. One reason is that starting in the Eighties, the country nationalized its fishing industry and its harbor officers took bribes to let outdated ships be discarded there.
If you take Alaska and subtract Texas, the amount left over is still bigger than Texas.
Americans use 34 million rolls of toilet paper a day.
In 1879, at age 18, William Edward White played a single game for the Providence Grays of baseball's National League, becoming' as best as can be determined, the first African-American player in big-league history. He got a hit, scored a run, stole two bases, and fielded 12 chances in the Grays' 5–3 win over the Cleveland Blues.
According to Nick R. Martin at Talking Points Memo, during his time hosting The Tonight Show, Jay Leno told 4,607 jokes about Bill Clinton.
Dob's Linn, near Moffat, Scotland, is home to the end-Ordovician extinction, which happened some 440 million years ago. Had the list of survivors been only a tiny bit different, we would have a different world today.
Unlike animals, plants can lose up to 90% of their body and not die.
According to a recently published study from the Department of Education, more men and women at age 27 live with their parents than with roommates.
According to an article by Holly Richmond for Grist, mica is an important ingredient in many cosmetics – sometimes labeled as "Glimmer, Kaliglimmer, Muskovit, or CI 77019." Most comes from India and the vast majority is illegal – mined by children in conditions that risk cave collapse, cuts and skin infections, and silicosis.
Horchkommakrankheit is the German word meaning "an obsession about the deployment of apostrophes."
Pensions were offered by Roman Emperor Augustus in 13BC to Roman legionnaires who had served 20 years.
Mel Blanc, the original voice of Bugs Bunny, would actually chew on carrots during recording sessions, but spit them in a spittoon. This led to an oft-repeated story that Blanc was allergic to carrots. However, he denied any allergy in his biography.
Dr. Hillary Chollet, the great-grandson of a slave, was accepted at Tulane University but they rescinded their offer because his skin color was too dark. So he moved on to Cornell University, where he became a football and basketball star, earned his medical degree, and became a surgeon.
A "jiffy" is an actual measurement of time, lasting 1/100th of a second.
Elton John's mother was a gunner for England in World War II.
In ancient China, the red decorations put on the door for the New Year were meant to keep ghosts away – because it was believed that ghosts are afraid of red.
Execution by dogs in Korean is "quan jue."
Seymour Cray's first computer, the Cray 1, debuted in 1976 and weighed 10,500 pounds. Thirty people were needed to help install it. Its first users built nuclear weapons.
The minimum wage in Sweden is $19 per hour, and workers get at least five weeks of paid vacation every year.
In 1937, the median age of orchestra concert audiences in Los Angeles was 28.
Alfred Hitchcock made Psycho for $800,000. It was loosely based on a novel by Robert Bloch who based it on a true incident in Wisconsin. The same true incident would later inspire The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
Insurance company statisticians and Nazi doctors first noticed the correlation between smoking and lung cancer in the Thirties. Hitler opposed smoking and said tobacco was "the wrath of the Red Man against the White Man for having been given hard liquor."
Jack Payne, one of the workers who carved Mt. Rushmore, was fired for yodeling.
According to one tourist, if a foreigner runs out of toilet paper in a public place in China, they may call the police to bring them a roll.
Will Brooker earned a scholarship to Cardiff University and wrote his Ph.D. thesis on the cultural history of Batman. Now at Kingston University, one of Dr. Brooker's students is studying Superman.
Before its Islamic revolution, most of the world's pistachios came from Iran. Now they come from California. Even Pakistan imports California pistachios.
To produce two pounds of beef, it takes an average of 3,712 gallons of water. That would be more than enough to fill 100 bathtubs.
Fashion photographer Irving Penn allegedly told his models to say the word "Thursday" right before he snapped his camera. That was his "cheese."
The toilet from Hitler's yacht is currently located in Greg Kohfeldt's auto repair shop in New Jersey. Although it's not technically for sale, Kohfeldt would sell it if someone offered a lot of money. One reason there are no buyers: It is currently being used as the garage's toilet.
In 1867, Brooklyn pitcher William Arthur Cummings threw the first curveball in baseball.
Also in 1867, Macy's stayed open 'til midnight for the first time on Christmas Eve. But it wasn't until 1875 that Macy's became the first department store to open a toy department.
When is the letter W used as a vowel? In the word "cwm," (pronounced coom"), which means a short valley or hollow on a hillside or coastline. "Coombe" is a more common spelling of the word.
Before performing at the Frank Erwin Center in June 1990, David Bowie had his own private bowling session at the Texas Union Bowling Alley.
In 1552, Nostradamus wrote a treatise on making jams and jellies.
Dolly Parton is Miley Cyrus' godmother.
The bigger the holes in Swiss cheese, the older and more flavorful the cheese.
Daisuke Inoue invented karaoke. An unemployed musician, he was approached by a company president in 1969 to record songs played on a keyboard so the man could sing songs with business clients. Karaoke machines hit the market in 1971.
Although most birds don't have penises, the phalluses of Argentine lake ducks are over 16 inches long.
The word "keel" comes from Old English ceol, Old Norse kjóll, meaning "ship" or "keel." Some scholars think it was the first word in the English language recorded in writing, having been used by Gildas in his 6th century Latin work De Excidio et Conquestu Britanniae, under the spelling "cyulae."
Celebrity psychic Christian Dion predicts 2014 will be a good year for Lady Gaga.
Some believe Nostradamus' Quatrain VI.6 means that World War III will begin in 2014. The prophecy of a fire in the North bringing the end of the age of the fifth sun is believed to refer to North Korea.
Some predict that 2014 will be a Year Without Summer, similar to what happened in the year 1816. Such a weather pattern is theoretically possible due to a volcano eruption or divine intervention.
Psychic Elizabeth Good believes 2014 will see a new archaeological dig that will unearth evidence of Jesus' lineage.
Seven out of 14 Associated Press panelists believe because of its home-field advantage, Brazil will win the 2014 World Cup.