"Strait" as in "straitjacket" means "close fitting."
98% of all adoptions in Japan are of males aged 25-30 so that family businesses can remain within the family. Blood heirs are under the constant pressure of knowing that if they under-perform, they'll be replaced.
There were four female pilots cast and filmed for Return of the Jedi's climactic battle of Endor. Two were A-Wing pilots and two piloted an X-Wing, with one, played by Vivienne Chandler, having an entire page of dialogue.
Watching Smokey and the Bandit was one of Alfred Hitchcock's guilty pleasures.
95% of all the stars in existence today were formed during the past 11 billion years. The rate at which new stars are being produced in galaxies today is barely 3% of the rate 11 billion years ago.
Frank Sinatra hated carbonated beverages but loved electric trains.
Approximately 2,500 left-handed people die each year using right-handed products.
A new study by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory's Evan Mills found that the pot that goes into a single joint requires 1,700 watt-hours of electricity to produce – the equivalent of leaving a 60-watt light bulb on for more than a day. Indoor pot growing accounts for 1% of all U.S. electricity use.
Ever wonder why some people call it "German's chocolate cake" (with an apostrophe and an s)? That's because it was invented by an Englishman named Sam German, who came up with the recipe in 1852 (he called it Baker's German's Sweet Chocolate). The original recipe got new fans when it was printed in a Dallas newspaper in 1957.
The level of bacteria on your pillowcase is about the same as on your toilet seat.
If you could make a bowling ball the size of Earth, the finger holes would be about 1,000 kilometers across, and a few thousand kilometers deep. But the holes would be far too big to hold themselves open against gravity, and would undergo a slow-motion collapse in about half an hour.
Lincoln has been part of Ford Motor Company since 1922 when it was purchased out of bankruptcy. Lincoln was founded by Henry Leland in 1917. Earlier, Leland had taken over Henry Ford's early failed car company start-up and turned it into Cadillac.
A Russian defense minister once told Sir Paul McCartney that he and others learned English from Beatles songs – in particular, "Hello Goodbye."
Percentage change in the likelihood a child will eat an apple from the school cafeteria if the apple has an Elmo sticker on it: +68.
In 1660, King Henry decreed a particular style of spoon the puritan spoon. It has a deep bowl and is the prototype for all modern spoons.
As many as a third of all fatal car crashes may involve fatigued drivers, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. And Texas – with its 3,200-plus miles of interstates – has the highest rate of severely tired drivers.
In 1926, one nickname for marijuana was "muggle." Two years later, it was called "Mary Jane."
Garth Brooks used to sell boots.
14.5% of Australians eat kangaroo meat more than four times a year. However, animal rights activists in the European Union want to ban the import of kangaroo products. According to the Kangaroo Industry Association of Australia, after 40 years of commercial harvest, the kangaroo harvest is both sustainable and humane. There are over 25 million kangaroos, and they are not endangered.
Angie Dickinson planned to be a writer, inspired by her publisher father. While a student, she worked as a secretary at Lockheed Air Terminal in Burbank (now Bob Hope Airport) and in a parts factory.
A timing error of half a millisecond in either direction is enough to cause a pitcher to miss the strike zone.
Researchers at the University of Lincoln are working with WESC, one of the UK's most respected schools for visually impaired children, to create and evaluate a new visual search rehabilitation game. They believe playing the game may lead to significant recovery of sight following damage to visual centers of the brain.
Some say peanuts could be used to make dynamite.
Size seems to predict lifespan, say Santa Fe Institute researchers. A cat, 100 times more massive than a mouse, lives 1001/4, or about three times, longer.
Recent research suggests that Ernest Hemingway never wrote the six-word story, "For sale: baby shoes, never worn." It's more likely this urban legend of an alleged story was based on a 1921 newspaper column by Roy K. Moulton, who printed a brief note he attributed to someone named Jerry: "Baby carriage for sale, never used."
Richard Nixon played piano.
In 1875, Louis Prang created the first line of Christmas cards in the United States. By 1881, he was printing five million cards a year.
According to one researcher, piggy banks didn't come into existence because there was a kind of clay in the Middle Ages called "pygg." Besides, says another researcher, in 1400, the word "pygg" would have sounded like "pug."
By his own admission, David Sedaris cleans up rubbish off the streets of Sussex with naughty boys.
Pigeon racing is the sport of releasing specially trained racing pigeons, which then return to their homes over a carefully measured distance. It was introduced into the United States about 1875, although regular racing did not begin until 1878.
Russia has called them the R-11, R-17, and R-300 Elbrus, but most others call them "scud" missiles, based on a code name by Western intelligence agencies.
Portugal's electricity network operator announced recently that renewable energy supplied 70% of their total consumption in the first quarter of this year. Hydroelectric power supplied 37% of total electricity, and wind energy produced 27%.
Ailurophobia is the persistent, irrational fear of cats.
In Cream's "Sunshine of Your Love," the first eight bars of Eric Clapton's solo are a quote from the Irving Berlin song "Blue Moon."
The Mount Graham Red Squirrel, native to Arizona's Pinaleño Mountains, is America's rarest and most endangered squirrel. It hoards conifer cones and fungi in piles known as middens.
The first bank in Laredo, Texas, was founded by Patrick Milmo O'Dowd from Ireland. To fit in better with the locals, he changed his name to Patricio Milmo.
Uzbekistan and Liechtenstein are considered doubly landlocked countries – landlocked countries completely surrounded by other landlocked countries. At least 14 of the world's 44 landlocked countries maintain a navy.
The power output of the Saturn V rocket's first stage was 60 gigawatts – about the same as the United Kingdom's peak power demand.
Six sigma refers to any process that produces 3.4 defects per one million opportunities.
The Dubai police are getting a Lamborghini. The 217mph machine costs about $500,000.
On his 11th birthday, while his dad and stepmother were away on their honeymoon, actor Peter Fonda accidentally shot himself in the stomach with a .22-caliber pistol. Years later, tripping on acid at a party with the Beatles, he showed them his wound, saying "I know what it's like to be dead." Lennon would incorporate the words into the song "She Said She Said" that appears on Revolver.
After it was first discovered, radium was hailed as a panacea for everything from blindness to hysteria. It was added as an ingredient in products such as lipstick and chocolate, and put into chicken feed with hopes the eggs would self-incubate, or at least self-cook.
Q-tips were invented in the 1920s by Leo Gerstenzang. He originally called them "Baby Gays."
Recent research by Dr. David G. Amen (of the Amen Clinics) says there are six types of ADD/ADHD, each requiring its own treatment protocol. And commonly prescribed medications like Adderal and Ritalin can aggravate symptoms in four of the six types, Amen says.
Besides being famous, what do John Rhys-Davies, Lindsay Lohan, and Dennis Rodman have in common? According to USA Today, they owed money to the IRS as of 2012.
In 1959, the American Embassy in Kathmandu issued "Regulations Governing Mountain Climbing Expeditions in Nepal – Relating to Yeti." It stipulated three rules: Yeti hunters must pay the Nepalese government for a permit; hunters can photograph, but not kill, any Yeti they see, and must turn any photos or captured Yeti over to Nepali officials; and new findings must go through Nepalese channels before going public.