The Austin Chronicle

Mr. Smarty Pants Knows

By Mr. Smarty Pants, February 18, 2011, Columns

About 40,000 Americans are injured by toilets every year.

On an up escalator, each additional passenger makes the motor work a little harder to pull the steps up. But on a down escalator – which has a motor also located at the top of the unit – each passenger helps, thanks to gravity. So riding an up escalator costs a little energy, while riding a down escalator saves a little.

Of more than 475 episodes aired, The Simpsons has mentioned climate change in fewer than 10.

It takes the EPA three pages to explain what to do in case a compact fluorescent light bulb is broken in one's home; see

The 1956 film The Conqueror may have killed John Wayne. The film was made in Utah, near a former nuclear test sight, but the government assured everyone it was safe. After location shooting, producer Howard Hughes had 60 tons of the radioactive dirt shipped to Hollywood to match shooting there. By 1980, 91 of the cast members had developed cancer.

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