TIL the German Parliament has the grafiti "I f--k Hitler in the ass" preserved as a historic monument on one of its walls
TIL the human eye is capable of seeing some ultra-violet light but it is filtered out by the lenses in our eye. Painter Claude Monet had that lens removed due to cataracts and may have been able to see ultra-violet in his right eye.
TIL that early humans hunted animals by chasing them to exhaustion. "Persistence hunting" takes advantage of humans' two legs and ability to sweat, which makes us stronger distance runners than prey.
TIL roman emperor Diocletian retired in 305 AD to grow cabbages and tend to his vegetable gardens.
TIL Metallica’s ‘Master of Puppets’ was deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" enough for preservation in the National Recording Registry by the United States Library of Congress in 2016, the first metal recording to do so.
TIL that Peter Weller, the actor most famous for playing Robo Cop earned PhD in Art History, writing a dissertation on the Italian Renaissance in 2014
TIL Because Germany dubs Hollywood movies to their native language, for every Hollywood movie-star there is an equivalent German voice actor who is used again and again in the same films as their counterpart.
TIL that during Charles Manson's trial, the judge began carrying a revolver under his robe after Manson charged at him with a pencil.
TIL: During Prohibition, Grape bricks/juice came with warnings on how "not" to make wine so people could make their own wine.
TIL Sweden is so good at recycling that they need to import trash to keep their plants going
TIL of Joe Arridy, a mentally ill man wrongfully sentenced to death in the 1930's. While on death row, he played with toy trains, requested ice cream for his last meal and, while being taken to the gas chamber, smiled and told the warden, "No no, Joe won't die"
TIL that because of the austerity measures following the war, Queen Elizabeth had to use clothing ration coupons to pay for her wedding dress. She was given hundreds of clothing coupons by brides-to-be to help her, but she had to return the coupon gifts as it was illegal to transfer them.
TIL it is possible to coat droplets of water with silica, resulting in a dry powder known as "dry water"
TIL Rio residents rely on an app called "fogo cruzado" (Cross fire) to keep track of all gun battles happening in the city any given day in order to avoid them.
TIL The U.S state Texas is roughly 10% larger than France and almost twice as large as Germany.
TIL that the Holy Roman state of Hesse-Kessel became a "mercenary state" renting out its army to other major powers. The state maintained strict neutrality, to the point that it would rent out soldiers to both sides of a conflict and the Hessian soldiers would end up fighting each other.
TIL of Adrian Carton de Wiart a British Officer who served in 3 wars; was shot in the face, head, stomach, ankle, leg, hip and ear; survived 2 plane crashes; tunneled out of a POW camp; tore off his own fingers when a doctor refused to amputate them. He wrote in WW1 "Frankly I had enjoyed the war."
TIL that Sir Richard Branson dislikes the formality of neck ties so much that he often carries around a pair of scissors with him, ready to cut the ties off of unsuspecting tie wearers. He even has a cushion that he keeps at his home on Necker Island made up from the ties of some of his victims.
TIL Antarctica is governed by a treaty of over 50 countries banning all mining, pollution, colonization, or claims from any one country. Only scientific exploration is permitted and visitors must take every trace of themselves with them when they leave.
TIL the Japanese sportswear company ASICS is an acronym of the latin phrase "anima sana in corpore sano", which translates to "a healthy soul in a healthy body"
TIL That the inventor of Tang, also invented Pop Rocks, Cool Whip, a form of instant-set Jell-O, and other convenience foods.
TIL there was a German architect who devoted his whole life to promote his grand scheme of damming and draining the Mediterranean to create vast amounts of land and to unite Europe and Africa into one super continent.
TIL there was a Roman emperor named "Maximinus Thrax" who was allegedly over 8-feet tall and could fit bracelets on his thumb
TIL there are 22 American states that can revoke your professional license for defaulting on college loans.
TIL: Detroit, synonymous with the auto industry, has a driverless monorail system that moves about 2.4 million people a year.
TIL when Charles Manson entered prison in 1961 he entered "Scientologist" as his religion
TIL that unlike much of its competition, Family Video owns the real estate housing their stores, helping them to avoid unsuccessful lease negotiations that led to the demise of Blockbuster and Movie Gallery, which includes Hollywood Video. Family Video is now the largest rental chain in the U.S.
TIL that despite US denial for 26 years, eight members of the Alabama Air National Guard volunteered to pose as Cuban rebel pilots during the Bay of Pigs invasion. Of these 8, 4 were killed when promised air cover never arrived, with two of the pilots dying in a firefight after being shot down.
TIL Stanley Kubrick appointed French Director Bertrand Tavernier as his publicist in France and he was asking him regularly about strange stuff like types of lamps in theaters, Tavernier resigned after 3 months and told him: As a film-maker you are a genius but as an employer you are an imbecile.
TIL that there's a possibility of silicon-based life rather than carbon-based life.
TIL that in Malmö, Sweden, it's cheaper to buy a grenade on the black market than it is to buy an ice cream cone.
TIL herd animals in the wild often hang around with giraffes. The giraffes, being so tall, give the herd animals such as Zebra and Wildebeest an early warning of lions sneaking up on them. These herd animals benefit by having friends in high places (quite literally).
TIL there's a surgery that claims to change the color of your eyes. The surgery involves taking a laser and burning away the melanin layer of your iris. Over the course of a few weeks, your eyes naturally turn from brown to blue as the damaged melanin is removed by your body.
TIL that some Russian scientists are trying to restore a small region of Russia to the way it would've looked ~10,000 years ago, in a project called Pleistocene Park
TIL that Robert Moses, the man who shaped NYC, ordered his bridges to be build low such that buses could not run under them, effectively keeping poor people out of certain neighborhoods
TIL that during WW1, French commander Joseph Joffre employed professional car racer Georges Boillot to drive him around the conflict zone at blazing speeds.
TIL that one day each year, for just a few minutes, because of a program called Border Angels, US/Mexico border patrol open a gate to allow divided families to embrace for a total of three minutes.
TIL a hobbit-like species of human lived about 18,000 years ago. About the size of a 3-year-old, they lived with pygmy elephants and 10-foot-long lizards.
TIL That in Japan even the passengers with a drunk driver can be fined and/or imprisoned.
TIL Vancouver's Downtown Eastside is so riddled with drugs even the rats overdose.
356 atreides78723 There are a lot of jazz musicians who did this in the later days of Jim Crow. They would travel the South under an Arab/Muslim name. Since Arabs qualified as white, they'd get to use white areas and stay in white hotels.
1538 badamache Reminds me of how apartheid South Africa treated Chinese as "colored people", but treated Japanese as "honorary whites" in the 1960's.
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785 YoullShitYourEyeOut I don't think wearing a turban works like that in the South anymore.
67 IAmNeeeeewwwww This makes me think of a similar story involving an African-American mother in the South. One day, her daughter had asked to visit an amusement park, not knowing how ingrained Jim Crow laws and segregation were in the South. Rather than try to explain a tough reality to a child who wasn't likely to understand, she just "okay" but on the condition that she not say anything during the whole outing, to which the daughter agreed. Upon arrival and the expected "I'm sorry ma'am" from the ticket office, the mother started screaming in what sounded like nonsense to the child, and after an escalated exchange and word with the manager, they were allowed in. Years later, the daughter realized that her mother had been screaming in Spanish and attempting to circumvent Jim Crow race codes by passing as a Dominican or Puerto Rican. It's stories like these that really emphasize how much anti-blackness had been ingrained in American racism. And it's pretty sickening how far people back then, and sadly today, would go to discriminate against people of African descent. Racism is terrible and incredibly sickening, and it can happen to anyone. But these stories just go to show how inconsistent racism and racists are.
53 italley89 Interesting. I delivered pizza for Dominos and I had a lot of trouble delivering in areas where the population was majorly black. I'm a white male with a southern accent so I'm sure that had to do with the tension, but I found that if I spoke with a Scottish accent then there was very little tension and the customers I delivered to where very welcoming and polite.
11 jochi1543 After reading Black Like Me...that's an extremely ballsy thing to do.
95 PsychoWyrm That's the thing about Southern Hospitality. Hospitality is for *guests*. People may even find you to be an interesting novelty. But overstay your welcome... And I've known many small town Southern people who are absolutely friendly with black people with foreign accents (Africans, Carribean people), but will barely recognize and even say heinously racist shit about their black neighbours and countrymen. I kinda wonder if it's some sort of "cultural uncanny valley" for them.
71 saturated_ This has to do with the social construction of race. In 2020 the US Census will, for the first time, have "Arab" as a race. Up until then, Middle-Easterners have always been considered white. Whether this is good or bad is up for debate, since having your race defined is a good way to help identify and fix some specific issues within most of the racial category, but could also be used for persecution. I say "social construction" because in the early 1900s with interracial couples becoming more prominent, the race "quadroon" was added because of the massive amount of 1/4th African Americans, and then after that, "octaroon" (1/8th) was added until eventually it was a "one drop" rule where if you have one drop of blood that is black, you're black. The fact that these racial categories change throughout time and location means "race" is socially constructed, and this is entirely due to racism and stereotypes. People forget that Jews were not considered white by any means, but now they've seemed to be adopted by white culture. I guess the point I'm trying to make is, back then there was no reason to think of middle eastern people as anything else but normal people (as it should be)
18 zrx4567 That and he was coffee colored, with a thin nose and lips.