TIL that the Colombian army once made a song with Morse code in it and aired it in rebel-controlled territory to lift the morale of hostages held there. The message read '19 rescued, you're next. Don't lose hope.'
TIL that immediately after he gave up absolute power by signing a constitution, King Frederick VII of Denmark remarked, "that was nice, now I can sleep in in the mornings"
TIL of Witold Pilecki, a member of Polish resistance who volunteered to be imprisoned in the Auschwitz death camp to gather intelligence in 1940. He later escaped and was the author of Witold's Report, the first comprehensive Allied intelligence report on Auschwitz and the Holocaust.
TIL the Poorest man in the world is French ex-Societe Generale trader Jerome Kerviel, who has a net worth of -$6.3 billion
TIL of the White Rose which was a non-violent Nazi resistance group made of college students and a professor. It started by releasing pamphlets against the Nazi Party and ended with the execution of 6 students and the professor.
TIL that there is a widespread belief—one with no historical or grammatical foundation—that it is an error to begin a sentence with a conjunction such as and, but or so. In fact, a substantial percentage (often as many as 10 percent) of the sentences in first-rate writing begin with conjunctions.
TIL Half a watermelon in Barrow, Alaska costs $36.96 in late 2017
TIL a study discovered when Christian students were reminded of the "religion and science don't mix" stereotype, their intuitive reasoning dropped while Christian students who weren't reminded of that stereotype performed as well as non-Christians.
TIL that in 1865 the dictator of Paraguay plunged his country into an ill-advised war with Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay. In just five years, Paraguay lost over half its population, including up to 90% of its men. It was arguably the worst military defeat ever suffered by a modern nation state.
TIL that Allen Klein, Rolling Stones manager and owner of the song "Dead Flowers," which plays at the end of "The Big Lebowski," initially wanted $150,000 for it. He was then convinced to let them use it for free when he saw the scene in which The Dude says, "I hate the fuckin' Eagles, man!"
TIL that Ulysses S Grant got a speeding ticket on a horse and was fined $5
TIL: Rebecca Black donated the proceeds from her video "Friday" to charity
TIL that Buddy Holly is the reason Elton John wears glasses. He started wearing glasses at 13 to imitate Holly. Eight months later they had done so much damage to his eyes that he actually needed glasses.
Today I learned of Guugu Yimithirr, an Aboriginal language without words for egocentric/relative directions like "left and right." Rather its speakers are trained to keep track of pure cardinal directions. for example, saying "North leg" when referring to the left leg of an eastward facing person.
TIL that in non-English speaking countries, Dora the Explorer teaches you... English!
TIL scientists at Brown University are developing a robot cat that may one day help cure loneliness among senior citizens. It doesn't need food, exercise, or a litter box, but it can purr on demand and remind them when it's time to take their meds
TIL the HGTV show House Hunters is staged and some houses featured on the show aren’t even for sale
TIL Killer-whale mothers often stay with their adult sons for their entire lives, sharing their prey and knowledge, & that the mother's might also play a direct role in fostering mating opportunities. They really want grand children.
TIL there exists a kind of garlic called "solo garlic" which doesn't have separate cloves but is just one solid piece.
TIL Nigeria's population is expected to not only surpass the US' population by the end of 2050, but to also become the third most populous country by the end of the century
TIL that in C. S. Lewis' Narnia the god Bacchus would sometimes visit, turning all the streams to wine and everyone in the forest would have a drunken party for weeks.
TIL that Peter Jackson made Elijah Wood perform the final shoot for Frodo in Return Of The King many more times than actually necessary because he couldn't bear to say goodbye
TIL the inventor of basketball, James Naismith, was the first coach of the Kansas Jayhawks. He is also the only Kansas coach with a losing record.
TIL that Singapore was expelled from Malaysia, making it one of the few times in history when a country? has voluntarily divested itself of part of its own territory
TIL Canada has a crude oil reserve over 4x the size of America's. North Korea has none.
TIL that JFK, Aldous Huxley and C.S. Lewis all died on the same day.
TIL Napoleon struggled to learn English, and some of his attempts were kept: "Since sixt week j learn the Englich and j do not any progress."
TIL Prince Phillip was 18 years old when World War 2 started. He is still alive at 96 years old.
TIL that Cockroaches can bite humans, but that rarely happens.
TIL of Sir Nils Olav, a king penguin that has been given the title of Brigadier and Colonel-in-chief of the Norwegian Army. He's the third in a line of penguins dating to the 1970s to be named a knight.
TIL DMX, Jay-Z, and Busta Rhymes attended the same junior high school with Biggie Smalls, at the same time.
Today I learned that in Japanese, there is a phrase bushu-suru (??????). In literal terms, this means "to do the bush thing," in reference to a bizarre 1992 incident where George HW Bush fell ill and vomited directly onto the Japanese prime minister.
TIL NASA has Developed a Plan for a Manned Colony in the Atmosphere of Venus
TIL: In 2005 a company named SeaCode wanted to anchor a cruise ship three miles off the coast of Los Angeles, and fill it with up to 600 foreign programmers. The idea was to eliminate visa restrictions, and avoid U.S. labor laws.
TIL that John Quincy Adams was known to go skinny-dipping in the Potomac River during his presidency
TIL in 1946, a local chicken farmer offered 100 chicks for each homer the Nashua Dodgers hit. Newcomer Roy Campanella hit 14 in his first season and sent all 1,400 to his father who used them to start a thriving poultry farm. He also went on to become one of the first black major league players.
TIL in 1962 Marilyn Monroe left most of her estate to her acting coach Lee Strasberg. When Strasberg died in 1982, his wife Anna, who had never known Monroe inherited her estate. In 1999 she auctioned off Monroe's personal belongings for $14 million.
TIL that lawyer and political commentator Barbara Olson was flying to California on September 11th, 2001 to be a panelist on Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher. She was on AA Flight 77 which was hijacked and flown into the Pentagon. Maher left a panel chair empty for a week in her memory.
TIL there is a species of Vegetarian Spider. Bagheera kiplingi eats nutrient-rich buds that grow on acacia plants.
TIL Kurt Vonnegut's brother, Bernard, won an Ig Nobel prize for determining that the ability of a tornado to pluck the feathers from a chicken is not a good method of estimating its wind speed.
Also, the name Enola is a Native American baby name. The meaning of the name Enola is "Solitary". Enola spelled backwards is, of course, "alone".
Enola Gay sounds like bad pig latin for "granola."
This name is gay.
How did an American bomber found a city in Japan?
Inanimate objects cannot be responsible for anything.
TIL that Enola Gay, the bomber responsible for Hiroshima, was named for the pilot's mother. She, in turn, was named after the 1886 novel "Enola; or, Her fatal mistake."