Score
Title
12403
TIL There's a micro-generation called "Xennials" for those born between 1977 and 1985. These people grew up with an analog childhood and a digital adulthood
51601
TIL that Abraham Lincoln once gave a speech so enthralling that reporters in the audience stopped taking notes and now we don't know what he said.
50634
TIL that Tupac's godmother, Assata Shakur, was a Black Panther, Black Liberation Army member, revolutionary and bank robber. She was convicted for the murder of a police officer, escaped prison, found asylum in Cuba, and is still alive with a 2 million dollar American bounty on her head.
4884
TIL that the character of Austin Powers was created by Mike Myers as a persona for his faux 60s rock band Ming Tea. His then wife loved the persona so much that she encouraged him to write a film about the character.
12123
TIL a litter of kittens can have separate fathers due to multiple mates during the mother's heat.
31886
TIL Harriet Tubman, in addition to organizing the Underground Railroad, served with the U.S. Army as a scout, spy, nurse and soldier during the Civil War, leading a raid with the African-American 2nd South Carolina regiment that freed over 700 slaves.
11185
TIL Travelers with a Buddha tattoo will be immediately deported if seen in Sri Lanka.
894
TIL Up to a BAC of about 0.06%, alcohol is a stimulant. If you reach this level and keep drinking, it begins to act as a depressant. This phenomenon is called a biphasic response and it's why many people experience a happy buzz when they first start to drink, but later become agitated
1888
TIL in the year 2000 American Target Shooter Josh Lakatos decided to illegally stay in the Olympic Village and turned an unsupervised building into a playground for sex orgies.
689
TIL the original founders of Tesla were Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning. They created the company's first car, the Roadster, and were eventually ousted by the board of directors.
2068
TIL bluesman R. L. Burnside killed a man and said: "I didn't mean to kill nobody, I just meant to shoot the sonofabitch in the head. Him dying was between him and the Lord."
4250
TIL Radio GTMO, the Armed Forces radio station at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, has a vinyl collection of over 20,000 records, including some albums that exist nowhere else.
2777
TIL there is a woman from Oklahoma who needed her leg amputated due to cancer, so she kept the limb, had it skeletonized, and now runs an Instagram account largely dedicated to taking photos of/with a former portion of her own skeleton.
3680
TIL of the Mountain Jews who were known to be accomplished warriors and horseback riders, typically heavily armed and slept without removing their weapons.
1167
TIL that Hugh Grant got busted for soliciting a prostitute because he kept pressing his brake pedal with his foot while receiving oral sex, causing a police officer to notice the flashing brake light.
22371
TIL whilst filming the movie Entebbe, about a plane being hijacked, a plane was hijacked and landed at the airport on the day of the filming. They then filmed the real hostages being released and edited it into the movie. The producer called it a "blessing from the sky on a day of bad acting."
776
TIL that a Roman goldsmith may have discovered aluminum metal 1800 years before modern chemists did, but Emperor Tiberius had the discoverer killed in order to ensure the metal would not diminish the value of his own gold and silver assets
1904
TIL the Smash Mouth hit song "Walkin' on the Sun" is about the 1992 LA riots.
1004
TIL if you don’t pay a hotel bill in Ontario, there is a law that says that hotel can sell your horse
5122
TIL the early modern olympics used to feature an art competition, with sections dedicated to literature, graphic art, music and more. The Amsterdam Olympic stadium is actually a gold medal winner for architecture.
729
TIL in the 1900s, Radithor was marketed as an energy drink, but was really just distilled water with radium in it. When the first person died of the radiation poisoning, he had to be buried in a lead coffin. His body was still radioactive when he was disinterred years later.
1153
TIL that the flag of Papua New Guinea was designed by a 15 year old school girl who won a nationwide competition to design the national flag
146
TIL of Katsuma Dan, a Japanese marine biologist who studied in the US before WW2 and who saved his marine lab with a note to advancing American forces asking to preserve his scientific work. (note in comments)
940
TIL studies of Vitamin D supplements show they offer a significant chance of preventing cold & flu, while Vitamin C actually has little to no benefit.
243
TIL the longest land border of France is with... Brazil. Because the French Guyana is officially part of France, the 649 km (405.6 mi) contiguous border is longest than any boundaries with European countries. Their longest border in Europe is with Spain, which is 646 km (403.8 mi) long
290
TIL a Jewish woman saved her own life and her sister's life in a German concentration camp by playing Chopin so beautifully that the commanding officer declared "She shall live."
4380
TIL Chevy Chase pissed off SNL's first openly gay cast member by suggesting a skit where they weigh him every week to see if he has AIDS
328
TIL because most of your body's cells are constantly replacing themselves at varying rate, only your central nervous system cells, your eye lens cells, and (for females) your eggs are as old as you are. The cells in other body parts are much younger: intestines - 3 days; lungs - 8 days; etc.
1002
TIL of bog butter—an ancient waxy substance often found buried in peat bogs that was used as a way of preserving butter in ancient Ireland. The butter would gain flavor notes from its surroundings that were namely described as “gamey,” “moss,” “funky,” “pungent,” and “salami.”
95246
TIL the Catholic Church has accepted Darwinian evolution as compatible with Christianity since 1950.
199
TIL of the old grey whistle test. When the first pressing of a record was played to old greys (men in grey suits) any song they could whistle back after hearing it once passed the test. The song was considered a potential hit.
69
TIL that two of the Zodiac killer’s ciphers have been cracked, but the last two codes still remain unbroken. One of which apparently contains the killer’s name, which he sent in a letter to the police to taunt them.
95
TIL of the Greek God Priapus, who was cursed with a permanent erection except when he wanted to have sex, at which point he would become flaccid.
115
TIL a man scratched a will on his tractor bumper while pinned.
1116
TIL it took 49 years to publish the first authoritative English dictionary. It took five years to publish the first part, A to Ant.
120
TIL of Sean Baker a former soldier of the Air Force who was beaten to the point of brain damage by the guards at Guantanamo Bay because of mistaken identity during a training exercise to deal with uncooperative prisoners.
458
TIL that Eric Rudolph, the 1996 Atlanta Olympics bomber, wasn't arrested until 2003. He was digging through a dumpster at 4am when a rookie cop apprehended him.
277
TIL that the first uniform was trademarked in 1963. It was the iconic Playboy Bunny outfit
270
TIL in the 1997 NBA Finals Karl Malone got fouled with 9.2 seconds left in a tied game and went to shoot 2 free throws. Before he got to the line Scottie Pippen told him "The Mailman doesn't deliver on Sundays". Karl's nickname was "The Mailman". He misses both free throws and the Bulls win.
30
TIL of Olympic Figure Skater Surya Bonaly, who, feeling overlooked by the judges, performed an illegal backflip, landing on one skate. She later explained she wanted to please the crowd not the judges.
214 RiceandBeansandChees >Upon his return, Tsien helped lead the Chinese nuclear weapons program. This effort ultimately led to China's first successful atomic bomb test and hydrogen bomb test, making China the fifth nuclear weapons state, and achieving the fastest fission-to-fusion development in history. Great job guys.
90 telenoobies My parents always told me stories about him when I was little. I never really understood the implications. Thanks for posting this.
76 Furryrodian "Congratulations, you played yourself." - probably Qian Xuesen
45 sour_creme important to note that he was the first director of JPL, and because of the red scare, they upended his life in the US by forcing out of a job, denying his us citizenship application, and when you have nothing left, preventing him from returning home. https://www.newyorker.com/news/evan-osnos/the-two-lives-of-qian-xuesen http://www.independent.co.uk/news/obituaries/qian-xuesen-scientist-and-pioneer-of-chinas-missile-and-space-programmes-1819724.html
43 sour_creme whoever wrote that wiki article took pains to make sure he was not protrayed as an american. he was a chinese american, with a green card. he tried applying for us citizenship but was denied. the article tried to spin this as him not able to raise enough money to get us citizenship. there are other biases in the wiki article. "Qian's reputation as a prominent scientist who essentially defected from the United States to China " ????
21 deezee72 These people, like many of the people ITT, don't seem to understand how researchers think. Like Von Braun, Qian Xuesan wasn't doing it because he believed that Rockets were essential to protecting his home country or anything like that. He did his research because he was passionate about rockets and the US military was the best source of funding. If they won't allow him to do research, of course he'll go somewhere else that will, but conversely it's not like he'd go leaking classified information left and right if they had kept him.
11 Xesrac "If I'm going to get punished for something I didn't do, I might as well go ahead and do it!" -This guy, probably.
5 FishySmellz Chinese here, in the version of his story that’s told in school here, he left the US because he was super patriotic and wanted to devote himself to the rise of the “new” China voluntarily. This is a very refreshing perspective to me.
48 Gullible_Skeptic Yup, a friend of my dad is a programmer at JPL and talked about this with us. He was important enough that he got sent to Germany after WW2 to recruit Nazi scientists into the space program but because he was from a communist country with an easily identifiable populace he suddenly became a security threat. They revoked all his clearances and wouldn't let him continue with his research. However because he knew so much about the space program they wouldn't allow him to leave to go back to China for 5 years for fear of what he could teach the Chinese government. When the US finally did release him, the Chinese were more than happy to have him and his 'outdated' knowledge. And it is because of him that the Chinese government is only 5-10 years behind US rocket technology rather than the 30 years behind they should have been if they had started from scratch. Makes you wonder what industry Africa, Latin America or the Middle-East is going to rival the US in a couple decades because we didn't want some brown-skinned scientist 'compromising' our security. =/ Edit: Ooohh, looks like my last sentence pissed off a bunch of T_D snowflakes who were all living under a rock during the travel ban. This should be interesting...
7 AdvocateSaint On a similar note, Robert Goddard's pioneering work on rocketry was mocked during his lifetime, and among the first to take his research seriously were the freakin' Nazis. While he never worked for them, his published knowledge allowed them to build the some of the earliest modern weaponized rockets. When the Cold War and Space Race began after WW2, the US and USSR were trying to recruit as many Nazi scientists as they could, because many of the world's rocket scientists at the time were german. Wernher von Braun spearheaded the design of the the Saturn V, the rocket which brought Apollo 11 to the moon.
7 DKN19 I'm not going to hop into the right vs left debate in all its gruesome glory, but the right still slaps "communist" as a label on anyone they don't like. It's pathetic. I'm sure they have better reasoning, but they keep going back to demagoguery.
7 Fredstar64 自古英雄多寂寞,惟有杜康解千愁。
2 lizongyang Chinese here. not nuclear bomb, but long range missile.
1 Sierra253 Fair enough.