During Islam’s Golden Age, after having a dream of meeting Aristotle, the Caliph (Ruler) ordered all his books to be translated into Arabic, and whoever did it would be given its weight in gold.
In 1956 Paul Hogan shocked the art world by unhooking an Impressionist masterpiece from a wall in the Tate Gallery (London) and carrying it calmly out of the gallery. Despite being photographed by journalists while he was stealing it, he’s never been prosecuted.
Maya Lin, designer of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in DC, faced harassment based on her ethnicity after her design was picked, including presidential candidate Ross Perot calling her an “egg roll”.
Conservationists in South Africa are infusing a special red dye into the horns of live rhinos. The mixture renders the horn completely useless to poachers trying to sell it commercially, and is also toxic for human consumption.
A recent study showed 25% of US drivers making a turn failed to use signals correctly. 48% of US lane changers failed to use signals. Such failures are responsible for up to 2M preventable accidents a year.
Director Stanley Kubrick, known for his endless takes and long production schedules, was obsessed for months over the proper response to a fan letter from the great director Akira Kurosawa. Following many unsent drafts over several months, Kurosawa died before Kubrick could reply.
A 14 year old girl in the UK was accused of racism by her teacher, and was arrested. She was participating in a group project and her group consisted of several Asian students of whom only one spoke English. She simply wanted to be in a group that spoke English.
The feeling we get when we see something so cuddly that we want to squeeze it actually has a name. It’s called “cute aggression”.
The “women are wonderful” effect is a phenomenon found in psychological research in which people associate more positive attributes with women as compared to men. This effect reflects an emotional bias toward women as a general case. Women’s in-group biases are 4 times stronger than men’s.
NASA scientists have described Lake Untersee in Queen Maud Land, Antarctica, as one of the most unusual lakes on Earth with a pH like that of strong Clorox.
When Queen wanted to release “Bohemian Rhapsody”, various executives told them that a song with a length of 5 minutes and 55 seconds was too long and would never be a hit. They even played it to other musicians who claimed that the song had “no hope” of being played on the radio.
A Japanese interpreter once translated a joke that Jimmy Carter delivered during a lecture as: “President Carter told a funny story. Everyone must laugh.”
A sailor who wishes to grow a beard in the Royal Navy has to submit a ‘permission to stop shaving’ form. He is then allowed two weeks to ‘grow a full set’ before he presents himself to the Master at Arms who will decide if his beard looks stupid or is respectably full enough to be permitted.
The Earth’s oceans absorb 25% of the carbon dioxide (CO2) that is released into the atmosphere every year. However, because of the increasing amounts of CO2 into the world’s atmosphere, the world’s oceans are slowly turning acidic.