The United States Department of Agriculture says a sandwich must contain at least 35 percent cooked meat and no more than 50 percent bread.
The Coast Guard trained pigeons to assist in finding people lost at sea. They sat in a dome attached to a helicopter, pressing a lever after spotting life preservers or debris. They had a 90% success rate in initial trials.
During the first battle of the American Civil War, hundreds of civilians from Washington DC brought picnic baskets and came to watch the battle, sure the Union would easily win. The Union lost, and the civilians were caught in the retreat of the Northern army.
The ‘Chinese Fire Drill’ was coined when a British officer miscommunicated instructions to his Chines crew, resulting in them pulling water from the starboard side and immediately dumping it on the port side, completely bypassing the ‘putting out the fire’ step.
Lighthouse keepers constantly went nuts due to mercury poisoning from the fresnel lens lamps they used combined with isolation. It was a major issue for the USCG until a doctor took a look at the huge pool of mercury sitting under the lens.
Hat making in the past involved prolonged exposure to mercury vapors, causing poisoning which symptoms are sensory impairment (vision, hearing, speech), and a lack of coordination. this inspired terms like “Mad as a hatter” and of course, the mad hatter of Alice in wonderland.
An inmate filed a $5 million lawsuit against himself, claimed he violated his own civil rights by getting arrested – then asked the state to pay because he has no income in jail.
George Lucas built his $4 Billion ‘Star Wars’ empire by accepting a salary of $125K instead of $1M in the first Star Wars movie, but keeping the right to direct sequels and licensing (sell toys, posters, T-shirt, etc.)
US government placed beer near a nuclear explosion in 1956 to see if it would still be drinkable after a nuclear fallout, and it was.