The word “ok” as we know it today, as a synonym for “alright”, is only about 175 years old. It was originally written as a joke that went viral in 1839 by a Boston editorial writer satirizing people’s bad grammar and use of abbreviations, and was an abbreviation for “oll korrect”.
The Austrian wine market collapsed in 1985 when it was discovered winemakers were adding antifreeze to artificially sweeten the wine.
Greenland got its name because the Viking who discovered it was banished from Iceland and felt lonely in his new homeland, so he named and advertised it as the lush ‘Greenland’ to attract settlers, despite the fact that it was actually a completely barren and largely uninhabitable land.
Before the fall of the German Wall, East Germany lacked significant resources to manufacture cars. As a result, the Trabant automobile used recycled cotton waste for the body instead of steel.
Harrison Ford and Sean Connery filmed their conversation scenes onboard the Zeppelin in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade without pants on, because of the hot set.
Charles Redheffer was an American inventor who claimed to have invented a perpetual motion machine, He was later exposed when an engineer found a hidden cord that led to an upper floor. Upstairs he found an old man who was turning a hand-crank with one hand and eating bread with the other.
Danny Elfman came up with the theme to ‘Batman’ on a flight from London but since he couldn’t write music he kept running to the bathroom to record himself on a tape recorder whenever he had a new idea, causing the flight attendants to think he was a junkie.
In 1975 $10 million worth of Huey helicopters had to be pushed off the flight deck of the USS Midway and into the sea to make way for the emergency landing of an aircraft with Vietnamese evacuees on board.
In 1986, nurse Sandra Clarke could not stay with a patient who asked her to stay. When she returned, the patient had died alone. In 2001, she was key in starting No One Dies Alone, a program where volunteers sit with terminal patients who have no one else. The program is now world-wide.