Back when the NY subways used tokens, criminals would jam the slot and then suck out the token with their mouths. To discourage this, subway workers would put hot chili powder in the slots.
In August 1962, New York City cops began patrolling the streets at night while dressed as women. The idea was to trap would-be muggers.
Oasis didn’t take part in making the soundtrack for “Trainspotting”, because Noel Gallagher thought the film was about actual trainspotters.
At the first Olympic marathon, the stopwatch from the start of the race had to be carried by bicycle all the way to the finish line before the first runners arrived.
Richard Nixon had the Secret Service uniform redesigned to closely resemble that of European palace guards. The “toy soldier” uniforms were universally ridiculed and only used for a few months before being mothballed; after a decade in storage they were sold to an Iowa high school marching band.
In 1987, Corona sales plummeted when a rumor spread that their workers were peeing in their beer. The company traced its origins back to Heineken, whom Corona sued for $3 million in damages, but their reputation still suffered and their product was referred to as “Mexican piss water” for years.
Mark Twain initially supported American Imperialism, but, after discovering America’s true motives in the Philippine–American War by reading the Treaty of Paris, he changed his position, saying “And so I am an anti-imperialist. I am opposed to having the eagle put its talons on any other land.”
One of the most sought-after jobs in Venice is that of gondolier. There are only 425 licenses issued, and applicants must be Venetian by birth. Apprenticeships involve over 400 hours of training, and when a gondolier dies the license passes to the beneficiary, who then decides the replacement.
The gym chain Planet Fitness charges between $10 and $20 per month and has, on average, 6,500 members per gym. Most of its gyms can hold around 300 people. Planet Fitness can do this because it knows that members won’t show up.
“Giraffe” is a relatively new term. Before the 1600s they were known as “Camelopards”.