In 2001, workers took over a struggling factory after their employer refused to provide them with a travel allowance and left the business for dead. Soon, they had made new clients, paid off the factory debts, and raised their salaries. The factory continues to run as a co-operative.
The Filet o’ Fish was invented so Catholics could eat at McDonald’s on Fridays.
Red Bull was actually created in Thailand in 1976 as an energy drink for truck drivers.
In 2004, a NYU student spent 8 months living in the college library due to being unable to afford tuition and room & board despite a $15000/yr scholarship and working 30 hours a week. Upon learning about this, the university gave him free accommodation through the summer.
Radithor, a health drink in the 1920s, contained radium and slowly killed its customers. But it didn’t cause a public health crisis because it could only be afforded by rich people (unlike cheaper, safer knockoffs).
In 1944, Lt Leon Crane bailed out of a malfunctioning plane, survived in Alaskan wilderness for 81 days, and walked 120 miles to safety.
There were homeless shelters where you could sleep for 4 pennies in a coffin, hence the name Four Penny Coffin. For 1 penny you could sit on a bench all night but weren’t allowed to fall asleep. For 2 pennies you could sit on a bench and lean on a rope and catch some sleep.
The last WW2 POW to be repatriated was a Hungarian soldier who sat in a Russian mental hospital for 53 years before a linguist realized that he wasn’t actually talking gibberish.
Japan requires citizens between the ages of 45 and 74 to have their waistlines measured once a year and are expected to fall within an established range. Companies and local governments may face fines if their employees are overweight and do not meet these guidelines.
Some jails offer upgraded cells, for roughly $75 to $127/day, the convicts get a small cell behind a regular door, distance from violent offenders and, in some cases, the right to bring an iPod or computer.