Russian cosmonauts pee on the rear bus tire before a space launch. The tradition was started by Yuri Gagarin who did it out of necessity and Russians have since emulated him. Female cosmonauts bring along their urine in vials ready to dump on the tire so they can be part of tradition too.
Many of the Space Shuttles parts were produced exclusively by small mom and pop shops. When the shuttle retirement was announced, a lifetime buy of parts was made — when the Shuttle retired, the mom and pop shops retired with it.
The Soviets set up fake border posts at the Czechoslovak borders in order to trick emigrants, making them think they were already in Germany. Once comfortable, they would talk to an “American” agent, revealing their contacts.
Frank Sinatra’s publicist auditioned and paid girls $5 to scream at his early performances to get the crowd excited.
Digital cameras were developed so spy satellites could send images back to earth more quickly. Before digital cameras in 1976, spy satellites used film. After the film was shot, the satellites loaded the footage into capsules and dropped them from orbit into the atmosphere for collection.
Zappos offers new employees $1,000 to quit, after just one week on the job! This strategy is used to create a team of dedicated employees who buy into the customer first culture they want to foster.
Time seems to speed up as we get older because each year we live is a smaller percentage of the total amount of time we’ve been alive. It’s called proportional theory.
There’s a suggestion that our perception of time may be in proportion to the length of our lifespan. Known as the “proportional theory”, this idea posits that as we age, our sense of “present” time begins to feel relatively short in comparison to our entire lifespan.
The WWII era B-29 bomber didn’t require fighter escorts because it had a computer aided gunnery systems that allowed incredible firing accuracy against attackers. One B-29 was attacked by 79 fighters at once, but was able to fight them off and down 7 of them in the process.
In the 1950s, more than 77% of all German government officials and judges were (former) nazis, which is an even higher percentage than during the actual Third Reich itself.
In wealthy cities like San Francisco, chickens have even become an unlikely status symbol, with poultry owners going to unimaginable lengths to care for their pets. As The Washington Post reported in March, certain chicken owners have hired “chicken whisperers” to consult on their pets’ comfort (to the tune of $225 per hour).