In 1879 it was estimated the Oxford English Dictionary to take 10 years for completion, but in five years they’d only reached the word “Ant”. After crowdsourcing readers to help it was completed 44 years later. The publishers now estimate it would take a single person 120 years to just type it.
Between the 1840’s and 1940’s there was an idea that couples did better to sleep in separate beds. People thought if couples slept together the sleeper who was weaker in some way (such as older) would absorb vitality from the sleeper who was stronger in some way.
In the 1970’s after the popularity of Bruce Lee films, nunchucks were made illegal in many countries including the U.S. They were (incorrectly) believed to be extraordinarily dangerous and still remain illegal to possess in CA and MA. NY’s nunchuck ban was ruled unconstitutional in 2018.
All New Yorkers used to have to move on May 1st if their lease expired. It was known as “Moving Day” which led to massive traffic jams.
In the early 90s John Travolta’s career was over until director Quentin Tarantino asked to meet. Quentin made John play board games from his past movies and had him recite famous lines to his past films. At the end of the evening Quentin offered the part of Vincent in Pulp Fiction.
Beverly Hills, California is named after Beverly Farms, Massachusetts, which was named after the town Beverley in Yorkshire England, which came from the name “Beverlac” in the 10th century, meaning “beaver lake,” because of all the beavers in the nearby river.
In 2014, scientists found a giant 30,000 year old virus in Siberian permafrost. The virus, Pithovirus sibericum, was still infectious and began killing amoebas. This raised concerns that melting or drilling arctic ice could unearth previously undiscovered pathogenic viruses.
Police in Finland believe they have caught a car thief with the help of a dead mosquito they noticed inside an abandoned vehicle. Police saw that the mosquito had recently sucked blood and decided to send the insect for analysis, and the DNA matched the man on the Police Register.
After Chairman Mao gifted mangoes to workers during China’s Cultural Revolution, a mango cult developed, with workers preserving mangoes in formaldehyde and making wax mango replicas. Workers worshipped mangoes, holding processions that celebrated them and equating them with Mao’s image.
The original drummer of The Offspring became a medical doctor. During a malpractice lawsuit against him he saved a jurors life causing a mistrial by tainted jury pool.