Shakuntala Devi from India, also known as the human computer, gave the 23rd root of a 201 digit number in 50 seconds. The answer was verified at the US Bureau of Standards by the UNIVAC 1101 computer, for which a special program had to be written to perform such a large calculation.
FBI’s nationwide manhunt to capture depression-era gangster John Dillinger after he broke out of jail cost them about 2 million dollars at the time. The total amount of money his gang looted was around 500,000 dollars.
In 2010, scientists grew slime mold in a dish, placing the mold in a central position representing Tokyo. They placed oats (major cities), and used light (which slime molds avoid) for mountains. The slime mold grew, nearly identically recreating the Tokyo Rail system.
After being told a jet powered car can run on anything that burns, the President of Mexico rode it running on tequila.
Not only are there northern lights (aurora borealis) but there are also southern lights (aurora australis). The southern lights are just as strong as the northern but are more difficult to see due to extremely remote viewing locations.
Upon finding out he won the Nobel Prize for Economics for his work on irrational decision-making, American economist Richard Thaler said he would spend the prize money as “irrationally as possible.”
In 1991 it was discovered that the heart has its “little brain” or “intrinsic cardiac nervous system.” This “heart brain” is composed of approximately 40,000 neurons that are alike neurons in the brain, meaning that the heart has its own nervous system.
In 2014, the Indian government employed 40 people to impersonate monkeys, to scare off real monkeys causing havoc around the parliament in Delhi. The men made screeching noises similar to those of black-faced langur monkeys, imitating their whoops and barks, to frighten red-faced macaque monkeys
Functioning ‘mechanical gears’ were seen in nature for the first time. Previously believed to be only man-made, a natural example of a functioning gear mechanism has been discovered in a common insect – showing that evolution developed interlocking cogs long before we did.
The unfortunately named “Ayds” dieter’s chocolate considered a name change when the AIDS crisis hit. Executives resisted with one saying “The product has been around for 45 years. Let the disease change its name.” – The name was later changed to “Diet Ayds” before being pulled from the market.