The Sopranos creators were often contacted by the FBI and told that actual mobsters, whose conversations were picked up by wiretaps, had plenty to say about the show. They considered the show’s portrayal of the mob life so dead-on, they thought one of their own was was working on the inside.
In New Zealand in 1959, only 21 people out of their entire population of 2.3 million were officially unemployed.
Harriet Tubman escaped slavery in the southerns states, then returned again and again to rescue 70 more enslaved people. Then later, after the Fugitive Slave Act was passed, she helped guide fugitives farther north into Canada. During the American Civil War she helped the Union Army.
In 1984 David Letterman introduced the world to “Velcro Jumping” by proving that with enough Velcro a man could stick to a wall. And by the 1990s, it had become a favorite pub activity in New Zealand.
Elizabeth Blackwell became the first woman to be accepted at a medical school in the US, because the students thought her application was a prank from a rival school and voted to let her attend.
After Kanye West’s mother Donda West died, California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed the “Donda West Law”, legislation which makes it mandatory for patients to receive medical clearance through a physical examination before undergoing elective cosmetic surgery.
When the FBI went undercover to expose the McDonald’s Monopoly promotion scam that occurred between 1989-2001 they posed as a production company that interviewed supposed winners for TV commercials and named it Shamrock Productions with the byline “‘Cause you’re just lucky” printed on their van.
Malta has a total of 359 churches, nearly one for every day of the year. With an area of only 316 square kilometres, the country’s “church density” is slightly more than 1 church per square kilometre. It’s difficult to get lost in Malta because a church will lead you to its village center.
The US National Park Service put out a set of guidelines to avoid being attacked by a bear, such as moving sideways away from the bear and vocalizing to identify yourself as a human. They also advised: “Do NOT push down a slower friend (even if you think the friendship has run its course).”
Buffets are called “vikings” in Japan. This is because a Japanese restaurant manager went to Sweden and liked smörgåsbords so much he copied the idea at his restaurant. This Swedish word was too hard to pronounce in Japanese, so the word “vikings” was used instead after a employee suggested it.