Factstravaganza (ep. 78)
Greetings braniacs WCHS I've got something a little different for you this week between last week's misadventure going into extra innings and the looming deadline of the super secret project. I didn't have the twelve to fifteen hours. It takes to research right record and edit a podcast but what I did have was a collection of something called Moxie moxie minutes sixty to ninety second long info bursts that I had produced on commission for a company that had a social media APP but they dropped me in the sort of stop returning emails kind of way so good better indifferent. I won't mention the name of the company but that left with a wealth of information on a variety of topics to share with you today before any further ado though I want to welcome our newest patron Robin Robin joined just in time to get a bonus mini episode about a particularly wild scandal at a nineteenth century Roman convent Patriot content stays on Patriot. It doesn't come into the main show so checkout patriotic dot com slash your brain lean on facts to see what a modest but sincerely appreciated donation would get you and now our feature presentation. It was a cat elected mayor of Alaska town the small town of Token Alaska some nine hundred residents thrown found themselves Dell's without any mayoral candidates in the nineteen ninety-seven election so the townsfolk wrote in a ginger tabby cat named stubbs or did they while while the story circulated widely it came out later that steps this election was actually a p._r.. Stunt while he wasn't the official mayor stubs did act back to sort of an honorary mayor he would meet with his constituents from his place sitting on the counter in the general store or he'd go next door to the pub where he was given a special racial CATNIP T- stores would sell souvenirs with substance face on them and they saw an uptick in tourism to the tune of thirty or forty people a day. Hey wanting to meet with the mayor are from the most interesting thing tell Ki- does to bring in tourists they host an annual wilderness woman contest where local women improve their physical prowess with games of strength like tossing firewood and hunting Moose and the July Moose dropping festival which is like a scaled buildup version of cow Pie Bingo in which Moose stone is flung from a helicopter every July and on lookers. Try to guess where it will land and why do we have the flavor blue raspberry. When raspberries aren't Lou outside of Blue Corn? You'd be hard pressed to find blue foods in nature. You don't see blueberries. Their skins are purple put their insights are green. So why do we color things blue. When we flavor them raspberry we have to go back to the childhood favorite freezer POPs Like Otter POPs and flav ice those glorious plastic tubes of frozen sugar water without which a summer is wasted manufacturers? I were having a difficult time making colors the corresponded to cherry strawberry watermelon and raspberry distinct enough to tell them apart. It got more complicated needed when the F._D._A.. Band Red Dye number two for causing severe reactions and possibly being carcinogenic it would make for better copy if there was some terribly terribly clever reason the food scientists went to glue next but the simple reason is they had a surplus of blue coloring on hand. They hadn't been able to use yet. We also have to mention the gold medal company that makes icy slush. She's who were also early adopters of Blue Raspberry possibly even the originators depending depending on who you ask why does airline food seem so bad. It's the hallmark of Lisi observational stand up comics. What's the deal with airline food to start with airline? Food has to be made in advance in the vast majority of cases and reheated food is never as good as food. That's cooked fresh but realistically at high altitudes where cooking takes longer in a galley that may be the size of a half bath. If you're lucky there would never be enough time to cook meals for dozens or even hundreds of people but the real culprit here is the air the dry air in an airplane clean cabin tends to suppress our sense of smell which is very important factor in our sense of taste likewise low air pressure and ambient noise further compact the way we taste our food suppressing our ability to taste both sweet and salty for food to taste the same in the air as it does on the ground the the airline food prep service will generally add up to thirty percent more sugar or salt to your meal. You can enhance your airline dining experience by I using a nasal spray to re moisten the passages of the nose or even noise cancelling headphones to block out the irritating background noise why aren't most beers and wines Vegan. You'd be surprised how many animal products are included in the process of making beer and wine. We'll leave aside obvious things like cream liqueurs that have dairy and need that's made from honey. All young wines are hazy due to tiny particles goals like proteins Tannin's and Phoenix. They're perfectly safe to drink but not desirable to the consumer so vineyards breweries use what are called fining agents these helped the particles to precipitate out traditional fining agents include Casey in a milk protein albumin given which is egg whites gelatin made from hooves and connective tissue and isn't glass fish swim bladder that that was the agent of choice for the Guinness Brewing Company but don't worry if you're a Vegan who likes a pint of the black stuff they're no longer using the swim bladders and there are a number of Vegan wines and Beers on the market today that use things like Ben Tonight a type of very fine clay or activated charcoal we'll to make their wines and beers jewel clear. Why are there no be batteries in nineteen twenty four a system of standardized battery sizes and names was developed by industry and government representatives based on the alphabet? The smallest single cell batteries were dubbed a and went on from there to be see indeed there was also a number six battery that was pretty commonly used suet was grandfathered in without a name change as battery technology improved and batteries got smaller new sizes of batteries were made such as AA and aaa these newer batteries arteries were the right size for the growing consumer electronics market so they Liam and hydrogen devices but single A and B batteries simply didn't have much for market and have more or less disappeared in the U._S.. They are still out there. Though a batteries were used in early model laptop battery packs be batteries are still sometimes used in Europe for lanterns and bicycle lamps. There are also F- batteries which you can probably buy at your local store. They're the big lantern batteries used in flashlights slights. Should you treat a jellyfish stained by peeing on it. The thing that's hurting you and a jellyfish. Sting is an immodest. That's the barbed venom dispensing sell in a jellyfish Stinger while you're rea- would help to remove the bits of tentacle human urine is to dilute it also contains salt which triggers that analysists to fire more venom into the skin all you're doing by whipping bring it out and peeing on your friend with jellyfish sting is embarrassing yourself and potentially making your friendship a little awkward trying to scrape away the tentacles says the first step could also be bad as the pressure would trigger the nomad assists as wood alcohol whether rubbing alcohol or say beer other other home remedies like shaving cream baking soda seawater and my mother's tried and true meat tenderizer also have no effect. Your best bet is vinegar. It prevents the maddest from firing off more venom so if you get stung by jellyfish poor vinegar occur on the affected area and have someone with gloves remove the singers with tweezers then counter intuitively you want to apply heat to the area not cold does the position of a horse's hooves on a statue. Tell you how it's writer died. There's more standing mm folk wisdom that you can tell how a soldier commemorated in a statue died by the position of his horses hoops supposedly one hoof off the ground means that he was wounded in battle to hooves mean that he died in the battle and all four hooves on the ground means that he survived every battle unharmed. This is purely folklore with no foundation in history. It's been passed from word to mouth and even written down as fact for for so long that it's difficult to trace its origin if you look at the thirty plus equestrian statues around Washington D._C.. You'll see that only about one one in three fits this set rule Richmond Virginia with its civil war general statues on Monument Avenue doubles down on on the folklore by saying that statues facing to the north are of men who died in battle and those facing south survived however five of the eight statues are facing east. How likely is there to be poisoned or razor blades in your children's Halloween Candy? It's a fear ear that's been propagated for forty years apples and razor blades poison in candy parents checking the wrappers to make sure they're intact or even taking bags of candy to local hospitals or police stations to have it ex rate. It may be much ado about nothing U._C._l._A.. Sociologist Joel who'll best looked at records for the period between nineteen fifty eight and two thousand eight and found seventy eight cases of foreign objects or substances senses in Halloween Candy so slightly more than one case per year in a country of over three hundred million people two of the reported cases it resulted in deaths but were later found not to have arisen from candies received while trick or treating one case was of a child who found his uncle's heroin stash and overdosed and the family then blamed it on Halloween candy another was of a father who poisoned pixie sticks that he gave out to random children to cover his tracks when he planned to kill his own children for life insurance money the first case of a sharp metal object intentionally put into Halloween. John Candy didn't come up until the year two thousand in many of the cases Joel best reviewed the objects were actually put into the food by the people who reported with them as a prank or a desperate bid for attention. I'm not telling you how to raise your kids but their Halloween candy is probably okay why why does coffee make you poop fifty three percent of women and nineteen percent of men report that coffee exonerates the battles. The scientific tiffin reason for this is still unclear. It's not that researchers have no idea they have too many ideas each of them as half right as the last last caffeine definitely plays a role but it's only one piece of an ensemble caffeine contains colon stimulating agents that create parasol astonishes the wavelike muscle contractions in the intestines that move things along we know about this increased muscle activity through the selflessness of study volunteers tears who agreed to the use of a probe during the study and to whom we owe our gratitude however decaf coffee also has a laxative effect and and other caffeine containing products like energy drinks. Don't coffee contains over a thousand organic compounds including multiple kinds of acid a compound hound called chloride genyk acid triggers higher bile production and higher production of gastric acid X. orphans in coffee both regular and decaff caused our bodies to release the hormones gasoline and coal assist Keinan which encouraged movement of the intestines coffee is also high in Magny Siham which can make people poop and there are yet more potential causes that will have to go unnamed for now. How did tootsie Rolls Candy Save lives during the Korean War tootsie rolls hold the distinction of having saved the lives of American troops during the battle of Chosin Reservoir during the Korean War and the entrenched Marines outnumbered outgunned suffering below zero temperatures and running out of mortar rounds they couldn't made it out of the battle of Chosin Reservoir credited the tootsie rolls for their survival and referred to themselves as the chosen few why I do phone keypads run one to nine but calculator keypads run nine to one in the late nineteen fifties. Bell laboratories was designing a push-button but an alternative to the old rotary telephone. The only device in common use at the time with a numerical keypad were adding machines early calculators so why didn't bell copy that layout one widely circulated theory is that bell labs reversed the calculator layout to create a small amount of strategic confusion infusion to slow down the caller both ensuring they hit the right numbers and slow down the numbers being sent to the switchboard. Bell labs actually tested a number of layouts from two columns two circles to strange shapes. The study concluded that the three by three version with one two three in the top row was the easiest people to master also when it came time to match letters of the alphabet up to the numbers putting one two three at the beginning made more sense to line up with the beginning of the alphabet but how did the calculator layout come to be bell labs contacted all of the leading calculator manufacturers news to find out why they had chosen to put low numbers at the bottom and high numbers at the top it turns out that decision was largely arbitrary. That was the way the first adding machine had been designed to. That's what everyone else did. Why are people so put off by the word moist researchers from Oberlin College in Ohio and Trinity University in San Antonio Ran Three different experiments to figure out how many people really find the word word moist unpleasant and why more than twenty percent of the population studied was averse to the word but not because of the way it sounds rather its association with bodily functions seemed to turn people off most whether they realized it or not the younger the study participants were the more likely they were are to dislike the word the more discussed the associate with bodily functions the less they like the word. Mois most of the participants who told the researchers they hated the word word chalked it up to the phonics to them. It just sounds ugly and gross. However people didn't show the same version two words like foist amd rejoiced that utilize the same sound people found the word moist most disgusting when it was accompanied by unrelated positive words it's like paradise or when it was accompanied by sexual words by contrast when it accompanied food words people weren't as bothered seems obvious obvious. No one wants damp cake. What's the difference between a mortician a funeral director and an undertaker generally speaking the turns funeral director and mortician are often interchangeable mortician means a person who handles the body in preparation for for a funeral funeral director typically means someone who owns the business and many people do both undertaker is an antiquated euphemism awesome that refers to someone who handles or undertakes all aspects of the Post death process. Now things get trickier when you get to coroner earner and medical examiner coroner varies widely from place to place it can be an elected or appointed position. Sometimes it's the local funeral enroll director for a sheriff's deputy. This is the person with the legal authority to order an autopsy in the case of a suspicious death in many areas particularly. If that person is also a mortician they may perform the autopsy but coroners are not necessarily required to be doctors or have any he sort of degree. A medical examiner on the other hand must have a degree in medicine but is not necessarily a forensic pathologist. Where does the word muppet come from homer. Simpson said it's not quite a mop. It's not quite a puppet. The other prevailing wisdom system is that the word is a Portmanteau of Mary Annette and puppet. This misconception has significant staying power because it was actually bolstered by Jim Henson himself in the early days of the muppets television career. Henson identified that as the origin of the word mother later he would admit that it was a nonsense word that he had made up and he just liked the sound of it but making it sound like a combination of two other words gave it validity the word muppet predates the muppet show considerably as it was created during Henson's run with the show salmon friends a series of shorts that ran from nineteen fifty five to nineteen sixty one on the N._B._C. affiliate in Washington DC where we see the first incarnation one of Kermit the frog who as Legend States was made from Henson's mother's old overcoat and a ping pong ball cut in half. What is a second cousin twice removed. Let's start with the easiest relation here your cousin. They're the children in your aunts and uncles. A second cousin is someone who has the same great grandparents but not the same grandparents third fourth and fifth cousins mean. You're going back that many generations for common ancestry for example. A fourth cousin has the the same great great great grandparents as you when the word removed is used to describe a relationship it indicates that the the two people are from different generations. The term once removed means that there's a difference of one generation for example. Your mother's first first cousin is your first cousin once removed this is because your mother's cousin is one generation younger than your grandparents whereas your two generations younger than your grandparents this one generation difference equals once removed twice removed with me that there is a two generation ration- difference. You are two generations younger than the first cousin of your grandmother so you and your grandmother's cousin our first cousins <music> twice removed. Why does orange juice tastes so awful after you brush your teeth the credit or blame here goes goes to Sodium Laurel Sulfate. It's a surfactant a substance that creates a satisfying froth by lowering the surface tension of water in this case in your saliva which allows more bubbles to form sodium sulfate also suppresses the tongues sweetness receptors and it destroys phospholipids pits these are fatty compounds that inhibit the bitter receptors with the sweet receptors out of commission and the bitter receptors in full force. Orange juice loses all of its appeal. Recent research also shows that the fluoride in toothpaste may react with the acidic acid in the juice but results to bolster. This theory are limited to be on the safe side. Remember the old adage beer before liquor. Never sicker toothpaste toothpastes before orange juice. Dead is the toilet seat the dirtiest thing in your house we naturally think of toilets is being dirty but not only is the toilet seat not the dirtiest thing in the house. It's not even the dirtiest thing in the bathroom. The Bathroom Faucet May contain twenty times the Bacteria Korea of the seat which is still only half as much as your kitchen faucet computer keyboards have been found to have a whopping four hundred times the bacteria of the toilet toilet seat and wipe down your cell phone that thing that touches your face because it can have seven times the bacteria of the toilet seat British researchers. I found that the average handbag is three times dirtier than a toilet seat with a daily use handbag regularly being ten times dirtier. How does that happen from setting your purse on the bathroom floor. Which is why you should never put it on. The kitchen counter in the kitchen. You're cutting board is a wonderland for fecal bacteria with two hundred times as much but it's still not the worst when Arizona researchers collected one thousand dishcloths and sponges from kitchens they found around each square inch of the surfaces contained about one hundred and thirty four thousand bacteria including Salmonella four hundred and fifty six times the number on on a toilet seat dishcloths sponges harbor these bacteria because they're not changed as frequently as they should be. How much did the creator of Tetris petrous make in royalties. The short answer initially nothing. Tetris is far and away the best selling video game of all time spawning remakes and ports since it was created more than thirty years ago. Alexey Patch enough device tetris in one thousand nine hundred five while working for the Soviet Academy. Let me of science in Moscow as a way to test the computer hardware he worked with at the time there was no video game industry in Russia which was still part of the Communist. Soviet be at Union Tetris was marketed internationally under Perestroika Mikhail Gorbachev's plan to open up the Soviet economy by dabbling and capitalism. The game was a huge success selling forty million copies but pageant off never received a ruble not one single kopek because has Patchett NAF was working for the government using their equipment when he created Tetris the government retained the rights to the game with no royalties being paid to him after the Soviet Union was dissolved in one thousand nine hundred one pageant Nov moved to the United States but the Russian government still maintain licensing rights to Tetris is it wouldn't be until nineteen ninety-six when the rights for the game past paget Naf who then set up the Tetris company making new versions of the game and seeing unprecedented success in illegally blocking Copycat Games. What's the difference between a symphony and an Orchestra Orchestra Orchestra is a broad term for any ensemble with lots of string instruments fewer than fifty string players is a chamber orchestra more than fifty is a Symphony Orchestra Chamber Orchestras Play Unsurprisingly Chamber music such as Haydn Mozart evolved e on the flipside a symphony orchestra can boast more than one hundred players divided into strings woodwinds bass and percussion as the name suggests they play symphonies more complex pieces that usually require at least two dozen different instruments think Beethoven Brahms and Wagner essentially if an orchestra is big enough to play a symphony. It's a symphony orchestra but what about Philharmonic. A philharmonic is the same size as a symphony but the term is used to set one ensemble apart from another such as how Brooklyn has vote the Brooklyn Philharmonic and the Brooklyn Symphony so symphony orchestra is a generic term whereas Philharmonic Orchestra is part of a proper name. Why does bright light make a sneeze. It's a question that perplexed even the Great Greek philosopher Aristotle Twenty three hundred years ago when he asked why does the heat of the sun provoked sneezing but not the heat of a fire it has nothing to do with heat but it is a recognized condition called phobic sneeze reflex or autosomal dominant compelling feeling Hugh Leo ophthalmic outburst or a chew it affects up to thirty three percent of people with two thirds of those being female and ninety four percent being Caucasian. The leading theory is that the solar sneezes might come from a glitch in the tri. jemele nerve also also known as the fifth cranial nerve. It's the largest and most complex paired nerve in the head with three major branches leading to the is nasal cavity and Shaw. It's a crowded place in terms of nerve signaling so it's not surprising that the TriGem no nerve would occasionally cross talk or get. The reflexes is wrong. Bright Light Causes Your pupils to contract and the signal is mistakenly sent to your nose as well. Why is it so much easier to remember music than information. That's heard or read. The first key is repetition. When was the last time you listen to a song even even one. You didn't like only one time. Due to the way our brains use networks to store and retrieve information it becomes much easier to find information that has is more associations think of each association as a route to the information when he remember a song you'll remember the tune the lyrics ext the singer's voice instruments etc just as it's easier to find a location with lots of roads going to it. It's easier to recall a memory that has lots of Associations Association's. It's also worth considering the power of rhythm and rhyme studies have shown that simply making things rhyme greatly aids recall recall both the number of beats and the rhyme provide clues to what the next line will be if the first two lines are. Mary had a little lamb who's fleece was white white as snow. You know you're looking for a word that rhymes with snow in roughly the same number of syllables or beats. This greatly reduces the number of candidates. Your brain green has to consider and helps you find the right answer much more quickly. I hope you enjoyed that smorgasbord of facts. was there one that you found particularly particularly surprising. Share it on social media and tag us as your brain on facts on facebook and instagram and brain on facts pod on twitter. Thanks for spending part of Your Day with me <music>.