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20 facts you’ll like to know: part 1
January 4, 2018
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1. The first webcam watched a coffee pot. It allowed researchers at Cambridge to monitor the coffee situation without leaving their desks.
2. Between 1912 and 1948, art competitions were a part of the Olympics. Medals were awarded for architecture, music, painting, and sculpture.
3. The entire state of Wyoming only has two escalators.
4. The ampersand symbol is formed from the letters in et—the Latin word for “and.”
5. Ravens in captivity can learn to talk better than parrots.
6. The actor who was inside R2-D2 hated the guy who played C-3PO, calling him “the rudest man I’ve ever met.”
7. It’s a myth that no two snowflakes are exactly the same. In 1988, a scientist found two identical snow crystals. They came from a storm in Wisconsin.
8. When Disneyland opened in 1955, “Tomorrowland” was designed to look like a year in the distant future: 1986.
9. Before George W. Bush took office, some Clinton staffers canvassed the White House offices and removed the W key from over 60 keyboards.
10. When the last official Blockbuster Video closed in November 2013, the final rental was the apocalyptic comedy This Is the End.
11. The German word kummerspeck means excess weight gained from emotional overeating. Literally, grief bacon.
12. The collective noun for a group of pugs is a grumble.
13. In 1939, Hitler’s nephew wrote an article called “Why I Hate My Uncle.” He came to the U.S., served in the Navy, and settled on Long Island.
14. According to an analysis by FiveThirtyEight, 44 percent of Bob Ross’s paintings contain at least one “happy little cloud.”
15. On an April day in 1930, the BBC reported, “There is no news.” Instead they played piano music.
16. Johnny Cash’s “A Boy Named Sue” was penned by beloved children’s author Shel Silverstein.
17. Ben & Jerry learned how to make ice cream by taking a $5 correspondence course offered by Penn State. (They decided to split one course.)
18. The word “PEZ” comes from the German word for peppermint—PfeffErminZ.
19. In the 1970s, Mattel sold a doll called “Growing Up Skipper.” Her breasts grew when her arm was turned.
20. Before Sally Ride became the first American woman in space, a reporter asked, “Do you weep when things go wrong on the job?”

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