Beginning in 1976 a pseudoscientific pamphlet spread like wildfire across Europe, stating that many common food additives caused cancer – including cellulose and citric acid.
In 1648 a Dutch water board issued a bond that paid 5% interest annually, with no maturity date. That water board still pays interest on the bond today.
Time for some updates.
It’s our 400th post! In most religions originating in the Middle East, the number 40 equals a large unspecific number: 40 days, 40 nights, 40 years should all be interpreted as “many” days, nights, or years.
How high does the high tide go? In the Bay of Fundy, Canada, the difference between high and low tides is more than 16 metres. But at several points in the world’s oceans, called the tidal nodes, the sea level doesn’t change at all.
The parasitic bacterium Wolbachia is common in insects around the world, which makes it perhaps the most common reproductive parasite on Earth. And it doesn’t like males.
Pierre Boulle won the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for Bridge on the River Kwai. He did not write the screenplay, did not accept the award in person, and in fact did not even speak English.
Polyglot programmes run in more than one programming language at the same time. One example runs in C, PHP, and Bash; another one runs in a ridiculous 282 different languages.
Need to hide your smallpox or syphilis scars? Try fake beauty marks made of velvet, silk, or mouse fur.
In nuclear physics terminology, first you need to hit the barn, and next you need to wait for 50 to 100 shakes. And then the bomb blows up.
Tents appear outside a town in early 20th century rural United States. It’s not the circus, it’s the circuit chautauqua: teachers, preachers, musicians, and orators, ready to bring education and religion to the masses.
Since 2000, millions of hours of computer time have been donated by people around the world to determine how proteins fold in the human body. This may help to understand and treat Alzheimer’s, cancer, HIV, flu, and the coronavirus.
In 1605 Miguel de Cervantes published Part 1 of Don Quixote, the first “modern” novel. In 1614 an unidentified author wrote an unauthorized sequel: the first fanfic of the first modern novel.
Mainoumi Shūhei is a legend in the world of sumo for defeating opponents more than twice his weight.
Although the character was inspired by many real-life spies, the author Ian Fleming took the name James Bond from an ornithologist.