True fact: I love random facts/trivia. I live for them. I feel like the internet age was made for me, because when I wonder about something, I search for answers. One of the best things, when my kids were small, was that whenever they asked something that stumped me, I’d say “I don’t know, let’s find out.” We got a good laugh when our oldest started saying “Google it up!” the way we used to say “Look it up!” Things like, “Why do mountains look purple from far away?”
Answer: The more distant the mountains are, the less contrast the eye sees between the mountains and the sky. The bluish color is caused by an optical effect called Rayleigh scattering. The sunlit sky is blue because air scatters short-wavelength light more than longer wavelengths.
When I was in high school I thought I hated learning. Turns out I just hated high school. As an adult, I love learning – it just has to be learning about what I want to learn about, which could be anything at any given moment. “What are the lyrics” turns into “Lets find out about the band.” I watch a show, I look up the actors. A couple weeks ago, Betty White’s birthday turned into looking up Betty White, who, as an 80’s kid, I knew almost exclusively from Golden Girls. Well, then I found out that she played a character that was the total opposite of Rose, on the Mary Tyler Moore Show (Sue Ann Nivens). Of course, I had to see this. I found an episode on Youtube. I watched it. Next thing you know, I have bought the entire series off Amazon because even though I loosely remember the show from when I was small, I didn’t realize how funny it was. My train of thought don’t follow no tracks. Example, of course the above mountain question led me to “What is Rayleigh scattering?”
Answer: Rayleigh scattering, named after the nineteenth-century British physicist Lord Rayleigh (John William Strutt), is the predominantly elastic scattering of light or other electromagnetic radiation by particles much smaller than the wavelength of the radiation. What does that mean? I have no idea but it sounds cool.
So, here’s my (probably first of many) post of random facts and trivia. Enjoy.
#1 – Horses run around on their toenails. And, just like our toenails, a horse’s hooves are always growing. Source
#2 – Nobody ever said Humpty Dumpty was an egg. In fact, according to this, he might have actually been a cannon.
#3 – Seth MacFarlane has voiced 48 characters on Family Guy alone, and has voiced 168 characters in total. Source
#4 – Bar code scanners scan the white part of the bar code, not the black. The black is just seen as an absence of reflection by the scanner. Source
#5 – Here is a list of Canadian inventions: IMAX Movie System, Pablum, instant mashed potatoes, the Yukon Gold potato, walkie talkies, the BlackBerry, the pager, the 56k modem, computerized braille, the first wheelchair accessible bus, the snowmobile, the electric wheelchair, the first widely used military gas mask, sonar, instant replay, the process for extracting medicinal insulin, the first practical electron microscope, the ebola vaccine, plexiglass, Easy-Off, the jolly jumper, cardiac pacemaker, alkaline battery, caulking gun, electric oven, the egg carton, and a lot of other cool stuff too.
#6 – High heels were originally invented for men, and their use was practical rather than aesthetic – they helped men fit their feet into stirrups while riding horseback. This dates back to 10th century Persia! They also helped the rider steady themselves and use weaponry better. Women didn’t wear high heels until the 18th century, in order to make their feet look smaller and daintier. Source
#7 – How do you get Dick from Richard? You ask him nicely. Har har har! Ahem. Seriously though, way back in the middle ages, people had to write everything by hand and shortened versions of Richard were common, such as “Ric” or “Rich”. This in turn gave rise to nicknames like “Richie’, “Rick”, and “Ricket”, among others. People also used to like to use rhyming names; thus, someone who was nicknamed Rich might further be nicknamed Hitch, someone named Ric might be nicknamed Hick or Dick. Why has Dick stuck around and Hick hasn’t? *shrug* Source
#8 – Barbara Perry has the longest acting career of all time, 84 years to be exact – her work spans from 1933 to 2017. She’s followed by Betty White who currently has 80 years on television and is still going strong. I think Betty White is going to take that title, or at least I hope because Betty White is a phenomenon. Sorry, Barbara Perry, I just don’t even know who you are. Source & Source
#9 – This post was literally named Clickbait, and yet you still clicked on it. I adore you for it. You’re my kind of people, peeps. Keep on being who you are.
#10 – In China, you must obtain official government permission to be reincarnated. Yes, for real. There is a bureau called, and I swear I am not making this up, Measures on the Management of the Reincarnation of Living Buddhas. In 2007, China’s State Administration for Religious Affairs issued a decree that all the reincarnations of tulkus (a reincarnate custodian of a specific lineage of teachings in Tibetan Buddhism) must get government approval, otherwise they are “illegal or invalid”. The decree states, “It is an important move to institutionalize management on reincarnation of living Buddhas.” It’s even funnier than it sounds, considering that the Chinese government is officially atheist. Source
#11 – The opposite of “waterfall” is “firefly”.
#12 – Vaccines. Don’t. Cause. Autism. One of Many Sources
#13 – Paraskevidekatriaphobia or friggatriskaidekaphobia is the fear of Friday the 13th. There, that’s a thing you know now. Good luck figuring out pronunciation, I’m not even going to try.
#14 – Cats bond securely to their owners, as much or possibly even more than dogs do. Most people have an image of cats as aloof, selfish and uncaring. Anyone who owns and loves a cat knows that’s not typically the case, but the myth persists. Source
And finally, my youngest youngling is turning 14 in a little bit, so 14 seems like a good number to stop at.
Education is cool.
And so, adieu.