Martin Luther King Jr. Nobel Prize Celebration Dinner Not Well Supported Until Coca-Cola Threatened to Take Company Out of Atlanta

Martin Luther King Jr. speaking at a rally in Crawfordville, Georgia. 11 October 1965.

To celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.'s win of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 an interracial dinner was planned in Atlanta. When local business leaders refused to support the event the then CEO of Coca-Cola threatened to pull the company out of the city out of embarrassment.<--break->

Actual and Advertised Lumber Dimensions Never Match

Building frame.

When is a 2x4 not 2 inches by4 inches? When you actually measure it! In fact, all dimensional lumber commonly used in building construction is called by it's nominal name rather than its actual dimensions, which are always smaller.<--break->

Black Friday Term Origin, Retailers Feared It Would Scare Shoppers Away

1960's traffic jam.

The name Black Friday was originally coined by Philadelphia traffic policemen in 1960 who used it describe how thick the traffic in City Center was the day after Thanksgiving. Retailers tried to change the name because they thought it would scare shoppers away.

Christopher Columbus Facts and Information

Painting of Christopher Columbus after his death by Sebastiano del Piombo, 1519. There are no known portraits of Columbus during his life.

There is much about Christopher Columbus' voyage in history that is often retold inaccurately or is left out, leaving us with an incomplete picture. Columbus is often credited with bravely sailing towards the edge the believed-to-be flat Earth and finding America, neither of which are quite true. The truth is that Columbus didn't bravely sail toward a flat Earth cliff, he knew the planet was a sphere. He also didn't spot America first, he just took credit for it. He did, however, manipulate people, was violent, and facilitated human trafficking and rape on a large scale.


Great Pacific Garbage Patch

Plastic Bottles in Ocean

In 1988 NOAA scientists predicted a section of the Pacific Ocean would contain plastic marine pollution drawn there by converging ocean currents. It was later proven that the prediction was correct and the area is generally referred to as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

Parícutin, Volcano Formation Overnight in Mexico

Parícutin, 1943

The 1943 eruption of Parícutin near the town of the same name in Mexico was the first time scientists have been able to study the full life-cycle of a volcano from first formation, to eruption, and into extinction. This was possible because Parícutin was nothing more than a flat cornfield until 1943 when almost overnight the field transformed into a nearly 1,400 foot high active volcano.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration Defect Levels: Insects, Feces, Mold, and Other Contamination in Food

Moldy cake.

vThe United States Food and Drug Administration has a clear set of guidelines that states what the acceptable contamination levels are for our food. Small levels of contamination are expected and include insect parts, whole insects, insect and mammal feces, mold, and objects like sticks, cigarette butts, burlap bag material, etc.

Deadliest Animal in the World to Humans

Image by Joaquim Alves Gaspar of a female mosquito of the Culicidae family (Culiseta longiareolata). Size: about 10mm length.

The mosquito, due to the diseases it carries, is the deadliest animal on Earth for humans. People fear many animals of all varieties and sizes such as bears, sharks, bats, and spiders. However, the deadliest animal on the planet to humans is more annoying than feared, but the mosquito holds the title of most human deaths far beyond many more feared animals.

Joan Ginther, PhD in Statistics, Wins Four Multimillion Dollar Lotteries

Joan Ginther, serial multimillion dollar lottery jackpot winner.

Stanford PhD student Joan Ginther is either the luckiest women in the world or has a secret she has not revealed. Ginther has won the lottery on four separate occasions playing scratch off tickets with the smallest jackpot being $2 million.

Fire Hydrant Patent Lost in Patent Office Fire

Red fire hydrant.

Frederick Graff Sr., Chief Engineer of the Philadelphia Water Works is credited with the first patent of a fire hydrant system resembling what we have today. Mr. Graff was smart enough to obtain a patent back in 1801 for his idea of a post or pillar hydrant with valves and faucet functions. Unfortunately there is no official record of his patent since the U.S. patent office, and many patents including this one, were destroyed in a fire in 1836.

Booth Saves Lincoln, Booth Kills Lincoln

Edwin Booth circa 1870 as Hamlet.

Shortly before John Wilkes Booth assassinated President Abraham Lincoln his brother, Edwin Booth, saved the life of Abraham's son, Robert Lincoln. Booth didn't know the man he saved was the president's son until months later when he received a letter complimenting him from a mutual friend.

Coroner of First Vehicle Fatality Hoped Such an Accident Would Never Happen Again

Bridget Driscoll, first pedestrian killed by vehicle.

On August 17, 1896 Bridget Driscoll stepped off a curb and into the path of one of the few vehicles in the country. She became the first-ever pedestrian killed by a vehicle in the UK when she died of a head injury minutes later. The onlookers said the driver, Arthur Edsel, was traveling at a reckless pace like a fire engine or good horse. Mr. Edsel's car had a potential top speed of 8 miles per hour, however it was a demonstration car which had deliberately been limited to a maximum speed of only 4 MPH. Edsel argued 4 MPH wasn't reckless plus he had rung his bell and shouted as a warning. Driscoll, apparently stunned by the approaching vehicle, seemed hesitant and bewildered at what was happening before she was hit according to witnesses.

The Birthday Problem

Empty classroom auditorium.

With 365 potential birthdays per year, how many people do you have to put in a room at random until there are two or more with the same birthday? Most people's quick intuition will lead them to think that with 365 days in a year there would need to be somewhere around that many people or more to find two matching birthdays. However, with just 23 people in the room there is a greater than 50% chance that two or more people's birthdays match.

Senior Crayola crayon maker Emerson Moser revealed he was color blind

Assorted Crayola Crayons.

Emerson Moser, a senior crayon maker for Crayola, molded approximately 1.4 billion crayons during his 37 year career with the company. Upon retiring, Moser revealed that he was color blind.

Einstein Thought Rumors He Failed Math Classes Were Humorous

Albert Einstein in his office at the University of Berlin.

It is often said that Albert Einstein failed math in school. The Albert Einstein math failure rumor began in an article that Ripley's Believe it or Not! published while he was still alive, and Einstein found it humorous considering he far exceeded all expectations and school standards.

Speedometer Inaccuracy

Speedometer regulation accuracy infographic

If you've ever noticed those radar signs that show how fast you're driving seem to be a bit off, you're not the only one. This is because most vehicle's speedometers are inaccurate and usually read faster than the vehicle is actually traveling in order to account for errors.

Eating Carrots to Improve Eyesight


Eating carrots will improve your vision, at least that's what you have probably heard. This concept was popularized via wartime propaganda designed to explain why pilots were able to fly so well at night without revealing the new invention of radar technology to the enemy, but there is some truth to it as well.

Mr. Fred Rogers (1928 - 2003)

Mr. Rogers changing shoes during his show's intro

As of publishing this article it has been 10 years since Mr. Rogers' death and about 50 years since his debut as television host on the influential Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood. Other than fond memories of Fred Rogers and his TV lessons, there are many other interesting parts of his life which he was not well known for.

Venus Flytrap Only Native To a 60 Mile Radius, Don't Actually Eat Many Flies

Venus Flytrap beginning to digest a bee.

The Venus Flytrap is only native to a 60 mile radius area in Wilmington, North Carolina and less than 5% of the insects it consumes are flying, with even less of that being flies.

Alfred Nobel Founded the Nobel Prize so People Would No Longer Remember Him As the Merchant of Death

Nobel Prize

During his life and soon after his death Alfred Nobel's name was synonymous with war, weapons manufacturing, and dynamite (his most famous invention). It wasn't until a newspaper prematurely published Nobel's obituary stating "the merchant of death is dead" that Nobel realized he wanted to change his legacy.

GPS Guided Missile? Sorry, No App for That

Missile, not smartphone guided.

Once your cell phone, or any GPS enabled device, detects itself reaching a speed greater than 1,000 knots (1,200 MPH) at an altitude of 60,000 feet or higher it is required to automatically disable itself. This is due to a government regulation created to prevent GPS technology being used to guide intercontinental ballistic missiles.

Stewardess Survived Sinking of Titanic and Two Sister Ships

RMS Titanic departing Southampton on April 10, 1912, four days before sinking.

Most people are aware of the Titanic, known for a short time as being virtually unsinkable, which only managed to last four days of service before colliding with an iceberg and sinking. The Titanic wasn't the only one of its kind though, there were two more sister ships built by the same ship yard, all of which sank relatively quickly and all of which shared a common passenger.

Toxic Avocados

Avocado, delicious poison.

Avocados may be loved by many people but to much of life on Earth they can also be highly poisonous. Dogs, cats, cattle, goats, rabbits, birds, fish, horses and more species have been known to die after eating avocado fruit, bark, and leaves.

False Factoids, Fact vs. Factoid

Factoid - If it's published, it's true?

The word factoid is often used incorrectly by people when they present short bits of verified, correct, and true information. Ironically the word factoid is defined as a statement that is unverified, incorrect, and fabricated and then presented as fact.

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