DIDN’T KNOW THAT LAST WEEK – 21st April 2021

DIDN’T KNOW THAT LAST WEEK – 21st April 2021

jeanniejeanniejeannie.co.uk BLOG Wednesday 28th April 2021



DIDN’T KNOW THAT LAST WEEK – 21st April 2021

1              Poet-God Bob Dylan Plagiarizes Sparknotes. Bob Dylan, the man who wrote “Blowin’ in the Wind” and “Visions of Johanna” and hundreds of other music masterpieces, apparently didn’t have the time or inspiration to write his own Nobel Prize in Literature acceptance lecture, so he used Sparknotes, a kind of online CliffNotes usually reserved for lazy college students who can’t be bothered to read a book. Dylan got caught quoting lines from Moby-Dick that weren’t actually in the novel, other than the Sparknotes summary. Which technically doesn’t mean he plagiarized, he’s just crummy at pretending to read books. It’s like finding out Dan Rather doesn’t know anything about what’s happening in the world other than what he’s skimmed on Wikipedia.

2              There’s George W. Bush Nostalgia. We’re not talking about conservatives. We’re talking about Americans who identify themselves as liberal. When somebody brings up George W. Bush, our 43rd president, many registered Democrats will smile, maybe even sigh, like somebody just reminded them of lazy summer days on the beach, or their favourite teacher from grade school, and they’ll say, “God I miss him.”

3              Cassette Mix-Tapes Are Back. Vinyl was bound to make a comeback. But cassettes? How did that happen? Were people just getting nostalgic for when music used to melt in the back seat of Nissan Maximas? Apparently so, because even Eminem is re-releasing his breakthrough The Eminem Show on cassette.

4              The blob of toothpaste that sits on your toothbrush has a name. It’s called a “nurdle.”

5              Terrorist instructions were once replaced with cupcakes. Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service once hacked an Al-Qaeda website and replaced the bomb instructions with a cupcake recipe.

6              One Norwegian town has a super ironic name. There’s a village in southern Norway actually named “Hell.” And get this: every winter it freezes over! (See the main photograph. Hell railway station “Frozen Over!”

7              People hate privacy policies (and reading the fine print in general). It would take 76 workdays (if you work an eight-hour day) to read every online privacy policy you agree to in an average year.

8              Walmart has a lower acceptance rate than Harvard. Harvard might be hard to get into with a 4.5 percent admittance rate but try this on for size: only 2.6 percent of Walmart applicants are accepted. How ’bout them apples? Now, we realize that this comparison isn’t exactly flawless, but you have to admit that it’s a funny fact.

9              Flowers like Viagra. Here’s a funny fact: If you put some Viagra in a vase, it will make flowers stand up straight for a week beyond when they would normally wilt, according to one study conducted by Israeli and Australian researchers.

10           Nabokov may be the real inventor of emojis. Russian author Vladimir Nabokov came up with the idea for smiley emoticons in 1969.

11           Latin America has flowers that look like lips. There’s a flower in the rainforests of Central and South America that resembles a puckering mouth covered in lipstick. It is called Psychotria Elata.

12           President Coolidge had a childish sense of humour. Believe it or not, the 30th U.S. president thought it was hilarious to push the emergency buzzer on his desk and then hide when the Secret Service came running.

13           Cows don’t like Willie Nelson. Here’s a funny fact for you: A dairy cow will produce up to 3 percent more milk when listening to music. But they produce much less when listening to country music, especially Willie Nelson. They need something with a good beat.

14           More than half of Shakespeare’s characters die in the same way. William Shakespeare had a flair for the dramatic, but he also relied on some tried and true tropes, including the ways he killed off his characters. When The Guardian broke down data from Open Source Shakespeare in 2016, they found that the majority of fatalities (54 out of the 100 deaths in all of his plays) were due to stabbings. The second most common cause of death was being poisoned, although just four characters met their maker this way

15           There are polka-dotted zebras. Zebras are known for their striking black and white stripes, but it turns out that not all of the creatures are born with a lovely lined pattern. In fact, some rare zebras are born with spots, such as the polka-dotted baby zebra (seen above) that was spotted in Kenya’s Masai Mara National Reserve in 2019. Named Tira, the foal has a coat that is primarily dark but has white dots, a colouring thought to be due to a genetic mutation called pseudomelanism. Although the little one looks quite a bit different from the rest of his family, he seems to be fitting in just fine.

16           The oldest surviving banknotes are from 1375. Trading goods and services for currency is a system that has existed around the world for thousands of years. However, the oldest surviving banknotes are the Da Ming Tongxing Baochao (Great Ming Circulating Treasure Note) from China, which were initially printed between 1368 and 1398. When the value of the money crashed, the banknotes were simply stashed away and forgotten, which is how some managed to survive, according to Guinness World Records.

17           Eggshells are being used to grow new human bones. Chicken eggshells are mostly made up of calcium carbonate, a substance that also exists in human bones. That’s why researchers at the University of Massachusetts Lowell (UML) believe that eggs are ideal for growing new bone for humans who have suffered injuries to their own skeleton. “There is a great need for developing new and functional materials to repair and regenerate damaged bone,” Gulden Camci-Unal, a professor of chemical engineering at UML who led the research, told Smithsonian magazine in 2019. “At our lab, we like to take unconventional approaches; we look at nature and try to see what we can use that already exists.”

18           Nettle pudding is one of the oldest recipes in the world and goes back 8,000 years. If you like to tackle old-school recipes, then how about trying out the oldest known recipe in the world? Researchers at the University of Wales Institute tested an ancient recipe for nettle pudding, which dates back around 8,000 years. Although nettles are a plant that your parents may have warned you to stay away from as a child, according to researcher Ruth Fairchild, when it’s cooked with ground-down barley and water, “the sting goes out of it.”

19           Violet Jessop survived three of the largest ship disasters in history. Violet Jessop may be one of the luckiest or unluckiest women in history, depending on how you look at it. The ocean liner stewardess not only survived the sinking of the Titanic in 1912, but she was also present during the Olympic ship collision in 1911 and on board during the sinking of the Britannic in 1916 (Olympic and Britannic were Titanic’s sister ships). Miraculously, none of the disasters could take Jessop down and she lived to be 83, passing away in 1971.

20           The word “friends” is said in every episode of the show Friends. Thanks to modern streaming services, you can watch an episode (or five) of Friends whenever you’d like. And if you’re observant, you might notice that the word “friends” is said in every single one of the 236 episodes of the show, according to Cosmopolitan.

21           Grave robbers once stole Charlie Chaplin’s body. Charlie Chaplin may have become famous for making people laugh, but what happened to his body after the performer’s death is downright creepy. Following Chaplin’s passing on Christmas Day in 1977, his remains were laid to rest in a cemetery in the Swiss village of Corsier-sur-Vevey, which lies in the hills above Lake Geneva. However, just a few months later, on March 2, 1978, two men stole the body and contacted Chaplin’s widow, Oona, to demand $600,000 for the return of the corpse while also threatening her children. A police investigation resulted in the arrest and conviction of the robbers and the recovery of the body, which was later reburied in a concrete grave.

22           Crows can recognize individual human faces and hold grudges. It’s probably best not to get on a crow’s bad side. According to one 2008 study by wildlife researchers at the University of Washington—plus tons of anecdotal evidence from wildlife biologists—the highly intelligent birds are capable of remembering individual human faces, even if those who have wronged them wear a disguise. So how do crows show their distaste? They scream. “The birds were really raucous, screaming persistently,” one volunteer in the crow study told The New York Times. “And it was clear they weren’t upset about something in general. They were upset with me.” Sounds intense!

23           Readers are more likely to agree with an essay if it’s printed in Baskerville font. Some fonts are pleasing to the eye while others irk readers for one reason or another. But it turns out that the fonts we like (and don’t like) influence us more than we may know. In an experiment for The New York Times, readers who were shown an essay in Baskerville were more likely to agree with the argument than if it was presented in any other font. Readers were least likely to agree with statements made in fonts like Comic Sans and Helvetica.

24           People in medieval times walked different than we do now. Back in medieval times, shoes were basically thin strips of leather that covered the foot and didn’t provide much protection at all. Because of this, people walked the same way we naturally do when we’re barefoot: toe first, which allows us to test the surface in front of us and puts less stress on our knees. Frankly, it’s how humans walked for millennia before modern-day shoes came along, which keep our feet much safer so we can step down harder with our heels first.

25           Princess Leia’s hair in Star Wars was inspired by real Mexican rebels. Star Wars may have taken place “a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away,” but the movie-makers responsible for coming up with Princess Leia’s iconic hairstyle for the film were inspired by some very real-life warriors. In particular, the soldaderas, or the female Mexican rebels who fought against the dictatorship of Porfirio Díaz around the beginning of the 20th century. It’s believed that director George Lucas based Leia’s double buns on a picture of Clara de la Rocha, who was a colonel in the Mexican Revolution.

26           An archaeologist discovered a 5,000-year-old brewery in China. Kicking back with a pint isn’t as modern as you might think. In 2016, archaeologists in the Central Plain of China discovered “beer-making tool kits” in underground rooms that were built between 3400 and 2900 B.C. The equipment included funnels, pots, jugs, and a pottery stove. Scientists used the residue they found inside of the tools to deduce the 5,000-year-old beer recipe, which they published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of the Sciences.

27           The FBI once investigated a song for two years. As far as national security goes, songs are typically fairly harmless. But back in the 1960s, parents across the country became upset by a rumour that claimed the song “Louie Louie” by The Kingsmen contained inappropriate subliminal messages. The FBI stepped in and spent more than two years putting the tune through various audio tests. And despite producing a 120-page report, the feds merely concluded that the song is “unintelligible at any speed.”

28           Four seconds is the perfect length of time to dunk your Oreos in milk. If you like to enjoy the classic combination of milk and cookies, but hate when your cookie gets too soggy, you’re not alone. That’s why researchers at Utah State University in 2017 conducted tests to determine the ideal length of time you should let your cookie soak in milk. Their findings? Four seconds. That timeframe is backed up by a professor of physics at the University of Bristol who came up with a complicated equation in the 1990s that determined that the ideal length of time for dunking a British biscuit was three-and-a-half to five seconds.

29           Picasso’s full name was 23 words long. Picasso is one of the most famous names in the art world. But it turns out his real name was actually a little longer than what we’re used to hearing. In fact, it was a lot longer. The painter’s full name was Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Martyr Patricio Clito Ruíz y Picasso.

30           The most relaxing song ever is “Weightless” by the Marconi Union. If you need to relax, try putting on “Weightless” by the Marconi Union. A 2017 study led by David Lewis-Hodgson, PhD, of Mindlab International, found that the tune is the “most relaxing song on Earth,” reducing listeners’ stress and anxiety by 65 percent. The song was so successful when it came to chilling people out during the study, that Lewis-Hodgson said, “I would advise against driving while listening to the song because it could be dangerous.”

BONUS                  The most popular movie theatre snack in Colombia is roasted ants. While most people grab a bag of popcorn when they go to the movies, that’s not the case everywhere. For instance, if you were to see a film in Colombia, you could try out roasted ants called “hormiga culona.” And if you’re heading to the theater in Norway, you can enjoy dried reindeer meat.





The unexamined life is not worth living. – Socrates


Happiness is…for me is Vinyl, not cassettes tapes(No.3 Above).


Jokes about women’s bodily functions are not funny. Period.


Love is…strange.


A time for cows not to like Willie Nelson singing to them…And a time for 100 of Shakespeare’s characters to die 54 through stabbing.


28th April

1986 The Soviet Union acknowledges there has been an accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in the Ukraine.

2001 First space tourist blasts off – A billionaire businessman from California becomes the first paying passenger to go to outer space.

                                1969: President Charles de Gaulle resigns

The French president, Charles de Gaulle, resigns from office after 11 years, following his defeat in a referendum on governmental reforms.







©2021 Phil M Robinson