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Tell me something useless but interesting I don't know. No googling allowed. Corrections welcomed.

(546 Posts)
YourMaNoBraBackOfMyCar Tue 17-Dec-13 16:36:17

I love these threads so please tell me all manner of useless info. [Thanks]

Months that begin on a Sunday will always have a Friday the 13th.

PigletJohn Wed 25-Dec-13 18:11:22

so a lady armadillio?

fussychica Wed 25-Dec-13 18:15:56

The bin man in Toy Story 3 is meant to be Sid from Toy Story 1.

YoniGetAnOohWithTyphoo Wed 25-Dec-13 19:57:10

Poinsettias always die after christmas because they can only survive in long daylight hours (like the ones they get in their native mexico), not the piddly short days we get at christmastime. So if you can't keep one alive, don't blame yourself! unless you didn't water it

MB34 Wed 25-Dec-13 20:32:35

When Ibuprofen was first introduced to the medical market, the manufactures wanted to market it as a hangover prevention tablet but due to ethical reasons they weren't allowed to.

Sparrowghost Thu 26-Dec-13 16:53:22

Reindeer pee often so the the Sami (I think its them) have a word to measure 6miles which basically means "reindeer pee" as thats how far they walk between pees :D

ZingChoirsOfAngels Thu 26-Dec-13 17:08:47

you can't (or shouldn't) sneeze whilst your eyes are open - it's to protect your eyeballs from the force/speed of the sneeze.

CarolRapstar Thu 26-Dec-13 18:46:59

Sorry, I have to correct one from a while ago,
Male sea horses don't lay the eggs, the female produces the eggs and transfers them to the male who then fertilises them and incubates them for up to six weeks before ejecting the fry. So you could say that he does the pregnancy.

UniS Thu 26-Dec-13 18:51:14

There is a tea grown in Cornwall.

FloWhite Thu 26-Dec-13 19:48:52

The name Homer Simpson first made an appearance in Nathaniel West's novel Day of the Locust.

PunkHedgehog Sun 29-Dec-13 16:28:12

I suspect the armadillo penis fact is largest for its body size among mammals. The barnacle has one about 7 times the size of its body because a barnacle can't move to mate, it can only stretch.

The company that invented aspirin also invented heroin at around the same time. The company was very excited about heroin - a 'safe, non-addictive' alternative to morphine was obviously going to be a big success - hence naming it 'hero - in'; but they thought aspirin was dangerous and not very useful, so they almost didn't release it to the market.

PigletJohn Sun 29-Dec-13 17:14:01

heroin is a very good cough medicine.

MrsNutella Sun 29-Dec-13 19:31:39

joshlyman I believe your shark fact isn't true because there has been no proper test to find out what sharks do and do not find tasty. A classic shark attack normally involves a serious and often fatal injury after which the shark keeps a distance so that the prey fights, panics and becomes weak without the shark having to waste energy.
It is believed that people often survive shark attacks because they are rescued during this waiting period as they are rarely alone.
Sharks are rather lazy and will take an easy meal and remember where they came across that meal.
Because of fears for their numbers they are protected and various governments play down shark attacks. But actually very little research has been done on their numbers, migration habits and movements etc.
Although this could be wrong it's what I remember from a very interesting and slightly scary article.

MrsNutella Sun 29-Dec-13 19:32:34

Oh, this might already have been posted but I don't remember seeing it. Coke used to contains cocaine (hence the name) and was sold as a headache tonic.

RustyBear Mon 30-Dec-13 19:45:41

PG Wodehouse was descended from Mary Boleyn.

Tillyscoutsmum Mon 30-Dec-13 21:01:07

Market research confirmed that Flake and Kit Kat were the two top selling chocolate bars. The Time Out bar (effectively a kit Kat with flake in the middle) was created following the research. It was a commercial failure

alcibiades Mon 30-Dec-13 21:32:01

A couple of interesting, but maybe a little more sobering, thoughts:

Slavery in the USA began in 1619 and ended in 1865. That's 246 years. From the end of slavery to 246 years further on, that brings us to the year 2111. When I read that in one of my history books here, I was astounded. That kind of timeline puts things into a different kind of perspective.

The birds that hit the plane that ditched on the Hudson River were adult Canadian geese, which were much larger than aircraft engines had been designed to cope with, because that's an incredibly rare event. There's little or no training given to pilots of how to successfully land a plane on water, because that's also an incredibly rare event. One of the many reasons why Capt "Sully" was successful is attributed to his experience of flying gliders, which is a kind of "flying by the seat of your pants". There have been other successful landings of planes that have lost engine power and become gliders. Not all those pilots had experience of flying gliders, but what made the difference was fast thinking outside the box and good teamwork on the flight deck. So, pilots might look all sexy and that, in their uniforms, but they're also as smart as heck. (Which is a nice thought, wink).

thankfeckitschrismas Wed 01-Jan-14 23:01:57

There is a famous statue in Liverpool of Eleanor Rugby that was made by Tommy Steele

Smartbutdopey Wed 01-Jan-14 23:30:04

GOLF stands for Gentleman Only Ladies Forbidden.
Sorry ladies but its true shock

SandyDilbert Wed 01-Jan-14 23:34:25

No it doesn't, it is from the Dutch word kolf which means club.

Jungfraujoch Wed 01-Jan-14 23:34:26

David Dundas of 'Jeans On' song fame in the 1970s also wrote the music for the launch of Channel 4.

Smartbutdopey Wed 01-Jan-14 23:42:35

Hi sandydilbert, I stand corrected.
It seems I also fell for the old wives tale too.

TheBunsOfPanettone Fri 03-Jan-14 21:09:52

I had to scroll back and find this thread after discovering the very interesting and possibly useless fact that "the term buccaneer derived from the French boucanier, meaning people who smoked or cured strips of meat on a frame of green sticks, or boucan, over a slow fire fed by animal bones and pieces of hide". Footnote from A Pirate of Exquisite Mind, by Diana & Michael Preston, my first book in the 50 books for 2014 challenge. Of course these C17 boucaniers also attacked and looted ships and had a fondness for talking parrots grin

TwoLeftSocks Fri 03-Jan-14 21:17:58

French francs minted under the Nazi occupation during WW2 had "Liberty, Fraternity, Equality" replaced with "Work, Family and State (Travail, Familie, Patrie)". As soon as the war was over, they reverted straight back.

The lady on the back was replaced with a symbol for work or something too.

I'm doing this from memory from Dad's random old coin collection so can't quite remember it fully.

TwoLeftSocks Fri 03-Jan-14 21:20:26

Babies that didn't settle were sometimes given a lettuce stump to suck on during Victorian times as it contains laudanum, which I think is an opiate or something similar.

TwoLeftSocks Fri 03-Jan-14 21:22:24

Opium poppies still grow in the Fens, where they were once heavily used during certain times of the year by local communities. Poppy seeds grow well in freshly disturbed soil (just like they did in the trenches) so the opium poppies often bloom soon after roadworks end.

ZingChoirsOfAngels Fri 03-Jan-14 22:15:01


In Hungary people would "cook" poppy seeds in milk (steeping?) then give the milk or a chunk of bread dipped in that milk to babies to help them sleep (same thing, opium)

TwoLeftSocks Fri 03-Jan-14 22:19:50

I didn't know that Zing. I think the adults (and sometimes children) used to drink it as tea, to ward off the marsh ague.

HoratiaDrelincourt Fri 03-Jan-14 22:25:56

If you eat too many poppy seeds (from memory it's as many as you'd find on two or three poppy seed rolls) then you'd fail a drugs test.

That's one of DH's favourite factoids.

SuburbanRhonda Fri 03-Jan-14 22:47:43

Tippex was invented by the mother of Mike Nesmith of 60s pop group The Monkees.

ZingChoirsOfAngels Fri 03-Jan-14 22:49:09

I'm not surprised at that Horatia !

<stays away from poppy seeds as pg>

TheBunsOfPanettone Sat 04-Jan-14 23:53:37

The word describing fear of submarines is ipobrichiophobia

Yes, I have it grin

ControlGeek Sun 05-Jan-14 17:50:09

The inventors of sellotape spent considerable time trying to work out how to get the glue to stick fast to one side of the tape whilst peeling easily off the other - before one of them realised that the glue did this naturally anyway!

Tinkertaylor1 Sun 05-Jan-14 17:56:58

PEANUTS ARE NOT ACTUALLY NUTS!!! They are from the pea family shock

Perhaps to the poster waaaaaaaaaaaaaay back regarding newborns looking like their dad, maybe it's a primal thing so their fathers don't eat them?

PigletJohn Sun 05-Jan-14 17:59:41

3M had a researcher trying to develop a new glue for paper. He was very unsuccessful, because his product kept peeling off. This was completely useless, obviously.

Until someone realised.... post-its!

ControlGeek Sun 05-Jan-14 18:02:45

pigletjohn I wonder if that's what I was thinking of, rather than sellotape?

Dingleinthevillage Sun 05-Jan-14 18:22:13

Are Hull City still in the FA cup? Know nothing about football but in my mind the colouring in thing justifies a bet!

TwoLeftSocks Mon 06-Jan-14 11:45:05

Armadillos are always born as quadruplets and are one of the few animals that can catch leprosy.

Also, they can hold their breath for about five minutes, which helps when they cross rivers as they simply walk along the river bed rather than swim.

And they can jump six feet into the air.

BelfastBloke Mon 06-Jan-14 12:28:14

Dingle - I just happened to be studying the FA Cup fixtures just now.
Hull City are still in the FA Cup. I don't understand what you meant about 'the colouring in thing".

Practicalpam Mon 06-Jan-14 15:02:20

Scraps of waste or broken glass is known as cullet.

PunkHedgehog Wed 08-Jan-14 11:32:18

The orangutan who played Clint Eastwood's film companion Clyde also appeared on British television in the zoo vet series One By One. And in another film he played a chimpanzee - for this he had his fur dyed and wore false ears.

HoratiaDrelincourt Wed 08-Jan-14 12:40:48

False chimp ears has me snorting in a very undignified manner grin

Snoozybird Wed 08-Jan-14 13:05:03

Royston Vasey the fictional village in The League of Gentleman, was named after comedian Roy Chubby Brown's real name

Dawndonnaagain Wed 08-Jan-14 13:22:40

May have been noted, I shall read properly later, but apologies if this is a repeat:
We do not know for sure that Queen Charlotte was black.

Fuck stood for: For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge, as those who had children out of wedlock were dealt with by the ecclesiastical courts.

PunkHedgehog Mon 13-Jan-14 14:08:19

Almost all etymologies based on acronyms (fuck, posh from 'port out starboard home' etc) are wrong. Acronyms only started being used as words in around the mid-20th C (so things like laser).

Fuck is derived from a Dutch word.

HoratiaDrelincourt Mon 13-Jan-14 14:23:01

What Punk said about acronyms, although technically the Dutch word and English word (and German and probably various Scandinavian words too) derive from a common ancestor.

DrNick Mon 13-Jan-14 14:24:06

in courts they really DO say " take him down"


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