65 things I learned in 2021

  1. 1 horse has about 15 horsepowers. Source
  2. The world is spinning faster than it used to. Source
  3. In Poland, they use clams to check if the water is clean. Source
  4. Tomatoes was unknown to Italy before the 1600s. Source
  5. Lego is the largest tire manufacturer in the world. Source
  6. George HW Bush went parachute jumping at ages 72, 75, 80, 85, and 90. Source
  7. An American TV viewer who watches Netflix instead of normal ad-funded television could avoid 160 hours of ads every year. That’s equivalent to a month of eight-hour working days. Source
  8. A million seconds is 11 days. A billion seconds is 31 years. Source
  9. The most expensive substance on Earth is antihydrogen, priced at $62.5 trillion per gram. Source
  10. 16 pt text on Windows is ⅓ larger than 16 pt text on macOS. Source
  11. Elon Musk personally met with the first 3 000 people that Space X hired to make sure the company was hiring the right people. Source
  12. Almost 25% of all the bones in a human body are located in the foot. Source
  13. The moon landing was only 66yrs after the first aircraft flight with a crew (1903-1969). Humans went from not having flight technology to traveling 384 400 km from Earth within a lifetime. Source
  14. The combined value of all Oscar’s actor/actress swag bags in 2021 was almost as much as the total box office for Best Picture frontrunner Nomadland ($5.1m swag bags vs. $6.1m total box office). Source
  15. All the planets could fit between the Earth and the moon. Source
  16. Pepsi once had the 6th largest military in the world. Source
  17. Venus flytraps have to put their flowers far away from their traps to not accidentally kill their pollinators. Source
  18. During WWII, the British forces created inflatable tanks and armies to distract Germany from Normandie. Source
  19. In 1850, 60% of all deaths in NY were children under age 5. The main killer? Milk. Pasteurization wasn’t invented before 1865. Source
  20. At the University of Kansas, some students had an initiation where they sucked on parts of Einsteins’ brain. Source
  21. Polar bears only live in the Arctic. The Arctic means “near the bear” while the Antarctic means “not near the bear.” (The bear in question is, however, Ursa Major). Source
  22. Walt Disney is the 2nd biggest consumer of explosives in the United States. Only the US Department of Defense uses more. Source
  23. On spacewalks, astronaut fingernails sometimes pop off, and we are unsure why. Source
  24. A buttload is an actual term of measurement, referring to a butt or cask used for wine or ale. It’s equal to 573 liters (wine) or 491 liters (ale). Source
  25. The length of a day on Venus is constantly changing. But on average, a day on Venus is equal to 243.0226 Earth days Source
  26. A turtle shell is modified ribs. Source
  27. To be in the top 1% of podcasts in the world, you only need to publish 21 episodes. Source
  28. The gasbags inside hydrogen airships of the 1930s were made from the outer layer of a cow’s intestines. The gasbags of the Graf Zeppelin were made from the guts of around half a million cows. Source
  29. Octopuses have eight arms, but they also have three hearts. Source
  30. Wider tires on road bikes are faster than thin tires. Source
  31. In Disneyland, they have smellitizers, think speakers emitting smell and not sound to make your experience more memorable since smell is closely related to memory. Source
  32. 4th of July 1892, Samoa moved the international dateline. This meant they had Monday 4th of July 1982 twice. It’s the only time a country has had a year with 367 days. Source
  33. The LED boards with advertisements around the soccer field during the UEFA European Championship ran at 200fps with every 4th frame for different Ads. TV operators take multiple channels from a camera to make four different feeds with the same content but different ads. This is possible because TVs in Europe run at 50fps. Source
  34. In 1986, Cleveland released 1.5 million helium balloons just for fun. Source
  35. You can run javascript in a pdf. Source
  36. Paper planes are older than airplanes. In 1864 kids were flying paper planes; decades before the Wright brothers had their first flight. At that time, they were called “paper darts. Source
  37. After WWII, Idaho dealt with a surplus of parachutes and a nuisance beaver problem. Their solution? Parachuting beavers into the backcountry. Source
  38. The moon causes high and low tides. The moon’s gravitational pull causes Earth—and its water—to bulge out on the side closest to the moon and the side farthest from the moon. The Earth rises half a meter from this pull. Source
  39. Any time you see a blimp, you look at 4% of the world’s blimps. Source
  40. Butterflies taste with their feet. Source
  41. Gravity creates most of the sense of urgency for peeing, so astronauts can’t always tell when they need to go in microgravity. It’s such a complicated process that they pee on a schedule. Source
  42. The color blue is always out of focus for the human eye. Our brain extracts some color information from the blue channel but delegates sharpness to the red and green channels. Source
  43. Sloths are moving slowly because they have to preserve their energy since they only eat some specific leaves that take up to a month to metabolize. This also means that they only defecate once a week. Source
  44. The United States uses more electricity for air conditioning than the whole of Africa uses for everything. Source
  45. The first drones were cameras strapped to pigeons in 1907. Source
  46. Cyclops are real, and there’s a plant that causes cyclopism that grows wild in the Rocky Mountains. Source
  47. Oxford university was founded 200 years before the rise of the Aztec civilization. Source
  48. Greenland sharks reach sexual maturity at 150 years old.Source
  49. The original Latin word for “decide,” decidere, means “to cut off,” as in slicing away alternatives. Source
  50. When Fiat built their factory, they had a racetrack on their roof. Source
  51. Swiss railway clocks run 1.7% faster than normal clocks. The second-hand hits the top of the clock after 58 seconds (instead of 60 seconds). This gives a train two full seconds to arrive at a station “on time,” which helps maintain the illusion of punctuality. Source
  52. Your eyes are the only part of your brain outside your cranial. Source
  53. Hergé’s drawing style is referred to as “Ligne claire”. Source
  54. Closing roads can improve everyone’s commute time. Source
  55. A one-in-billion event will happen eight times a month. Source
  56. Hot water freezes faster than cold. This is called the Mpemba effect. Source
  57. FedEx originally charged by weight until they got a big customer whose product was ten-gallon hats. Source
  58. Cleopatra lived closer to the moon landing than the building of the pyramids. Source
  59. The new MacBook Pro M1 Max chip has 57 billion transistors, 2x all the CPUs in all the Macs shipped in 1984. Pixar’s render farm for Toy Story only had one billion transistors in total. Source
  60. That distinctive, earthy odor associated with rainfall is called petrichor. Source
  61. Bees can’t fly in the dark. If the light suddenly disappears, they fall to the ground. Source
  62. 10% of US electricity is generated from old Russian nuclear warheads. Source
  63. You always turn to the right before turning to the left on a bike, and vice versa. Source
  64. If you put one adult’s veins, capillaries and arteries end to end, it would circle the Earth two and a half times. Source
  65. Both male & female Reindeer grow antlers. But all male Reindeer lose their antlers in the late fall, well-before Christmas. Santa’s reindeer, which all sport antlers, are therefore all female, which means Rudolf has been misgendered. Source