Useless Fun Things to Know

So, as a writer, I do research. Which is code for “I surf the internet and procrastinate a lot.” All writers do it. Well, some do.

Anyway. Once down the rabbit hole, you never know what you’ll find. Here are some you may know, and some you probably didn’t. I hope you enjoy!

I know a lot of people know this one, but it is one of my favorites! A twenty-dollar word, a friend of mine called it. And I agree. I would have paid $20 to learn this word when I was a kid, just so I could have appreciated it longer!

Schadenfreude – taking pleasure from another person’s misfortune.  Here is a link to a great article about it, along with the Bonus Word “gluckschmerz“, which was made up to represent the feeling of disappointment when someone else doesn’t suffer misfortune.

Yoctosecond – one septillionth of a second, according to Webster. Once considered the shortest possible time period, it was replaced by Planck time, which is 10−44 seconds.

Wolf’s bane – is a real plant also known as monkshood and many other colorful names. It is of the family Aconitum. It is extremely poisonous, not only if you eat it, but even from just picking the leaves with bare hands. (And I used to worry about poison oak!)

speaking of which…

Poison Oak/Poison Ivy – so, we all know not to touch these, right? Makes us itch horribly. Did you know you should never burn it? The aerosolized toxins can get in your lungs and do the same thing there. Who wants itchy rash inside their lungs? By the way, that can kill.

Alkaline hydrolysis – slowly becoming legal in more states, this alternative method of disposing of a body is basically pressure-cooking it in acid until you can pour the goo down a drain. There is some controversy about making this a more wide-spread technology, as it really is a great way to dispose of a body…

Twinkies – will not survive the zombie apocalypse. In fact, they only recently extended their shelf-life to a whopping 45 days.

Stupid Laws – they are everywhere! There had to be a reason for them at one time. Here are some weird ones about driving. Seriously weird. Can’t plant rutabagas or trees in the street? Can’t have a gorilla in the back seat? Some state laws are perplexing as well. According to the Dumb Laws website, it is illegal in Denver to loan your vacuum cleaner to a neighbor.

Mice don’t like cheese – But I do! Here is an interesting look at why. Basically, they like grains, not fat.

El Pueblo de la Reina de Los Angeles the original name for the city of Los Angeles.  “The Town of the Queen of the Angels”

Uranus has 27 moonsand they are all named after characters from the works of William Shakespeare and Alexander Pope. Why? I don’t know. There are so many more creative things you could have done with the 27 moons of Uranus.

Fingerprints aren’t perfect or the only unique identifiers – In fact, they can be misidentified pretty easily. So can DNA. But the interesting thing, to me, is that there are other things that seem to be unique. At least until they prove those aren’t either. So far, their are offerings that the patterns of our ears, our lips, and our tongues may all be unique to each individual. Man, I don’t want the cherry flavored ink when I do my tongue print.

Synthetic DNA -has been used on NFL Super Bowl footballs since 2000 to combat sports paraphernalia fraud.

Jell-O – and you thought you didn’t want to know what hot dogs were made out of. But I won’t go there. I’ve known that since I was a kid. What I didn’t know were the flavors they made. Once upon a time they made Celery, Coffee, Cola, Italian Salad, Mixed Vegetable, and Maple Syrup flavors.  Yuck!

Zilopop – a stainless steel lollipop made to take away bad breath. Right. You can buy one here at Amazon. While you’re there, search for Sam Knight and check out my books. Like P. T. Barnum said, there’s one born every minute. 

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