I asked Apple’s Siri a question. “Hey, Siri. Tell me something I don’t know.” The answer I received back was embarrassingly lame. “I don’t think I understand,” said the stupid electronic voice in his fake Australian accent.
I will admit, Siri and I have a love hate relationship. And I’ll leave it at that. So, I’m not sure if Siri didn’t understand my question, which is very possible. Or was Siri telling me something deeply personal about myself, and my insecurities (something it does often)?
Thankfully there is Google, which I opened and I typed, “Tell me something I don’t know.” That too turned up a few surprises - 2,510,000,000 to be exact. Apparently, there is a lot of stuff I don't know. For example, I didn’t know that what I smugly typed is the title to Selena Gomez’s debut single from the soundtrack of the movie Another Cinderella Story (which I didn’t know about either).
But as I scrolled down in the search engine, I also learned there is a radio game show called, you guessed it, Tell Me Something I Don’t Know, which is hosted by Stephen J. Dubner the co-author of the book Freakonomics (a book I did know about, so there).
As I played my own game of Google Roulette, I clicked on a page entitled “60 Weird Facts Most People Don’t Know.” Although I am not most people, I was stunned at how many things I needed to learn. And according to Reader’s Digest, here are twelve of those things to mark Day 12 of KNOWvember.
1. Ice pops were invented by an 11-year-old by accident
"In 1905, an 11-year-old boy named Frank Epperson left soda powder and water outside overnight with its wooden stirrer still in the cup. The mixture had frozen in the chilly nighttime weather, and so the Epsicle was born. He sold the treat around his neighborhood and a nearby amusement park and even patented the recipe. Years later, he changed the name to Popsicle because that’s what his kids called their pop’s concoction."
2. Froot Loops “loops” are all the same flavor
That's right, kids, all Froot Loops taste like which is apparently like "froot."
3. The last letter added to the alphabet was actually “J”
The alphabet that we know and love today wasn’t created alphabetically!
4. The shortest commercial flight in the world is in Scotland
Scottish regional airline Loganair flies a distance of 1.7 miles between the islands Westray and Papa Westray which is scheduled to take 90 seconds. Not long enough for the wool in one's kilt to get itchy.
(Fun Fact: Scotland also has 421 words for snow. Take that Alaska!)
5. There are 5 countries in the world that don’t have airports
But Vatican City, San Marino, Monaco, Liechtenstein, and Andorra somehow make it work!
6. Octopuses have three hearts
One heart pumps blood to their whole systems, and two are dedicated just to the gills. But they aren't the only ones undersea with extra hearts to spare. Squids have three too.
7. Lobsters taste with their feet
"Tiny bristles inside a lobster’s little pincers are their equivalent to human taste buds. Meanwhile, lobsters’ teeth are in one of their three stomachs."
8. 3 Musketeers bars got their name because they used to come with three flavors
I was blown away to learn this about one of my favorite candy bars. It turns out that the "original 3 Musketeers bars of the 1930s came in three-packs, with a different nougat flavor in each: vanilla, chocolate, or strawberry. Rising cost and rationing restrictions during World War II made it too expensive to produce all three. Which is why we know have one.
(Fun Fact: nugget is really just whipped mousse. Now I know.)
9. Blue whale tongues can weigh as much as an elephant
Their hearts, meanwhile, can weigh almost a ton and needs to beat just once every ten seconds. Imagine nursing that heartbreak.
10. The world’s largest waterfall is underwater
First of all, I had no idea there are waterfalls under the ocean. Second, the biggest one is at the Denmark Strait, where the dense, cold water from the Nordic Sea collides with the warm water of the Irminger Sea causing it drop almost two miles down "at 123 million cubic feet per second."
11. Researchers once turned a live cat into a telephone
"Princeton researchers Ernest Wever and Charles Bray took out a cat’s skull and most of its brain to connect the animal to electricity. When they spoke into the cat’s ear, the sound could be heard through a phone receiver in another room. The twisted experiment paved the way for cochlear implant developments."
12. Dunce caps used to be signs of intelligence
"Thirteenth-century philosopher John Duns Scotus believed that a pointed cap would help spread knowledge from the tip to the brain, and his “Dunsmen” followers wore them as a badge of honor. In the 1500s, though, his ideas became less popular and the meaning of the Duns cap was turned on its head, becoming something of a joke."
All these facts were compiled and written by someone smarter than me at Reader’s Digest magazine. I give all creative credit to that person who also pointed out that “Albert Einstein” is an anagram for “ten elite brains.” None of which are mine.
An ex-copywriter turned punk rock pastor and peacemaker who dedicates his life to making the world a better place for all humanity.
"that they all might be one" ~John 17:21
“Prius vita quam doctrina.”
~ St. Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274)
* “Life is more important than doctrine.”