TIL brussels sprouts used to have a bitter taste until breeders in the 90s started to cross-pollinate different varieties in order to remove the chemicals that caused the bitterness. The result of their work has lead to brussels sprouts's recent culinary popularity.
TIL a chain of volcanoes last erupted within France 6000 years ago. Until 1750 they were thought to be piles of Roman mining waste or furnaces.
TIL that "Gropecunt Lane" was a common street name in English towns and cities during the Middle Ages used to refer to streets where prostitution was practised
TIL there was a list of 164 songs that radio stations were not supposed to play immediately following the 9/11 attacks
TIL a group of folks in New Guinea used to not want worms consuming the remains of their deceased loved ones and so decided to eat the bodies themselves. They removed the brain, mixed it with ferns, and cooked it in bamboo tubes. They ate everything at the funerals except the gall bladders
TIL In 1988, Denny’s decided to close for Christmas and give their employees a day off. The only problem: their doors had no locks on them, so they had to outfit 700+ locations with new locks so they would be able to close for the day.
TIL British musician Phil Collins has had a long-standing interest in the Alamo, the famous 1836 battle in Texas. He collected hundreds of Alamo-related artefacts (which he donated to the Alamo in 2014), and even wrote a book called "The Alamo and Beyond: A Collector's Journey", published in 2012.
TIL about Aaron Feuerstein, CEO of Malden Mills who in 1995 decided to continue paying his 3,000 employees their full salaries after the factory burned down while the factory was rebuilten.wikipedia.org
TIL NYC's famous Wall Street Charging Bull was impounded by the NYPD upon delivery by its artist Arturo Di Modica, who paid for the entire commission out of pocket and delivered it unannounced to a tree next to the NY Stock Exchange. It was "freed" six days later after public outcry.
TIL: Aphantasia - a condition that blocks the mind’s eye, affects 2-5% of people globally and reduces their ability to remember the past, imagine the future, and even dream.
TIL about Charles Neil and his involvement in the Neil-Reynolds report. President Roosevelt sent Neil and James Reynolds to inspect reports of bad slaughterhouse conditions. Their report, which highlighted revolting issues with American meats, led to the passage of the Meat Inspection Act.
TIL Astronauts had to leave unnecessary items behind on the moon so the Apollo lander could lift off safely. These items included golf balls, cameras, boots, a telescope and 96 bags of poop, urine and vomit.
TIL that in 1994, Japan had a GDP per capita that was 1.4 times larger than that of the US. In 2021, the US has a GDP per capita that is 1.8 larger than Japan’sdata.worldbank.org
TIL Due to a WWII shortage of copper, the US military requested over 14,000 tons of silver for electromagnetic coils to help enrich uranium. The Treasury department loaned them 12,300 tons. Later, over 99.964% of the silver was returned.
TIL that the southern United States converted all 11,500+ miles of its railroads from broad gauge (5 ft/1.524 m) to nearly-standard gauge (4 ft 9 in/1.448 m) in just 36 hours, starting on May 31, 1886
TIL that in the original mythology, Pazuzu, the ancient Akkadian demon made famous by the movie 'The Exorcist' was himself an exorcistacademia.edu
TIL after the American Revolution the -ville suffix became popular in the names of new US settlements due to an increase of pro-French sentiments.
TIL In the Philippines, businesses are required to give rank-and-file employees a sort of mandatory Christmas bonus called "13th month pay", due on or before December 24th, which is equal to one month's basic pay, pro-rated for the time they've worked for the business.globe.com.ph
TIL the tree topper used on the Rockefeller Christmas tree since 2018 has 3 million Swarovski crystals and weighs 900 pounds (408.23 kg)
TIL the fictional plane 'Darkstar' in the opening scene from Top Gun: Maverick was so realistic on screen that China moved its satellites to capture a photo of it, even though it doesn't exist.
TIL: As many as a quarter million Chinese citizens were executed by Japanese forces as retaliation for helping the pilots that crashed landed during the Doolittle raid.
TIL the total number of gifts given in The Twelve Days of Christmas is 364, the number of days in a year excluding Christmas itself.