Category Archives: Random Stuff

Random thoughts, topics, and factoids you’ll be happy you read.

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Belgium

jean claude van damme

The United States will take on Belgium today for some serious World Cup action. Since Americans are still learning how to be soccer fans, it only makes sense to learn a bit about Belgium. Let’s face it, you’ll never probably be more interested in this country anyway. Here are some fun facts.

  1. Actress Audrey Hepburn was born in Brussels
  2. Brussels Airport is the world’s biggest selling point of chocolate
  3. Belgian mathematician Lambert Adolphe Quetelet invented the
  4. Body Mass Index (BMI)
  5. Jean-Claude Van Damme, “The Muscles From Brussels”
  6. The Belgian Adolphe Sax invented the Saxophone
  7. French Fries are actually from Belgium
  8. Marvin Gaye wrote Sexual Healing in Ostend, Belgium
  9. The Smurfs are from Belgium
  10. Belgians pay some of the highest tax rates in the world, around 40% of their gross earnings. Taxation represents 45.6 % of the country’s GDP
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3 plants that will clean up the air in your home

If you’re trying to get more fresh air, you might have better luck indoors. Kamal Meattle, the environmental activist who pioneered a project to create India’s healthiest building, has good evidence to indicate that cleaner ambient air is simply a matter of growing the right plants inside. Three of them, to be exact.

Image Credit: Rural-Living-HQ

Image Credit: Rural-Living-HQ

The 3 miracle plants

Areca Palm: Instead of splurging on a humidifier, you might want to try one of these. At its full height, this tall, leafy plant transpires up to a full liter (about four glasses) of water, warding off dry office air. The shrub also absorbs particulate matter, some of which can lead to heart disease, asthma and a host of other severe health problems, according to a NASA study.

Mother-in-Law’s Tongue: While many plants inhale carbon dioxide and exhale oxygen during the day, this plant’s long, dark leaves push fresh air into the environment at night, making it a good complement to the areca palm. It also absorbs nitrogen oxide, a fossil fuel and agriculture byproduct that accounts for 6% of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, and cancer-causing formaldehyde.

The Money Plant: Instead of another cup of coffee, you might want to give this plant a shot. Like Mother-in-Law’s Tongue, the money plant sucks up formaldehyde and other building pollutants. It also absorbs benzene, an air pollutant found in car exhaust that can cause dizziness, drowsiness and headaches.

Inside Dishwasher Video

Ever wonder what happens in there?

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Video

Nutella in the public restroom prank

How much does it cost to book your favorite bands?

Want the dudes from Nickelback to come and ruin your party? That'll run ya about $350k-$500k.

Want the dudes from Nickelback to come and ruin your party? That’ll run ya about $350k-$500k.

Here are the asking prices from a third-party booking agencies that specializes in concerts and shows; as such, the numbers are likely inflated. Actual prices can be negotiated by many of these performers and may be contingent on a variety of factors.

According to this list, a total of eight Degy acts command more than $1 million per show: Taylor Swift, Madonna, Justin Timberlake, Justin Bieber, James Taylor, Dave Matthews, Bruce Springsteen, and Bon Jovi.

Below, Priceonomics organized the artists by purported booking fees from highest ($100k+) to lowest ($1,000).

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A Snowball’s Chance in Brazil

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The World Cup kicks off in less than three weeks and Team USA has a 259-to-1 chance of winning the whole thing. (Quick, cue the video)

In other words, your money is probably safer elsewhere. As seen on sports betting/news hub Betfair, you can apparently wager on just about anything, from obscure sports such as darts and snooker to international political races to crap reality television like “Big Brother” or even the weather. Yes, the weather. Seriously, you can bet on almost anything.

And at 259-to-1, anything is a better bet than the boys in red, white and blue bringing home the trophy. Let’s take a look at some far-fetched things that actually have a better chance of happening than Team USA winning it all:

The Minnesota Twins winning the American League pennant: 84-to-1

Minnesota Vikings winning the Super Bowl: 99-to-1

Vikings winning the NFC Championship: 29-to-1

California Chrome winning the Triple Crown: 5-to-4

Andrew Talansky (the most favored American) winning the Tour de France: 249-to-1

Hillary Clinton winning the 2016 presidential election: 5-to-4

Sarah Palin winning the 2016 presidential election: 79-to-1

Minnesota Senator Amy Klobucher winning the Democratic nomination for the 2016 Presidential election: 64-to-1

Ricky Martin being the winning judge on The Voice: 7-to-5

Eyes

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50 Amazing Facts (For People Who Enjoy Amazing Facts)

Cliff Clavin 101. via Mental Floss

Dr. Ruth was trained as a sniper by the Israel Defense Forces.

Dr. Ruth was trained as a sniper by the Israel Defense Forces.

1. In 1943, Philip Morris ran an ad acknowledging “smokers’ cough.” They claimed it was caused by smoking brands other than Philip Morris.

2. In the 1970s, Mattel sold a doll called “Growing Up Skipper.” Her breasts grew when her arm was turned.

3. Michael Jackson’s 1988 autobiography Moonwalk was edited by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.

4. Kit Kat flavors available in Japan include wine, sweet potato, wasabi, and soy sauce.

5. Only female mosquitoes will bite you.

6. At the 2010 Grammy Awards, Taylor Swift won more Grammys (4) than Elvis did his entire career (3).

7. At Fatburger, you can order a “Hypocrite”—a veggie burger topped with crispy strips of bacon.

8. Dr. Ruth was trained as a sniper by the Israeli military.

9. In 1999, Furbies were banned from the National Security Agency’s Maryland headquarters because it was feared the toys might repeat national security secrets.

10. Before a 1993 playoff game, an Illinois high school football coach faked being shot in a bizarre attempt to motivate his team.

11. Susan B. Anthony was fined $100 for voting in the 1872 election. She voted for Ulysses S. Grant. She never paid the fine.

12. Kool-Aid was originally marketed as “Fruit Smack.”

13. In 2008, The Little Tikes Company sold 457,000 Cozy Coupes, making it the best-selling car in America.

14. Matthew McConaughey, Cheryl Hines and Daniel Dae Kim all appeared in reenactments on episodes of Unsolved Mysteries.

15. The archerfish knocks its insect prey out of over-hanging branches with a stream of spit.

16. When Woodrow Wilson married Edith Galt, the real Chef Boyardee (Hector Boiardi) catered the event.

17. There really was a Captain Morgan. He was a Welsh pirate who later became the lieutenant governor of Jamaica.

18. The 3 Musketeers bar was originally split into three pieces with three different flavors: vanilla, chocolate and strawberry. When the other flavors became harder to come by during WWII, Mars decided to go all chocolate.

19. Bear Bryant was once asked to contribute $10 to help pay for a sportswriter’s funeral. According to legend, he said, “Here’s a twenty, bury two.”

20. In 1980, C-3PO and R2-D2 visited Sesame Street. They played games, sang songs, and R2-D2 fell in love with a fire hydrant.

21. Dr. Thomas Harvey removed Einstein’s brain during his autopsy. For 30 years, Harvey kept it in two mason jars in his Wichita home.

22. In 1961, Martha Stewart was selected as one of Glamour magazine’s “Ten Best-Dressed College Girls.”

23. An Oscar Statuette (8.5 pounds) weighs more than a Vince Lombardi Trophy (about 7 pounds).

24. As part of David Hasselhoff’s divorce settlement, he kept possession of the nickname “Hoff” and the catchphrase “Don’t Hassle the Hoff.”

25. “Jay” used to be slang for “foolish person.” So when a pedestrian ignored street signs, he was referred to as a “jaywalker.”

26. On the 2001 New Zealand census, 53,715 people listed their religion as “Jedi.”

27. The string on boxes of animal crackers was originally placed there so the container could be hung from a Christmas tree.

28. When Milton Bradley introduced Twister in 1966, critics denounced the game as “sex in a box.”

29. Green bean casserole dates back to 1955, when a chef named Dorcas Reilly created it for a cookbook designed to promote Campbell’s products.

30. Carly Simon’s dad is the “Simon” of Simon and Schuster. He co-founded the company.

31. M&M’s actually stands for “Mars & Murrie’s,” the candy’s founders—Forrest Mars Sr. & William F. R. Murrie.

32. Alaska is the only state that can be typed on one row of keys. (Go ahead and try typing the other 49 states. We’ll wait.)

33. While they were in the White House, John & Abigail Adams had dogs named Satan & Juno.

34. Johnny Cash’s “A Boy Named Sue” was penned by Shel Silverstein, the beloved children’s book author who wrote Where the Sidewalk Ends.

35. There’s no better school nickname than the Arkansas School for the Deaf Leopards.

36. Why did the FBI call Ted Kaczynski “The Unabomber”? Because his early mail bombs were sent to universities (UN) & airlines (A).

37. That thing you use to dot your lowercase “i” is called a tittle.

38. There was a long-lost fourth member of the Snap/Crackle/Pop gang. “Pow” represented Rice Krispies’ explosive nutritional value.

39. In the 1930s, Admiral Byrd brought 2½ tons of NECCO Wafers to the South Pole for his men during their two-year stay.

40. The only number whose letters are in alphabetical order is 40 (f-o-r-t-y).

41. The prolific Alan Thicke wrote the theme songs to The Facts of Life and Diff’rent Strokes.

42. According to Crayola, the average kid wears out about 730 crayons by his or her 10th birthday.

43. Male students at Brigham Young University need a doctor’s note to grow a beard.

44. In 1991, Wayne Allwine, the voice of Mickey Mouse, married Russi Taylor—the voice of Minnie.

45. The sum of all the numbers on a roulette wheel is 666.

46. The Vatican Bank is the world’s only bank that allows ATM users to perform transactions in Latin.

47. Utah’s State Bird is the California Seagull.

48. After leaving office, Ronald Reagan was offered a role in Back to the Future III. (He declined.)

49. The Comic Book Guy on The Simpsons has a name—it’s Jeff Albertson. But that wasn’t the decision of creator Matt Groening. “I was out of the room when [the writers] named him,” he told MTV in 2007. “In my mind, ‘Louis Lane’ was his name, and he was obsessed and tormented by Lois Lane.”

50. The Procrastinators’ Club of America newsletter is called “Last Month’s Newsletter.”

T-shirt spotted at a red neck bar

And you thought Big Johnson shirts were in poor taste?

bad t-shirt

You can almost hear “Cotton Eyed Joe” playing in the background.

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Funny Cocktail Names

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