You learn something new every day; what did you learn today?
People on Reddit who discovery something new and exciting are asked to submit new facts to the subreddit TIL (Today I Learned). These are some of the best facts submitted to the Reddit over the past year. Enjoy your learning!
Johnny Cash took only three voice lessons in his childhood before his teacher, enthralled with Cash’s unique singing style, advised him to stop taking lessons and to never deviate from his natural voice.
An Israeli day care began fining parents for picking up children late, the number of late pickups went up. Economists believe that parents had previously been motivated to be on time by a sense of guilt, and the guilt went away when it was replaced by a fine that most of them could afford.
Not long before his death, Freddie Mercury, confined to his bed, got to see an advance copy of the “Wayne’s World” scene with Wayne and Garth headbanging to “Bohemian Rhapsody”. He loved it and approved of the song’s use in the film. The movie, in part, helped launch Queen’s comeback in the USA.
Billy Joel never sells front row seats in order to see the real fans right in front of him. He gives them away to random people in the cheap seats so that front row isn’t always just wealthy people.
A Romanian-born Israeli and American scientist, engineer, professor, teacher, and a Holocaust survivor, Liviu Librescu, held the door of his classroom during the Virginia Tech shootings sacrificing his life while the gunman continuously shot through the door saving 22 of his 23 students.
Anonymous sent thousands of all-black faxes to the Church of Scientology to deplete all their ink cartridges.
Eminem’s song “Lose Yourself” was the first rap song to win an Oscar for Best Original Song, but Eminem did not even watch the awards because he did not think he stood a chance at winning. Instead, he fell asleep watching cartoons with his daughter.
The town of Dull in Scotland has been twinned with the town of Boring, Oregon since 2012. In 2013 the town of Bland, Australia joined them in what has become known as the ‘Trinity of Tedium’.
David Letterman created a scholarship for the average “C student,” recognizing that it’s not all about marks, some are extraordinary and amazing in other ways.
Muhammad Ali was stripped of his heavyweight title, had his passport revoked and faced a five-year prison term for refusing to serve in the U.S. Armed Services at the height of the Vietnam War. “I ain’t got no quarrel with those Vietcong,” he said. “They never called me n****r.”
The CDC has urged that schools open later because two-thirds of teenagers suffer chronic sleep deprivation.
A woman was sentenced to life in prison for poisoning her child to death with antifreeze. She gave birth to a second child while in prison, who was given to foster care. But he became sick with the same symptoms, indicating a genetic metabolic disorder, not poisoning. She was later released.
In Japan, Hiroshima Peace Flame has been burned continuously since it was lit in 1964, and will remain lit until all nuclear bombs on the planet are destroyed and the planet is free from the threat of nuclear annihilation.
A Chinese father hired a ‘hitman’ to kill his son’s character in online games so that he would stop playing games and get himself a job.
When a millionaire gave everyone in a Florida neighborhood free daycare and free college scholarships, the crime rate was cut in half and the graduation rate jumped from 25% to 100%. He did this after being fired from Walt Disney World because his bosses didn’t think he could be a ‘company man’.
A cow named Cincinnati Freedom evaded police officers for 11 days after jumping a six-foot fence to escape a slaughterhouse; after finally being caught, and she was given the “key to the city” by Cincinnati’s mayor and allowed to live out her days in a NY sanctuary.
After a waitress at a pizzeria helped a customer choose the numbers for a winning lottery ticket in 1984, he ‘tipped’ her $3,000,000 – half of his $6,000,000 prize money.
The term “genuine leather” isn’t reassuring you that the item is made of real leather, it as an actual distinct grade of leather and is the second worst type of leather there is.
The refrain when one door closes, another opens” is actually an Alexander Graham Bell quote which he followed by saying “but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.
President Carter once told a joke during a speech to a Japanese audience which caused the audience to erupt in laughter. Impressed, he asked how the interpreter managed to get such a laugh. The interpreter admitted that he had said, President Carter told a funny story. Everyone must laugh.
During the Holocaust, Polish doctors Eugene Lazowski and Stanisaw Matulewicz saved 8,000 Jews by creating a fake Typhus epidemic. The Germans quarantined the area instead of risking outbreaks by sending them to concentration camps.
When Nintendo had a fall in revenue from the less successful Wii U its CEO cut his pay in half for 5 months rather than blame workers.
Mozart disliked performer Adriana Ferrarese del Bene, who was know for nodding her head down on low notes and raising her head on high notes, so much, that he wrote a song for her to perform that had lots of jumps from low to high just so he could see her head “bob like a chicken” onstage.
Ben Franklin left the cities of Boston and Philadelphia $2,000 in his will, but they could not draw the full balance for 200 years. In 1990, the cities received $6.5 million.
During the filming of Matilda, Danny Devito and Rhea Perlman; who played Matilda’s parents; would take Mara Wilson on outings with their family to help the actress cope with her mother’s battle, and eventual death, from cancer.
A pig named Lulu saved her owners life while the woman was having a heart attack. The pig heard the cries of pain, forced her way out of the yard, ran into the road and played dead to stop the traffic. A driver stopped, the pig led him to the trailer, he heard the woman and called 911.
Taylor Swift was born into wealth. Her father is “a descendant of three generations of bank presidents” and worked for Merrill Lynch. At the age of 14 her family moved to Nashville where her father purchased a stake in Big Machine, the label to which Swift first signed.
Carrie Fisher told her fans: “No matter how I go, I want it reported that I drowned in moonlight, strangled by my own bra.
In 1724 Margaret Dickson was hanged but later found still alive. She then was allowed to go free because under Scots Law her punishment had been carried out. Only later were the words “until dead” added to the sentence of hanging.
James Doohan (Scotty on ‘Star Trek’) received an honorary doctorate from the Milwaukee School of Engineering. The university gave him the degree after half of its students said in a survey that his character had inspired them to choose engineering as a career.
Following the death of Nicole van den Hurk, her stepbrother falsely confessed to killing her to get her body exhumed for DNA testing, thus leading to the arrest and prosecution of her attacker.
Princess Diana, on live TV, shook the hand of an AIDS patient without wearing gloves, challenging the belief that AIDS could be passed via contact. The act was seen as a huge moment for those suffering with the disease.
An octopus named Otto caused an aquarium power outage by climbing to the edge of his tank and shooting a jet of water at a bright light that was annoying him. He’s also been seen juggling hermit crabs, throwing rocks at the glass and re-arranging his tank surroundings.
In 2009 in South Africa, an employee of an IT company complained that data would get transferred faster by carrier pigeon than on ASDL. Winston the pigeon armed with 4gb memory stick took two hours to carry the data 60 miles – in the same time the ADSL had sent 4% of the data.
Hundreds of love letters between two gay World War II soldiers were found and are being made into a book. In one, one of them wrote, “Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all our letters could be published in the future in a more enlightened time. Then all the world could see how in love we are.”
A rodent that was believed to be extinct for 113 years casually showed up on the handrail at the front porch of an ecolodge in Colombia and let researchers photograph it for two hours before disappearing into the night, after which it was never seen again.
Some of this material has been edited for clarity.