Sunday, October 12, 2008

10 things I didn't know until last week

1. A 1,999 ft peak is a hill but a 2,000 ft one is a mountain.
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2. The Vespa - Italian for ‘wasp’ - gets its name from the sound of its engine, which supposedly sounds like a swarm of wasps.
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3. A Blue Law is a type of law designed to enforce moral standards upon the populace.
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4. Inscribed on The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco is the poem ‘The Mighty Task Is Done’; it was written by the architect who designed the bridge, Joseph Strauss.
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5. Suzanne Vega is known as the “the mother of the MP3”, because the audio engineer who developed the compression method used Vega’s song “Tom’s Diner” as the reference track.
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6. Shocked by the launch of Sputnik 1 in 1957, the United States responded by creating and charging two agencies with the mission to keep the US ahead in space technology: Advanced Research Projects Agency (later to be known as Darpa) and NASA.
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7. In many cities in the late 19th century (and early 20th century) letters and parcels could be put in capsules and sent through pipelines direct to people’s houses. The capsules were propelled by air and whizzed along tubes from sender to receiver. Paris, Berlin and London had hundreds of kilometres of tubes built for this purpose. Currently, Prague is the only city that still uses this Victorian technology.
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8. Contrary to popular myth, Bastille was not “taken”; the mob surged into its inner courtyard only after the governor, the Marquis de Launay, had offered a surrender. There were only 7 prisoners in the prison to be freed - and Launay was hacked to death for his troubles.
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9. Sagging jeans are a fashion that began in US prisons, where belts were removed to prevent inmates hanging themselves.
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10. Vanilla, chocolate and strawberry are not counted when arriving at the 31 flavours of Baskin Robbins.
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/archive/10 things

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