Calling “shotgun” when riding in a car comes from the term “shotgun messenger” which was used to refer to the guard who sat next to the Stagecoach driver. The guards would use a shotgun to keep robbers and criminals away. It made its way into society due to Hollywood’s love of Western flicks.
The only letters that don’t appear on the periodic table are J & Q.
Canadians say “sorry” so much that a law was passed in 2009 declaring that an apology can’t be used as evidence of admission to guilt.
Contrary to its portrayal in Jurassic Park, the Tyrannosaurus rex probably didn’t roar. Instead, scientists believe it either hissed or rattled, like a rattlesnake.
The microwave was invented by accident when engineer Percy Spencer walked by a radar set and the candy bar in his pocket melted. The first food cooked by a microwave on purpose was popcorn.
Due to a genetic defect, cats can’t taste sweet things.
Honey is a better cough suppressant than over-the-counter cough suppressants.
The average person will spend a total of 3,680 hours, or 153 days searching for misplaced items. Keys, cellphones, sunglasses and paperwork top the list of commonly lost items.
The American Film Institute cited “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn” from 1939’s Gone With the Wind the best movie quote of all time.
The scientific name for brain freeze is sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia.
A British research study found that watching a horror film prior to viewing abstract art enhances the enjoyment of the art for most people.
The chills you get when listening to music are caused by your brain releasing dopamine, a neurotransmitter that causes pleasure.
A single cloud can weight more than 1 million pounds.
There are more lifeforms living on your skin than there are people on the planet.
You cannot snore and dream at the same time.
The average person spends 6 months of their lifetime waiting on a red light to turn green.
Bees have five eyes.
If you somehow found a way to extract all of the gold from the bubbling core of our lovely little planet, you would be able to cover all of the land in a layer of gold up to your knees.
You burn more calories sleeping than you do watching television.
The average person walks the equivalent of three times around the world in a lifetime.
Men are 6 times more likely to be struck by lightning than women.
Laughing boosts the immune system, burns calories and reduces stress hormones, making it a very healthy activity.
Scientists found that the most relaxing song ever is “Weightless” by the Marconi Union—it reduced anxiety by 65 percent in the average test subject.
The world’s oldest socks were in fact designed to be worn with sandals. Made in Egypt sometime in the fourth or fifth century, the wool socks have two toes.
The first U.S. town to be completely lit by electric streetlights was Wabash, Indiana, in 1880. It had a population of 320 at the time.
New York City’s oldest house is a cottage in Queens near LaGuardia Airport. It was built in 1654 by the Rikers family (the same family that gave Rikers Island its name) and even has a family cemetery in the backyard.
The Waldorf Astoria hotel once had its own private railroad track at Grand Central so that its guests could clandestinely enter and exit New York City. Largely abandoned now, it operates only when the president is in town, in case the need arises for an emergency exit.