They say that a lifetime of learning is a life well lived, and if that’s true then the subreddit r/todayIlearned is maybe one of the best places to spend time on the internet.
Every day the Reddit sub will see dozens of new posts from people all over the world sharing new and interesting facts they never knew before. They can range from the mundane but interesting, like how seawater makes you thirstier after you drink it, to the truly fantastical, like how the Dutch King has been secretly flying passenger airliners for years without anyone knowing.
We’ve taken the ten most amazing posts to r/todayIlearned to share with you, our dear readers, so that you too may learn something this very day. Enjoy.
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10. Carrie Fisher Told Her Fans: “No matter how I go, I want it reported that I drowned in moonlight, strangled by my own bra.”
“Anyway, George comes up to me the first day of filming and he takes on look at the dress and says, ‘You can’t wear a bra under that dress.’ So, I say, ‘Okay, I’ll bite. Why?’ And he says, ‘Because… there’s no underwear in space.’ I promise you this is true, and he says it with such conviction too! Like he had been to space and looked around and he didn’t see any bras or panties or briefs anywhere. Now, George came to my show when it was in Berkeley. He came backstage and explained why you can’t wear your brassiere in other galaxies, and I have a sense you will be going to outer space very soon, so here’s why you cannot wear your brassiere, per George. So, what happens is you go to space and you become weightless. So far so good, right? But then your body expands? But your bra doesn’t – so you get strangled by your own bra. Now I think that this would make a fantastic obit – so I tell my younger friends that no matter how I go, I want it reported that I drowned in moonlight, strangled by my own bra.”
9. Millionaire Proves Socialism Works In Florida Neighbourhood
If you’ve ever been to Orlando Florida, then you may have heard of Rosen Hotels and Resorts, a collection of some of the finest accommodations in the greater Orlando area. Reddit user szekeres81 certainly has, as he brings us the tale of what happened when Harris Rosen, owner of the hotel chain, gave away his millions in the form of socialist programs.
Humble in the extreme, Rosen decided to give back the many millions he made through his hotel business and begin investing heavily in Tangelo Park, a small ethnic community in Florida. The Tangelo Park Project provides free preschool for children aged two to four, free vocational classes and technical training for adults, and full scholarships for all high school graduates. Almost overnight, the crime rate dropped to half and graduation rates climbed to 100%.
8. Comcast Customer Uses Twitter Bot To Prove How Awful Internet Speed Is
Nobody seems to like their internet service provider, but people rarely do anything about it. Reddit user AlekseyP (story coming by way of pdmcmahon), on the other hand, decided to show how truly awful it can get in his area. He decided to set up a Raspberry Pi mini computer to test his connection speed every hour, and automatically tweet @comcast when it dropped below the advertised 50Mbps.
Now, 50Mbps is already pretty fast and not something you’d normally complain about, but considering AlekseyP was quoted 150Mbps, and he typically actually got 10-30, he was rightly a little cheesed.
His Twitter bot tweeted nearly a hundred times in September 2016 before he finally got angry enough to switch providers.
7. “Genuine Leather” Is Not As Genuine As You Think It Is
You may think that buying that new purse or shoes that feature “genuine” leather just means you’re really buying something that used to belong to a cow and is therefore of a certain level of quality. And you’d be partially right—it did use to belong to a cow. But quality? That’s up for debate, as Reddit user quipkick likes to point out.
The term “genuine” leather is a little misleading as it actually denotes the quality of the leather and is not used to reassure the buyer that the product is indeed made from tanned cow skin. Genuine leather is the second worst quality you can get. It’s made from the thinnest portions of cow skin which don’t have that iconic leather color and texture, so they actually artificially instill it into the leather using dyes and presses.
6. Bee Colony Collapse Disorder Hasn’t Hit Cuba Because They Can’t Import Pesticide Due To The Embargo
Bee colonies have been inexplicably dying off for years, and it’s a real problem. Not only does it raise prices for honey lovers around the world, including original poster Reddit user happy_otter, it causes a huge economic loss in agriculture. Honey bees are the number one pollinator of plants in North America, and without them, crops suffer.
Scientists are still debating the causes of colony collapse disorder, but most agree it has something to do with the use (or overuse) of pesticides.
But there’s a place that doesn’t use pesticides, and therefore hasn’t lost any bees: Cuba. The decades-long embargo on Cuba prevented any pesticides from being imported, so the bees there are doing just fine. Now Cuba exports expensive organic honey to the rest of the world.
5. Tigers Are Vengeful Creatures
From Reddit user, Yoursisterissexy comes a tale of furry revenge. This may come as no surprise to those old enough to remember what happened to Roy of Siegfried and Roy fame, but tigers are smart enough to remember every indignity they suffer and are more than willing to pay you back for it later. They’re just like regular house cats, only they have a bite force able to snap your neck.
According to John Valiant’s book, The Tiger, a Russian hunter was forced to kill a tiger after it stalked and murdered two of his party members. The hunters previously wounded the animal and driven it off from one of their kills, which apparently pissed it off enough to come back and murder the hunters.
4. When Eminem Wanted To Get Clean He Called Elton John For Help
Given the famous rapper’s sometimes homophobic lyrics it may seem like the pair make strange bedfellows, so to speak, but apparently, when Eminem needed to get clean he called his good friend Elton John for advice.
A post via neverbeanotherone reveals how Eminem turned to the famous singer in an interview with the Detroit Metro Times. “Me and him have had similar lives and stuff,” he explained. “We became friends and I talk to him about things, career-wise.”
“When I first wanted to get sober, I called [Elton] and spoke to him about it,” he adds. Elton John went through rehab himself in 1990, so when Eminem began to struggle with an addiction to painkillers in the late 2000s he called the Rocket Man for help.
3. Mark Twain Knew The Secret To Defeating Racism
In his lifetime, Mark Twain famously traveled all over North America and places in Europe and the Pacific Ocean as well. He came to a magnificent discovery during that time, which is shared by Reddit user YourBuddyChurch.
In his book, The Innocents Abroad, he wrote, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”
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2. Native American Performs Ritual Required To Become War Chief – While Serving In WW2
Reddit user mrcchapman brings us the story of Joe Medicine Crow, a Native American chief best known for his historical writing and lectures on The Battle of Little Bighorn. But he’s also famously one of the last Native America War Chiefs, a title he earned during World War II.
While service in Europe, he completed all four ritualistic tasks to become a War Chief: touch an enemy without killing them, take an enemy’s weapon, lead a successful war party, and stealing an enemy’s horse. Horses weren’t particularly common during World War II, but he still managed to steal 50 horses from a Nazi SS training camp, singing a traditional war song as he rode off with them.
His accomplishments would be recognized by then-President Obama in 2009 by being awarded the Medal of Freedom.
1. Ancient Egypt Had 12 Months of Exactly 30 Days, And A Five Day New Year’s Festival
Not sure if this is the Real_Elon_Musk or just a Reddit user that thought the name was cool, but either way he left us a really neat tidbit from history.
The Egyptian year used to be broken up into twelve months of exactly 30 days, and five days of festivities before New Year. It wasn’t all champagne and singing though—it was more a holy week. Each day corresponded with the birth of an Egyptian god, and so most days were spent in worship. The last day celebrated the birth of Nephthys, and that’s when everyone would let loose and party it up.
This 365-day calendar never accounted for leap years, and later Egyptian dynasties would bring the calendar more in line with the Julian calendar with the introduction of an extra day every four years.
Obviously, there are a lot of TILs that we kept off this list. Did we miss one you loved? Let us know!
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