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Improving your knowledge daily with interesting facts, stories and things that make you think. We fact check all of our content.


When Yankee Doodle went to town a-riding on a pony, he was being...



When Yankee Doodle went to town a-riding on a pony, he was being a poser. The British wrote the song ‘Yankee Doodle’ to ridicule Americans’ lack of class. The term ‘macaroni’ described those sophisticated, worldly, and upper-class people with a stylish sense of fashion, so when that Yankee simpleton (doodle) put some random feather on his hat and called it classy (macaroni), it was just a failed attempt at trying to look cool. Source


Chaser the border collie has the largest tested memory of a...



Chaser the border collie has the largest tested memory of a non-human animal. She knows 1,022 different toys by name and can retrieve them all by name or category. She also understands common nouns (like house and tree) and can infer the meaning of new words based on ones she already knows. Source Source 2 Source 3


Yelling, venting, or punching a pillow when you’re mad...



Yelling, venting, or punching a pillow when you’re mad only makes you angrier in the long run. This trains your brain to associate anger with aggression and creates a counterproductive cycle: the aggression makes you feel better, the rush you get from being angry then becomes addictive, and you end up forming a habit. Basically, allowing yourself to lash out in anger is like getting drunk to control your urge to drink. Source Source 2


did-you-kno: In Finland, PhD graduates get a top hat and sword...



did-you-kno:

In Finland, PhD graduates get a top hat and sword with their diploma.

Source


In 1860, 1 in 7 Americans was a slave owned by another...



In 1860, 1 in 7 Americans was a slave owned by another American. Source Source 2 Source 3


When you can’t make a decision because you’ve...



When you can’t make a decision because you’ve overanalyzed the pros and cons to the point that you’re too overwhelmed to come to a rational conclusion and therefore fail to make any decisions at all, you have ‘analysis paralysis’. Source Source 2 Source 3

In chess, this is referred to as Kotov Syndrome (where a player thinks so far ahead that they run out of time and make a bad move), and is partly the reason chess matches have game clocks and time penalties.                                            


Emotion recognition software determined that Leonardo da...



Emotion recognition software determined that Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa is 83% happy, 9% disgusted, 6% fearful, and 2% angry. Source Source 2 Source 3


Nelson Mandela was a master of disguise known for his ability...



Nelson Mandela was a master of disguise known for his ability to evade arrest.  Source Source 2

July 18th is not only his birthday, but is also Nelson Mandela International Day. So… Happy NMID BDAY.


No matter the quality of their neighborhood, teens who grow up...



No matter the quality of their neighborhood, teens who grow up around green spaces are less likely to be aggressive. Source Source 2


People used to gather at Ikea locations and play hide-and-seek....



People used to gather at Ikea locations and play hide-and-seek. Ikea initially supported the idea, but the groups became too large. These gatherings gained so much popularity on social media that a Facebook event at one of their Dutch stores had 32,000 people planning to attend, so they had to shut it down for safety reasons. Source Source 2


did-you-kno:Queen Elizabeth II is related to Vlad the Impaler,...



did-you-kno:

Queen Elizabeth II is related to Vlad the Impaler, making Prince Charles the ‘heir to Dracula’s bloodline.’ Source Source 2


A man once pointed two guns at Teddy Roosevelt and insisted...



A man once pointed two guns at Teddy Roosevelt and insisted that he pour drinks for the entire bar. Teddy said, “Well, if I’ve got to, I’ve got to,” then stood up, knocked the guy out with three punches, and took his guns away. Source Source 2


Some fish communicate by farting. Source



Some fish communicate by farting. Source


When the Japanese series Sailor Moon was dubbed in English for...



When the Japanese series Sailor Moon was dubbed in English for the US, the lesbian couple Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune were portrayed as cousins to avoid controversy. However, the edits didn’t hide their obvious flirting, so their attempts at censorship instead caused people to think the relationship was both homosexual and incestuous. Source Source 2

NOT cousins…


did-you-kno:About 3 months after Charlie Chaplin died, grave...



did-you-kno:

About 3 months after Charlie Chaplin died, grave robbers dug up his body and held it for ransom. When the thieves contacted his family demanding $600,000, police tapped the phone and caught them in no time because they kept calling from a nearby phone booth. Chaplin’s body was safely returned, reburied, and covered in a giant slab of concrete. Source


This isn’t a dinosaur fossil; it’s a mummy....



This isn’t a dinosaur fossil; it’s a mummy. Scientists think the 110 million-year-old nodosaur was swept to sea by a flooding river, sank, landed on its back, and was pressed into the ocean floor. It’s so well- preserved that it still has intestines and weighs 2,500 of its original 3,000 lbs. Source Source 2 Source 3


When Mary Todd Lincoln was asked if her husband, Abe, had any...



When Mary Todd Lincoln was asked if her husband, Abe, had any hobbies, she replied: “Cats.” Source Source 2


Ian McKellen was offered $1.5 million to officiate a Lord of...



Ian McKellen was offered $1.5 million to officiate a Lord of the Rings-themed wedding as Gandalf the Grey. He doesn’t like dressing up, “except in plays and things,” so he turned down the gig by saying: “Gandalf doesn’t do weddings.” Source Source 2


did-you-kno: In 1863, Jules Verne wrote “Paris in the 20th...



did-you-kno:

In 1863, Jules Verne wrote “Paris in the 20th Century,” a manuscript that predicted glass skyscrapers, submarines, the technology to land on the moon, feminism, and a statistical rise in illegitimate births. His publisher rejected the story because it was unbelievable, so Verne put it in a safe - where it was forgotten until his great-grandson rediscovered in in 1989.

It was one of the first science-fiction novels written by Jules Verne, but because it was lost in a safe for over 125 years, it was the last to be published.

Source


You drink dinosaur pee every day. Earth’s water is so old...



You drink dinosaur pee every day. Earth’s water is so old that, statistically speaking, every time you drink a glass of water, you’re probably swallowing a water molecule that passed through a dinosaur. Source Source 2