June

1st June

 

Many filling stations display signs warning customers not to use their mobile phone while fuelling a vehicle. However, two studies have concluded that there is virtually no evidence to suggest that mobile phones are hazardous around fuel.

 

People can build up a static charge in different ways, such as getting in and out of a vehicle - the voltage from this has been recorded as high enough to spark a fire. However, as for a mobile phone or its battery igniting the fire, theoretically, it is possible but not probable.

 

Source: Smarter Every Day – facts, trivia, & general knowledge

 

 

2nd June

 

In 1824, a businessman established the first white settlement on the western boundary of Iowa Territory naming it Traders Point. Over time, he successfully built up a good relationship with the local Indian tribes and engaged in trading furs and hides of deer, elk, and buffalo, in exchange for ammunition and dry goods.

 

Due to the coexistence of an active trading post and an established relationship with the local Indian tribes, Traders Point became the desired destination for pioneers to cross the Missouri River as they travelled to the western United States on the Mormon trail. (The Mormon trail is the 1,300 miles (2,092 km) route that members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints travelled between 1846 and 1868 to establish a new home for the church. As they moved, some were assigned to different areas to create new settlements.)

 

Traders Point was renamed Kanesville in 1846 after Thomas L. Kane (1822-1883) who had helped to negotiate federal permission for the Mormons to use Indian land along the Missouri River for their winter encampment of 1846/1847. It was there that the Mormon leader, Brigham Young (1801-1877), was ordained as the second prophet and president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Kanesville Tabernacle.

 

By 1852, after many Mormon settlers had decided to move to Utah, Kanesville was renamed Council Bluffs after a location about 20 miles (32 km) north where members of the Lewis & Clark Expedition had sat in council with the Otoe Tribe on Bluffs near the Missouri River. (The Lewis & Clark Expedition was also known as the Corps of Discovery Expedition which took place between May 1804 and September 1806. A selected group of U.S. Army volunteers were sent to explore and map the newly acquired territory.

 

They were also to study the plant life, animal life, geography, and to establish trade with American-Indian tribes.)

 

In 1886, Council Bluffs became the second city in America to have electric trolleys (also known as trams; Montgomery, the capital of Alabama, introduced trams earlier that same year.)

 

Source: Smarter Every Day – facts, trivia, & general knowledge

 

 

3rd June

 

Brain fingerprinting, a test developed by Lawrence Farwell PhD, was first used in criminal investigations in 1999.

 

The procedure involves a head-mounted sensor being placed on the interviewee while the investigator monitors electroencephalogram (EEG) results to establish if there is a surge of electrical activity in the brain approximately 300 milliseconds after the person is shown a familiar object such as a photo or a document - this is known as a P300 response. Although research supervised by the FBI, the CIA, and the U.S. Navy, confirmed that brain fingerprinting had never given a false-positive or false-negative result it has been argued that the case studies were based entirely on hand-selected participants who answered limited questions rather than on real-world scenarios with unknown participants, so the evidence is not admissible in most courts.

 

There are a few interesting cases - the first was that of convicted murderer James Ray Slaughter who was subjected to brain fingerprinting with results suggesting that he was unfamiliar with the crime scene. However, the court didn’t accept the results into the hearing, and Slaughter was executed by the state of Oklahoma on the 15th March 2005. He was condemned for the murders of his girlfriend Melody Wuertz, and their 11-month-old daughter, Jessica. He insisted that he was not guilty even as the mix of lethal chemicals was injected into his arm.

 

In another case, the state of Iowa did allow brain fingerprinting evidence to be admitted to the court and subsequently won a retrial for a convicted murderer, Terry Harrington. Harrington had been sentenced to life in prison without parole for the murder of retired police captain, John Schweer; his accomplice, Curtis McGhee, was sentenced to life in prison. After serving 25 years, the Iowa Supreme Court released Harrington in April 2003 pending a retrial. In October the same year, the prosecution announced that they would not seek to retry Harrington and dismissed the case although they did state that they still believed he was guilty. McGhee was also released. It had been discovered that several police files had not been handed over to the defence, including one in particular that stated a witness had seen a white man running away from the crime scene; witnesses also recanted their statements.

 

Harrington took legal proceedings against the county for misconduct by the prosecutor, and against the police, and was awarded $7 million. At the trial of a civil case against the city of Council Bluffs and two police officers, the jury failed to reach a unanimous verdict - Harrington received approximately another $3.1 million.

 

Source: Smarter Every Day – facts, trivia, & general knowledge

 

 

4th June

 

In ancient times, a bride and her bridesmaids would all wear matching colours to confuse the evil spirits or anyone who wished to harm the bride.

 

Source: Smarter Every Day – facts, trivia, & general knowledge

 

5th June

A flexitarian is someone who mainly eats a plant-based diet but occasionally eats meat. Flexitarianism is about adding new foods into a healthy eating plan as opposed to excluding them. Meat-eating is planned in advance and is usually good quality lean meat such as turkey or chicken.

 

Source: Smarter Every Day – facts, trivia, & general knowledge

 

 

6th June

 

The hot-air balloon was the invention of French brothers Joseph-Michael and Jacques-Étienne Montgolfier. The first flight took place on 4th June 1783 and lasted for ten minutes, covering a distance of over one mile. On 19th September 1783, the hot-air balloon carried three passengers and flew them approximately 2 miles (3.2 km) before landing safely.

 

At that time, it was unknown what effects high altitude would have on humans. After much deliberation three passengers were selected for particular reasons; a sheep - because it was thought its physiology was similar to humans, a duck – because it was unlikely to be harmed and therefore considered a perfect control, and a rooster - which was used as a further control as it did not fly at high altitudes.

 

The first person to take flight on a hot-air balloon was a science teacher, Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier (1754 to 1785) who stayed aloft for almost four minutes. Nearly two years later he became the first victim of balloon travel as the balloon exploded during an attempt to fly across the English Channel.

 

Source: Smarter Every Day – facts, trivia, & general knowledge

 

 

7th June

 

Mr and Mrs were originally abbreviations of master and mistress and not actually short for Mister and Missus.

 

Dating back to the 15th century, 'mistress' was used as the title prefixed to the name of a married woman.

 

Around the 18th century, missus first became an informal pronunciation of Mrs and became a distinct word from 'mistress'. 'Missus' is never used in official written communication but rather as an informal way to indicate a man’s partner/wife with either ‘the’ or ‘my’ in front of it.

 

Miss was short for mistress although it transferred in meaning along the way to indicate the eldest, unmarried daughter of the family. When referring to other unmarried daughters in the same family, their forename was employed.

 

Another way to address both married and unmarried women alike is to address them as Ms. (pronounced mizz). Usage of this is first documented in 1901, and it avoids having to specify a woman’s marital status in case it is regarded as irrelevant, intrusive, or even potentially discriminatory.

 

Source: Smarter Every Day – facts, trivia, & general knowledge

 

 

8th June

 

On the morning of 16th July 2008, Lerina Garcia Gordo woke up and noticed that the bedsheets were different from the ones she had gone to sleep in the night before. She shrugged it off as she rushed to prepare for work, but when she arrived at her office, her name was no longer on the door. She soon discovered that while she did have a job with that company, it was in a different office for a different director. One of the strangest things she found was that she was still in a relationship with someone she thought was an ex, and the boyfriend she thought she was dating didn’t seem to exist.

 

Gordo visited her doctor and later a psychiatrist, but they found everything to be okay and that she was not suffering from a psychotic breakdown. The psychiatrist suggested she was suffering from stress and had hallucinated these inconsistencies, but she didn’t agree.

 

After her events were made public other people came forward to share similar experiences. World events

and news had remained the same, but personal circumstances had changed.

 

Some concluded that she somehow travelled between parallel universes with seemingly no way back while some think it is a case of alter-vú which is a strange phenomenon in which someone remembers their timeline differently.

 

Source: Smarter Every Day – facts, trivia, & general knowledge

 

 

9th June

 

Déjá rêvé is a feeling similar to Déjá Vu (the French term that translates as already seen) except that instead of feeling like an event has been experienced previously in real life, it feels like the event has occurred before in a dream.

 

Source: Smarter Every Day – facts, trivia, & general knowledge

 

 

10th June

 

The days of being thrilled by hearing the dial-up connection noise (the static beep-beep-beep-duh-duh-dsshh) that signalled entry to the World-Wide-Web are not entirely over yet! In 2017, it was estimated that America still had 2.1 million people using the old dial-up connection. Many areas had been left behind with technology advancement because they were either too remote, or access to high-speed internet was too expensive and still unreliable.

Source: Smarter Every Day – facts, trivia, & general knowledge

 

11th June

 

In January 2019 it was calculated that there are over 1.94 billion websites.

 

The most visited website in the world is Google, followed by YouTube. Facebook ranked as the 3rd most visited site.

 

Source: Smarter Every Day – facts, trivia, & general knowledge

 

12th June

 

The deep web is all of the World Wide Web incorporating websites that cannot be found by conventional search engines as the pages are not indexed. The dark web is a part of the internet that is only accessible through the use of special software known as TOR (an acronym for a software project known as The Onion Router) which allows users and website operators to remain anonymous or untraceable.

 

Some dark web users have revealed certain things that it contains with child exploitation accounting for a substantial amount of the dark web. For $10,000, an American ID, passport, driving licence, and all the necessary paperwork can be bought, enabling the buyer to start a new life in America. There are blogs written by ex-prisoners revealing the secrets of prison gangs as well as explaining how to survive prison life and advice on how to get drugs in and out of the complex. Medical services of a kind are available - one dark web user described a system in various countries where the homeless or kidnapped people are kept as slaves and for a negotiable amount of money any medical experiment could be carried out on them, e.g. to find out how much of a particular substance it would take to kill someone.

 

Another user described the instructions on how to turn a person into a living sex doll that couldn’t communicate. The process involved severing vocal cords, surgically removing limbs, and replacing teeth with silicone dental dams. In most cases, the victims were women who had been kidnapped.

 

Some estimate that the deep web is about 400-500 times larger than the surface web.

 

One of the founders of Silk Road (the first modern darknet platform renowned for selling illegal drugs) started a book bazaar that gives access to books about conspiracy theories and literature that has been banned. The Bible is available on the dark web, not just the King James version but twenty-one other versions as well. Since owning or reading a Bible is forbidden in many countries, this is one of the positive aspects of the dark web as it offers a refuge from regimes that suppress personal freedom and privacy.

 

Many people believe that there is yet another layer of the dark web called Mariana’s Web where themed movies are available such as gladiators fighting to the death, psychopaths playing a game of conkers by swinging babies by the ankles to crush the skull of the opponent’s infant. Some evidence suggests that there are notorious Red Rooms where people pay to watch someone being tortured to death – they have the option to type cruel commands into a chatbox and watch them being carried out.

 

While the ethos of creating the deep and dark web was to take back control of privacy it has enabled whistle-blowers to share classified documents with journalists, as well as being a place where those in

disagreement with the government can organise political protests, and citizens in oppressive regimes can access news and information that is not readily available.

 

The legalities of the dark web are still a grey area as there is not any law yet that bans the use of TOR.

 

However, while using the dark web may technically be legal, it does open the door for illegal and illicit activity. Just like the surface web, there is good and bad wherever you look.

 

Source: Smarter Every Day – facts, trivia, & general knowledge

 

 

13th June

 

One in 20 people in Britain does not believe the Nazi death camps ever existed while 1 in 12 believe the scale of the Holocaust has been exaggerated.

 

Source: Smarter Every Day – facts, trivia, & general knowledge

 

14th June

 

The biscuit-eating puppet on the U.S. children’s show, Sesame Street, known as the Cookie Monster, has a name – Sid. The blue-furred muppet is known for showing off his talents by singing “C is for Cookie” but as part of an anti-obesity campaign started to advise viewers that cookies are a ‘sometimes’ food. His cookies have also been swapped for rice cakes!

 

In the African version of Sesame Street, the Cookie Monster is known as Zobi. The producers have taken into account the fact that not many Nigerian children have access to cookies, so instead, Zobi has an

insatiable craving for one of the country’s staple foods – yams. Zobi can often be heard shouting out “Me eat yam!”

 

Source: Smarter Every Day – facts, trivia, & general knowledge

 

 

15th June

 

The Hollywood Walk of Fame was an idea thought up in 1953 by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce’s volunteer president - E.M. Stuart. The walk, proposed partly as a way to maintain the glory of the community which portrayed glamour and excitement, and partly to encourage redevelopment, has been acknowledged as one of the most successful marketing ideas ever presented.

 

In the beginning, there were four categories: Motion Pictures, Television, Radio, and Recording/Music. The fifth category of theatre/live performance was added in 1984.

 

There was not an official ‘first’ recipient as the stars were installed as a continuous project. Eight stars were unveiled on the 15th of August 1958 to demonstrate what the walk would look like, but construction was delayed due to two lawsuits being filed. The first was by property owners who opposed the $1.25 million tax assessment that came with the Walk’s construction; the second was by Charlie Chaplin Jr. who sued for damages as his father had been excluded. The selection committee had decided not to include Charlie Chaplin as, although he had been exonerated, he had been charged with violating the Mann Act.

 

The largest group of individuals represented by one single star are the estimated 122 adults and 12 children who starred in the Wizard of Oz and were collectively known as The Munchkins.

 

The names of the crew members from Apollo XI are displayed in a moon-shaped plaque rather than a star.

 

The Walk of Fame stretches over a mile on Hollywood Boulevard and displays over 2,600 stars.

 

Source: Smarter Every Day – facts, trivia, & general knowledge

 

 

16th June

 

It was reported that Charlie Chaplin entered a Chaplin Look-Alike Contest at some stage between 1915 and 1921. From a total of 40 competitors, he came in 27th place.

 

Dolly Parton also entered a look-alike contest that took place during Halloween celebrations on Santa Monica Boulevard. Although she admittedly over-exaggerated her look, she was not given any attention as they said she was too short to be convincing. A drag queen won the competition!

Source: Smarter Every Day – facts, trivia, & general knowledge

 

17th June

 

On the 5th July 1996, Dolly, the Finnish-Dorset sheep, was born. Dolly was the first mammal to be successfully cloned from an adult somatic cell using the process of nuclear transfer.

 

She was named Dolly after the American singer, songwriter, author, and businesswoman, Dolly Parton. The humorous reason behind the name-calling was because the sheep was cloned from a mammary gland cell, and the scientists involved in the cloning project could not think of a more impressive pair of glands than Dolly Parton’s.

During her lifetime, Dolly (the sheep) had to sleep indoors for security reasons.

 

Dolly was sadly euthanised on 14th February 2003 due to a progressive form of lung cancer and severe arthritis. It was speculated that she may only have lived approximately half of the typical life expectancy of a Finnish Dorset (i.e. 10 to 12 years) because the cell used in the cloning process was taken from a six-year-old sheep which caused Dolly to be born with a genetic age of six.

 

Four identical clones of Dolly were born – Daisy, Debbie, Dianna, and Denise, of all who lived longer than Dolly.

 

Dolly’s taxidermied remains are on display at the National Museum of Scotland.

 

Source: Smarter Every Day – facts, trivia, & general knowledge

 

 

18th June

 

When a female lamb has been weaned from its mother's milk, which usually takes around sixty days, it is known as a hogg.

 

A hogg becomes a sheep when she reaches one-year-old.

 

At two years old they experience the first shearing and are then referred to as a shearling. At around the same age, a sheep will give birth to her first set of lambs. After the birth of the second set, the mother has earned the title ewe (which is when she is about three years old).

 

Sheep are seasonal breeders as their oestrous cycle is determined by the length of daylight (photoperiod). Most of them are short-daylight/late autumn breeders which means that lambs are born during the winter. The average gestation length varies from 138 to 159 days.

 

Australia, Greece, Ireland, New Zealand, and Uruguay, are the primary lamb and mutton consuming countries. Meat sold as baby lamb is from an animal killed at between six to ten weeks old; lamb is from a five to six-month-old. Mutton is from a ram or ewe, which is at least one year old.

 

Named after its large horns which can weigh up to 30 lbs (14 kg), the Bighorn Sheep is a species native to North America. The males fight each other for dominance or mating rights – one tactic is to hurl themselves at each other in charges calculated at up to 20 miles per hour (32 kph). Scientists have hypothesised several explanations for their ability to avoid sustaining a concussion and conclude that not only do their thick skulls serve as protection but that the volume of blood pumped into their brain post-collision creates a protective cushion that shields the brain when it moves or bounces off the inner wall of the skull. Another explanation is that the horns have a bony centre which is wrapped in a thick layer of keratin which is more flexible and shock-absorbent than bone.

 

Source: Smarter Every Day – facts, trivia, & general knowledge

 

19th June

 

Season Shot is shotgun ammunition that is loaded with high-density spice balls instead of steel pellets that is just as lethal as regular birdshot with a range of 135 feet (45 yards). The seasoning is tightly packed

inside an edible casing that dissolves when the bird is being cooked. Thanksgiving dinner can now be marinated from the instant it is shot!

 

Source: Smarter Every Day – facts, trivia, & general knowledge

 

 

20th June

 

Between 1155 A.D. and 1752 A.D., various places throughout Europe officially recognised New Year’s Day as the 25th March.

 

Until 1582, Europe had used the Julian calendar. However, it was discovered that the Julian calendar did not align precisely with the solar calendar, which meant that by the late 1500s there was a time difference of around ten days. The Roman Catholic Church was particularly concerned as the Easter celebration was gradually getting later than when it has been celebrated by the early church.

 

Although Pope Gregory XIII instituted a change to the Gregorian calendar in October 1582, England continued using the Julian calendar until 1752 due to their history of conflict with the Roman Catholic church. By that stage, England was eleven days out of alignment with the rest of Europe, so the decision was made to drop eleven days out of September for that particular year. However, people took to the streets in protest as they felt they had been robbed of 11 days, yet their taxes were not being adjusted accordingly. The Treasury agreed to extend the tax year by adding 11 days on at the end of it which brought the beginning of the 1753 tax year to the 5th April. In 1800 A.D. a further adjustment was made to again mitigate the difference between the Julian and Gregorian calendars which moved the tax year to the 6th April. The beginning of the tax year was formalised as the 6th April from 1900. Although some countries have adopted the calendar year as their tax year, the U.K. and others, such as Australia, have not.

 

Source: Smarter Every Day – facts, trivia, & general knowledge

 

 

21st June

A chef’s hat was officially called a toque until the 1800s when it became known as a 'Toque Blanche' or 'white hat'. The hat’s height indicated the chef’s position and knowledge - the taller the hat, the more knowledgeable and higher ranking the chef was.

 

As the legend goes, white was chosen by the personal chef of Charles Talleyrand-Périgord (1754-1838) who served as the first French Prime Minister in 1815.

 

The theory as to why chefs wear hats dates back to 146 B.C. when the Byzantine Empire invaded Greece. Greek chefs fled to nearby monasteries and dressed up as monks to avoid being recognised – this included wearing a large stovepipe hat. Afterwards, the Greek chefs continued to wear the hats as both a form of rebellion and a sign of solidarity - the tradition was later adopted by the French.

 

It has also been recorded that during the 7th century A.D., Assyrian kings feared being poisoned by a resentful chef so, in an attempt to keep on their good side, chefs were given hats similar to a kings’ crown (minus the jewels of course) to elevate the importance of their vocation.

 

Pleats also served a purpose! In the early days of the Toque Blanche, it is said that pleats would often represent how many recipes a chef had mastered, e.g. if a toque had 100 pleats, the chef would know 100 ways to serve an egg.

 

Today it is mostly skull caps, hair nets, or baseball caps that are worn with toque’s being limited to the more expensive restaurants, and even then, they are usually reserved for the kitchen elite; pleats still demonstrate the level of experience the wearer has.

 

Source: Smarter Every Day – facts, trivia, & general knowledge

 

 

22nd June

 

Screeched is the most commonly cited word given when asked what the longest one-syllable English word is. However, there are others such as schlepped, scratched, scrounged, scrunched, stretched, straights, and strengths, all of which have nine letters.

 

Source: Smarter Every Day – facts, trivia, & general knowledge

 

 

23rd June

 

Traditionally, sausages have been made from the tougher cuts of meat such as the leg or shoulder as muscles that are more exercised tend to be highly developed and contain more flavour. Pork or pork blends are the most common sausage meat which is accompanied by fat, seasoning, and sometimes fillers.

 

The industry has been known to add in all manner of interesting substances for fillers which are not just the unsavoury odds and ends of the animals, like gristle and offal (pig offal consists of the heart, lungs, brain, liver, cheeks, and tongue), but items such as rice, cabbage, animal blood, and even banana and carrageenan.

 

Link sausages are stuffed into natural casings made from the intestines of animals – historically this was the lining of a goat’s stomach. However, today natural casings are made from the submucosa, i.e. a layer of the intestines which consists of naturally occurring collagen. This can be from goats, pigs, cattle, sheep, and sometimes a horse.

 

Synthetic casings, made from collagen taken from the hides of cows and pigs (and includes the bones and tendons), are available; these can also be made from poultry and fish.

 

The tough casings made for wieners and frankfurters are known as cellulose casings. They contain viscose, a material comprised of cellulose from wood pulp; they are permeable and are peeled off after the sausage has been smoked. Another alternative is plastic casings which are most commonly used in the production of cooked sausages.

 

Sausages became known as bangers during the Second World War as they contained so much water (due to the rationing of other ingredients) that they exploded when fried.

 

The German supermarket, Edeka, known for being controversial in their marketing, created a storm in 2013 when they released male and female sausages. The girl sausages were lean and half the size of the male sausages - they were also more expensive.

 

Source: Smarter Every Day – facts, trivia, & general knowledge

 

 

24th June

 

Bahrain, (officially the Kingdom of Bahrain), is anarchipelago of thirty-three islands in the Persian Gulf. In 623 A.D. it became one of the earliest areas to convert to Islam. Bahrain had the first post-oil economy in the Persian Gulf after being discovered in 1932. It is reported that in Bahrain’s culture, burping after a meal is acceptable as it is a sign of appreciation and satiety.

 

Burping is the body’s way of expelling excess air from the upper digestive tract. Most burping is caused by swallowing excess air by eating or drinking too fast, talking while eating, chewing gum, or drinking fizzy drinks. This air most often never reaches the stomach but instead accumulates in the oesophagus.

 

Geneva, Switzerland, is home for the headquarters of the World Burping Federation. The organisation promotes the best practices for burping and aims to remove the stigma that has become associated with it. The WBF recognises that, with the exclusion of Bahrain, most cultures consider burping to be rude, but by holding a series of promotional belching competitions it hopes to usher in a change in cultural acceptance. Tim Janus, a pizza chef from New York, set the official burping record at 18.1 seconds. The Guinness World record states that the world’s longest burp was performed by Michele Forgione (from Italy) who, in June 2009, released wind for a staggering 1 minute, 13 seconds and 57 milliseconds.

 

Source: Smarter Every Day – facts, trivia, & general knowledge

 

 

25th June

 

A study conducted by a Yale University professor in 1982 revealed that Crayola crayons ranked amongst the top 20 most frequently identifiable smells. This unique scent is created mainly by stearic acid, a derivative of beef fat, that is used to deliver a waxy consistency.

 

Source: Smarter Every Day – facts, trivia, & general knowledge

 

26th June

 

To understand how a mirror works, an understanding of how light works is required. The law of reflection indicates that when a ray of light hits a surface, it bounces at an equal angle, which is known as the angle of reflection.

 

By definition, an object is whatever colour it doesn’t absorb through wavelengths of light and scatters the unabsorbed colour into the viewer's eyes – the scattering is known as diffuse reflection. A mirror doesn’t scatter light in this way though – it reflects light in a single outgoing direction known as specular reflection, which creates an image of the object in front of it.

 

A mirror reflects all colours almost perfectly, so in theory, it should be white. Mirrors are sometimes described as a kind of ‘smart white’, but that would indicate that it was a perfect mirror that doesn’t really exist. Scientists have discovered that mirrors do reflect one wavelength of light slightly better than others, which is light in the 510-nanometre range, which we perceive as green. This becomes more obvious when a mirror tunnel is created - the further into the tunnel someone looks, the more green they will see.

 

European glassmakers began coating clear glass with a film of reflective metal during the 15th and 16th centuries.  However, in 1835, German chemist Justus von Liebig was accredited with developing the process of applying a thin layer of metallic silver to a pane of glass to create a reflection. His idea was adapted and improved on overtime.

 

Source: Smarter Every Day – facts, trivia, & general knowledge

 

27th June

 

Casinos are purposefully built in a way that draws guests further in and tempts them to spend more time and part with their hard-earned money. There may be windows at the entrance/exit, but as the player is pulled further in, they have no way of knowing whether it is light or dark outside.

 

Cashiers and restrooms are often positioned in the bowels of the building in another cunning way to pull players in and present them with different and exciting vending machines. Stimulating sounds such as bells ringing, change clattering, and wheels whirring capture their attention. The carpeting isn’t selected randomly – the colourful swirls and designs are mesmerising and along with soft lighting make the player feel mesmerised yet at the same time relaxed. There are no clocks - even the dealers can't tell anyone the time as they are advised not to wear a watch. When the player is caught up in their activities, they do not realise how much time has slipped away.

 

Some casinos offer free alcohol which is an obvious tactic to deter the players from leaving as well as shedding their inhibitions so that they participate more willingly. Alcohol also slows down the ability to concentrate and increases the likelihood of becoming more liberal with money.

 

Rumours have circulated that oxygen is pumped in to keep people awake, but the reality is that it is only an air freshener in an attempt to mask any nasty smells from so many people in one place without windows. 

 

Source: Smarter Every Day – facts, trivia, & general knowledge

 

28th June

 

McDonald’s was founded in 1948 by brothers Richard and Maurice McDonald.

 

During the 1950s through to the 1970s, Bozo the clown was the star of various television shows. An advertising agency who worked with both ‘The Bozo Show’ and a McDonald’s franchise saw the opportunity to capitalise on Bozo’s fame and convinced McDonald's to have their own clown. Subsequently, the company’s mascot, Ronald McDonald, was introduced in 1963.  

 

In Japan, Ronald McDonald is known as Donald McDonald. The name alteration was made in 1971 when the first fast-food restaurant was opened. A businessman deemed it easier to pronounce as having the ro sound so close to the ru sound had the potential of becoming a tongue twister. However, that is a simplified explanation – it also has to do with native Japanese sounds and how they flow together.

 

McDonald's have had their fair share of criticism over the years. Attempts have been made to move away from the unhealthy reputation they have by adding vegan burgers, eliminating supersized portions, and not using trans-fat oil in some regions. They have also faced criticism for paying low wages – the word McJob has been added to the dictionary to describe a low-paying job without future prospects.

 

Source: Smarter Every Day – facts, trivia, & general knowledge

 

 

29th June

 

In the Swedish ski resort of Lindvallen, a McDonald's restaurant called McSki has a dedicated window where skiers can place their order rather than having to take their skis off to go inside the 140-seater restaurant.

 

Source: Smarter Every Day – facts, trivia, & general knowledge

 

 

30th June

 

The two main systems for measuring weight and distance are the imperial and metric systems.

 

The imperial system was first defined in the British Weights and Measures Act of 1824 and was officially used in the United Kingdom until 1995 (although most people in the older generation still use the imperial units, e.g. measurement is in feet and inches, mass and weight is by ounces, pounds, stone, hundredweight, and liquid capacity is in pints, quarts, and gallons).

 

The United States customary system of weights and measures is derived from the British Imperial System. America is one of just three countries in the world that still use the imperial system, although it differs from the original British system; the other two countries are Myanmar and Liberia.

 

One of the quirks of the imperial system is the words that are used as a unit of measurement – e.g. a butt is 108 imperial gallons and measures a wine or whisky cask. One butt is the equivalent of two hogsheads!

 

It is generally accepted that a hand measures 4 inches (which was standardised by Henry VIII in 1541); three hands (12 inches) is equal to one foot. The hand measurement can be traced back to ancient Egyptians who had the earliest recorded standardised system based on a royal cubit, i.e. the length of a man’s arm from the elbow to the tip of his middle finger. Horses are still measured by hands in the U.K., U.S.A., Australia, Canada, India, Ireland, and South Africa. The measurement is made from the ground to the horse’s withers (its shoulders) or the ridge between the shoulder blades, which is the tallest point that doesn’t move.

 

The main distinction between a horse and a pony is its height. A horse is usually considered to be an equine that is at least 14.2 hands whereas a pony is an equine less than 14.2 hands.

 

Source: Smarter Every Day – facts, trivia, & general knowledge