Fun Facts Roundup

December 28, 2016

5yo Elle with Tigger, who hopefully (for his sake) was wearing clean underwear
▪ Until 2001, Disney World theme park characters were required to wear company-issued undergarments. After months of negotiation and countless employee complaints of contracting pubic lice and scabies from Disney-laundered undergarments, Disney agreed to issue individual underwear to employees that they can wash themselves. (Source: LA Times)

▪ American fashion designer Ralph Lauren's birth name was Ralph Lifshitz; he legally changed it when he was 16, because his "given name has the word shit in it." (Source: O Magazine)

▪ I recently discovered that I don't know what sounds most animals make; even the ones I thought I knew were caricatures of their real voices. It turns out pandas whine; koalas growl; armadillos wail; alligators grunt; and squirrels bark (and make a host of other confusing sounds).

▪ The following cities are located at similar latitudes: New York City (40°40′N, 73°56′W); Madrid (40°25′N, 3°41′W); Salt Lake City (40°45′N, 111°53′W); Bursa (40°11′N, 29°03′E); Naples (40°51′N, 14°16′E); and Boulder (40°01′N, 105°17′W).

▪ Because it's fun to know which cities sit across vast swaths of land and ocean from each other, these cities also share similar latitudes: Raleigh (35°49′N, 78°39′W); Tehran (35°42′N, 51°25′E); Tokyo (35°41′N, 139°42′E); Santa Fe (35°40′N, 105°58′W); Memphis (35°07′N, 89°58′W); Busan (35°11′N,    129°05′E); and Oklahoma City (35°29′N, 97°32′W).

▪ Aurora (aka Sleeping Beauty) had a total of 18 lines of dialogue and about 18 minutes of screen time in her namesake movie. (Source: Wikipedia)

▪ I am guilty of casually misusing these terms, but it nevertheless annoys me when I misspeak: "Weather is what conditions of the atmosphere are over a short period of time, and climate is how the atmosphere 'behaves' over relatively long periods of time." (Source: NASA)

▪ 2015's most popular baby names are Noah (male) and Emma (female). (Source: SSA)

▪ Should I ever exhaust the activities on my bucket list, I may visit some of these places (if only to take a selfie next to their welcome signs): Why, Arizona (USA); Boring, Oregon (USA; its town motto is "The most exciting place to live."); Fucking, 5121 (Austria); Bastardstown, Wexford (Ireland); ; Shitterton, Dorset (England); Assawoman, Virginia (USA); Joe Batt's Arm-Barr'd Islands-Shoal Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador (Canada); Satans Kingdom, Vermont (USA); Happyland, Oklahoma (USA; there's also a Happyland in Connecticut); Batman, Anatolia (Turkey; whose former mayor once threatened to sue Warner Bros. and Chris Nolan over the use of "Batman"); and Buttzville, New Jersey (USA).
 
▪ Subway has 43,916 franchised units in the U.S. as of 2015; McDonald's was a distant second, with 29,712 units. (Source: Entrepreneur Magazine)

▪ The minimum wage in the U.S. is $7.25 (effective July 2009); five states (AL, LA, MS, SC, and TN) have no minimum wage requirements, two states (GA and WY) have lower than federal minimum wage requirements (both at $5.15); 14 states have the same minimum wage requirements as the federal rate; and 29 states (+ the District of Columbia) have minimum wages that exceed the federal rate. (Source: DOL)

▪ Infants blink only once or twice a minute (this rate would steadily increase until they are 14 or 15), compared to a rate of 10-15 times a minute for adults. (Source: NYT)

The Lego Group, best known for its plastic brick toys, is the world's largest rubber tire manufacturer. (Source: the Lego Group; related reading: "This is the definitive Lego wheel and tire guide")

▪ In 2012 (I couldn't find studies more recent than this), 7% of U.S. fathers are stay-at-home dads. (Source: Pew Research Center)

Grover Cleveland was both the 22nd and the 24th President of the U.S., so President-elect Trump will technically be the 44th person to ascend to the presidency, and the 45th U.S. President. 

Women workers account for some eighty percent of the workforce in seven sectors paying low wages (under $15 an hour): administrative assistance, healthcare support, retail, food preparation and serving, early childhood care and education, beauty and personal services, and cleaning and housekeeping. (Source: Oxfam America)

▪  For 47 days in 1961, the painting Le Bateau by French artist Henri Matisse was hung upside down in the Museum of Modern Art. (Source: NYT; related reading: Nothing Is New And No One Looks At It)

▪ The suffix -stan has its root in the Persian word for "country" or "land." (Source: World Atlas and Slate; related reading: Kazakhstan's president Nursultan Nazarbayev—assumed office in 1991—is exploring changing its name.)

Ken, Barbie's male companion, was introduced by Mattel in 1961. The two stayed together in the mythos until 2004, when Mattel announced their split. And they reconciled on Valentine's Day in 2011. (Source: Mattel)

▪ For the SSA, 66 is the full retirement age, though the earliest that a person can start to receive Social Security benefits is 62 (those who receive benefits early will only get a portion of what they would've received at full retirement age; conversely, those who elect to collect benefits later than full retirement age will receive a larger-than-full-retirement-age payment). (Source: SSA)

Happy Hump Day!

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