23 Useless Facts That You Totally Need To Know

Because WHAT IF this stuff comes up in trivia sometime? Thanks to this Quora thread for inspiration.

1. People with higher incomes generally prefer their toilet paper to come over the roll, while those with lower incomes prefer it to go under.

Flickr: jtu / Creative Commons

In a 1989 book, Barry Sinrod and Mel Poretz revealed that 60% of people making more than $50,000 a year preferred the toilet paper to come over the roll, while 73% of those making under $20,000 preferred it to go under.

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2. Women have been found to blink more often than men.

A study of spontaneous blinking patterns found women blink 19 times per minute, compared to 11 for men.

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3. A jiffy is an actual unit of time, not just an expression.

In computer engineering, it is the length of one cycle of the computer’s system clock (around 10 milliseconds). In chemistry and physics, a jiffy is the amount of time it takes light to travel a distance of one centimeter — about 33.3564 picoseconds.

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4. The lint that collects in the bottom of your pockets has a name — gnurr.

Flickr: timf / Creative Commons
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5. The founders of Hewlett-Packard flipped a coin to determine whose name would come first in the company.

Flickr: oyf / Creative Commons
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6. Some animals, like the western spotted skunk, are able to delay their pregnancies for months.

Brian Kentosh / Via en.wikipedia.org

In these cases, the embryos cease developing for a certain period of time before attaching to the uterine wall. Other animals with types of delayed pregnancies include otters and kangaroos.

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7. Sigmund Freud once believed that cocaine could be used to help treat morphine addiction.

photopixel / Via shutterstock.com
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8. NASA had to rename the sizes of the apparatus used for male astronauts to pee, from small, medium, and large, to large, gigantic, and humongous, because no one was willing to pick their true size.

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9. Flamingos get their color from the carotenoid pigments in the foods that they eat, like algae and shrimp.

Flickr: pedrosz / Creative Commons

Once their feathers shed, they quickly lose their color.

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10. The line between the two numbers in a fraction is called the vinculum.


The vinculum can have more than one term over or under it — it signifies that the group of terms is to be operated upon as a single expression.

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11. You can get a rough estimate of the temperature by counting the number of times a cricket chirps in 15 seconds, then adding 37.

(The temperature in Fahrenheit, that is.)

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12. The U.S. pizza industry serves up to 100 acres of pizza every day.

Flickr: 59247791@N08 / Creative Commons
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13. Scientists accidentally killed the world’s oldest animal while trying to do research on it.

Flickr: baggis / Creative Commons

The quahog (not the one pictured above) was over 500 years old when it died.

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14. If you type in 52.376552, 5.198303 on Google Maps, you can see what is allegedly two guys dragging a dead body into a lake.

Update: I mean, it’s probably not actually that. But it kind of looks like it, no?

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15. After each player has moved three times in a chess match, there are 121 million possible routes that the match could follow.

Flickr: slayer23 / Creative Commons
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16. A standard 3x3 Rubik’s Cube has 43,252,003,274,489,856,000 different possible configurations.

Flickr: dullhunk / Creative Commons

And, believe it or not, every single one can be solved in 20 moves or fewer.

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17. The verb form of the word “run” has been calculated to have almost 650 different meanings.

Hanna-Barbera Productions / Via dailycal.org

According to Oxford English Dictionary editor John Simpson.

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18. In the 14th century, French officials executed a pig in public who was charged with having eaten an infant.

Flickr: rajthesnapper / Creative Commons
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19. A cubic inch of bone is about four times as strong as concrete.

Flickr: qubodup / Creative Commons
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20. Camels have three eyelids to help protect themselves from sand blowing in their eyes.

Flickr: ncarey / Creative Commons
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21. The world’s oldest chewing gum dates back at least 5,000 years.

Flickr: greatist / Creative Commons
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22. An ostrich’s brain is approximately the same size as its eyeball.

Flickr: doug88888 / Creative Commons
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23. The ideal height for you to drop your buttered toast from if you want it to land butter side up is eight feet.

Happy Together / Via shutterstock.com
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And now you know.

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