Let’s Get Smarter!

When I was a kid, I had a teacher who told me that a good day was going to bed smarter than when you woke up.  She was right.  Even though, in the 21st century, we have the wisdom of the ages in our pockets, the act of learning is good for the psyche, the ego, the mind, body and soul.  It feels good.  To that end, here is a bunch of useless information than won’t change the world, but it will make you feel good about yourself.  Enjoy!

Mona Lisa has no eyebrows.  No biggie!  It was just the fashion at the time of the painting.

Since the advent of commercial passenger airlines in the 1920s, the entire population of planet Earth has never actually been on planet Earth — all at the same time.

Unless you’re a hopeless egomaniac, the rest of the world sees you as a lot more attractive than you see yourself.

American astronaut Charlie Duke left a photograph of his family on the Moon in 1972.  It’s still there.

Computer malfunctions are called “bugs” because the first one was caused by a real bug crawling around in the equipment.

The laws of probability alone dictate that there are at least 4,000 undetected serial killers in the world.

Statistically, in times of stress (war, recession, famine, natural disaster, etc.) there are more male births than female.

When you close your eyes, the colour you see isn’t black – it’s a unique shade called eigengrau.

Birds do not pee — ever.  They do other things when they are flying around up there – so be careful – but they don’t pee.

On average, people have 5 secrets that they’ve never told anyone – and usually only one of those is about someone else.

If you’re overwhelmed by downloads, uploads, Skype, Messenger, Zoom, streaming and on and on and on.  If you can’t (don’t wanna) understand what half the icons on your Smart phones are for.  If you long for the days when your VCR flashed 12:00, 12:00, 12:00.  Then you suffer from a real condition called Technostalgia.

The largest dressmaker in the world is Mattel.  The folks who make clothes for Barbie.

There are more Lego mini-figures in the world than there are humans.

Dactylolysis is a medical condition that causes toes (one at a time) to spontaneously fall off.  It only happened to men and it’s very, very rare, but tonight, when take your slippers off – give ‘em a count – just in case.

Prosopagnosia is a cognitive condition that inhibits facial recognition.  People who suffer from it simply don’t recognize the faces of their friends and family — and in some severe cases, don’t even recognize themselves.

And one of my favourites:

Retail companies spend more on advertising in January.  This is to counteract all the New Year’s Resolutions everybody makes.

Some (old) Ideas

One of the cool things about calling yourself a writer is you get to do all kinds of things that everybody else calls bone-ass lazy.  Stuff like spending hours drinking coffee, taking long strolls through the Internet and staring off into space.  Wordy Wordsworth called it, “… powerful feelings: … recollected in tranquility” or something like that.  This “work” is essential for writers to hone their craft.  The serious upside is you get to discover all kinds of interesting facts, and you have time to come up with even more interesting conclusions.  Here are just a few things I’ve been pondering for a while.

There’s a town in Canada called Smithers — which means the people who live there are Smithereens.

On average, the Dutch are the tallest people in the world — even though a lot of them are standing below sea level.

Apparently, a huge bunch of people born between 1977 and 1983 are sick and tired of being lumped in with those terminally malcontent millennials.  They have decided to perform a generational Brexit (Genexit?) and want to be referred to as Xennials.  I can’t say I blame them.

In the future, people will look at their electronic devices and think “What a stupid icon for a telephone.”

Despite everybody and her friend claiming they broke the Internet – you can’t.  The truth is the Internet is no longer vulnerable to human attack: there are just too many servers scattered across the planet.  However, before you go all SkyNet/Terminator, 99.99% of all electronic devices are just dumb machines used for storage.

Humans first walked on the moon 50 years ago in 1969.  That was 2 years before women got to vote nationally in Switzerland and 8 years before France quit using the guillotine for executions.  Weird, huh?

One of the earliest and most persistent symptoms of lead poisoning is irritability, so it’s interesting that statistics show violent crime (aside from armed robbery) has been steadily decreasing since lead was banned from automobile fuel in the late 1980s.  Coincidence?  Maybe. . .

For several years, universities have been adding puppies to their “safe spaces” to combat student stress and exam anxiety.  Whatever!  The weird thing is nobody is willing to talk about what happens to the puppies when they’re no longer puppies.  Creepy!

Over 100 hours of videos are uploaded to YouTube every minute.  Wow!  And, according to the last time they kept records (several years ago) it would take you approximately 93,000 years to watch everything YouTube has to offer.  That is a lot of avoidance behaviour!

In the last 10 years, restaurant revenues, movie theatre revenues and department stores revenues have all declined — whereas the revenues of home delivery companies like Uber Eats, GrubHub, Netflix, Hulu and Amazon have all dramatically increased.  If this trend continues, eventually millennials will never have a reason to leave their apartments.  And this is a bad thing?

Andy Warhol was wrong.  In the future, everybody will have 15 minutes of privacy.

And finally:

I think it’s absolutely hilarious that a generation raised on South Park and Family Guy spend so much time being eagerly offended by everything.  Irony is not dead.

Just The Facts! 2021

Back in the day, we had something called facts.  They were amazing little immutable things that helped us figure out what was actually going on in the world.  They separated the truth from the bullshit and gave us an anchor on reality.  Those days are gone.  In the 21st century, facts are an endangered species.  We kinda prefer spin to the truth.  After all, it’s a lot easier to simply accept ideas than spend valuable Netflix time thinking about them.  Unfortunately, we’ve gotten to the point where we’re putting so much spin on the truth that even Meghan Markle’s getting dizzy.  But don’t despair.  Facts still exist, although they’re surprisingly hard to find.  Here are a few I’ve managed to ferret out.

The first birthday present you were ever given is your name.

If you’re trying to fall asleep, you have to pretend you’re asleep first – and sneak up on it.

More Americans have had sex with Taylor Swift than have died of Ebola.

You can’t burn anything twice.

Humans can’t actually “bite down” on anything.  The jaw is hinged the other way.  In order to move your top teeth down you have to move your whole head.  Try it!

(You just tried it, didn’t you?)

You can’t keep your eyes open when you sneeze unless you consciously decide you’re going to keep your eyes open when you sneeze — before you do it.

Somebody on this planet has eaten more kale than anybody else and should be in the Guinness Book of World Records.

If you say something is “indescribable,” you have, in fact, described it.

The make-believe CGI streetlights in video games are actually using electricity so you can see them.

There is only one possible way that the original moon landing was fake:  if it wasn’t filmed on location.

It’s not premarital sex if you never get married.  Face it, folks!  It’s just sex.

And finally, one philosophical little gem:

For the rest of your life, you’re never going to be as young as you are at this exact moment.