Death by Whale Call-And 11 Other Awesome, Random Facts

Sean Kernan

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I’ve been writing on the knowledge sharing platform, Quora, for 3 years.

It’s an open-ended place, if you learn something, know something — you share it. By virtue of thousands of hours logged there — reading, researching — writing; I’ve accumulated a lot of super random, super interesting information.

I thought I’d share the highlights of what I’ve learned on that journey, just as a matter of interest — a lot of this will be repeatable information, “interesting facts” per se.

The Dark Origins Of Nike’s Catchphrase.

In 1977, Gary Gilmore was about to be executed. He had murdered two people and was about to face the firing squad.

They tied him to the chair, blindfolded him. Five gunmen lined up.

The signaler then asked him if he had any last words. He then said, “Let’s do it.”

Fast forward several years.

An ad agency executive, charged with coming up with a new tagline for Nike, read a newspaper article about the execution, and modified it, implementing “Just do it” as Nike’s call to action which lives on to this day.

If You Get Lost In The Wilderness…

Find a river or body of flowing water.

Most towns (or people) live near water of some sort. So start listening for water and head towards it. Once you get to it — follow the stream — and you should hopefully find friendly people.

Also — be very careful about the water you drink. Your immune system isn’t adapted to water in new environments. Even if it looks clean, and objectively is clean — it can still cause fatal diarrhea.

If You Get Caught In A Gunfight In The Desert

Look for an armadillo shell. They are bulletproof.

Beware Of That Other Scary Aspect of Polar Bears

Eskimos have long hunted polar bears for their rich source of fat and protein. But they learned early not to eat the polar bear’s liver. Why? Polar bears can tolerate an absurdly high intake of Vitamin A/

This matters because humans can only tolerate between 25,000 and 33,000 units, after which we begin facing health consequences. A polar bear liver can contain as much as 9,000,000 units of Vitamin A.

Eat a saturated polar bear liver — and you will die a horrible, horrible death, with a list of side effects that include blindness and your skin literally peeling off of your body (not an exaggeration).

You Shall Soon Have A Singh In Your Life

Roughly 70% of Indians study Engineering and many of them work in technology. Many of the smartest Indians are flooding out of India for jobs abroad, creating an internal epidemic known as “Brain Drain”.

Due to their large population and affordable internet, there is a rapid growth of Indian users on the internet. Every year, tens of millions of new users are flooding into English speaking platforms. (Be cognizant of your audience.)

Their growth is never more on display than with the recent bumping of Pewdiepie from the long-time #1 YouTuber spot, by a relatively new account T-Series, a Bollywood channel that now has 90 billion views.

Dealing with Traffic Jerks

If someone cuts you off in traffic — it is more effective to give them a thumbs down than it is to flip them off. This will cause them to rethink their actions.

So You Are Feeling Old?

Each and every one of you was at some point the youngest living person on Earth. Albeit — for a very brief time.

Want To Know Something Older?

Sharks are older than trees. The oldest tree was the Archaeopteris (350 million years old) and the oldest sharks lived 400 million years ago — selachian sharks, which were the world’s first jawed vertebrates.

Beware Of Sperm Whales

Sperm whales produce sound in clicks that are designed to travel across the ocean for hundreds, even thousands of miles.

This noise is extremely loud — far, far louder than any noise any other animal can produce. Loud to the point that it could kill you. Sperm whales can click at a level that baffles scientists.

A jet engine has a noise level of 150 decibels. You are at risk of a heart attack or stroke around 180–200 decibels (sound is vibrating air — it ruptures open pathways, such as vessels, in your body at high levels). Sperm whales can reach as high as 230 decibels.

When You Lose And They Seem To Be Relishing It

Smile at the person who defeats you. It will steal their joy, their indulgence of their triumph.

And it makes you look like the better person.

When Your Kid Leaves Chewing Gum On The Carpet

Put an ice cube on it for 2 minutes. This will quickly harden the gum, making it easier to come off.

We Hate Shady Restaurants

If you find a fly in your soup….

Before you send it back, pour a bunch of salt into the soup. That’s the only way you’ll know that they cooked a new soup rather than sending the same soup back out.

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