Page 10 - Interesting Facts

The sign language equivalent of tongue twisters are called 'finger fumblers.'

English isn’t the only language with phrases created for the sole purpose of tongue tying the speaker. There are tongue twisters in Chinese, Arabic, Hindi, Swahili, etc. Even sign language has its own version of the phenomenon called finger fumblers. “Good blood, bad blood” is an example of one such finger fumbler.

Sure you can say it just fine with your mouth, but it’s quite difficult with your fingers. In fact, parents and family of deaf children often use finger fumblers to help them practice their sign language. In fact, practicing tongue twisters have been proven to increase proficiency in just about any language. Still not satisfied? Read the source!


Splenda was discovered by accident! Is it really zero calories, though?

Sucralose, more commonly known as the artificial sweetener Splenda, was discovered in 1976. Two scientists named Leslie Hough and Shashikant Phadnis were researching ways to use sucrose. During one experiment, Phadnis was told to test a chlorinated sugar compound. However, Phadnis misheard and thought Hough asked him to TASTE it!

Nowadays, Splenda is one of the most popular sugar substitutes. Sucralose is most commonly found in diet sodas and sugar-free gum. It's also been found safe for diabetics to consume, since it doesn't affect insulin levels.

Don't believe the zero-calorie claim that Splenda boasts, though. Each packet contains about 4 calories due to the fillers that allow it an extended shelf life!


Orbit gum started as a replacement brand due to rationing during WWII! What brands did it replace?

Orbit gum is pretty common nowadays, boasting over ten different flavors. The brand would have never gotten started if it weren't for WWII, however. Wrigley, who owned Juicy Fruit, Wrigley's Spearmint and Doublemint at the time, sent the entire production of the three brands to troops overseas.

Orbit was introduced as a replacement of these on the civilian market by Wrigley in 1944 and was discontinued after the war. The gum made its final return to US markets in 2001 and has grown ever since.

Wrigley now owns a lot of major gum brands besides the ones it sent to the troops. Some of them include Big Red, Winterfresh, 5, Extra, Big League Chew and Bubble Tape. The company also owns a number of mints and candies such as Altoids, Life Savers, Skittles and Starbursts.

That already seems like a lot of check-out aisle goods owned by one company, but Wrigley is actually owned by Mars Inc. Mars owns a number of other chocolates and candies, some of the most notable of which are 3 Musketeers, Dove chocolate, M&M's, Milky Way, Snickers, Twix and of course, Mars bars.

That's not all, however. Mars owns a number of pet foods as well, such as Pedigree and Whiskas. They also have their hand in multiple other markets as owners of brands from Bounty to Combos.

Mars Inc. Brings in $30 billion annually and is ranked as the third largest privately owned company in the US by Forbes. The company is entirely owned by the Mars family. Looks like they're doing pretty good for themselves!


Some awesome lists!

After his engine died at 70,000 feet, this pilot safely landed his plane in the dark with no map. Find out how he did it!

On August 3rd, 1959, Major H. Mike Hua went on a training mission using a Lockheed U-2 aircraft, also known as “Dragon Lady”.

The Lockheed U-2 is a single engine plane that operates at high altitudes. This particular type of aircraft is normally used for reconnaissance missions.

He left the Laughlin Air Force Base in Texas and began his training mission. Major Hua was reaching heights as high as 70,000 feet. While he was up there, he encountered a crisis: his only engine had flamed up and died.

Using his previous training and experience, Major Hua got control of the plane by gliding it until he could find a safe place to land and send for help. He turned to his map for help, but saw that there were no airports in sight. He accidently came across what looked like an illuminated landing strip and began to descend.

As it turns out, the lights belonged to an airport that was not on his map. He had landed at the Cortez Municipal Airport in Montezuma County in Colorado. Despite the mountain range and the endless amount of terrible things that could happen, this pilot used his instincts and training and was able to survive.


A key ingredient in root beer has been BANNED in the US for over 50 years! So what are we drinking?

The Sassafras Root is one of the main ingredients in root beer, but in 1960 it was banned by the US Foor and Drug Administration (FDA). The oil from this root, called Safrole, is believed to be involved in causing cancer. So how do we drink root beer without one of its key ingredients?

There are artificial versions that are often used in the making of root beer. There is also a natural extract available which has the harmful oil removed as well, but the artificial versions are still used for root beer in most cases.

Safrole was found to be a weak cancer causing agent in rats, which led to the ban on the oil in the US. A study done in 1977, however, found that it may not have the same effect on humans. Despite this, the FDA, as well as The European Commission On Health And Consumer Protection still holds to the assumption that it is carcinogenic (cancer causing).

Safrole was used in many different products in the past, from drinks such as root beer and sassafras tea to soap and perfume. It can also be found naturally in various common spices and herbs such as cinnamon and basil. Commercially available culinary sassafras oil is usually sold with safrole taken out.

So how harmful is this oil? The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory estimates that it has effects on humans similar to risks posed by breathing indoor air or drinking municipally supplied water, so there seems to be no need to worry.



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