Page 5 - Fun Facts

Nikola Tesla was probably in love with a pigeon!

Nikola Tesla is one of the most eccentric and interesting people in history, often overshadowed by Thomas Edison.

Some of the weird stories about him are grounded in truth, however, since he was such a weird guy.

One such story takes place in his later years when he was pretty much in love with his pet pigeon.

Tesla made a trip one night in 1937 after midnight to visit the local cathedral and library to feed the pigeons. On his way he was struck by a taxicab and thrown to the ground, wrenching his back and breaking three ribs.

Of course, his lifelong custom was to never visit a doctor, so the full extent of his injuries will never be known. For a while he was unable to feed the pigeons since he was bedridden until he was able to walk again in the Spring of 1938.

Near the end of his life he visited the park every day and fed pigeons. He took to one white one in particular and spent over $2,000 that comfortably supported her when she was injured.

He stated that he loved that pigeon as a man loves a woman, and that she loved him. As long as he had her he had a purpose in his life. He was a genius, but also a real weirdo!


In 1979 a British artist published a book containing riddles and puzzles about the location of a 18kt gold hare, setting off a worldwide treasure hunt which lasted over two years, and ended in scandal

Where’s Waldo is a children’s book where you have to find that character Waldo who is hidden in a picture.

Before this, though, a British writer named Kit Williams wrote a children’s book titled Masquerade with a real life treasure hunt with a much better prize than just satisfaction: an 18-carat golden hare.

Challenged by Tom Maschler, of the British publishing firm Jonathan Cape, to "do something no one has ever done before" with a children's book, Williams set out in the 1970s to create a book of paintings that readers would study carefully rather than flip through and discard.

He sealed the hare inside a ceramic hare-shaped casket both to protect the prize from the soil and foil any attempts to locate the treasure with a metal detector.

On 7 August 1979, Williams (accompanied by celebrity witness Bamber Gascoigne) buried the casket at a secret location within England. Williams announced that his forthcoming book contained all clues necessary to decode the treasure's precise location "within a few inches." At the time, the only additional clue he provided was that it was buried on public property that could be easily accessed.

In March 1982, Kit Williams announced that Ken Thomas had won the contest, but that wasn’t the end of it. On December 11, 1988, The Sunday Times printed a story accusing the winner of the Masquerade contest of being a fraud. The winner, "Ken Thomas", was revealed to be a pseudonym of Dugald Thompson. Thompson's business partner, John Guard, was the boyfriend of Veronica Robertson, a former live-in girlfriend of Williams.

Only later did Williams discover that Thompson had not solved the puzzle in the intended manner, but appeared at the time to have blundered into a lucky guess. Shortly after Thompson was formally awarded the prize, the correct solution was unraveled by two physics teachers, Mike Barker of William Hulme's Grammar School and John Rousseau of Rossall School.

Barker and Rousseau had actually unearthed the prize themselves, but had not noticed it inside its clay box; Thompson, who was loitering in the area, discovered it in the dirt piles they left behind.

Williams was shocked to discover the scandal and is quoted as saying:

"This tarnishes Masquerade and I'm shocked by what has emerged. I feel a deep sense of responsibility to all those many people who were genuinely looking for it. Although I didn't know it, it was a skeleton in my cupboard and I'm relieved it has come out."


American rock band blink-182 named their company 'Pennywise Poo Poo Butt, LLC' because they thought it would be funny if their attorneys had to say it over the phone every day!

When choosing a name for a company, people usually consider many things, because the name is the first thing that conveys a message about your business.

Generally it should convey an immediate understanding of what you have to offer, it shouldn't be too lengthy and contain too many words, and it should preferably be something that will grab the attention enough to be remembered.

American rock band, blink-182, skipped straight to the last bit when they decided to name their company 'Pennywise Poo Poo Butt, LLC'! They also did not name it solely to grab the attention, or to make a social or political statement.

It was already clear in the video for 'What's my Age Again?' that they were all about having fun with what they do when the band was filmed while running around naked through Los Angeles!

By 1999, during the time they released their 'Enema of the State' LP, the band decided to form a company. The decision for the name of their company was not just based on the fact that it sounds funny, but it also revealed the pranksters inside them.

"We did it because it was the most immature, dumbest thing ever," DeLonge said. "We thought it would be funny to have our accountants, managers and attorneys having to say that over the phone every day."


Some awesome lists!

The movie 'Poltergeist' used real skeletons because they were cheaper than buying props!

Poltergeist was released in 1982 and was the most successful of the Poltergeist film trilogy. Steven Spielberg co-wrote and produced the first American horror film in the trilogy. The plot is of a Californian suburban family whose youngest daughter was abducted by malevolent ghosts who had invaded their home.

The film itself is considered cursed, because some of the people associated with the film have died very prematurely. The production used real human skeletons when filming the swimming pool scene. Many of the people on the set were alarmed by this and led others to believe the "curse" on the film series was because of using real skeletons.

Craig Reardon, a special effects artist who worked on the film, said at the time that it was cheaper to purchase real skeletons than plastic ones, as the plastic ones involved labor in making them. Williams was not afraid of the prop skeletons, but she was nervous working in water around so many electrically powered lights. Producer Spielberg comforted her by being in the water during her scenes, claiming that if a light fell into the pool, they would both be killed.


Oreo cookies are actually knock-offs of a brand called Hydrox!

Although to be fair, “Oreo” does sound a lot more welcoming than “Hydrox.”

Hydrox is the brand name for a crème-filled chocolate sandwich cookie produced by Sunshine Biscuits. It debuted in 1908. Oreos however did not come around until about 1912. They were inspired by Hydrox and yet most people began to think that Hydrox cookies were the knockoffs. Compared to Hydrox, Oreo had a “tangy, less-sweet filling” and crunchier cookie, so that it better complemented milk.

Hydrox however, was in the market until about 1999 when it was replaced with a similar product called “Droxies.” The Carvel ice-cream franchise still sells ice-cream goods manufactured with “Hydrox” cookie crumbs, using the cookies’ all-kocher status as a selling pint since the original Oreo recipe uses lard.



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