Fun Facts

Two Israeli soldiers went to jail for posting a Harlem Shake video on YouTube. Did they deserve it?

The Harlem Shake is an Internet meme in the form of a video in which a group of people perform a comedy sketch accompanied by a short excerpt from the song "Harlem Shake". As a meme, the video was re-enacted by many people, using the same concept, but with variations on the content. This rapidly led to it becoming viral in early February 2013. Thousands of "Harlem Shake" videos were being made and were uploaded to YouTube every day.

Some contributors never expected the consequences that would befall them for taking part in the "Harlem Shake" phenomenon. Not everybody found it amusing. One could argue that one reaction in particular was a bit extreme.

In Israel, two soldiers were sentenced to prison and one was relieved of his command after they posted a video of a few soldiers performing the Harlem Shake around a cannon. Reportedly they did notify their commanders of the planned project and made sure that no sensitive military equipment was shown. They even sought approval for the final product. The video received positive reactions from mainstream Israeli media and online, but the poor soldiers still served time.

The Washington Post explained the Harlem Shake's instant virality by referring to the jump cuts, hypnotic beat, quick setups, and the short, half minute routines.


'Juno' made its $6.5 million budget back in just 20 days, 19 of which were Limited Release!

Life may have still been tough for Juno, but it certainly wasn't for the filmmakers.

In 2007, 'Juno' was all the rage. A quirky little dramedy about the all too real problem of teenage pregnancy, director Jason Reitman's sophomore effort spoke to young Americans on an intimate level.

Unlike other movies of the time, 'Juno' was witty and sassy. It had characters that were charming and sad, funny and flawed. For many young people, even with all its odd dialogue choices and zany props, 'Juno' simply felt more real and relatable than anything else Hollywood was pushing out.

And, in response, the film's many fans pushed to make it a success.

In just 20 days, 19 of which were Limited Release, 'Juno' made back its entire $6.5 million budget. During its full theatrical run, the film grossed over $230 million.

The film was a hit among critics as well, landing on a variety of end-year Top 10 lists. Roger Ebert even declared it his favorite film of the year.

'Juno' was nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress, and Best Original Screenplay. It won Best Original Screenplay, but lost Best Picture and Best Director to 'No Country for Old Men' and Best Actress to 'La Vie en Rose'.


The original Ronald McDonald creator and personality was fired before his character got national recognition. Here's why

Oscar Goldstein, a former Washington, D.C. McDonald's franchise owner, was in some trouble when NBC cancelled his sponsored show Bozo's Circus in 1963. Bozo would regularly make appearance at his McDonald's, drawing in huge crowds. Since the show was now cancelled, Goldstein had to come up with a new mascot to entice his customers to return.

Goldstein met with the star of Bozo's Circus, Willard Scott, and hired him to recreate a new clown for the franchise. Willard Scott got a costume made by a marketing company, created the name Ronald McDonald, and began making appearances at Goldstein's restaurant in Washington D.C.

As McDonald's prepared for their national campaign to introduce Ronald McDonald to America, they fired Willard Scott, deeming his weight as the reason for termination. McDonald's felt that in order to sell hamburgers, shakes, and fries (generally, unhealthy food) to the American people, they needed a thinner mascot who appeared in shape. A thinner clown personality was hired, the campaign began, and business sky-rocketed. Scott moved on from the incident and continued to find success through books and television. He also later became the weatherman for NBC's Today Show.


Some awesome lists!

There is a way to always win at Connect Four if you start first!

If you've ever been frustrated by a game of Connect Four, you'll probably be even more frustrated to find out that it is a "solved game." This means that the outcome of the game can be correctly predicted if both players play perfectly.

It was first solved in October 1988 by James D. Allen and later that same month, independently, by Victor Allis. They figured out that the first player, if they make the right move, can always force the win.

Other solved games include Chopsticks, Checkers, Quarto, and Tic-Tac-Toe. Now we could tell you just what move to make in order to guarantee a win everytime, but that wouldn't be any fun.


Butterflies in your stomach are caused by a lack of blood!

You know that sensation you get in your stomach when the person you are completely in love with looks in your general direction or when there’s only one more muffin left and you’re afraid the person in front of you in line is going to ask for it (other than hunger) or when your being hunted by a lion in the African savanna? Those “butterflies in your stomach” are a response to stress.

When people are stressed, they experience a “fight-or-flight” response. Brain signals are transmitted to the hypothalamus and pituitary gland, which are parts of the brain responsible for controlling bodily functions. The pituitary gland instantly signals the adrenal glands which sit on top of each kidney. Those glands release adrenaline and other chemicals into your blood stream.

The adrenaline causes rapid heart rate, increased blood pressure, and improved circulation of muscle so that you deal with or flee from the source of the stress (whether it be your beloved, the person in front of you in line, or a vicious lion in the African savanna).

Since blood is flowing to your lungs and muscles, less of it is reaching other organs including the stomach. This causes the light, nauseating sensation we all know and hate.



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