Best Facts of the Week - Page 4

Barbie and Ken got their names from the creator’s children, Barbara and Kenneth!

Barbie is the most famous doll in the world. Ruth Handler was a Denver born businesswoman in 1959 who began the Barbie enterprise. At the time, paper dolls were very popular among American girls. While in Germany, Handler ran into a 3D molded doll. It inspired her to start her own version of dolls back home in the U.S. She named her doll collection after her daughter, Barbara. 

Barbie’s forever boyfriend, Ken, was named after Handler’s son, Kenneth. The Barbie dolls shot Mattel to international prominence. Incidentally, Mattel was originally a picture framing company started by Handler’s husband. Ruth went on to be in charge of the company entirely and died in 2002. 

Her daughter, Barbara, is still very involved in the company. She even told her story on Oprah. At the taping, she presented Oprah with a one of the kind “Oprah” Barbie doll. 


There is no such thing as a beer gut or a beer belly. Scientists have completely disproved it!

The idea of a "beer gut" has maintained a threatening status for many image conscious young adults coming of age since beer has been around. Some might be surprised and relieved to know that there is, in fact, no consistent correlation between the consumption of alcohol and the circumference of our bellies.

A selection of over 1000 randomly selected Czech men and women were invited to take part in a study of the relationship between those who drink beer or other wine and spirits and the size of their stomach. Subjects were asked to fill out a series of questions about their alcohol consumption and daily habits, then their body proportions and fat ratios were measured during a brief medical exam. The results concluded that the previously conceived idea of the calorie count in beer increasing the size of one's stomach in and of itself was, in fact, false.

While initial results based on age showed positive relation in waist-hip ratio, the scientists quickly invalidated the evidence by pointing out several other factors (such as age) that played into the widening of waist lines at older or younger ages.


The Flintstones was originally intended for adults! Good thing, because their sponsor was definitely not kid-friendly

Barbera and Hanna created the ever-popular cartoon The Flintstones after they had been labeled as "kids only" producers. They wanted to expand their demographic and concentrate on a show for just adults.

At this time, TV was becoming more and more popular and children were able to watch TV shows by themselves, meaning that shows didn't need to be made to appeal to both children and their families. This left room for The Flintstones, a sitcom for adults. The cartoon features Fred who is a working class man just trying to provide for his family during the Stone Age. The show had very similar humor to the hit show, 'The Honeymooners,' making it a success. The Flintstones actually were so similar to The Honeymooners that Jackie Gleason considered suing Barbera and Hanna, but later pulled out due to how many people loved the cartoon.

For the first 2 years of the show, Winston Cigarettes was a co-sponsor for The Flintstones. Cartoon stars, Fred and his wife, Wilma were featured in black and white commercials for Winston cigarettes. The commercials show Fred and Wilma smoking cigarettes in their living room and looking very happy.

At this time, most of the American population smoked cigarettes and this helped to make The Flintstones a classic cartoon that eventually was popular with all age groups.


Some awesome lists!

In the Ottoman Empire, condemned high government officials had the right to have a foot race for their lives.

The Ottoman Empire was one of the longest lasting empires in history. It spanned the years between 1299 to 1922 and through its duration covered much of south eastern Europe and parts of northern Africa.


If the official was high up enough in the government, he could challenge the head gardener (his executioner) to a foot race for his life. To this date, its exact origins remain unknown. When the death sentence was passed, the condemned man would be legally allowed to run as fast possible from the palace, through the gardens, and down to the Fish Market Gate on the southern side of the palace complex (the place of execution). The run was about 300 yards. If he had reached the Fish Market Gate before the gardener, he would be banished instead of executed. Interestingly, this custom lasted well into the 19th century.



There's a dying star zipping through our universe shedding its matter

Mira exists 200-400 light years away from Earth in the constellation Cetus. It actually consists of two stars, the red giant Mira A and the white dwarf Mira B. Both combine to create a dying star. Mira is also a variable star, which means that it's surface oscillates increasing and decreasing it's brightness.

Mira is moving through space at an extremely quick speed--291,000 miles per hour to be exact. NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer has done studies of Mira and found that the star is leaving a trail of matter behind it as it goes. This tail of matter is 13 light years in length.



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