Best Facts of the Week - Page 5

Bill Murray only worked on Caddyshack for 6 days!

Caddyshack is a 1980 American sports comedy film directed by Harold Ramis. This was Ramis’ first feature film and was a major boost to Dangerfield’s film career. The film has garnered a large cult following and has been hailed by many publications, such as Time and ESPN, as one of the funniest sports movies of all time.

The movie was inspired by writer and co-star Brian Doyle-Murray’s memories working as a caddy at Illinois. Many of the characters in the film are based on characters that he encountered through various experiences at the club.

The film was shot over 11 weeks during the autumn of 1979. However, despite being one of the main starts in the movie, Bill Murray was with the production only six days! And all of his lines were unscripted. Bill Murray’s talent and improvisation surely helped him achieve the creation of one of the best comedy movies of all times!


A plague took over a town back in 1518 and caused them to dance uncontrolably! The reason why is confusing...

It may sound like a silly parody of the movie "Footloose," but there was once a disease that had hundreds of people dancing for days on end without explanation. It wasn't a case of teenage rebellion or just spontaneous music that filled the people's souls—people just kept dancing for days on end, even causing some to die.

In July of 1518, the town of Strasbourg, Alsace (part of the Holy Roman Empire back in the day) fell victim to some unusual disease. A woman by the name of Frau Troffea began to dance in the streets without regard. After four to six days, she was still going and managed to get 34 other people to join. After a month there were around 400 people dancing maniacally in the streets. Eventually, some of them started dying off due to heart attack, stroke, and exhaustion.

Though there is no explanation for the plague or why they danced, physicians ruled out astrological and supernatural causes, saying that the source for the plague was "hot blood." The cure? Keep dancing! Guildhalls, a grain market, and a stage were constructed for the "sick." Musicians were even brought in to encourage the grooves. They believed the dancers would recover if they continued dancing, and they eventually did, because they died.


A pair of brothers who were compulsive hoarders were killed when all the stuff they hoarded fell on them!

Hoarders are more than a popular reality television show. Hoarding is a real and sad problem. Before the general population became aware of this though, there were two brothers that were known for the peculiar behavior.

Homer Lusk Collyer and Langley Wakeman Collyer lived in Manhattan in the late 1800s and early 1900s. As they were rarely seen, rumors followed the brothers around. They compulsively collected furniture, books, musical instruments and numerous other items. They would then set booby traps in their home to ensnare any intruders.

Both sons allegedly attended Columbia University. One studied law and the other engineering. Both men were eccentric. They became recluses over the years and rarely left their New York City brownstone. In 1917, after they failed to pay their bills, their telephone was disconnected. In 1928, their gas, electricity and water were turned off.

In 1947, the police got a tip that there was a dead body in the house. They forced their way in and had to search through mounds and mounds of junk before they found his body. He had died of malnutrition, dehydration and cardiac arrest. The next month, a workman found Langley's body not ten feet from where his brother was found. He had been crushed by falling debris while bringing his brother food.


Some awesome lists!

"Human intelligence may do more harm than good on an evolutionary scale" -Stephen Hawking. Why does he feel that way?

If only I had known this in high school, I could have used it as an excuse not to study. Stephen Hawking, delivering his famous lecture “Life in the Universe” in 1996, explained how we are entering into a new age of evolution and why intelligence may not be an evolutionary advantage to humans.

Hawking explains how biological evolution began very slowly through natural selection of random mutations. What he calls the “Darwinian phase” of evolution took approximately 3.5 billion years of slow and steady progress.

Next (now) we have entered into a phase of what Hawking calls “external transmission,” meaning we are not directed by the DNA inside of us but rather by the information outside of us. Language and particularly the recording of the written word beginning some 10,000 years ago, has allowed human progress to grow by leaps and bounds. Maybe too quickly for our own good.

Where this intelligence is dangerous is that we still have the same primitive instincts and aggressive impulses as we did in caveman days, only now we are cavemen with nuclear weapons and the scientific advancements to create genetically engineered viruses. “There is no time,” he says, “to wait for Darwinian evolution to make us more intelligent and better natured.”



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