Best Facts of the Week - Page 9

Einstein made a refrigerator that required no electricity and had no moving parts

In the 1920s there were news reports about a Berlin family being killed when a seal in their refrigerator broke and leaked toxic fumes into their home.

This inspired the one and only Albert Einstein to design a refrigerator that didn't use any moving parts, thinking that eliminating any moving parts would also eliminate the possibility of a seal breaking.

Einstein worked with his former student Le Szilrd on the fridge from 1926-33, and based the design on a similar invention a few years earlier by a couple of Swedish investors.

The refrigeration cycle uses ammonia pressure-equalizing fluid, butane refrigerant, and water absorbing fluid, has no moving parts, and does not require electricity to operate, needing only a heat source, e.g. a small gas burner or electric heating element or even solar energy.

Although named after Einstein, it's likely that Szilrd did most of the actual inventing while Einstein consulted and did most of the patent work (he had worked in a patent office earlier in his life).


Activia was sued by the FDA for falsely claiming to be a health food

Health foods claim all kinds of things, and people are starting to question just how valid these claims are.

For example, in 2006, a European regulation demanded that health food companies come up with the scientific evidence to back their labeling and advertising.

Member states were asked to submit health claims from manufacturers who had to wait for the approval of the European Food Safety Authority. Most of the time, EFSA rejects companies' claims due to the lack of scientific evidence.

The yogurt Activa by Dannon has been advertised as a health food, and it's gotten blowback from that. The company withdrew its health claims about Activa in Europe after negative feedback.

In the United States, the FDA pressed charges for false advertising around 2010. In that year, the Dannon Company settled and agreed to stop advertising that Activa improves motility unless it specifies that you need to eat three servings per day. Dannon therefore removed the words "clinically" and "scientifically proven" from Activia products.


This mother bought a farm to save her sons' lives...and her sons were the Marx Brothers!

The Marx Brothers are comedy legends. The real life brothers was successful in vaudeville, on Broadway, and in motion pictures from 1905 to 1949.

Five of the Marx Brothers' thirteen feature films were selected by the American Film Institute (AFI) as among the top 100 comedy films, with two of them in the top twelve.

The brothers were included in AFI's 100 Years...100 Stars list of the most significant screen legends, the only performers to be inducted collectively.

During World War I, anti-German sentiments were common, and the family tried to conceal its German origin. During this time, Groucho discontinued his "German" stage personality.

After learning that farmers were excluded from the draft rolls, mother Minnie purchased a 27-acre poultry farm near Countryside, Illinois, and made the brothers work on it.

The brothers soon discovered that farming was not for them. Still, farming in your home country beats running away to Canada!


Some awesome lists!

The first people to be arrested for marijuana possession was in Denver, Colorado!

People flocked to Denver at the beginning of this year to partake in the newly legalized recreational activity that remains a crime in most parts of the country.

The shift to decriminalize, and even legalize marijuana is very similar to what alcohol experienced in the prohibition era in the early 20th century.

It just so happens that marijuana has been off limits just as long.

In 1937 the Marihuana Tax Act was passed that levied a tax equaling about $1 for anyone commercially dealing cannabis, hemp or marijuana, however it didn't criminalize possession or use of the drug. A fine up to $2,000 or five years' imprisonment would be the penalty for disobeying the tax.

On the very first day the law went into effect, Octover 2, 1937, the FBI and Denver police raided the Lexington Hotel. They ended up arresting Samuel R. Caldwell, a 58-year-old unemployed laborer and 26-year-old Moses Baca.

They were the first people to ever be convicted of possession in a state that it is now legal to use!


Becoming an Irish citizen may be easier than you thought! Do you qualify?

Those dreaming of becoming a member of the emerald isles may be in luck, turns out becoming an Irish citizen is incredibly easy—if you can show your family tree.

Gain Irish citizenship by proving one of your grandparents was an Irish citizen and pay a simple fee. It's that easy to go right back where your family left just a couple generations ago!

Of course, it's a lot easier if your parents were Irish citizens and you were born there, because then you're instantly a citizen, obviously.

Unfortunately, infants don't get a say in where they're born, nor would they have an educated opinion on the matter.

Children born in Ireland but have foreign national parents is entitled to Irish citizenship if they have a British parent or parent entitled to live in Northern Ireland or the Irish State without restriction on their residency. It's all very complicated.

For comparison, though, becoming an American citizen without being born here or having a parent who is a citizen requires plenty of paperwork and tests, including knowing stuff most Americans with plenty of history courses would never know. That's commitment!



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