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An Italian bank takes Parmesan cheese as collateral!

If you're in the market for a bank loan in Italy, you can use cheese as your collateral. There's a special cheese bank that has state of the art security features to protect the 300,000 wheels of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese stored in there.

Here's how this business works: Parmigiano-Reggiano takes a long time to properly age. Farmers have a hard time getting through tough times due to the long time between production and sale. This is where the bank comes in.

In exchange for a cheap loan, the bank will keep the farmers' wheels of cheese during the period where the wheel are just supposed to sit and age. This let's farmers run the rest of their business, make future sales, pay wages, while the cheese ages.

Read more about this interesting business model at the source.


Alaska is both the east- and westernmost state in the US!

The Aleutian Islands of Alaska cross the 180 degree-meridian longitude. This means that these islands are part of the Eastern hemisphere. This means that Alaska is the state that is farthest north, east & west in the United States!

If you don't believe in that technicality, the easternmost state is Maine, then Alaska retains it's northernmost and westernmost titles, and Hawaii rounds out the group by being the southernmost.

Of the lower 48 states, Maine is easternmost, Minnesota the northernmost, Washington the westernmost and Florida the southernmost.


You will never count to one trillion.

This one might be a no brainer if you've thought about it before. How many numbers can you count to in five seconds? For fast counters, out loud is about twenty seven seconds. In your head, it might be closer to thirty five.

Of course because higher numbers take longer to say, a fast counter can typically hit around 200 in sixty seconds. If you bring that up to an hour, it's somewhere around 1,200.

Doing the math without factoring in the amount of time it takes to say the higher numbers, it would take over 9,000 years to get to one trillion. If you're counting in your head, the results won't be much better.

If you count in your head for 24 hours straight, you will reach somewhere around 600,000. One whole year nonstop would give you 220 million, and if you counted for your entire life, you would only reach the billions.

Well, if you ever find yourself immortal and floating through space after the Earth is destroyed, now you know what you can do for fun.


If you turn in a tax cheat, the IRS will give you at least 15% of what they collect!

Being a tattle-tale pays if we're talking about turning in tax cheaters to the IRS. It's no secret that the US tax system is complicated and messed up in more ways than one. The large amount of rules, regulations, exemptions and loopholes makes it easy for people to cheat by paying less than what they owe.

That's why, since 2006, the IRS instituted a new whistle-blower program to strengthen then one that has existed for years. If you are an informant in a tax cheating case, they will give you a minimum of 15%, and a maximum of 30% of the amount they collect!

There are some stipulations: The total amount disputed has to be at least $2 million, and if it's an individual, their income must exceed $200,000. Either way, it's a great incentive to keep people honest.


15 Shocking Facts About Smoking

The radiation from smoking a pack of cigarettes a day compares to almost 2,000 chest x-rays!

Ever been annoyed when you had to strap on that lead vest while getting an x-ray? Just think of all the radiation you would be exposed to if you didn’t have that blocking a lot of it. Now then think that if you smoke cigarettes, you get that much radiation anyway! Scientists had trouble determining why exactly cigarettes were so dangerous and caused so many health risks. 

Statistically, the chemicals in tobacco are far less dangerous than most people think, and the numbers don’t exactly add up. However, scientists have determined that tobacco is so bad for you because it’s actually radioactive. In the 1930’s farmers began using a cheap fertilizer called apatite, which causes the tobacco to taste sweet, but also has uranium in it. By inhaling the smoke from this apatite, we inhale radioactive particles, severely damaging our body and organs. 


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