"TIL of Adolfo Kaminsky, a 18 year-old French forger who faked IDs for Jews during WWII. He once worked for 3 days straight to make papers for 300 children until he passed out. He kept his work a secret - his own daughter only learned the details while writing a book about him."
"TIL: Researchers taught African grey parrots to buy food using tokens. They were then paired up, one parrot given ten tokens and the other none. Without any incentive for sharing, parrots with tokens started to give some to their broke partners so that everyone could eat."
"TIL that Shakuntala Devi from India, also known as the human computer, gave the 23rd root of a 201 digit number in 50 seconds. The answer was verified at the US Bureau of Standards by the UNIVAC 1101 computer, for which a special program had to be written to perform such a large calculation."
"TIL: Late wrestler Bam Bam Bigelow once saved three children from a burning house and 40% of his skin was left with second degree burns forcing him to retire and hospitalized for two months. Bam Bam said he had "no regrets" of his act of courage, as long as all three kids were safe."
"TIL that in Moscow, packs of stray dogs will sometimes send out a smaller, cuter member to beg for food, apparently realising it will be more successful than its bigger, less attractive counterparts."
"TIL in the months before his sudden death, former Mythbuster Grant Imahara built a fully animatronic Baby Yoda. Having spent 3 months of his personal time designing, programming, and 3D printing the project, he intended to bring it to hospitals to cheer up sick children."
"TIL that for 18 months, a village in Wales was mystified as to why their broadband internet crashed at 7am every morning, until engineers "picked up a large burst of electrical interference" springing from one dude turning on his very old TV."
"TIL in 1992, a California middle school ordered teachers to cover up all "obscene" words in Fahrenheit 451 with black marker before issuing copies to students. The school stopped this practice after local newspapers commented on the irony of defacing a book that condemns censorship."
"TIL Winchester Cathedral was built on marsh and was on the verge of collapse as it sunk into the earth. A diver named William Walker worked alone in pitch-black water for five years, eventually putting down 25,000 bags of concrete, 115,000 concrete blocks, and 900,000 bricks to save its foundation."
"TIL that during the sinking of the RMS Titanic, many passengers refused to evacuate, insisting they were safer on the ship than in the tiny lifeboats. Chief baker Charles Joughin eventually took it upon himself to forcibly drag reluctant passengers onto the deck and hurl them into the lifeboats."
"TIL John Krasinski wore a wig in season 3 of The Office so he could film Leatherheads. Krasinski pitched the idea to the producer who rejected it because it would be too obvious. John, who was wearing the wig during the meeting, told him it wouldn't be, took off the wig, and was granted approval."
"TIL about pack horse librarians that serviced the Appalachian communities (e.g., rural Kentucky) in the mid 1930s to early 1940s who were mostly women who rode on horses or mules to deliver library books to remote communities during the Great Depression."
"TIL Billy Joel got into an argument with a younger man about what the worst era to be young in was. The younger man told Joel that at least he got to grow up in the 50s when "nothing happened." Flabbergasted, Joel began listing the events of the 50s, which later became "We Didn't Start the Fire"."
"TIL that the stick -- a small tree branch -- was inducted into the (U.S.) National Toy Hall of Fame in 2008. Organizers called it one of the world's oldest toys and said sticks "promote free play -- the freedom to invent and discover.""
"TIL a doctor reviewed the injuries sustained by Marv and Harry in Home Alone 1 & 2, and concluded that 23 of the injuries would have resulted in death."
"TIL about Kiyoshi Shimizu, a Japanese journalist that helped solved a series of child kidnaping cases and released an innocent man from further prosecution. He also helped solved the murder of Shiori Ino which led to the changes to legal treatment of stalking in Japan"
"TIL that there are more than 1,300 stone rings across the British Islands and Stonehenge is only the most famous of them."
"TIL Research shows that viewing online Cat media (i.e. pictures and videos) is related to positive emotions. It may even work as a form of digital therapy or stress relief for some users. Some feelings of guilt from postponing tasks can also be reduced by viewing Cat content."
"TIL the man who Mount Everest is named after, George Everest, didn't want the honor of having the world's tallest mountain bear his name. He pointed out his name was difficult to write or pronounce in Hindi and all previous Himalayan peaks were officially given indigenous names."
"TIL Alexander Fleming’s mold could not produce penicillin fast enough for mass production; itwasn’t until 15 years later that lab worker ‘Mouldy’ Mary Hunt tested a moldy cantaloupe in a grocery store and discovered the strain that is used to produce all penicillin today"
"TIL After crashing, a driver in German was fined for using Tesla touchscreen wiper controls, under the same rules as using a phone while driving. The German court decided touchscreen car controls should be treated as a distracting electronic device."
"TIL many Chinese medical tourists who go to South Korea for inexpensive and high quality plastic surgery have difficulty re-entering China due to their passports photos not matching their new face post op."
"TIL despite being depicted on California's flag, the California grizzly bear has been extinct since 1924."
"TIL Basque (a language spoken near the Spain/France border) is a language isolate; not only is it NOT a Romance language, it's not even an Indo-European language. It is the only surviving Pre-Indo-European language in Western Europe."
"TIL: Vodka doesn't have to come from potatoes, it can be made from anything which will ferment. Even grass, or salmon and old newspapers. Vodka just needs to be a clear spirit distilled to 190 proof."
"TIL the first country to recognize Greek independence was not any of the western powers, but Haiti, who alledgedly sent 25ton of Coffee beans to finance their rebellion."
"TIL before synthetic plastics were invented, a substance called Hemacite was widely used to make everything from roller skate wheels to doorknobs. Its ingredients are blood and sawdust."
"TIL that staying awake for more than 24 hours brings deficiencies in performance equivalent to having a blood alcohol level of more than 0.10. Most western developed countries consider 0.05 BAC as the threshold for intoxication."