SDMB Believe It Or...(Weird Facts You've Learned Recently)

1.Blues guitarist Mike Bloomfield’s dad held patents on a few very common restaurant items:

“He held the patents on some classic stove-side accessories: the hexagon-shaped glass salt shaker with the holes on top in the shape of a Star of David, the glass sugar canister with the stainless steel trap-door top and the classic diner coffee machine that still, to this day, bears the Bloomfield moniker. By 1965, the elder Bloomfield had cashed in his coffeemaker and other patents to Beatrice Foods, one of the top corporations in the world, and walked away with mucho millions.”
(Al Kooper from Gadfly March/April 2001)

  1. Sperm whales got their name from the spermaceti inside their heads, which somehow got confused with whale semen.

Cool Runnings was based on a real story?!

Birds actually are dinosaurs (specifically, maniraptoran theropods)…but that’s not the Weird Fact I’ve Learned Recently.

The weird fact is that every animal that’s ever had feathers has come from the theropod dinosaur line. Flight has evolved at least four times independently (insects, pterosaurs, theropod dinosaurs [birds], and bats), but feathers evolved only once in the history of life.

From a General Questions thread, this is the coolest thing I’ve heard lately:

The mother of Mike Nesmith of The Monkees invented Liquid Paper. Nesmith inherited around $25 million after her death in 1980.

Clams got legs.

The hyoid bone is the only bone in the body not attached to another bone. It is what allows humans to verbalize.

In howler monkeys it is pneumatized (hollow) which contributes to them being one of the loudest land animals.

Linda Ronstadt’s grandfather was a very prolific inventor.

Besides inventing the instrument I so love, Theremin was a master spy and invented some truly ingenious listening devices.

Cite- CBS Sunday Morning, and Spy the traveling exhibit.

In the human body, I think you mean. Whales (some species anyway) have vestigial pelvic bones and/or femur that are just little snippets of bone that aren’t attached to any other bone (or perhaps are attached only to each other).

I discovered that “cobalt” and “kobold” (a mouse-like creature that lives in underground mines in World of Warcraft, amongst other things), come from the same root word.

All commercial, fruit-bearing Hass avocado trees have been grown from grafted seedlings propagated from a single tree.

I never knew we had a bone there at all, until now! Amusing that my contribution to this thread is something I learned IN this thread – and I think it counts, because it’s NOT the “weird fact” which was being posted about.

And scallops have eyes.

That is also true for every other variety of hybridized avocado fruit.

Or indeed pretty much any named-variety fruit.

Not weird so much as maybe atypical for your average rock ‘n’ roll star:

Over the past couple decades, Rod Stewart, the singer, has constructed an enormous H0 scale model railroad in his home. The layout, set in the Northeast US in the late 1940s, includes a large port city complex containing a harbor and a downtown area composed of dozens of miniature skyscrapers personally built by Stewart during idle time while on tour.

“Kobold” is the root word. It is German for “goblin”, and I believe it got associated with cobalt because goblins were thought to live underground, in the mines where cobalt was found.

While we are on unlikely, showbiz connected inventors, movie star Heddy Lamar helped to invent the frequency-hopping radio technology upon which Bluetooth is based.

No, that’s Hedley!

I seem to remember reading that Neil Young is also a massive model railway geek.