Open Mike: Surprising Facts (OT)

This post is by Ron Dawson from The Online Photographer

[“Open Mike” is the often off-topic Editorial Page of TOP. It appears on Sundays, allegedly and theoretically.]


Photo by Douwe C. van der Zee

—>The first thing made by humans that was taller than the Great Pyramid of Giza was the spire of Lincoln Cathedral in Lincoln, England, completed in 1311. That meant that the Great Pyramid held the record as the tallest structure built by humans for some 3,800 years. Lincoln Cathedral held the title until 1548, when the spire collapsed and was not rebuilt.

—>Buzz Aldrin’s mother’s maiden name was Moon.

—>The Slovenian basketball player Luka Dončić, 24, who plays for the Dallas Mavericks and has been in the NBA for six years, currently holds the third-highest lifetime scoring average of all time in the NBA, 28.3 points per game (PPG). The only two players ahead of him are Wilt Chamberlain and Michael Jordan. In playoffs, Dončić has a career PPG of 32.5, second only to Michael Jordan. A week ago last Friday, he scored 73 points in a game, a tie for fourth-highest in League history. The two players who have scored more than 73 points in one game are Wilt Chamberlain, who did it twice, and Kobe Bryant.

—>Humans are the only animals that cry tears in response to emotions, and the only animals that have chins.

—>The worst business move in history might not have been such a bad move. You probably know that there was a third founder of Apple Computer, Ronald G. Wayne, who immediately sold his 10% interest in the company back to Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak for $800. A year later he was paid an additional $1,500 to forfeit any future claims to the then newly-incorporated business. Today, his share would be worth approximately $95 billion. Wayne has stated on numerous occasions that he does not regret his decision. The reason is that he was intended to be the tiebreaker in disagreements between the two intense and headstrong Steves, the stress of which, he believes, would have made him “the richest man in the cemetery.”

—>Human beings have been recognizably human for somewhere between 90,000 and 300,000 years, depending on how you look at it. Even if we survive as a species for that many more years, no human being will ever again experience the climate that existed in 1970.


—>Australia is wider than the moon.

—>The economy of the State of California is larger than that of all but four countries on Earth: China, Germany, Japan, and the United States itself (although India is close and the U.K. not too far behind India). Vermont’s economy, the smallest in the U.S., is higher than that of 108 countries.

—>In 2018, there were more immigrants to the U.S. from both China and India than from Mexico. In addition, Mexico in recent years has seen an undetermined but large flow of former immigrants returning to Mexico. The same was true of Irish immigrants in the 1800s, many of whom eventually returned to Ireland.

—>The number of bacteria in our bodies outnumbers our human cells; we are about 56% bacteria. However, bacteria are very light, so we are still approximately 99.7% human by weight.

—>In photography’s first seventy years or so, it was considered childish to smile while having one’s picture taken, and adults said “prunes” before the picture was taken to remind them to remain appropriately serious*. Eastman Kodak eventually changed this with its ad campaigns by encouraging people to smile and say “cheese.” Now, the custom among Americans of grinning all the time is considered an oddity by some Europeans.


*I’ve requested a copy of the scholarly paper that purports to document this, but haven’t received it yet. If I am sent a copy I’ll let you know.

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