1. In 2000 a Mexican woman, Inés Ramírez, was forced to resort to self-surgery – a Caesarean section – because of lack of medical assistance during a difficult labour. She took 3 shots of hard liquor, then performed the surgery herself with a kitchen knife.
2. Chickens are now about 3 times more efficient at turning feed into breast meat than their counterparts in the 1950s. As a result, they are massively bigger than they were decades ago.
3. Canberra (the Australian capital) was “built” in 1908 just because Sydney and Melbourne both wanted to be the capital of Australia.
4. Cats and dogs can suffer from asthma and have to use inhalers.
5. Astronauts must have good airflow around them when they sleep, otherwise, they could wake up oxygen-deprived and gasping for air because a bubble of their own exhaled carbon dioxide had formed around their heads.
6. In 1942, a US Navy Captain successfully sank a German U-Boat off the Louisiana coast. The Navy disbelieved his report because he “hadn’t received anti-submarine training” and reprimanded him and his crew for what they presumed must have been a “sloppy” attack. He was removed from command.
7. 90% of all scientists who have ever lived are alive today.
8. In 2007 China tested a missile and shot down one of their own satellites, accidentally creating 2,087 pieces of space debris on crazy orbits, all of which are now required to be tracked to avoid space collisions.
9. In the many states in the USA, you can be charged with a DUI even if the car is parked and you’re sleeping in it.
10. The Big Mac Index helps explain purchasing power parity to the layman. You compare the price of a Big Mac in one country to the price in another to determine if exchange rates are overvalued.
11. In the Balkans, two major beers compete for market dominance: Union & Laško. Drinkers are fiercely loyal to one or the other. However, the rivalry is manufactured. They are made by the same company.
12. George Lazenby wasn’t an actor. He got himself a suit, a Rolex and a new haircut, met the producer and made up movies he had been in, and got the roll as James Bond.
13. Vegetables in Alaska grow gigantic because they receive 20 hours of sunlight a day.
14. Oklahoma declared watermelon a vegetable and made it their official state vegetable.
15. It is the chemical reaction between vegetables and olive oil that makes the Mediterranean diet healthy.
16. Saudi Arabia doesn’t have any rivers.
17. A few hundred years back, women in Turkey could legally divorce their husbands if he didn’t provide them with enough coffee.
18. The American Gothic painting by Grant Wood is not of husband and wife, but of a father and daughter.
19. Franklin D. Roosevelt collapsed and subsequently died while sitting for a painting that still remains unfinished.
20. Tupac was a ballet dancer, and played the role of the Mouse King in The Nutcracker.