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Weekly Wrap Volume 160

This is a weekly wrap of our popular Daily Knowledge Newsletter. You can get that newsletter for free here.

In Which We Discuss a Variety of Fascinating Eclipse Related Facts for Your Reading Pleasure

Columbus and the Lunar Eclipse After initially welcoming Christopher Columbus and his crew to Jamaica and supplying them with food and supplies after he became shipwrecked in 1503, the Arawak Indians grew weary of Columbus’ men robbing and cheating them and subsequently halted all trade with their island guests Without a significant source of food or means to leave, Columbus’ expedition was in serious trouble.  Luckily for his crew, he had certain astronomical tables with him, including the Ephemeris compiled by the German astronomer Johannes Müller von Königsberg, better known today by his Latin name, Regiomontanus.

Can the Queen’s Guard Really Not React to People While on Duty?

Gianna D. asks: On movies the guards outside of Buckingham palace can’t move while on duty, is this true?

The Space Shuttle Discovery and Its Toilet

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader A while back we told you the story of the WWII submarine that was lost due to a malfunctioning toilet.

The El Chapo of Orangutans

Possessing a fine mind for strategy, mechanically inclined, with true and loyal friends, and a fair amount of luck, the greatest zoo jailbreak artist of all time, Ken Allen, was the El Chapo of orangutans.

Why Do People Eat Whale Poop?

Some refer to the rock-like substance as “floating gold” because of its hue and value. (For reference, 175 pound, 79 kg, lump of it was recently found floating off the coast of Qurayat, netting the fishermen who found it a cool $3 million when they sold it at auction.) Others call it “ambergris,” derived from the Old French “ambre gris,” meaning “grey amber.”  But perhaps the most accurate way to describe the prized, rare, hard lumpy substance found floating in oceans and washed up on beaches worldwide is excrement- whale excrement, to be exact.

Why are Kinder Surprise Eggs Illegal in the United States?

Jharel S. asks: Is it true that Kinder Surprise are illegal in America? For the uninitiated, Kinder Eggs are a chocolate treat widely available throughout Europe, Mexico and Canada, with the company that makes them, Ferrero (perhaps better known in the U.S.

Yadav and the Param Vir Chakra

The Param Vir Chakra (roughly, the “Wheel of the Ultimate Brave”) is India’s highest military decoration for gallantry during battle and is “awarded for rarest of the rare gallantry which is beyond the call of duty and which in normal life is considered impossible to do”.

Picture the Recipe (New Channel)

If you happen to be into cooking or just want to learn to make some amazing tasting (and looking) food in an easy and quick way, one of our former authors and graphics designers, Noreen, just launched a great new channel on YouTube, Picture the Recipe.

Discovering the Caves of Xanadu

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader THE SCENE One Saturday in 1974, two young men affiliated with Southern Arizona Grotto, a spelunking, or “caving,” group based in Tuscon, Arizona, were out exploring, looking for new caves near the Whetsone Mountains.

Why the French-Founded Notre Dame School’s Athletic Teams are the “Fighting Irish”

Nathan K. asks: Why is Notre Dame’s slogan “Fighting Irish”? When the green and blue uniformed athletes of the University of Notre Dame run on to the field or court, their fans are rooting for the “Fighting Irish.” Represented by a small green leprechaun- hat tilted with his fists up, ready to fight- the athletic teams of this South Bend, Indiana Catholic school have been playing under this moniker for, officially, 87 years.

The Longest Odds Paid and Biggest Upsets in Major Sports Betting

Tristan N. asks: What are the longest odds on a sporting event that ended up having to be paid out? Given the nature of sports gambling and so little publicly available documented evidence in the field throughout history, it’s impossible to know for sure what the longest odds were on a sports bet that ended up having to be paid out.  However, as far as known documented instances are concerned, it would seem the longest odds paid out on any sports bet were probably what ultimately amounted to 2,800,000-1 odds on a 50p ($0.66) bet placed by one Fred Craggs of the UK.

The Two Graves of Mad Anthony Wayne

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Historians tell many stories about heroes who are so beloved that everyone wants a piece of them.

How It’s Made- a TIFO Story

This is a video covering how we come up with ideas, research, and write our articles. The second half of the video, for those interested, is the process for converting the articles to video form.

The Bird that is Bred to Do Backflips Instead of Fly- the Parlor Roller

While there are many birds that have naturally evolved to be flightless, there’s only one kind of bird humans have selectively bred until it no longer possesses an ability shared by most of its kin- the parlor roller.

Why the Chicago Cubs are Named After a Baby Bear and The Long, Weird History of Their Mascot

It was a weak ground ball to third base that ended over a century’s worth of baseball futility. On November 3, 2016, the Chicago Cubs won their first World Series in 108 years.

The Curious Case of Shizo Kanakuri’s 1912 Olympic Marathon Run

When it comes to Olympic level track and field events, history tends to only remember those who ran the fastest, jumped the farthest and pushed themselves further than their peers.

From Oswald the Rabbit to Mickey Mouse

On September 4th, 1927, a jolly goofy animated bunny named “Oswald the Lucky Rabbit” made his silver screen debut.

Who Invented the Slurpee?

James P. asks: Who invented the slurpee? The Slurpee was invented as a commercial product more or less by accident by a Dairy Queen franchisee Omar Knedlik in Kansas City in the late 1950s.

Sunny Southern California and the Birth of the Zamboni

It was approximately four thousand years ago in Finland when people first strapped on skates to glide across the ice.