Fact of the Week Archive
Week of April 2, 2018
The marshmallow candies now synonymous with Easter were created in a candy company by Russian immigrant Sam Born. Born first opened a factory in the early 20th century in Brooklyn before moving his operations to Bethlehem, PA, in 1932. Starting in the 1950s, a marshmallow Peep was made by hand-squeezing marshmallow through pastry tubes. Now, 2 billion Peeps are produced each year, with 75% made specifically for Easter. The name of the company that makes Peeps is called Just Born, which is after Sam, not because they are little chicks that were just born!
Week of March 26, 2018
The South Mountain Reservation in Essex County, N.J. spans 2,110 acres and was designed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries by the Olmsted Brothers landscape architectural firm. By 1895, Frederick Law Olmsted, one of the creators of Central Park, had retired and although he is said to have been given a tour of the Essex County land, the design work was left to his son, Frederick Law Olmsted Jr., and stepson, John Charles Olmsted.
Week of March 19, 2018
The inventor of ChapStick sold his idea for $5.
Week of March 12, 2018
The U.S. Department of Transportation is in charge of time in the U.S., including time zones and daylight saving time. The correct term is, in fact, daylight "saving" time (not savings). It's also supposed to be lowercase, not uppercase, according to the Associated Press stylebook.
Week of March 5, 2018
An unusual yellow cardinal was spotted in Alabaster, Alabama. Auburn University biology professor Geoffrey Hill said the cardinal is an adult male in the same species as the common red cardinal but carries a genetic mutation that causes it to have bright yellow feathers instead of the usual brilliant red. Red cardinals are found all across central and eastern North America, but non-red cardinals are very rare. In fact, according to Hill, yellow cardinals are a "one-in-a million situation."
Week of February 26, 2018
If grasshoppers were the size of people, they could leap the length of a basketball court.
(Bonus fact!): Some ants make themselves explode when attacked.
Week of February 19, 2018
Peaches, avocados, cashews and bananas are all pollinated by bats.
Week of February 12, 2018
The largest national park in the United States is Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve in Alaska. At 13.2 million acres, it's larger than Yellowstone National Park, Yosemite National Park and Switzerland...combined. The park is also one of the wildest places in North America, with vast areas of untouched wilderness, an incredible abundance of wildlife, hardly a man-made structure to be found and wild extremes. More than a quarter of the park is covered in glaciers, yet it's also a hotbed of volcanic activity.
Week of February 5, 2018
The Philadelphia Eagles won their first Super Bowl (and first championship since 1960), defeating the New England Patriots 41-33 in Super Bowl LII. Don't know your Roman numerals? L stands for 50; each I stands for 1. The teams combined for 1,151 yards -- the most in any NFL game ever. The 74 combined points are the second-most ever in a Super Bowl. The Eagles are the fourth team in NFL history to win the Super Bowl after having a losing record the year prior, joining the 2001 Patriots, 1999 Rams and 1981 49ers. The Patriots are the first team in NFL history to put up more than 600 yards of offense in a game and lose. And last, Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles was the first quarterback to ever throw and catch a touchdown in the Super Bowl.
Week of January 29, 2018
Abraham Lincoln only had a beard for the last five years of his life.
Week of January 22, 2018
If everyone in the United States flosses their teeth according to the American Dental Association's recommendations, every single year our empty containers alone would fill a landfill the size of a football field that's also 6 stories high!
Week of January 15, 2018
In the new Dog Man and Cat Kid book, by the great Dav Pilkey (or is it written by George and Harold?), George and Harold's new teacher made them read East of Eden, by John Steinbeck. Just for fun, the titles of chapters 9, 10 and 11 are parodies of the titles of other books by Steinbeck.
Week of January 8, 2018
The odds that a grandfather, a father and a son all have the same birthday is 1 in 160,000. Fun fact: Mike Mohr shares a birthday with his grandmother and his nephew. What are the odds of that?
Week of December 18, 2017
As of last week, all 50 states have already received snow this season, including the volcanic peaks of Hawaii!
See you in 2018 - HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!
Week of December 11, 2017
In 2013, Hanukkah and Thanksgiving began on the same day. The next time this will happen will be in AD 79811.
Week of December 4, 2017
A greyhound (dog, not bus!) can go from 0 to 40 miles per hour in 1.5 seconds; a Ferrari F50 takes 2.5 seconds.
Week of November 27, 2017
The OHIO STATE BUCKEYES, once again, defeated the michigan wolverines 31-20 on Saturday, making it 13 wins in the last 14 meetings in this storied rivalry. For the first time in the 120-year history of "The Game," Ohio State rallied from a 14-point deficit to win, as Head Coach Urban Meyer improved to 6-0 vs. that team up north.
Week of November 20, 2017
There is no song entitled "I'm dreaming of a white Thanksgiving," but there are people in that camp, including Brian Brettschneider, a climate researcher at University of Alaska Fairbanks, who analyzed data from thousands of U.S. and Canadian weather stations from the past 154 years to find out whether it typically snowed on Thanksgiving Day at different locations.
Some weather stations recorded snow on Thanksgiving Day every year, including a station at Old Faithful, Wyoming, which has "a perfect record" of Thanksgiving snow, dating back to 1906 (although not every year has records). Likewise, it snowed on all 69 of the Thanksgiving Day archives logged at Snake River, Wyoming. Fairbanks, Alaska, also had 69 out of 69, another perfect snowy record.
The state of Florida has just one record of snow on Thanksgiving, when Mount Pleasant, Florida celebrated a whole half inch of snow on Nov. 28, 1912.
No station has ever hit 100° on Thanksgiving, though the closest was 97° in Falcon Lake, TX on Nov. 25, 2010.
The warmest Thanksgiving was in 1998, when the national average was 48°. The coldest Thanksgiving for the United States happened in 1898, but that year isn't well-sampled, so Brettschneider tweeted that the next coldest Thanksgiving was in 1993, when the national average was 28°.
Week of November 13, 2017
A palindrome is a word, phrase or sentence that reads the same way forward or backward. Here's a nice long one, courtesy of Ms. Alexa:
On a clover, if alive, erupts a vast, pure evil; a fire volcano.
Week of November 6, 2017
Bet you don't have this in your First Aid Kit! Sticking raw bacon in your nostrils can stop serious nosebleeds.
Week of October 30, 2017
Paranormal activity is anything that is not scientifically explaninable. A poltergeist is a noisy, mischievous ghost. Phasmaphobia is a fear of ghosts.
Week of October 23, 2017
In colonial America, people thought they could cure stomachaches by placing big boots on their bellies.
Week of October 16, 2017
The school in which Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie takes place (as well as the books!) is named "Jerome Horwitz Elementary." Jerome Horwitz is the birth name of Curly Howard of The Three Stooges fame.
Week of October 9, 2017
Every day, there are more iPhones sold around the world than there are babies born.
Week of October 2, 2017
Scientists say that by now, UV radiation has turned all the American flags on the moon white.
Week of September 25, 2017
A Baltimore oriole can consume 17 hairy caterpillars in a minute. A pair of scarlet tanagers have been seen eating 630 newly hatched caterpillars of the gypsy moth in 18 minutes!
Week of September 18, 2017
What's a rabologist? Someone who collects walking sticks.
Week of September 11, 2017
(Welcome back! We hope your summer was awesome and you are ready to get back into the park!!!)
There are 1.6 million people in Manhattan and 1.2 billion ants. New York City needs more giant anteaters -- they can eat 30,000 ants a day!