51 ‘Today I Learned’ Facts That Show It’s Never Too Late To Learn (New Pics)

Life can be an enticing, never-ending lesson if you have enough curiosity and an open mind to look at the world with fresh eyes, an eagerness to expand your knowledge, and the wisdom to set your ego aside. Many of you Ravenclaws probably already know about the incredibly popular and fast-growing ‘Today I Learned’ community on Reddit, boasting a whopping 26.5 million members.

It’s been an integral part of Reddit since 2008 and has been responsible for reigniting many an internet user’s curiosity about everything from history to science, all the stuff in between the two (and beyond it, too).

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Bored Panda is such a big fan of the TIL community that we’ve featured it for your edutainment time and time again, dear Readers. You can read our latest articles about interesting trivia about life on Planet Earth right here, here, and here, once you’re done taking notes on today’s list of intriguing facts. Oh, and don’t forget to vote up the facts that you never knew! Got any TIL-worthy trivia to share with us? You can do so in the comment section.

Bored Panda reached out to parenting blogger Samantha Scroggin, the founder of Walking Outside in Slippers, to hear about how parents can nurture the desire to learn more about the world as kids grow up and how to deal with the constant questions of ‘why?’ that curious munchkins have all the time. All the while avoiding forcing them to have only the same interests as their parents do. You’ll find Samantha’s thoughts and insights as you scroll down below.

#1 Facts

TIL that the owner of the Café de la Rotonde in Paris would allow starving artists to pay for their drinks with a painting or drawing. In the 1900s the walls of the cafe would have been casually adorned with works now considered priceless.

Image credits: SilasMarner77

“Kids asking ‘why?’ is an important part of their natural curiosity. That said, the constant chatter and questions can grow tedious. I am very open with my kids, and answer just about any question they bring to me. But sometimes I tell them, not right now. I need quiet. And they rarely grant me that quiet. But still, I ask,” parenting blogger Samantha was very open with Bored Panda about how she tackles her kids’ non-stop curiosity.

Children constantly asking you questions about how the world works and why things are as they are is an ongoing situation that many of you Pandas who have families might be familiar with. The important thing is not to stifle your children’s curiosity while giving parents enough time to recharge mentally.

Samantha noted that one of the best things that parents can do is to create a safe space for kids to develop their own skills and talents without the fear of being judged. “And to avoid the temptation to push them down a certain path just because it’s familiar and more comfortable for us,” she added that we have to do our best to avoid forcing our kids to enjoy certain interests just because we’re fans of them.

#2 Facts

TIL that reindeer is the only mammal to change eye colour to adjust the amount of light that enters the eyes in different seasons. They have golden eyes in summer and blue in winter

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#3 Facts

TIL Neil Gaiman’s Coraline almost wasn’t published, his editor said it was too scary, but was convinced after her daughter said it was fine. Years later, the daughter said she was terrified but wanted to know what happened next so she never let on

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I was interested to understand whether children naturally pick up some of the same interests and talents as their parents growing up. Samantha was happy to elaborate on what things are like in her family.

“The genes are strong in my family. My husband and I are both writers, and my kids are both artsy types. My son, 10, is a little actor and singer who even appeared on Kids Say the Darndest Things this year. My 6-year-old daughter amazes me with her drawing ability,” she said.

“Although my kids’ talents are not identical to my husband and me, they are likewise little creative powerhouses. We as parents have made them feel safe and comfortable being themselves and expressing their skills. Then there are some abilities that clearly pass on directly from the parents. For example, my son and daughter are both math whizzes like my husband, while math has always been my nemesis.”

#4 Facts

TIL of Rebecca: a raccoon that had been sent to the White House to be served as the 1926 Thanksgiving dinner entrée. Coolidge instead adopted it as his pet.

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#5 Facts

TIL Cats domesticated themselves. They existed unchanged until the Middle Ages; and even now are genetically extremely close to their ancestors.

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#6 Facts

TIL that watching a fire can lower your blood pressure

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The way that we learn things has changed dramatically over the decades and centuries. Lenore Skenazy, the founder and president of the Let Grow nonprofit that promotes childhood independence, and the founder of the Free-Range Kids movement, explained to me earlier that for much of history most people didn’t learn about the world at schools growing up, as they do now.

“In the United States, for instance, school only became compulsory a little over 100 years ago. Previously—for hundreds of thousands of years of human history—kids learned simply by watching, copying, helping, and playing. In other words, they’d hang around the adults, see how they made things like baskets and arrowheads, they’d ask questions, noodle around, and try to copy what their elders were doing,” she told Bored Panda.

#7 Facts

TIL in 1921 there were 14 million telephones in the US & Canada. On August 4th all of them were simultaneously silenced by the telephone companies for one minute. This was done as a mark of respect for the telephone inventor Alexander Graham-Bell on the day of his funeral.

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#8 Facts

TIL Maurice Sendak, author of Where the Wild Things Are, once sent an original drawing to a little boy who had written to him. The boy loved the card so much that he ate it.

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#9 Facts

TIL A Soviet surgeon removed his own appendix during an Antarctic expedition in 1961. He was the only doctor of the expedition and become seriously ill. Operating mostly by feeling around, the surgeon worked for an hour and 45 minutes.

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“They’d also help out as soon as they could—fetching things, tracking animals, whatever—and in between they’d be playing with a group of mixed-age kids. All these activities were fueled by curiosity,” Lenore went into detail about how kids would learn about the world and life by experiencing everything first-hand and giving their family and community members a helping hand.

“You were motivated to learn what the bigger kids in your group knew, too, because they were so cool. Your entire day consisted of observing and practicing the stuff you needed to know— skills and games. If you weren’t curious, you weren’t going to enjoy life, or succeed at it,” the childhood independence expert said.

“One reason kids might seem less curious today is because most of their education, inside and outside of school, doesn’t require self-motivation, it requires compliance. The drive is extrinsic, not intrinsic. Kids fill out worksheets because they have to, not because these seem interesting, or have any immediate connection to the ‘real’ world,” she said that the trend has reached extracurricular activities as well, unfortunately.

#10 Facts

TIL that when Nichelle Nichols read for the part of a communications officer in ‘Star Trek’, she had a copy of Robert Ruark’s ‘Uhuru’ with her. ‘Uhuru’ is Swahili for ‘freedom’, and when Gene Roddenberry heard what the word meant, he changed the character’s name to ‘Uhura’.

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#11 Facts

TIL That the victims of Pompeii had near-perfect dental health due to a low-sugar diet and a local water source rich in fluorine.

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#12 Facts

TIL An Australian Fisherman caught a tiger shark and brought it to a local aquarium. The shark puked up a human arm in front of spectators. Investigators were able to distinguish that the arm was not bitten off by the shark,but was cut off and then eaten. The investigation led to a murder charge.

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“Learning soccer means doing the drills the coach assigns, as opposed to tagging along with the older kids and working hard to get good enough so that they’d start letting you play. The key to curiosity, then, is giving kids enough free, unstructured time for them to find something they love to do for its own sake—not for a grade, or coach.”

Lenore’s advice? We should let our kids explore their curiosity for the sake of it, not because they were told to do so in a formal setting. “Not every interest has to lead to formal instruction, or at least not until a child really wants it. There’s a big difference between running for a coach, and running for plain old fun. Curiosity and self-direction go hand in hand.”

#13 Facts

TIL Alan Alda met his wife at a mutual friend’s dinner party; when a rum cake accidentally fell onto the kitchen floor, they were the only two guests who did not hesitate to eat it.

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#14 Facts

TIL that Hiram Maxim, the inventor of the automatic machine gun, spent so much time test-firing his guns that he became completely deaf. His son Hiram Percy Maxim eventually invented the silencer, but too late to save his father’s hearing.

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#15 Facts

TIL that Oskar Schindler abandoned his wife after going bankrupt and returned to Germany, leaving her in Argentina. They never saw each other again in the 20 years before his death, though they remained married. The final scene of Schindler’s List was her first time ever seeing his grave.

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#16 Facts

TIL Kenny G was one of the original investors in Starbucks and has made more money investing than from his music career.

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#17 Facts

TIL that Jack Nicholson grew up believing his mother was actually his sister. His mom June was 17 years old and unmarried when she gave birth to him. Her parents agreed to raise Jack as their own child with June acting as his sister. Reporters from Time magazine revealed this to Jack in 1974.

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#18 Facts

TIL for over 300 years Europeans could not grow vanilla seeds since bringing it from South America. In 1836 it was finally discovered that a bee from Mexico was the only capable pollinator of the vanilla orchid.

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#19 Facts

TIL There was a romance novel about KFC, set in medieval England. It launched in 2017 for mothers day, and was called “Tender Wings of Desire”.

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#20 Facts

TIL that the Milky Way got its name because the Greek goddess Hera pulled a breastfeeding Hercules off of her boob and milk sprayed across the galaxy.

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#21 Facts

TIL the Trans-Siberian Orchestra has donated over $16,000,000 to charity since they started touring

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#22 Facts

TIL McDonalds lost the ‘Big Mac’ naming rights in england after trying to sue an irish company called Supermac (that predated McDonalds) , allowing Burger King to troll them by calling their burgers things such as ‘like a big mac, but actually big’

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#23 Facts

TIL During WW II the US Army was aware that mail to soldiers was critical for morale, but overwhelmed with the volume and space it took to ship. So the resuscitated a British/Eastman Kodak method where every letter was photographed, and the film was shipped, then printed. It was called V Mail.

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#24 Facts

TIL, that in 1838 a 14 year old boy nicknamed “The boy Jones” broke into Buckingham Palace and stole Queen Victoria’s underwear

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#25 Facts

TIL Mary Shelley published her novel “Frankenstein, the Modern Prometheus” at 19 years old, its themes of birth and death reflecting the deaths of both her first infant child and sister within a short timeframe, followed by pregnancy with another child who she carried throughout the book’s writing.

Image credits: SojourningCPA

#26 Facts

TIL The man who took the first up close photo of a snowflake, Wilson A. Bentley in 1885, also started the concept “No two snowflakes are alike”. In his lifetime, he took over 5k photos of snowflakes.

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#27 Facts

TIL all of Teddy Roosevelt’s sons were injured or died serving in world wars. Quentin was killed in aerial combat over France in WWI, Archibald was injured in WWI & WWII, Kermit committed suicide while serving as Army Intelligence in Alaska, and Ted died of a heart attack after invading Utah Beach.

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#28 Facts

TIL a teenage tyrannosaurus rex would go through a growth spurt where it gained 35-45 pounds a week

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#29 Facts

TIL that the second tallest mountain on Earth, K2, is much deadlier to climb that Everest. Approximately one person dies on the mountain for every four who reach the summit

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#30 Facts

TIL that, due to gravitational time dilation, Earth’s core is about 2.5 years younger than its surface.

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#31 Facts

TIL there is one small area in Canada where the ranges of black bears, grizzly bears, and polar bears all overlap.

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#32 Facts

TIL Neither the ‘White Russian’ or ‘Black Russian’ cocktails have any Russian origin. The White Russian was 1st mentioned in the Oakland Tribune newspaper in 1965 & gained popularity after the 1998 film ‘The Big Lebowski’.

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#33 Facts

TIL that a nuclear worker in Japan was exposed to 17 Sieverts of radiation (twice the amount that should kill a person). He was kept alive for 83 days, suffering serious radiation burns to his body, severe organ failure, and an almost zero white blood cell count.

Image credits: poppinpuss

#34 Facts

TIL the Palo Verde nuclear plant in Arizona is the only nuclear plant in the world not near a major body of water. Instead its 20,000 gallons/ minute of cooling water comes from local wastewater.

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#35 Facts

TIL, Angostura bitters has a label that doesn’t fit because two brothers in 1870 redesigned the bottle and label but did not consult one another. They entered a contest but did not win. One of the judges convinced them to keep it as “signature labelling.”

Image credits: No-Relation2437

#36 Facts

TIL that after Lady Diana’s death two Slovakian tourists were each given a 28-day prison sentence for having taken eleven teddy bears and a number of flowers from the pile outside the palace. This was reduced to a fine of £200 each.

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#37 Facts

TIL that the first Paddington Bear toy was designed by Shirley and Eddie Clarkson in 1972 and given to their son Jeremy, the future presenter of Top Gear & The Grand Tour.

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#38 Facts

TIL the Rat Pack were a group of entertainers who were friends in the 1950’s. When one performed in Vegas, others would often come without an official booking and perform at the first one’s show. Hotel marquees would read “Dean Martin, Maybe Frank (Sinatra), Maybe Sammy (Davis, Jr.)”

Image credits: GregJamesDahlen

#39 Facts

TIL That Sabbath Mode is an option for some ovens and kitchen appliances. It exists to allow for use of the appliance while still observing restrictions on certain activities during Jewish Sabbath and holidays that might otherwise be violated by operating the appliance in its usual manner.

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#40 Facts

TIL that General Motors attempted to discredit Ralph Nader by tapping his phone and, when that failed to uncover any salacious information, hiring prostitutes in an attempt to catch him in a compromising situation.

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#41 Facts

TIL Stone crabs aren’t killed for their meat. You simply remove one claw and throw them back in. They will eventually regrow their claw making them a renewable resource.

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#42 Facts

TIL The first time the Beatles took acid, it was given to them by their dentist, without their knowledge or consent

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#43 Facts

TIL that the film It’s a Wonderful Life was initially a flop that bankrupted a studio and ended legendary careers until it entered public domain.

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#44 Facts

TIL in 1986, the 18-year-old Prince of Orange Willem-Alexander participated in the 120 mile long ice skating tour known as ‘Elfstedentocht’. He entered under the pseudonym ‘W.A. van Buren’, and managed to finish the tour that passes 11 historic cities in the Dutch province of Friesland.

Image credits: AbathaCrispy

#45 Facts

TIL on December 28 1983, Dennis Wilson, co-founder and drummer of the Beach Boys, drowned at Marina Del Rey after drinking all day and then diving in the afternoon to recover his ex-wife’s belongings, previously thrown overboard at the marina from his yacht three years earlier amidst their divorce.

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#46 Facts

TIL – Shortly after the Nazi invasion of Yugoslavia, the Nazis had set up an area with captured Yugoslav aircraft. But while the German guards were listening to the news, local communists moved the fence separating the working ones from the non-working ones, leading to all aircraft being scrapped.

Image credits: Pashahlis

#47 Facts

TIL Daddy Long Legs Spiders used to be called Shepherd Spiders; named after French shepherds who would use stilts to travel over grasslands. Not only were locals able to get around more easily, the stilts were allegedly an extremely speedy method of transport; as fast as a horse in full trot.

Image credits: WoodPanelledInterior

#48 Facts

TIL: Pittsburgh is the only city in the United States in which all the major professional teams share the same primary colors (black and gold).

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#49 Facts

TIL The average NHL player only spends 47 seconds on the ice at one time.

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#50 Facts

TIL William Randolph Hearst’s attempts to stifle Citizen Kane included banning any advertising, reviewing, or mentioning it in his papers, having theaters ban the film, accusing Welles of being a communist, and a Hearst underling allegedly hid a 14 year old girl in Welles’ hotel room closet.

Image credits: jamescookenotthatone

#51 Facts

TIL after the civil war, the pumpkin pie was resisted in southern states as a symbol of Yankee culture imposed on the south, where there was no tradition of eating pumpkin pie.

Image credits: flyart

#52 Warp Drives Might Work

Source: boredpanda.com

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