Random fact roundup, March 19th—26th, 2018!

What do hot dogs, the Vatican, and the Large Hadron Collider have in common? They're all in our random fact roundup where we bring you some favorite facts about three subjects.

Random fact roundup, March 19th—26th, 2018!

Fast Food

— Hamburgers originated in and get their name from Hamburg, Germany. Nobody is quite sure when the first one was cooked, but a recipe for something similar to a modern hamburger appeared in that part of the world towards the end of the 1800s, with the first supposed burger in America in 1885. The humble hamburger gained in popularity and was nationwide by 1905, with several regional varieties.


— During World War I, the American government attempted to rename the hamburger as the "liberty sandwich" due to anti-German sentiment. The name didn't stick, but "hot dog" stuck around. Before, they were called Frankfurters. 

— Hot dogs in America can be directly traced back to the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago, where two recent immigrants from Vienna,  Emil Reichel and Sam Ladany,  sold them. It was a hit. They formed a company called Vienna Beef which still operates today. 

— The Chicago hot dog (slice of tomato, poppy seed bun, white onion, sweet pickle relish, a slice of kosher dill pickle, celery salt, and sport peppers) was originally called the Depression Sandwich and can be attributed to a restaurant called Fluky's around the time of the stock market crash of 1929. 

Hadron Colliders 

— The heat generated by smashing up the particles at hyper-speeds can sometimes get up to 100,000 times hotter than our sun. In theory, this is close to the heat of the universe a few moments after the Big Bang occurred. 

— In 2009, the CERN Hadron Collider had to shut down after a bird dropped a "bit of baguette" (don't forget much of the machine is in France) onto one of the power stations, causing a short-circuit. 

— Before it was finished, many thought that operations at the CERN Large Hadron Collider would cause the destruction of Earth itself, due to the potential to create microscopic black holes.

— Technically, the CERN Hadron Collider could be considered the world's largest refrigerator. All the magnets used have to be cooled to -193.2ºC. 

The Vatican 

— The Vatican consumes more wine per capita than any other country, with 74 liters drank per citizen per year, according to several British newspapers. There are about 1,000 people who live in the Vatican year round. The wine intake isn't due to communions, however, as most people might think. Most of the people who live and work in the Vatican tend to be older men who eat in large groups... and those guys consume double the amount that the rest of Europe drinks. Communion does factor in, but at a far smaller percentage. 

— Vatican City was created in 1929 to ensure it operated within its own jurisdiction. It is within the Holy See, which is an independent sovereign nation, separate from Italy, but within Rome. Sort of like a Turducken.

— The Vatican has its own astronomical research wing. It was started in 1774 and located mostly within the Holy See. The Vatican owns, funds, and operates a massive telescope called the VATT (Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope) in Mt Graham, Arizona. It's a pretty significant telescope, too: it's responsible for finding MACHOs (Massive Compact Halo Objects) in the Andromeda Galaxy, and even evidence that galaxies change shape over time. 

‘Designer baby’ book trilogy explores the moral dilemmas humans may soon create

How would the ability to genetically customize children change society? Sci-fi author Eugene Clark explores the future on our horizon in Volume I of the "Genetic Pressure" series.

Surprising Science
  • A new sci-fi book series called "Genetic Pressure" explores the scientific and moral implications of a world with a burgeoning designer baby industry.
  • It's currently illegal to implant genetically edited human embryos in most nations, but designer babies may someday become widespread.
  • While gene-editing technology could help humans eliminate genetic diseases, some in the scientific community fear it may also usher in a new era of eugenics.
Keep reading Show less

Massive 'Darth Vader' isopod found lurking in the Indian Ocean

The father of all giant sea bugs was recently discovered off the coast of Java.

A close up of Bathynomus raksasa

SJADE 2018
Surprising Science
  • A new species of isopod with a resemblance to a certain Sith lord was just discovered.
  • It is the first known giant isopod from the Indian Ocean.
  • The finding extends the list of giant isopods even further.
Keep reading Show less

How work addiction negatively affects your mental and physical health

Workaholism is perhaps the most socially accepted addiction, but a new paper shines light on the serious health risks that accompany it along with which occupations are most at risk.

Credit: Adobe Stock
Culture & Religion
  • Work addiction is a growing public health risk in industrialized nations, with some research showing that 5–10% of the United States population meet the criteria.
  • Workaholism comes with a variety of serious mental and physical health concerns such as depression, anxiety, insomnia, lowered immunity, substance abuse, or even chronic fatigue.
  • Employees at the highest risk for stress-related disorders are those in what researchers call the "tense" group category where job demand is high but job control is low, such as healthcare workers.
Keep reading Show less

There’s no way we could stop a rogue AI

Max Planck Institute scientists crash into a computing wall there seems to be no way around.

Credit: josefkubes/Adobe Stock
Technology & Innovation
  • Artificial intelligence that's smarter than us could potentially solve problems beyond our grasp.
  • AI that are self-learning can absorb whatever information they need from the internet, a Pandora's Box if ever there was one.
  • The nature of computing itself prevents us from limiting the actions of a super-intelligent AI if it gets out of control.
Keep reading Show less
Politics & Current Affairs

These are the world’s greatest threats in 2021

We look back at a year ravaged by a global pandemic, economic downturn, political turmoil and the ever-worsening climate crisis.

Scroll down to load more…
Quantcast