We learn a great deal of information when we work in a certain field. We stumble upon certain information that is not easily available to other people. For example, did you know that coffee shops spend more on milk than coffee? Well, Starbucks has been called a milk shop instead of a coffee shop considering the money they spend on purchasing milk for their products. Also, Starbucks spends more on health care for their employees than they do on coffee! Let’s look into a few more such facts that are common knowledge to people who work in the field but unknown to others.
1. Products that are marketed as being “military-grade” does not necessarily mean that they are completely bullet-proof. This is just a marketing tactic.
Whenever there are commercials for trucks or any heavy duty equipment, the phrase “military-grade” is flashed right across the screen. This is repeated multiple times to emphasize that the product in question is strong. Now, for a layman, military-grade would simply mean that the products in question are made with materials that are used by the military. This means that military-grade products are the strongest products in the market, and they are bullet-proof and unbreakable. After all, it’s made from military materials.
But, in reality, military-grade products do not mean that they are unbreakable. When a product is described as being made from military-grade aluminum, it simply means that it is made from aluminum that might have been used in the manufacturing of military trucks. The same material might have been used to manufacture aluminum kitchen trays! Just being used in the manufacturing of military products does not make a substance bullet-proof or stronger. Unless the phrase “mil-spec” is mentioned, military-grade materials are just normal materials. Military-grade is just a marketing phrase to provide high intrinsic value to the product. (source)
2. An elevator actually goes up to the top of the hoist during failures rather than crashing to the floor like shown in movies. This happens due to the counterweights which are an integral part of elevator design.
In the majority of thriller movies, a lift crashing to the ground from the highest floor is a given. Such scenes make you think twice before getting onto an elevator the next day! But, that’s not what happens generally. An elevator plunging to the ground is very rare as it is designed on a system of brakes and cables whose primary objective is to offer fail-safe protection.
Terry Potter, safety manager at Lift and Escalator Industry Association, says that lifts should never crash to the ground as they are counterweighted. This means that during any failure, the lift should rise up the hoist due to the counterweight mechanism instead of tumbling down to the ground floor. Moreover, lifts are not just held up by one cable. There is a very complex and secure mechanism in place with two to eight steel cables holding the lift. Also, two or three brake systems are deployed on the elevator in case of any issues. The brakes would hold the elevator at the same point unless power is applied to release them. Only in very serious cases when all the steel cables have been broken and all the brake systems have failed is it that the elevator would crash to the floor. And such cases are very, very rare. (1, 2)
3. A violin and a fiddle do not have any differences other than the way they are played.
“Fiddle” is a collective term used to describe string instruments that are played with a bow. This includes the violin, cello, sarangi, rebab, and many other string instruments. So, a violin and a fiddle are the same things. The only difference is the way in which both these instruments are played.
The music played on a fiddle is intended to get people to dance. Hence, the music played on a fiddle is very fast and is comprised mostly of classical and folk music. The music from a fiddle tends to be rhythmic and produces a steady melody of basic tones.
When jazz music bands started to create their type of music, they started calling the fiddle a “violin.” This was purely done to distinguish between the jazz tones and the square-dancing tones earlier associated with the fiddle. (source)
4. In some museums, the things on display are less than 10% of their entire collection. For example, the Louvre has over 460,000 items in their collection but only displays about 35,000 of them which is approximately 7.6% of their entire collection.
In major museums across the world, artworks by great artists are hidden away from the public eye, and very few people know this. The Museum of Modern Art in New York houses works by the famous Pablo Picasso but only displays 24 of his works. However, they have 1,221 works by the great artist. Also, the museum has 145 pieces of works by Ed Ruscha, a conceptual artist, but displays only one of his pieces.
The same applies to many of the other major museums in the world such as the Met, the Tate, and the Louvre. Their walls may be adorned with thousands of paintings, but that’s just a small fraction of what they actually have. The Louvre displays only around 8% of their entire collection, while the Guggenheim shows only 3%! On the other hand, Berlinische Galerie, a museum in Berlin that shows and preserves art made by artists in the city, only displays 2% of its entire collection. That 2%, however, includes 6,000 paintings and sculptures, 15,000 prints, and 80,000 photographs by artists that include the likes of Hannah Höch and George Grosz.
There are many reasons for this. Firstly, it’s the lack of space. Even though these museums are huge, there are still small compared to their entire collection. Secondly, sometimes the art in their collection does not coincide with their current curatorial theme. Therefore, these arts are just preserved and never let out. (source)
5. The maximum spacing that is allowed between railing spindles is 4″. The reason being that’s the average size of a baby’s head. Most building inspectors will carry a 4″ sphere while inspecting newly constructed buildings.
Railings, guards, stairs, and exterior decks are constructed by taking stringent measures. The reason being is that they fall under the category of “critical safety measures.” There can be serious injuries if the measurements in these cases are not proper. This also applies to the distance between two spindles in a railing.
As per standard safety regulations, the distance between two spindles in a railing is supposed to be at most 4″. There’s a very basic reason behind this. The average size of a baby’s head is 4″. Small children tend to stick their heads into spaces, and if they are able to do that in case of a railing, they would just get stuck. This is the reason for the rule of 4″ distanced spindles. (source)