12 Interesting Facts Everyone Should Know
Humans are curious beings and we do not hold back on a chance to learn something new every waking moment. When curiosity is piqued, the brain regulates pleasure and reward by releasing dopamine chemicals. Learning is such an activity that is rewarding, and the chemicals released give us a high. The same can be felt when we find out cool facts from things around us. Here are some interesting general knowledge facts everyone should know.
1 The official inventor and holder of the patent for the fire hydrant is unknown as it was lost in a fire. The U.S Patent Office burned to the ground in 1836.
The post-type fire hydrant invention is credited to a chief engineer on Philadelphia Waterworks named Frederick Graff around 1801. There is also a U.S patent on an improved fire hydrant in the name of John Jorden in 1838.
All the prior fire-hydrant invention records were destroyed when the U.S Patent Office was burned to the ground in 1836. Fire suppression efforts were futile and around three decades of patent documents were lost beyond recovery.
It also led to the new office having multiple copies. An investigation was led suspecting a case of arson but was later ruled out. Since the patent records were destroyed, the identity of the original inventor is uncertain. (1, 2)
2 The word “corgi” is a Welsh word that literally means “dwarf dog.” Corgis have dwarfism in their legs. This is selectively encouraged in certain breeds.
The word “corgi” is a reference to the short legs of the breed. In Welsh, “cor” translates to “dwarf” and “ci” is “dog.” Corgis have been predisposed to such a disorder. Many other breeds, such as Scottish deerhounds, Alaskan Malamute, and Labrador retrievers are bred with such development abnormalities.
It is caused by a mutation of the growth factor receptor gene. Dachshund, Skye terrier, Boston terriers, and Japanese spaniels are bred with dwarfism as it is encouraged selectively. (1, 2)
3 Opossums never contract rabies as their body temperature is much lower than mammals which makes rabies virus impossible to take hold in their body.
People mistake opossums’ certain behavior as signs of rabies. Their mouth-hissing and drooling are mistaken very widely for the disease and have led people to believe they are harmful to be around. But one of the interesting facts about them is that rabies is extremely rare in opossums.
They have a body temperature much lower compared to other warm-blooded animals that do not provide a good habitat for the rabies virus to grow in their body. Their body temperature is between 94-97 degrees Fahrenheit that is not suitable for the rabies virus. The rabies-carrying-like behavior they exhibit is considered a defense mechanism.
Opossums are very adaptable and can live off eating almost anything. It is a common myth that they carry rabies. They also rarely catch any Lyme disease from ticks and are also immune to stings of scorpions, honeybees, and even snake venom. (1, 2)
4 German chocolate cake was created by Sam German for Baker’s chocolate company in 1852. He was an Englishman. The cake is not-so-German as the name suggests. Somewhere along the way, the cake lost the apostrophe and became German chocolate cake instead of German’s chocolate cake.
Sam German, in 1852, invented a new method of sweet baking chocolate, and he created the German chocolate cake for Baker’s chocolate company. It wasn’t until 1957 that the delicacy became well-known. The recipe suddenly gained popularity after it was published in a Dallas newspaper, and the sales shot up 73%.
Newspapers all around the country were reprinting the recipe. The name is, like many other incidents in the past, attributed to a punctuation error. More than 100 years later, the recipe shot to fame and became a classic American dessert option. June 11 is observed as the National German Chocolate Cake Day as the dessert is so beloved it has its own holiday. (1, 2)
5 Edwin Eugene Aldrin, father of Buzz Aldrin, was an aviation pioneer himself who was friends with the Wright brothers and had been a student of Robert Goddard, the father of modern rocketry.
The father of the second man to ever set foot on the moon was a student in Clark University, class of 1915. Aldrin himself is someone who has crisscrossed the country with some of the most famous American figures of aviation.
He has studied under Robert Goddard and drank with Howard Hughes when the industrialist was working on cutting-edge aircraft and movies on fighter pilots.
Airplane inventor Orville Wright and Jimmy Doolittle, who is known for the bombing in Tokyo in1942, were friends with Edwin Aldrin.
He was a very driven individual and played a vital part in helping Goddard with his experiments. In 1917, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Coast Artillery and was later transferred to the Aviation Section. (Source)
6 During a kidney transplant, the old kidneys are left inside unless they are causing pain and infection. The old kidneys eventually shrink in size and stay in the body like an appendix.
Old kidneys are not removed during a kidney transplant unless there is a severe condition. They are removed only under three conditions. If the old kidneys suffer from repeated infections that can possibly spread to the transplant, then they are removed during the procedure.
Uncontrollable hypertension in the original kidneys can also affect the new one and if this condition exists, they are removed. The removal is also carried out if the patient suffers from a condition called “reflux” where there is a backup of urine into the kidneys.
The new kidneys are placed in the lower abdomen and a new ureter is connected to the bladder. One reason why old kidneys are not removed is that kidney-removal surgery is a major surgery that requires around eight weeks for recovery. If the patient is not undergoing dialysis, removing one set of kidneys requires a dialysis procedure to be started immediately.
Blood transfusions are required for some patients after or during the kidneys removal procedure. It can lead to the development of new antibodies in your system that can destroy or attack the new kidneys and make the body reject them completely. To prevent such failures, the old kidneys are left inside the patient’s body. (1, 2)
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