TIL the Trevi Fountain in Rome, Italy collects about $4000 worth of coins every day. Most of the money goes towards charities like a supermarket for the needy.

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They still won’t let me dive down to the plug, even after being shown that most excellent documentary, Futurama.


I wonder how much money the guys selling cell phone chargers and toys standing next to the fountain make


I did the math, if this is correct, that adds up to 28,000 a week which is 1,460,000 (One million four hundred sixty thousand) every year!


Who the fuck throws paper money into a fountain?!


“Roman officials have the fountain cleaned every night, reportedly ***netting as much as $4,000*** in loose change from around the world each day”

Netting in Italian means half of what was collected.


TIL the United States Postal Service is the single largest employer of veterans (22% of the postal workforce) and nearly a third of the veterans are disabled.

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The federal government is one of the few employers that routinely makes accommodations for people with disabilities.


As described in the documentary “Men in Black II”, the postal service is also the single largest employer of extra terrestrials.


I could be mistaken but I believe any time of service in the military carries over towards retirement. I was also told by an acquaintance that had worked for the USPS that they don’t pay into social security.


The USPS has long been a great job for marginalized communities. After the Civil War it was one of the only ways black Southerners could get good jobs in racist areas. Glad to see it’s helping returning soldiers too!


The USPS is a modern wonder of the world. Seriously.

* You can ship a letter from Nome, Alaska to Key West, FL with a single 55¢ stamp. Just as you would if you were to send a letter across town
* Their parcel shipping rates are 20%-40% cheaper than the private couriers (FedEx, UPS) and often will get your packages to their destination faster
* They will even mail you free Priority Mail shipping supplies, including boxes!

The USPS is one of the ways this country is great. We have arguably the best postal system in the world. The European postal systems are often quasi-public corporations that screw, exploiting their vaulted status to screw people over and provide bad service.

Understand that when you hear stories about the USPS failing it’s only because they have to unfairly fund their pensions several **decades** in advance.


TIL a “familiar stranger” is a term used by social scientists for strangers we see on a regular basis but with whom we don’t interact. Familiar strangers are more than complete strangers but do not rise to the level of an acquaintance.

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When I used to take the train into work, I would see the same people every day and just kind of head-nod to them like ‘hey random person, good to see you and know that I haven’t shifted universes overnight’


What’s even more interesting is seeing these people ‘out of context’. Myself-I’ve seen fellow train riders and familiar strangers in grocery stores and shopping centers in our town. It weirds me out because I want to greet them but have never interacted with them (much or at all) on the train.

My wife is a pre School teacher and when she sees her students outside of school, they give her that incredulous look of disassociation.


People who work on the same floor as you, who you have never interacted with beyond something like holding a door open or something like that


There’s a checkout clerk at my local convenience store where I get gas and breakfast once a week or so. She’s the sweetest lady I’ve ever met. Calls customers “darlin'” and “love” and “baby.” She’s obviously going through some health issues, she’s lost her hair, her voice goes in and out, and sometimes she’s not working for a few weeks, then returns.

I only know her name because of her name tag, but I make a point to to go through her line. We chat, only briefly, because she has a line and a job to do.

In my heart I truly love this “familiar stranger.” If the definition includes “we don’t interact,” well, I guess it doesn’t qualify. But I don’t know any more about her than what I’ve described. I’m just another friendly customer to her.

Be nice to your retail workers. They don’t get enough appreciation.


Like the guy with the mullet and the windbreakers who power walks through my neighborhood every day. 80s guy is a rad dude.


TIL that Johnny Cash caused a forest fire which burned hundreds of acres and killed 49 of the area’s 53 endangered California Condors, nearly wiping them out in the region

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It sounds like his truck overheated and caused a fire, not like he did it on purpose.


Made a ring of fire.


Johnny Cash also shot a man in Reno just to watch him die


>“I don’t care about your damn yellow buzzards.”


I hurt those birds today.


TIL that Guinea worm disease (Dracunculiasis) is likely to be the first parasitic disease to be globally eradicated, and that treatment by slowly extracting the nematode by wrapping it around a stick hasn’t fundamentally changed since at least 1550 BCE as described in an Egyptian medical papyrus

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People talk about the great work Jimmy Carter did post presidency, typically referring to his work with habitat for humanity, but eradicating guinea worms is one of his organization’s other goals.


The part I found fascinating, while still disgusting, is that it could take weeks to remove the 60 – 100 cm long worm by rolling the match-like stick over that time. That’s a lot of patience.

“The worm may be slowly removed over a few weeks by rolling it over a stick.[3 “


And TIL this. Now I wish I hadn’t read the article….


Ah, we- ah prefer the term “Italian- American” worm disease.


>In March 2016, the World Health Organization convened a scientific conference to study the emergence of cases of infections of dogs. The worms are genetically indistinguishable from the Dracunculus medinensis that infects humans.

Well that’s just fucking great.


TIL it is theoretically possible to send a paper plane from the ISS to earth, without the planes burning up on reentry. An experiment was scheduled, but unfortunately cancelled.

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wtf uncancel that shit


Sure. Or maybe a paper coffee cup. Just pitch something with negligible mass towards the Earth from orbit with a low enough velocity and it won’t burn up because there won’t be enough velocity to cause heating due to friction. A paper plane might drift around in the upper atmosphere for a while, though.


Cool idea for an experiment, but I can see how actually tracking an 11 inch long piece of paper entering the atmosphere would be basically impossible.


They should start with a bucket of bouncy balls* first, and go from there.

*aka super balls


Imagine your flight getting grounded because of a paper plane stuck to the windshield.


TIL of Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt, an American businessman who died when the RMS Lusitania sank in 1915, after giving his lifejacket to a young mother and her baby. He knew that he could not swim and that there were no other lifeboats available at the time. His body was never recovered.

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Say what you will about these American industrialists and their cut-throat business practices, but if you look at the Lusitania and the Titanic sinkings, they had their fair share of mega-rich passengers and the men lived by a code of conduct that dictated you put women and children first, always… and it was better to die than live without honor.


I’d like to throw in a plug for the book “Dead Wake” by Erik Larson. It’s a fascinating book that follows the Lusitania from New York to its final resting place, along with the submarine captain who fired the torpedo that sank it. It’s a great read and the description of the actual sinking is really vivid.


Can you imagine a “captain” of industry in the USA today who would consider doing this? I can not.


so, like.. this guy was Anderson Cooper’s ancestor? right? (Anderson Cooper’s mom was Gloria Vanderbilt).


Wonder if the recipients survived


TIL Bill gates bought a Porsche 959 which was seized by customs & sat on a storage for 13 years before he helped pass law “show & display law” which allowed for legally importing exotic cars that did not meet the federal safety standards

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And by then I assume it either had about 30,000 miles from customs joyriding it, or all its seals had rotted away and he spent ten of thousands restoring it to how it should be.


So a billionaire managed to change the law to benefit himself. Regardless of the intent this is how too many American laws are changed now.

Most billionaires have this ability and use it to do far worse things than allowing for legal imports of cars that don’t meet safety standards.


>It is still very rare to see a Porsche 959 in the United States today, but there was a time when it was impossible to drive one on American roads. It was all Porsche’s fault because they refused to give the United States Department of Transportation (US DOT) the four models required for crash testing certification. This posed a problem for Bill Gates when he bought one and couldn’t get it through customs, so he helped pass a law that would let the car into the country. The “Show and Display” law was passed in 1999 and his car was finally allowed through the doors after sitting in customs for years. Although his made it through once the law passed, others chose to modify their cars to make them road-legal in the United States. According to Silodrome, this modified Porsche 959 is one such car and it’s going up for auction.

When you’re so rich you decide to change the law to get around an annoyance.


I am rather interested in which federal safety standards weren’t met.

Nevermind, porsche didn’t give the examples for safetytesting


Sat on a storage?


TIL of of Applesearch, an organization that has dedicated the last 20 years to finding and saving heirloom apple varieties to ensure their survival for future generations.

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There’s a tree in Utah that produces one pound apples. Supposedly it’s one of the last of its kind


Are the heirloom varieties better? Do they have more unique flavours? I initially thought ‘of course the new brands would be developed to taste better’, but I remember my mum saying that tomatoes have no flavour now compared to yesteryear. So i guess new types are developed for ease of growing rather than flavour. We can’t let the most economical become the norm.




*denoting a traditional variety of plant or breed of animal which is not associated with large-scale commercial agriculture.*

For anyone else wondering what the definition is and not finding it in the comments like me.


Now I know where I’m getting my apple trees from, thank you!


I thought you couldn’t grow an Apple variety from seed – only by grafting…


TIL of Karl P. Schmidt, a herpetologist who documented his own death after he was bitten by a juvenile boomslang snake. He made detailed notes on the symptoms he experienced, almost right up to the end. He died 24 hours after the bite, bleeding in his lungs, kidneys, heart, and brain.

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FYI, what caused the bleeding:

>Boomslang venom works by causing disseminated intravascular coagulation, a condition in which so many small clots form in the blood that the victim loses the ability to clot further and bleeds to death.


I was disappointed to learn that he did not respond to an accidental bite like a metal AF scientist, but rather made a fatally foolish assumption that the intentional snake bite could not be fatal.


The sequel to “Are you there God? It’s me Margaret” was super dark.


After experiencing these symptoms he later wrote “….but my dick still seems to be getting blood. So I got that going for me…which is nice.”


More like derpetologist, amirite?