Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Random Stuff You May Not Know: Seven

1- Most Crosswalk Buttons Don’t Work

These buttons can be found in many places around the world. Their secret is, the majority of them do not function and are intentionally left like that. Dubbed “placebo buttons”, in New York for example only about nice percent of them actually work according to New York City Department of Transportation. If cars are forced to stop every time a pedestrian pushes the button, it will slow down the overall traffic and cause delay.

We can say that crosswalk buttons exist to make people feel like they are in control; like they are getting what they want.

In certain areas around the UK, Canada, and the U.S, the buttons do function. However, only in certain times of the day, mainly after midnight to early morning, and/or only in quite areas. At a standalone pedestrian crossing, unconnected to a junction, the button will likely turn a traffic light red.

Since I have learned this crosswalk button fact last year, now I can’t help but notice everyone who uses them. Some actually keep pushing multiple times in hope that it works faster. But most of these buttons don’t do anything at all, especially in busy intersections.

Once I told a couple of 20-year olds after seeing them pressing the fake button here in Venice Beach. “By the way, I research stuff and I just found out that those are placebo buttons which do not work.” They laughed and seemed convinced. Maybe the research bit make it more believable. The following time a dude told me ‘Fuck you’ while flipping me the finger, to which I simply just smiled back.

That said, I then decided to keep the ‘secret’ to myself, or just write about it. I might tell closer friends as I already have. But no more random strangers in the street. After all, no one likes to feel they have been fooled, possibly for their entire lives. Maybe they wouldn’t even believe me. 

A similar situation can be seen with the ‘close’ button for most elevators, which by the early 1990s had stopped working all over the U.S. Some people though often tend to repeatedly push on those as well.

2- Wife Carrying Championship
Known as Eukonkanto or Akankanto in Finnish, the Wife Carrying Championship has been taking place in Finland every year since 1992. The track is 253.3 meters (831 ft) and there are numerous obstacles to pass along the way.

There are several types of carrying: Piggyback, Fireman’s carry (over the shoulder), or Estonian-style (the wife hangs upside-down with her legs around the husband’s shoulders, holding onto his waist). Interestingly, one of the rules of the competition states that all entrants must have insurance.

Other than Finland, there is currently a Wife Carrying World Championship is Australia, America, and Asian.

On a similar note, there is also a mobile phone throwing competition which had equally started in Finland in 2000. I’m not sure what’s that mysterious link between Finns and throwing stuff. See for yourselves in the below video.

3- Painkillers Epidemic in America

Americans, constituting only 4.6% of the world’s population, consume 80% of the global narcotic painkiller supply — opioids. In 2012, 259 million prescriptions for opioid painkillers were written, which is more than enough to give every American adult their own bottle of pills.

Ten of the highest prescribing states are in the South, with Alabama, Tennessee, and West Virginia leading the nation.

The Northeast, especially Maine and New Hampshire, have the most prescriptions per person for long-acting/extended-release painkillers and for high-dose painkillers.

The lowest prescribing state is Hawaii. I wonder whaii.

Those who are interested can watch the below documentary, Big Bucks, Big Pharma: Marketing Disease and Pushing Drugs to know how the heck that happened. 

4- Cold Rinse After Shower  

Since I was a kid my dad taught me to finish my hot shower with a cold rinse so I don’t get cold once I’m out. This stayed with me until today, especially in winter. I also enjoy the invigorating freshness sensation that it gives you.

Just recently, I came across another benefit for that final rinse which I never knew; and it’s how cold water shuts the hair cuticle, or the outermost layer of the shaft, tight. According to some hair peeps, this “will cause it to reflect the most light and give off the most shine.”

That’s of course in addition to all the other benefits of cold showers.

5- “The President”: The Oldest Known Living Sequoia 
Located in the Giant Forest of Sequoia National Park in the United States, east of Visalia, California, this giant sequoia stands at 247 feet (75 m) tall and is estimated to be over 3,200 years old. The trunk is 27 feet (8.2 m) wide, with 2 billion needles from base to top.

As of 2012, the volume of its trunk measured at about 45,000 cubic feet (1,300 m3), with an additional 9,000 cubic feet (250 m3) of branches. It was nicknamed “The President” after President Warren G. Harding in 1923.

The President is not the tallest giant sequoia tree in the world nor the widest in diameter at the base. But it is the third largest tree in the world, measured by volume of trunk, as well as the oldest known living sequoia. According to the scientists who climbed it, it also has the largest crown.

Because of its unbelievable size, the tree has never been photographed in its entirety...until recently. A team of National Geographic Photographers have worked along with scientists to create the first photo that shows this historical tree in all its glory.

They had to climb with pulleys and levers, and took thousands of photos out of which they selected 126 and stitched them together to produce this stunning portrait of The President.


Random Stuff You May Not Know

Random Stuff You May Not Know: Two

Random Stuff You May Not Know: Three

Random Stuff You May Not Know: Four   

Random Stuff You May Not Know: Five

Random Stuff You May Not Know: Six 

Random Stuff You May Not Know: Eight 

Random Stuff You May Not Know: Nine   

Random Stuff You May Not Know: Ten

Random Stuff You May Not Know: Eleven

Random Stuff You May Not Know: Ten

Random Stuff You May Not Know: Eleven
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