These weird facts about various things may mildly surprise you.
Here at Make It Sticky, we like to think we've always been ahead of the curve. Take lists, for example. Long before the online world woke up to their unending entertainment value, we were already poring over 'the ten worst', 'the six most horrible' - and so on.
As evidence, here's our copy of the 1977 classic, The Book of Lists (obviously, this was passed down to us from our parents). As the title promises, so the content delivers - it's a book comprised of nothing but lists.
Usually, our posts have some sort of theme, but this time we've thrown that to the wind, and dived willy-nilly into our magical ancient book. What better way to break up your day than with a list of random factoids, for your delectation and diversion?
People who became words
Fresh from the mildewed pages, comes this list of things named after people. We knew six of them - how about you?
- Braille - named after Louis Braille
- Chauvinist, chauvinism - named from Nicolas Chauvin
- Diesel - named after Rudolf Diesel
- Guillotine - named after Joseph Guillotin
- Lynch mobs, lynching - named from Capt. William Lynch
- Nicotine - named from Jean Nicot
- Masochism, masochist - named from Leopold von Sacher-Masoch
- Sadism, sadist - named from Marqis de Sade
- Saxophone - named after Antoine Joseph Sax
- Silhouette - named from Étienne de Silhouette
- Hovercraft - named after Sir Henry Hovercraft
OK, so we might have made the last one up. The hovercraft was really named after Sir Gary Hovercraft.
How the mighty have fallen
Who were the most revered figures in the USA forty years ago? Our book quotes a poll from the 1976 Ladies Home Journal. In a fascinating bit of social history, it reveals the top heroes for boys and girls for that year.
For girls, the top five heroes of 1976 were:
- O. J Simpson
- Neil Armstrong
- Robert Redford
- Elton John
- Billie Jean King
The boys top five for 1976 were:
- O.J. Simpson
- Elton John
- John Wayne
- Chris Evert
- Neil Armstrong
For those of us more familiar with O.J. from his pursuit along that Californian Freeway, and subsequent murder trial, it's hard to think that he was once the greatest American hero on the planet.
We all have to go somehow
Among our book's extensive list of unusual deaths, we found several gems:
- Alan Pinkerton (died 1884). The founder of the Pinkerton Detective Agency is thought to have died from gangrene after biting his own tongue - in turn the result of a stumble while taking his morning walk.
- Jerome Napoleon Bonaparte (died 1945). The last of the American Bonapartes, and nephew to Napoleon, died after tripping over his dog lead and hitting his head on the pavement.
- James Douglas, Earl of Morton (died 1581). Douglas introduced Scotland to 'the maiden', an early form of guillotine. After Douglas was involved in a murder, a grateful nation returned the favour, executing him using his imported device.
That wraps it up for this time. By the way, we hope you like our title. As the ad agency that makes ideas stick, we're hoping to start a new trend for understated clickbait headings. What d'you think?