Dear 100 Hour Board,
Tell me something interesting.
The Useless Web is an excellent resource to take you to a variety of incredibly useless websites.
Even if I did accidentally learn the French word for "mango" on one of these websites—one displaying just a floating, glowing mango—they're still quite pointless and all the more beautiful and interesting for it.
Ever heard of the Boston Molasses Flood?
In January 1919, a 2 million gallon tank of hot molasses popped the rivets holding it together like your shirt buttons on Thanksgiving. Citizens report hearing a deep rumble, a thunder crack, and what sounded like a machine gun (the rivets popping off). Then, like a scene from your worst sugar-crash nightmare, those 2 million gallons of hot sticky viscous refined sugar flooded the streets of Boston at 35 miles an hour (that's about as fast as you can drive on 9th east.) It knocked homes off their foundations, killed 21 people (and many more animals), and swallowed cars. Of course, as it flowed, it cooled and became virtually impossible to escape.
The company that owned the tank blamed the event on "Italian Anarchists." Of course, this was false. Early 1900s Boston was pretty racist... After 3 years of hearings, it was discovered the constructor of the tank didn't even check for leaks. When first filled with molasses, it leaked a lot but the company just painted it brown so you couldn't tell. Supposedly, the tank had been filled to capacity that day because they were trying to make as much alcohol as possible, because the 18th Amendment was going to be passed the next day (Prohibition.) There were 119 lawsuits filed against the United States Industrial Alcohol Company. Families of those killed were given $100,000 (today's money) in reparations.
The harbor was brown from the flood for the following 6 months, and it was said "everything a Bostonian touched was sticky." (source, fn 1)
Ice is a physical anomaly among most substances. In most materials, if you increase the pressure they go from a liquid to a solid. Ice however, melts when you increase the pressure. When you ice skate, the weight of your body resting on the thin skate blades creates enough pressure to melt the ice beneath your skates. So when you ice skate you're actually skating on a thin layer of liquid water which is what allows you to glide and go fast.
Atheists are one of the most discriminated groups in America. When asked to rate groups including Muslims, homosexuals, and feminists, most Americans ranked atheists as the worst of the worst.
Also, some state constitutions in the U.S. specifically ban atheists from public office.
So um. Sorry if you're an atheist.
-guppy of doom
Franks, Andrew. 2017. “Improving the Electability of Atheists in the United States: A Preliminary Examination.” Politics and Religion 10, 597-621.
Edgell, P., J. Gerteis, and D. Hartmann. 2006. “Atheists as ‘Other’: Moral Boundaries and Cultural Membership in American Society.” American Sociological Review 71:211– 234.
Gervais, W.M., A.F. Shariff, and A. Norenzayan. 2011. “Do You Believe in Atheists? Distrust is Central to Anti-Atheist Prejudice.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 101:1189–1206.
Franks, A.S., and K.C. Scherr. 2014. “A Sociofunctional Approach to Prejudice at the Polls: Are Atheists More Politically Disadvantaged Than Gays and Blacks?” Journal of Applied Social Psychology 44:681–691.
Here's an interesting tidbit I learned today: turns out maggots are super foods. Also, turtles are the quintessential tricksters of West African mythology. Oh, and one more thing: Beauty from Beauty and the Beast was actually a fairy princess, and first cousin to the Beast (who was only turned into a beast because he refused to marry his old fairy nanny).
One of Jupiter's moons, Europa, is just a giant ball of water with an icy crust held together by gravity (and is therefore one of the best candidates for extraterrestrial life in our solar system)!
Tiffany and Co. made stained glass for a while, most famously in really amazing lamps. These lamps were so beautiful and popular with consumers that fakes began cropping up almost immediately. They also made the awesome stained glass clock in Grand Central Terminal in NYC! The lamps were made by Louis Comfort Tiffany, who was the son of the original founder, Charles Lewis Tiffany.