I’ll be lying on the sofa in the evening, shot glass of Jägermeister alongside, reading the latest story de jour — usually something sciency (my love) — and some factoid will call out to me. Here’s the latest bunch:

The right answer

Cunningham’s Law states that the best way to get the right answer on the internet is not to ask a question, but to post the wrong answer, since people are more interested in criticizing others than helping them.

Homestead Act

After the 1862 Homestead Act, which gave settlers title to a quarter square mile of land if they remained for five years, over half quit before their time was up, victims of drought, debt, loneliness and “prairie madness.”

Military spending

The US spends more money on its military than the next ten biggest military powers in the world, while maintaining over 800 bases worldwide.

Carbon emissions

The clothing industry accounts for 10% of global carbon emissions, and is responsible for 20% of the world’s wastewater. (Airlines contribute 2.4% of global carbon emissions.)


The American Heart Association recommends that everyone should aim for blood pressure below 130/80.


Over a quarter of 65+ year olds in the U.S. have diabetes, usually type 2.


Post-menopausal women having normal (between 18.5 and 24.9) Body Mass Index with waistlines over 35 inches have a one-third greater risk of death from cancer or heart disease than those with under 35 inch waists.

Greyfiveys, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons


The height of the Washington Monument is 555 feet 5 inches; its base is 55 feet square; the windows are 500 feet from the base. 

Illegal crypto

According to CNBC, the volume of illicit cryptocurrency transactions in 2021 was less than 0.1% of all transactions.

One less child

Emissions savings in “equivalent” tons of carbon dioxide:

  • going car-free = 2.3
  • avoiding one round trip across the Atlantic = 1.5
  • eating a plant-based diet = 0.8
  • drying clothes in air = 0.2
  • having one fewer child = 60


In the 45 years following the publication of the Gutenberg Bible in 1455, the number of books created on printing presses in Europe exceeded all hand-copied books up to that time (over 20 million).

Voyager 1

The most distant human-made object, Voyager 1, launched in September 1977, is over 15 billion miles away. The spacecraft’s signals are increasingly weak as its three plutonium batteries lose power—with luck, it will keep transmitting until 2030.

Psychedelics and God

In a 2019 study involving nearly 4,000 participants who ingested psilocybin, LSD or ayahuasca, more than two-thirds of those who identified as atheist before the experience no longer identified as atheist afterwards.