Brain's Junk Box

An ode to generalists: A celebration of the adage "learn something new every day."

Permalink Sir Arthur Conan Doyle––Sherlock Holmes creator–– was on the same cricket team as JM Barrie––Peter Pan creator.
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July 30, 1863: Henry Ford is Born
On this day in 1863, American automobile maker Henry Ford was born in Greenfield, Michigan.  He incorporated the Ford Motor Company in 1903, and five years later, the company began producing the Model T, considered to be America’s first affordable car. The manufacture of the Model T relied on assembly line production, a revolutionary method developed by Ford himself.
Explore the life of this 20th century innovator with Henry Ford from American Experience.
Photo: Mr. & Mrs. Henry Ford in his first car, the Ford Quadricycle. (Wikimedia Commons)
Permalink Lobsters urinate out of their heads.
Permalink The skin is the human body’s largest and fastest growing organ.
Permalink On June 26, 1974, a pack of Juicy Fruit gum became the first bar-coded product to be scanned for purchase at a U.S. grocery store.
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July 24, 1847:  Brigham Young Leads Mormon Pioneers to Utah’s Great Salt Lake
On this day in 1847, after 17 months of traveling, Mormon leader Brigham Young and 148 pioneers arrived in modern-day Utah.  Seeking refuge and religious and political freedom, Young and his followers began preparations in this remote location for the thousands of Mormon migrants to follow.
Find out what led to the “Great Mormon Migration” courtesy of American Experience here.
Photo: Brigham Young by Charles William Carter. Wikimedia Commons.
Permalink Steven Spielberg and “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” helped create the PG-13 rating. But it was the film “Red Dawn” that became the first flick to be released with a PG-13 rating.
Permalink Silly Putty was invented by General Electric engineer James Wright in 1943 when the company was in search for a synthetic rubber substitute due to wartime rationing. Wright saw no wartime use for the creation and it wasn’t until later that a toy marketer turned it into the popular toy we know today.
Permalink Garrett Morgan invented the precursor to today’s three-way traffic light in 1923 after witnessing a carriage accident.
Permalink In 2009, Madison, Wisconsin named the plastic pink flamingo its official bird.