It’s Monday and it’s not exactly the warmest day in Sydney, but that doesn’t mean it’s all doom and gloom. If you’re struggling to keep those frozen fingers typing behind your desk, we have the procrastination material to fuel you through the rest the working day, and week, with ease.
Have you ever wondered where that little silver top hat in Monopoly comes from? Perhaps you’re worried what damage your sweet tooth is doing to your health or you’re considering a new career path post-40 and need a little inspiration? Whatever your Monday morning mind is craving, we have the Pointless and Awesome facts for you.
#1 The Origins Of Monopoly Playing Pieces
Ah, Monopoly. A classic board game that almost always ends in a massive family dispute that can only be settled by Googling the game’s rules in frustration. But have you ever wondered where the random playing pieces you use come from?
According to Cool Material, the random shoe, thimble, wheelbarrow and battleship you use when you play Monopoly date back to the 1930’s. Monopoly inventor Charles Darrow came up with the idea to use small items from around the house to use in his new board game.
His niece suggested using charms from a bracelet and the two ideas came together so that ever since, the game has been sold with a collection of miniature, metallic pieces – some old and some new.
#2 How Much Sugar Should You Really Be Eating?
We all know sugar isn’t exactly the best choice when it comes to staying fit and healthy, but a little bit can’t hurt, right? If you’ve ever wondered how much sugar is too much sugar, Business Insider has the answers here.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends adults and children limit their intake of “free sugars” to less than 10% of their total energy intake. Below 5% is even better and carries additional health benefits.
What are “free sugars”? They refer to monosaccharides (like glucose) and disaccharides (sucrose or table sugar) that can be added to food and drink by manufacturers, cooks or consumers. It’s also sugar that is naturally present in things like honey, syrups and fruit juice. So, basically anything that tastes sweet – except for fruit and vegetables.
‘10% of your total energy intake’ roughly translates to no more than 54 grams, or around 12 teaspoons a day if you’re an average-sized adult.
The scary news is more than half of Australians exceed WHO’s recommendations, with around 75% of the sugar we consume coming from processed and pre-packaged food and drink. Sugary drinks account for the largest proportion of Australians’ free sugar intake, in fact, one can of Coca Cola contains a whopping 9 teaspoons of sugar. No thank you.
#3 Amazing Mysteries That Science Can’t Explain
In our 21st-century world it does seem that these days there’s little that science can’t explain. However, science isn’t a perfect art and there are some mysteries it simply has no answers for. Here are handful, via Daily Forest & Xen Life.
- A Cat’s Purr: Apparently, scientists cannot figure out how exactly cats manufacture their purring. The leading hypothesis is that cats use the vocal folds in their larynx in order to create the vibrating sounds we interpret as purs.
- The Placebo Effect: The ‘placebo effect’ is real and has shown to repeatedly occur in controlled tests by leading scientific studies – as long as your brain believes that your medication will work then it likely will. Even when we realise that it is just a placebo, the effect continues to work.
- Yawning: When we’re tired or bored, we yawn, but we don’t know exactly why we do it. One theory explains that we yawn due to a subtle lack of oxygen flow.
- Cocaine Mummies: In 1992, German scientists discovered remnants of tobacco, hashish and cocaine in the bones, skin and hair of Egyptian mummies. Tobacco and cocaine were grown in the Americas in pre-Columbian times, so where did it come from?
- Nazca Lines: The Nazca lines (pictured above), are composed of ancient hieroglyphs in the Nazca desert of Peru first spotted in 1553. Encompassing 270m of space, these zoomorphic designs, human figures, geometric figures and other designs have no known purpose.
#4 Celebrities Who Made It Big After 40
Being young isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. In fact, many successful and iconic celebrities didn’t have a career breakthrough until after 40. Here are some of the most fascinating that are proof it’s never too late, via Huffington Post & Ranker.
- Morgan Freeman: Freeman worked for several years as an actor, but made his breakthrough playing chauffeur Hoke Colburn in “Driving Miss Daily” at the age of 52.
- Samuel L. Jackson: Jackson appeared in more than 100 films before the age of 40. However, it was only after he landed the role of a hitman in “Pulp Fiction” in 1994 that his star really began to shine. For this performance, Jackson received a Best Supporting Actor nomination.
- Steve Carrell: Steve Carell was a correspondent on “The Daily Show” from 1999-2005, but he didn’t become a household name until he landed the lead role on the American version of “The Office” in 2005. He was 43 at the time.
- Simon Cowell: Simon Cowell was known in England for many years, but he became famous worldwide when “American Idol“ debuted in the United States in 2002. He was 43 years old at the time.
- Stan Lee: Stan Lee created his first super-hero team, the Fantastic Four, in 1961 when he was 39 years old. Years later, he became the name synonymous with comics.
#5 New Uses For Everyday Things
Don’t be close-minded. Many of your typical household have multiple uses that you would have never even considered. Here are some of the most interesting, via Real Simple.
- Lemon: With lemon juice you can sanitise a chopping block, eliminate the browning when food sits out too long, remove tough food stains from plastic cutting boards, relieve a sore throat, whiten fingernails and brighten laundry whites.
- Newspaper: With newspaper you can ripen tomatoes, wipe away tough streaks on glass, dry wet shoes, keep your fridge’s vegetable drawer dry and free of smells.
- Olive Oil: With olive oil you can shave, shine stainless steel, remove eye makeup, prevent wax from sticking to a candle holder, moisturise your cuticles, unstick a zipper and silence a squeaky door.
- Vinegar: With vinegar you can remove coffee or tea stains from the bottom of a mug, treat oily hair, make wool sweaters fluffier, clean a teakettle or coffeemaker, clean a dishwasher, remove stubborn price tags or stickers, kill weeds between cracks in paving stones.