Komando Kicker

The Komando Kicker is a fun fact at the bottom of Kim's Tech News Today email newsletter.  Don't get the email newsletter?  Sign-up here!  Below are all the fun facts that have been featured so far!

Know your A, B, C's: One thing you thought was the foundation of your life, the crux of anything you have ever know, is wrong. The last letter added to the English alphabet wasn't Z — it was the letter J. We've been saying the alphabet wrong the whole time! What can be believed now?

A piece of cake: What's your favorite type of cake? Vanilla, chocolate, or maybe you're eccentric with some nice ice cream cake. German chocolate cake is named after a guy named Sam German, not the country. But that doesn't mean you can't still enjoy it!

1884 fireworks: The 4th of July will be a huge celebration for American citizens, with parties and flags as well as some special treats! Fireworks have been a major part of 4th of July since the earliest celebrations. In 1884, miners blew up the post office in Swan, Colorado, because it wasn't supplied with fireworks. The real question is, why would a post office supply fireworks? Isn't that a workplace hazard?

Lincoln's tavern: Sometimes U.S. presidents have other accomplishments aside from just leading the country of the free and home of the brave. he only U.S. president to own a patent and a saloon: Abraham Lincoln. His patent was for a device to lift boats over sandbars. Unfortunately, his saloon was a miserable failure.

Hot cup of joe: The must-have for any early morning in America is most likely a hot cup of coffee. Or two. From frappuccinos at Starbucks to the breakroom coffee-maker, this caffeinated drink is a staple in American society.  It only takes 45 minutes for 99% of the caffeine to be absorbed through the human body. In humans, the half-life of caffeine is anywhere from 2.5 to 4.5 hours, which explains why the average energy drink or coffee's effects last about 2 to 3 hours. So now your friends and family have no reason to question why you drink more than 5 cups of coffee a day.

Going batty: Bats are pretty cool animals. They are the only mammals that are able to fly, and famously use echolocation in order to find their way around at night and in their cave homes. Fruit bats don't use vocal echolocation to navigate, instead they use the sound made from their wings, as well as their superior sight and hearing. If only we had the sight and hearing of a fruit bat.

Heavy clouds: While clouds usually mean an impending rainstorm and are vapor clouds of water, it's amazing how easily planes can fly through them. The weight of the average cumulus cloud is more than 1 million pounds. That's the equivalent of over 100 elephants floating above you. Luckily those elephants can fly.

Swimming armadillos: While Armadillos are famous for their defensive response of curling up into a ball, they have a few more tricks up their sleeves that you might not know about! Armadillos love to swim, and are actually quite good at it, able to go a long distance underwater, walking along the bottom of streams and ponds. They can hold their breath for four to six minutes at a time. So cute!

Punching shrimp: In the saltwater aquarium trade, there is a shrimp that is both prized for its attractiveness and considered by others to be a dangerous pest. The peacock mantis shrimp can punch its claws at 50 mph, accelerating quicker than a .22 bullet. However, these shrimp only measure in size from 1.2 to 7.1 inches, so not that big of a threat.

Pisa's tower: The leaning tower of Pisa is the campanile, or freestanding bell tower of the cathedral of the Italian city of Pisa, and a popular destination spot in Italy with its unusual tilt.   Soon after building started in 1173, the foundation of the Pisa tower settled unevenly. Construction was stopped, and was continued only 100 years later. Therefore, the leaning tower was never straight. It's still fun to lean against it in pictures though!

Edison's patents: Thomas Edison was an American inventor and businessman, who has been described as America's greatest inventor. Thomas Edison accumulated 2,332 patents worldwide for his inventions throughout his life 1,093 of Edison's patents were in the United States, but other patents were approved in countries around the globe. We even use many of his inventions and their evolutions today, like those that contributed to mass communication, and telecommunications.

Dog vision: Dogs are a man's best friend, and they are capable of doing some pretty amazing things. From being the family pet, to working with law enforcement and even in the military, dogs are pretty cool. Recent studies have shown that dogs do actually have some color vision, but it isn't as bright as a human's vision. They only have 20% of the cone photoreceptor cells that humans have, and see in shades of yellow and blue. No wonder they can tell the difference between red and yellow fire hydrants.

San Francisco: San Francisco is a city with a rich history, and if you have a chance to visit, you may not have realized that something was missing. There are only three cemetaries within San Francisco city limits. In 1937, residents passed a law that said no more cemetaries could be built in the city because the land was considered too valuable. Many San Francisco residents still live directly above what was once a huge cemetery complex.

Donut holes:  The shape of a doughnut is famously circular with a hole in it, but have you ever wondered how that shape came to be associated with a doughnut? The donut hole was invented by a 16 year old sailor named Hanson Gregory, who in an interview stated he was tired of eating greasy and undercooked donuts with raw dough on the insides. His grave still has a plaque that tells of his famous invention.

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