79 of Our Favorite Facts of 2019 – The New York Times

Posted: December 31, 2019 at 6:43 pm

Credit...Christoph NiemannJanuary

1. In 2014, James D. Watson, who shared a 1962 Nobel Prize for describing the double-helix structure of DNA, became the first living Nobelist to sell his medal.James Watson Had a Chance to Salvage His Reputation on Race. He Made Things Worse.

2. Child abandonment was once routine; in ancient Rome, 20 percent to 40 percent of babies were left to die of exposure.Raising Kids Isnt Easy. Parenting Advice Often Makes It Harder.

3. Among the most notorious Malaysian royals was King Mahmood Iskandar of Johor, who was accused in the 1980s of fatally beating a golf caddy who had laughed at his putt. (He was immune from prosecution.)Malaysias King, an Unusual Monarch, Abruptly Leaves His Job

4. Everyone who works at Ben & Jerrys headquarters in Burlington, Vt., is entitled to three free pints of ice cream for each day of work.There Is a Free Lunch, After All. Its at the Office.

10. The National Hockey League player Andy Hebenton, who never missed a game during eight seasons with the New York Rangers, lost seven teeth on the ice in a two-week period in January 1961.Andy Hebenton, N.H.L. Ironman with 630 Consecutive Games, Dies at 89

11. The artist who now goes by the name Pope.L has belly-crawled the length of Manhattan, ingested entire issues of The Wall Street Journal, and created odoriferous installations from baloney and Pop-Tarts.MoMA, the New Edition: From Monumental to Experimental

12. Elizabethan preachers condemned coal as literally the Devils excrement.A Sensible Climate Change Solution, Borrowed From Sweden

13. The genome of the axolotl, sometimes called the Mexican walking fish, which can regenerate almost any body part, is 10 times as large as the human genome.Seeking Superpowers in the Axolotl Genome

14. The Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer, or Eniac, was the first programmable digital computer in the United States. It weighed more than 30 tons and included 17,468 vacuum tubes.The Secret History of Women in Coding

15. The McRib sandwich was introduced in 1981 as a way to give McDonalds another unique menu item after the smash success of Chicken McNuggets resulted in a chicken shortage for the chain.My Lifelong Obsession With the McRib

16. The fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld had 300 iPods.The Last Designer

17. Tyrannosaurus rex strutted around on legs that were about 12 feet long, and weighed more than 10,000 pounds.Tiny Tyrannosaur Hints at How T. Rex Became King

18. Common animal-derived ingredients found in beauty products include squalene (shark liver oil), carmine (crushed-up beetles), allantoin (cow urine), ambergris (whale vomit) and placenta (sheep organs).Why You Should Care About Vegan Beauty

19. Harry Houdini left precise instructions with his wife and friends as to just how he would reach out, if it were possible, after his death.Inside the Secret Sting Operations to Expose Celebrity Psychics

20. King Kong Bundy, a professional wrestler who in his prime stood about 6 feet 4 inches tall and was said to weigh 450 pounds, was called a walking condominium by his fellow wrestler Gorilla Monsoon.King Kong Bundy, Gargantuan Professional Wrestler, Dies at 63

21. From 1977 to 2002, the number of Americans eating three or more snacks per day increased to 42 percent, from 11 percent.At Start-Ups, the Free Lunch Is Yours for the Making

22. Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, undertook a campaign as an 11-year-old lobbying Procter & Gamble to withdraw an advertisement, for dishwashing liquid, that she thought was sexist.Meghan Markle Moved the Dial for British Royal Family in Womens Day Talk

23. For every one million people in India, there are only 11 eye doctors, according to the International Council of Ophthalmology.India Fights Diabetic Blindness With Help From A.I.

24. Before its atomic red, extremely sweet bouquet came to dominate school cafeterias and birthday parties nationwide, Hawaiian Punch was sold as a cocktail mixer for adults and came in two flavors.How Big Tobacco Hooked Children on Sugary Drinks

25. The 20 warmest years on record have all come in the past 22 years.Pictures From Youth Climate Strikes Around the World

26. Since the Civil War, only four minor-party candidates for president have mustered at least 10 percent of the vote: Ross Perot, George Wallace, Robert La Follette and Theodore Roosevelt.For Clues to Howard Schultzs Leadership, Look Beyond Starbucks

27. In 1969, the sculptor Siah Armajani wrote a Fortran program to plot the dimensions of a tower large enough to cast a shadow over the entire state of North Dakota. (If constructed, the tower would have been 18 miles tall.)Fraught and Fabulous: Art That Shows a Passion for Democracy

28. In November 2016, after the election of President Trump, immigration officials in New Zealand received 17,000 registrations from Americans. New Zealand typically receives 3,000 expressions of interest from United States citizens each month.After New Zealand Attacks, More People Registered to Move There

34. NASA engineers, in the 1980s, once guessed that Sally Ride would need 100 tampons for a week in space.Toxic Men Get All the Attention. But Not in These Plays.

35. Penn Station is today the busiest transit hub in the Western Hemisphere, through which more than 600,000 commuters pass each day.When the Old Penn Station Was Demolished, New York Lost Its Faith

36. In 2018, injections of Botox the No. 1 aesthetic procedure since 1999, according to the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery were up 16.3 percent from the year before.Are You Ready for Drive-Thru Botox?

37. Nearly 10 horses a week, on average, died at American racetracks in 2018, a rate that is anywhere from two and a half to five times greater than in the rest of the racing world.At the Kentucky Derby, Prayers for a Safe Race

38. When Napoleon III of France declared war on Prussia in 1870, he dressed his soldiers to look like the army that his much more famous uncle, Napoleon Bonaparte, had led decades before.To Stand Out, the Army Picks a New Uniform With a World War II Look

54. Slightly more than two-thirds of cancer patients treated in the United States are cured.Cancer Treatment at the End of Life

55. Franz Kafka had instructed his close friend and literary executor Max Brod to burn his manuscripts, letters and papers after his death. Instead, Mr. Brod published many of the writers most monumental, if incomplete, works.A Yearslong Battle Over Kafkas Legacy Ends in Jerusalem

56. Until the 20th century, there was little fanfare around the Mona Lisa. Her theft in 1911, and a trip to the Met in New York and the National Gallery in Washington in 1962-3 made her a global media sensation.Want to See the Mona Lisa? Get in Line

57. The longest of the dashes roughly the length of the letter M the em dash is still largely undefined.The Em Dash Divides

58. Before 1920, when the 19th Amendment was ratified, 15 states, mainly in the West, already had full female suffrage, while others granted women partial voting rights.The Complex History of the Womens Suffrage Movement

59. In 1971, the average 19-year-old man weighed 159.7 pounds, according to the National Center for Health Statistics, and the average woman 131. Today, the average man weighs 14 pounds more, and the average woman 20 pounds more.Naked Came the Strangers

60. In the past, books were more often borrowed than bought, even among middle-class Victorians, who would pay to join for-profit circulating libraries so that they could rent books and get rid of them after reading.Recalling a Time When Books Could Give You Indigestion

61. As recently as the 1950s, doctors considered exercise dangerous for people over age 40; for heart disease, which was then killing a record number of Americans, they prescribed bed rest.How Many Steps Should You Take a Day?

62. The floor in a public restroom has around two million bacteria per square inch. A toilet seat, on the other hand, has an average of about 50 per square inch.Should You Take Your Shoes Off at Home?

63. More than 90 percent of the heat trapped by greenhouse gas emissions is being stored in the ocean.How Has Climate Change Affected Hurricane Dorian?

64. One in four cowboys during what is known as the Pioneer Era, which began following the Civil War in 1865 and ended around 1895, were black, according to historians.Restoring Black Cowboys to the Range

65. The advantage for STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) majors fades steadily after their first jobs, and by age 40 the earnings for majors like social science or history have caught up.In the Salary Race, Engineers Sprint but English Majors Endure

71. The Office is Netflixs most-watched show. It clocked 45.8 billion viewing minutes last year, according to Nielsen.The Office Ladies Return to Dunder Mifflin

72. The data marketing company Epsilon Data Management claims on its website to have insights on virtually every U.S. consumer.Ad Giant Wins Over Disney With Big Data Pitch

73. The word Sioux refers to a coalition of seven allied and related nations, including the Lakotas, but the word itself is a French corruption of Nadouessioux, an Ojibwe word meaning snake or enemy.Lakota America Puts the Tribe of Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse Front and Center

74. In a survey published in October by a respected French polling firm, in The Journal du Dimanche, 61 percent of respondents said that Islam was incompatible with the values of French society, an increase of 8 percent over February.How ISIS Changed France

75. Kissing, according to one study, transfers up to one billion bacteria from one mouth to another, along with 0.2 micrograms of food bits.Your Body Is a Wonderland

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79 of Our Favorite Facts of 2019 - The New York Times

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