People Share Interesting Things In ‘Today I Learned’ Online Group



TIL: Cats rival dogs on many tests of social smarts, but very few scientists have the patience to try and study them


TIL Otis Redding’s widow, Zelma Redding, wrote a letter to Michael Bolton saying his cover of “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay” was her favorite. She remarked that it brought tears to her eyes as it reminded her so much of her husband. Bolton had the letter framed and it hangs on his office wall.



today i learnedwjbc

TIL President Lincoln’s blockade of Confederate cotton caused famine in English mill towns. Suffering Manchester workers nevertheless sent a letter of support to Lincoln and he responded with thanks and a gift of food. A statue of Lincoln in Manchester displays excerpts from both letters.



TIL the U.S. military has used superstition and pretended to be vampires and ghosts to scare enemies away. They dispersed scary horoscopes in Germany, staged vampire attacks in the Philippines, and in Vietnam blasted ghost tapes which consisted of spooky music and eerie voices. Only vampires worked.


today i learnedwholesome_lonesome

TIL about “lonely negatives”. These are words with common prefixes or suffixes such as “dis-“, “in-“, “un-“, “-less” but they don’t have positive counterparts such as the words “disgust”, “disappoint”, “reckless” – they don’t have “gust”, “appoint”, or “reckful” as their opposites.


TIL According to the convention of Geneva an ejected pilot in the air is not a combatant and therefore attacking him is a war crime.




TIL that the North America — and the USA in particular, has the world’s most extreme weather, averaging more than 10,000 severe thunderstorm events per year, with more than 1,000 tornadoes.


today i learnedCLBUK

TIL in WWII, Germany carried out only one land operation in north America, the installation of a secret weather station in Newfoundland. They scattered American cigarette packets and planted a sign saying “Canadian Meteor Service” in case anyone found it, and the site wasn’t rediscovered until 1977.



TIL there were no tomatoes, potatoes, blueberries, peanuts, corn, beans, chocolate, vanilla, or tobacco in the old world until about the year 1500, as they are native to the Americas. This was part of the Columbian Exchange which also included many other plants, animals, fungi and diseases.


today i learnedBitterFuture

TIL Hitler planned to replace Berlin with a megacity, Germania, to showcase Nazi power. The plan was a metropolis of madness, with wide thoroughfares only for military parades, car and foot traffic directed to underground tunnels, and no traffic lights anywhere.