The Swiss Army was the last country to disband its bicycle infantry regiment, making it just into the 21st century to 2003.

Math and Turtles

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rvVF5QWSYF4[/embed] This shape was originally theorized by mathematicians in the 1990s but was not proven until 2006. Some turtles have evolved shapes similar to gömböcs! This allows them to flip over no matter how they land, and using little energy -- just gravity.

Inuit languages use a base-20 numeral system. This makes Arabic numbers with their base-10 numeral system difficult to learn and near-impossible to use for Inuit speakers. To address this problem students in Kaktovik, Alaska, invented a base-20 numeral notation in 1994. Twenty is written as a one and a zero (\ɤ), forty as a two and a zero (Vɤ), four hundred as a one and two zeros (\ɤɤ), etc. The Kaktovik numerals have quickly become popular and spread among the Alaskan Iñupiat.

The One Time Shouting In Church Was Good

The Second Vatican Council in 1962 was intended to address relations between the Catholic Church and the modern world. Near the end of the second session in 1964, a cardinal from Belgium asked the other bishops: "Why are we even discussing the reality of the church when half of the church is not even represented here?" He was referring to women -- not one woman was involved in the proceedings.

In response, 15 women were appointed as auditors in September 1964, and eventually 23 women were auditors at the Second Vatican Council, including 10 women in religious orders (i.e. nuns). The auditors had no official role in the deliberations. They did attend subcommittees working to draft documents, and met as a group once a week, to read draft documents and comment together on them.

A Tale of Taxes and Space Travel

While in space for the Apollo 13 mission which was the third intended to land on the moon, US Astronaut Jack Swigert realized that he had forgotten to file his tax returns by the deadline. He had been rather busy and distracted in the preparation for their mission. Ground control had a good laugh, then helped Swigert figure out if he could get an extension. Turns out Swigert was entitled to a 60-day extension for being out of the country on deadline day!

Japan had a real estate bubble in the late 1980s when values skyrocketed. At its height in 1989, Tokyo was (on paper) worth double the entire United States.

Humans Have Made Birds Fly In Zero Gravity. For Science.

These simulated zero-gravity experiments were done by the United States Air Force in 1947.

A Much-Married Man

There is a world record for most monogamous marriages: 29 consecutive marriages! It is held by an American Baptist minister Glynn Wolfe. Three were to women he had previously divorced, lengths ranged from 19 days to 11 years, and his last marriage was a publicity stunt with the woman who holds the record for most marriages (23!)

When Wolfe died in 1997, his widow did not attend the funeral, nor did any of 28 his ex-wives. Only one of his estimated 40 children attended.

Colorado has a natural stadium. Red Rocks Amphitheater took over 300 million years to form and is world-renowned for its natural acoustics. Many famous musicians have played there since its first performance in 1906, including the Beatles, Nat King Cole, Sonny & Cher, U2, Jimi Hendrix, Barenaked Ladies, and Radiohead.

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    HISTORICAL NON-FICTION

    By Lillian Audette

    This blog is a collection of the interesting, the weird, and sometimes the need-to-know about history, culled from around the internet. It has pictures, it has quotes, it occasionally has my own opinions on things. If you want to know more about anything posted, follow the link at the "source" on the bottom of each post. And if you really like my work, buy me a coffee or become a patron!

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