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Hello. Here, we share some of the most interesting nuggets or factoids I have become aware of through my travel or other experiences. We will update them regularly. If you want to check them out, go here.

Why do planes have oval and not square windows?

Square windows on a plane, combine with a pressurized cabin, are inclined to stress which can lead to cracks that can cause a plane to disintegrate mid-air! Rounded corners, conversely, help ease such stresses by distributing it around the boundary o

Michelin Ratings - From a company that makes Tires?


Michelin Restaurant Ratings — the gold standard for restaurants today — was actually started by the Michelin Tires company in Europe for car drivers. In 1900, there were fewer than 3,000 cars on the roads of France. To increase the demand for cars and, accordingly, car tires, car tire manufacturers and brothers Édouard and André Michelin published a guide for French motorists, the Michelin Guide. Nearly 35,000 copies of this first, free edition of the guide were distributed; it provided useful information to motorists, such as maps, tire repair and replacement instructions, car mechanics listings, hotels, and petrol stations throughout France.

The original ratings reflected the bias towards driving:

1 - A very good restaurant in its category (on your current route)

2- Excellent cooking, worth a detour

3 - Exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey 

J is the only alphabet not in the Periodic Table of Elements. 

Q is the only alphabet not in the name of any US State.

The Fall and Rise of the Great Gatsby

When F. Scott Fitzgerald's “The Great Gatsby” was initially published in 1925, it was a flop. One headline read "Fitzgerald's Latest A Dud." Fitzgerald hoped it would sell 75,000 copies, but it didn’t even sell 20,000 in its initial run. This lack of success probably contributed to Fitzgerald’s alcoholism and subsequent writer’s block. It only became popular and a success more than 3 decades later, long after the author’s death in 1940. 

There is a reason that some of the worst viral disease outbreaks in recent years — SARS, MERS, Ebola, Marburg and the Covid-19 virus — originated in bats. Bats have a fierce immune response to viruses which could drive viruses to replicate faster, so that when they jump to mammals with average immune systems, such as humans, the viruses wreak deadly havoc. In other words, a virus can increase its replication rate inside a bat without killing its host, essentially enhancing its virulence to a level that would be profoundly destructive in other organisms — such as us!

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