In this week’s facts edition: A Strange Breakup, A Lot of Photographed Mail, The Meaning Behind the New York Jets, The Gulf of Mexico’s Underwater Lake, and Covering Every Number One Category.
Entrepreneur Gary Kremen founded the dating website match.com in 1995. It was one of the first websites to use the internet for dating. There weren’t that many people surfing the web in 1995 so he had employees of match.com each make their own profiles, and he enlisted the help of people he knew to sign up on the site. Kremen even made his own profile and had his girlfriend do the same. The new dating website soon began to take off, but the success of the site had some consequences. Kremen’s girlfriend met a man through match.com and left Kremen to be with him. Even though it was a painful blow, Kremen realized that the dating site did indeed work.
Kremen didn’t last long at the company he founded due to a dispute with his board, and in 1998 it was sold for $7 million to Cendant, a consumer services company. Cendant then sold match.com the next year to IAC, a media and internet company, for $50 million. Since that time, match.com has become one of the most popular dating sites on the web. Source
The U.S. Postal Service takes a photograph of every piece of domestic mail that is mailed in the United States. That equals to about 160 billion pieces of mail every year.
The Postal Service takes the pictures at one of its more than 200 processing plants scattered around the country, and they say its primary use is to help with mail sorting. The program is called the Mail Isolation and Tracking System and was created in response to the 2001 anthrax attacks that killed five people, two of which were postal workers.
The Postal Service provides law enforcement access to the photos when they have requested them as part of a criminal case. According to the postmaster general, Patrick R. Donahue, in an interview with the Associated Press in 2013, the images have only been used “a couple of times” by law enforcement. He went on to explain that the photographs taken of the mail are stored for a week to 30 days and then destroyed. Source
The Meaning Behind the New York Jets
The New York Jets started out as the New York Titans in the first season of the American Football League (AFL) in 1960. The league needed a team in New York, but they would have to compete for fans since the NFL already had the Giants. Harry Wismer, the new owner of the Titans, gave them this name because the Titans were mightier than Giants in Greek mythology.
Things didn’t go well for the new team, and by the end of the 1962 season, the Titans were bankrupt. The AFL then revoked Wismer’s franchise from the league. The franchise was purchased in 1963 for $1.3 million and was renamed the Gotham Football Club, Inc.
Sonny Werblin, who was the head of a five-man business group that bought the Titans, changed the colors to green and white in honor of his birthday on St. Patrick’s Day. He next moved the team to Shea Stadium and changed the name of the Titans to the Jets. He changed the name to the Jets because the new home of the team at Shea Stadium was between LaGuardia and JFK airports. He also named the team the Jets because of the United States entry into the space age of the 1960s. The AFL and the NFL later merged in 1970. Source
The Gulf of Mexico’s Underwater Lake
In 2016, scientists discovered a lake at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico. The lake has become known as the “Jacuzzi of Despair” because of the dead animals that have been found around it and died because of it.
The extremely concentrated brine lake is about 12 feet deep and 100 feet in circumference. It sits at almost 3,300 feet underwater and has a salt concentration almost four to five times that of the seawater above it. This increased density keeps the lake separated from the rest of the water and allows it to move on its own. There is also a brine river that flows over the seafloor that is connected to the lake.
The lake is very deadly because it contains toxic chemicals such as hydrogen sulfide and methane. It even lures creatures because its temperature sits at 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18 degrees Celsius), a very warm temperature at such an extreme depth. Temperatures at these depths usually range from 32 to 37 degrees Fahrenheit (0 to 3 degrees Celsius). Source
Covering Every Number One Category
Paul McCartney is the only musician who has managed to have number one hits on the United Kingdom Top 40 charts as a solo artist, in a duo, a trio, a quartet, a quintet, a sextet, a nonet, and as a member of an multi-musician super group (Band Aid). Source
That’s it for another edition of the Random Facts of the Week. Check out more fun facts here.