Completely Useless Facts of the Week – Issue 16

January 4, 2015

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The weekly collection of useless and fun facts.  In this week’s edition: Repeated Ads, High-Flying Vulture, ESPN, Russian SpongeBob Squarepants, and Japanese Doritos.

groundhogdayIt’s common that you will see the same six commercials during each ad break during TV showings of the movie, Groundhog Day, (in reference to what’s happening to Bill Murray in the movie, if you didn’t happen to make the connection).  Another variation is to have an ad break have the same six commercials.  This is a method of repeated advertising, but this particular version ramps it up a notch to imitate what happens to Bill Murray in the the movie.  Other forms of repeated advertising are done so the ad will stick with the person watching it.  Interestingly, there are quotas that a network or station must meet in how many times a commercial is shown in a month (apart from this example for Groundhog Day).  They sometimes will have to play them many times near the end of the month to meet this quota.  Watch for this example the next time you see the movie, and remember, “Don’t drive angry!”  Source


In 1973, a Ruppell’s griffon Vulture, the planet’s highest flying bird, was reportedly ingested by an airliner’s jet engine as it cruised over Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire in Africa at 36,100 feet.  This is an amazing feat, and the altitude is much higher than Mt. Everest (29,029 ft).  These birds commonly fly at about 20,000 ft, and they a high affinity for oxygen that allows them to fly at these extreme levels.  The vultures have a variant of hemoglobin alphaD that allow them to breathe despite the low partial pressure of the upper atmosphere.  They are the only animal known to survive and function at such incredible heights.  It would be interesting to know what the evolutionary advantage there is to having this ability.  It could allow for greater range in travel as it takes advantage of the upper winds, or there’s no other predator that would be able to take them out of the sky; except for man-made airplanes of course.   Source

ESPN wordmark.svgESPN, which is owned by the Walt Disney Company, is responsible for over half of Disney’s operating income, and makes more profit than all other Disney divisions combined.  The Walt Disney company has movie studios, theme parks, products, a line of cruise ships, and owns the TV network ABC, but most of its profits come from ESPN as well as a contribution from the Disney Channel.  ESPN was acquired when Disney bought Capital Cities/ABC in 1996.  ESPN was already expanding and the executives at Disney recognized ESPN’s potential.  ESPN generates $6.1 billion in affiliate fees for Disney, and ad revenues from the network are around $3.3 billion.  ESPN is currently worth about $40 billion while Disney is worth about $84 billion.  ABC on the other hand is worth a paltry $1.7 billion.  Mickey has never been more proud he helped out with such a good deal.  Source

Russian soldiers, in order to keep their spirits up during long, cold, wintery months, have been marching to the theme song for TV cartoon character SpongeBob SquarePants.  The theme song to the rather annoying (in my own personal opinion), yellow sponge, has become popular with the ground infantry troops and navy sailors.  The army captains even match their voices to the SpongeBob captain’s voice when he says, “Are you ready children?”  Hey, it’s cold and you gotta do what you gotta do to make it through.  The clip above shows how they do it.  Source


Doritos in Japan come in a variety of flavors that aren’t here in the U.S., including butter and soy sauce, coconut curry, cheese and almond, and clam chowder.  And that’s just a small list.  Many of the flavor are only for a limited time.  Doritos came to Japan in 1987 and the flavors that are available are almost endless.  The picture above is black pepper and salt, and I’m not really sure why the one guy is kicking the other guy in the crotch.  The Japanese have their own, unique brand of humor, I guess.  Here’s a more extensive list of the Doritos that you could find in Japan.  I must admit, some of these flavors are creative, but some of them make me cringe.

Camembert cheese          Black pepper and salt
Anchovy and garlic         Caesar salad
Shrimp mayonnaise       Grilled chicken
Corn soup                         Crab mayonnaise
German potato                Citrus yuzu
Smoked bacon                 Grilled meat
Wasabi                              Salami
Fried Chicken                  Mexican salt
Coconut curry                  Caramel
Korean seaweed              Spicy sausage
Sausage                             Teriyaki mayonnaise
Sesame salt                      Almond cheese
Steak                                 Pepper bacon
Mexican BBQ

The source link below gives some great pictures on all the unique packaging from the flavors above.

Here’s the condensed version of this week’s useless facts bundled up in one convenient package.  Until next time, remember that you’re prepared with all the facts behind the facts to annoy those around you with your new found knowledge.  Have fun!

Other editions of the Completely Useless Facts of the Week

About the author 

Daniel Ganninger - The writer, editor, and chief lackey of Knowledge Stew, the author of the Knowledge Stew line of trivia books, and editor of Fact World and the Knowledge Stew sister site on Medium, our ad-free subscription sites. I hope you learn many new things here that add to your knowledge.

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