Completely Random Facts of the Week – Issue 50

November 16, 2015

uselessfacts 2Bheader50The weekly collection of random and fun facts.  In this week’s edition: Neptune’s Winds, Banned Swedish Baby Names, The Origin of Earth’s Name, The Extinct Californian State Bear, and The Real Fear of a Mother-In-Law.

11059443 821493234606257 1351913456270865820 nTry flying a kite or doing anything else in these winds on this planet.  It’s not going to be pretty.  The winds on Neptune can reach 1,500 miles per hour.  Why are these winds so strong? For a long time it was a mystery how the winds could reach supersonic speeds, but scientists are learning why this happens by investigating the gravity field of the planet to understand how the atmosphere of the icy world circulates.  They found that the windy layers of Neptune only occupy the outermost 0.2% of its mass.  This is believed to be caused by more shallow processes such as evaporation and the condensation of moisture. Scientists have only been able to use data from Voyager 2 and ground-based telescopes to theorize what is happening on the planet.  Source

10563158 821934671228780 2734710446742144473 nYou better think first before naming your newborn in Sweden.  You’re not allowed to name your child Superman, Veranda, Metallica, IKEA, or Elvis there. The reason is because of a 1982 law called the Naming law.  It was enacted so non-noble families wouldn’t give names of noble families to their children.  For first names, the law states: “First names shall not be approved if they can cause offense or can be supposed to cause discomfort for the one using it, or names which for some obvious reason are not suitable as a first name.”

The Swedish Tax Agency runs the registration of names in Sweden, and parents must submit their proposed names within three months of birth.  Of course the law has caused some controversy. The parents of a child born in 1991 gave their child the name,   Brfxxccxxmnpcccclllmmnprxvclmnckssqlbb11116 (which they pronounced “Albin”) to protest the law.  The parents had been fined for not registering the name of the child, and they responded with the 43-character name.  The court subsequently rejected it. The same happened in 2007 when a couple tried to name their daughter, Metallica, after the heavy-metal band.  The tax authority had rejected the name but the couple won a case in a administrative court that said there was no reason to block the name.  The Swedish Tax Agency at first didn’t recognize the decision but later relented. So I guess you can kind of name your child Metallica there now but probably expect a battle.  Some other names have passed through for some reason.  In 2005, the name “Google” was accepted, but it may have been because it was the child’s middle name. Source, Source, Source

10984635 823082244447356 7813423773216068152 nAll the planets in our solar system are named after Greek or Roman mythological gods except for Earth. No one is really sure how and when the Earth was named, but it probably developed over time in the English language. The word Earth comes from the old English word eorthe which traces to the Greek word eraze and Hebrew eres, which means “ground”.  The Romans named the planets based on their appearance and movement.  Mars was named after the god of war because of its red appearance, while Venus was named after the goddess of beauty since it was the brightest.  Neptune, Uranus, and Pluto were given their respective names to carry on the tradition of naming the planets after mythological gods.  Source, Source

10646766 824574524298128 2307680756499086749 nThe official state animal of California, the California Grizzly, went extinct in 1924.  The last one was spotted in Sequoia National Park in that year. The bear made an appearance on the Bear Flag of the California Republic in 1846, and another version was adopted in 1911 as the state flag of California.  It didn’t become the state animal until 1953.  The bears had been hunted to extinction for 75 years after the discovery of gold in California. In 2014, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was petitioned to reintroduce the grizzly back into California using the related Rocky Mountain grizzly.  Source, Source

10675696 818455021576745 2372079117597848675 nUse this the next time you want to tell your spouse that your mother-in-law scares you to death.  Pentheraphobia is the fear of your mother-in-law. “Penthera” means mother-in-law in Greek, and of course “phobia” in Greek means fear.  There are also phobias for other people in your non-blood related family.  Vitricophobia means fear of a step-father, Novercaphobia is the fear of a step-mother, and Soceraphobia is a combo package.  It is the fear of your parents-in-law. I hope you find some help. Source

Another edition is all done.  Go ahead and educate others.

About the author 

Daniel Ganninger - The writer, editor, and chief lackey of Knowledge Stew, the author of the Knowledge Stew line of great trivia books, and editor of Fact World and the Knowledge Stew sister site on Medium. I hope you find things here to annoy those around you with your new found knowledge.

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