Emmy Award trophies are made at the maximum-security El Dorado Correctional Facility in Kansas.
New Zealanders know how to make their own fun. They’ve taken to rolling down hills inside giant plastic balls called zorbs. Most contain straps to hold the rider in place; if you’re insane you can forgo the straps and fill the ball with water, creating a self-contained water chute.
The first U.S. facility opens this year in Tennessee. Brace yourself.
In 1993 Bruce Willis appeared in a Japanese advertising campaign for the Subaru Legacy, so the company designed a car in his honor.
It’s called the Subaru Touring Bruce.
You’d think it would be an honor to appear on a magazine cover, but at Sports Illustrated it’s a curse. Braves third baseman Eddie Mathews appeared on the magazine’s very first issue, then suffered a hand injury a week later and missed seven games. Here’s what happened to other cover subjects:
- Jan. 31, 1955: Skier Jill Kinmont hit a tree and was paralyzed from the neck down.
- Nov. 18, 1957: After the headline “Why Oklahoma Is Unbeatable,” the Sooners immediately lost to Notre Dame.
- May 26, 1958: Formula One driver Pat O’Connor was killed in a 15-car pileup.
- Feb. 13, 1961: Figure skater Laurence Owen died in a plane crash.
- Dec. 14, 1970: The University of Texas fumbled nine times against Notre Dame, losing the Cotton Bowl.
- April 6, 1987: “Believe it! Cleveland is the best team in the American League!” The Indians lost 101 games that year.
- Sept. 4, 1989: Baseball Commissioner Bart Giamatti’s words about Pete Rose appeared on the cover; days later, Giamatti died of a heart attack.
- June 5, 1995: Giants third baseman Matt Williams broke his foot and missed two and a half months.
The magazine acknowledged the jinx by putting a black cat on a 2002 issue. Rams quarterback Kurt Warner refused to pose with the cat — and the Rams won their next two games and their second consecutive NFC championship.
When he wasn’t escaping straitjackets, Harry Houdini spent a lot of time debunking spiritualists.
Shortly before his death, he made a pact with his wife, Bess: If possible, he would contact her from the other side and deliver a prearranged coded message.
When he died, Bess lit a candle beside his photograph and kept it burning for 10 years, holding séances every Halloween to test the pact. Harry never spoke.
In 1936, after a final attempt on the roof of the Knickerbocker Hotel, Bess put out the candle.
“Ten years is long enough to wait for any man,” she said.
No science fiction film has ever been named best picture.
The first Humvee manufactured for civilian use was bought by Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Tupac Shakur died on Friday the 13th.
Captain Kirk never actually said “Beam me up, Scotty” in any Star Trek episode or movie.
In 1983, the Journal of the American Medical Association called for a ban on boxing. The editor, George Lundberg, called boxing an “obscenity” that “should not be sanctioned by any civilized society.” Since then, the American Neurological Association, the American Academy of Neurology and the British, Canadian and Australian medical associations have also called for abolishing the sport.
Among boxers with 20 or more professional fights, the AMA says three out of four show brain deterioration.