Daily Podcast: Horror movies and a waterphone. Carrots and the night vision. Henry Ford and Nazis. [r/TodayiLearned, Episode #1]

#1.

TIL that the majority of creepy sounds that you hear in horror movies are made by a unique instrument called a waterphone.

Wikipedia says that A waterphone (also ocean harp or AquaSonic waterphone) is a type of inharmonic acoustic percussion instrument consisting of a stainless steel resonator bowl or pan with a cylindrical neck and bronze rods of different lengths and diameters around the rim of the bowl. The resonator may contain a small amount of water giving the waterphone a vibrant ethereal sound that has appeared in movie soundtracks, record albums, and live performances.

Redditors say that This instrument should be illegal and they want to call the cops.

#2

TIL The idea that eating carrots helps you see in the dark was a lie invented by the British Airforce in WW2, in order to explain how British air raids were so successful in the dark without tipping the Germans off on the existence of radar.

So Do carrots really help you see in the dark?

Yes and no. Carrots contain vitamin A or retinol, and this is required for your body to synthesize rhodopsin, which is the pigment in your eyes that operate in low-light conditions. If you have a vitamin A deficiency, you will develop nyctalopia or night blindness. Eating carrots would correct this and improve your night vision, but only to the point of an ordinary healthy person – it won’t ever let you see in complete darkness.

The idea that it might is due to a myth begun by the Air Ministry in World War II. To prevent the Germans finding out that Britain was using radar to intercept bombers on night raids, they issued press releases stating that British pilots were eating lots of carrots to give them exceptional night vision. This fooled the British public, as well as German High Command and an old wive’s tale was born.

Users of Reddit that they don’t care about the results of the researches and they eat carrots just because they like them.

#3

TIL that Henry Ford was awarded the Grand Cross of the German Eagle which was a medal given to foreigners who agreed with the Nazi’s ideology.

“Ford was also widely known for his pacifism during the first years of World War I, and for promoting antisemitic content, including The Protocols of the Elders of Zion through his newspaper The Dearborn Independent and the book The International Jew, having an influence on the development of Nazism and Adolf Hitler.”

“Ford is the only American mentioned favorably in Mein Kampf, although he is only mentioned twice”

Redditors add that Other notable Americans who have received a German Eagle are:

Thomas J. Watson, chairman of IBM, in 1937; and Charles Lindbergh, in 1938.

All the users say  Thanks for blowing their minds today.

#4

TIL that Lebanon had a space program in the 60s; it was very successful but forced to shut down due to growing tensions in the region. “Yes, it was a tiny country, but Lebanon could have done it.”

During the 1960s, the US and the Soviet Union competed for supremacy in space. But there was another contestant in the race – the Lebanese Rocket Society, a science club from a university in Beirut and the subject of a recently released film.

Memories of the Lebanese Rocket Society quickly faded and archive material was lost during the country’s civil war. Many of the students left to work overseas. It has only been since the release of a documentary film of the same name that interest in Manougian’s exploits has been revived and today he is keen that history notes the small part Lebanon played in the space race.

Redditors try to imagine what they could do if every country worked together on a single space program

#5

TIL: In 1975 a 50-year-old bricklayer died laughing whilst watching an episode of the TV show, The Goodies. His widow wrote to the cast of the show to thank them for making her husband’s final moments so pleasant.