Mythbusters tested an extremely powerful explosive. A restaurant in New York that employs grandmas. Beethoven and a bone conduction [r/TodayiLearned, Episode #8]


#1

TIL when Mr. Rogers heard his limo driver was going to be waiting outside while Rogers was in a meeting, he asked the driver to come in. On the way back they passed the driver’s home and Rogers asked if they could stop and meet his family. Rogers kept in touch with the driver for the rest of his life.

Mr. Rogers was the best neighbor ever

Even Koko the Gorilla loved him. Most people have heard of Koko, the Stanford-educated gorilla who could speak about 1000 words in American Sign Language and understand about 2000 in English.

What most people don’t know, however, is that Koko was an avid Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood fan. As Esquire reported, when Fred Rogers took a trip out to meet Koko for his show, not only did she immediately wrap her arms around him and embrace him, she did what she’d always seen him do onscreen: she proceeded to take his shoes off!

He might have been the most tolerant American ever. Mister Rogers seems to have been almost exactly the same off-screen as he was onscreen. As an ordained Presbyterian minister and a man of tremendous faith, Mister Rogers preached tolerance first.

Whenever he was asked to castigate non-Christians or gays for their differing beliefs, he would instead face them and say, with sincerity, “God loves you just the way you are.” Often this provoked ire from fundamentalists.

He got into TV because he hated TV. The first time he turned one on, he saw people angrily throwing pies in each other’s faces. He immediately vowed to use the medium for better than that. Over the years he covered topics as varied as why kids shouldn’t be scared of a haircut, or the bathroom drain (because you won’t fit!), to divorce and war.

#2

TIL there’s a restaurant in New York that doesn’t employ chefs; they employ grandmas. Every day, a different grandma from around the world designs her own menu.

Just inside the entrance to an Italian restaurant on a recent afternoon in the historic St. George neighborhood on Staten Island, the smell of soy and ponzu masked that of onions and garlic.

The source? A Japanese woman had taken over the kitchen to make gyoza and shrimp dumpling soup.

“The dumplings are good!” said a customer at a table of seven, sounding surprised.

The next night, however, the dumplings would not be there.

At Enoteca Maria, an “Italian” restaurant on Hyatt Street, half of the menu changes daily. The fixed half is Italian; the rest is left for rotating cuisines from all over the world. And the people calling the shots are not professional chefs; they are grandmothers.

Each night, a “nonna” (Italian for grandmother) from a different country designs a fresh menu, honoring her native cuisine.

One of the redditors asks if one of the granny sits with him after the meal and give a mixture of great and awful advice?

#3

TIL that after Beethoven went deaf, he found he could affix a metal rod to his piano and bite down on it while he played, enabling him to hear perfectly through vibrations in his jawbone. The process is called bone conduction.

Bone conduction has rapidly become a critical asset for treatment of hearing loss. While a new generation of cochlear implants has had spectacular success in recent years, they rely on air conduction and the patient possessing a functional pathway from outer to inner ear. For patients with severely damaged pathways, such implants offer no solution.

Baha (bone anchored hearing aids) units work by passing sound from a microphone to a magnet or implant beneath a patient’s skin, which is converted into vibrations in the skull and eventually arrives at the inner ear. This process extends the miracle of restored hearing to victims of such conditions as microtia or atresia, where the ear or canal is closed or deformed.

#4

TIL that the Mythbusters once tested a combination of common materials that made an extremely powerful explosive. They deleted the tapes and swore to never release the information, then contacted DARPA and warned them about the possibility of misuse from the combination.

Mythbusters will always be remembered as one of the greatest television programs dedicated to promoting science to the masses, but it turns out the show was also dedicated to making sure its work couldn’t be exploited for nefarious and deadly purposes. Which is why everyone involved in one experiment erased any proof of their lethal discovery.

At the first-ever Silicon Valley Comic-Con this month, Adam Savage was asked by a fan about the biggest behind-the-scenes disaster the show ever had. After laughing about how specific he should be, Savage didn’t share some lighthearted tale about an argument or fight the cast had but instead told the frightening story about how Kari, Grant, and Tory were investigating an “easily available material and its supposed explosive properties.”

According to Savage “what they found out was so explosive” that they actually destroyed the footage of what they made and everyone involved agreed never to discuss it again. It was so dangerous that when DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) recently asked the public to help their research by designing homemade bombs that might pose an unknown risk, Savage contacted them with the information he had from this particular incident. Though he did point out that they probably already knew, as some bomb techs are aware of it.