that SnapChat is now processing 150 million photos a day

HUNDRED AND FIFTY MILLION A DAY.

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Good thing they all disappear after a few seconds.

about Chinese rice-smugglers

Out of all the things we know people smuggle, would you have expected rice to be up there with the best of them? Apparently, in Hong Kong it is.

“While shoppers have begun hoarding daily items like napkins, baby formula and snacks, the Hong Kong bestseller is still rice. Hong Kong authorities have long limited buyers to only 15 kilos, imposing a HK$6,400 fine for anyone found going over their limit. Ever resourceful, mainland smugglers pay women and children 80 yuan each to go to Hong Kong and bring bags of safe and high quality rice into China. Women and children make better rice “mules” because customs officers typically target men for inspection.”

I bet that leads to the occasional sticky situation here and there.

that Wisconsin produces cheese – a lot of it

On our way back from another trip our client in Neenah, Wisconsin, we did not the usual one, but two cheese-stops. After grabbing beers and a grilled cheese at the Mars Cheese Castle, we visited Tim and Tom’s. This place, which is half of a cheese shop/antique store combo, sells all sorts of cheeses and almost feels like a little museum. So after these two stops and with another hour or so to go before arriving back in Chicago, I obviously had to do some research on why Wisconsin is known at the state of cheese. Well, I didn’t have to dig deep: this site taught me that Wisconsin makes over a quarter of ALL THE CHEESE in the U.S. Incredible.

Plus, they sell amazing hats.

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how much naming a building costs

In case of the General Motors Building in New York – tens of millions of dollars. The building itself was put on the market for 3.5 BILLION dollars back in 2008 and the owner felt like the naming rights alone should warrant millions and millions of dollars. But guess what? Even though the building was sold just a few months later (for $2.8 billion) – it still carries the “General Motors Building” name.

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that you can be 80 and still climb the Mount Everest

Wow. That’s just so impressive.

“Eighty-year-old Yuichiro Miura has become the oldest person to scale Mount Everest, his management office said Thursday.”

Almost as impressive as the fact that this dude has a management office. Almost.

“In his third successful attempt to climb the 8,848-meter peak, Miura and his Sherpas left the last base camp at 8,500 meters shortly after 2 a.m. local time and reached the summit less than seven hours later, according to information received by the office in Tokyo.

Miura broke the record of Nepali climber Min Bahadur Sherchan, who conquered the world’s highest peak at age 76 in 2008. Sherchan, now 81, is also making another try at the summit.”

(source: Japan Times)

about a roller coaster that will actually kill you

I’m not to keen on roller coasters, and that’s an understatement. I like my coasters on a table, topped with a nice beer. But for those of you who ride them and might have thought at some time: I’m gonna die. Well, you haven’t been on the Euthanasia Coaster – the only roller coaster that will actually kill you. Guaranteed.

“The design begins with a steep-angled lift to the 510-metre (1,670 ft) (0.317 mile) top, which would take two minutes for the 24-passenger train to reach.[1] From there, a 500-metre (1,600 ft) drop would take the train to 360 kilometres per hour (220 mph), close to its terminal velocity, before flattening out and speeding into the first of its seven slightly clothoid inversions.[3] Each inversion would have a smaller diameter than the one before in order to maintain 10 g to passengers while the train loses speed. After a sharp right-hand turn the train would enter a straight, where unloading of corpses and loading of new passengers could take place.”

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what an airlines gives you after a plane crash

It sounds like a horror scenario: you’re mid-air, and all of a sudden the plane starts shaking, lights go out, and the pilot comes out of the cockpit to let you know the plane is about to crash. NYTimes’ Noah Gallagher Shannon can attest to that. Fortunately, the plane in question made it safely to the tarmac, and NGS survived. And what was his reward for going through all of this? $100 off his next flight and a voucher for a personal pan pizza. Huzzah!

Let’s just hope he wasn’t playing Jenga:

how dieting makes you ANGRY

With my roommate watching “Guy Code” in the background (“when you want to let your friend to know he’s getting out of shape – simply say: “DAMN. YOU’RE GETTING FAT”) I’m reading this HBR Daily Stat on how restraining yourself from eating unhealthy foods can make you -subconsciously- angry:

“People who chose an apple over chocolate before selecting a movie were 16% more likely to prefer an anger-themed film, such as Anger Management or Hamlet, than people who selected a movie without having made such a food choice, say David Gal of Northwestern University’s Kellogg School and Wendy Liu of UC San Diego. This and other experiments suggest that the denial of immediate gratification may give rise to a silent rage: Exerting self-control can also intensify people’s irritation toward controlling messages.”

that InDesign doesn’t AutoSave

Well, it does, but it deletes those files as soon as you ‘save as’. Learned that the hard way today.

that sometimes, it’s better to drink vodka than Coke

Pretty sure there will come a time where I’ll use this story at work.

“In the 1940s, the Marshal of the Soviet Union (the de facto highest rank in the Soviet military), a man named Georgy Zhukov, took a liking to Coca-Cola. But Coke was symbolic of America, of capitalism, etc., and Zhukov — given his position of prominence — couldn’t be seen drinking the stuff. He, through his American counterpart General Mark W. Clark (who in turn took the question to President Truman), asked that the Coca-Cola Company develop a cola which, visually, resembled vodka. This way, as reported by the New York Times, he could be seen drinking it whenever, without risking the ire of Joseph Stalin. (Apparently, it was OK for Soviet military leaders to grab a vodka and a smile.) Coke complied.”

From Dan Lewis’ Now I Know, who’s bonus facts are often even better than the story itself