The following things I didn’t know may be a bit loose in the Verifiable Facts Department, but they basically get the point across. They are what I like to call fact-ish.
The Space Shuttle’s engine size was determined by a horse’s behind
According to snopes.com, the space shuttle had solid rocket boosters (SRBs) that were restricted in their size because the rockets were built in Utah and the launch of the shuttle was in Florida. So they had to fit it into a train car that could fit through a train tunnel that was slightly wider than our standard train track of 1.5 meters or almost five feet.
But why are train tracks that size? Because that is the size train tracks that the British used and Americans adopted it to make things easier and supplies easier to acquire.
Then why did the British use that length? Because people who built rails and tramways in England used the same jigs and tools that they used for building wagons, which use that spacing.
That all makes sense. But then why did we use that spacing in the first place? Well, the spacing for a wagon was to fit in the ruts of the long distance roads in England that were actually created by the Roman Empire. Yep. The Roman Empire actually did stretch all the way to England back then, and the ruts were created by Roman chariots.
So in order to create a vehicle that wouldn’t stray outside the ruts and potentially damage or even cripple the vehicle, the width of the ruts left by the chariots was chosen as the most efficient width.
But then why did Roman chariots get to be the width they are? And hence, why were the space shuttles engines restricted to a five-foot rail car? Well, you could say it all came down to a couple of horses behinds.
Soccer balls are black and white because of the invention of television
Prior to the invention of the television. Soccer was played with myriads of different colored balls, with one of the most famous being orange. But orange on a black and white TV made the ball nearly impossible to see and was a big turnoff for the TV viewing audience.
So what did they do? They brought us the black and white soccer ball that we know today and that our eyes very much know and love.
A wine bottle’s volume was determined by the average exhale of a human
The wine bottle is 750 milliliters and volume. But why 750 milliliters? Why not 500 or 1,000? And why, in a country that has never embraced the metric system, is this particular measurement in metric?
Well, the Romans invented glass blowing. Legend has it that when wine bottles were first made, they not only had to be made by humans, but by hand.
And also by lung.
Glass blowers had to exhale each individual bottle into existence. And what is the approximate average of a glass blowers exhale. Enough for 750 milliliters.