From Space Elevators to the Death of LOL: This Week's Curios

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Every day of the year, Curious.com CEO Justin Kitch writes a quirky fact, known as the Daily Curio, intended to tickle the brains of lifelong learners everywhere. This is a weekly digest.

Last week's Curios covered the new space elevator, how simple math saved the NBA, and the death of LOL.

Curio #825 | An ancient version of Twitter
Kuskoy, a small village in Turkey, is one of the last places on Earth with a whistled language. For generations, Kuskoy residents have communicated with their neighbors--who are sometimes miles away across mountainous terrain--by whistling. They speak Turkish when close up, but use whistling to communicate at a distance--as far away as three miles! The language is not technically... keep reading.

Curio #824 | A good sign for traffic safety
Think government workers aren't creative? Think again. US state agencies responsible for traffic signs--usually the DOT or DOV--have been coming up with some pretty clever signs to save lives. For example, nearly 15,000 bicycle + car accidents happen each year. A recent test replaced signs saying "Share the Road" with ones saying "Bicycle May Use Full Lane" causing 90% of drivers... keep reading.

Curio #823 | Playing games with your dental health
Pay a subscription for your toothbrush? That's exactly what a new startup--in the hot "dental technology" space--wants you to do. The company, called Beam, is trying to capitalize on the benefits of regular brushing. People who brush their teeth twice a day for two minutes are significantly less likely to need costly dental surgery. Unfortunately, the average American only brushes once a day for around... keep reading.

Curio #822 | How simple math saved the NBA
As we learned last year, basketball was invented by James Naismith in the 1800s. Back then the game was incredibly slow. After each point, the game was paused to retrieve the ball out of a peach basket mounted to the wall. Thankfully, bottomless baskets soon became standard. As you can imagine, it significantly increased the speed of play. But even games as recent as the 1950s would be unbearably... keep reading.

Curio #821 | LOL is dead
The online acronym LOL is almost dead. In case you've been living in a cave for the past fifteen years, LOL stands for "laughing out loud" in online communications. Author Sarah Larson first observed the demise of "LOL" in her New Yorker article this April. So Facebook's research team decided to investigate this trend. Using millions of... keep reading.

Curio #820 | Putting a band-aid on it
Band-Aids seem like a simple idea. But until they were invented in 1920, there was no good way to stop bleeding from small cuts or injuries. The invention derived from a husband's concern for his accident prone wife. Earle Dickson was living with his new wife, Josephine. He noticed she would routinely cut or burn her hands in the kitchen. Earle was also a cotton-buyer for Johnson & Johnson. So it seemed natural to... keep reading.

Curio #819 | Going up?
Here's a novel idea for getting people into space: an elevator! A Canadian firm has just been granted a patent for a 'space elevator' that reaches 12.5 miles from earth into the stratosphere. The proposed tower, named the ThothX Tower, would be 20 times higher than the 2,723-foot Burj Khalifa in Dubai--currently the world's tallest building. The concept is a 12-mile high, inflatable... keep reading.

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