From Unchivalrous Doors to Graffiti Warfare: This Week's Curios

Every day of the year, 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 unchivalrous intention behind revolving doors, Manhattan's war on graffiti, and the time Julius Caesar was kidnapped by pirates.

Curio #804 | How one man solved NY's graffiti problem
If you've ridden the New York City subway recently, you probably haven't seen any graffiti. It was a much different story in the 70s and 80s, when nearly every subway car was covered with colorful graffiti. For city officials, the train graffiti was a sign they had completely lost control of their city. So the NYC war on graffiti began. The mayor vowed to eradicate it, forming the first anti-graffiti task force, and making the act a crime. But the problem persisted. For the next two decades... keep reading.

Curio #803 | Laundry beads
Washing machines use a lot of water--something pretty scarce in California these days. Old-school, top-loading machines use 40 gallons of water per load on average. Newer models use 27 gallons. Even the "high efficiency" machines with that Energy Star label use 14 gallons per load! Introducing the self-proclaimed Xeros Laundry Revolution: a new washing machine that claims to use 80% less water. It uses... keep reading.

Curio #802 | Revolving chivalry
American inventor Theophilus Van Kannel was not a fan of chivalry. The idea of holding doors open for women and playing the "you first" game drove him mad. So he invented the revolving door. His patent for a "storm door" was actually... keep reading.

Curio #801 | Saving America one coaster at a time
Tens of millions of people ride them every day, but they don't go anywhere. Their annual receipts exceed $10 billion, but they provide no useful function. They were engineered by an entrepreneur of women's hosiery, but have required almost no technological advances in the past 100 years. I'm talking, of course, about... keep reading.

Curio #800 | Moving Day
Everybody hates moving. But thankfully most people don't have do do it every year. And certainly not all on the same day. But that's exactly what people used to do in large cities across America until around 1945! In New York City, over one million people used to change residences every year on May 1st! It was complete mayhem. They all ventured into the streets on May 1st at 9 am with... keep reading.

Curio #799 | Shoppers of habit
Today our Curio is taking us to the supermarket! Two recent studies show how susceptible our grocery shopping habits--and therefore our eating habits--are to psychological cues. After analyzing over 140,000 shopping trips, there were two major findings. While shoppers who brought their own bags were 13% more likely to buy organic food, they were also more likely to buy junk food! Since shoppers felt they were doing something good for the environment, they... keep reading.

Curio #798 | When Julius Caesar talked like a pirate
Happy Talk Like A Pirate Day! Yes, it's a real thing. Speaking of pirates, if you're ever caught by one, I don't recommend taking the approach Julius Caesar did. The year was 75 BC, when the 25-year-old Julius Caesar was sailing along the Aegean Sea. His boat was captured by Sicilian pirates, who demanded... keep reading.

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