Michael Walsh writes for Nerdist: "At Silicon Valley Comic Con in 2016, Mythbusters co-host Adam Savage was asked by a fan about the biggest behind-the-scenes disaster the show ever had. Savage didn’t share some lighthearted tale about an argument or fight the cast had, but instead told the frightening story about how they were investigating a 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 Savage contacted DARPA (the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) to warn them about the material."
Maryland license plates now direct people to an online casino in the Philippines
From Jason Koebler at Vice: "Roughly 800,000 Maryland drivers with license plates designed to commemorate the War of 1812 are now inadvertently advertising a website for an online casino based in the Philippines. In 2012, to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812, Maryland redesigned its standard license plate to read “MARYLAND WAR OF 1812.” The license plates, which were the default between 2012 and 2016, have the URL www.starspangled200.org printed at the bottom. Sometime within the last year, www.starspangled200.org stopped telling people about how Marylander Francis Scott Key was inspired to write the national anthem “The Star Spangled Banner” after watching British ships bombard Fort McHenry in Baltimore during the War of 1812 and started instead redirecting to a site called globeinternational.info, in which a blinking, bikini-clad woman advertises "Philippines Best Betting Site, Deposit 100 Receive 250."
Whistleblower gets record reward payment of $279 million from the SEC
From Mengqi Sun for the Wall Street Journal: "The US Securities and Exchange Commission awarded a whistleblower a record $279 million in relation to a bribery case against telecommunications company Ericsson. The award from the SEC’s cash-for-tips program was related to the $1.1 billion settlement the Swedish company reached with US authorities in 2019 over allegations it conspired to make illegal payments to win business in five countries, in violation of U.S. antibribery laws. Under SEC rules, a whistleblower can receive an award of between 10% and 30% of the fines collected in SEC civil-enforcement actions and related actions from other enforcement agencies resulting from a tip, assuming the SEC collects more than $1 million. The SEC didn’t name the enforcement action underlying the award and didn’t identify the tipster."
The place where the continents meet
From Daniel Ganninger: "The Continental Divide of North America separates the major watersheds that flow to the Atlantic Ocean, Arctic Ocean, Pacific Ocean, and the Gulf of Mexico. Rainfall that drops on the west side of the divide will make its way to the Pacific, and rainfall on the east side will run to the Arctic and Atlantic. In some places, the divide can be seen, but in others, it is harder to tell the different sides of the divide. One of those harder-to-see places is in Wyoming near the southern boundary of Yellowstone National Park in the Bridger-Teton National Forest. It is called the Two Ocean Pass, but it doesn’t have the appearance of a pass at all. Its profile is so low and the water is so gentle that fish can swim across the divide from the Pacific to the Atlantic watershed when the meadow floods in the spring during a wet year."
A man ate two meals a day at Six Flags for seven years for just $150 a year
From Insider: "A 33-year-old California man was able to pay off his student loan debt after eating nearly all his meals at Six Flags for seven years. A year-long pass to the park costs just $150, Dylan told Mel Magazine, and it includes parking and two meals a day. Dylan said he started to take advantage of Six Flags Magic Mountain's annual pass in 2014 when he was working as an intern in an office minutes away from the amusement park. During the first year, Dylan said he doesn't think he ever went to the grocery store during that time, and acknowledged that the theme park menu, which was made up of burgers, fries, and pizza, wasn't healthy at all, which was rough. He was ultimately able to not only pay off his student loans, but also bought a house and got married."
At the world's oldest restaurant, the fire has been burning since 1725
Mike Pomrantz writes at Food & Wine magazine: "Restaurante Botín in Madrid, Spain was founded in 1725 and is recognized by Guinness World Records as the oldest restaurant in the world. One of the restaurant's unique features is its oven, which has been burning for nearly 300 years: "It is our jewel. Our crown jewel," said Botín's deputy manager Luis Javier Sanchez, who has worked at the restaurant for more than 45 years. "We never put it out. It needs to keep hot at night and be ready to roast in the morning." The artist Francisco de Goya worked in Café Botín as a waiter , and the restaurant is mentioned in a Hemingway novel. "Our recipes are very old, from when the grandfathers started the restaurant," said Sanchez. "And we've stayed true to those recipes ever since."
How black-tailed jackrabbits stay cool
via Massimo on Twitter