TUCAS Fact of the ... 404—Time range not found

Here, we will collect all the previous “TUCAS Facts” we featured before. “TUCAS Facts” are regularly presented funny and/or interesting facts we came across somewhere – on occasion maybe even a dad-joke-y quote (not to name names but probably by Florenz).

TUCAS Fact #31:
The countdown to start rockets was not an invention of NASA or other space agencies. In fact, Austrian film maker Fritz Lang wanted to show an exciting start of a rocket ship in his 1929 silent film „Frau im Mond“ („Woman in the Moon“)—thus, he created the countdown from 10 to „now“ (which was used instead of 0), so the viewers would know when the start would actually happen.

TUCAS Fact #30:
Three out of the first five American presidents (John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James Monroe) died on July 4th (which is of course Independence Day). Adams and Jefferson even died in the same year (1826).

TUCAS Fact #29:
The names of the first and second derivative of the position with respect to time are fairly well known: speed and acceleration. The third one—providing the rate of change of accelaration—is lesser known and called “jerk”. Having said that, physicists also have named the fourth, fifth, and sixth time derivatives of position: They are called “snap”, “crackle”, and “pop”.

TUCAS Fact #28:
Sir Nils Olav III, Baron of the Bouvet Islands—and a king penguin living in Edinburgh Zoo—was promoted to Major General of the Norwegian King’s Guard this week.
Named after Nils Egelien—a former officer in the King’s Guard—and King Olav V of Norway, Nils Olav III’s predecessor Nils Olav (the first of his name) was made the mascot of the King’s Guard in 1972. He “joined the forces” as Lance Corporal and, subsequently was promoted to Corporal and Sergeant in 1982 and 1987, respectively. Seargeant Nils Olav died shortly after his second promotion and Nils Olav II took over both name and ranks.
Continuing the impressive career, Nils Olav II was given the ranks of regimental Sergeant Major in 1993 and honorable regimental Sergeant Major in 2001. He was made Colonel-in-Chief of his regiment in 2005. In 2008, he was knighted and given the title “Baron of the Bouvet Islands”.
Sometime after receiving the Knighthood, the current holder of name, ranks, and titles—Nils Olav III—took over and added the ranks of Brigadier (promotion in 2016) and now Major General to his impressive list of military achievements.

TUCAS Fact #27:
All spots on Jeopardy!’s Top10 list of highest daily winnings are held by the same person:
In 2019 during his 32-day winning streak, James Holzhauer managed to win 89,229 $ (the “lowest” highest daily winning) or more ten times—with 113,127 $ being the highest sum won in a single day ever. He won a total of 2,462,216 $; almost beating the highest regular winnings of Ken Jennings (2,520,700 $ in 74 games).

TUCAS Fact #26:
In California, it is expressly forbidden to attach propellers to animals in order for them to be chased by dogs.
California penal code 597h states:
It shall be unlawful for any person to tie or attach or fasten any live animal to any machine or device propelled by any power for the purpose of causing that animal to be pursued by a dog or dogs.

TUCAS Fact #25 (StarWars Edition):
Frank Oz, the puppeteer that controlled and/or voiced Yoda  (controlled and voiced in “The Empire Strikes Back”, “The Return of the Jedi”, and “Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace”; voiced in “Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones” and “Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith”) also puppetereed Miss Piggy of the Muppets.
This is the reason that Miss Piggy together with Kermit once appeared on (the set of) Dagobah to prank Mark Hamill (playing Luke Skywalker). Here is the picture proof.
May the Fourth be with you!

TUCAS Fact #24: The „fish doorbell“ („visdeurbel“ in the original Dutch) is a crowdsourced system that allows people on the internet to help fish pass a sluice gate (the Weerdsluis lock) in Utrecht. A live stream shows the waters in front of the gate and as soon as a viewer spots a fish, the doorbell can be rung to inform the lock operator that fish are waiting to pass. More info can be found here.

TUCAS Fact #23:
To continue with pi: The current world record for reciting pi is to 70 030 digits and is held by Suresh Kumar Sharma. He achieved this record on the 21st of October 2015—beating the just 7-month old previous record of „merely“ 70 000 digits.
An unoffical (not certified) record of 100 000 digits is held by Harakuchi Akira, who took 16 hours of reciting (while the world record holder took over 17 hours).

TUCAS Fact #22:
The most recent record (we could find) of digits of pi of 100 trillion digit—with the 100-trillionth digit being a zero—was took almost 158 days: Google Cloud developers started their algorithm on October 14th 2022; and it completed on March 21st 2023 (Details can be found here).
Happy Pi Day!

TUCAS Fact #21:
The Pacific Ocean is large enough to contain pairs of antipodes, i.e. points that are opposite each other on the globe.
Bonus fact about the Pacific Ocean: All three of its instances of the letter “c” are pronounced differently.

TUCAS Fact #20:

The longest border of France is actually shared with Brazil—the border between the French overseas department French Guiana and Brazil is with 730 km roughly 70 km longer than France’s second longest border with Belgium (659 km).

TUCAS Fact #19:
There are no (!) bridges across the Amazon River. Even though it is the largest river by water discharge and the longest or the second-longest river (there is disagreement between the Amazon and the Nile, depending on how one defines the length of a river).

TUCAS Fact #18:
Anna Creek Station is the world’s largest cattle station—rather unsurprisingly—located in Australia (South Australia to be exact). It surpasses the size of the next largest by about 8.000 km²—with an area of almost 24.000 km², making it larger than the nation of Israel. Despite its size, the staff is comprised of only around 20 workers.

TUCAS Fact #17:
2023 is the seventh year of the current calendar (not counting years B.C.) that is a multiple of 17 squared—meaning its prime factorization is “7⨯17⨯17”. We figured that this information would make for a very nice 17th TUCAS fact.
Happy new year!

TUCAS Fact #16:
Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo” is a grammatically correct English sentence and often used to demonstrate lexical ambiguity (caused by homonyms and homophones). A—more easily comprehensible—alternative could be for example “Bison from Buffalo that are bullied by bison from Buffalo also bully bison from Buffalo” (note that the word order is not preserved in this version).

TUCAS Fact #15:
The fictional city Shiganshina District (located in the south of Wall Maria)—birthplace of Attack on Titan’s protagonist Eren Yeager and starting point of this famous manga/anime—is widely believed to be modeled after the Bavarian city Nördlingen.

TUCAS Fact #14:
Christopher Lee, known for his roles as Dracula, Count Dooku, and Saruman (among many others), was a huge fan of Lord of the Rings and actively campaigned for his role as Saruman. During the ’90s, he purposefully auditioned for “wizard-adjacent” roles to prove that he could play the part and even sent pictures of him dressed as wizard to Peter Jackson.
Incidentally, he was also the only cast member to ever meet J. R. R. Tolkien.

TUCAS Fact #13:
The second author of the 1975 paper Two-, Three-, and Four-Atom Exchange Effects in bcc 3He—F. D. C. Willard—is actually a siamese cat named Chester, owned by the first author of the paper.
When the first (and planned sole) author Jack H. Hetherington was made aware of the fact that using “we” as single author would lead to the rejection of his manuscript, he decided to add his cat as second author instead of rewriting it.

TUCAS Fact #12:
The Australian Central Western Standard Time (AWCST or UT+08:45) is a small time zone that is used in 5 cities in Western and Southern Australia. This time zone is one of ten time zones which differ by more (or less) than an integer number of hours from the Universal Coordinated Time (UTC). Other examples include the time zones used in Iran (UTC+04:30), Nepal (UTC+05:45), or Newfoundland and Labrador (UTC-03:30).

TUCAS Fact #11:
The coat of arms of the Styrian city Leoben, which dates back to 1298, shows an ostrich as heraldic animal (white on a red background). During the High Middle Ages, ostriches were thought to be able to eat and digest iron—so the bird was chosen to highlight the city’s connection to iron.

TUCAS Fact #10:
Known for his action-heavy and explosion-rich blockbuster movies, movie director Michael Bay started his career directing advertisments. His big break was the original “got milk?” commercial for an ad campaign with the goal to encourage the consumption of milk and dairy products in the United States.

TUCAS Fact #9:
The Gömböc is the first known example of a homogeneous mono-monostatic body, i.e. a body that has just two points of equilibrium (one stable, one unstable) while having no density gradients. The question of the existence of such a body was raised in 1995 by Russian mathematician Vladimir Arnold. In 2006, Gábor Domokos and Péter Várkonyi found the answer… and the Gömböc.

TUCAS Fact #8:
Joe Biden was born closer to Abraham Lincoln’s assassination than his own inauguration. Biden’s birthday is November 20th, 1942, which is 28,343 days after Lincoln’s death (April 14th, 1865) but 28,551 days before Biden’s inauguration (January 20th, 2021).

TUCAS Fact #7:
Florian found another quite curious study about animals: In 1995, scientists found that pigeons can learn to distinguish paintings by Picasso or Monet.

TUCAS Fact #6:
Potoooooooo (pronounced Pot-eight-ohs, alternate spellings Pot-8-Os or variations thereof) is the name of an 18th-century racehorse who won over 30 races. The most common explanation of the—slightly unusual—name cites a misunderstanding when naming the colt: The breeder wanted to name it “Potato” and told a stable boy to write the name on a feed bin.

TUCAS Fact #5: In honor of the 25th anniversary of the start of the serialisation of “One Piece”, we dedicate this fact to the magnum opus of Eiichiro Oda:
A gene of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster—the Drosophila Baramicin polypeptide gene (presented in this study)—is (partly) named after a character of Oda’s manga, “Buggy, the Clown” (as mentioned in the acknowledgement of the study). Having eaten the “Bara Bara no Mi” (the “Chop Chop Fruit”) and thus gaining superpowers, Buggy can cleave his body in any way he wants – this inspired the name for the gene, which “encodes a precursor protein cleaved into multiple peptides (…)”.

TUCAS Fact #4:
The 65.537-gon is constructible—meaning it can be constructed using only a compass and an unmarked straightedge. That fact had been proven by Gauss by 1801; however, there are instructions to conduct said construction! They were given by Johann Gustav Hermes in 1894, are 221 pages long and took more than 10 years to complete. Today, they are stored at the University of Göttingen, Germany.

TUCAS Fact #3: To round out our special „octopus week“, we present one last fact about octop… the octopus:
The octopus was mentioned by Aristotle in his History of Animals (more specifically in Part 37 of Book IX) written in the 4th century B.C., where he says the following: “The octopus is a stupid creature, for it will approach a man’s hand if it be lowered in the water; but it is neat and thrifty in its habits: that is, it lays up stores in its nest, and, after eating up all that is eatable, it ejects the shells and sheaths of crabs and shell-fish, and the skeletons of little fishes.”

TUCAS Fact #2: Today’s fact concerns multiple units of octopus:
The question which of the three (3!) possible plurals is correct, is a hotly debated one (see, e. g., here or here). It boils down to how you construct a plural for an originally Greek word that arrived in English via (New) Latin: Do you use Greek, Latin, or English rules? While dictionaries usually give octopuses as most common one and mention the latin-based octopi, the plural relating to the Greek roots—octopodes—is mainly omitted. For the record, the favorite version of Thomas—our resident stickler for grammar—is withouth a doubt octopodes.

TUCAS Fact #1:
To start us off, Florian came across a study that found that octopuses—while generally fairly asocial and solitary—under the influence of MDMA (also known as Ecstasy) exhibit increased prosocial behaviour.

Bonus Fact #0:
We could not agree on the periodicity of this new rubric, so we included a funny (?) joke instead.

January 2024

TUCAS Fact #31:
The countdown to start rockets was not an invention of NASA or other space agencies. In fact, Austrian film maker Fritz Lang wanted to show an exciting start of a rocket ship in his 1929 silent film „Frau im Mond“ („Woman in the Moon“)—thus, he created the countdown from 10 to „now“ (which was used instead of 0), so the viewers would know when the start would actually happen.

November 2023

TUCAS Fact #30:
Three out of the first five American presidents (John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James Monroe) died on July 4th (which is of course Independence Day). Adams and Jefferson even died in the same year (1826).

October 2023

TUCAS Fact #29:
The names of the first and second derivative of the position with respect to time are fairly well known: speed and acceleration. The third one—providing the rate of change of accelaration—is lesser known and called “jerk”. Having said that, physicists also have named the fourth, fifth, and sixth time derivatives of position: They are called “snap”, “crackle”, and “pop”.

August 2023

TUCAS Fact #28:
Sir Nils Olav III, Baron of the Bouvet Islands—and a king penguin living in Edinburgh Zoo—was promoted to Major General of the Norwegian King’s Guard this week.
Named after Nils Egelien—a former officer in the King’s Guard—and King Olav V of Norway, Nils Olav III’s predecessor Nils Olav (the first of his name) was made the mascot of the King’s Guard in 1972. He “joined the forces” as Lance Corporal and, subsequently was promoted to Corporal and Sergeant in 1982 and 1987, respectively. Seargeant Nils Olav died shortly after his second promotion and Nils Olav II took over both name and ranks.
Continuing the impressive career, Nils Olav II was given the ranks of regimental Sergeant Major in 1993 and honorable regimental Sergeant Major in 2001. He was made Colonel-in-Chief of his regiment in 2005. In 2008, he was knighted and given the title “Baron of the Bouvet Islands”.
Sometime after receiving the Knighthood, the current holder of name, ranks, and titles—Nils Olav III—took over and added the ranks of Brigadier (promotion in 2016) and now Major General to his impressive list of military achievements.

TUCAS Fact #27:
All spots on Jeopardy!’s Top10 list of highest daily winnings are held by the same person:
In 2019 during his 32-day winning streak, James Holzhauer managed to win 89,229 $ (the “lowest” highest daily winning) or more ten times—with 113,127 $ being the highest sum won in a single day ever. He won a total of 2,462,216 $; almost beating the highest regular winnings of Ken Jennings (2,520,700 $ in 74 games).

July 2023

TUCAS Fact #26:
In California, it is expressly forbidden to attach propellers to animals in order for them to be chased by dogs.
California penal code 597h states:
It shall be unlawful for any person to tie or attach or fasten any live animal to any machine or device propelled by any power for the purpose of causing that animal to be pursued by a dog or dogs.

May 2023

TUCAS Fact #25 (StarWars Edition):
Frank Oz, the puppeteer that controlled and/or voiced Yoda  (controlled and voiced in “The Empire Strikes Back”, “The Return of the Jedi”, and “Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace”; voiced in “Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones” and “Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith”) also puppetereed Miss Piggy of the Muppets.
This is the reason that Miss Piggy together with Kermit once appeared on (the set of) Dagobah to prank Mark Hamill (playing Luke Skywalker). Here is the picture proof.
May the Fourth be with you!

April 2023

TUCAS Fact #24:
The „fish doorbell“ („visdeurbel“ in the original Dutch) is a crowdsourced system that allows people on the internet to help fish pass a sluice gate (the Weerdsluis lock) in Utrecht. A live stream shows the waters in front of the gate and as soon as a viewer spots a fish, the doorbell can be rung to inform the lock operator that fish are waiting to pass.
More info can be found here.

March 2023

TUCAS Fact #23:
To continue with pi: The current world record for reciting pi is to 70 030 digits and is held by Suresh Kumar Sharma. He achieved this record on the 21st of October 2015—beating the just 7-month old previous record of „merely“ 70 000 digits.
An unoffical (not certified) record of 100 000 digits is held by Harakuchi Akira, who took 16 hours of reciting (while the world record holder took over 17 hours).

TUCAS Fact #22:
The most recent record (we could find) of digits of pi of 100 trillion digit—with the 100-trillionth digit being a zero—was took almost 158 days: Google Cloud developers started their algorithm on October 14th 2022; and it completed on March 21st 2023 (Details can be found here).
Happy Pi Day!

February 2023

TUCAS Fact #21:
The Pacific Ocean is large enough to contain pairs of antipodes, i.e. points that are opposite each other on the globe.
Bonus fact about the Pacific Ocean: All three of its instances of the letter “c” are pronounced differently.

TUCAS Fact #20:
The longest border of France is actually shared with Brazil—the border between the French overseas department French Guiana and Brazil is with 730 km roughly 70 km longer than France’s second longest border with Belgium (659 km).

January 2023

TUCAS Fact #19:
There are no (!) bridges across the Amazon River. Even though it is the largest river by water discharge and the longest or the second-longest river (there is disagreement between the Amazon and the Nile, depending on how one defines the length of a river).

TUCAS Fact #18:
Anna Creek Station is the world’s largest cattle station—rather unsurprisingly—located in Australia (South Australia to be exact). It surpasses the size of the next largest by about 8.000 km²—with an area of almost 24.000 km², making it larger than the nation of Israel. Despite its size, the staff is comprised of only around 20 workers.

TUCAS Fact #17:
2023 is the seventh year of the current calendar (not counting years B.C.) that is a multiple of 17 squared—meaning its prime factorization is “7⨯17⨯17”. We figured that this information would make for a very nice 17th TUCAS fact.
Happy new year!

December 2022

TUCAS Fact #16:
Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo” is a grammatically correct English sentence and often used to demonstrate lexical ambiguity (caused by homonyms and homophones). A—more easily comprehensible—alternative could be for example “Bison from Buffalo that are bullied by bison from Buffalo also bully bison from Buffalo” (note that the word order is not preserved in this version).

TUCAS Fact #15:
The fictional city Shiganshina District (located in the south of Wall Maria)—birthplace of Attack on Titan’s protagonist Eren Yeager and starting point of this famous manga/anime—is widely believed to be modeled after the Bavarian city Nördlingen.

November 2022

TUCAS Fact #14:
Christopher Lee, known for his roles as Dracula, Count Dooku, and Saruman (among many others), was a huge fan of Lord of the Rings and actively campaigned for his role as Saruman. During the ’90s, he purposefully auditioned for “wizard-adjacent” roles to prove that he could play the part and even sent pictures of him dressed as wizard to Peter Jackson.
Incidentally, he was also the only cast member to ever meet J. R. R. Tolkien.

TUCAS Fact #13:
The second author of the 1975 paper Two-, Three-, and Four-Atom Exchange Effects in bcc 3He—F. D. C. Willard—is actually a siamese cat named Chester, owned by the first author of the paper.
When the first (and planned sole) author Jack H. Hetherington was made aware of the fact that using “we” as single author would lead to the rejection of his manuscript, he decided to add his cat as second author instead of rewriting it.

October 2022

TUCAS Fact #12:
The Australian Central Western Standard Time (AWCST or UT+08:45) is a small time zone that is used in 5 cities in Western and Southern Australia. This time zone is one of ten time zones which differ by more (or less) than an integer number of hours from the Universal Coordinated Time (UTC). Other examples include the time zones used in Iran (UTC+04:30), Nepal (UTC+05:45), or Newfoundland and Labrador (UTC-03:30).

TUCAS Fact #11:
The coat of arms of the Styrian city Leoben, which dates back to 1298, shows an ostrich as heraldic animal (white on a red background). During the High Middle Ages, ostriches were thought to be able to eat and digest iron—so the bird was chosen to highlight the city’s connection to iron.

TUCAS Fact #10:
Known for his action-heavy and explosion-rich blockbuster movies, movie director Michael Bay started his career directing advertisments. His big break was the original “got milk?” commercial for an ad campaign with the goal to encourage the consumption of milk and dairy products in the United States.

September 2022

TUCAS Fact #9:
The Gömböc is the first known example of a homogeneous mono-monostatic body, i.e. a body that has just two points of equilibrium (one stable, one unstable) while having no density gradients. The question of the existence of such a body was raised in 1995 by Russian mathematician Vladimir Arnold. In 2006, Gábor Domokos and Péter Várkonyi found the answer… and the Gömböc.

TUCAS Fact #8:
Joe Biden was born closer to Abraham Lincoln’s assassination than his own inauguration. Biden’s birthday is November 20th, 1942, which is 28,343 days after Lincoln’s death (April 14th, 1865) but 28,551 days before Biden’s inauguration (January 20th, 2021).

TUCAS Fact #7:
Florian found another quite curious study about animals: In 1995, scientists found that pigeons can learn to distinguish paintings by Picasso or Monet.

August 2022

TUCAS Fact #6:
Potoooooooo (pronounced Pot-eight-ohs, alternate spellings Pot-8-Os or variations thereof) is the name of an 18th-century racehorse who won over 30 races. The most common explanation of the—slightly unusual—name cites a misunderstanding when naming the colt: The breeder wanted to name it “Potato” and told a stable boy to write the name on a feed bin.

TUCAS Fact #5: In honor of the 25th anniversary of the start of the serialisation of “One Piece”, we dedicate this fact to the magnum opus of Eiichiro Oda:
A gene of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster—the Drosophila Baramicin polypeptide gene (presented in this study)—is (partly) named after a character of Oda’s manga, “Buggy, the Clown” (as mentioned in the acknowledgement of the study). Having eaten the “Bara Bara no Mi” (the “Chop Chop Fruit”) and thus gaining superpowers, Buggy can cleave his body in any way he wants – this inspired the name for the gene, which “encodes a precursor protein cleaved into multiple peptides (…)”.

TUCAS Fact #4:
The 65.537-gon is constructible—meaning it can be constructed using only a compass and an unmarked straightedge. That fact had been proven by Gauss by 1801; however, there are instructions to conduct said construction! They were given by Johann Gustav Hermes in 1894, are 221 pages long and took more than 10 years to complete. Today, they are stored at the University of Göttingen, Germany.

TUCAS Fact #3: To round out our special „octopus week“, we present one last fact about octop… the octopus:
The octopus was mentioned by Aristotle in his History of Animals (more specifically in Part 37 of Book IX) written in the 4th century B.C., where he says the following: “The octopus is a stupid creature, for it will approach a man’s hand if it be lowered in the water; but it is neat and thrifty in its habits: that is, it lays up stores in its nest, and, after eating up all that is eatable, it ejects the shells and sheaths of crabs and shell-fish, and the skeletons of little fishes.”

TUCAS Fact #2: Today’s fact concerns multiple units of octopus:
The question which of the three (3!) possible plurals is correct, is a hotly debated one (see, e. g., here or here). It boils down to how you construct a plural for an originally Greek word that arrived in English via (New) Latin: Do you use Greek, Latin, or English rules? While dictionaries usually give octopuses as most common one and mention the latin-based octopi, the plural relating to the Greek roots—octopodes—is mainly omitted. For the record, the favorite version of Thomas—our resident stickler for grammar—is withouth a doubt octopodes.

TUCAS Fact #1:
To start us off, Florian came across a study that found that octopuses—while generally fairly asocial and solitary—under the influence of MDMA (also known as Ecstasy) exhibit increased prosocial behaviour.

Bonus Fact #0:
We could not agree on the periodicity of this new rubric, so we included a funny (?) joke instead.