Every adult will recall being tasked with solving a maths problem in front of the entire class. It rarely led to anything good; solve the sum without much bother and you’d be dubbed a teacher’s pet, have your schoolbag emptied in front of everyone and given the nickname ‘Dork’. Fail it, and the teach would act like all those precious hours of schooling had been wasted.
Now, after reading this article, you’ll be able to help future generations by clueing them in on a simple (ha) equation that also doubles as totally meaningless. Who cares if it’s useful or not? It’ll stop poor little Timmy from suffering the same indignity as we did. Bullies won’t understand it and teachers will be impressed.
If you’re feeling generous, maybe sharing another few of the completely unnecessary facts presented here would help get those kids through life. Just, well maybe don’t tell them the gorillas one unless you fancy being hauled off to jail…
20. Lighters Were Invented Before Matches
Ask someone smart and they’ll claim that matches were invented thousands of years ago. Ways to control fire have been sought out since man started using the hot stuff, and it makes sense that small sticks with a tiny flammable end would do the business. Well, sadly for match enthusiasts everywhere (we’re looking at you, historyofmatches.com), lighters came first.
You see, the modern match we all came to love wasn’t in popular use until 1826. An Englishman called John Walker is credited with inventing it, though he couldn’t beat the lighter to this particular fire-lighting party. That came 3 years earlier in 1823, when a German chemist named Johann Wolfgang Dobereiner realised that lighters were the way forward.
The idea didn’t exactly catch on, and that’s why most folks think matches came first.