TIL that most stars exist in binary or triple star systems. It is hypothesized that up to 85% of stars are gravitationally bound to another star in a multiple star system. Therefore, solitary stars (such as the Sun) are actually not the norm in the universe, but in fact are a rarity.
TiL about the December 14th 1944 Palawan massacre where Japanese imperial soldiers lit American soldiers on fire by sounding an air raid siren to lead them to a trench filled with gasoline instead of an air raid shelter. Of the 150 American POWs only 11 survived and escaped to American lines.
TIL Paul Robeson, the third black student at Rutgers, was valedictorian, two-time All-American in football, got a law degree from Columbia while playing in the NFL, was a major figure in the Harlem Renaissance, an international recording, stage, and film star, and a civil rights activist.
TIL Medal of Honor recipient Edward Carter could speak five languages, fought in his first war at 15, and joined the the Spanish Civil War to fight fascists at 20 before eventually fighting in WW2. Despite his heroism in combat, he and all other black awardees would not be recognized until 1997.
TIL actor/singer/dancer/comedian Danny Kaye (White Christmas 1954) was also a world-renowned chef, a pilot, and a philanthropist. He conducted orchestras although he could not read music, he received two Academy Awards, and he held honorary membership in two professional medical associations.
TIL that the actor who voiced Charlie Brown is in prison.
TIL when NBC decided to air 'The Office' after the Super Bowl, execs encouraged the show's producers to cast celebrity guest stars. They booked Jack Black, Jessica Alba, and Cloris Leachman but instead of writing them in with the regular cast, they stared in a fake movie the cast watched.
TIL Amy Adams was a waitress at Hooters in Atlanta
TIL: The majestic call of the American Bald Eagle is a myth. The sound we associate with eagles is actually that of the red-tailed hawk, which is dubbed over. For such a powerful bird, the Bald Eagle emits surprisingly weak-sounding calls—usually a series of high-pitched whistling or piping notes.
TIL that Bayer knowingly gave people HIV
TIL sharks enter a trance-like state known as tonic immobility when turned upside down. A female orca off the coast of California was observed rolling a Great White over to induce this state and was one of the first cases of predation on a Great White in the wild by anything other than a human.
TIL MR. "T." chopped down over 70 trees single-handedly in the span of 3.5 hours. (In July 1976, Tureaud's (Mr. T) platoon sergeant (ARMY) punished him by giving him the detail of chopping down trees during training camp at Fort McCoy in Wisconsin, but did not tell him how many trees.
TIL that there is Santa school and they teach Santa ethics
TIL Frank Zappa was a futurist who was enthusiastic for the possibility of holographic imagery. So much so that he recorded footage of himself in the early 70s with the intention to be used when technology got to that point. A Frank Zappa holographic tour using that footage starts next year.
TIL Steven Stayner, a kidnapping victim who escaped after 7 years, and whose story was later adapted into the movie "I Know My First Name is Steven," had a brother named Cary who murdered 4 people in Yosemite in 1999. He claimed to have fantasized about killing long before his brother's abduction.