CLOSE

Ice, ice, baby

With a heat wave sweeping vast swaths of the country, including the swath that encompasses my un-air-conditioned apartment, I've found only two forms of sweet solace: (A) sticking my head in the freezer and (B) reading, over and over again, these bits of cool trivia that A.J. kindly provided for our latest issue:

Ice: The next time you're sipping a vodka on the rocks while watching "Barbershop 2," give a little toast to the man behind the ice cube -- Boston entrepreneur Frederic "the Ice King" Tudor. In the 19th century, Tudor bought dozens of New England ponds. Then, during the winter, he chopped the water into enormous chunks and shipped it south. Tudor had a talent for PR (and mixology), which resulted in a booming ice-trade business and an iced-drink trend that spread throughout the world.

Igloo: A handy how-to guide to building an igloo: Kill a seal. (I'm not endorsing it; I'm just reporting the facts.) For a pimped-out arctic pad, you'll need a seal's intestines for the window and sealskin for the entrance flap. Arrange your ice blocks (each one should be 2 feet by 4 feet by 8 inches) in a circle, then shave off their tops at a sloping angle. Add additional blocks until the dome is finished. Sit, shiver, enjoy!

Ice hockey: The first indoor ice hockey game was played in Montreal in 1875 by a bunch of students from McGill University. At the time, a newspaper reported that "shins and heads were battered, benches smashed, and the lady spectators fled in confusion." These days -- thank god -- the ladies are no longer confused.

A.J., feel free to ice me down a little more...

nextArticle.image_alt|e
iStock
arrow
Live Smarter
7 Science-Backed Ways to Improve Your Memory
iStock
iStock

Being cursed with a bad memory can yield snafus big and small, from forgetting your gym locker combination to routinely blowing deadlines. If your New Year's resolution was to be less forgetful in 2018, it's time to start training your brain. The infographic below, created by financial website Quid Corner and spotted by Lifehacker Australia, lists seven easy ways to boost memory retention.

Different techniques can be applied to different scenarios, whether you're preparing for a speech or simply trying to recall someone's phone number. For example, if you're trying to learn a language, try writing down words and phrases, as this activates your brain into paying more attention. "Chunking," or separating long digit strings into shorter units, is a helpful hack for memorizing number sequences. And those with a poetic bent can translate information into rhymes, as this helps our brains break down and retain sound structures.

Learn more tips by checking out the infographic below.

[h/t Lifehacker.com.au]

nextArticle.image_alt|e
Universal Pictures
Son of Frankenstein: Hitting the Horror Trifecta
Universal Pictures
Universal Pictures

Son of Frankenstein: Hitting the Horror Trifecta. A perfect ending to the first great movie trilogy.

*

It Wasn't Easy Being Green for These Mysterious Children in 12th-Century England. The village of Woolpit has never been the same since.

*

The Strange History of One of the Internet's First Viral Videos. If you had an email address in the late 1990s, you probably received a video file titled “badday.mpg” at least once.

*

The Contentious Burial of Bo-Bo, the Blenheim Spaniel of Civil War Hero General Daniel E. Sickles. His relatives didn't want the beloved dog interred in the family plot.

*

Here's Why Your Body Stores More Fat in Certain Places. Hormones do it, but in an insanely complicated manner.

*

Butterfly Breeder Romy McCloskey Saw One Emerge from its Chrysalis with a Torn Wing. So she got her tools together and performed a wing transplant.

*

How to Get Your Procrastination Under Control. It's a matter of valuing the things you need to do.

*

19 Times That Actors Have Been Injured On Set. Some of the scenes were then included in the finished film.

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios