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25 Things You Might Not Know About Chicago

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The next time you’re in the Windy City, impress locals with this know-how.

1. The name Chicago comes from the Algonquin word “Chicagou” or “Shikaakwa,” which translates to “onion field” or “wild garlic.”

2. Planning a road trip? Route 66 starts in Chicago.

3. The Field Museum owns the world’s most complete Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton. Its name is Sue.

4. The Chicago River flows backwards.

5. In the late 19th century, the river was reversed to empty into the Mississippi River instead of Lake Michigan.

6. Chicagoans can’t resist messing around with their river. On St. Patrick’s Day, the Plumbers Union dyes it a bright shade of Irish green and every summer the Special Olympics holds a fundraiser where tens of thousands of rubber ducks race down the waterway.

7. In 1917, writers Ben Hecht and Maxwell Bodenheim hosted the shortest known debate in history. The topic? “Resolved: That People Who Attend Literary Debates are Imbeciles.”

8. Seeing a room full of people, Hecht argued, “The affirmative rests.” Bodenheim took to the podium and nodded. “You win,” he said.

9. Wrigley Field was originally named Weeghman Park. Doesn’t have quite the same ring to it.

10. In 1927, Chicago bootlegger Al Capone made nearly $60 million selling illegal hooch.

11. Even before Capone’s activities, the city had a reputation for crime. In 1918, over 100 waiters were arrested for poisoning stingy tippers.

12. In the 1850s, the entire city was hydraulically raised several feet to fix a drainage problem.

13. Speaking of the underground, Enrico Fermi conducted the first sustained atomic fission reaction under the University of Chicago’s football field.

14. In 1930, the Twinkie was invented in Chicago.

15. Rebuilding after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 was swift and legendary—rubble and ash were pushed into the lake to make new neighborhoods.

16. Chicago banned pay toilets in 1973.

17. The World’s Fair (or Columbian Exposition) in 1893 saw its share of impressive feats and small oddities: A U.S. map made of pickles, a suspension bridge made of soap, and the first Ferris Wheel were just a few.

18. It’s also where Pabst won its famous blue ribbon.

19. When Bavarian Anton Feuchtwanger couldn’t convince fairgoers to eat his sausages, he served them in a bun. The hot dog was born.

20. A massive city of 200 buildings was created from the ground up for the World's Fair. It was meant to be temporary, however, and only two of the original structures remain.

21. You don’t take the subway in Chicago, you take the ‘L’—this is the name for the city’s rapid-transit rail system and is an abbreviated form of “el,” for “elevated.”

22. Tall-building construction was invented in Chicago and the city is known as the “Home of the Skyscraper.” It currently has four of the country’s ten tallest buildings.

23. Be careful parking in the Windy City. Leaving her car at O'Hare International Airport for a few years, Jennifer Fitzgerald received 678 tickets and was whacked with a $105,000 fine.

24. In 1902, an elephant named Alice at the Lincoln Park Zoo fell ill. The zookeepers gave her whiskey as a pick-me up. Unfortunately, it turned her into an alcoholic.

25. Chicago has 26 miles of public beaches that offer a refreshing respite from the summer heat.

All images courtesy of Thinkstock

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Opening Ceremony
These $425 Jeans Can Turn Into Jorts
May 19, 2017
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Opening Ceremony

Modular clothing used to consist of something simple, like a reversible jacket. Today, it’s a $425 pair of detachable jeans.

Apparel retailer Opening Ceremony recently debuted a pair of “2 in 1 Y/Project” trousers that look fairly peculiar. The legs are held to the crotch by a pair of loops, creating a disjointed C-3PO effect. Undo the loops and you can now remove the legs entirely, leaving a pair of jean shorts in their wake. The result goes from this:


Opening Ceremony

To this:


Opening Ceremony

The company also offers a slightly different cut with button tabs in black for $460. If these aren’t audacious enough for you, the Y/Project line includes jumpsuits with removable legs and garter-equipped jeans.

[h/t Mashable]

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This First-Grade Math Problem Is Stumping the Internet
May 17, 2017
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If you’ve ever fantasized about how much easier life would be if you could go back to elementary school, this math problem may give you second thoughts. The question first appeared on a web forum, Mashable reports, and after recently resurfacing, it’s been perplexing adults across social media.

According to the original poster AlmondShell, the bonus question was given to primary one, or first grade students, in Singapore. It instructs readers to “study the number pattern” and “fill in the missing numbers.” The puzzle, which comprises five numbers and four empty circles waiting to be filled in, comes with no further explanation.

Some forum members commented with their best guesses, while others expressed disbelief that this was a question on a kid’s exam. Commenter karrotguy illustrates one possible answer: Instead of looking for complex math equations, they saw that the figure in the middle circle (three) equals the amount of double-digit numbers in the surrounding quadrants (18, 10, 12). They filled out the puzzle accordingly.

A similar problem can be found on the blog of math enthusiast G.R. Burgin. His solution, which uses simple algebra, gets a little more complicated.

The math tests given to 6- and 7-year-olds in other parts of the world aren’t much easier. If your brain isn’t too worn out after the last one, check out this maddening problem involving trains assigned to students in the UK.

[h/t Mashable]