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This Train Station is Kept Open for Just One Passenger

The Japanese railways are courteous to turtles, deer, and humans alike, so it's no surprise that an entire station has been kept open for a single passenger.

The remote Kami-Shirataki station—located in Engaru, Hokkaido, Japan—has been slowly losing riders. In fact, the demand was so low that even freight service was ended. Japan Railways planned to close the entire station for good—until they discovered the last consistent passenger: A single high schooler who continued to use the train to get to class every day.

Three years ago, the railway system decided to keep the station open until the student graduated school. The accommodating network even changed the train schedule to better fit the girl's commute. Now, the train makes only two trips: One to bring the girl to class and one to bring her back home. This service will continue until her graduation in March of this year.

While this heart-warming story showcases Japan Railways' dedication to service, it is also a reminder of the decline of railways in rural Japan. The country is expected to lose a third of their population by 2060, meaning a shrinking workforce and an increase in empty housing. This, coupled with Japan's new efficient high-speed rails, spells the end of traditional railroads in the country. Hokkaido has seen the closing of 20 rail lines in the last few decades, Fortune reports, with another closing when the student graduates in March.

[h/t: CityLab]

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26 Facts About LEGO Bricks

Since it first added plastic, interlocking bricks to its lineup, the Danish toy company LEGO (from the words Leg Godt for “play well”) has inspired builders of all ages to bring their most imaginative designs to life. Sets have ranged in size from scenes that can be assembled in a few minutes to 5000-piece behemoths depicting famous landmarks. And tinkerers aren’t limited to the sets they find in stores. One of the largest LEGO creations was a life-sized home in the UK that required 3.2 million tiny bricks to construct.

In this episode of the List Show, John Green lays out 26 playful facts about one of the world’s most beloved toy brands. To hear about the LEGO black market, the vault containing every LEGO set ever released, and more, check out the video above then subscribe to our YouTube channel to stay up-to-date with the latest flossy content.

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Of Buckeyes and Butternuts: 29 States With Weird Nicknames for Their Residents
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Tracing a word’s origin and evolution can yield fascinating historical insights—and the weird nicknames used in some states to describe their residents are no exception. In the Mental Floss video above, host John Green explains the probable etymologies of 29 monikers that describe inhabitants of certain states across the country.

Some of these nicknames, like “Hoosiers” and “Arkies” (which denote residents of Indiana and Arkansas, respectively) may have slightly offensive connotations, while others—including "Buckeyes," "Jayhawks," "Butternuts," and "Tar Heels"—evoke the military histories of Ohio, Kansas, Tennessee, and North Carolina. And a few, like “Muskrats” and “Sourdoughs,” are even inspired by early foods eaten in Delaware and Alaska. ("Goober-grabber" sounds goofier, but it at least refers to peanuts, which are a common crop in Georgia, as well as North Carolina and Arkansas.)

Learn more fascinating facts about states' nicknames for their residents by watching the video above.

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