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The Origin of Bungee Jumping, As Told by One of Its Pioneers

Before it became a common bucket list to-do, modern bungee jumping was just something that a few daredevils in New Zealand did for fun. Co-creator Chris Sigglekow recently sat down with the filmmakers at Loading Docs to talk about how the activity evolved over nearly four decades.

In 1989, Sigglekow came up with the idea to remove the exterior sheath from a shock cord, exposing the rubber inside. He then used that as an elastic cable for bridge jumping—an idea that he admits he barely tested. In the video above posted by Great Big Story, Sigglekow says that he only conducted one trial, using a potato sack full of rocks, and it did not go very well.

"It just hit the water, split, dropping all the stones...and that was our test," he says. After that, Sigglekow tried out the new bungee cable himself. He hit the water pretty hard, but luckily he did not suffer the same fate as the sack.

As time went on, the bridges that his crew jumped from got higher and higher, as did the stakes. "Newtonian physics had been thrown out the window," Sigglekow told Loading Docs. He also shares a story about a run-in with the police that sparked media attention and led to the growth of bungee in New Zealand and around the world. Check out the short film above to see actual footage from the earliest jumps and to hear more from Chris Sigglekow.

[h/t Great Big Story]

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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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