Research is an integral part of the life of any reporter, but what the general public may not realize is much of that fact-finding never finds its way into print.
Here are some examples of information I have recently come across that I had no need for in stories, but feel it is worthwhile to share:
º A McDonald's restaurant can be found on every continent except Antarctica.
My initial reaction: What, the Antarcticans don't appreciate a Big Mac?
º Snails can have up to 14,000 teeth, and some can even kill you.
My initial reaction: I've never touched a snail in my life, nor to intend to start any time soon.
º Even though Froot Loops are different colors, they all have exactly the same flavor.
My initial reaction: I still like the red ones best.
º Most toilet paper sold for home use in France is pink.
My initial reaction: I have never seen pink toilet paper, nor do I ever plan to visit France. I haven't flown since 1969, and I am not planning to in the foreseeable future, especially over as large a body of water as would be required to reach France and inspect the pink toilet paper.
º It took the creator of the Rubik's Cube, Erno Rubik, one month to solve the cube after he created it. As of June 2018, the world record stood at 4.22 seconds.
My initial reaction: I could work at solving the Rubik's Cube for 4.22 years and would not even be close to success. I'm also not real talented at solving those tabletop puzzles with a thousand pieces.
º The most popular item at Walmart is reportedly bananas. Walmart sells more bananas than any other single item in stock.
My initial reaction: I'm betting those packages of either 10 six-ounce cans of soft drinks are runner-up. I love those little things.
º "The Flintstones" was the most profitable network cartoon in history before "The Simpsons" came along.
My initial reaction: I watched "The Flintstones" growing up and "The Simpsons" as an adult. Bart and Homer are definitely funnier than Fred and Barney.
º If you made $1 every second, it would take you more than 2,900 years to have more money than Bill Gates, who is worth an estimated $90-plus billion.
My initial reaction: Bill might have all those bucks, but I bet I have a better baseball card collection.
º The word "almost" is the longest word in the English language to have all of its letters in alphabetical order.
My initial reaction: I'm taking their word on this one.
º In Liechtenstein, a European principality of about 38,000 people, between the hours of noon and 1:30 p.m. each day the entire nation is out to lunch. During this period, you must not mow the lawn or engage in any other noisy behavior. It's legally mandated relaxation time.
My initial reaction: Obviously, I've never been there, but I can honestly say I'm sure I would love Liechtenstein.