As we grow older, we tend to familiarize ourselves with factoids from various fields. This habit is a natural process since knowing things can help us make quick decisions at a time of need. Likewise, there are some people who stick with the same job all their lives. During that period, they tend to learn and understand things that is not known by others outside of the field. For instance, did you know that Starbucks spends more money on healthcare for its employees than they do on coffee? Here, we have gathered a list of some interesting facts, that are common knowledge to people who work in the profession, but not others.
1. The toner in your laser printer is basically plastic being melted onto the paper.
The toner cartridge is basically a module that holds a powder mixture used in laser printers. The entire printing system revolves around the toner and how it transfers the mixture of certain colors to the paper. When we press “print”, the printer has a drum which is coated with a semiconductor like selenium. A negative charge is applied to the drum and is then exposed to the laser pointer, which projects a reflection of the image. Thus, the area exposed to the laser becomes positively charged and as the drum rotates, the negatively charged toner sticks to the drum, which then transfers to the paper.
After the process is completed, the paper passes through a fusing assembly, which melts the plastic toner onto the paper. The toner used in laser printers is basically 85 to 95% plastic, which is refined into a fine powder. Depending on how fine the powder is, the quality of the image or the resolution increases. (source)
2. Lightning strikes on commercial planes are daily occurrences and are not as risky as people believe them to be. In fact, airplanes are designed to withstand lightning strikes, and in most cases, the aircraft is either unharmed or sustains only minor damage.
In the US alone, lightning strikes occur more than 25 million times a year, according to the National Weather Service. At any given moment there are about 5,000 commercial airplanes in the sky over the United States and some of them are bound to pass through storms. During this process, it is not uncommon for airplanes to be struck by a lightning. While many people consider this to be a serious issue, according to experts, it’s nothing we need to worry about. Standard commercial airplanes are designed to withstand lightning strikes and most electrical equipment is carefully grounded to prevent the formation of electric arcs.
According to Prof. John Hansman, professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics and director of the International Center for Air Transportation at MIT, lightning strikes usually occur at the sharp edge of a plane, like a wingtip or nose, and exits via the tail. The reason why this happens is because the aircraft’s fuselage, or body, acts as a Faraday cage. Sometimes lightning strikes can leave a mark on the entry and exit points but other than that, they are harmless. For safety reasons, aircrafts that are exposed to lightning strikes mid-flight undergo inspections once they land. (source)
3. Manufacturers use the term “military grade” too often to sell their products. The term however, only means that the manufacturer used some loosely established criteria to conduct their own product tests, but not the testing criteria set forth by the U.S. Military.
In order to attract new customers and to get more sales, manufacturers often have the habit of using the term “military grade” on their products. Today, there’s a wide variety of products that are marked as military grade and made available to the public. While the term makes us believe that it is of highest quality, the truth is far from that. Military grade is a loosely used term, which simply means that a manufacturer was able to meet the minimum stated requirements at the lowest unit price. So, the term does not mean that a product sold is tested under the criteria set forth by the U.S. Military, and can almost mean nothing at all. (source)
4. Many 911 calls made are non-emergencies, which are unintentional, by pranksters, or by people who call to complain about unnecessary things. This takes away valuable resources from those who desperately need them.
The 911 emergency number was established in 1967, and since then, it has saved countless lives. According to the National Emergency Number Association (NENA), an estimated 240 million calls are made to 911 each year. A Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) report shows that 15–20% of incoming 911 calls are non-emergencies. These are either calls made unintentionally, by pranksters, or by people who call to complain about the local McDonald’s that shorted them a nugget. Every year, thousands of non-emergency calls are made to 911. One such non-emergency call was made by a man who called to complain about a Subway sandwich shop in Florida that forgot mayo and mustard on his order.
In June 5, 2019, a Louisiana woman called 911 to complain that Taco Bell had ran out of tacos and that she was unsatisfied with their service. Such calls take valuable resources and time away from those who are desperately in need of it. In California, as many as 45% of the more than 8 million cell phone calls to 911 each year are for non-emergencies. This is one of the main reasons why authorities take swift action against those who misuse it. (source)
5. Starbucks spends more on health care for its employees than it does on coffee.
Today, not only are there over 14,000 Starbucks locations in the United States, but there are also more than 14,000 Starbucks locations outside of the U.S. As of 2018, Starbucks had 291,000 employees working at its stores all over the world. The company provides affordable and comprehensive health coverage to eligible full and part-time employees. According to the company, Starbucks funds approximately 70% of the premium costs and covers 100 percent of preventive care services. (source)
6. In the US, there is an annual roadcheck week, which is a three-day event where CVSA (Commercial Vehicle Safety Association) inspectors examine as many vehicles as possible. The event focuses on motor carriers, vehicles, and drivers, to ensure that proper safety standards are being followed.
International Roadcheck is the world’s largest targeted enforcement program that focuses on commercial motor vehicles. The three day event is utilized by CVSA to examine an average of 17 trucks, buses and cars, every minute in Canada, the United States, and Mexico. The 37-step inspection procedure makes sure that there is nothing wrong with the vehicles or the drivers. Since the program began in 1998, 21.5% of vehicles and 3.4% of drivers were taken out of service because they failed the inspections and had repeated violations. While the inspection certainly ensures the safety of both the drivers and their vehicles, it also creates traffic. For this exact reason, many long haul drivers take their vacation during the international roadcheck period to avoid the hassle. (source)
7. Hollywood movies often portray elevators going downward in case of failure. This is actually wrong since the counter weights and the way they are designed will actually make them go up to the top of the hoist.
Elevators can be the worst place for someone who has acrophobia; an extreme or irrational fear or phobia of heights, and claustrophobia; the fear of being in a small space or room. Hollywood movies often portray elevators to be descending to the lowest floor at a high rate of speed, in the case of a gear failure. This however, is not always true, since the counter weights will cause the elevator to rise to the top of the hoist, instead of going down. Elevators are also equipped with a failsafe brake system that activates if the cables fail. The multiple brake system will not only slow down the descent, but will also safely hold the elevator at the point it stops. Only in extremely rare conditions do elevators descend rapidly. (source)
8. Museums are keeping a ton of the world’s most famous art locked away in storage. In fact, only about 10% of the whole collection is displayed or made available to the public.
There are approximately 55,000 museums in the world that host some of the biggest art collections. While museums display art, they don’t always showcase their entire collection. It is estimated that only about 10% of the total collection is displayed in a museum for the public to enjoy. A recent survey found that 155 Claude Monet works are displayed in museums across the globe, while 63 such works of art are hidden away in a locker. The same survey found that 139 Pablo Picasso paintings are on display, whereas 108 are locked away.
The reason could be limited physical space or to ensure that the art is preserved forever, since some artwork requires that they be kept in temperature controlled rooms. The Louvre Museum in Paris, France, has over 460,000 items in their collection, but due to limited space, only about 35,000 of those (roughly 7.6% of their total collection) is on display. (source)
9. You’re paying more for your to-go cup than for the java inside it.
Coffee is undoubtedly the most popular beverage in the world, with more than 400 billion cups consumed each year. In the United States alone, more than 450 million cups of coffee are consumed every day. As it turns out, we are paying more for the to-go cup than for the java inside it. According to an analysis from Allegra Strategies, the average price of a medium cappuccino in the UK was about $3.52. Of that, $0.12 covered the cost of the beans, $0.25 from the purchase went toward the cup, lid and stirrer, as well as napkins and sugar. Another $0.12 went toward the milk in the cappuccino. $0.88 went towards paying the baristas and coffee shop staff, while the companies pocket about $0.46 (13%) of each cup as profit. (source)
10. When you delete a file from your hard drive, only the information on how to reach these memory slots are deleted. The raw information remains until they are overwritten by other files.
It is commonly believed that deleting a file means it is permanently erased from the hard drive. When you a delete a file, it isn’t really erased and continues existing on your hard drive, even after you empty the recycle bin. This is one of the reasons why data recovery softwares can recover the accidentally deleted files from your hard drive. When we delete a file, the pointer that tells Windows or macOS where the file’s data begins and ends is the only thing removed. Until the operating system actually writes new data over the sectors containing the already present content, files are still recoverable. (source)