A list of curious facts
One: Did you know that NASCAR—the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing—was birthed by illegal hooch? Back in the days of Prohibition, moonshine suppliers sent the booze to their customers in specially designed cars:
On the outside, the cars looked “stock,” normal enough to avoid attention. But inside, both the mechanics of the cars and the drivers behind the wheel were far from ordinary. The vehicles were outfitted with heavy-duty shocks and springs, safeguarding the jars containing the hooch from breaking on bumpy mountain roads. The seats in the back were usually removed so more booze could fit. And high-powered engines gave the cars extra speed to outrun any cops and tax agents along the route.
The drivers drove with great skill and speed to elude pursuing cops—but found themselves out of a job when liquor became legal. The result: in 1947, one of these ‘runners’ got the others together and established the premier motorsport in the US. The lead image is a good-looking restored version of these moonshine cars. Below is a photo of these daredevil whiskey drivers:) (Smithsonian Magazine)
Two: US airlines are cracking down on ‘skiplagging’—a sneaky trick used by passengers to bag a cheaper ticket. Here’s how it works. As you know, direct flights cost more than ones with layovers. So you deliberately pick a flight whose layover city is your actual destination—and get off with no intention of completing the flight. Of course, this would never work in India since there is always a pesky airline attendant checking your boarding pass as you get off the plane. But in the US, there is an entire website Skiplagged.com dedicated to exposing “loopholes in airfare pricing to save you money.”
Although airlines have been unsuccessful in suing the website, you should know that they can get mean if they catch you in the act. A teenager was recently held and grilled by airline security—who then forced his parents to buy a direct flight. (Independent)
Three: As you know, we have a soft spot for terrible fashion trends. Today, we bring you the Canadian tuxedo—a polite name for the dreadful habit of wearing denim-on-denim. As Vogue puts it, “It’s never a question of ‘if’ one should swathe themselves in the fabric, but rather ‘how’ it should be worn.” Apparently, Beyoncé’s answer is ‘insane amounts of bling’—no, Bee, diamonds are not denim’s best friend.
The interesting bit is that there is nothing Canadian about this look:
In 1951, “King of Croon” Bing Crosby tried to check into an upscale Vancouver hotel while wearing his favourite pair of Levi’s and a matching denim shirt. Unimpressed with the casualness of his attire compared to the formalness of other suit-clad guests, a naive desk clerk turned him away. When Levi Strauss & Co. heard about the incident, they designed a bespoke jean tux for Crosby, dubbing it the Canadian tuxedo after the country that prompted its creation.