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11 Things We Didn't Know Last Week

News, discoveries and ... fun

Tallest and shortest man, Guinness Record Holders

1. The world's shortest man and tallest man both have struggled with being unique. (Learn more at Guinness World Records)

2. Iowa City, Iowa, is the most age-friendly small town in the United States. (Learn more at AARP)

Iowa City, Iowa

3. Your physically accurate digital avatar can be used to get custom-tailored clothes.  (Learn more at Wired)

Body avatar from Body Labs

>> 10 Foods to Avoid Before Boarding a Plane

4. Japan's new bullet train travels up to 311 mph, about twice as fast as any U.S. train. (Learn more at Vox)

5. Daily aspirin might not protect against your first heart attack after all. (Learn more at AARP)

Two white aspirin tablets

6. A TV news anchor wore the same suit every day for a year and nobody noticed. (Learn more at The Guardian)

Australian News Anchor in Blue Suit

7. The world's first international brand of legally distributed cannabis products is named after reggae star Bob Marley. (Learn more at The Verge)

Marley Natural Cannabis Products

8. Female fruit flies can find "Mr. Right" in just 15 minutes. (Learn more at Case Western Reserve University via Futurity)

9. NASA plans to email files for spare parts through space and produce them on 3D printers. (Learn more at CNET)

Installing 3D Printer on International Space Station
Installing 3D printer on the International Space Station

>> Get travel discounts with your AARP Member Advantages.

10. Fewer than 35 children of Civil War veterans are still living. (Learn more at National Geographic)

Civil war soldier

11. "Vape" – a verb and noun related to electronic cigarettes – is the word of the year. (Learn more at NPR)


Bonus video: With the polar vortex slashing through many parts of the U.S. — hello, Buffalo! — there's nothing to say but "Baby, It's Cold Outside." This video features the voices of Michael Bublé and Adele Dazeem — uh, Idina Menzel, from her new album Holiday Wishes.

Learn something this week? Mail your ideas to, and we’ll try to include your story next time.

On Twitter, we’re using the hashtag #11things.

Let us read 11 Things to you:

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Images — Tallest man and shortest man: Courtesy of Guinness World Records; Iowa City: Courtesy of Milken Institute; Digital avatar: Body Labs; Aspirin: iStock/sd619; Australian news anchor: 9NewsAustralia via YouTube; Marley and cannabis: Marley Natural video; 3D printer: NASA TV; Union soldier: Library of Congress, Liljenquist Family Collection

Music – Holiday Wishes, Idina Menzel: "Baby It's Cold Outside"; Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra plays Jimmie Lunceford and his Orchestra – Blue Blazes by Sy Oliver, Creative Commons, courtesy of Smithsonian Remix project

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