OfNoSi Newsletter: Of No Significance #3

Welcome to another edition of OfNoSi, TBQ’s official newsletter. 

First, a story from the world of internet.

Ben Silbermann, the founder of Pinterest walked around Palo Alto and said “Will you please use my product?” He also used to run around the Apple store in Palo Alto, and he would like set all the browsers to the Pinterest homepage real quick, before they caught him and kicked him out, (laughter) and so that when people walked in they were like “Oh, what’s this?”

Read more here.

Since it’s the season of bans, here’s one on those lines.

In 1931 it was banned by the Governor of Hunan Province in China on the grounds that “Animals should not use human language, and that it was disastrous to put animals and human beings on the same level.”

Guess the book? Answer here.

The Russians are crazy!

Before they climb the launch tower to board the Soyuz capsule that will take them into space, cosmonauts take a moment to stop at the right rear tire of the bus set to drive them to the launch site and … relieve themselves. No, really. Here’s a safe-for-work (though a bit crude) photo of the deed being done.

More on the superstitious Russian cosmonauts here.

See what this DIY dad did.

Choon Ng, a Malaysian immigrant, wasn’t even thinking about entering the toy market. He simply wanted to share the experience of making bracelets out of rubber bands with his daughters. But his fingers were too big.

Meet the man behind Rainbow Loom.

These guys sold air? That’s so not believable!

Company legend holds that a few years after Sealed Air was founded in 1960, an innovative marketer named Frederick W. Bowers finally found the true value in the cellular bubbles. IBM had just launched the 1401, one of the world’s first mass-produced business computers. Bowers showed IBM how Bubble Wrap could protect the 1401′s fragile innards in transit. “Serendipitously, Bubble Wrap and vacuum tubes met,” says Hickey.

More here

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OfNoSi Newsletter #2

Hello! Welcome to the second edition of Of No Significance, TBQ’s newsletter.
Without much ado, straight to the point. Here are some factoids.
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An 18th Century German, a Physics professor is the man behind standard paper sizes like A4.
One of the oldest written records regarding the sqrt(2) aspect ratio for paper sizes is a letter that the physics professor Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (University of Göttingen, Germany, 1742-1799) wrote 1786-10-25 to Johann Beckmann. In it, Lichtenberg explains the practical and aesthetic advantages of the sqrt(2) aspect ratio, and of his discovery that paper with that aspect ratio was commonly available at the time. Read more.

Delhi’s phat-phatiyas were based on Indian and Harley motorcycles.

The original Phat Phat Sewa vehicles (three-wheelers) got their name from the signature Harley engine rumble. Harley bikes came to India in large numbers after World War-II and many of their engines ended up in colourful motor-rickshaws. These were replaced after a Supreme Court ruling against polluting vehicles.

Read More: Herehere and here.

The LHB coaches manufactured by Kapurthala Coach factory traces its history to Germany.

The coaches manufactured under license from Alstom-owned Linke Hofmann Busch traces its history to 1839 when Gottfried Linke in Breslau received his first order: construction of 100 open railway freight cars. Read more

Belarus banned clapping in 2011. No, we are not making this up. If you litter, your car would be confiscated.

In 2011, protesters in Belarus adopted an uncommon way to protest Lukashenko’s policies: They clapped. Thousands of people were consequently arrested for applauding. One of those accused of having committed the offense had only one arm. He was fined anyway. Read more;
Here’s another link

Thomas Edison Films Boxing Cats In What Might Be The First Cat Video Ever

We know Thomas Edison to be the inventor of many modern commodities, but here’s one invention you probably didn’t know was on his list: the cat video.Read more.

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OfNoSi Newsletter #1

Everything below is of no significance.

Hello! Welcome to The Business Quiz’s newsletter — somethings that are absolutely of no significance.
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Volkart Brothers (of Voltas fame) used to do pepper and coffee business with Cochin, and Tellicherry.

Business in Cochin temporarily came to an end after the Markar affair. In 1875 Georg G. Volkart, the son of Salomon Volkart, visited Cochin and decided ‘on doing what should have been done long before’, namely, as Ammann reported, on visiting ‘the Coast-ports and on seeing himself what the conditions and business possibilities were in what had been up to then terra incognita for the firm’s’ representatives at Cochin’. This trip, on which Georg G. Volkart was accompanied by Ammann, was a revelation. Ammann recalled their arrival in Tellicherry, a coastal town in the north of Cochin: ‘The w:hole place was full of coffee and pepper, with crowds of Natives of both sexes sorting, garbling and packing the goods and a gang of coolies carrying the bags across the beach to the cargo-boats’ (Figure 4.5). As a consequence, Volkart decided to open up an additional branch in Tellicherry, with Ammann as its first manager, and to begin to purchase both upcountry and on the coast in the north of Cochin.58 Yet even at the new branch in Tellicherry the purchase of goods did not work without the help of indigenous middlemen. In 1886, Volkart established the Coffee Curing Works in Tellicherry to prepare coffee beans for transport to Europe, but it proved difficult to guarantee a sufficient supply of coffee and Volkart considered closing it again. Its long-term
future was only assured when members of the Cooty family of Moplah merchants were employed as brokers. The sons of the family worked as buying agents upcountry during the season and became successful in supplying Volkart with enough coffee and other merchandise. This cooperation was so satisfactory that it continued up until the 1960s.
Tatas got into a partnership with Volkart Brothers much later, and was born Voltas.

Seen ?_? on the interwebz? What’s the funda?

The unicode character “?” comes from the letter “?ha” in Kannada, one of the major Dravidian languages of India that is influenced by Sanskrit. Despite its origin, the character has been used as an emoticon primarily outside of India. According to Lurkmore Wiki, the earliest use of ?_? began on the Japanese imageboard site 2channel and eventually spread across other languages, most notably on 4chan.

Karnataka Govt.had once founded a razor blade company along with the RPG group!

In the late 1970s, Karnataka Govt began negotiations with Wilkinson Swords of Englad to set up a razor blade company in India. The company was formed with the RPG Group, and was called the Karnataka Blades Pvt. Ltd.

The East India Company ran a college.

The Company also established a feeder college—Haileybury—so that it could recruit bright schoolboys and train them to flourish in, and run, India. These high-minded civil servants both prolonged the Company’s life when Victorian opinion was turning ever more strongly against it and also provided a model for the Indian and domestic civil service.

Read more


Benjamin Franklin was not allowed to draft the Declaration of Independence document. Why?


Returning to America, he advanced to the forefront of the Patriot cause as a member of the Continental Congress (1775-76). He served on the committee that drafted the Declaration of Independence. (It has been said that he was not chosen to draft the document for fear that he might conceal a joke in it.)

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