From World Cup Trophy Capers to Violin Design: This Week’s Curios


Every day of the year, CEO Justin Kitch writes a quirky fact, known as the Daily Curio, intended to tickle the brains of lifelong learners everywhere. This is a weekly digest.

Last week’s Curios covered Excel art, dark matter, and how soccer’s most prized trophy went missing.

Curio No. 948 | The wild history of the Jules Rimet trophy
When Frenchman Jules Rimet created the World Cup in 1929, he needed a trophy. So he commissioned a Parisian sculptor to make a 14-inch gilded statuette depicting the Greek goddess Nike atop a pedestal. The Rimet Trophy was awarded to the inaugural winner Uruguay in 1930. And every winner since. Until 1970, when it was permanently given to Brazil for winning the competition for a third time–as Rimet had declared should happen. But did the Brazilians receive the real Rimet Trophy? It’s unclear. By then it had been on quite a journey… keep reading.

Curio No. 947 | A truly powerful lake
Consider this smelly problem. Between the Congo and Rwanda sits Lake Kivu, one of Africa’s largest lakes. It’s also one of only three lakes in the world known to have limnic eruptions, or lake explosions. A limnic eruption has only been observed twice, but scientists think they understand the phenomenon: 1) the lake water contains high concentrations of gas (usually C02) in a deep layer and 2) the lake is meromictic, which means… keep reading.

Curio No. 946 | The day art defeated Congress
These days, it’s pretty hard to get the US Congress to do anything. Let alone reroute nuclear waste. But that’s exactly what a sculpture by Michael Heizer did last year. To be fair, it’s a pretty big sculpture. Called City, the sculpture has been called “the largest piece of contemporary art ever attempted.” It’s actually a collection —> Read More