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The distinctive nose of the Shinkansen 500 bullet train prevents sonic booms whenever it exits a tunnel and was discovered when scientists studied the shape of a kingfisher's beak to learn how it hit the water at high speed

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During the opening ceremony of Ottawa international Airport’s new terminal in 1959 a USAF F-104 Starfighter did a supersonic flypast. The resulting sonic boom shattered nearly all the glass in the airport and caused significant structural damage, delaying the opening for another year.

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  1. In 2003, an F-16 patroling in Iraq was called in to assist British special force troops ambushed by Iraqis. Because it was night-time, the pilot can't drop his bombs without hitting the British. So he dived and pulled his jet up, forming a sonic boom that hit the Iraqis, causing them to flee.

  2. Sometime in 1981, President Ronald Reagan ordered an SR-71 to spy on a secret North Korean conference, not because there was anything to learn, but because the repeated sonic booms would interrupt the conference and there wasn't a weapon on earth which could shoot the craft down.

  3. The US Navy used to forbid "obscene" tattoos, which led to a boom in tattoos of nude women among men who didn't want to serve. If they joined the navy later, they had to have a tattoo artist "dress" the woman.

  4. After its tourism sector boomed, Kazakhstan's foreign minister thanked Sacha Baron Cohen in 2012 for the release of Borat after the country saw a 10x increase in issued visas.

  5. While projections show Islam and Christianity having population booms into 2050, atheism is expected to dwindle as time goes on. The main reason is atheists have extremely low fertility rates in comparison to Christians and Muslims.

  6. Ronald Reagan removed the regulation against product placement in children's shows, helping create the 80's cartoon boom with shows like Gi Joe, My little Pony, and Transformers.

  7. Victorinox have never laid off an employee. To avoid this they set aside profits during boom periods to supplement any recession, they also temporarily contract employees to other companies. In 2009, Victorinox had over 100 employees that had been with the company for more than 40 years.

  8. The 20,000 landmines used during the Britain/Argentina conflict over the Falklands have led to a booming population of penguins. Cows and humans avoid the fenced-off fields, but penguins are too light to set off the mines. The deadly fields have turned into penguin sanctuaries.

  9. A car crashed through the front window of the struggling Cape Cod Potato Chips store in 1980, almost hitting the owner’s daughter. The subsequent insurance payment and publicity from the accident helped tide the company over until the following summer, by which time business was booming.

  10. Knife manufacturer, Victorinox, claims never to have had to lay off an employee. To avoid this they set aside profits during boom periods to supplement recessionary periods, as well as temporarily contracting employees to other companies as outsourced labour during recessions.

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Boom Boom data charts

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boom boom fact data chart about A #dataviz of the dot com boom. One year (12 issues) of @wir
A #dataviz of the dot com boom. One year (12 issues) of @wired magazine. Year 2000 on the left, 2015 on the right.

boom boom fact data chart about In every year since 1988, even the most powerful years of th
In every year since 1988, even the most powerful years of the 1990s stock market boom, the market registered at least three down months. This year, there have been none.

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The birth rate in Japan is so low, and the boom of senior citizens so huge, that adult diapers have outsold baby diapers for the last 6 years.

Denver Bronco's quarterback Peyton Manning bought 21 Papa Johns franchises in Colorado before marijuana was legalized. He credits the law change with his now booming business. - source

Soviets were so helpless against the SR71-"Blackbird" that Reagan sent some to secret Soviet meetings, creating sonic booms and drawing figure eights over, letting them know they were being watched and can't do a thing about it. - source

An experiment gave mice a utopia with social roles to all, no predators and unlimited food. After population boomed reproduction gradually stopped, they became aggressive, isolated themselves and total breakdown in social structures led extinction. Researchers compared it to trends in mankind.

There is a whiskey boom in the state of Washington. Coupled with its more lax distilling laws, WA is very similar to Scotland with its wet, temperate climate and arable coastal locations that make for an ideal place to grow barley for whiskey. - source

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The Diplodocus could whip its tail so fast it would break the sound barrier, producing a canon-like boom.


China invented fireworks, but Italy gave them color. Colors are created using metallic powders. Calcium makes orange, sodium makes yellow, and barium makes green. Also, cylindrical tubes create whistling sounds, aluminum flakes make hissing noises, and flash powder makes the loud “booms.”

It is estimated that by 2030, most 8-year-olds will have at least one living great-grandparent. But the boom will not last, due to today's trend of delayed childbirth pushing back the age of becoming a grandparent

Portland Oregon's first bicycling boom ended starting in 1900 when a group of prostitutes began to ride them and solicit customers on their rides about town. Soon women riding bikes were assumed to be prostitutes and other women stopped riding.

The fuzzy bit on a boom microphone is actually called a "Dead Cat."

The tallest building in Korea is not in super-booming South Korea, but in North Korea. The RyuGyong Hotel.

Boom boom infographics

Beautiful visual representation of Boom Boom numbers and stats to get perspecive of the whole story.

boom boom fact infographic about The Booms and Busts of American Home Prices

The Booms and Busts of American Home Prices

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Manaus, a Brazilian city of 2 million people deep in the Amazon Rainforest. It was once a notoriously extravagant rubber boom town in the 1800s. An opera house was built with European marble & crystal. One visiting opera troupe had half of its performers die from yellow fever in one season.

There are Catholic Patron Saints for caterpillars, astronauts, hardware stores, invincible people, things that go BOOM, the fear of wasps, coffee houses, unattractive people, TV writers, taking exams, and the Internet

The crunch sound of food is made by mini sonic booms; breaking at 300 meters per second or faster.

A whip makes its cracking noise because the whip's tip breaks the sound barrier and what you hear is actually a small sonic boom.

The crack of the Apatosaurus dinosaur's tail tip would have released 2,000 times more energy than comes off a bullwhip, and the sound would have been over 200 decibels, a cannonlike boom traveling across the Mesozoic landscape for miles. This ability is believed to be due to sexual selection.

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In 2014 a man maced a Gamestop employee because Sonic the Hedgehog's arms were blue rather than flesh coloured in Sonic Boom

A USAF tanker used its fuel boom to tow an F-4 Phantom to safety after the fighter lost engine power flying over the Atlantic

Eiji Nakatsu, a Japanese engineer, redesigned a high-speed bullet train to be shaped like the bill of the kingfisher bird---thereby reducing its sonic boom effect, and allowing the train to run at higher speeds and still adhere to the standard noise level of 70 dBa.

That, after martial arts, parkour is booming amongst Iranian women, who are often seen practising various jumps and rolls while still wearing the mandatory hijab

The XF-84H "Thunderscreech", an experimental propeller aircraft whose rotors moved at supersonic speeds and created continuous sonic booms visible from hundreds of yards away which were powerful enough to cause severe nausea, headaches, and even knock people to the ground.

About an explosion that incinerated an entire valley and killed 500 people. Authorities ignored a gas leak, instead pumping more through the pipeline, which filled the valley with explosive methane until a passing train ignited it. Boom.

The bang you hear when a balloon pops is a sonic boom created by the rips in the rubber, which travel faster than the speed of sound.

The Millennial Generation is the largest in U.S. history, even larger than the Baby Boom Generation

Street vendors in East Asia have a very different way of making popcorn than in the West. They put kernels in a rotating steel pressure chamber over an open flame called a "popcorn hammer." Upon opening, all of the kernels pop at the same time with a huge "BOOM" that also serves as advertising.

In 1964 the FAA, wanting to find out whether the population of a city would tolerate regular sonic booms, got the air force to make multiple daily supersonic flights over Oklahoma City for six months

The "electrolaser", a real world directed-energy weapon which fires laser-guided lightning bolts. When fired, a laser forms a channel of supercharged plasma out of the surrounding air, creating a path for the lightning and also causing a sonic boom.

More babies were born in the United States in 2007 than any other year in the nation's history. The 4,317,119 births topped a record first set in 1957 at the height of the baby boom.

in 2014 the US finished it’s largest dam removal in history on the Elwha river in Washington state. The once dammed reservoir of over 100 years, now flows freely and is once again booming with salmon, birds, moose, and even new beaches being formed by sediment!

Three SR-71's flew over the Hanoi Hilton during the Viet Nam war - their sonic booms "the sound of thunder" to alert Vice Admiral Stockdale that if he could escape, Navy SEALs were waiting to rescue him

Downton Abbey became a popular show in China, and inspired a hiring boom in English-style butlers among the wealthy there. A similar boom for butlers occurred in Russia and other countries.

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