15 Things You Might Not Know About North Dakota


1. North Dakota is the happiest state in America, according to a 2013 Gallup poll. The survey uses six sub-indexes to measure happiness: life evaluation, emotional health, work environment, physical health, healthy behaviors, and access to basic necessities. In addition to ranking first overall, North Dakota also ranked first in the categories of work environment and physical health.

2. In terms of petroleum, North Dakota is the country's second-largest oil-producing state—in 2014, it celebrated the production of 1 million barrels of oil per day. In addition to petroleum (what we usually think of when we think of oil), the state accounts for 87 percent of the nation’s flaxseed, 75 percent of our canola, and 31 percent of our total sunflower oil supply.

3. North Dakota is currently leading the nation in growth of millionaires per capita.  In 2013, the state added 1,800 new millionaire households to its population of 294,000 households. Experts attribute this economic growth to the energy boom. 

4. Another consequence of the oil boom: North Dakota has one of the highest young-men-to-young-women ratios in the country. In the biggest oil boom counties, for every woman between the ages of 25 and 33, there are 1.6 men.

5. Mr. Bubble Day is an official state holiday in North Dakota. The holiday, which was proclaimed on August 30, 2011, celebrates “the entrepreneurial spirit of Harold Schafer and the Gold Seal Company,” creators of Mr. Bubble bubble bath in North Dakota in 1961.

6. No one knows for sure which Dakota is older. President Benjamin Harrison signed the admission papers on the same day and then shuffled them so that no one would know which state was admitted first. They are usually ranked alphabetically, making North Dakota the 39th state and South Dakota number 40.

7. The North Dakota legislature has rejected two proposals to drop “North” from the state’s name. The first attempt was defeated by the 1947 Legislative Assembly. And in 1989, the legislature rejected another two resolutions attempting to rename the state Dakota.

8. The U.S. Corps of Discovery, better known as the Lewis and Clark Expedition, spent more time in North Dakota than in any other state on their journey. 

9. What’s in a nickname? North Dakota has three: the Peace Garden State, the Roughrider State, and the Flickertail State. The first refers to the International Peace Garden, a park that straddles the boundary between North Dakota and Canada. The Roughrider State refers to the U.S. Volunteer Cavalry, which Theodore Roosevelt organized to fight in the Spanish-American War. The "Roughriders" included several North Dakota cowboys—including Roosevelt himself (Teddy had a ranch near the town of Medora, North Dakota). Finally, the Flickertail State pays homage to the Richardson ground squirrels that are native to the state. The animal is known for flicking or jerking its tail while running or entering its burrow.

10. A sizable portion of North Dakota’s population has Scandinavian heritage. Immigrants from Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, and Iceland, who migrated to North Dakota after land became available under the Homestead Act, used to make up the state’s largest ethnic group

11. In North Dakota you can visit the world’s largest Holstein cow statue and the world’s largest buffalo.

12. The Great Pyramids in Egypt get all the attention, but North Dakota has one of its very own. A large pyramid was built in Nekoma, North Dakota, in the mid 1960s as part of the Safeguard Program to shoot down intercontinental ballistic missiles. It’s equipped with a radar system and surrounded by a complex of missile silos. While the complex cost six billion dollars to build, it was shut down after only three days due to safety concerns.

13. North Dakota is home to a real-live Hamburgler. Last year, a Bismarck woman reported that someone had broken into her house. At first, nothing appeared to be stolen, but the house smelled strongly of bacon. Upon closer inspection, she saw that three cans of Bud Light were missing from her fridge.

14. North Dakota is the nation’s largest producer of honey. In 2012, the state produced over 34 million pounds of honey, valued at over $64 million.

15. The town of Garrison holds an annual Dickens Festival. The festival takes place shortly before Christmas every year, in honor of A Christmas Carol. Locals dress up like characters from the novel and watch an amateur theater troupe perform various renditions of the play.   

Kodak’s New Cameras Don't Just Take Photos—They Also Print Them

Your Instagram account wishes it had this clout.
Your Instagram account wishes it had this clout.

Snapping a photo and immediately sharing it on social media is definitely convenient, but there’s still something so satisfying about having the printed photo—like you’re actually holding the memory in your hands. Kodak’s new STEP cameras now offer the best of both worlds.

As its name implies, the Kodak STEP Instant Print Digital Camera, available for $70 on Amazon, lets you take a picture and print it out on that very same device. Not only do you get to skip the irksome process of uploading photos to your computer and printing them on your bulky, non-portable printer (or worse yet, having to wait for your local pharmacy to print them for you), but you never need to bother with ink cartridges or toner, either. The Kodak STEP comes with special 2-inch-by-3-inch printing paper inlaid with color crystals that bring your image to life. There’s also an adhesive layer on the back, so you can easily stick your photos to laptop covers, scrapbooks, or whatever else could use a little adornment.

There's a 10-second self-timer, so you don't have to ask strangers to take your group photos.Kodak

For those of you who want to give your photos some added flair, you might like the Kodak STEP Touch, available for $130 from Amazon. It’s similar to the regular Kodak STEP, but the LCD touch screen allows you to edit your photos before you print them; you can also shoot short videos and even share your content straight to social media.

If you want to print photos from your smartphone gallery, there's the Kodak STEP Instant Mobile Photo Printer. This portable $80 printer connects to any iOS or Android device with Bluetooth capabilities and can print whatever photos you send to it.

The Kodak STEP Instant Mobile Photo Printer connects to an app that allows you to add filters and other effects to your photos. Kodak

All three Kodak STEP devices come with some of that magical printer paper, but you can order additional refills, too—a 20-sheet set costs $8 on Amazon.

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13 Inventors Killed By Their Own Inventions

Would you fly in this?
Would you fly in this?

As it turns out, being destroyed by the very thing you create is not only applicable to the sentient machines and laboratory monsters of science fiction.

In this episode of The List Show, Mental Floss editor-in-chief Erin McCarthy takes us on a sometimes tragic, always fascinating journey through the history of invention, highlighting 13 unfortunate innovators whose brilliant schemes brought about their own demise. Along the way, you’ll meet Henry Winstanley, who constructed a lighthouse in the English Channel that was swept out to sea during a storm … with its maker inside. You’ll also hear about stuntman Karel Soucek, who was pushed from the roof of the Houston Astrodome in a custom-designed barrel that landed off-target, fatally injuring its occupant.

And by the end of the episode, you just might be second-guessing your secret plan to quit your day job and become the world’s most daredevilish inventor.

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