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Shaking It For $100,000 Bills

Happy HumpDay!

Happy HumpDay! Another week, another great edition of the HumpDay Newsletter to brighten up your week and sharpen your mind! As always, check out the HumpDay website at HumpDayNewsletter.com and follow the official HumpDay Instagram!


Crime & Punishment Going through security at the airport is a pain. Between taking off your shoes, emptying your pockets, and potentially getting pat down by a TSA agent, its no one’s favorite part of a vacation. One thing that people often criticize airport security for is the policy on liquids. TSA policy states that all liquids and gels must be limited to three-ounce containers that fit within a one quart clear bag. It turns out, TSA’s rule for liquids actually comes from a traumatic experience and scientific research.

In August 2006, homeland security thwarted a terrorist plot that featured a chemical bomb made from liquids that were brought into the airport. Coming just 5 years after 9/11, homeland security considered banning bringing liquids on planes all together. Trying not to overact, the government commissioned laboratory studies to find a solution that will ensure safety and allow patients to bring liquids on a airplane.

After multiple studies, it was found that liquids were a problem but that there was a creative solution. It turns out that the volume of liquid inside a container is vital to making a lethal weapon. Through trial and error, officials discovered that limiting liquids to multiple 3-ounce bottles and limiting the quantity to than one quart would prevent limit liquids enough that any harmful material would not be lethal.

Even though limiting your toothpaste and shampoo is annoying, we should be glad that someone figured out a solution so we can still bring any liquids onto planes.

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Economics

As a wise man once said, “It’s all about the Benjamins baby!”. While having a stack of $100 bills may seem cool in rap videos and heist movies, Benjamins are chump change compared to the kind of bills that are out there in the U.S.A.

Today, the $100 bill is the largest denomination in circulation, but for most of U.S. history there were larger bills than the $100, and some that were much larger. From 1862-1928 the U.S. Mint printed a $500 bill and a $1,000 bill that was reserved for only the ultra-wealthy ($1,000 in 1928 is equal to $15,000 today). There were also even bigger denominations of $5,000 and $10,000 that were rarely held by the public since a very select few had the funds to require a bill that large. Even though people couldn’t afford those bills, the government continued to print even bigger bills.

In 1934, during the great depression, the U.S. Mint spent three weeks printing $100,000 bills ($2 million in todays dollars). The bills had 28th President Woodrow Wilson printed on them and they were roughly the same size as a regular dollar bill, making them easy to lose. Fortunately, none of these enormously valuable bills were every lost because they were reserved strictly for transfers between federal banks. Instead of shipping piles of cash from the Federal Bank in San Francisco to Federal Bank in New York, the banks would instead exchange a smaller amount of more valuable bills since it was much more practical.

The bills were only printed for a short time and were never distributed to the public and there are no known $100,000 bills in existence. It is believed that they were all retired in 1969 when the government decided to move away large bills and focus on “walking around money”.

It would be nice to have a few pieces of monopoly money still floating around. Imagine finding a dollar on the street would be a rush if there was a chance that it was worth 100 grand.

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History

Harry Houdini is one of the most famous magicians in history and can be credited with popularizing the art in the early 20th century. He was known for his incredible ability to escape from seemingly impossible situations with ease. No lock could hold Houdini, and no trap was too complex for him to break out of. Although he defied death throughout his entire magical career, it was a simple mistake that finally took down the legendary escape artist.

Among all the incredible tricks that Houdini had mastered, one of his most popular was the ability to take a punch to the stomach from anyone without feeling pain or having any negative side effects. Allegedly, Houdini had strengthened his core muscles to the point where he effectively had body armor on when he flexed his abs. He would often invite the strongest man in the audience to hit him on stage to prove he could indeed handle the punch.

One day in 1926 while performing in Montreal, Houdini was approached by three students from McGill University before his show. One of the students named Jocelyn Whiteside (it’s a boys name) approached Houdini while he was laying on a couch recovering from a broken ankle. Whiteside asked Houdini if it was true that he could take a punch from anyone without feeling pain and Houdini insisted that it was true. Suddenly, Whiteside started throwing a flurry of punches to Houdini’s abdomen without warning, causing Houdini to wince in pain and beg the student to stop.

Without time to flex his muscles Houdini was vulnerable to Whiteside’s punches and was visibly in pain following the attack. Like a true showman, Harry Houdini still went on stage and performed his entire show for a sold out Canadian crowd. After the show, Houdini couldn’t sleep and spiked a fever of 104 degrees causing him to seek medical advice. He was diagnosed with a ruptured appendix and the doctor insisted that he undergo immediate surgery to address the injury. Houdini refused and instead on performing the next night. While on stage in Detroit, Houdini’s fever overtook him and he passed out in the middle of the show. He was hospitalized and later died from complications caused by his untreated ruptured appendix.

Harry Houdini survived being chained and drowned, being changed and thrown off a bridge, and being chained in a box and thrown in the ocean, but somehow it was the idiocy of a tough guy college kid that brought down the world’s greatest magician.


This Week in History On this week in 1947, U.S. Airforce captain Chuck Yeager became the first person to fly faster than the speed of sound. Yeager was an experienced pilot who had flown 64 missions during WWII which qualified him to pilot the experimental X-1 rocket plane. Previously, supersonic travel was believed to be impossible because no aircraft could handle the strain of traveling so fast. In a dry lake bed in Southern California, Yeager flew the X-1 faster than 662 miles per hour and broke the sound barrier. Later he would fly a newer model of the plane at more than 1,600 miles per hour.

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