- The first Mardi Gras ever took place in 1703 after explorer Jean Baptiste Le Moyne Sieur de Bienville discovered and named an area of land Pointe du Mardi Gras. (Today, that area is Mobile, Alabama. )
- It wasn’t until 1870 that partiers would start throwing beads and other treats off their floats to spectators.
- Mardi Gras has been canceled 13 times, including during the Civil War, World War I, World War II, and Korean War.
- No parades take place in the French Quarter because of fire concerns.
- The organizations that host balls and create parade floats are called krewes. Many krewes are named after mythological figures like Bacchus and Orpheus.
- Mardi Gras typically draws more than 1 million people to New Orleans.
- The official Mardi Gras colors include purple (for justice), gold (for power) and green (for faith).
- For Mardi Gras, people eat king cakes, which are ring-shaped desserts with a small baby figure inside. If you find the baby, you have to buy–or make–the next king cake for your friends.
- Mardi Gras takes place on Fat Tuesday, so named because people eat a lot of food before fasting for Lent.
- Mardi Gras isn’t just an American tradition–people everywhere from the Czech Republic to Brazil hold festivities every spring.
Snowstorms are not rare in the winter, but they are usually not accompanied by lightning. A rare lightning strike hit the Space Needle yesterday afternoon. The strike was captured on video. The lightning came with thunder and snow throughout the afternoon. (Read more from KING 5)
Nothing beats traffic problems like tacos. Drivers stranded on I-5 by an overturned tanker truck were in for a treat yesterday when a food truck opened for business in the middle of the traffic jam. Tacos El Tajin opened up to serve those stuck in traffic on the freeway, even accepting debit cards. Drivers were stuck for more than three hours while the tanker truck was cleared from the roadway. (Read more from KING 5)
After Sunday night’s series of unfortunate events at the 89th Academy Awards — which included the embarrassing reading of the wrong winner for Best Picture (and the photo of a living producer mistakenly shown in the In Memorium reel), ratings for the annual ceremony tumbled to their lowest numbers in years. The Oscars delivered a 32.9 million viewers making it the weakest Oscars performance in nine years.
Meanwhile, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), which has handled the accounting for the Academy Awards since 1934, apologized for giving the wrong envelope to presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway before they mistakenly announced La La Land as best picture at the Oscars. Moonlight actually won the top prize. It seems Emma Stone had already been given her winning envelope, but two sets are printed, one for each of the two PwC representatives who distribute envelopes to presenters. “At the end of the day, we made a human error,” a PwC said on Monday. “We made a mistake. What happened was, our partner on the left side of the stage, Brian Cullinan, he handed the wrong envelope to Warren Beatty. And then the second we realized that, we notified the appropriate parties and corrected the mistake.” PwC apologized to the cast and crew of both films and said it “failed the Academy.” (Read more from USA Today)
Over the weekend aboard a New York City subway train, a partially full bottle of sparkling wine rolled out from underneath a seat that two men were sitting on. The total strangers then joyfully popped the wine open and began sharing it. A photo of the pair toasting each other went viral, with freelance journalist Colleen Hagerty calling it “peak NYC.” (One of the men already had a smaller bottle of booze with him, incidentally.) Thousands of observers had all the feels over the photo, with one saying it restored her faith in humanity. This is friendship in its purest form. (Read more from Yahoo)