WTF Fun Fact 13298 – A Rollercoaster Cure for Kidney Stones

Roller coasters are known for their stomach-churning twists, turns, and drops. But did you know that these thrilling rides may have a surprising health benefit? How about a roller coaster cure for kidney stones?

Well, according to recent research, riding a roller coaster really can help people pass the stones.

Kidney stones are a real pain

Kidney stones are hard, mineral deposits that form inside the kidneys. They can be incredibly painful and cause symptoms like back or abdominal pain, nausea, and difficulty urinating.

In some cases, surgery or other medical interventions may be necessary to remove them. But for smaller stones, riding a roller coaster may be a more fun and natural solution.

The idea that roller coasters could help pass kidney stones came from a patient who reported passing a stone after riding the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad roller coaster at Disney World. Intrigued by this anecdote, urologist David Wartinger from Michigan State University set out to investigate further.

To test the theory, Wartinger and his team created a 3D-printed model of a human kidney with three small stones inside. Then they took it on several roller coaster rides. They found that the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad ride at Disneyland in Orlando, FL really was highly effective at dislodging the stones from the kidney.

After the ride, the stones were able to pass through the urinary tract more easily, reducing the need for medical intervention.

How do roller coasters help “cure” kidney stones?

Why do roller coasters have an effect on passing kidney stones? It has to do with the forces generated by the ride. During a roller coaster ride, the body experiences a range of movements, including sudden drops, sharp turns, and rapid accelerations. These movements create a force called acceleration. This acceleration can jostle kidney stones and potentially dislodge them from the kidney.

Of course, riding a roller coaster isn’t a guaranteed cure for kidney stones, so don’t buy that ticket to Disney just yet. The size, location, and type of stones can all affect whether or not a ride will be effective. Additionally, riding a roller coaster may not be practical or advisable for everyone, especially those with other health conditions or mobility issues.

We need more research to understand the effects of roller coaster rides on kidney stones completely. But for now, this serves as an interesting example of how unexpected solutions can sometimes be found in unlikely places.

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Source: “How a Roller Coaster Can Help You Pass a Kidney Stone” — Gizmodo

WTF Fun Fact 13039 – Alternate Names for the Seven Dwarfs

The Disney movie Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is based on an 1812 fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm. But in the original, the dwarfs did not have names. And when Disney decided to make their 1937 film, they went through some interesting alternate names for the seven dwarfs.

Decisions, decisions

According to Disney Diary, “It wasn’t until the 1912 Broadway play “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” that they were given monikers. And the names were not what you think. They were called Blick, Flick, Glick, Pick, Quee, Snick, and Whick.”

Disney didn’t necessarily love those names, so they went through quite a few alternate names for the seven dwarfs until they finally settled on Bashful, Doc, Dopey, Grumpy, Happy, Sleepy, and Sneezy.

We can’t confirm it, but according to Treasured Family Travels, “It is popularly believed that Walt Disney named the Seven Dwarfs after his own seven staff animators: Carmine Coppola, Ted Sears, Les Clark, Wolfgang Reitherman, Eric Larson, John Lounsbery, and William Cottrell.” Or, at least, he named them after their personality traits.

The Seven Dwarfs’ alternate names

According to Mental Floss (cited below): “Disney and co. went through dozens of names before deciding on the seven we know today.” Some of them include Jumpy, Deafy, Chesty (?!), Hickey (again, ?!), Wheezy, Baldy, Gabby, Tubby, Burpy, and Awful.

Some of those might be a bit too on-the-nose to illustrate in an inoffensive way.

Modern Seven Dwarf Names

Disney Diary notes that modern retellings still change the names of the dwarfs.

“In ‘Mirror Mirror’ with Julia Roberts the dwarfs are named Butcher, Chuckles, Grimm, Grub, Half Pint, Napoleon, and Wolf. In the upcoming “Snow White and the Huntsman,” being released June 1, the names are Beith, Coll, Duir, Gort, Muir, Nion and Quert.”

We may just be biased by childhood fondness, but we think the Disney names are the best.

If you’re bothered by the spelling dwarfs (as opposed to dwarves, you may be interested to know that “dwarves” didn’t become a popular plural until JR Tolkien’s use of the word in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.  WTF fun facts

Source: “Burpy, Hickey, Chesty and Other Alternate Dwarf Names” — Mental Floss

WTF Fun Fact 12891 – The First Animated Film

Most of us have been told that the first animated film was Disney’s version of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. But Disney had nothing to do with the first – or the second!

Argentina is home to the first animated film

The first animated feature film ever made was an Argentinian creation titled El Apóstol. The 1917 movie is now lost to time after being destroyed in a fire in 1926. However, it was around over 20 years before Disney’s Snow White.

The film was directed and produced by two Italian-Argentine immigrants – Quirino Cristiani and Federico Valle.

El Apóstol is no children’s film. In fact, it was a satire of Hipólito Yrigoyen, Argentina’s president in which he dreams of going to Mount Olympus to talk politics with the Greek god Zeus. He ends up using Zeus’ thunderbolt to rid Buenos Aires of corrupt politicians.

Lost to time

The only reason we know about the film is from records about its release in Buenos Aires. It didn’t appear in theaters outside the city.

The creators got very little money or credit for their creation, and now most people assume that Disney’s film 20 years later was the first piece of animated film history.

Unlike Snow White, El Apóstol was a silent black and white film. It ran 70 minutes long.

Cristiani also created a second animated film called Peludópolis before Disney made his first one – and it had audio. That makes Cristiani the creator of the first animated feature film with sound as well.

There is a documentary about Cristiani that finally credits him with his contribution to animated cinema called Quirino Cristiani: The mystery of the first animated movies. Prior to this, he had largely been forgotten in his home country of Argentina as well.

 WTF fun facts

Source: “Quirino Cristiani, The Untold Story of Argentina’s Pioneer Animator” — Animation World Network

WTF Fun Fact 12769 – The Marriage of Mickey and Minnie Mouse

Sometimes Disney love stories do come true. Just take the example of the real voice actors behind the classic characters Mickey and Minnie Mouse. Wayne Allwine and Russi Taylor were married from 1986 until Allwine’s death in 2009.

Are Mickey and Minnie Mouse married?

According to the Disney Parks Blog (cited below), everyone wanted to know if the two cartoon characters were meant to be married.

“In the September 30, 1933 issue of Film Pictorial magazine, Walt Disney was asked if his two stars were married. He explained, ‘A lot of people have written to him asking this question because sometimes he appears to be married to her in his films and other times still courting her. What it really amounts to is that Minnie is, for screen purposes, his leading lady. If the story calls for a romantic courtship, then Minnie is the girl; but when the story requires a married couple, then they appear as man and wife.'”

So, it was a marriage of convenience for the cartoon characters at least.

The real Mickey and Minnie Mouse

Taylor was the official voice of Minnie Mouse from 1986 to 2019, while Alwine voiced Mickey from 1977 to 2009.

But Allwine and Taylor kept their real-life marriage on the down low.

“When we got married, we kind of kept it quiet, because everybody was saying, ‘Oh, Mickey and Minnie got married. ‘It wasn’t Mickey and Minnie; it was Wayne and Russi. We wanted to keep it about us and not about the characters.'”

Of course, the creators of Mickey and Minnie Mouse were husband and wife as well – Walt and Lilly Disney!

It just goes to show that the Disney tradition has been a family affair from the get-go. It’s pretty sweet when you think about it.

 WTF fun facts

Source: “Disney Romance: Mickey and Minnie and Walt and Lilly” — Disney Parks Blog

WTF Fun Fact 12605 – The Voice of Bambi

When Donnie Dunagan joined the Marines, he was eager to keep his past a secret. And he managed to do it for his entire 25-year military career.

That secret? As a child, he had a brief stint as an actor, and one of his roles was a voiceover for Disney’s Bambi! The film was released in 1942.

Drafted in 1952 during the Korean War, over the course of his career, Dunagan was promoted 13 times in 21 years (a Marine Corps record). He was also awarded two awards for Valor in Combat as well as the Purple Heart.

When interviewed by his wife, Donna Dunagan, for a Story Corps podcast, he described how closely he held the secret:

“I never said a word to anybody about Bambi, even to you. When we first met I never said a word about it. Most of the image in people’s minds of Bambi was a little frail deer, not doing very well, sliding around on the ice on his belly.”

As a boot camp commander, he was responsible for overseeing hundreds of recruits as well as the drill instructors. He recalled: “I just thought to myself, ‘I don’t think I want all these young Marines to start calling me Major Bambi.’ And I kept my mouth shut.”

The first military colleague to find out was a fellow Marine he had worked and fought for. The secret was uncovered after a personnel audit. Dunagan explained:

“He called me in at five-thirty in the morning, I will never forget it. I go in his office and he says, ‘Dunagan! I want you to audit the auditors.’ I never said a disrespectful word to this man in twenty years, I said, ‘General, when do you think I’m going to have time to do that?’ Then he looked at me, pulled his glasses down like some kind of college professor. And there’s a big, red, top-secret folder that he got out of some safe somewhere that had my name on it. He pats this folder, looks me in the eye, and says, ‘You will audit the auditors. Won’t you…Major Bambi?’”

It turns out Dunagan was right – that’s exactly what he would have been called had he let it slip during his fighting career! – WTF fun facts

Source: “Donnie “Major Bambi” Dunagan and Dana Dunagan” — Story Corps