High Heels Were Originally Men’s Shoes
sometime around the tenth century, some enterprising soul in a horse-riding culture figured out that your foot would stay more securely in the stirrups if your shoe had a snatch of a raised heel. The invention spread promptly, and soon unharmed armies—of men—rode into battle wearing pumps .
By the seventeenth century, these shoes became a fashion course in Europe ; since having a knight was a symbol of high condition, wearing a high-heeled horseshoe entail you had the medieval equivalent of a Mercedes-Benz. Both men and women of means wore heels until they ultimately fell out of fashion for men .
Playing Cards Have Historical Meaning
Legend has it that the four suites of a deck of playing cards come from the four pillars of the medieval economy : hearts for the Church, spades for the military, diamonds for the merchants, and clubs for the farmers. Each king is besides said to represent a veridical diachronic rule : the King of Hearts is Charles or Charlemagne, the king of Spades is the biblical King David, the King of Diamonds is Julius Caesar, and the King of Clubs is Alexander the Great. Whether that ‘s what the makers of the deck intended or whether it was a fib added over time, it is undoubtedly true that the King of Hearts is the only one without a mustache !
More People Have Cell Phones Than Toilets
According to a UN report from 2015, 2.5 billion of the world ‘s 7 billion people lack access to a gutter, particularly in areas of South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. Since another report put the count of mobile earphone users at 6 billion, that means more than twice as many people have phones as proper bathymetry. This is not to say there are besides many cell phones but to say that we hush have a long way to go when it comes to providing sanitation to everyone. And for more insight into this globe-spanning invention, check out 20 perplex Facts You never Knew About Your Smartphone .
Wearable Eyeglasses Have Been Around Since 1284
imagine that every time you needed to read something, you had to lift a assemble of glass the size of a mirror to your confront. That was the best solution that world had come up with for imagination problems before the thirteenth century, when some enterprising folks in Italy shrank the looking glass and heavy frames enough that they could finally be worn on the nose. A while subsequently, spanish monocle makers came up with the mind of attaching ribbons to the frame indeed that the glasses could remain on the wearer ‘s font. finally, in the 1700s, these ribbons were replaced with the “ arms ” that today ‘s glasses have, allowing them to rest comfortably on the nuzzle and ears .
The Blob of Toothpaste on a Toothbrush is Called a Nurdle
That craftily crinkled bite of toothpaste that sits atop toothbrushes in advertisements has its own mention ( “ nurdle ” ), and its own lawsuit, arsenic well. In 2010, Colgate Palmolive sued its largest toothpaste fabricate equal, GlaxoSmithKline, for claiming that it owned the exclusive rights to use a picture of the nurdle on its packaging. Glaxo, makers of Aquafresh, countersued, and the count was settled confidentially out of court .
Houseplants Are Good for You
As it turns out, growing greenery inside your house is not only pleasant to look at ; it ‘s besides good for your physical and mental health. Studies have shown that indoor rooms with plants have up to 60 percentage fewer airborne molds and bacteria .
english Ivy, peace lilies, Boston ferns, and Reed and gnome date palms are particularly adept at cleaning the air and regulating humidity. More than that, a swedish research worker found that houseplants tend to make people more brooding and self-reflective, since they much remind people of love ones ( when given as gifts ) and the beauty of nature. But, to make certain you ‘re only getting the correctly greenery, read up on the 30 Plants You Should never Bring into Your Home .
Salt Was Used as Currency
Salt has been vital to human history and exploration, since—among other things—it allows people to preserve food and take it with them on long journey. Salt was so important that the ancient Romans used it as money, paying their soldiers in rations of salt. In fact, that ‘s where we get the English give voice “ wage. ” It ‘s besides where we get the English son “ salad, ” which was named not for leafy greens but for those same Romans who liked to sprinkle their greens with salt to improve the flavor .
A Gallon of Gasoline Contains 31,000 Calories
disavowal : do not drink gasoline. Okay, now that we ‘ve got that covered, if you could drink gasoline, it would provide you with 31,000 calories of energy, the equivalent of 15 to 20 days ‘ worth of food. Scientists figured this out when they were trying to compare the efficiency of a car to that of a human peddling a bicycle. By calculating how many calories it takes to bike for one mile at 15 miles per hour, they found out that a person could bike about 912 miles on a single gallon of gas .
Your Smartphone Could Send Astronauts to the Moon
You probably know that the telephone you carry around in your pocket is light year ahead of the engineering of five decades ago. however, it ‘s unvoiced to grasp fair how advance it is. In terms of march ability, your phone is millions of times more mighty than the Apollo Guidance Computer ( AGC ) that NASA used to send astronauts to the lunar month in 1969. AGCs cost $ 3.5 million each and were the size of a car, but even good the clock officiate of an iPhone 6 is comparable to sending 120,000,000 coincident Apollo-era spacecraft to the moon and back .
Rice is the Oldest Food that We Still Eat Today
Humans have been cultivating rice plants—which are actually species of grass—for somewhere between 12,000 and 15,000 years. All of our modern, domestic rice can be traced back to a one crop in the Pearl River Valley of ancient China. The only other food that might be as old is corn, which was domesticated in Mexico between 7,500 and 12,000 years ago .
Dog’s Aren’t Actually Colorblind
Though you may have heard the myth that dogs do n’t see colors, the truth is that they do, but in a more specify spectrum than humans. They can see yellows, blues, and violets very well, but have a harder time distinguishing reds, oranges, and greens. however, decrease imagination of color allows dogs to have more of the receptors that let them see well in low inner light and path drift. If you ‘re thinking of redecorating your cad house, stick to blue and purple .
Pen Caps Have Holes to Prevent Choking
future time you ‘re looking at a cheap, mass-produced ballpoint pen—the Bic Cristal, in particular, with its clear barrel and cap the tinge of the ink inside—take a closer expression at the top of the cap. There ‘s a hole. While some conspiracy theorists thought Bic did this on purpose to dry out the ink so you ‘d have to buy more pens, the accuracy is much more heedful. In case a humble child should happen to swallow the small, brightly-colored cap, the trap ensures that the cap does n’t block off the air lane completely, preventing suffocate .
The Mom of a “Monkees” Singer Invented White-Out
Mike Nesmith of The Monkees, a dad quartet on television receiver in the late 1960s and one of the original “ boy bands, ” was the son of an unappreciated inventor. While Betty Nesmith was working as an administrator secretary at a bank in 1951, she began using ashen tempera rouge to cover up typing mistakes. After perfecting the convention and naming it “ Liquid Paper, ” she offered to sell her invention to IBM, but they passed, so she began marketing it herself. It was n’t until the mid-’60s that she started making solid money from it ; then, when she sold the rights to the Gilette Corporation in 1979, she received a $ 47.5 million paycheck, plus royalties on future sales .
The First Webcam Was Created to Check a Coffee Pot
Nowadays, people use FaceTime and Skype to see and chat with friends all over the worldly concern. however, webcam technology originated with a slenderly less ambitious goal. In 1993, researchers at the calculator science department at the University of Cambridge good hated getting up from their chairs to check the coffee pot only to find that it was empty. They wired up a system that would stream images—three per minute—from the Trojan Room where the potentiometer was kept to the internal calculator network. By the end of the year, the flow made it onto the new World Wide Web and the Trojan Room chocolate toilet briefly attained external fame .
Berries Aren’t What You Think They Are
Botanists provide us with a identical specific definition of a berry. It must have three layers : a protective extinct level, a fleshy center, and an inner depart which holds the seeds. It must besides have two or more seeds and come from a bloom with only one ovary. By this definition, blueberries and cranberries are berries, but strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and cherries are n’t. Things that are berries ? Bananas, kiwi, watermelons, peppers, tomatoes, and tied eggplants. But do n’t stress about it—the scientific classification came after the mint of words like “ strawberry. ” Plus, cipher wants eggplant on peak of their pancakes !
It Takes a Lot of Bees to Make Honey
“ busy as a bee ” is a saying for a reason—colonies of bees work indefatigably to convert ambrosia into honey to eat when the flowers are n’t blooming. however, each bee surely ca n’t do it alone. An individual bee will entirely make about one-twelfth of a teaspoon of beloved in its entire life. fortunately, a single colony normally contains between 20,000 and 60,000 bees and honey is a very high-octane food. It contains natural preservatives, meaning that honey is one of the very few foods that, if stored by rights, will never go bad .
Albert Einstein Co-Invented the Refrigerator
Although the very first base refrigerators were manufactured by General Electric in 1911, the coolants they used to keep the insides frosty were very toxic. In fact, leaking refrigerator coolant killed a sleeping syndicate in Berlin in the 1920s. none other than Albert Einstein read about this calamity in the paper and set about devising a solution. together with his former student Leo Szilard, he created a refrigerator design with no moving parts, so there were no seals with the likely to leak. Though their design was abandoned in the 1950s for newer technical developments, Stanford scientists are revisiting it today as a way to bring refrigeration to areas without electricity .
Trailers Used to Run After the Movie
Those short-change previews of coming attractions have been around since 1913, but they used to play after the feature of speech film, hence the name “ trailer. ” however, it was obviously harder to make the audience cling around after the movie had ended, so they were shifted to the begin, but the name stuck. Incidentally, that deep male voice you probably think of when you think of movie trailers belonged to Don LaFontaine, who voiced more than 5,000 movie trailers before his death in 2008 .
Chocolate Was Used as a Medicine
native to Mesoamerica, chocolate—or the cacao bean from which it comes—was n’t discovered by Europeans until the late 1500s. Explorer Francisco Hernandez observed the Aztecs using cacao as, among other things, a medicate. When chocolate came to Western Europe soon after, the Church was leery of its provoke properties, but since it could be used for aesculapian applications, it was deemed acceptable. european doctors prescribed it for everything from fevers to indigestion to melancholy. Though these cacao mixtures were quite different from the cocoa of today, chocolate might have been banned from Europe all in all had it not been used as a medicate .
You Can Chill a Beer in Two Minutes
actually, you can chill any canned drink from room temperature with just urine, ice, and salt. Pour some urine in a medium-sized bowling ball and add a much ice as you can—two full moon trays, if possible. Add two spoon of salt and arouse well. Nestle the displace beverage down into the mix and let seat for two minutes, stirring gently about center through. Of run, you could constantly just pour the swallow over ice, but this method prevents a watered-down beverage .
There’s a Reason for That Hole in a Spaghetti Spoon
If you ‘ve got a spaghetti spoon —that ‘s the one with the big tines for separating strands of pasta—take a expression at it. Does it have a unmarried, circular hole in the middle ? You might assume that ‘s to drain off water when you lift the fudge spaghetti from the pot, but it ‘s even more specific than that. The sum of dry spaghetti that fits through that hole is a single serve. No more guessing about how many noodles you need !
Roundabouts Are Safer than Regular Intersections
In the United States, roundabouts are rare enough that drivers often become jumble or frustrated upon encountering them. however, they ‘re more common in Europe because they promote guard. A four-way intersection offers 56 electric potential points of conflict—that is, chances for you to hit a pedestrian or another car. A traffic circle reduces that number to 16. They do require drivers to slow down, but since a traffic unaccented requires stopping on bolshevik a big dowry of the clock, roundabouts actually allow for faster travel, a well .
Barbie’s Full Name is Barbara Millicent Roberts
Barbie ‘s been around since March 9, 1959, when she was unveiled at the New York Toy Fair. Her godhead, Ruth Handler, based her image on a german doll that was a favored plaything of her daughter, Barbara. Barbie ‘s very first search was a black-and-white strip swimsuit, with hair pulled into a stylish ponytail, and since then, she ‘s served as an inspiration for numerous artists and fashion designers worldwide .
M&M’s Stands for Mars and Murrie
Forest Mars, son of the sugarcoat company ‘s founder, developed a method acting of manufacturing drops of cocoa inside a hard candy plate and set up shop class in New Jersey in 1941. He then approached a supporter about going into business together : Bruce Murrie… son of the founder of Hershey ‘s. For the first few years, M & M ‘s contained Hershey ‘s chocolate, but alas, the two men had a falling out in 1949 and Mars bought back his share of the company. The partnership may have merely lasted eight years, but the two sugarcoat barons are immortalized together in this ever-popular nosh ‘s name.
Bubble Wrap Was Supposed to Be Wallpaper
In 1957, two engineers came up with the mind to glue two shower curtains in concert, trapping bantam bubbles of air in between them. They were trying to come up with a type of textured wallpaper, but it did n’t take off. then they marketed their universe as greenhouse insulation, but again, it went nowhere. finally, in 1960, IBM needed to ship some delicate data processors, and a phenomenon was born. The beloved custom of popping the individual bubbles might even have mental health benefits—a recent analyze showed that one minute of popping Bubble Wrap was adenine relax as a 30-minute massage .
Your Keyboard Was Designed to Slow You Down
Have you ever taken a close count at your computer ‘s keyboard and wondered why the letters seemed to be randomly strew across the keys ? In reality, it ‘s not random at all. This QWERTY design ( named for the clear leave row of letters ) was invented in 1872 for the typewriters of the time. Typists were getting faster than the machines they used, which would cause the typewriters to jam, so slowing them down actually save time in the long run. There ‘s no motivation for the same resultant role nowadays, but everybody ‘s so practice to QWERTY keyboards that they ‘ve even made the jump to smartphones .
Croissants Aren’t French
Though many think of them as the quintessentially french baked good, the crescent roll originated in Vienna, Austria, vitamin a early as the thirteenth century. Back then, it was a dense pastry known as a kipferl, but it was made in a classifiable crescent shape. There are many apocryphal tales of how the crescent roll made its room to France, but the first document appearance of the advanced croissant—now made with bizarre, buttery puff pastry—did n’t occur until the early 1800s, when a viennese baker began selling his crescent creations in Paris .
There Thousands of Ways to Tie a Necktie
A swedish mathematician recently calculated the total of different ways to tie a affiliation at over 175,000. This is specially shocking considering that a previous report set the count firm at 85—quite a remainder. The raw study took into consideration many variants which the previous one did not, including exposed knots, wrappings, and windings. They tied created a knot generator to show you a variation ( and how to tie it ) at random. hush, despite this sartorial discovery, if you take it from us, there ‘s very only one proper way to tie a tie .
A Dollar Bill Only Lasts 18 Months
many countries use coins for their equivalent of one dollar because newspaper money wears out then cursorily. U.S. dollar bills—the most circulate denomination of bill— only last an average of a year-and-a-half before they need to be taken out of circulation and replaced. In fact, though the U.S. Mint prints about $ 696 million ( or 37 million bills ) a day, 95 percentage of that plainly goes out to replace bills that are faded, pluck, dirty, or otherwise unsuitable to be circulated .
The Tip of Your Shoelace Has a Name
Those formative or metallic element tips on both ends of your shoelaces are called aglets, and they ‘re more important than you ‘d think. Just try lacing a shoe without them. In fact, aglets have been around since ancient Rome, though they were normally made out of stone or glass at that time. The word “ aglet ” comes from the erstwhile french aiguillette, meaning phonograph needle. Who knew so much think and history went into keeping your shoelaces from unraveling ?
Coffee Makes the World Go ‘Round
chocolate might be fabulously authoritative to your dawn routine, but it ‘s even more authoritative to the world economy. Produced by 25 million farmers in 50 countries all over the globe, coffee bean is second entirely to anoint when it comes to the most trade commodities. Forty percentage of the sum produced every year comes from Brazil. Although New Yorkers drink the caffeinated brew at a rate seven times higher than the U.S. national average, Finland is the state with the highest per-capita coffee bean consumption .
The Computer Mouse Was Originally a Turtle
It ‘s not difficult to imagine how the calculator mouse got its name—it ‘s little and immediate, and the cord that connects it to the calculator resembles a tail. however, manufacturers of early versions referred to it as a turtle, with its unvoiced beat on top and moving parts underneath. Although early on calculator experts were n’t certain they ‘d catch on, computer mouse ( or mouses—the Oxford English Dictionary accepts both plurals ) are here to stay .
A Slinky Has Been to Space
A popular toy ever since its invention in 1946, the humble Slinky has delighted girls and boys of all ages for more than 70 years. Made of planate wire ( originally ) or plastic ( for safety reasons ), an uncoil Slinky would be 87 feet long. It ‘s not only a toy ; the metallic element interpretation has been used by engineers and soldiers as a makeshift antenna. In 1985, a Slinky tied made it into distance aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery. however, astronaut Dr. Seddon reported that the Slinky refused to slink in zero graveness : “ it classify of droops. ”
White Eggs Are as Healthy as Brown Eggs
You might think that since brown eggs tend to cost more, they surely have more nutrients, less fat, or something having to do with health. After all, brown university, wheaten bread is better for you than white boodle. In fact, the color of the shell says nothing about the contents ‘ nutrition, quality, or flavor. Brown eggs monetary value more because the hens that lay them are larger and require more feed, thereby costing more to raise. The monetary value gets passed on to the consumer .
IKEA Product Names Follow a Pattern
statistically speaking, it ‘s probable that you own at least one piece of IKEA furniture, and if you bought and assembled it yourself, you ‘ll know that their products all have names, not numbers. IKEA ‘s founder is dyslectic and want people to well identify assorted models of things, sol beds are named after places in Norway, sofa are named after towns in Sweden, kitchen tables are places of interest in Finland, chairs are given male first names, and so on. That direction, you ‘ll always remember your first Rönnskär .
McDonald’s Sells the Best Coca-Cola
true, this “ fact ” is a piece immanent, but it is true that there ‘s a real difference when it comes to Mickey D ‘s fountain version of the sodium carbonate. Founder Ray Kroc sought out the Coca-Cola company in 1955 and has been partnering with them ever since. As a result, the proprietorship Coca-Cola syrup that gets shipped in credit card bags to other retailers gets shipped in stainless steel steel containers to McDonald ‘s. many people think this makes for a fresh, tastier Coke .
Snapple’s 1001 “Real Facts” are Fact-Checked…
…but they ‘re silent sometimes incorrect or absurdly equivocal. In 2002, the manufacturers of Snapple began printing what they call “ real Facts ” ( citation marks in the master ) on the insides of their bottle caps. Though their president of the united states of market asserts that these factoids are “ vigorously ” checked and retired when no long true ( the average american decidedly does n’t walk 18,000 steps a day anymore, for example ), mistakes slip through. Incidentally, the word “ factoid ” itself does n’t refer to a little fact, but rather an assumption that gets repeated so many times that people assume it ‘s true—just like Snapple ‘s “ real number Facts. ”
Electric Fans Don’t Cool the Air
You could set a thermometer down in front of an electric fan on turbo manner and the temperature would n’t drop. In fact, if you left the thermometer next to the cultivate parts, the temperature might actually rise thanks to the electric current. however, though the fan does n’t cool the atmosphere, it does aplomb you… or anything else with water in it. In addition to improving air out circulation in a close space, the sports fan speeds up vaporization, making liquids—such as the effort on your skin—cooler .
Pencils Are Yellow Because of Chinese Royalty
Pencils come in all sorts of colors, of course, but if you had to pick a “ standard ” pencil color, you ‘d credibly think of a yellow-gold color. That ‘s no accident. When pencils started to go into mass production in the 1890s, the finest available graphite ( not lead ) to fill them came from China. Pencil manufacturers wanted everyone to know that they used only the best chinese graphite, so they painted their pencils yellow, the traditional Chinese color of royalty .
The Remote Control Predates the Television
Though the first electric television came into being in 1927, the outback control is about three decades older. Nikola Tesla invented a “ teleautomaton ” that could control certain mechanical devices at a distance with radio receiver waves and debuted it in 1898 with a unmanned gravy boat. Although the engineering did n’t catch on at the time, the sloth brought about by the invention of television changed that. The first base television distant, marketed as the “ Lazy Bones, ” was linked to the television set by a long electrify, but so many people tripped over it that the radio remote control control, made in 1956, was an even bigger hit .
All Standard CDs are 74 Minutes Long
While they ‘ve been largely replaced by digital downloads for new music, you ‘ve surely hush got a few CDs hanging around your theater. compress magnetic disk were the first widely-available digital recordings of music and were produced jointly by the Phillips and Sony corporations working together in the early 1980s. The first CDs were supposed to be 11.5 centimeter in diameter, but Sony insisted that they be 12 centimeter, large enough to hold 74 minutes of music. purportedly, Sony ‘s frailty president ‘s wife was a huge sports fan of Beethoven, so the demand was based on the fact that the legendary Ninth Symphony is precisely 74 minutes long .
Cotton Candy Was Invented by a Dentist
Made of liquid sugar spin into bantam strands, cotton sugarcoat was invented in 1895 by John C. Wharton, a sugarcoat manufacturer, and William Morrison, a dentist. They called their universe “ fairy dental floss ” and sold thousands of servings at the St. Louis World ‘s Fair in 1904. It was n’t renamed “ cotton candy ” until the 1920 ‘s by Josef Lascaux… another dentist… who sold the cloying confection to his patients. One wonders if these sugar-peddling dentists were n’t attempting to drum up more occupation for themselves .
There’s Less Gold Than You Think
We all know gold is valuable because it ‘s rare. It ‘s hard to get an demand measure for how much gold we ‘ve mined in all of human history, but some estimates put it at 10 billion ounces—or a block about a third of the size of the Washington Monument. And we only mine the equivalent of a 14-foot cube—about the size of a single room—of raw gold each year. Ironically, we ‘ve merely mined about 1 percentage of the gold in the Earth… because the rest is in the satellite ‘s melt core .
Play-Doh Was Originally a Wallpaper Cleaner
In the fantastic custom of toys that were invented by mistake, the clay-like message we immediately know as Play-Doh was first sold for the purpose of lifting soot off of wallpaper. At the clock, it lone came in an bone color, but when it was sold as a miniature, it was produced in red, blue, and scandalmongering. nowadays, it ‘s available in over 50 colors, and the current owner Hasbro has trademarked that signature Play-Doh scent you always had on your fingers as a child .
Amazon Box Sizes Aren’t Random
Most of us have credibly had the experience of ordering something modest from Amazon— a single book, certificate of deposit, or evening pen—and had it arrive in a box that seems room besides big. therefore wasteful. however, it ‘s been reported that this is a result of Amazon ‘s complex ship algorithm that takes into explanation the size of the transport vehicle and the size of early packages going to the lapp place. The small item is assigned a box size that will fit with the early packages and keep everything from sliding around, therefore saving on fuel costs and ultimately being more environmentally friendly .
Rain Boot Throwing is an International Sport
While referring to rain boots as “ Wellies ” is less common in the U.S., the british award the nineteenth century Duke of Wellington, Arthur Wellesley, for the waterproof footwear he commissioned and brought into fashion. Nowadays, Wellies are democratic worldwide—for wear, of course, but besides for sport. Some parts of the populace have a traditional “ Wellie wanging “ contest where contestants line up to see how far they can throw one of these rain boots. The record is 44.97 meters, or a whopping 147.5 feet .
Mapmakers Prevent Plagiarism with Fake Cities
a utilitarian as Google Maps can be, wallpaper maps however have their place in the global, and mapmakers have a farseeing custom of putting copyright traps in their work to keep others from stealing it. This frequently takes the form of “ newspaper towns ” or apparition settlements —places that appear on maps but do n’t actually exist. however, there ‘s at least one shell of a newspaper town becoming real. Agloe, New York, was merely such a apparition settlement, but when a general store was built in the correspond location, the owner read the map and named it Agloe General Store, assuming that was the sphere ‘s name .
Microwaves Were Discovered by Accident
More accurately, the discovery that microwaves could cook food was an accident. In the 1940s, engineer Percy Spencer was building a magnetron for some radar equipment when he noticed that the cocoa barroom in his pocket had started to melt. Inspired to conduct far tests, he directed microwaves at popcorn ( which popped ) and eggs ( which exploded ). by the way, scientists do n’t agree on how, precisely, microwaves heat food, but they do agree that they use much less energy than conventional ovens .
We Can Print Food
Who among us has n’t been athirst but besides lazy to get off the couch when a tempt restaurant commercial comes on the television ? Why ca n’t you download and print your dinner the same way you could a visualize ? well, we ‘re not quite there yet, but in the past few years, some enterprising folks have used 3D printer engineering and specialized component “ ink ” to print entire meals. Sugar sculptures and elaborate chocolate creations are possible, but so are pizza, pasta, quiche, and brownies.
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You Shouldn’t Use Duct Tape on Your Ducts
duct tape is a marvelous merchandise, used as the solution to many family problems. however, the one problem you should n’t use it for is a leaky duct. A university testing ground tested many different kinds of tape and sealant on different duct materials, and entirely the duct videotape failed repeatedly and catastrophically. In many places, having duct magnetic tape on your ducts is actually a construct code misdemeanor. Keep your duct videotape wallet, shoes, purses, word picture frames, and hammocks, but get some foil tape or aerosol sealant for your ducts.