A sweet-shooting Ohio State big man, an N95 mask surge, a holiday for roast chicken and more enticing tidbits from the August issue of Columbus Monthly

One of the best things about being a magazine editor is learning tons of interesting facts as we put together each issue. We also have a unique role as generalists—we get to learn about a wide and ever-changing array of topics. One month we may be writing about crime, the next about crème brûlée. Here are some of the most interesting things we learned while researching our August issue, with links to the full stories.

 1. Students who are learning English as a second language constitute 17 percent of the population at Columbus City Schools.

2. Kaleb Wesson, the departing star post player from the Ohio State men’s basketball team, led the Buckeyes in 3-point shooting percentage last season.

3. Earlier this year, the Department of Health and Human Services projected that health care workers would need 3.5 billion N95 masks during the pandemic.

4. The world’s largest known organism is a mushroom in Oregon that spans more than 3 square miles and could weigh 35,000 tons.

5. Walt Sturgeon of East Liverpool, Ohio, is the namesake of the poisonous mushroom Amanita sturgeonii—“Sturgeon’s Destroying Angel.”

6. Mushrooms, which aren’t plants nor animals, have DNA that’s more similar to humans than plants.

7. The parent company of Northstar Café, Third & Hollywood and Brassica estimates it was losing more than $50,000 a day early in the shutdown.

8. The Peruvian dish pollo ala brasa, or roast chicken, is so popular that the country dedicated a national holiday to it.

9. In early 2020, there were just over 1,658,000 freight cars in the U.S., operated on 140,000 miles of track by around 550 railroad companies.

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