Across the nation on September 21st, 2013, hundreds of teams competed in the Red Bull Flugtag event. Five cities, one day. On that day, teams launched their hard work off a pier in hopes of taking flight. “Red Bull gives you wi-ings”, they might’ve shouted…as their contraptions fell toward the sea. While the trajectory of most flugtag creations was predictable, consider these surprising facts.

ONE. For one man, Red Bull’s popular slogan was more than just hype. Chaleo Yoovidhya was born into poverty but died in March 2012 as the third-richest man in Thailand. As the co-creator of Red Bull, his rise to success brings new meaning to the slogan “Red Bull gives you wings”. Yoovidhya’s berry-flavored concoction of caffeine and taurine was called Krathing Daeng, meaning Red Water Buffalo. After Yoovidhya formed a partnership with Austrian salesman Dietrich Mateschitz, the drink was reformulated with added fizz, renamed Red Bull and launched in Austria in 1987.

TWO. Taurine gets its name from the genus and species characterization of ox, Bos Taurus.  The chemical we now know as taurine was first isolated from ox bile in 1822. Regardless of your astrological sign, you have a significant amount of taurine in your body. Taurine can help the heart by keeping it from getting too excited. Being awake and alert is a good thing, but it’s not good to become so alert and so hyper that your heart starts beating too fast for your body to function. Taurine helps restore the right sodium/potassium balance in the body, and it also helps balance the levels of calcium inside the heart muscle cells. This regulation protects the heart from dangerous calcium imbalances that can lead to cell death and heart muscle damage. In fact, congestive heart failure is the top use for taurine supplementation listed in the prestigious Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database.

THREE. September 21, 2013 is the First National Red Bull Flugtag but there have been over 20 events like this since the inaugural stateside Red Bull Flugtag in San Francisco. In German, “flugtag” means “Flight Day” so, as Red Bull points out on their Flugtag History page, unofficial flugtags have been going on since Leonardo Da Vinci.

Reporting from the Long Beach Flugtag,

-Green-Eyed Guide

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