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FASCINATING FACTS: 50 RANDOM FACTS FOR A RANDOM FRIDAY

1.  Michael Jordan

Nike had conditions before giving rookie Michael Jordan a record contract: Either be rookie of the year, or average 20 ppg, or be an all-star, or sell $4 million worth shoes in a year. Jordan was rookie of the year, scored 28.2 ppg, named all-star, and Nike sold $100 million of shoes in 1984-85.


2. Since Milton Hershey didn’t have any children he and his wife opened an orphanage school and when he died, he left his entire fortune and the ownership of Hershey Chocolate Company in trust for the children in the school. Still today 70% of the company is owned by Milton Hershey School.


3. The whole body of a Germany boy named Hassan looked like an open wound due of a genetic condition which led his skin to be paper-thin. A piece of his skin was taken, its DNA was repaired in the laboratory and the modified skin grafted back on. After nearly two years, his new skin appears completely normal and he now leads a normal life.


4. The parents of one of John Wayne Gacy’s victims, John Butkovich, called the police more than a hundred times to urge them to investigate him further. Their son had vanished in 1975 and had been one of Gacy’s employees.


5. Actor Kirk Douglas once tried to commit suicide after his stroke, by shooting himself through the mouth. However, the gun hit a tooth, and it hurt so much that he stopped completely. He was then so amused that toothache had stopped him from killing himself, that he decided to live.

 


6.  Sir Alec Guinness

Sir Alec Guinness hated his role as Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars: “Apart from the money, I regret having embarked on the film,” calling the dialog “lamentable.” An autograph seeker told him he’d seen the movie over 100 times. He gave him an autograph on the condition he never sees the movie again.


7. The Mexican Constitution was the first document in history that said every person has the right to an education.


8. 5% of people do not experience a headache in their lifetime.


9. The Minneapolis Skyway System is a system of footbridges that connects shops, restaurants, and residential buildings over an area of 80 full city blocks. It allows residents to live, work, and shop without ever leaving the Skyway system.


10. During World War 1, after being hit with a wave of chlorine gas, 100 Russian soldiers covered in blood and half-blind, successfully launched a counter-attack against the advancing 7000 Germans, who fled at the sight of the “dead men walking.” This incident has been called “the Attack of the Dead Men.”


11.  Abusive relationship

An abusive relationship with a narcissist or psychopath tends to follow the same pattern: idealization, devaluation, and discarding. At some point, the victim will be so broken, the abuser will no longer get any benefit from using them. They then move on to their next target.


12. “His Master’s Voice”, the famous painting of a dog looking down a gramophone funnel, used as a logo by various companies, was inspired by the artist’s dog, Nipper. He inherited the animal from his dead brother and noted that Nipper would look down a gramophone when a recording of his dead owner’s voice was played.


13. If you wanted to see every piece of art in The Louvre in one visit, and you spent 30 seconds observing each piece, it would take you over a month, and that’s assuming you were there 24/7 and took no breaks and didn’t sleep.


14. The world’s largest book was lost by the city of Cleveland. It was called “The Golden Book of Cleveland”, and it was as large as a mattress. It was misplaced in 1936.


15. Prior to production of Valkyrie (2008), the German Defense Ministry said that filming would not be allowed at the country’s military sites, only because Tom Cruise is a member of Scientology, which is viewed as a dangerous cult by the German authorities.


16.  Neil Armstrong

Barely a year after the 1969 moon landing, the American public had completely lost interest in space exploration to such an extent that 90% of people surveyed could not remember Neil Armstrong’s name.


17. A Calvin and Hobbes comic from 1992 referred to the start of the universe as the Horrendous Space Kablooie, saying that “The Big Bang” was too boring. The term Horrendous Space Kablooie (or HSK) has since become popular among scientists and has been used in books and university courses.


18. Moscow mules were created by a guy that couldn’t sell his vodka, another that couldn’t sell his ginger beer and a lady that had too many copper mugs.


19. During the Middle Ages, members of guilds were referred to as “masters.” Artisans who wanted to join a guild were required to prepare a “master piece” to be judged for qualification. If the masters approved of the piece, that artisan would be accepted into the guild.


20. In 1966, a relatively unknown young American musician asked to get on stage with Cream and the guitar God Eric Clapton. He played the song Killing Floor, which Clapton had always said was too difficult to play live. That man was Jimi Hendrix and that became known as “The day Hendrix killed God.”


21.  Mugger crocodile

The mugger crocodile has been observed balancing sticks on its head to lure in birds searching for sticks for their nests. This is the first known example of tool use in a reptile.


22. Immediately after landing on the moon, the Apollo 11 crew was supposed to sleep for 5 hours. They didn’t, because they figured they wouldn’t be able to.


23. Robin Williams once protested saying, “It’s my voice! You can’t stop me” against Disney when they tried to prevent him from voice acting in Ferngully: The Last Rainforest.


24. Tombili was a cat from Turkey that was well known for her friendliness, her unique way of reclining against steps and her chubby figure. When she passed away in 2016, the city of Istanbul honored her with a statue of her.


25. Humans hear anywhere from 20 to 100 times faster than they see so that everything that they perceive with their ears is coloring every other perception they have and every conscious thought they have. The sound gets in so fast that it modifies all the other input and sets the stage for it.

 


26.  Jacques Cartier


In 1536, French explorer Jacques Cartier and his crew were cured of scurvy by drinking tea of pine needles and by eating bark given to them by the Iroquois after the crew suffered months of nutritional deprivation at sea. Pine needles have approximately 3 to 5 times more vitamin C than an orange.


27. The space shuttle Atlantis flew 135 missions with a flight computer that had less than 1% of the computing power of an Xbox 360.


28. Scientists have discovered a unique organism that they have named hemimastix kukwesjijk which is not a plant, animal, fungus, or a protozoa. It constitutes an entirely new Kingdom, a new branch on the tree of life.


29. The Guatemalan government carried out a genocide in the 1980s known as the Silent Holocaust against the Mayan people. Throughout it, the US government under Ronald Reagan gave Guatemala military aid, helping the genocidaires commit their atrocities.


30. Adolf Hitler’s personal chauffeur and close confidant, Emil Maurice, was Jewish. He was also one of the founding members of the SS. After uncovering of his Jewish heritage, Hitler declared that he was an ‘honorary Aryan’ and prevented him from being expelled from the SS by Himmler.


31.  Kodak Kodachrome


The last roll of Kodak Kodachrome film was given to National Geographic photographer Steve McCurry who used it to capture 36 original images including one of a nomadic tribe in India whose nomadic ways were coming to an end.


32. The summit of Mount Everest is made of marine limestone which means the highest point on earth was once at the bottom of the sea.


33. The largest empire ever to exist based on the percentage of the world population was the Achaemenid Empire originating from Iran, which contained 44% of the global population in 480 B.C.


34. When French explorers thought they were the first Europeans to ever reach some historical Afghan caves in the 1930s, they were surprised to find a text inscribed on the wall saying: “if any fool this high samootch explore, Know Charles Masson has been here before.”


35. In the United Kingdom, several Prisons have restaurants that are fully run by inmates at the prison, including chefs and waiters. These restaurants are also open to the public and rank highly on Tripadvisor.


36.  Blue M&Ms


Blue M&Ms didn’t exist until 1995 when a poll was held to replace the tan shade of M&M that was deemed redundant in addition to the brown M&M. Of pink, blue, and purple, blue won.


37. Frank Willis, a security guard in 1972. While on duty, he noticed the tape on a basement door lock. Thinking a worker had left it there accidentally, he removed it. Willis later found tape again in the same place. He called the police, saying he believed there had been a break-in at Watergate.


38. Ama are female Japanese pearl divers that start diving at the age of 12-13, and are well active into their 70s. They endure freezing conditions and great pressure from deep-sea depths to get pearls. They have a unique technique in which they release air in a long whistle as they resurface.


39. The drink mix Tang wasn’t created by or for NASA. It was introduced in 1957 but sold poorly until the U.S. space agency used it for John Glenn’s 1962 Mercury mission. Tang was then marketed as what the astronauts drank, but Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin later said, “Tang sucks.”


40. Cheryl Crane, the daughter of actress Lana Turner, stabbed one of her mother’s boyfriends to death during a domestic struggle at the age of 14 in 1958. It was considered a justifiable homicide and she was deemed to have been protecting her mother. The boyfriend was a known abuser.


41.  Quipu


The Incas did not have a written language, instead, they used colorful knotted cords called Quipu to record numbers and archives such as census data and storehouse records. They had up to a thousand unique strands.


42. Brazilian prisons offer to reduce the sentences of their prisoners by 4 days (up to 48 days/year) for every book they read and write a report on.


43. In order to prevent tourists from stealing their beer glasses, some bars in Belgium require people to hand over one of their shoes as a deposit which is then put in a basket and hung from the ceiling.


44. Because of the shorter commercial breaks in the United Kingdom, every episode of The Muppet Show had two minutes of additional footage, usually consisting of a skit or a short song.


45. When the show of comedian Benny Hill was canceled, it devastated him and his health started to decline. However, fans of his show continued pushing for a new series. A company saw this and sent him an offer for some specials. It arrived in the mail on the same day he died.


46.  Go-Go


The Go-Go’s are the only all-female band to both write their own songs and play their own instruments to top the Billboard album charts.


47. The government used to take raisins from farmers to keep prices artificially high until the supreme court struck down the practice in 2015 as unconstitutional.


48. No one in China expected that Chairman Mao Zedong would die, so there were no preparations at all for his death. Mao’s body was drained of fluids, injected with formaldehyde, and it was said his head swelled up “like a football.”


49. On the set of Star Trek: Voyager, the costume for Seven of Nine required the actress to wear an extremely tight corset underneath the visible uniform. The corset made it impossible for the actress to sit, was difficult to remove, restricted breathing, and using the restroom took up to 20 minutes.


50. Shirley Temple was among the highest-profile advocates about breast cancer awareness. In 1972, it was common for doctors not to tell women their diagnosis and to initiate mastectomy without their knowledge or consent because they were thought unable to deal with the news of their affliction.

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