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FASCINATING FACTS: 50 RANDOM FACTS FOR YOU RANDOS

FASCINATING FACTS: 50 RANDOM FACTS FOR YOU RANDOS

1.  TVs


TVs emit a tone during ad breaks that are inaudible to humans but that smartphones are listening for. Now corporate entities can link the TV and phone as belonging to the same person. It means government entities can play a tone through the TV and ping all the phones in the room, identifying the whole group.


2. After Oprah’s famous “You get a car” episode, where she gave away 276 cars at a total cost of $7.6 million, many of the recipients sent in complaints to the show as they had all been charged a $6,000-7,000 “gift tax.”


3. In 2017, 70 students drank so much alcohol at a house party in Maryland that the air inside the house registered positive on a breathalyzer.


4. A Navajo blanket was appraised on PBS’s “Antiques Roadshow” for $500,000. After seeing the broadcast, a disabled man named Loren Krytzer realized that he had a similar blanket which had been sitting in his closet for 7 years. He took it to an auctioneer and its final bid was $1.5 million.


5. The song “Mr. Blue Sky” by the Electric Light Orchestra was found to be the happiest song ever using a formula made by studying songs from a period of 50 years.

 


6.  John Wilkes Booth


When shooting Abraham Lincoln, John Wilkes Booth timed his shot so that the noise would be masked by the audience’s laughter. Being an actor, he knew the play Lincoln was watching by heart. Lincoln was laughing when he was shot.


7. There is a prequel to “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” known as “Halloween is Grinch Night”, which won the Emmy for Outstanding Animated Program in 1977.


8. In 2015, a 40,000-year-old bracelet was found in Siberia. It was made by an extinct human species called Denisovans. Homosapians did not produce bracelets of this technical sophistication until 10,000 years ago. It is one of the oldest pieces of jewelry ever discovered.


9. Before Japan surrendered to end World War 2, the US armed forces ordered over 1 million Purple Heart medals in anticipation of a difficult land invasion. That stock is still being used today.


10. Burt Reynolds was considered for the role of Michael Corleone but Brando said he would walk if they cast him. “He is the epitome of something that makes me want to throw up. He is the epitome of everything that is disgusting about the thespian, he worships at the temple of his own narcissism.”


11.  Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator


There is a book sequel to “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”, called “Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator”. It features space travel, Cold War politics, aliens, and Charlie’s grandparents abusing drugs.


12. Ben Stiller came up with the idea for “Tropic Thunder” while working on the set of Steven Spielberg’s World War 2 drama “Empire of the Sun” and seeing actors come back from “fake” Army boot camp and treating it like a real war experience.


13. Andy Kaufman demanded that his alter ego, Tony Clifton, a drunken, cigarette smoking lounge singer/insult comic, have guest appearances on Taxi with his own separate contract. After showing up to set with 2 prostitutes, Clifton was fired. A week later, Andy showed up as if nothing had happened.


14. Iron Maiden lead singer, Bruce Dickinson is considered a polymath by Intelligent Life magazine due to excelling in a wide variety of pursuits. He is a commercial pilot, presented shows on radio and TV, written novels, brews his own beer and was once ranked 7th in Great Britain for fencing.


15. An 11-year-old girl named Stella Bowles in Nova Scotia, when told she couldn’t swim in her local river, initiated testing of the river for fecal contaminants. After the samples tested above allowable limits, three levels of government committed $15 million to install 600 septic tanks along the river.


16.  Thor Christiansen


Serial killer Thor Christiansen was only caught because his fifth would-be victim survived a shot to the head. She recognized him months later in a bar and reported him to police. Law enforcement then linked him with four other then-unsolved murders that had a similar MO.


17. In 2014, a Cockatoo celebrated its 100th birthday, it was also noticed by Queen Elizabeth II who sent a birthday card as is custom to 100-year-olds.


18. When Charles Dickens was 12 years old, his father was thrown into prison for debt. Charles was forced to leave school and work ten-hour days at a boot factory in order to help support his family. Later when he started writing, the poor conditions of the working class became a major theme in several of his works.


19. The distinctive nose of the Shinkansen 500 bullet train prevents sonic booms whenever it exits a tunnel and was discovered when scientists studied the shape of a kingfisher’s beak to learn how it hit the water at high speed.


20. The French duo Daft Punk got their name from a negative review they received from MelodyMaker magazine for a trio they were in before. A journalist wrote that the band Darlin’s music was “a daft punky thrash”. They found it funny, creating one of the most influential music acts of the 90s and 00s.


21.  John Lennon


John Lennon tried to convince Paul McCartney to drill a hole in his skull as part of a practice called trepanning explaining “All you’d have to do is just bore a little hole in your skull and it lets the pressure off. Paul replied ‘ John, you try it and let me know how it goes.’”


22. In 1974, a chemical technician named Karen Silkwood died in a car crash after attempting to expose unethical things done at the nuclear power plant she worked in.


23. The first effective syphilis cure, called Salvarsan, was created in 1909. An arsenic-based drug, it operated on the same principle as chemotherapy: it poisoned syphilis before it poisoned you. Like chemo, it was very unpleasant, but a literal lifesaver.


24. When a friend wrote “KURT SMELLS LIKE TEEN SPIRIT” on a wall, Kurt Cobain assumed it was an anti-establishment slogan and wrote a hit song. Months later he found out his friend had been making fun of him. Kurt’s girlfriend wore Teen Spirit, deodorant marketed to teenage girls.


25. Having standard showtimes for films was not common until 1960. Previously most films would just play on a loop, and people could enter at any time. Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho required that people watch from the beginning to the end and made showtimes more standard.

 


26.  Johnny Carson


In 1974, Johnny Carson requested that NBC stop airing Tonight Show reruns on the weekend as he wanted to save those reruns for the extra vacation days he was planning to take. NBC wanted to fill those slots, so they hired Lorne Michaels to develop a show. That show became SNL.


27. If you don’t eat sushi by the age of 35, there is a 95% chance you never will. As we get older, we are less open to “novelty.”


28. In 2016, two alligators in Amsterdam were found guarding €500,000 worth of crystal meth, €300,000 in cash, and several firearms. The owner of the crocodiles was following the law and had the appropriate permits for the animals.


29. When Uranus was discovered it was called George for about 70 years.


30. Over 15 to 20 networks rejected the Duffer Brothers’ “Stranger Things” series, saying no one would be interested in a Sci-Fi horror that revolves around kid protagonists. One executive said they need to make it kids show or have an adult character (Jim Hopper) be the main protagonist instead.

 


31.  Viola Desmond


In 1946, a Nova Scotian black woman named Viola Desmond was charged with tax evasion of one cent for refusing to leave a whites-only section of a theatre. She is featured on the new $10 Canadian bill.


32. Killer whales go through menopause to avoid competition with daughters. This may shed light on why menopause exists at all.


33. If you feed a chicken a diet of spicy red peppers, its egg yolk will turn red. This is harmless for the chicken as all birds are immune to capsaicin (the substance that makes food taste spicy).


34. Erna Flegel, Hitler’s personal nurse revealed in 2005 that the death of Blondi the German Shepherd affected people in the bunker more than Eva Braun’s suicide.


35. Tim Macartney-Snape is one of the first mountaineers to climb Everest without oxygen. Afterward, someone said to him “You didn’t climb Everest. You only climbed the top part.” So he went down to the beach in India and re-did the whole thing.


36.  University of Wisconsin


In 2000, the University of Wisconsin photoshopped a black man’s face onto the cover of an admission booklet to make them seem more diverse. He sued and won $10 million for diversity initiatives.


37. Archaeologists have found slingshot balls in Greece engraved with “Take that!” or “Catch!” dating back to 4th century B.C.


38. Julius Caesar was mocked by his opponents as “the Queen of Bithynia” over an alleged homosexual relationship with King Nicomedes IV. The scandalous part wasn’t that the relationship was homosexual, but rather that Caesar was supposedly the sub.


39. Neither the Spice Girls themselves nor their management came up with the Scary, Sporty, Baby, Ginger, Posh aliases. They were devised by Top of the Pops magazine in 1996 and later adopted by the group.


40. Buzz Aldrin’s first words on the moon were “Beautiful view. Magnificent desolation.”


41.  Quokkas


Quokkas have a survival instinct which triggers when a mother is threatened by a predator. She will throw her baby at the predator, which will hiss at the predator while the mother makes her escape.


42. Dr. Clara Immerwahr was the first woman to get a Ph.D. in Chemistry in Germany in 1900. She assisted with the weaponization of Mustard gas, which was subsequently used on the frontlines in 1915. During a party to celebrate its successful use, she committed suicide by shooting herself.


43. There is a group in NASA that is legitimately researching warp drive technology called The Eagleworks Advanced Propulsion Laboratory whose purpose is to explore advanced and theoretical propulsion technologies that are intended to allow human exploration of the Galaxy within 100 years


44. Jim Shooter, a comic book writer started writing comics at the age of 13 and sent them into DC comics. The head of DC liked them so much that he immediately commissioned Shooter to write Superman stories. He got a regular position at the age of 14, working to support his struggling parents.


45. During the aftermath of the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombing, many businesses in the Boston area closed while the manhunt for the suspect was underway. Only Dunkin’ Donuts kept its stores open in order to serve food and drinks to Police and Emergency Responders.


46.  Cookie monster


In Sesame Street, cookie monster ate painted rice cakes and not cookies because the oil from the cookie would damage the puppets.


47. “Denny” is the name given to a fossil from a “hybrid human” girl. She was half Neanderthal and half Denisovan. She lived approximately 90,000 years ago and scientists think she represents the oldest discovered individual whose parents belonged to two distinct human species.


48. Cleopatra tested various deadly poisons on condemned people and concluded that the bite of the asp was the least terrible way to die.


49. The film Homicidal (1961) features a ‘fright break’ before the climax. The break gave the audience a chance to leave and get a refund before it got too scary. People that left got their pictures taken and added to ‘Coward’s Corner’ which was used to advertise how scary the film was.


50. Bayard Rustin was a gay civil rights leader and advisor to MLK who singlehandedly shaped his non-violent protest methods. He was forced to resign to protect the movement when a congressman threatened to fabricate a story of an affair between him and King to dissuade protests in his district.

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