50 Random Facts List #11

26The Ed Sullivan Show and The Beatles

February the 9th, 1964, almost half (45%) of all US television viewers tuned into the same program: The Ed Sullivan Show and The Beatles

27. Aberdeen, Washington, the birthplace of Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain, changed their town motto in 2005 to "Come As You Are" as a tribute to Cobain

28. There is a religion formed around the Coen Brothers' film, "The Big Lebowski," called Dudeism. They have an official "church" and can hold weddings.

29. There were five failed assassination plots on Lincoln including one where a bullet went through his top hat

30. Sweden ran a clandestine nuclear weapons program under the guise of civilian defense research between 1945 to 1972

31King Goujian's army

King Goujian's army was known for scaring its enemies before battle because its front line consisted of criminals sentenced to death who committed suicide by decapitating themselves.

32. Urinals with Flies painted on them were introduced in 2009 and have reduced "spillage" by as much as 80%

33. Gary Kremen, the founder of Match.com had a relationship end because she found another man on Match.com. He said that was when he knew the site was a success

34. Before toilet paper use came into play, ancient Romans opted for a sponge on the end of a long stick that was shared by everyone in the community. When not in use, that stick stayed in a bucket of heavily salted seawater in the communal bathroom.

35. Woody Allen refused Oscars saying, "The whole concept of awards is silly. I cannot abide by the judgment of other people, because if you accept it when they say you deserve an award, then you have to accept it when they say you don't."

36Ruth Tolkein

JRR Tolkien’s great granddaughter, Ruth Tolkien, is the only blind person in the UK to be a competitive fencer. She is currently ranked the 186th best fencer in the country.

37. It's estimated around 40 people go over Niagara Falls every year, most of them suicides. Over 5000 bodies were found at the foot of the falls between 1850 and 2011. Most jumps happen on the Canadian side of the falls, and daredevil attempts have approximately a 75% success rate.

38. The world's fastest production car is a hybrid

39. Polynesian people used binary numbers 600 years ago

40. Due to an etymological quirk, in Europe "moose" are known as "elk" and they don't actually have what North Americans call "elk".

41Jerry Garcia

With over 15,000 hours of playing time on tape, the Grateful Dead's Jerry Garcia is the most recorded guitarist of all time

42. Astronomer Johannes Kepler abandoned everything to defend his mother against claims of witchcraft--over a period of six years--saving her from sure execution at the stake.

43. In the first few presidential elections, only white, male landowners could vote. Less than 5% of the U.S. population voted.

44. North Carolina declared independence from Great Britain and seceded from the Union on the same day, May 20th.

45. Marijuana was the first thing ever sold over the internet

46Pet Amber Alert

There's a national pet amber alert where you can notify neighbors within a certain radius and include photos as a reference.

47. Vanilla beans are actually orchid seeds.

48. The tradition of giving a diamond to your fiance was more widely popularized in 1947 with a De Beers advertising campaign that increased diamond sales by 50%.

49. The cartoon series The Real Ghostbusters has several episodes that reference the world of HP Lovecraft

50. The Royal Navy offered its sailors' daily rum ration until 1970. The Canadian Navy kept the practice until 1972, and the New Zealand Navy kept it until 1990.

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