50 Random Facts List #15

Macro view of rows of gold bars

1MRI technology

Despite being used to make balloons float and our voices squeak, helium is a rare element (on Earth) which is only getting rarer due to the fact it floats out of our atmosphere. This is problematic, as it has useful scientific applications, and is currently essential in MRI technology.

2. A dog named Chaser has the largest tested memory of any non-human animal. She can identify 1,022 toys by their name and retrieve them by name and by category.

3. Huichol Indian men tie ropes around their testicles when their wives are giving birth. When she feels a painful contraction, she tugs on the rope so her husband will share some of the pain as part of their child's entrance into the world.

4. The government of Dubai pays it's citizens 2 grams of gold for every Kg of weight they lose.

5. Until 1616, Coffee was essentially a monopoly run by Yemen. Merchants were forbidden to sell live coffee plants or seeds. That changed when Pieter van der Broecke, a Dutch merchant, stole coffee seeds and brought them back to Holland. 40 years later coffee had traveled as far as Sri Lanka.

6French Revolution

One of the major objectives of the French Revolution was to switch all measures of time from base 12 to base 10, including a ten day week. Ironically, the experiment lasted 12 years.

7. The film Titan A.E had an estimated budget of $90 Million. In the end, the film only grossed $36.8 million. According to the supervisor of the film, Titan A.E. lost $100 million for 20th Century Fox. After the film's failure, Fox Animation Studios was shut down.

8. Murphy's law is named after aerospace engineer Edward A. Murphy Jr., and it's a misinterpretation of his statement "If there's more than one way to do a job, and one of those ways will result in disaster, then he [his assistant] will do it that way."

9. Pepsi released a limited edition "Pepsi Perfect" soft drink that was used in "Back to the Future Part II" to commemorate the trilogy's 30th anniversary. Only 6,500 bottles were produced costing $20.15 each. At Comic-Con they were given to people dressed as Marty McFly.

10. When David Bowie died his ashes were scattered in Bali in accordance with Buddhist ritual.

11Alcoholics Anonymous

U.S. courts have ruled that inmates, parolees, and probationers cannot be ordered to attend AA. Though AA itself was not deemed a religion, it was ruled that it contained enough religious components to make coerced AA attendance a violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.

12. Many male spiders tie up the legs of females with silk in a preemptive attempt to avoid being eaten by her during or after sex.

13. The Roman civilization technically lasted for 2,200 years. It was founded as a monarchy in 753 BC, became a republic in 509 BC, turned into an empire in 27 BC, shifted capital to Constantinople in 330 AD, and finally fell only in 1453 AD.

14. In 2017, a dairy company in Maine lost a lawsuit about overtime pay due to the absence of the Oxford comma.

15. IKEA Food is one of the largest food chains in the world. In 2016. IKEA served some 650 million diners a year, across 48 countries around the world. IKEA Food had annual sales of about $1.8 billion in 2016.

16Muhtar Kent

Between 1941-44, Turkish diplomats saved thousands of Jews by issuing them Turkish passports and sometimes pulling them off trains headed for the death camps. Among these diplomats was Necdet Kent, whose son Muhtar Kent, is the current chairman and former chief executive of Coca-Cola.

17. Iranians still use the ancient form of air conditioning called the badgir. It is a tower with vents on top and allows cool air to accelerate down into a building. Zion National Park in Utah has a modern example of this, where temps reach over 100 F, the visitors center stays at cool 73 F.

18. After a 1946 plane crash, Howard Hughes decided he did not like the design of the hospital bed he was laying in. He called in his engineers and had them design a new bed that would allow someone with severe burns to move freely. It became the prototype for the modern hospital bed.

19. The chicken nugget was invented by a Cornell University food science professor, who published the results academically instead of patenting them.

20. Chicago, "The Windy City", got that nickname not because of its weather, but because of its politicians bragging about the city to win the 1893 World's Fair. Its average wind speed of 10.3 mph is not even exceptional relative to other American cities: Boston- 12.4mph, and NYC- 9.3mph.

21David Glasheen

David Glasheen, having lost millions in the 1987 stock market crash, went to live on an island 1500 miles off the coast of Brisbane. He grows veggies, brews beer, and had a go at finding a wife to join him via online dating using the solar powered internet.

22. In 2001, BMW released a series of short films called "The Hire" that featured famous filmmakers, starred Clive Owen as the “Driver”, and highlighted the performance aspects of BMW cars. It was a huge success and helped increase car sales 12% over the previous year.

23. In 1984, Warner Bros. almost closed down the DC Comics publishing imprint and licensed the characters to Marvel. Marvel apparently declined, thinking that the reason DC was failing was the characters, not the management and did not consider the characters profitable.

24. The United States has a town entirely in Canada

25. In 2004, the 276 member studio audience of the Oprah Show were each given a Pontiac G-6 sedan. Oprah told producers to fill the crowd with people who "desperately needed" cars. On average each person was slapped with a $6000 tax bill.

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