50 Random Facts List #46

1Alan Alda

Alan Alda is the only actor to appear in all 251 episodes of the long-running series M*A*S*H. He commuted from Los Angeles to his home in New Jersey, where his wife and daughters lived, every weekend for the 11-year-run of the show, because he didn't know how long the show would last.

2. Researchers tried 2000 times to ignite gasoline with a cigarette and failed 100% of the time.

3. Adolf Hitler was the first European leader to ban human zoos, a popular attraction in Europe where exotic peoples were paid to be on exhibit for onlookers, with recreated habitats and shows. Belgium was the last to ban them, in 1958.

4. After Spartacus’ revolt in 73 B.C.E., 6,000 slaves were crucified along a 120-mile stretch of road called the Appian Way. This equated to roughly 50 slaves per mile or roughly 1 slave every hundred feet. The mass crucifixion served as a deterrent to anyone else who thought to defy Rome.

5. Instead of going to court over a copyright infringement dispute, the CEOs of Southwest Airlines and Stevens Aviation challenged each other to an arm wrestling duel via humorous letters. No lawyers were ever involved, and the men honored the outcome of the match.

6Mao's relationship

Chinese leader Mao had relations with a 14-year-old girl and the girl's father tried to write an outraged letter to him after learning about it. The post office brought the letter back and warned that insulting the Chairman could lead to extreme retribution or death.

7. The traditional "Last Meal" on death row didn't begin as a final compassionate act for the condemned, but as a way to bribe their ghost to not haunt the executioners.

8. Germany has mandatory quiet time from 1 pm to 3 pm and 10 pm to 6 am Monday - Saturday and all day Sundays and holidays.

9. TBS speeds up shows almost 10% to fit more ads into each timeslot.

10. The Temple of Artemis was burned by a man named Herostratus who sought to live in infamy. Despite his name becoming illegal to say, to deny him that infamy, it eventually became a metonym "Herostratic fame" meaning someone who commits an act to gain notoriety and infamy.

11Henry Darger

A janitor named Henry Darger from Chicago wrote over 6 years a 15,145-page fantasy manuscript with over 300 watercolor illustrations called "In the Realms of the Unreal", which was only discovered after his death.

12. Carl Haber created a machine that can read the surface of very old audio recordings and reproduce them without having to touch them; using the same type of technology that was used to see the Higgs boson particle.

13. There is a plant called Acacia phlebophylla which only grows in one place in the world, Mount Buffalo in Australia. It also happens to be one of the purest natural sources of the psychadelic drug DMT.

14. The oldest garden that has been tended to continuously is 973 years old, in China, and one of 50 surviving gardens called the Classical Gardens of Suzhou, founded in the 6th Century.

15. When Noam Chomsky was asked to demonstrate his point that sentences could be grammatical yet nonsensical, he came up with the sentence: "Colorless green ideas sleep furiously."

16Amy Dallamura

British woman Amy Dallamura was banned from being within 50 meters of the sea after she unsuccessfully tried to commit suicide by throwing herself into the ocean 50 times costing emergency crews over £1m.

17. In 2014, UK scientists created the fastest ever internet connection, clocking speeds of 1.4 terabits per second, which is enough to download 44 HD movies a second.

18. St. Guinefort was a dog who became a folk saint after saving his owner's child from a snake. He had a grave where people brought their children to for protection and healing, as well as left offerings.

19. Gino Bartali was a champion Italian cyclist. During World War 2, he cycled through Italy carrying messages for the Italian Resistance. He even smuggled Jews in a wagon with a secret compartment telling people it was part of his training.

20. The color of a placebo pill matters. In a classic study, researchers randomized patients to receive different colored placebo pills for pain relief. They found that red placebo pills "worked" the best.

21Budweiser

Budweiser is actually a stolen name from a Czech brewery in the city of Budvar (Budweiss) and they've been fighting over it since 1907.

22. There is an abandoned, underwater strip club in Eilat, Israel.

23. Some animals use copper, instead of iron (Haemocyanin) as a way to transport oxygen through their blood.

24. The name "Brân" in Welsh is usually translated as crow or raven, and there was a mythological king of Britain in Welsh mythology called Brân the Blessed.

25. Scientists have discovered colonies of worms living in mounds of methane ice at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico.

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