When Beethoven was challenged to an improvisation duel by one of his rivals named Steibelt, Beethoven took a piece of Steibelt's music, turned it upside down, played it, then improvised on that theme for over an hour. Steibelt simply left halfway through.
2. A nurse wanted to know if her farts were contaminating equipment in the lab. The doctor and a microbiologist tested the hypothesis by having a colleague fart clothed then naked onto two Petri dishes. The conclusion was that clothing acts as a filter, but naked farts can cause contamination.
3. Ossip Bernstein, a famous chess grandmaster, who was sentenced to death by the Bolsheviks in 1918. While he was facing the firing squad, a Russian officer that heard his name offered him the chance to prove his identity in a game of chess. He beat the officer and was released.
4. Franklin D. Roosevelt founded an organization to find a cure for polio and believed that if everyone gave only a dime, polio would be eradicated. Because of this motto, after his death in 1945, FDR's face was put on the dime, and his organization was renamed "The March of Dimes."
5. James Cameron made the movie Titanic to get a dive to the shipwreck funded by the movie studio; not because he particularly wanted to make the movie.
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Max Yasgur, the man who hosted Woodstock on his dairy farm. He got threats from his neighbors, but said: "if the generation gap is to be closed, we older people have to do more than we have done." He also got angry when people were trying to sell water and provided it free of charge.
7. As of 2011, there are more barrels of bourbon aging in the state of Kentucky (4.7 million) than there are people who live there (4.3 million).
8. Judy, a purebred English pointer who would often jump in to protect prisoners from beatings in a POW camp during WW2. A British Naval pilot bargained to have her officially considered a POW so the guards could not kill her.
9. The most decorated American unit in WWII was the 442nd, an almost exclusively Japanese-American infantry regiment
10. In Spanish, "esposas" means both "handcuffs" and "wives" and it is not a coincidence
11Cavalese cable car disaster
A US Marines airplane cut through a cable car wire at an Italian ski resort, which caused the cable car to plunge 80 meters (260 feet) to the ground, killing all 20 people onboard. One of the crewmen later destroyed incriminating evidence against himself and the rest of the crew.
12. Even under a worst-case scenario, no Rubik's Cube is farther than 20 moves from being solved.
13. The Spice Girls ran away from the people who put the group together before signing a contract, and stole the master recordings of their songs which they demoed around to get a new manager.
14. Stanley Kubrick asked journalists to refer to "2001: A Space Odyssey" as "two thousand and one" instead of "twenty-oh-one" hoping it would influence the pronunciation of that year.
15. In 2013, an expedition to recover bodies from a tugboat sunk at 30-meter depth found one survivor named Harrison Okene trapped in an air bubble, in pitch black, after 3 days
Between 2007 and 2012, drug wholesalers shipped 780 million oxycodone and hydrocodone doses to West Virginia, or 433 pills per person. During this time, 1,728 people in the state fatally overdosed on the painkillers.
17. Kristen Wiig was almost Sweet Dee on 'It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia'. Kaitlin Olson and Wiig were neck-and-neck for the part, with the role ultimately going to Olson. Kristen Wiig joined SNL later that same year.
18. Wild salmon flesh is red because of pigments in the krill they eat. It is the same pigment that turns lobsters and flamingos red/pink. If this is not supplemented in farmed salmon, their flesh will be the normal gray of other fish. This is why farmed salmon says, "color added".
19. The family of Ron Goldman (the guy OJ was acquitted of murdering) was awarded the rights to his infamous book "If I Did It" as a result of the civil trial, renamed it "Confessions of a Killer", then published it.
20. A NCAA football coach named Todd Hoffner was fired after a co-worker found pornographic videos of children on his cell phone. He fought the charges vigorously after being charged with 2 felonies. He was finally reinstated after 18 months after it was revealed it was his kids taking a bath.
Henry Shrapnel in 1784 invented a hollow cannon ball that would be filled with shot and gunpowder and exploded over the enemies
22. All astronauts have to learn how to speak Russian, and all cosmonauts have to learn how to speak English
23. Iran has the highest female to male ratio in universities among all sovereign nations. More than 70% of students in engineering and pure sciences are women.
24. In Japan, houses are considered depreciating assets. Half of all homes are destroyed by the time they are 38 and rebuilt. There are 4 times as many architects and twice as many construction workers per capita as the US. There is no home equity LOC and virtually no home improvement industry.
25. Roman Emperor Caligula was told that he had "no more chance of becoming emperor than of riding a horse across the Bay of Baiae". He then built a two-mile temporary floating bridge and walked his horse across.