30 OMG Random Facts That Are Super Cool To Know | Random List #296

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1Charlie Chaplin

Charlie Chaplin

Charlie Chaplin’s corpse was dug up and held for ransom in 1978.

2. Hugh Laurie gave Lin-Manuel Miranda the idea for the song "You'll Be Back" from Hamilton after a guest-starring on House in 2009. Miranda mentioned to Laurie he was trying to write a breakup letter from King George to the colonies and "without blinking, he improv'd at me, 'Awwww, you'll be back." 

3. Harvard University (founded 1636) temporarily lost the title of "oldest university in the United States" when the US colonized the Philippines (1899-1946), as Manila's Universidad de Santo Tomas (founded 1611) predated Harvard by 25 years.

4. After hearing Leonard Cohen's album including "Hallelujah," the head of CBS Records said it wasn't good enough for a U.S. release. Years later, accepting an award, Cohen thanked his record company by saying, “I have always been touched by the modesty of their interest in my work.” 

5. In 1947, American researcher John Calhoun began a 2-year study of rats in a massive pen. Although 5 females could have produced 5,000 progeny, the population never passed 200. The rats did not scatter but organized themselves into 12 colonies of a dozen rats each. He noted that 12 was the maximum that can live in peace.

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Belgian-Australian singer Gotye didn't monetize his music on YouTube, missing out on millions of dollars in revenue from just his "Somebody That I Used To Know (feat. Kimbra)" video on YouTube. 

7. Newlywed couples who watched and discussed five movies about relationships over a period of a month reduced their three-year divorce or separation rate from 24% to 11%. That makes it as effective in reducing divorce rates as a 20-hour therapist-led early marriage counseling program.

8. Staying awake for more than 24 hours brings deficiencies in performance equivalent to having a blood-alcohol level of more than 0.10. Most western developed countries consider 0.05 Blood Alcohol Concentration as the threshold for intoxication.

9. A Japanese journalist named Kiyoshi Shimizu helped solved a series of child kidnapping cases and released an innocent man from further prosecution. He also helped solve the murder of Shiori Ino which led to the changes to the legal treatment of stalking in Japan.

10. In the 1960s, an American doctor named Chester M. Southam tested if his patients could develop immunity to cancer by injecting them with cancer cells without their consent. He went on to be president of the American Association for Cancer Research.

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11Apollo Guidance computer

Apollo Guidance computer

The Apollo Guidance computer was programmed in metric but showed imperial values in the displays. Using metric meant fewer calculations thus optimizing the use of the limited processing power and the astronauts were used to imperial so that's what they saw on the display. 

12. Argentina has the most pets per capita, with 80% of the population having a pet. Argentineans have the most dogs (66% of pet-owners), Russians have the most cats (57% of pet-owners), Turks have the most birds (20% of the population), and Chinese have the most fish (17% of the population).

13. When her son Jeremy began showing symptoms of schizophrenia, Professional glass artist Elli Perkins refused to consult a psychiatrist due to her Scientologist beliefs and tried to cure him with alternative medicine instead. This resulted in Jeremy murdering her because he believed she was trying to poison him.

14. A Christian sect called "Millerites" believed that Christ would return by October 22, 1844. When that didn't happen, the "Great Disappointment" caused them to fall into confusion and disband, with some former Millerites reinterpreting their doctrine and forming the Seventh Day Adventists.

15. Cats commonly have white bellies and paws because when pigment develops in the womb, it starts along what will become the spine and works its way around to the front. Sometimes pigmentation doesn’t make it all the way around, resulting in color on top and white on the bottom.

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16Alexander Graham Bell

Alexander Graham Bell

Alexander Graham Bell was a eugenicist and feared the creation of a "deaf race", advocating for the elimination of sign language and deaf schools in order to prevent deaf people from reproducing

17. Isaac Newton studied the occult and predicted the end of the world as we know it to happen around the year 2060. He believed humanity would then progress into an era of divinely inspired peace. 

18. The first character on the screen in Super Mario 64 is Lakitu, Mario's camera operator. Because the 1996 game was the first in the series to have 3D gameplay, the developers needed to teach players that they were controlling both Mario and the camera.

19. King George II of Britain died from his heart bursting from exerting too much pressure while pooping.

20. Crowd noises for the movie 'Spartacus' [1960] were recorded at Spartan Stadium of MSU. Prior to a football game between MSU and Notre Dame, 76,000 spectators were instructed by actor John Gavin [Caesar] to roar, 'Spartacus! Spartacus!', 'Hail Crassus' and of course, 'I'm Spartacus!' 

21Elizabeth Coleman White

Elizabeth Coleman White

Elizabeth Coleman White, whose family owned a cranberry farm, teamed up with botanist Frederick Coville to develop and cultivate the first blueberry crop. White paid people for each bush they found with blueberries that measured at least 5/8 of an inch. Coville uprooted and grafted them. 

22. When cartoonist Tom Batiuk lost the ownership of his comic strip John Darling to his syndicate in 1990, he had the main character murdered with no warning. With the protagonist dead, the syndicate had the rights to an unusable property and the strip ended the next day.

23. "Nimh" in the movie "Secret of Nimh" stands for "National Institute of Mental Health" and is based on a book about the institute that did horrific studies on rats.

24. A video game named Castle Infinity was shut down in 2000 but was brought back when the servers were recovered from a dumpster by a former player and programmer. He then established a new development team and relaunched the game online.

25. During the American Civil War, several divisions of the confederate army had a large snowball fight. It started when a couple of hundred men from Texas plotted a friendly fight with men from Arkansas, which spiraled into a brawl involving 9,000 soldiers of the Army of Northern Virginia.


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