32 Absolutely Must Know Random Facts | Random List #280

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1Waylon Jennings

Outlaw Country Superstar Waylon Jennings once earned $25,000 during contract negotiations when he quietly walked out of the room to pee because the record company thought he had walked out in frustration.


2. Confucius' family tree is the longest recorded extant pedigree in the world. There are 2 million registered modern descendants, with major branches in Korea (where his family was invited by the Goryeo dynasty in 1351) and Taiwan (where family members fled during the Chinese civil war).


3. Windsocks are calibrated to visually show wind speed as well as wind direction. They are designed such that each inflated red/white stripe indicates a 3-knot increase in wind speed to a maximum of 15 knots.


4. Japanese pro wrestler Rikidōzan often went to the bar immediately after his matches, without treating his wounds first. When patrons asked him why his face was bloodied, he'd reply "I had a tough day at work."


5. Audie Murphy, the most decorated American soldier of World War 2, suffered from battle fatigue for the rest of his life. He endured chronic insomnia and recurring nightmares and kept a loaded pistol under his pillow. He eventually took to sleeping alone in his garage with the lights on.


6Chocolate Oreo Milkshake

Baskin Robbins used to serve the Chocolate Oreo Milkshake that contained 2600 calories, 1700mg of sodium, 135g of fat, and 263g of sugar. Unsurprisingly, Men’s Health Magazine dubbed it the worst food in the U.S.


7. Southern live oak was a secret weapon of the USS Constitution, one of America's first naval vessels. It was nicknamed “Old Ironsides” after so many cannonballs bounced off her hull because live oak wood is a super dense wood.


8. The Inka never developed writing but instead had a system of tying knots called khipu in which the color, direction, and structure of the knots communicated different information. While most of it is numerical, fully cracking the code reveals a phonetic khipu alphabet with records of history.


9. Friedrich Kellner’s diary titled “My Opposition”, consists of 10 volumes, 861 pages, and 676 individually dated entries from September 1939 to May 1945. His diary offers a glimpse at what an average German citizen might’ve known of during the height of Nazi Germany’s power.


10. Because the original Pac-Man game stores the level counter as an 8-bit integer, an overflow error occurs when reaching level 256. This causes the level map to only half load, rendering it unbeatable. Making it to level 256 was used as a mark of prestige amongst players.


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11Walt Disney

Before Walt Disney opened Disneyland he ran out of cash and was unable to remove all the weeds and finish the landscaping. So he wrote the Latin names of the weeds on little signs giving them the appearance that they were intentionally planted there.


12. American silversmith Paul Revere never shouted the legendary phrase “The British are coming!” as he passed from town to town. The operation was meant to be conducted as discreetly as possible since scores of British troops were hiding out in the Massachusetts countryside.


13. American chemist Alexander Shulgin personally tested hundreds of drugs, meticulously recording their effects in his lab notebooks. He is also credited with introducing MDMA to psychologists in the late 1970s.


14. Steven Schussler, the creator of the Rainforest Cafe chain first tested out the concept in his house. He decorated it with 45 birds, 9 fish tanks, and many plants. He even set up fake thunderstorms. His neighbors thought he was crazy.


15. Sony needed military export permits from the Japanese trade ministry for the export of PlayStation 2s. The PS2 was so good at processing high-quality images quickly that the Japanese government believed it was possible to adapt it for use in missile guidance systems.


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16George Lucas

George Lucas wanted to be a racecar driver when he was a teenager. In 1962, he suffered a terrible car accident when another driver broadsided him. He required emergency medical treatment. The incident caused him to lose interest in racing but inspired him to pursue other interests.


17. When Richard the Lionheart got married, he was busy with the Crusades, so his bride came to Cyprus for the wedding. Richard then deposed the ruler of Cyprus, claiming the island for England. Richard wrapped the ruler in gold and silver chains and presented him to the new queen as a wedding gift.


18. In 1985, Wong-Staal became the first person to clone HIV and to generate a genetic mapping of the virus which would be used for the research and design of treatments for AIDS.


19. James Cameron originally wanted Billy Idol to play the T-1000 liquid metal Terminator in Terminator 2. Idol got into a serious motorcycle accident before filming and Robert Patrick was cast instead.


20. There are 7 primary keyholders of the Internet. Each keyholder is chosen for their geographical spread and Internet security background to ensure that no one country has more keyholders. The keyholders are a last resort option in case something catastrophic happens to the world's Internet.


21Louis and Temple Abernathy

In 1910, two boys, Louis and Temple Abernathy decided to cross America by horseback from Oklahoma to Manhattan to meet Theodore Roosevelt. They were 10 and 6 years old. While coming back home, they decided to buy a car, while their horses made the return by train.


22. Annie Murphy (Alexis from Schitt’s Creek) almost quit her acting career after her apartment burnt to the ground and she had $3 in her bank account. A couple of days later she secured her audition for Alexis.


23. Alexander the Great once built a half-mile causeway through the sea to capture the impregnable Tyre island. The island has remained a peninsula ever since.


24. Historians have estimated that from the years 1798 to 1848, the U.S. Navy lost two-thirds as many officers from dueling as from combat.


25. The Japanese Navy personnels always eat curry on Fridays to help sailors keep track of which day it is.

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