33 Extraordinary Random Facts Out of This World | Random List #297

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1Robert Kearns

In 1963, Robert Kearns invented the intermittent windshield wiper, presented it to Ford Motor Co., and was hired. Ford fired him and took his technology. He sued Ford for patent infringement and after 12 years of litigation, at times without a lawyer, the court awarded Kearns $10.3 million.


2. David Bowie lured unknown Stevie Ray Vaughn to play on his 1983 album “Let’s Dance” by dangling an opening act on tour. However, after recording, Vaughn was relegated to a backup musician and wouldn’t be allowed to talk about his music. So, he quit, released “Texas Flood”, and became a superstar instead.


3. Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam smokes so much pot that he had a fireman’s pole installed in his home just so that he could get to his studio faster to avoid forgetting ideas for songs/lyrics he creates.


4. Berkshire Hathaway was a failing textile business. The chairman at the time offered to buy Warren Buffet's stake but changed his offer last minute. Angered, Buffet bought more, taking control of the company and firing the chairman.


5. The Thirteen Colonies were used as a penal colony for English criminals between the 1600s to 1776. Historians estimate between 50,000 to 120,000 criminals were transferred. After America's independence the Brits tried to substitute America with Ghana and Senegal, ultimately deciding on Australia.


6Elagabalus

By the age of 18, 3rd century Roman emperor Elagabalus had been a high priest, consul, married four times, Roman emperor for four years, and the victim of an assassination devised by his grandmother.


7. B92 is a dissident radio station in Serbia that played Public Enemy’s “Fight the Power” on repeat when they were banned from broadcasting news. The song became an anti-Milošević anthem in 1991.


8. Hockey legend Wayne Gretzky once had a cameo on the soap opera “The Young and the Restless.” As a huge soap opera fan in 1981, Gretzky made a cameo on the daytime show as a mafia boss. His one line was, “I’m Wayne from the Edmonton operation.”


9. Research shows that viewing online cat media (i.e. pictures and videos) is related to positive emotions. It may even work as a form of digital therapy or stress relief for some users. Some feelings of guilt from postponing tasks can also be reduced by viewing cat content.


10. Graham Hill did not pass his driving test till the age of 24 and joined professional racing just a year later. He is the only driver to achieve the Triple Crown of Motorsport, an achievement defined as winning the Indianapolis 500, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and the Monaco Grand Prix.


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11The Lost Patrol

When filming “The Lost Patrol” in Arizona, the cast only worked in the early morning and late afternoon, to avoid the intense day heat. The producer wanted longer filming hours, and to prove his point, walked around in the open at midday. He soon collapsed from the heat, requiring hospital treatment.


12. Honeybees used in almond groves often die of pesticides, lack of biodiversity, arousal from dormancy early. To mitigate, growers split hives, put mail-order queens in new hives and feed bees fake pollen. The “Bee Better” program puts diverse flora in almond groves as natural pest control/bee food.


13. There are more than 1,300 stone rings across the British Islands and Stonehenge is only the most famous of them.


14. After the film Gremlins came out, Entertainment Tonight critic Leonard Maltin gave it a negative review. The director was hurt by the initial review but later invited Maltin to film a cameo in the sequel, Gremlines 2. In it Maltin is attacked by the gremlins for his bad review.


15. Packhorse librarians that serviced the Appalachian communities (e.g., rural Kentucky) in the mid-1930s to early 1940s were mostly women who rode on horses or mules to deliver library books to remote communities during the Great Depression.


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16Doris Crockford

There was a book about a famous train leaving King’s Cross Station on a magical adventure, written in 1937 by Doris Crockford (the same name as a witch Harry Potter meets in the first book).


17. Before synthetic plastics were invented, a substance called Hemacite was widely used to make everything from roller skate wheels to doorknobs. Its ingredients were blood and sawdust.


18. Lover’s eye jewelry was popular in the late 1700s and early 1800s. Stylish aristocratic Englishmen and women often wore miniature portraits depicting their spouse or lover. Because the tiny watercolors revealed only the eye, the subject’s identity was kept secret.


19. Vodka doesn't have to come from potatoes. It can be made from anything which will ferment, even grass, salmon or old newspapers. Vodka just needs to be a clear spirit distilled to 190 proof.


20. Grizzly Adams died from complications from getting bit in the brain by a monkey. A previous injury from a bear left him with a portion of his brain exposed which was subsequently bitten by a monkey, resulting in an infection from which he later died.


21John Dillinger

FBI's nationwide manhunt to capture depression-era gangster John Dillinger after he broke out of jail cost them about $2 million at the time. The total amount of money his gang looted was around $500,000.


22. Pollen-deprived bumblebees tend to bite plant leaves more often than when pollen is plentiful. The bumblebee bites stimulate early flowering. Scientists compared bumble bee-bitten plants and unbitten plants. Bitten plants bloomed in 17 days and the unbitten took an average of 33 days to bloom.


23. Hummingbird nests are the smallest in the world. Most species of hummingbirds weave spider silk into the nest for structural support and to make it more elastic to accommodate the offspring as they grow. Often lichen will be attached to the outside of the nest for camouflage.


24. Paul McCartney wrote the song, “She’s Leaving Home”, after reading a story on the front page of the Daily Mail about a girl who ran away from her parents. The girl, Melanie Coe, coincidentally met McCartney when he chose her as the prize winner in a dancing contest three years earlier.


25. One of the special effects in Highlander (1985) was achieved by strapping car batteries to the actors’ legs and wiring them up so they had spark when a sword struck. Production would pause while filming these scenes after three takes because the sword handles would get too hot.

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