Charles Liteky is the only Medal of Honor recipient to have returned the medal. He saved 20 wounded soldiers, while he was an unarmed chaplain, during an intense enemy fire, in 1967. He ultimately chose to return the honor in 1986, as a protest of US policies in Central America.
2. George Lucas wanted the final Star Wars trilogy to take place in a micro biotic world. It would be shown that creatures called Whills are actually what use the Force and that Jedi only communicate with Whills via their midi-chlorians. His vision for Star Wars was to teach appreciation for ecosystems.
3. The primary function of a bathroom vent fan is not for removing odors but to exhaust warm, moist air created from using the shower or bathtub which discourages mold growth.
4. Beate Sirota was an Austrian-born Jew who was raised in Japan and was educated at the German School of Tokyo for six years. Her parents deemed it “too Nazi” and moved her to the American school. She helped write the Japanese constitution in 1946 ensuring equality for women being enshrined in law.
5. Norwegians pay half tax in November (compensating by paying more tax in other months), so everyone has more money for Christmas.
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The very first strike ever recorded in history started in 1152 BC. During the reign of Ramses III in Ancient Egypt, while building a royal necropolis, the workers felt they were being underpaid, so they organized a massive strike. Their wages were actually increased and workers returned to work.
7. The Loggerhead Shrike aka the Butcherbird which is endemic to North America impales its prey on thorns or barbed wire due to lack of adequate talons of its own. It has been nicknamed the Butcherbird due to its carnivorous behaviors and the fact that it sometimes leaves its' prey on display.
8. In 1961, a handful of the world's top scientists gathered at the Green Bank Observatory in West Virginia, to give Dolphins LSD. They noted that as soon as the dolphin on LSD had contact with another intelligent mammal, it wouldn’t shut up.
9. A device which has been aptly named the StingRay is used by Law Enforcement for surveillance. It mimics a cell tower forcing all nearby mobile phones and other cellular data devices to connect to it.
10. The Hmong people communicate by whistling. The valleys of the Himalayas they live in, makes this mode of communication ideal for transmission, sometimes carrying the sounds as far as 8 km. They even perform whistling courtship ceremonies, and once in a relationship, lovers can make up their own ‘secret’ syllables.
Claw machines are rigged, and the owner can program them to drop a toy after it gets picked up, giving you the illusion of near-success.
12. A prisoner named James Scott fought in 7 nationally televised boxing matches from behind bars. He rose to be the No.2 contender in the WBA rankings, defeating the No.1 along the way. The WBA stripped his ranking after becoming concerned that a prison inmate might actually win the world title.
13. The U.S. Postal Service is required by law to fly the POW-MIA flag anytime they fly the American Flag.
14. In Svalbard, by law, you must carry a gun when traveling outside of the settlements because of the archipelago’s abundant polar bear population.
15. Cybercrime is a bigger business in the US than drug trafficking and generates significantly bigger profits.
After the pandemic began, many investors purchased the wrong Zoom stock, getting shares in a defunct Chinese hardware company, instead of the calling app, Zoom Video Communications. This meant that the wrong Zoom stock price soared by 1800% before the SEC stepped in.
17. Someone tried and failed to save President Abraham Lincoln. His name was Major Henry Rathbone. After Booth fired the shot, Rathbone tried to tackle him to the ground, but Booth was able to get free by slicing Rathbone in the arm with a dagger. Rathbone was never free of the guilt till his death.
18. Babe Ruth believed that his birthday was on February 7, 1894. However, when he applied for a passport he looked up his birth certificate and found his birthday listed as February 6, 1895, nearly a full year later than he thought.
19. People who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to have bigger appetites due to the fact that their leptin levels (leptin is an appetite-regulating hormone) fall, promoting appetite increase.
20. Lice were so prevalent during the middle ages that delousing became a social activity. People would sit down and have a chat or gossip while removing each other's lice.
Upon its release 'Stalker', a film by Andrei Tarkovsky, was criticized for being slow. In response to this Tarkovsky replied, "The film needs to be slower and duller at the start so that the viewers who walked into the wrong theatre have time to leave before the main action starts."
22. The originator of the popular saying, "It's easier to ask forgiveness than it is to get permission" was Grace Hopper, a United States Navy Rear Admiral and pioneer of computer programming who popularized the idea of machine-independent programming languages, which led to the development of COBOL.
23. The Censored Eleven is a list of Looney Tunes and Merry Melodies cartoons that in 1968 were deemed too offensive for public consumption. They have not been broadcast on TV since then, and aside from one screening in 2010 at a film festival, they have never received any official release by Warner Bros.
24. MDZhB is a Russian ghost radio station that has been broadcasting since 1982. No one claims it but it has continuously produced a buzz punctuated with someone making a short random statement once or twice a week since its inception.
25. In 1987 a group in Mumbai, India pretending to be CBI officers (Indian FBI) advertised and conducted interviews claiming to be hiring "Intelligence and Security Officers". 26 people were hired, and then they were used to "raid" (rob) a jewelry store. The group was never caught.