39 Weird But True Random Facts That’ll Make Your Life Interesting – Part 166

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1Harry K. Daghlian Jr. and Louis Slotin

Some physicists who worked on the invention of the atom bomb at Los Alamos died from radiation exposure, including Harry K. Daghlian, Jr. (1921–1945) and Louis Slotin (1910–1946), who both were exposed to lethal doses of radiation in separate criticality accidents involving the same sphere of plutonium.


2. Sabin Arnold von Sochocky invented the first radium-based luminescent paint but eventually died of aplastic anemia resulting from his exposure to the radioactive material.


3. William Nelson (1879−1903), a General Electric employee, invented a new way to motorize bicycles. He then fell off his prototype bike during a test run and died.


4. William Bullock (1813–1867) invented the web rotary printing press. Several years after its invention, his foot was crushed during the installation of the new machine in Philadelphia. The crushed foot developed gangrene and Bullock died during the amputation.


5. Aurel Vlaicu (1882–1913) died when his self-constructed airplane, Vlaicu II, failed during an attempt to cross the Carpathian Mountains by air.


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6Michael Dacre

Michael Dacre (died 2009, aged 53) died after testing his flying taxi device designed to permit fast, affordable travel between regional cities.


7. Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier was the first known fatality in an air crash when his Rozière balloon crashed on 15 June 1785 while he and Pierre Romain attempted to cross the English Channel.


8. Horace Lawson Hunley (died 1863, age 40), Confederate marine engineer and inventor of the first combat submarine, Hunley, died during a trial of his vessel. During a routine test of the submarine, which had already suffered one accident, Hunley took command. After failing to resurface, Hunley and the seven other crew members drowned. The navy salvaged the submarine and put it back into use.


9. Henry Smolinski (died 1973) was killed during a test flight of the AVE Mizar, a flying car based on the Ford Pinto and the sole product of the company he founded.


10. Otto Lilienthal (1848–1896) died the day after crashing one of his hang gliders.


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11Henry Fleuss

Henry Fleuss met his watery demise in 1932 when he tested his own invention during a dive. The pure oxygen used in the rebreather was fatal.


12. One of the originally pitched names for Hannah Montana was Alexis Texas.


13. An aboriginal artist only discovered that one of his designs had been used on the Australian $1 note when someone brought a wad of cash to his village in 1966. He was compensated with a medallion, a fishing tackle box and $1,000.


14. In the movie "The Program" there was a scene where football players laid in the middle of the highway to prove they have nerves of steel as vehicles avoided them. In real life, this stunt was copied by two teenagers, but vehicles ran over each person instead of avoiding them, killing one of them.


15. In 1998, New York City had to recall pencils with the message "Too Cool to Do Drugs" on them because as they were sharpened, they'd say "Cool to Do Drugs" and "Do Drugs", etc.


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16Meth

In North Korea, there is little stigma attached to using meth. "If you go to somebody's house it is a polite way to greet somebody by offering them a sniff," says one North Korean.


17. Colorado switched mile marker "420" to "419.99" in order to stop people from stealing it.


18. As a child raised in South Carolina, US political comedian Stephen Colbert observed that Southerners were often depicted as being less intelligent than other characters on scripted television. To avoid that stereotype, he taught himself to imitate the speech of American news anchors.


19. Two students named Steven Pera and Allan Schwander were arrested in 1972 for a plan to poison Chicago's water supply with typhoid, anthrax, and various other pathogens. Released on bond, they hijacked a plane and forced it to go to Cuba. One died in a prison and the other one eventually made it home, getting 5 years of probation.


20. The Wright Brothers hated the first director of the Smithsonian Institution, who claimed that he flew before them. If the Smithsonian ever gives credit to earlier claims of controlled and powered manned flight, the Wright Brothers' plane must be returned to Orville's estate.


21George Washington University

In 2006, police at George Washington University used Facebook to learn about college parties and bust them. To fight back, students set up a beer blast event on Facebook. When the cops showed up, there was no alcohol, but cookies with "Beer" written on them and games of "Cake-pong".


22. The Soviets had made a prototype laser pistol (Soviet laser pistol) for use by their astronauts. The pistol was designed to burn a hole through the spacesuits of enemy astronauts, killing them via suffocation and/or explosive decompression.


23. During the Spanish-American war (1898), a warship named USS Charleston was sent by the USA to capture Guam. It fired 13 shots at the harbor fort without receiving return fire. The Spanish sent an officer out to apologize for not returning the 'salute' as they were out of gunpowder. They hadn't been informed that they were at war.


24. In 2000, Pope John Paul II gave his blessing to the Pokémon franchise, saying the games did not have "any harmful moral side effects" and were based on "ties of intense friendship".


25. In the film 'Thank You for Smoking', none of the characters are ever seen smoking.

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