The secret police in Communist Romania (Securitate) subjected the leaders of a 1977 coal miners' strike to 5-minute chest X-rays to ensure that they developed cancer.
2. The actor that played Anakin in Star Wars: Episode 1 - Phantom Menace (Jake Lloyd) quit acting as a result of being bullied for his role in the movie, eventually leading to him being placed in psychiatric care after crashing his car during a high-speed police chase.
3. Thomas Paine (American political activist) narrowly avoided the guillotine due to a severe fever. When a man came to chalk an X in the cell's door to mark the prisoner, the man marked the inside of the door since it was open to aid Paine's fever. When the door was later closed, no mark could be seen outside the cell.
4. On March 6, 1967, Stalin's 41-year-old daughter Svetlana Alliluyeva defected at the U.S. embassy in New Delhi, India, where she publicly denounced Communism and “embraced God, America, and apple pie.”
5. In the 70's, missionary Daniel Everett came to a Brazilian indigenous tribe to try to convert them. Instead, they "deconverted" him to atheism.
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The American Sign Language for “pasteurized milk” is the sign for “milk” while moving your hand past your eyes.
7. The real Casa Bonita restaurant has to track when the Casa Bonita South Park episode airs to ensure their staffing level meets the increased demand that day.
8. The frog known as the "Hairy Frog", "Horror Frog", or the "Wolverine Frog" is so aggressive that it will literally break its own bones, force them through the skin, then use them as claws to attack even humans.
9. Sarah Jessica Parker, who played a witch convicted in the Salem witch trials in the Disney movie "Hocus Pocus", later discovered that one of her ancestors was a real woman accused of witchcraft during the Salem witch trials.
10. In 1966, Harper Lee (American novelist) donated $10 to a school board that tried to ban To Kill a Mockingbird with a note that said: "I hope [the $10] will be used to enroll the Hanover County School Board in any first grade of its choice."
The scientists found that the descendants of Holocaust survivors developed a stress hormone mutation. They are inherently at higher risk of anxiety and stress disorders as a result of family trauma imparting gene mutations.
12. There is a small four-acre plot of land inside Belgium, which belongs to Germany. It consists of a single inhabited house with a garden.
13. Cuba Gooding Jr.'s first movie role was the non-speaking role of the guy getting the haircut in the barbershop in "Coming to America".
14. After her mental issues, Britney Spears was placed under legal conservatorship. Her finances and many of her personal decisions are run by a group of paid conservators (including her father) for approval even today.
15. Waffle House serves 2% off all the eggs eaten in America.
In order to secure the rights to use Led Zeppelin's "Immigrant Song", in the School of Rock movie, Jack Black shot a video of himself in front of 1,000 screaming fans begging the band to let him use their song.
17. Saturation diving: Divers working on deep-sea infrastructure such as oil pipelines live in a pressurized chamber for a month, taken between the chamber and their worksite by a pressurized diving bell. That way, they only need to be decompressed once, at the end of each 28-day job.
18. In Inglorious Basterds, during the scene where Brad Pitt and his team pose as Italian filmmakers, the name Eli Roth's character takes: Antonio Margheriti, is actually one of Quentin Tarantino's favorite spaghetti Western director's name.
19. The computer mouse, video conferencing, teleconferencing, hypertext, word processing, hypermedia, object addressing and dynamic file linking, bootstrapping, and a collaborative real-time editor were all demonstrated for the first time in what is the called the "mother of all demos" back in 1968.
20. Oprah Winfrey was born to a single mother, wore potato sacks for clothes, was molested by her family, and gave birth to a stillborn child at 14.
SIM cards are self-contained computers featuring their own 30mhz CPU, 64kb of RAM, and some storage space. They are designed to run "applets" written in a stripped down form of Java.
22. In 1986, the store chain Silo advertised a stereo as costing "299 bananas", with "bananas" being a slang word for "dollars". However, 32 people legally bought the stereos with 299 banana fruits.
23. In 1980, oil drillers in Lake Peigneur, Louisiana accidentally poked a 14-inch hole in an active underground salt mine, which drained the entire 2.5 billion gallon lake. Incredibly, there were no fatalities.
24. Michael Keaton's real name is Michael Douglas, but he was forced to use Keaton because the other actor was already using his name. As a result, he often inadvertently plays tricks on people expecting Michael Douglas only to get Michael Keaton.
25. The Mace Kingsley Ranch was a Scientology Private School where students were forced to do hard labor and the director, Wally Hanks, would punish the students with beatings (he was caught on audio tape). The school shut down in 2002.