Actor Johnny Knoxville turned down a spot on SNL in the beginning of his acting career. SNL saw a demo tape of his show Jackass and offered him a spot on the show. However, he turned it down “because he wanted to work with his friends and have full control of his work.”
2. There is a cave in Romania that had been sealed off from the outside world for 5.5 million years and scientists have discovered dozens of unique lifeforms thriving in the poisonous gases and water.
3. American poet Dorothy Parker gave her estate to Martin Luther King when she died. After he was killed, her estate was bequeathed to the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People). After many years of contestation, during which her ashes were kept in a filing cabinet, she now resides at NAACP headquarters as a Defender of Human and Civil Rights.
4. Fidel Castro was obsessed with ice cream, once consuming 18 scoops in one sitting. His love for ice cream inspired him to implement a fully-fledged dairy industry in Cuba and he even opened his own ice cream parlor.
5. In 1986, St. George's Place in Glasgow was renamed Nelson Mandela Place. It was the address of the South African consulate, forcing them to use the name of their most famous political prisoner on all correspondence.
6Taiwan receipt lottery
In Taiwan, every receipt for every store in the country is also a ticket to a government-run lottery with top prizes worth up to US$300,000.
7. If you are being questioned by authorities in the US and you choose to remain silent in response to a specific question, that silence may itself be construed as evidence of guilt, unless you specifically state that you're invoking your right to remain silent under the 5th Amendment.
8. In 1916, soldiers with a femur fracture had an 80% chance of dying. The introduction of the Thomas Splint reversed this statistic, giving soldiers with the same injury an 80% survival rate by 1917.
9. Slow TV is a very long coverage of mundane, ordinary events, which is huge in Norway. The national broadcaster NRK has regularly shown programs such as a 376 hr boat voyage, 60 hrs of choirs singing, and 12 hrs of knitting. Shorter shows include a lecture on Norway's past 200 years in 200 minutes.
10. Many Chinese soldiers that came into contact with protestors at Tiananmen Square refused to open fire on civilians. One official even refused to obey orders by pretending he didn't receive any messages. There was even infighting between the various units over violence against civilians.
Heather Donahue brought a knife with her when filming the "Blair Witch Project" because she was afraid it was a snuff film. All of her friends and family urged her not to work on it.
12. While Jeff Bezos was a theoretical physics student at Princeton, he was struggling with a difficult math problem. He brought it to one of his friends, who solved it just by looking at it. After that, he realized he was not going to be a good theoretical physicist, and quit the major.
13. There was a mysterious disease that existed in Guam. It was the leading cause of adult death between 1945 and 1956. Fruit bats were part of the local diet at the time and became extinct as a result of overhunting. A decline in fruit bat consumption led to a decline in the incidence of the disease.
14. Patrick Tadina, a 30-year-old Army veteran was the longest continuously serving Ranger in Vietnam. Due to his complexion and small size he could often pass as Vietcong while wearing pajamas and sandals to get within feet of the enemy. He earned two silver stars and 10 bronze stars, 7 with valor.
15. Stephanie Kwolek, the inventor of Kevlar was working on finding a new, lightweight substitute for steel belting in automobile tires, on fears of a looming oil shortage and in anticipation of a market for lighter tires. What resulted was a new fiber five times stronger than steel by weight.
Maya Moore, the best women’s basketball player in the world, retired early to fight for criminal justice reform. She helped overturn a wrongly convicted man who served 22 years of a 50-year sentence. His name is Jonathan Irons.
17. In the USA, you can just un-adopt children at any point if you don't want them anymore.
18. With every bottle of Laphroaig Whisky, you are entitled to a lifetime lease on a plot of land in Scotland (1ft squared).
19. In the United States, 78% of people with the name Leslie are female, but in England 95% are male.
20. Commercial flight attendants and pilots are 4 times more likely to get cancer in their lifetime, because of the time they spend flying, with a thinner atmosphere and more solar particles. They receive 3 times more radiation a year than a nuclear plant employee.
Three-quarters of U.S. teens and adults are deficient in vitamin D, the so-called "sunshine vitamin" whose deficits are increasingly blamed for everything from cancer and heart disease to diabetes, according to new research.
22. Alfred Binet, the inventor of the IQ test did not create it with the intention of measuring intelligence. Instead, his intention was to classify the "mental age" of kids and identify the ones that weren't developing themselves well in school and sort of "rescue" them.
23. Captain James Martin Stag, President Eisenhower's Chief Meteorologist, whose defiant decision to delay the Allies' invasion of Normandy from June 5th to June 6th due to weather conditions was dubbed "The most important weather forecast of all time."
24. Alan Turing volunteered during the war and in the application form he answered a question that asked the applicant if they understood that by signing up they place themselves liable to military law as "No". No one noticed, he became a fine marksman and then got out by citing this technicality.
25. Nathan “Nearest” Green was an African-American who was born into slavery and was emancipated after the American Civil War. He was the master distiller who taught distilling techniques to Jack Daniel of the Jack Daniel Tennessee Whiskey.