42 Random Facts That Might One Day Come in Handy – Part 199

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1Pope Celestine V

After a two-year impasse with no new Pope, the Cardinals elected a hermit monk who sent them an angry letter, threatening them with divine judgment. He became Celestine V. He served for 5 months before implementing a law that allowed Popes to abdicate. He abdicated a week later.


2. After the band Weezer covered the song "Africa" by Toto, Toto covered the song "Hash Pipe" by Weezer as a response.


3. Alcatraz's reputation as a tough as nails prison was a Hollywood myth. Many inmates requested transfer there on account of its good food and one man per cell policy.


4. Prior to 1996, there was no requirement to present an ID to board a plane. The policy was put into place to show the government was “doing something” about the crash of TWA Flight 800.


5. Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev gifted US President John F Kennedy a dog called Pushinka during the cold war. She, later on, had puppies; which Kennedy referred to as "the pupniks."


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6Florida fairy shrimp

The Florida fairy shrimp, which was discovered in 1952, was found to be a unique species of fairy shrimp that was specific to a single pond in Gainesville, Florida. When researchers returned to that pond in 2011, they realized that it had been filled in for development, thereby causing the species to go extinct.


7. Nuclear Semiotics is an interdisciplinary field of research tasked with warning people more than 10,000 years from now about nuclear waste, when all known languages may have disappeared.


8. Many courses in German Universities are actually offered in English, and international students don’t even have to meet the German language requirements to apply. In Germany, undergraduate students don’t pay any tuition fees in all the public universities since October 2014.


9. American actor James Earl Jones had a terrible stutter as a child and was functionally mute for 8 years because of it. A high school teacher helped him end his silence through Jones' love of poetry.


10. It's illegal to die in Longyearbyen, Svalbard (Norway) because dead bodies don’t properly decompose because of how far north it is. If someone is dying, every effort will be made to ship them to the mainland.


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11Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act

In Canada, in the event that you need to call 911 for someone who’s overdosed, you won’t get arrested for possession of controlled substances or charged under “The Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act.”


12. Julie d'Aubigny was a 17th-century traveling swordswoman. Among her other exploits, when her female lover was sent to a convent, she also entered the convent, stole the body of a dead nun, placed it in her lover's bed, escaped with her lover and burnt the convent down.


13. Legendary director/actor/pilot John Huston once flew over a celebrity golf tournament and dropped 5,000 ping pong balls on it.


14. The language spoken in Wakanda is Xhosa, an official language of South Africa and Zimbabwe and John Kani who played King T'Chaka is a native speaker of that language.


15. Disney's Space Mountain uses fans to blow air on you to create the illusion that you are going faster than you really are.


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16Fight Club

The scene in Fight Club where Tyler Durden is explaining the cost of a recall when "A car built by my company crashes and burns with everyone trapped inside" is based on an actually leaked memo from GM and Ford.


17. During World War 2, King George VI was at war with Germany as the King of the UK, but as King of Ireland, he was also at peace with Germany and validated the credentials of German ambassadors. After World War 2, he was at war with himself as King of India and separately King of Pakistan.


18. In Germany, a doctor diagnosed a case of cobalt poisoning because the symptoms matched a case shown in an episode of Dr. House and he went on write a book on how to apply Dr. House’s diagnosis in real life.


19. During the Great Depression, the state of Arkansas was in such bad financial shape that the treasurer at one point reported a balance of $4.62 for the entire general revenue fund of the state.


20. The largest number of graves of any cemetery for U.S. personnel killed during World War 2 is located in Manila, Philippines. It has 17,206 graves. 16,636 of which were U.S. personnel.


21Golf balls

Golf balls were once smooth. Golfers eventually realized that old, beat up balls flew farther. Modern day golf balls now have dimples around them because they increase turbulence, which allows them to fly farther.


22. The Parliament building in Bucharest is so massive that even though it already contains both lower and upper houses of parliament, three museums, and an international conference center, 70% of the building is still empty. The heating and electrical bill alone amounts to $6 million a year.


23. The Onagawa Nuclear Power Plant was much closer to the epicenter of the 2011 Earthquake than the Fukushima Power Plant, yet it sustained only minor damage and even housed tsunami evacuees. Its safety is credited to engineer Hirai Yanosuke who insisted that it have a 14 meter (46 feet) tall sea wall.


24. After the death of Princess Diana, radio station XFM banned certain songs that might upset people. Banned songs included Drive by The Cars, Airbag by Radiohead and anything by the Crash Test Dummies.


25. Although being a giant box office success, movie theater business was less enthused about the movie "A Quiet Place" because the ambiance of the movie was such that any type of loud eating was shamed leading to people not buying any food. Cinemas normally earn more from food than tickets.

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