44 Delightful Random Facts That’ll Brighten Your Day – Part 231

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1Alweg

In 1963, Alweg (known for Disneyland’s Monorail) offered to fund/build a monorail transit system throughout Los Angeles County at no cost to county taxpayers. Instead, L.A. County authorities killed off the project due to being pressured from Standard Oil of California and General Motors.


2. Two Buddhists who bought £5,000 worth of live crabs and lobsters, and released them into the English Channel in 2015 as part of a religious ceremony and earning good karma, were fined £15,000 for ‘untold damage’ they caused to the environment by introducing non-native species.


3. Finland has planted 150 million trees per year for decades. For a small nation of 5.5 million people, that's 27 trees per person. If the entire European Union were to do the same, there would be nearly 14 billion trees planted every year in the EU.


4. There are more people who have learned English as a second language than there are native speakers.


5. In 2002, an English milkman named Steve Leech was doing his rounds when he saw a shop on fire. He used 320 pints of milk to put out the fire, saving 7 other stores. He was named and awarded the title of “Hero Milkman of the Millennium.”


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6Caroline Cutter Headstone

A man in New Hampshire in the 1830s accused his church of murdering his wife and had his grievance carved into her gravestone. It is about 150 words long, very specific, and gives names and events leading to her death.


7. Steven Spielberg, while filming Raiders of the Lost Ark in Tunisia, avoided dysentery that afflicted Harrison Ford and most of his cast and crew. Spielberg’s secret was a suitcase full of SpaghettiOs which he brought with him on the shoot.


8. HMOs are a type of sugar found only in human breast milk. They are not digestible by the infant child. Instead, they feed the ‘good’ intestinal bacteria, thereby increasing the health of the infant's intestinal microbiome.


9. In 2005, a suicidal man named Juan Manuel Álvarez in Glendale, California parked his car in front of a commuter train. The train derailed and collided with two additional trains resulting in over 100 casualties. The man survived and was sentenced to life without parole.


10. The city of Liverpool in the UK has successfully boycotted News Corp’s “The Sun” newspaper for 30 years after proven false and sensationalized reporting of the city’s Hillsborough stadium disaster.


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11Hacker

In 2018, it was discovered that a hacker broke into people’s routers (100,000 of them) and patched their vulnerabilities up so that they couldn’t be abused by other hackers.


12. In 2006, a Norman Rockwell painting was discovered in a secret compartment inside the walls of a cartoonist’s house. It’d been hidden there for 35 years. A cartoonist named Don Trachte had forged several paintings he owned to stop his ex-wife from getting them in a divorce settlement and had hidden the originals.


13. One reason why Greenland is considered the largest island and Australia is a continent, not an island (even though it fits the definition of an island) is because Greenland is a part of the North American plate and Australia has its own separate tectonic plate.


14. George Miller, a Medical Doctor at the time, was inspired to make Mad Max (1979) when he witnessed fights break out during a gas shortage in Australia. He assumed that in the future nations would not implement the infrastructure for renewable energy until it was too late and this could lead to a dystopia.


15. Monty Python sued ABC over their censorship of season 4 of their show. ABC had cut punch lines and entire characters. The judge and jury watched two versions of a season 4 episode; a BBC one they laughed at, and an edited ABC one which no one laughed at. The judge ruled in ABC’s favor.


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16Alkaline Hydrolysis

Alkaline hydrolysis a.k.a. water cremation is the process of heating a body in a mix of water and potassium hydroxide down to its chemical components, which are then disposed of through the sewer, or as a fertilizer. This method takes 1/4 of the energy of heat cremation with less resulting pollutants.


17. In 1979, the Black-footed ferret was declared extinct. In 1981 the species was rediscovered when a dog in Meeteetse, Wyoming brought a dead ferret home. A small population was found and today the Black-footed ferret is making a comeback.


18. In 1983, the citizens of 15 areas in and around Dallas voted to impose a 1% sales tax on themselves in order to fund the creation of the Dallas Area Rapid Transit. It is now the longest light rail network in the USA.


19. Mozart did not attend his father’s funeral, but a week later threw a lavish ceremony for his deceased pet starling complete with a procession, hymns, and a personal poem.


20. Author Tom Clancy died in 2013 but his name is still used on new novels written by ghostwriters.


21Pope Clement VII

Pope Clement VII personally approved Nicolaus Copernicus’s theory that the Earth revolves around the Sun in 1533, 99 years before Galileo Galilei’s heresy trial for similar ideas.


22. Elvis Presley wanted to record “I Will Always Love You.” Dolly Parton was interested until Presley's manager told her that she needed to sign over half of the publishing rights to the song. She refused. This decision helped her make millions of dollars in royalties from the song.


23. Throughout South London, there are large sections of fence made out of WWII stretchers. These stretchers were used by civil authorities to transport the injured during the Blitz. They are what remains of the 600,000 built for the city during the war.


24. On June 11, 2019, a 16-year-old girl named Riley Horner was hit in the head while crowd surfing at a dance. As a result of her concussion, her memory resets every two hours, meaning she wakes up every day thinking it is still June 11.


25. A suspected rhino poacher who illegally entered a national park in South Africa was trampled to death by an elephant then eaten by a pride of lions. His accomplices told the man’s family they moved his body to a road and left the park. Park rangers said lions left only the man’s skull & trousers.

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