44 Random Facts That’ll Make You Feel Instantly Smarter | Random List #170

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1George Orwell

George Orwell named the torture chamber Room 101 in his novel '1984' after a conference room at the BBC headquarters where he had to sit through numerous tedious meetings.


2. In 1992, a retiree named Eric Lawes was out searching for a lost hammer with a metal detector. During his search, he found a huge cache of Roman treasure, including 15,234 coins. The British government gave him and the owner of the land £1.75 million for finding it. Later on, he also found the hammer.


3. The Grafton castaways were a real-life case similar to Gilligan’s Island. Shipwrecked for 18 months in the Auckland islands in 1864, the 5 men lived in a thatched hut complete with glass windows and bookshelves. They built a forge to work metal, tanned leather, made soap from seashells, and even brewed beer.


4. When Robin Williams appeared on ‘Inside the Actors Studio’ in 2001, an audience member developed a hernia from laughing too hard and had to be taken away in an ambulance.


5. American actor Fred Astaire started skateboarding in his 70's, got a lifetime membership to the National Skateboard Society, and broke his wrist skateboarding at the age of 78.


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6Banner blindness

Banner blindness is a phenomenon when you subconsciously ignore ads and anything that resembles ads.


7. One of the richest women named Tao Huabi in China was born in extreme poverty in a remote mountain village. She got her wealth by selling her chili sauce named lao gan ma, which she originally made for her noodle stand.


8. USPS collects all letters addressed to Santa and allows people to “adopt” a letter and fulfill the gift request, helping children in low-income situations experience Santa and a Christmas they might usually not.


9. John F. Kennedy’s Eternal Flame has only ever gone out twice since 1963. The first time was less than a month after it had been lit when a child accidentally extinguished it with holy water. Luckily one of the grave workers was a smoker and had a lighter on hand to relight it.


10. In July 2017, the Chinese government banned Justin Bieber from performing in China. They released a statement later on saying "In order to maintain order in the Chinese market and purify the Chinese performance environment, it is not suitable to bring in badly behaved entertainers."


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11Down Syndrome

The term "Down Syndrome" was adopted globally at the behest of Mongolia to replace the offensive term 'Mongoloid.'


12. When American jeweler Harry Winston was 12 years old, he bought a 2-carat emerald for 25 cents in a pawn shop after the owner had mistaken it for colored glass. He sold it two days later for $800.


13. The Model T debuted in 1909 at $825 and had its price lowered numerous times because of increasing production efficiency. It bottomed out at $260 - the equivalent of around $3600 today.


14. Under Ontario traffic laws, it is illegal to operate a horse-drawn sleigh on public roads with fewer than two sleigh bells attached to it. Penalty on conviction is a fine not exceeding $5.


15. Captain Robert Knox (1641 – 1720) of British East India Company was imprisoned for 20 years in the south Asian island of Ceylon. Upon his escape, he bought back a "strange intoxicating herb" unheard of in Europe. The herb is known today as Cannabis Indica.


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16Club 300

There is an exclusive club in Antarctica called Club 300. In order to become a member one have to warm themselves in a 200-degree sauna, and then run outside naked and touch the Ceremonial South Pole where it's 100 degrees below.


17. Lucy's Law bans pet shops and dealers in England from selling puppies and kittens. It was named after Lucy, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel who developed fused hips, a curved spine, bald patches, and epilepsy after years of mistreatment in the puppy farming system.


18. The discovery of oil as fuel was an environmental miracle for whales as it made hunting whales for their oil far less competitive.


19. The casting of Daniel Craig to play James Bond was highly criticized. Throughout the making of the film, internet campaigns expressed their dissatisfaction and threatened to boycott the film in protest. However, upon its release, it became the highest grossing James Bond film until that time.


20. In 2017, a frat party in a Maryland house tested positive on a breathalyzer because there was so much alcohol in the air.


21William Burke

William Burke killed with his partner 16 people and sold their bodies for use as specimens in anatomy classes of Edinburgh Medical School. He was hanged for his crimes and his corpse was publicly dissected and preserved in the anatomical museum of the same school.


22. JH Kellog, the inventor of granola, was estranged from his brother WK Kellogg. He wrote a letter seeking to reopen the relationship. His secretary decided her employer had demeaned himself in it and refused to send it. The younger Kellogg did not see it until after his brother's death.


23. "Type A" personalities (stressed workaholics prone to angry outbursts) and "Type B" (more relaxed and agreeable) are "to a large extent a construct of the tobacco industry" and "the tobacco industry was a major funder and stimulant of research on stress."


24. In 1959, Prince Edward County, Virginia decided to close its entire public school system rather than integrate black children into their schools. It then created all-white private schools funded by state tuition grants and county tax credits. Many black children had no education for 5 years.


25. American actor Dick Van Dyke dropped out of high school during his senior year in 1944 to join the military. He went on to earn his diploma in 2004 at the age of 78.

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