Random #240 – 50 Facts About Everything You Never Knew

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26Rage Against the Machine

The 1992, Rage Against the Machine track "Killing In The Name" was the 2009 UK Christmas #1 song thanks to a campaign set to prevent a song from "The X Factor" from accomplishing the feat for a 5th straight year. The band would then perform a free concert in London thanking fans for the campaign.


27. In 1994, a country music singer named Alan Jackson was asked to use a pre-recorded version of his song 'Gone Country' when performing live at the award show. He protested by having his drummer perform with no drum sticks in his hand the whole performance.


28. Pomato is a grafted plant that is part tomato and part potato. The resulting plant has cherry tomatoes on the vine and white potatoes in the soil, resulting in plants with double crops. Grafting can also boost natural resilience and improve biodiversity by supporting different pollinators.


29. In the US in the late 19th Century it was briefly fashionable for people to form "13 Clubs" where they would dine in groups of 13, walk under ladders, spill salt at the table, etc. to demonstrate their lack of superstition. Several future US Presidents participated.


30. The popular Sriracha sauce in the US (in the green-capped bottle) tastes different because they have a different supplier of chili peppers. The owner sued the original supplier for $1 million claiming he overpaid. The farmer countersued and won $23.3 million and now makes his own sriracha.


31East and West Berlin

Decades after reunification, the former border between East and West Berlin is still visible from space at night due to differences between the streetlamps used by the two sides.


32. Nancy Wake ran away from home at 16 with just £200. Her husband was executed by the Germans and she worked as a nurse, a journalist, a courier, and finally a spy for the UK. She is responsible for destroying the Gestapo Headquarters and was awarded medals by the US, UK, France, among others post-World War 2.


33. The World Mosquito Project scientists cultivate and release mosquitoes infected with a bacterium called Wolbachia. The bacterium is passed down to future generations. The bacterium appears to block mosquitos from transmitting arboviruses (dengue, chikungunya, and yellow fever) and Zika.


34. Police Woman, a 1974-1978 NBC TV show starring Angie Dickinson about a female cop caused an avalanche of applications for employment from women to police departments around the United States and was President Ford's favorite show, canceling a press conference in order to avoid delaying an episode.


35. A California man got 'NULL' as a personalized license plate hoping that 'NULL' would confuse the computer system. Instead, when cops left the plate number info empty on a ticket or citation, the fine went to him. He got over $12,000 fines sent to him in his first year.


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36Black Death

The Black Death was personified by an old woman carrying a rake and a broom. Norwegians told that if she used the rake, some of the population involved might survive, escaping through the teeth of the rake. If she on the other hand used the broom, then the entire population in the area were doomed.


37. In 2016, a man named Josh Ptasznyk won an entire resort located on the Micronesian island of Kosrae in a raffle he paid $65 to enter. When he won it, the resort was free of debt, profitable and had more than 20 years remaining on its lease.


38. Only 10% of wine 'experts' can consistently rate the wine from the same bottle in the same way, and they aren't consistent the next year. After analyzing results across wine competitions in California, medals were found to be distributed at random.


39. An estimated 1.25 billion animals were lost in Australia's 2020 bush fires.


40. John Candy turned down the role of "Honey I shrunk the Kids" because he felt his good friend, Rick Moranis, was better suited for it.


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41The Grateful Dead

A band called The Warlocks were set to play a benefit concert in San Francisco in December 1965, but the problem was that there was already a band called The Warlocks, so they changed their name to The Grateful Dead.


42. Beer cans used to be 40% thicker and way stronger, which is why we see people crushing beer cans as a display of strength in older movies


43. In 1969, Woodstock ran out of food after its first day and relied upon donations from the largely conservative residents of Sullivan County, New York to feed 400,000 hungry hippies.


44. Disney uses code names in the park. Rude visitors are called 'Treasured Guests.' Vomit is called 'Protein Spill.' Kids peeing in the pool is called 'Code Winnie.' Illegally spreading ashes is called 'White Powder Alert.'


45. A 9-foot alligator clamped onto the leg of a 10-year-old Florida girl named Juliana Ossa. She thought of a plan she had learned in "Gatorland" where she saw a guy wrestle a gator with its mouth taped. The situation was reversed, so Juliana stuck her fingers up the gator's nose, and it released her leg.


46Ant

Scientists attached stilts to the legs of ants to prove that they return to their nests by counting their steps. The regular ants walked right to the nest and went inside. The ants on stilts walked right past the nest and got lost. This was because of the change in the length of the legs.


47. Submarine sonar has no “ping” as shown in movies and games. It is actually extremely loud and can kill people and sea life.


48. A young female Arctic fox fitted with a tracking device trekked 2,175 miles from Norway to Canada in 76 days, settling on Ellesmere Island in Canada. She traveled an average of 28 miles/day with a maximum pace of 96 miles/day, outpacing a previously tracked adult male fox by 1.4 times.


49. Goats prefer happy people. They can differentiate between human facial expressions and prefer to interact with happy people.


50. In the movie Full Metal Jacket, the actor that played Gunnery Sergeant Hartman (R. Lee Ermey) came up with 150 pages of insults on his own. Also, the actor that originally was playing the role couldn't yell more than 30 minutes, but when Ermey stepped in and took over, his energy never let up.

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