50 Random Facts List #105

1Awful

"Awful" originally meant “inspiring wonder” and was a short version of “full of awe”.


2. Genghis Khan had 500 wives.


3. Killer-whale mothers often stay with their adult sons for their entire lives, sharing their prey and knowledge, and that the mothers might also play a direct role in fostering mating opportunities.


4. In 1912, a child named Bobby Dunbar disappeared at the age of 4. He was found in another state with different parents. Investigators took the child and returned him to the Dunbars. Years later, DNA testing has revealed that it was the wrong kid.


5. Actor Andy Whitfield filmed the entirety of his lead role in “Spartacus” while battling Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. His struggle was documented in an Oscar-nominated documentary called “Be Here Now,” which served to raise awareness for people suffering from leukemia and lymphoma.


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6Albuquerque Isotopes

The Albuquerque Isotopes (a minor league affiliate of the Colorado Rockies) named themselves after an episode of 'The Simpsons' in which Homer finds out that the Springfield Isotopes were moving to Albuquerque.


7. Lawyer and political commentator Barbara Olson was flying to California on September 11th, 2001 to be a panelist on Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher. She was on AA Flight 77 which was hijacked and flown into the Pentagon. Maher left a panel chair empty for a week in her memory.


8. In non-English speaking countries, Dora the Explorer teaches the viewers English words and numbers.


9. Before hiring Sun Tzu, the King of Wu commanded him to train his harem of 180 concubines into soldiers. Sun Tzu divided them into two companies, appointed two company commanders and gave an order to which they responded by giggling. He then ordered the execution of the king's two favored concubines, to the king's protests, in that he had to carry out his mission of training them. Both the captains were killed and the squads then performed perfectly.


10. One of the most brutal prisons in the US was Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola, Louisiana, which was run like a plantation. In the 1930s, hardened prisoners broke down upon learning of their sentence there. At one point, 10% of Angola prisoners were stabbed.


11Miracle Berry

There is a fruit called "Miracle Berry" that, when eaten, causes your taste buds to not detect sour flavor for about half an hour, causing sour foods to taste sweet.


12. Corona never paid to be in 'Fast and the Furious' but received an estimated $15 million in free advertising.


13. The HGTV show 'House Hunters', is staged and some houses featured on the show aren’t even for sale.


14. The vending machine was invented in the 1st century. In exchange for a coin, it dispensed holy water.


15. The 20th President of the United States, James A. Garfield, contributed an original proof of the Pythagorean Theorem before he became president. He came up with it during a discussion with other members of Congress, and it was published in the New England Journal of Education.


16Marijuana

30 square kilometers of marijuana was found growing in New South Wales, Australia 25 years after it was made illegal. It took 9 years to remove it fully, during which time people regularly harvested it and distributed it in Sydney.


17. Mount Kosciuszko was thought to be the highest mountain in Australia until Mount Townsend was found to be slightly taller. Rather than re-educating the public that Townsend was the new highest mountain, the New South Wales Lands Department simply switched their names.


18. In 1865, the dictator of Paraguay, Francisco Solano Lopez, plunged his country into an ill-advised war with Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay. In just 5 years, Paraguay lost over half its population, including up to 90% of its men. It was arguably the worst military defeat ever suffered by a modern nation-state.


19. Natural history museums use teams of flesh-eating beetles to clean the flesh off from the specimens.


20. There is a certain temperature and humidity at which a human can't cool down, and we will die from the heat of our own metabolism. A sustained wet-bulb temperature (i.e. temperature at 100% relative humidity) exceeding 35 °C (95 °F) is likely to be fatal even to fit and healthy people, unclothed in the shade next to a fan; at this temperature our bodies switch from shedding heat to the environment, to gaining heat from it. Thus 35 °C is the threshold beyond which the body is no longer able to adequately cool itself.


21Judith Love Cohen

Jack Black's mom, Judith Love Cohen, was a famous satellite engineer who worked on the Minuteman Missile and Hubble Space Telescope project.


22. 'Moron', 'Idiot', and 'Imbecile' were once valid Psychology terms for people with low IQ. When these terms entered vernacular usage as insults, they were disused in favor of 'Mental Retardation' which in turn was disused in favor of 'Intellectual Disability'.


23. Anthony Perkins (Norman Bates in "Psycho"), discovered he was HIV positive after reading an article by the National Enquirer, which claimed that he was HIV positive. It is suspected that someone illegally obtained his blood samples and had them tested for the virus, leaking the news to the tabloids.


24. The experimental T-13 grenade of World War 2 was designed similar to the size, weight, and shape of a baseball, thus making it easy for young American men to properly throw the grenade with both accuracy and distance.


25. A study discovered that when Christian students were reminded of the “religion and science don’t mix” stereotype, their intuitive reasoning dropped while Christian students who weren't reminded of that stereotype performed as well as the non-Christians.

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