50 Random Facts List #130

1Flushable wipes

Flushable wipes cause major clogs in sewers and should not be flushed down the toilet.


2. The children's book “Where the Wild Things Are” was originally titled “Where the Wild Horses Are.” The title changed because the author, Maurice Sendak, didn't know how to draw horses. When asked by his editor what he could draw, he said “things” and “things” is what he drew.


3. The Bond Movie trope of James Bond scuba diving somewhere, surfacing, then removing the wetsuit to reveal an unblemished full tuxedo, was inspired by a World War 2 Dutch Spy who used the technique to sneak into the Nazi-controlled Netherlands.


4. In 2007, the science advocacy group Sense About Science contacted the manufacturers of 15 "detox" products. When pressed, not a single detox peddler contacted could come up with a definition of what they meant by detox.


5. A 7-inch Yorkie named Smoky saved 250 US soldiers three days of digging and kept 40 US planes operational during World War 2 by running a wire through a 70 feet pipe.


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6Facial expressions

The facial expressions we make are hardwired into our brains rather than learned during life. After comparing the expressions of sighted and blind athletes at the 2004 Olympic games, researchers concluded that both competitors showed or controlled their expressions in exactly the same way.


7. Anti-margarine Senator Gordon Roselip incorrectly identified margarine as butter in a blind taste test. His wife later confessed that she had been feeding him margarine and telling him that it was butter.


8. Tears in your eyes often drain through small drain ways called “punctum” that are situated near the middle of your lower eyelid. They then drain into your nose, contributing to runny noses. When you choke on food, your eyes water because the nasal pressure is reversed sending tears back to your eyes the same way.


9. Ferret means "little thief" and a group of them is called a "business". Also, if excited, they perform a behavior called the "weasel war dance".


10. U.S Space Command has existed since 1982 as part of the U.S Airforce. It has approximately 22,000 military personnel and 9,000 civilian employees.


11Ascenders and Descenders

The numbers we write today are all upper case. Lowercase numbers exist and some include ascenders and descenders. For example, the ascending six and descending nines are minted on this 1996 U.S. penny.


12. Shortly after George H. W. Bush vomited and fainted at a meeting with the Japanese Prime minister in 1992, a man named James Edward Smith, called CNN posing as the president's physician claiming Bush had died. CNN was within seconds of publishing the story but stopped the anchor mid-sentence.


13. For years after CD players hit the market, they remained unpopular and were mostly limited to fans of classical music. When British rock band Dire Straits released "Brothers in Arms", the first totally digital album in 1985, they sold 30 million copies and are credited with launching CD players into the mainstream.


14. In Texas, two parties can legally settle a dispute by fighting as long as they don't kill or seriously injure one another.


15. In one survey, 56% of pilots have admitted to sleeping on the job, with 29% waking up to find the other pilot asleep as well.


16Fire

Fire can't burn in a zero-gravity environment. Without gravity to create convection, the combustion byproducts become trapped around the flame and quickly deprive it of oxygen, thus snuffing it.


17. Back in 1984, religious fanatics in Iran sent children marching over minefields to clear them. The children were given plastic keys that would “open the gates of heaven for them”. Later, they were also given blankets so that body parts wouldn't be blown everywhere.


18. South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut would've got an NC-17 rating had they used more than 400 swear words in the movie. They intentionally used only 399 swear words.


19. In the year 2000, a new type of ant named Martialis heureka was found in the Amazon. It was so unlike anything previously recorded that it was not only recognized as a new species, it also became the sole member of a new genus and subfamily.


20. The femur bone can support 30 times the weight of your body; ounce for ounce. It is stronger than steel.


21Red and yellow cards

Red and yellow cards in FIFA were introduced after a referee got the idea when he was at a traffic light and thought “Yellow, take it easy; red: stop, you're off.” This also helped address the communication issues referees face due to various languages players speak on the field.


22. In 1922, Nikola Tesla imagined that his favorite pigeon told him she was dying. When she actually did die shortly after, he said “something went out of his life and he knew his life’s work was finished.”


23. Uruguay's world cup player Luis Suárez has bitten three opponents under high-pressure situations. He doesn't know why he does it.


24. “The Dirty Dozen” movie was inspired by a World War 2 paratrooper squadron called ‘The Filthy Thirteen’, who wore warpaint and mohawks into war. They were also famous for disregarding military rules and laws.


25. In the Bazoule village in Africa's Burkina Faso, crocodiles and humans have lived side-by-side in peace for over 600 years.

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