50 Random Facts List #137

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26Wallace and Gromit

Wallace and Gromit saved Wensleydale Cheese. The company was on the brink of closing down, before a chance mention in an animated short. Sales increased shortly afterward, saving the company.


27. In 1968, Elton John tried to commit suicide because of relationship problems with a woman. He later ran into lyricist Bernie Taupin, who tried to make John more comfortable with his sexuality. The situation inspired Taupin and John to create the song, 'Someone Saved My Life Tonight.'


28. For the 1999 Disney film "Tarzan", English actor Phil Collins sang all his own songs for the Spanish, French, Italian, and German translations of the soundtrack.


29. In The Dark Knight, Heath Ledger wore a prosthetic covering his lower lip, which often became unglued while filming, which is how his famous mouth-licking tick was born.


30. The Omaha zoo had a prairie dog exhibit and when they got out, the zoo lets them roam free. Omaha actually has a perfect natural climate for the prairie dogs and they interact with visitors, often taking their food.


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31PSR J1748-2446ad

The neutron star 'PSR J1748-2446ad' rotates on its axis 716 times per second and is the fastest known spinning neutron star. At its equator, it spins at 24% of the speed of light.


32. You are likely descended from royalty, but that doesn’t make you special. Everyone of European descent alive today can claim ancestry from medieval kings and queens based on statistical analysis of their ancestry.


33. The bug known as the walking stick doesn't need to mate. Unfertilized eggs will turn into exact copies/clones of the mother.


34. The Horn shark lays conical shaped eggs with a spiral flange running around the outside, which enables the female to wedge it into a crevice, making it difficult for predators to access.


35. Dinner was once the main meal of the day, served around one or two in the afternoon, while 'supper' was a much lighter meal, or even just a snack, eaten around sundown.


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36Kent State massacre

A week after the Kent State massacre in 1970, a Gallup poll revealed nearly 60% placed total blame on the students, while only 10% blamed the guardsmen.


37. Most animals are digitigrade, i.e., they walk on their digits or toes. Birds, cats, dogs etc are examples and what most people think are knees are actually their ankles. Humans are plantigrades, i.e., they walk on the flats of their feet.


38. Siamese cats get their color points due to a temperature sensitive gene. The colder the body part the darker the fur will become in that area.


39. Flamingos can live in lakes that are so toxic that the water would strip away the human skin.


40. The town of Wellsville, New York was named after a man named Gardiner Wells, who was, according to local history, the one person who didn't show up for the meeting when the residents were naming the town.


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41Gaint Panda

China built a massive solar farm shaped like a giant panda.


42. The 70s progressive rockers Ambrosia took the lyrics from the 1976 track, “Nice, Nice, Very Nice,” from a Kurt Vonnegut novel. When Vonnegut heard the song on the radio, he wrote the band a letter that said, “Music is the only art that’s really worth a damn. I envy you guys.”


43. Rob McElhenney of "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" originally wanted the entire cast to get fat for a single season. When nobody else agreed, McElhenney decided to do it on his own - gaining 1/3 of his body weight and then losing it again just for a season.


44. The quote claiming that Neil Armstrong doesn't exercise because he believes that every human has a finite number of heartbeats is false. Neil did not subscribe to its thesis and only quoted the claim to disagree with it.


45. Popcorn became popular during the Great Depression because it was fairly inexpensive.


46Chili peppers

Chili peppers are spicy as a strategy to ensure that birds (which can't taste capsaicin) will spread their seeds far and wide and mammals will avoid eating them.


47. In the United Kingdom in 2009, the #1 Christmas song was "Killing in the name of" by Rage Against the Machine.


48. In the 1930s laws were proposed in Massachusetts and St. Louis to ban car radios out of fear that they would distract drivers and cause accidents or even lull a driver to sleep.


49. There's a reason there's no generic insulin for diabetics. Its discoverers gave the patent to their university for $1, but the university couldn't make what was needed quickly enough. Drug companies have kept making small changes since the '20s to keep it from going generic.


50. An acre was historically the amount of land tillable by one man behind one ox in one day. Poor farming technologies and the need for farmland to be close to the river means that acres were traditionally long and narrow.

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