50 Random Facts List #143

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26Memory of Light

One chapter of Memory of Light, the last book in the Wheel of Time series, contained 81,200 words. By comparison, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's stone was about 78,000 words in its entirety.


27. British people tend to be “bi-measurement” the same way some people are bilingual. Both imperial and metric units factor into their lives.


28. In 2012, a schizophrenic inmate named Darren Rainey died after he was put in a 180°F (82°C) shower for 2 hours. His skin reportedly "fell off at the touch". Two officers who were on duty at the time later received promotions and nobody has ever been charged.


29. The British World War 2 Civilian Respirator gas mask had filters containing blue asbestos and arsenic. Because of this, it is recommended to wear a gas mask when handling the gas mask.


30. Franklin W. Dixon, who wrote the Hardy Boys books, wasn't a single individual. Instead, a publishing house used the pseudonym to have multiple people produce a lot of books quickly. The Nancy Drew books worked the same way.


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31Blues Brothers

The Blues Brothers started out as a warm-up act on Saturday Night Live to get the crowd going before they went on air.


32. Avocados are particularly filling because they are very high in fiber. Its fat is slowly digested, which helps your meal stay with you longer


33. Cougars have a rich social structure and even share kill with other cougars, who eventually return the favor.


34. A card-counter named Bill Benter developed an algorithm for betting on Hong Kong horse races that earned him nearly a billion dollars.


35. As the Roman Emperor Vespasian was dying with severe diarrhea, he remarked: "Dear me, I think I'm becoming a God" before succumbing to his illness.


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36Sara Bareilles

American singer Sara Bareilles wrote "Love Song" in response to her record label demanding that she write a "marketable love song."


37. Sweden was the first country to put a eugenic state into practice before World War 2 and the first state that set up for racial biology. An estimated 63,000 women were sterilized who were deemed to not have ‘Aryan-like’ genes. It ended in 1973 and compensation has been paid since 2000 to any victims.


38. There is an AI algorithm that can identify who is gay or not via photograph up to 91% of the time.


39. Seven new rare earth elements have been found in the small Swedish village of Ytterby. Four of the elements are named after the village, ytterbium, yttrium, terbium, and erbium, the other three are holmium, thulium, and gadolinium.


40. After 2 years of using a Catalan mercenary company to fight the Turks, the Byzantine emperor betrayed the company and tried to wipe them out in 1305. The mercenaries went on a rampage so destructive that the monks of Mount Athos only lifted their ban of Catalan citizens in the year 2000.


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41David Dunning

Sociologist David Dunning once wrote: "If you're incompetent, you can't know you're incompetent... The skills you need to produce a right answer are exactly the skills you need to recognize what a right answer is." He described this phenomenon as the "the anosognosia of everyday life."


42. Honey bees are the first insect known to grasp the concept of zero. A study shows that honeybees can learn and apply the concepts of greater than and less than to interpret a blank stimulus as representing the conceptual number of zero and place zero in relation to other numerical values.


43. White chocolate is white because it doesn't contain cocoa solids. Instead, it is made from cocoa butter (the fatty part). As a result, more yellowy white chocolate is actually of better quality than fully white chocolate.


44. The only head coach in Kansas Jayhawks men's basketball history to have a losing record during their time at Kansas was James Naismith, who was the inventor of basketball.


45. During the Tumu crisis of 1449, a mongol army of 20,000 soldiers wiped out a force of 500,000 Chinese imperial soldiers in one single battle. At that time, it was about the entire population of the Kingdom of Scotland.


46Maximilian Kolbe

A Catholic priest named Maximilian Kolbe during World War 2 was taken to Auschwitz where he later took the place of a stranger. Kolbe was starved for two weeks and then killed by an injection of carbolic acid.


47. American singer Aretha Franklin was the first woman inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.


48. After Franz Ferdinand was shot he pleaded "Sophie dear! Don't die! Stay alive for our children!" after realizing his wife had been hit too.


49. Flying squids exist. They can travel a distance of up to 100 feet through the air by launching themselves above the surface with a jet of water and then spreading their fins and tentacles to glide.


50. Every nation in the world allows its citizens to divorce under some conditions except for the Philippines and Vatican City.

1 COMMENT

  1. Commonly referred to as the Dunning Kruger effect. It was not Dunnings’ own work, but it is massively relevant in many societies, and countries today where especially those in government believe themselves to be experts. Whereas in contrast actual subject matter experts never has such a high esteem of themselves. “Without knowing enough about a subject, an individual can never grasp the shortcomings in his knowledge regarding the subject”.

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