50 Random Facts List #144

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Jogging becomes running at 6mph.

27. The neighbor’s name in the show Doug on Nickelodeon, Mr. Dink, actually stood for the acronym Double Income No Kids.

28. Mel Brooks was a mine clearer in World War 2. He once said, “I was a combat engineer. Isn’t that ridiculous? The two things I hate most in this world are combat and engineering.”

29. Ancient Germanic armies would fight with their women wailing loudly from behind their formations, to constantly remind them that they must be victorious or their entire families would be annihilated.

30. Before virtual game achievements, Activision used to send physical iron on patches to players who mailed in photographs of their high scores.

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If you stretched the DNA in one cell all the way out, it would be about 2m long and all the DNA in all your cells put together would be about twice the diameter of the Solar System.

32. Almost all the spiders you see in your home during the winter were actually born in your home.

33. Joe Dimaggio won 9 World Series rings despite taking 3 years off in his prime due to World War 2.

34. The Finnish island of Aaland threatened to leave the EU if they were not permitted to continue to use and sell a tobacco product called ‘Snus.’ Snus is considered a major source of income for the island and part of their national heritage.

35. Tyrian purple used to be worth its weight in gold, and it took 250,000 snails to make one ounce of dye.

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36Neil Armstrong's hair

Neil Armstrong's hair

In 2005, a barber sold Neil Armstrong's hair for $3000, which he got after giving him a haircut. Neil Armstrong threatened legal action. Currently, his hair is being sold at £399 for each half inch strand.

37. London has a real-life vigilante called "The Shadow."

38. In 16th and 17th Century Denmark, merchant ship captains had to pay a toll based on the value of the goods on the ship. The value was declared by the captain. The Danish authorities could take the value based toll (1-2%) or opt to buy the cargo for the declared value.

39. Writer Alan Ball was inspired to write a story about the hardship of living an authentic, happy life in the age of superficiality after he watched a plastic bag blowing in the wind outside the World Trade Center for 10 minutes. That story was American Beauty and he won an Oscar in 2000.

40. Adopting puppies of the same litter is frowned upon because the puppies refuse to bond with the humans. It is known as littermate syndrome.

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41Hurrian Hymn No. 6

Hurrian Hymn No. 6

The single oldest complete piece of music is actually from 1400 B.C. It's known as “Hurrian Hymn No. 6”. An example of its rendition can be heard, though it is only one of at least five “rival decipherments of the notation, each yielding entirely different results.”

42. The story of FedEx's founder, Frederick Smith, submitting his business plan as a term paper and receiving a failing grade with an admonition that it would never work, is a myth. He dimly remembers he got about a C, mostly because "it wasn't a well-thought-out paper."

43. The word "sophomore" means "wise fool" in Greek, describing the tendency of adolescents to behave so irrationally despite thinking rationally sometimes.

44. When Banksy storyboarded that infamous Simpson's Asian sweatshop couch gag, it was outsourced to a South Korean studio (like all other animation on the show). The animators were not amused.

45. The Irish Hunger Strike in 1981 led to prisoner Bobby Sands being elected Member of Parliament during the strike. It gained media interest from around the world. The strike ended after ten prisoners had starved themselves to death including Sands. His funeral was attended by 100,000 people.

46Ernesto Miranda

Ernesto Miranda

“Miranda Rights” were named after Ernesto Miranda who wasn’t read his rights prior to confessing to a crime. Years later Ernesto was stabbed to death but when a suspect was arrested, unlike Miranda, he exercised his right to remain silent. With no evidence against him, he was released.

47. When an informer told the Roman emperor Julian that a man possessed a purple robe (which was treason and punishable by death, purple being the royal color), Julian dealt with the offender by sending him a pair of purple slippers to complete the outfit.

48. Smart Aleck was a real person. Alec Hoag was a pimp who stole from customers of his prostitute wife, while they were “distracted” with her. He was caught but bribed police to stay free. He became so successful that he felt he didn't have to bribe police anymore, at which point he was arrested.

49. The filling in between KitKat wafers is made from rejected and recycled KitKats.

50. Manta Rays have shown evidence of being sapient/self-aware and are the smartest fish in the ocean outside of dolphins.


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