50 Random Facts List #151

26Wax worms

Wax worms can eat and break down one of the most common plastics, polyethylene. Their digestive process breaks the plastic's chemical bond, producing an organic compound.


27. Nintendo's character Mario is named after Mario Segale, who was the company's landlord in 1981. All Segale has publicly said about this is "I'm still waiting for my royalty checks".


28. William the Conqueror (also known as William The Bastard) was denied a marriage proposal by Matilda of Flanders who felt marrying a bastard was below her. He won her heart by reading the response and immediately riding more than 250 miles from Normandy to Bruges to grab her by the hair and throw her in the mud.


29. It is legal in New York to own a monkey if you are paralyzed and the monkey is trained to perform household tasks for you.


30. In the late 80s, NASA studied houseplants as a means of providing cleaner and purer air for their space stations. They found Peace Lilies and Chrysanthemums to be the best all-rounders at air filtering.


31Challenger crew

Crew members of the Challenger space shuttle survived the “explosion,” manually activated their emergency breathing packs, and were very likely alive for the full 2 minute and 45 seconds, 65,000-foot free-fall until their crew cabin crashed into the ocean.


32. Actor Brian Blessed is a fully trained astronaut, having completed over 800 hours of 'space training' in Moscow, and "remains the number one civilian on the wait list for the International Space Station."


33. Since the 1300's, the pronoun “thou” was actually considered more informal and even derogatory than the pronoun “you.” This is also why its usage began declining in the 17th century because it was considered “impolite.”


34. The oldest surviving work (De Agri Cultura) of Latin prose is a guide to farmers by Cato the Elder. Along with detailed instructions on running a farm, it contains a guide to brewing wine and many cooking recipes, including one for cheesecake.


35. The name of video game developer ‘Sucker Punch Productions’ was selected because the wife of one of the co-founders didn't like it because 'We figured that the best way to choose a name a 14-year-old boy would think was cool was to choose a name that a lovely and talented 38-year-old woman thought was unacceptable.'


36Tommy Wiseau

The character of Mark in Tommy Wiseau's movie The Room is named after Matt Damon. Despite being a huge fan of Damon, Wiseau couldn't remember his actual name.


37. A high school basketball coach named Mirach Grimes was fired after his team won 100-0 because the Catholic school he worked for thought that winning by such a wide margin did not show a “Christlike and honorable approach to competition.”


38. Having an ancestor that caught the plague and survived could result in their descendants being immune to the HIV virus.


39. A mother named Luz Cuevas found her kidnapped daughter (Aaliyah) at a birthday party five years after the baby had been presumed dead.


40. The Golden Records on the Voyager probes includes copyrighted material that aliens will be able to access and use completely for free, but we can't.


41Richard Feynman

When asked to investigate the space shuttle Challenger disaster, Richard Feynman wrote a very critical report about NASA's safety policy concluding: "For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled."


42. Research suggests that playing Tetris can give a “quick and manageable” fix for people struggling to stick to diets or quit smoking or drinking.


43. There was not one single bank robbery in the Americas for the first 80 years of its existence, so they virtually had no security. Then there was an explosion of bank robberies.


44. For the past 50 years, the Skilcraft US Government ballpoint pen has been produced by sight-impaired workers under an 80-year-old program dating to the New Deal to employ blind Americans.


45. Goats, like us, have regional accents, and goats from different regions can have trouble understanding each other.


46Coors

Coors wasn't available in all 50 states until 1991. Hence the movie “Smokey and the Bandit” was about running Coors illegally from Texas to Georgia.


47. Deep into the night during an HBO broadcast of The Falcon and the Snowman in April 1986, subscribers were startled to see the start of the action interrupted by a four-and-a-half-minute transmission from a certain “Captain Midnight.” A Florida man in the mask of Captain Midnight had hijacked HBO’s satellite feed to protest their high prices.


48. Tom Petty had a severe cold during the recording of "I Won't Back Down". George Harrison, whose vocals are featured on the recording, bought a ginger root, boiled it, and had Petty put his head in the pot to clear his sinuses. The final version was recorded moments after.


49. In “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory”, the newspapers reported about the fraudulent “winner” of the fifth golden ticket in Paraguay. The man pictured in the paper was a real-life Nazi named Martin Bormann. The joke by the director was that he had fled like many other Nazis to South America.


50. The opening scene of Zoolander (the awards ceremony) was actually filmed during the commercial breaks at the real-life 2000 VH1/Vogue Fashion Awards.

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