50 Random Facts List #152

1John Francis

An American environmentalist named John Francis decided to stop speaking for a day to learn to listen better to his opponents. He turned it into a 17-year vow of silence. During those 17 years, he went to school and even earned a Ph.D.


2. 1-800-COLLECT was so popular in the 90s that AT&T launched a competing service, 1-800-Operator. However AT&T later discovered many people misspell Operator with 'er' instead of 'or' at the end, and that unfortunately, 1-800-COLLECT owned the misspelled number and had been taking their customers.


3. Donnie Darko was filmed in 28 days which, coincidentally, virtually matches the time that transpired in the film. The movie took place between October 2nd, 1988 to the weekend party scene before Halloween on October 31st, 1988.


4. Naked mole rats can survive 18 minutes without oxygen and suffer no lasting effects. They achieve this feat by switching their metabolism to use fructose, instead of glucose, something typically only done by plants.


5. Arnold Schwarzenegger's parents used to beat him because they thought he was gay since his bedroom walls were covered with posters of men instead of women.


6Van T. Barfoot

World War 2 Medal of Honor recipient Van T. Barfoot once publicly embarrassed a sitting US senator Theodore G. Bilbo, who was a KKK member. Senator had asked Barfoot if he had much trouble with the African-American soldiers he had served with during the war. To Bilbo's embarrassment, Barfoot publicly praised the efforts of African-American veterans.


7. Bill Darden (the founder of Red Lobster) opened his first restaurant, a luncheonette called The Green Frog in Wayward, Georgia at the age of 19 in 1938. He refused to segregate customers by race. Segregation was a state law in 30’s Georgia.


8. Honey bees let out a ‘whoop’ when they bump into each other. This vibrational pulse, long thought to be a signal to other bees to stop what they are doing, might actually be an expression of surprise.


9. In 1967, Elton John answered an advertisement for a talent search. After failing the audition he told the person behind the desk that he can't write lyrics. He was handed an envelope with lyrics by another person who also answered the advertisement and had failed the audition. He was Bernie Taupin, who then went on to write the majority of Elton's songs.


10. Japan has a sociological phenomena known as Hikikomori, in which there is an estimated 1 million Japanese who choose to completely isolate themselves from society.


11Ernest Thompson Seton

Ernest Thompson Seton, one of the founding pioneers of the Boy Scouts of America, was presented with an invoice for all the expenses connected with his childhood, by his father, including the fee charged by the doctor who delivered him. He paid the bill, but never spoke to his father again.


12. King Gillette, who founded Gillette razors, believed that everyone in the United States should live in a giant city called Metropolis powered by Niagara Falls.


13. A small town in southern Kyoto, Japan has a yearly festival and monument next to a shrine dedicated to Thomas Edison. He had once used the bamboo from the town of Yawata for his filament in his experimental lightbulbs which increased the lifetime of the bulb from 40 to 1,000 hours.


14. The power button symbol used in modern electronics is based on binary’s off (0) and on (1).


15. While high on substances and during a meeting with a CBS executive in Germany, Ozzy Osbourne performed a Nazi goose-step on the executive's table before dipping his testicles in the executive's wine and then urinating in it. He only came to find out what he had done later by Sharon Osbourne.


16Hickam's dictum

"Hickam's dictum" is a counterargument to Occam's razor in the medical profession. While Occam's razor suggests to a doctor that they should assume the simplest solution - a single cause for multiple symptoms, Hickam's dictum states: "A patient can have as many diseases as he damn well pleases."


17. In 2010, a 12-year-old girl named Martina Maturana saved much of her village's population on the remote Chilean Pacific Island from being killed by a tsunami. She noticed the fishing boats bobbing crazily in the morning and ran 400 to the town square to ring the warning bell.


18. In 2017, scientists at the Columbia University in New York City were able to store a full operating system and a film on to a DNA and then were able to recover the data back with no errors.


19. 39.5% of Japanese adults sleep less than 6 hours a night making naps in public a social norm, even to the point that napping during work is often seen as a subtle sign of diligence. They have a social belief that you must be working yourself to exhaustion.


20. In 1927, a bank robber dressed as Santa Claus was responsible for the death of 6 people during his robbery and getaway in a small Texas town. When he was caught and thrown in jail, nearly 2,000 people showed up, pushed past the guards, dragged him out of the jail and hanged him.


21Aerosmith band

The band Aerosmith once bailed out at least 30 of their fans who were arrested for smoking weed at their show.


22. Mark Henry has the world record for combined lifts of snatch, clean and jerk, squat, bench press and deadlift totaling 3324.5 lbs all in drug tested competitions, making him arguably the strong man to have ever lived.


23. The default location of an IP address in the USA, if no more granular location information is available is mapped to a farm in Kansas. Because of this, the owners have been constantly harassed and visited by the FBI, IRS, and others who have been scammed by someone with a US IP address.


24. Catcher in the Rye isn't available in an ebook form because J.D. Salinger refused to allow adaptations to the book and even after his death, his agents continue to uphold his wishes.


25. During Jose Fernandez's 4th attempt to defect from Cuba to the U.S., a person fell overboard. Jose jumped into the waters and saved the person. He recalled, "I don't remember much, just diving in the water and swimming towards this woman. As I was getting close, I could see it was my mother."

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