50 Random Facts List #157

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26Newport cigarette

A major tobacco company named Newport cigarette was sued for allegedly using company vans in the 1960s to make trips to housing projects where free Newport cigarettes were given to children. A jury ruled against the tobacco company, which was ordered to pay over $35 million in damages.

27. When you cool helium to about 2 Kelvin it will literally have zero viscosity and so will be able to flow through solid ceramics and up walls.

28. In 1920, during US Prohibition, a Johns Hopkins psychologist named John Watson conducted a study to see whether or not people are better at playing Darts while drunk. The government allowed him to purchase 34 gallons of whiskey, as scientific research was a valid exception to Prohibition.

29. An Antarctic explorer named Captain Oates died during the Terra Nova Expedition. Oates struggling with the journey back walked from his tent into a blizzard. He committed suicide in an act of self-sacrifice when his ill health was compromising his three companions’ chances of survival.

30. While recording the original Simpsons "Treehouse of Horror", James Earl Jones chewed on a cookie close to his microphone in order to get the alien drooling sounds just right for Alien Chief Serak.

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31Celery allergies

While peanut allergies are a common high-risk allergy in the United States, Central Europe deals with Celery allergies. Celery is such a danger to certain individuals that the European Union had to enact labeling laws for products containing celery derived ingredients.

32. Due to ADA requirements, elevator chimes must sound once when it's going up, or twice if it's going down. This is to assist those who are unable to see.

33. There is a reason behind voting taking place on a Tuesday in USA. In 1845, it could take rural farmers up to a day of traveling by horse and cart to get to a voting station. Wednesday was typically market day and Sunday was the Biblical Sabbath, so Tuesday was chosen to allow ample travel time.

34. Researchers at UC Santa Barbara, intending to show how statistics can be used misleadingly, received statistically significant results when scanning a salmon with fMRI to show that its brain responded differently to photos of different social situations. The salmon was dead.

35. Gray Whale couples need a 3rd Whale to act as a brace while they mate so they don't float apart midway through.

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36Billy Mays

At Billy Mays' funeral, the pallbearers wore blue shirts and khaki pants, much like what Mays wore when he advertised products.

37. 26 kids were found after being featured in the video for the song "Runaway Train" by Soul Asylum in 1993. The version shown in Australia showed a number of young backpacking tourists. Several of them turned out to be victims of Ivan Milat, the Backpacker Murderer.

38. A Greek World War 2 pilot named Marinos Mitralexis downed an Italian bomber by ramming when out of ammo, made an emergency landing and arrested the surviving bomber crew with his pistol.

39. American economist Richard Thaler, upon finding out he won the Nobel Prize for Economics for his work on irrational decision-making, said he would spend the prize money as "irrationally as possible."

40. The Triangle is theoretically an instrument of indefinite pitch, for its fundamental pitch is obscured by its nonharmonic overtones. Triangle parts in classical music can be very demanding and "the triangle is by no means a simple instrument to play."

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41Sea Shepherd activists

Eight "Sea Shepherd" activists were arrested in 1979 for violating the Seal Protection Act, for spraying a thousand seal pups with permanent red dye; rendering their pelts useless for hunters.

42. Vikings actually arrived in Greenland at least 100 years earlier than the Inuit, who now make up about 90% of Greenland's population.

43. During a negotiation with Portugal in 1617, future Queen Nzinga of Ndongo and Matamba was not offered a chair, instead being offered a mat. This was an attempt to disrespect her, so she ordered her servant to get on the ground and then sat on her back during the negotiations.

44. In 1987, Fred Rogers visited the then-Soviet Union to film a segment for both his show, "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" and "Good Night, Little Ones!", which was Russia’s longest-running children's program. Rogers was the first American to appear on the latter show.

45. The modern polo shirt was designed so that the collar could intentionally be popped, preventing the sun from burning tennis players' necks.

46Black holes merging

The merging of two black holes in 2015 emitted 3.6 septillion yottawatts of power, which is greater than the combined power of all light radiated by all the stars in the observable universe.

47. Much of Earth's water is older than the Sun, and come from deep space.

48. During his early years, Peter the Great's half-sister Sophia Alekseyevna cut a hole in the back of his throne and would whisper information and answers to him while he conversed with nobles.

49. Starbucks uses round tables because research shows they are more welcoming than those with square edges and people look less alone while seated at a round table.

50. The feeling that time passes faster as you age is actually a thing, and it happens because of the pace of new memories your brain records.


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