50 Random Facts List #158

1King of the Hill

The creators/directors/writers for Parks and Recreation, Bob’s Burgers, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Silicon Valley, Modern Family, The Good Place, American Dad, and Rick and Morty all got their big breaks on King of the Hill.


2. A schoolteacher named Mary Chase Walker was boycotted in 1866 in San Diego, California, after lunching in public with a black woman.


3. During World War 2 black U.S soldiers stationed in England were drinking in a pub with local people when U.S Military police arrived to stop them getting served and arrested them for not segregating. The white locals in the pub defended the black men, which eventually led to a riot and gunshots.


4. Robert Millikan disliked Einstein's results about light consisting of particles (photons) and carefully designed experiments to disprove them, but ended up confirming the particle nature of light, and earned a Nobel Prize for that.


5. In 2007, the Australian Government spent $84 million on a porn filter. A 16-year old boy named Tom Wood cracked the filter in less than 40 minutes.


6Bai Fangli

A Chinese pedicab driver named Bai Fangli, donated 350,000 yuan (US$54,958 in 2015) over a span of 18 years to enable more than 300 poor students to continue with their studies. He wore second hand discarded clothes, lived in a shabby house, ate humble food and donated most of his income.


7. Botswana's currency is named Pula which literally means "rain" in their official language. This is because rain is very scarce in Botswana — home to much of the Kalahari Desert — and therefore valuable and a blessing.


8. The Black Knight in Monty Python's Quest for the Holy Grail was inspired by two Roman wrestlers who were in a very intense and entangled fight. After one surrendered from the pain of a broken rib, an attendant picked up the winner, tapping him and saying “You won” to discover that he was dead.


9. Unprovoked, American singer Courtney Love picked on Gwen Stefani saying "Being famous is just like being in high school. But I'm not interested in being the cheerleader. I'm not interested in being Gwen Stefani." After that quote, Gwen recorded her first solo album with the cheerleader anthem "Hollaback Girl."


10. In many counties, the coroner is the only law enforcement officer who has the authority to arrest the county sheriff, part of why county coroner is an elected position.


11The Wiggles

The Wiggles, at the peak of their popularity in the late 90s, traveled in two planes so that in the unfortunate event of a crash, half of the group would survive to continue touring.


12. Superman was originally a vigilante fighter and in one instance was fired upon by the National Guard after he destroyed a slum to force the government to build better housing for the poor. He was also often depicted using lethal force and attacking wife beaters, profiteers, and lynch mobs.


13. Rollercoasters were invented to distract Americans from sin. In the 1880s, hosiery businessman LaMarcus Thompson didn’t like that Americans were going to places like saloons and brothels and created the first roller coaster on Coney Island to persuade them to go there instead.


14. American actor Mel Brooks put on a prosthetic 11th finger for adding his handprint on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.


15. A Sixth-grader's science fair project discovered that Truvia sweetener is an insecticide.


16Rock drawings

Many rock drawings of animals by native Americans have turned out to be complex regional maps, with the animals representing herd locations. They were both hunting guides and warning signs.


17. American actress Betty White is older than Mickey Mouse.


18. A pod of orcas hunted cooperatively with early Australian whalers under a "law of the tongue". They would corral and locate prey in return for the tongues and lips of captured whales. The arrangement ended when one of the orcas was accidentally killed.


19. In 1919, James Cowan Smith donated £55,000 to the National Gallery of Scotland on the condition that a picture of his dog Callum be on display permanently in the Gallery. It still is on display to this day.


20. A Somali pirate named Mohammed Abdi Hassan fell into a "movie trap" in Brussels. Thinking that he would work on a documentary, he was instead arrested as soon as he disembarked from his flight. 


21Ergot

Almost an entire French town in 1951 was poisoned by ergot, the fungus LSD is made from. ”I am dead and my head is made of copper and I have snakes in my stomach and they are burning me,” screamed one man before trying to jump into a river.


22. A farmer named Tony Dighera developed a plastic mold to put over his pumpkins so that they grow into the face of Frankenstein. Known as "Pumpkinsteins", it took him 4 years, 27 varieties of pumpkin and $400,000 to perfect his idea.


23. The King (Willem-Alexander) of the Netherlands has been secretly flying as a commercial co-pilot for 21 years and has been doing so even after ascending to the throne in 2013.


24. It takes 95% less energy to recycle a ton of aluminum cans than to produce anew. 1 ton of recycled aluminum saves an equivalent of 40 barrels of oil.


25. 70% alcohol is better at disinfecting surfaces than 91% alcohol. In one experiment, a 50% alcohol solution killed Staphylococcus Aureus in less than 10 seconds, but a 90% solution failed to kill it even after two hours of contact time.

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