50 Random Facts List #163

26Bob Williams

In 1995, NASA astronomer Bob Williams wanted to point the Hubble telescope at the darkest part of the sky for 100 hours. Critics said it was a waste of valuable time, and he'd have to resign if it came up blank. Instead, it revealed over 3,000 galaxies, in an area 1/30th as wide as a full moon.


27. On 1945, when American politician Bess Myerson became the first Jewish candidate to win the Miss America contest, organizers tried to get her to change her name, sponsors dropped her and country clubs refused her because she was Jewish. In response, she toured the USA with the Anti-Defamation League.


28. In 2013, a prisoner named Dagens Nyheter in Sweden escaped “because he had a toothache and wanted to go to the dentist.” He broke out of prison, visited the dentist, and turned himself back in where he received an extra day to his month-long sentence as punishment.


29. High IQ is associated with various mental and immunological diseases like depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, ADHD as well as allergies, asthma, and immune disorders.


30. According to new research, memories can be passed down to later generations through genetic switches that allow offspring to inherit the experience of their ancestors. This may explain how phobias can develop.


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31Heifer

A cow is not a cow until it has had at least one calf. Until then it is called a heifer.


32. Oliver Stone admitted to being on ecstasy during a 1997 celebrity episode of Jeopardy. He won the game (and $15,000 for charity) and credits the drug with increasing his response time on the buzzer.


33. In 1960s, a Mexican prostitute named Magdalena Solis was paid to imitate an Incan Goddess as part of a scam. She began to believe she was a Goddess so she took over the cult and began sacrificing her followers.


34. In 1736, mathematician Leonhard Euler was trying to find a way to cross every single one of the seven bridges of Königsberg exactly once. He realized that this was, in fact, impossible and based on that created a new area of mathematics called Graph Theory.


35. There are enough saunas in Finland for the entire Finnish population to take a sauna at the same time.


36Statue of Liberty

The Statue of Liberty cost the French an estimated $250,000 (more than $5.5 million in today’s money). The money came from fundraising efforts such as auctions, a lottery, and boxing matches, both in Europe and the U.S.


37. In 2004, a tour bus carrying the Dave Matthews band through Chicago drove over a bridge and dumped 800 lbs of human waste into the river below, splashing feces and urine onto tourists who were on a sightseeing cruise underneath the bridge.


38. Modern genetics was discovered/invented in 1856-63 by an Austrian monk who overturned millennia of misunderstanding by simply running a scientific experiment (on 28,000 plants); yet his work was ignored for 40 years and nearly lost.


39. Adidas is making shoes from recycled ocean plastic and in 2017 sold more than 1,000,000 pairs of these shoes. Each pair of shoes takes 11 plastic bottles to create.


40. The praetorian guard once held an auction for the Roman emperorship. Didius Julianus, drunk from the night before had to be dragged from bed by his wife and daughter. He arrived late and was not allowed entry to the building the auction was taking place so he yelled his offer from outside. He won.


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41Abcde

There are 328 people named “Abcde” in the United States.


42. Josh Ryan Evans who played 8-year-old Grinch in ‘The Grinch’ (2000) was actually an 18-year-old boy with dwarfism. He passed away two years after the release of the film.


43. Ancient Spartan schools deliberately underfed boys to force them to steal food, but severely punished anyone who was caught. This was thought to toughen them up, especially since it accustomed them to hunger, which was common on the battlefield.


44. Pluto was not only named after the God of the underworld, but the first two letters were a homage to Percival Lowell, the scientist who initiated the search for a celestial body beyond Neptune.


45. In the original novel "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz," Dorothy wore silver shoes. They used Ruby slippers in the movie to take advantage of the new Technicolor film.


46Mario Licato

A man named Mario Licato in New York City was punched in the face for looking like American actor Shia LaBeouf. When the story caught the real LaBeouf’s attention, he offered Mario his phone number and apologized profusely in a voicemail.


47. Some people have a gene mutation that makes them less likely to enjoy marijuana. Those with a variant FAAH gene are less anxious and are less inclined to like marijuana. They actually experience a decrease in happiness when smoking marijuana.


48. Every example of the type of engine Thomas the Tank Engine was based on was scrapped in the 60s.


49. American-Canadian actor Dan Aykroyd got into the "We are the World" video because he walked into the wrong place.


50. When the Viking leader Rollo Flanders was asked to kiss the foot of King Charles, he refused and instead commanded one of his warriors to do it. The warrior complied by taking the king’s foot, lifting it to head height while dragging the king out of his chair, and kissing the king’s foot.

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