50 Random Facts List #164

26George Orwell

George Orwell had trouble getting Animal Farm book published due to Soviet-British relations during World War 2. Once, a publisher agreed to release the novella but later reneged after warning from an officer at the British Ministry of Information. The officer was soon discovered to be a Soviet spy.


27. In 2004, a man named Ashley Revell sold all his possessions and put his entire net worth of $135,300 on red at the Plaza Hotel in Vegas. The ball landed on Red 7 and he walked out with $270,600.


28. In 1941, a Great Dane named Juliana saved her master's home from burning down during the Blitz by urinating on a German incendiary bomb which had fallen through the roof. For this, she was awarded the Blue Cross, similar to the Dickin Medal.


29. Beer mugs are not called "steins" in Germany. "Stein" is the German word for "stone." The English word "stein" probably comes from the German word "Steinzeug" which means "stoneware"—the type of pottery that cheap beer mugs are often made of.


30. The myth of the changeling - of faeries replacing a stolen human child with their own - could have been born as an explanation of autistic children. Many traits associated with faeries, such as obsessive counting, are also known in the autism spectrum.


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31King Henry VIII

King Henry VIII loved adding guns to other weapons. His bodyguards carried shields with pistols built into them, and Henry himself had a walking stick that doubled as both a spiked mace and a three-barreled pistol.


32. An Indian book named Surya Siddhanta, which was written in 4th century C.E. perfectly describes the Earth’s diameter as 8000 miles (it is 7928 miles by current standards) and the spherical shape of the earth. The book also provided an accurate distance between Moon and Earth, much before Galileo.


33. During the Berlin air-lift, one USAF pilot named Gail Halvorsen secretly air-dropped candy to the kids below, rocking his plane so they'd know it was him flying overhead. They called him "Uncle Wiggly Wings."


34. Murder rates in Miami, Florida were so high during the 1970s and 1980s that the Dade County Medical Examiner’s Office had to rent a refrigerated trailer from Burger King to handle the overflow of corpses.


35. The use of vinegar in sushi rice helps limit the growth of salmonella and listeria in raw fish by lowering the fish's pH value, making bacteria unable to survive. Fresh wasabi also has bactericidal effects.


36Dogs

Dogs can lose sleep due to negative emotional responses or stimuli. Researchers found that dogs are less likely to toss and turn or sleep restlessly if they receive positive feedback before bedtime.


37. The "Daughter from California" syndrome is a situation in which a long-lost distant relative arrives at the hospital at which a dying elderly relative is being treated, and insists on aggressive measures to prolong the patient's life, or otherwise challenges the care the patient is being given.


38. The United Nations officially use British English instead of American English.


39. The Titanic was hauling over 3000 mail sacks during its maiden voyage. When it began to flood, the five postal clerks on board tried to save as much mail as they could by hauling the sacks on deck. All five of the postal clerks died in the sinking.


40. Buzz Aldrin is the oldest person to ever reach the South Pole, visiting it in November 2016 at the age of 86.


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41Alheira de Mirandela

Alheira de Mirandela is a kosher bread sausage which was invented in Portugal to help hide Jews from the Spanish Inquisition. Jews had fled to Portugal from Spain and pretended to be Catholic. Catholic homes hung preserved meat sausages from the rafters, and Jews were conspicuous for their missing sausages.


42. NYC’s first public WiFi kiosks had to shut off browser access because so many people were using them to watch porn.


43. The Iberian Ribbed Newt has a special defense mechanism. When in danger, it juts its pointed ribs out so that they pierce its skin, making it appear hard to eat. Once the predator backs off, the skin regenerates.


44. General Robert E. Lee had a pet hen during the Civil War. She would lay an egg every day under his bed but was eventually killed by the General's cook, which greatly upset him.


45. We originally discovered how digestion work from a man named Alexis St. Martin who developed a fistula in his stomach after a gunshot wound. The physician placed bits of food on a spoon and inserted them into the man’s stomach through the fistula in order to observe the process of digestion.


46Lost Kitchen

A Maine restaurant named Lost Kitchen will only take reservations by mail and not a phone, email or app after Boston Globe’s food critic once declared it “best Maine restaurant you may never be able to eat at.” Your sole option is snail-mailing them a letter with your name and contact information.


47. In 1993, Las Vegas casino mogul Steve Wynn paid kidnapper Ray Marion Cuddy $1.45 million in $100 bills for the return of his daughter. Cuddy was caught soon after trying to buy a Ferrari Testarossa with $100 bills.


48. During the filming of Planet Earth II, the filmmakers went out of their way to save the lost baby turtles despite the convention that, as Sir David Attenborough said, "If you’re a film cameraman you are trained, as it were, to be the observer, a non-participant."


49. Tomochichi, the renown Native American Chief and friend to the English was given a monument and burial site at the center of Savannah, GA's Wright Square, only to have it destroyed and replaced with a monument to a railroad man in 1883.


50. A half-black woman named Jennifer Teege didn’t learn until she was 38 that her grandfather was Amon Göth, the sadistic Nazi concentration camp commandant who was dramatized in Schindler’s List.

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