50 Random Facts List #168

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1Cambridge University Library

Cambridge University Library's 17-story tower holds one million banished books that were considered 'not academic enough' and is now a literary time capsule and a treasure trove for researchers.


2. FBI followed Albert Einstein and compiling a 1,400-page file on him. They then branded him a communist, just because he joined an anti-lynching civil rights group.


3. People who experience goosebumps or "shivers" from listening to music tend to experience much stronger emotions in response to music and are more emotional in general. Music tends to be a much more important part of daily life for these people.


4. Freddie Mercury approved the Wayne's World Bohemian Rhapsody scene just before his death.


5. Ray Lewis grew up using a deck of cards. If he drew a 7 he would do 7 pushups and sit ups, an ace was 25 and a joker 30. He would go through the whole deck. In the NFL, he would do it 3 times for each exercise. This is also the reason why he wore 52, which is the number of cards in a deck.


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6Dr. Wagner von Jauregg

Malaria was once used to treat syphilis. Dr. Wagner von Jauregg injected sufferers with malaria-infected blood, causing an extremely high fever that would ultimately kill the disease. Jauregg won the Nobel Prize for the treatment and it remained in use until the development of penicillin.


7. The legendary saxophonist Charlie Parker's heroin and alcohol addictions were so severe, that after his death at 34 years of age, the coroner mistakenly estimated him to be between 50 and 60 years old.


8. At the LeBron James’ “Promise School”, at-risk students have 8-hour days, a longer school year and receive free meals, bikes, and tuition.


9. Dr. Seuss drew anti-Japanese cartoons during World War 2. When he met the survivors of Hiroshima, he realized “A person is a person no matter how small.” He later created “Horton Hears a Who!” as an apology, dedicating it to a Japanese friend.


10. An Escher sentence is a comparative sentence that seems to make sense but doesn't on closer inspection. For example, “more people have been to Russia than I have.”


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11Oscar the Grouch

The character Oscar the Grouch has gone on record as being a Canadian, though he tries to keep his Canadian identity a secret because he doesn't want people to like him.


12. When NBC decided to air 'The Office' after the Super Bowl, executives encouraged the show's producers to cast celebrity guest stars. They booked Jack Black, Jessica Alba, and Cloris Leachman but instead of writing them in with the regular cast, they starred in a fake movie which the cast watched.


13. While the Eagles were recording their Hotel California album, they had to stop recording "on numerous occasions" because Black Sabbath was in the same studio, and was so loud the sound was coming through the walls.


14. 40 real squirrels were trained to crack nuts for Charlie & the Chocolate Factory instead of using CGI.


15. In the original airing of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” Rudolph visited the island of Misfit Toys and promised to help them, but never actually did. Tons of children wrote to Rankin-Bass, concerned for the toys, and got the company to make another scene showing the toys had been saved.


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16Ivan Kharchenko

Ivan Kharchenko was named a Hero of the Soviet Union and awarded an Order of Lenin and Gold Star for defusing more than 26,000 explosives during the battles of Stalingrad and Kiev. He continued his job until 1956, disarming 16,000 more munitions along the way, finally retiring in 1964.


17. Aki Ra is a former Khmer Rouge conscripted child soldier who has devoted his life to removing landmines in Cambodia and to caring for young landmine victims. Since 1992, he has personally removed and destroyed as many as 50,000 landmines, and is the founder of the Cambodian Landmine Museum.


18. 1 in 400 solitaire hands is totally unplayable, meaning "no cards can be moved to the foundations even at the start of the game."


19. Hollywood occasionally sees a phenomenon called Twin Films in which two films with the same or very similar plots are produced or released at the same time by two different film studios. Some popular examples include Finding Nemo/Shark Tale, Olympus has Fallen/White House down, Churchill/Darkest Hour, The Prestige/The Illusionist.


20. In 2012, a 9-year-old boy named Brendan Haas decided he wanted to help the families of fallen US soldiers. He started a Facebook page and eventually traded up to $900 worth of Disney gift certificates, airfare, and hotel credits. He then gave the trip to a 2-year-old girl named Liberty Hope who had lost her father in Afghanistan.


21Cell phone

The belief that using a cell phone at a gas station can cause a fire or explosion is a common urban legend. It has never happened anywhere in the world. Experts believe it to be impossible as no-one has been able to successfully create a fire or explosion by using a cell phone while fueling a car.


22. Precordial catch syndrome is a condition where you get random harmless stabbing pains in the chest.


23. During the filming of Avatar, the lead visual effects company, Weta Digital, hired 900 people to work on the movie at one time. To render Avatar, Weta made use of 4,000 Hewlett-Packard servers with 35,000 processor cores with 104 TB of RAM and 3 PB of network area storage.


24. The paper sleeve around your coffee cup is called a zarf and they have existed in various forms for over 800 years.


25. A fish at the Vancouver Aquarium was given a prosthetic eye so it wouldn't be bullied by other fish.

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