50 Random Facts List #175

26Turban

During the Jim Crow era in the U.S., the turban was used by people of color for "confounding the color lines"—in other words, if you could pass yourself off as something other than black, you might circumvent some amount of discrimination.


27. Peanuts characters Snoopy and Woodstock´s fifty two year friendship began when Woodstock and his brother hatched from eggs in a nest that their mother made on top of Snoopy´s belly, a year later in 1967, Woodstock came back to perch on Snoopy´s nose, thus beginning their long fellowship.


28. Particle physicist John Ellis lost a bet and had to include the word "penguin" in his next scientific paper. After struggling to find a way to include the word, he "smoked some illegal substance" which gave him the inspiration for the now important penguin diagrams.


29. The Sydney Opera House is considered one of the worst project management failures of our time. It was 10 years late, 14 times over budget, the architect never saw it completed and the project manager never worked on another project in his career (he became a lecturer at Hawaii University).


30. In Ancient Egypt, the penalty for killing a cat was death.


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31Kingdom of Semien

The Kingdom of Semien was a Jewish kingdom in Africa that was effectively independent for over 1000 years and was the second most powerful African empire for 300 years.


32. The noble gas Xenon can be used as a near perfect general anesthetic. It works fast, has minimal side effects, protects your brain, is environmentally friendly, and can be used at normal air pressure. The only downside is it's expensive and can't be synthesized.


33. Slot machines make more money in the United States than baseball, movies, and theme parks combined.


34. Singer Helen Kane sued Fleischer Studios for basing Betty Boop's singing style on her and demanded royalties. She lost because Fleischer lawyers proved that Kane stole the style from African American singer Esther Jones.


35. A woman named Edith Roller kept a journal of her life in the religious movement Peoples Temple until she died with 918 other Americans during a mass suicide in Jonestown.


36Dune

Frank Herbert's sci-fi book " Dune" got rejected by 20 book publishers and then it became the best-selling sci-fi book of all time.


37. 6’4” Michael Phelps legs are the same length as 5’9” marathoner Hicham El Guerrouj. It is Phelps short legs and long torso that help make him such a great swimmer.


38. Leatherback turtles eat an average 800 to 900 lbs of jellyfish every day.


39. An Austrian Diplomat named Heinrich von Coudenhove-Kalergi wrote an antisemitic book about the evilness of Jews but he came to a different conclusion before it was published, declaring that “antisemitism amounted to nothing more credible than fanatical religious hatred.”


40. Microsoft executives originally disliked the Xbox's name, and only left it on the prospective name list during focus testing to show how unpopular it would be. However, it ended up being much more popular than all the alternatives.


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41Elvis Presley

In China, people don’t recognize the name Elvis Presley, and only know him as ‘Maowang’ which translates to ‘The Cat King.’


42. The US Mint used to produce a silver three cent coin between 1851 to 1872 known as a “trime.”


43. In 1963, contractor Amos Peters constructed a small suspension bridge to facilitate safe squirrel crossing over a busy street in Longview, Washington. “The Nutty Narrows” is now on the National Historic Register.


44. The sense of relief and pleasure after defecating has been scientifically studied and has an official name: Poo-phoria.


45. Henry VIII had people who were called “Grooms of the Stool” whose job was to wipe his bottom. During his reign he had four such people. All of them were knighted.


46Return of the Jedi

The Return of the Jedi was originally titled Revenge of the Jedi. Only after printing thousands of posters did George Lucas decide to change the name, making the posters worthless for advertising. Lucas then sold them to Stars Wars fans for $9.50 each as collector's items.


47. Conan O'Brien met his wife Liza while shooting a remote piece on Late Night.


48. Sans Forgetica is a font designed to help you remember text better when studying and reading. The 'desirable difficulty' you experience when reading it prompts your brain to engage in deeper processing.


49. Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was caught forging documents simply because the font that was used didn’t exist at the time the documents were allegedly created.


50. You should never wash raw chicken. Doing so increases your risk of food poisoning from campylobacter bacteria by splashing water contaminated with the bacteria onto hands, work surfaces, clothing, and cooking equipment.

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