50 Random Facts List #182

1Weird Al and Michael Jackson

When Michael Jackson granted Weird Al Yankovic permission to do "Fat" (a parody of "Bad"), Jackson allowed him to use the same set built for his own "Badder" video from the Moonwalker film. Yankovic said that Jackson's support helped to gain approval from other artists he wanted to parody.


2. High priced college textbooks bundled with "access codes" that expire at the end of the semester largely force students to buy books at retail prices at campus bookstores and render the texts worthless in the resale market. Nearly four in 10 college courses bundle their texts with access codes.


3. Gordon Ramsay has chosen not to give his children a large inheritance, does not take them to expensive restaurants (not even his own), and does not allow them to sit in first class on planes so that they are not spoiled.


4. If American sitcom My Name Is Earl had not been prematurely canceled the creator planned to end it with Earl being unable to finish his list but realizing that his original list had started a chain reaction of good in the world.


5. Cigarette butts are environmentally toxic and the most littered item in the world.


6Nikola Tesla

Physicist Nikola Tesla once paid an overdue hotel bill with a box containing a working model of his ‘death beam‘, warning employees never to open it because of the danger. They hid the box and when it was discovered years later and opened, it was found to contain old (harmless) electrical parts.


7. The food in Alcatraz Prison was so good that the guards and prison staff ate the same exact meals as the prisoners. This was because the warden believed most trouble in prison is caused by bad food.


8. Paul McCartney, as a vegetarian and animal rights activist, only agreed to appear on The Simpsons if Lisa's decision to become a vegetarian in that episode was made permanent. He is literally the only reason Lisa is still a vegetarian.


9. Christopher Walken is one of only two actors (the other being Alec Baldwin) to have a standing offer from Lorne Michaels to host Saturday Night Live whenever his schedule permits. Thus far he has hosted the show 7 times, his most famous appearance is the "More Cowbell!" sketch.


10. The Scrubs show has one of the most accurate portrayals of the actual way a hospital runs and all of its medical cases are taken from real-life medical cases.


11Neil Armstrong

In 1972, Neil Armstrong visited the town of Langholm, Scotland, in which he was read a 400-year-old law declaring any Armstrong caught in the town should be hanged.


12. Jules Verne's shelved 1863 novel "Paris in the Twentieth Century" predicted gas-powered cars, fax machines, electric street lighting, maglev trains, the record industry, the internet. His publisher deemed it pessimistic and lackluster. It was discovered in 1989 and published 5 years later.


13. Patrick Stewart hated having pet fish in Picard's ready room on Star Trek: The Next Generation, considering it an affront to a show that valued the dignity of different species.


14. During Prohibition in the US, it was illegal to buy or sell alcohol, but it was not illegal to drink it. Some wealthy people bought out entire liquor stores before it passed to ensure they still had alcohol to drink.


15. X% of Y is the same as Y% of X, so for example, 32% of 50 is the same as 50% of 32, which is 16.


16Shawn Bradley

Former NBA player and devout Mormon, Shawn Bradley, was once fined $10,000 for not going to a mandatory team meeting at a strip club.


17. In 1981, a man named Roger Fischer had an idea for a volunteer to have ICBM launch codes put in their chest cavity. In the event of an emergency, the volunteer would carry a knife to be killed with. It was meant to force the personal killing of one man to start the impersonal killing of millions.


18. American chemist Alexander Shulgin, the man who rediscovered MDMA and "the godfather of psychedelics", had a license from the DEA to produce any schedule 1 substance. He managed to discover over 200 psychoactive compounds before the license was revoked.


19. In 2015, Prince voiced his dislike of record labels saying "Record contracts are just like — I'm gonna say the word – slavery." He concluded "I would tell any young artist ... don't sign." At the time he advocated seeing artists paid directly from streaming services, cutting out middlemen.


20. Some non-redheaded men have red beards because they have one copy of the MC1R gene. Two copies would make them fully redheads. 


21Dive watch

The bezel on a dive watch only turns counterclockwise so that if the bezel is bumped accidentally during a dive it will only move in one direction, subtracting time from the dive and prompting the diver to surface early rather than staying under for too long.


22. Stingray injuries are almost never fatal. When Steve Irwin died from a stingray attack in 2006, it was only the second recorded stingray-related death in Australia since 1945.


23. There is an FAA regulation called the 'Sterile Cockpit Rule', requiring flight crews to only discuss topics pertinent to the safety and operation of the flight below 10,000 feet.


24. A pro hockey player named John Scott got voted by the people (as a joke) to be the captain of the All-Star team. NHL didn't want him to play, so he got sent to the Minor Leagues. There wasn't a rule against a minor leaguer playing in it though, so he played, scored twice and won MVP.


25. Ron Stallworth, the man who infiltrated the ranks of the KKK and the center of the movie BlacKkKlansman, was a cheerleader, served in the Student Council, served on the Student Advisory Board to the EPISD Board, and was voted most popular in his Senior year at Austin High School.

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