50 Random Facts List #182

26Statue of Liberty

The Statue of Liberty was originally a dull copper color, but after 20 years it oxidized and was covered in green patina. Congress wanted to paint away the corrosion, but the Army Corps of Engineers concluded it "softened the outlines of the Statue and made it beautiful."


27. Before Paris was liberated from the Nazis, Hitler ordered military governor Dietrich von Choltitz to demolish the Eiffel Tower and other major landmarks. He refused this direct order, and surrendered to the Allies instead, saving the tower.


28. An elephant's memory is so good that it not only recognizes all the members of its own clan but even other creatures who leave a strong impression on them. A pair of elephants who had performed in a circus together were able to recognize each other when they met again after 20 years.


29. When a man named Mike Merrill considered getting a vasectomy or moving in with his girlfriend, the choice wasn't his to make. It was instead left up to 805 people who'd purchased his life. Merrill, a private citizen, sold 11,823 shares of his life to complete strangers who now control his decisions.


30. When babies are born in Thailand, it is common for people to say the baby is ugly. There is a superstition that attractive babies will be taken by evil spirits. It is impolite to say positive things about the baby.


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31Chumbawamba

After the band Chumbawamba was paid $100,000 by General Motors for the use of their song "Pass it Along" in an advertisement, they then donated 100% of the proceeds to activist groups for the purpose of beginning information and environmental campaigns against General Motors.


32. Robin Williams wanted to play Hagrid in the Harry Potter movies, but there was a British actors only rule put forth by J.K. Rowling.


33. During World War 2 Hitler ordered the British town of Blackpool be spared from bombing as he intended it to be his personal holiday resort after Germany had won the war.


34. Bees dance to each other in the hive to tell each other where to find good pollen. The angle of the dance is the angle relative to the sun, the tempo of dance is the distance, the duration of dance is the quality of the pollen, and the dancer hands out free samples to whoever’s watching.


35. Harvest Mice like crawling into flowers to eat the pollen and sometimes even fall asleep in them.


36ADHD

People with ADHD have the ability to hyper-focus on things that they like.


37. There was a case (Re A) of British conjoined twins. If not separated, they’d both die in months. If separation was successful, the healthier twin would survive but the surgery would kill the other. The parents refused consent, but a court overruled them. The surgery killed one twin to save the other.


38. Telford Taylor, the chief prosecutor in many of the Nuremberg Trials, also wished to prosecute American pilots who had bombed North Vietnam, believing they were also guilty of war crimes.


39. Robert Downey Jr. largely credits the martial art Wing Chun for helping to maintain his sobriety, as well as helping to keep him "grounded, well and focused."


40. Blowing out birthday candles increases the concentration of bacteria on the cake by almost 1,400%.


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41George Metesky

Just as America entered World War 2, serial bomber George Metesky informed NYPD that, as a patriot of his country, he would make no bomb threats for the duration of the war. He stayed true to his word.


42. Coughing while cleaning inside your ears is not something that everyone else experiences and is actually an uncommon reaction called Arnold’s Nerve Reflex.


43. The cat that Marlon Brando pets in the beginning of ‘The Godfather’ purred so loudly that the actors’ voices had to be re-recorded.


44. In 2008, after receiving an email from Steve-O suggesting his possible suicide, Johnny Knoxville and other friends placed Steve-O on an involuntary 72-hour psychiatric hold, which was later lengthened to 14 days after an apparent suicide attempt.


45. John Steinbeck’s dog, Toby, ate his manuscript of Of Mice and Men. There was no other draft. Steinbeck said of the incident, “I was pretty mad but the poor little fellow may have been acting critically. I didn’t want to ruin a good dog for a manuscript, I’m not sure is good at all.”


46Dan Aykroyd

Although many celebrities are suspected to have Autism Spectrum Disorder, Dan Aykroyd, Daryl Hannah, and Satoshi Tajiri have openly confirmed that they are on the spectrum and have autism.


47. When Bette Midler started her career in the early 1970s, she was the singer in a gay bathhouse in New York often accompanied by Barry Manilow on piano. Manilow produced her first album and the patrons of the bathhouse were her first hardcore fans.


48. A US bomber purposely crashed into a hillside in Sheffield on 22 February 1944, killing everyone on board instead of crashing into a park with a large group of children in it.


49. AlphaGo the AI that beat the World Go Champion Lee Sedol 4-1 in a best of five series was defeated by its third version AlphaGo Zero, 100-0. The original AlphaGo learned from the data of Go matches played by humans, and AlphaGo Zero learned by playing against itself, no data or human interaction.


50. The Crikey steveirwini is a rare species of tree snail discovered in Australia in 2009. The discovering scientist noted its khaki appearance and decided the only appropriate name was one that would honor the late Crocodile Hunter and his signature catchphrase.

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