50 Random Facts List #185

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26Hospital Ship

Peru built a hospital ship in 1862 which is still in service and it still runs on its original steam engine which is fueled by dried llama dung.

27. The day World War 2 started in 1939, BBC ceased all television broadcasts. They later resumed them in 1945, restarting at the same spot when it had been cut off during a Mickey Mouse cartoon.

28. In 2012, Facebook ran psychological experiments on users to study “emotional contagion” without the consent of users or pre-approval from ethics boards. Facebook was able to prove that it could alter the moods of users by changing algorithms of users’ news feeds.

29. The name Kevin in Germany has a particularly bad reputation (related to lower socioeconomic status), so much so that the word 'Alpha-Kevin' has been coined, representative of a particularly unintelligent young person. 'Kevinism' has even been described as an 'avoidable childhood illness.'

30. Mets fan Mike Sergio parachuted on to the field during the 1986 World Series. He was jailed for 21 days and given 500 hours of community service. To this day he refuses to reveal the pilot's name.

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31Colombian army

The Colombian army once wrote a song which contained a secret message in the chorus written in Morse code. It was broadcast to rebel-occupied territories in order to raise the morale of hostages being held there. The message read, “19 people rescued. You're next. Don’t lose hope.”

32. Although Fidel Castro was always pictured with cigars, he gave up smoking them in the ’80s and was quoted as saying: “The best thing you can do with a box of cigars is give it to your enemy!”

33. With only four tables and six booths, Rao's is New York's most exclusive restaurant. There are no reservations, just table assignments, designated decades ago. When any of the original “owners” of those tables die, their families will often inherit the table.

34. Stanford researchers in Costa Rica have found that adding a single tree to a pasture land could boost biodiversity. For example, the number of bird species after one tree was planted went from near 0 to 80.

35. Georgia Tann was a child trafficker who arranged expensive adoptions with the wealthy, including stars like Joan Crawford. She deceived birth parents by taking babies for medical care and later saying they died. The police did nothing because her victims were poor, and Tann died without justice.

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36Roman bridges

Ancient Roman bridges are among the largest and most lasting bridges ever built. Many are still used despite being around 2,000 years old.

37. The record for the most Grammy Awards won in a lifetime is held by Georg Solti, a Hungarian-British conductor who conducted the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for 22 years. He has won a total of 31 competitive Grammy Awards out of 74 nominations and was awarded a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

38. Simply sniffing your partner’s clothing can reduce stress and feeling of loneliness, according to research from the University of British Columbia.

39. In the 1920s, Bhagat Singh Thind, an Indian Sikh man, tried to argue to the Supreme Court of the United States that he was "white" on the grounds that anthropologists at that time classified people from India as "Caucasian." The Court rejected his argument.

40. During World War 2, the U.S. military designed a grenade to be the size and weight of a baseball, since "any young American man should be able to properly throw it."

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41Apollo 12

Apollo 12 was struck by lightning during launch and was on the verge of being aborted before a single flight controller realized that flipping a little known switch would restore enough systems to save the mission.

42. Mary Ann and Charles Goodnight were responsible for the continued existence of pure American Bison and returned them from the verge of extinction.

43. A Texas high school senior was fined $637 for cursing at school - she said “sh*t.” When she was unable to pay the fine a warrant was issued for her arrest.

44. Paul Winchell, the original voice of Gargamel from "The Smurfs" and Disney's Tigger, was the first person in history to build and patent a mechanical artificial heart.

45. After hearing 'The Doors' first album, lead singer Jim Morrison's father urged him "to give up any idea of singing or any connection with a music group because of what I consider to be a complete lack of talent in this direction."

46Henry Cavendish

Scientist Henry Cavendish suffered from extreme shyness “bordering on disease”. He discovered several laws not attributed to him because of his shyness. He had secret staircases in his home to avoid his housekeeper. Females caused him “extreme distress” and he also devised a note system to talk to her.

47. In 1978, an undergrad student notified the chief structural engineer of Citicorp Center in Manhattan that the building would collapse in strong winds. Realizing the student was correct, the chief contacted NYPD and had a 10-block emergency plan drawn up while they quickly fixed the building.

48. “Bobst Boy” was an NYU student who lived in the basement of the campus library for 8 months because he couldn't pay for campus housing. NYU offered him free housing and financial assistance until graduation, and he now has a Ph.D. in folklore from Indiana University.

49. Ferdinand Magellan did not actually complete his circumnavigation of the globe. He died in the Philippines and the voyage was completed by Juan Sebastian Elcano.

50. Kulning is a Norwegian song form which uses high-pitched vocal techniques to call cows in from the pastures.


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