50 Random Facts List #187

26Neil Armstrong

Neil Armstrong before leaving for the Apollo 11 Space mission signed hundreds of autographs and had them dropped in the mail on the exact date of their moon mission, in case he died during the mission and his family could monetize his autographs.


27. There is a disagreement about what color people say tennis balls are, with 52% saying green, 42% saying yellow and 6% saying "other."


28. Benjamin Franklin and his friend would use chess as a means to learn Italian; the winner of each game would assign a task, such as parts of the Italian grammar to be learned by heart, to be performed by the loser before their next meeting.


29. Salvador Dalí’s brother died 9 months before the artist was born. When Dalí was 5 years old, his parents took him to his brother’s grave and told him that he was his brother’s reincarnation. Salvador believed it and incorporated this idea into his future paintings.


30. German composer Johann Sebastian Bach died after having a surgery done on his eye by a charlatan. The procedure involved sticking needles into the eye. The same charlatan also performed the procedure on Handel, who also died from complications of the procedure.


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31Sergey Prokudin-Gorsky

A Russian photographer named Sergey Prokudin-Gorsky traveled the Russian Empire from around 1909 to 1915 and would take 3 individual black-and-white photos, each with a filter (red, blue, and green) to create high-quality pictures in a full-color way before full-color images were available.


32. The city of Crush, Texas was a temporary one day city created as a publicity stunt to exhibit two trains go full speed and collide. The impact caused engine boilers to explode resulting in a shower of flying debris on 40000 spectators. It killed 2 or 3 people and caused numerous injuries.


33. Monterey Jack (David Jack) was a real person who owned the dairy that first mass-produced the cheese.


34. General Motors chemist Thomas Midgley Jr. invented both chlorofluorocarbons and leaded gasoline, having "more impact on the atmosphere than any other single organism in Earth's history."


35. Vitamin-D deficiency is linked with many health disorders, including depression. In a survey of almost 8,000 US residents, it was found that those with lower vitamin D levels "are at a significantly higher risk of showing depression."


36Virginia Hall

The most successful and feared allied spy of World War 2, Virginia Hall, was an American woman with a prosthetic leg. She escaped France on foot through the Pyrenees mountains, re-entered before D-Day, and organized havoc behind the Nazi lines.


37. French fries contain nicotine. Members of the nightshade family such as tobacco and potatoes contain nicotine as a natural pesticide.


38. In the early days of radio, advertisers were hesitant to invest in radio ads because they feared an ad where you couldn't just "turn the page" if you didn't like it (as you could in print) would come off as pushy and invasive.


39. All human are susceptible to the “illusion of truth effect”. Meaning the more we hear something, the more likely we are to believe it is true.


40. As a marketing and publicity stunt, three copies of a John Otway single in 1979 were pressed without a vocal track. Purchasers of the 'instrumental' copies would 'win' live performance of the song by Otway in their own living room, while they played the record on their home stereo.


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41John Muir

A conservationist named John Muir was an avid inventor. He hooked up an alarm clock to his custom bed that would throw him onto the floor to ensure he got up on time.


42. When Joseph Stalin had a cerebral hemorrhage, he was on the couch in his room. People were so afraid of entering his room that it took until 22:30 for anybody to check on him. He died after three days.


43. When Amiens Cathedral was about to collapse (ca. 1500), a huge iron chain was installed inside the walls while still red hot. It pulled the stone arches back into shape as it contracted and cooled.


44. Tea was fashionable in Britain only after Charles II's Portuguese wife, Catherine of Braganza, popularized it. When she arrived in England she asked for a cup of tea but was given ale instead.


45. A funk band named Here Come the Mummies, consisting of 12 members, who are rumored to have several Grammy awards among the members, however, this is difficult to prove, as all the members wear full mummy costumes when performing.


46Donna Alexander

A woman named Donna Alexander who opened an anger room in Dallas where people could destroy household items, was allegedly killed by her boyfriend due to assault.


47. Howie Mandel has a full head of hair but chooses to shave it because it makes him feel cleaner.


48. Electrum is the alloy of silver and gold, and humanity's first metal coins were made out of it.


49. Ernest Hemingway was recruited as a spy for the KGB in 1941, code-named "Argo", but he never provided any valuable information and was abandoned by the Soviets by the end of the 1940s.


50. Dr. John L. Leal is the man responsible for popularizing chlorine in our drinking water, and saving countless lives by doing so.

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