50 Random Facts List #191

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26Renewable energy

In 2015, renewable energy provided almost 100% of electricity production in Iceland, with about 73% coming from hydropower and 27% from geothermal power.


27. When China ordered a Boeing 767 from the U.S. in 2002 to serve as its presidential jet of Jiang Zemin, its intelligence service discovered nearly 30 bugging devices onboard the plane, "including one in the headboard of the presidential bed." The C.I.A. and the White House refused to comment.


28. A golfer can possess only one Masters green jacket. If a golfer wins multiple Masters they just award the winner the same jacket. The winner also can't hold onto their jacket and must return it to the clubhouse.


29. The oldest undisputed known depiction of a human being, the Venus of Hohle Fels, is about 40,000 years old and made from mammoth ivory. It is on display in a museum in a small German town.


30. Paraffin wax was a common waterproofing material used for circus tents but this changed in 1944 after the Ringling Bros. Fire in Hartford, Connecticut. The paraffin wax ended up accelerating the deadly fire and 1800lbs of hot wax “rained down from the roof”-killing 167 people; injuring 700, mostly women and children.


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31Powerball drawing

When the results began coming in from the 30 March 2005 Powerball drawing, lottery officials suspected fraud was underway because 110 players claimed second prizes of $100,000 or $500,000. All 110 players and the jackpot winner got their numbers from fortune cookies.


32. To gaslight someone means to make one think they are going crazy. This term comes from the movie Gaslight (1944), where a husband tried to make his wife (Ingrid Bergman) think that very thing by dimming the gas lights in the house and making her think she was imagining it.


33. Charles Darwin wrote the pros and cons of marriage (including the positivity of “female chit-chat) before marrying his cousin.


34. Rachel Carson is the author of Silent Spring (1962), a book which accused the chemical industry of spreading disinformation on the harmful effects of pesticides. The book is credited with inspiring the environmental movement and leading to the formation of the U.S Environmental Protection Agency.


35. Wilford Brimley, the “I’ve got ‘diabetuss.’” guy from the Liberty Medical TV commercials was once employed by millionaire recluse Howard Hughes as a bodyguard.


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36Chowchilla kidnappers

The Chowchilla kidnappers who locked 26 children and their bus driver in a buried moving van never got to make their ransom demands, since the phone lines to the police were occupied by worried parents and the media calling in. The victims then dug themselves out and escaped.


37. On 18 August 1913, in Monte Carlo Casino, 26 roulette spins in a row landed on black. The odds of such an occurrence are 1 in 66.6 million. Many gamblers lost millions of francs as they continually (and incorrectly) reasoned that red was due to come up next.


38. One unofficial method of defending merchant vessels against Somali pirates is to blast Britney Spears’ music and it has been reported to be effective.


39. A beggar was caught outside a mosque in Kuwait telling worshipers that he badly needed cash and that he had no home. Since it is illegal, he was arrested and police discovered he had over 500,000 Kuwaiti Dinars in his bank account ($1,650,000).


40. Fearing invasion during the Cold War, Albania’s leader Enver Hoxha forced his country to build 750,000 bunkers. Today, many of those bunkers have been converted into a variety of uses, like turning them into pizzerias, espresso bars, and makeshift bars.


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41John Von Neumann

John Von Neumann was a mathematician polymath who invented computers (the architecture in every digital computer today), a precursor theory of DNA without having been a biologist, played a pivotal in creating the atom bomb and laid out the mathematical framework for quantum mechanics.


42. Jen Bricker, a gymnast who was born without legs grew up idolizing an Olympic gold medalist. Later in her life she discovered that the Olympic gold medalist she idolized was her long-lost sister.


43. American film actress Jayne Mansfield died in a car crash in 1967 at the age of 34. Her car hit a tractor, killing her instantly. After her death, the NHTSA recommended requiring an underride guard on all tractor-trailers. In America, the underride guard is sometimes known as a "Mansfield bar."


44. In 2017, doctors in Japan discovered a tiny brain and skull inside of a 16-year-old girl's ovarian tumor while they were removing the growth.


45. Henry Winkler's parents escaped Nazi Germany on the last day Jews were allowed to leave. Since they were given only a six-week visa, Henry's father hid his mother's jewelry inside pieces of chocolate to covertly take as much wealth with them as they could without being detected by the Nazis.


46Bill Niman

Bill Niman, the founder of Niman Ranch and pioneer of humane animal farming, stopped eating Niman Ranch products after his farm was bought out by a corporation that dropped his humane treatment and sustainability standards in order to make a profit.


47. Garter snakes will retain poisons they eat in their liver, making themselves temporarily poisonous to their predators. They are also technically venomous but have long lost the ability to practically use the venom they produce.


48. In 2011, Nicolas Cage sold a copy of the first appearance of Superman for $2 million, rescuing him from bankruptcy.


49. Karl Grossman, a German butcher and serial killer with 50 suspected victims, covered his crimes by grinding up the ‘meat’ produced by his victims, making hot dogs and selling them at his stand outside a Berlin train station.


50. Slow television is live, nonstop TV coverage of an ordinary event in its complete length. The slow tv was popularized by the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation's 7-hour broadcast of the train ride from Bergen to Oslo in 2009, and a 134-hour broadcast of the MS Nordnorge's coastal voyage in 2011.

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