50 Random Facts List #195

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The Vietnamese word for shark literally translates to “fat fish” and the Afrikaans word for an office “stapler” literally translates to “paper vampire.”

27. The Moriori were pacifist people who, when being wiped out by a neighboring Polynesian tribe, decided that their non-violent beliefs were more important than their own survival.

28. Twinkies were invented as a way to use a Continental Bakery's shortcake pans for the 46 weeks each year outside of strawberry season. During the Great Depression, these were cheap and easy to mass produce.

29. Boatswain (1803-1808) was Lord Byron's beloved Newfoundland dog. When he contracted rabies Byron personally nursed him despite the risk. After he died Byron wrote the poem “Epitaph to a Dog” in his honor. His wish to be buried with Boatswain was denied. The dog’s tomb is larger than Byron’s.

30. Although people live longer on average, the maximum age of humans hasn't increased in 30 years. This had led scientists to conclude that no matter how much medicine advances, the natural limit to human life span will remain around 115.

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31Mountain Dew

Mountain Dew

Regularly drinking excessive amounts of Mountain Dew (2-8 Litres/day) can cause a rare neurological disorder with symptoms of memory loss, fatigue, headache, and involuntary movements. The disorder is caused due to bromine accumulating from the brominated vegetable oils used in some citrus-flavored drinks.

32. Jeopardy was canceled twice before the current incarnation of the show. It ran for 11 years before it was canceled and the reboot only lasted 3 months. Alex Trebek was a producer who made the show "his own" leading to it's current and longtime success.

33. Ants manage large-scale infrastructure projects with no coordination at all. Each ant acts alone, solving problems such as removing obstructions as they are encountered. Research points to the simple, evolutionary energy-saving principle of: "If you do not need to communicate, don't!"

34. Bill Nye, the Science Guy is related to the founder of Nye Lubricants, whose replacement whale oil led to the international ban against whaling.

35. A deer poacher named David Berry Jr. in Missouri was sentenced in December 2018 to watch the Bambi movie once every month during his yearlong prison term.

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After being denied access to one and with no public knowledge about its architecture, India built its first supercomputer (PARAM) in just 3 years which then became the second fastest supercomputer at the time.

37. In 1995, Isaac Asimov received a letter congratulating him on an accidental prediction of alpha-particle RAM errors in one of his 1950s novel “Caves of Steel”.

38. Fang Xiaoru was an orthodox Confucian scholar-bureaucrat of the Ming Dynasty, who refused to serve Emperor Yongle, who had usurped his nephew. Fang was executed by ‘waist severing’ and he managed to write the Chinese character “篡” meaning ‘usurper’ 12 times with his own blood after being cut in half.

39. When Marvin Gaye recorded “What’s Going On”, he played it for Motown’s Berry Gordy Jr. who said it was “the worst thing I heard in my life.” Only after Gaye threatened to leave the label was it released. It became a massive hit and is considered the 4th greatest song of all time by the Rolling Stone.

40. Humans weren't the first species to discover agriculture. That honor goes to multiple species of ants (and termites) who beat us to it by 50-60 million years. Ants actively cultivate fungus much like humans farm crops as a food source.

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Terry Gilliam's movie version of Watchmen was going to end with Doctor Manhattan going back in time to save himself from becoming Doctor Manhattan, causing Rorschach, Nite Owl, and Silk Spectre to be transported to an alternate universe where “The Watchmen” only exist in comic form.

42. In 2009, researchers were successful in duplicating the glue that the sandcastle worms secrete and use to stick sand grains together underwater. They believe the glue has applications as a biocompatible medical adhesive, for instance, to repair shattered bones. For bone repair, it can replace pins and screws.

43. Caterpillars almost completely digest themselves into a protein-rich soup inside their chrysalis and then form their adult body around 'imaginal discs', highly specialized cells that rapidly form into adult parts.

44. After losing a son and extreme financial hardships, the song "It Is Well With My Soul" was written by American lawyer Horatio Spafford while on his way to meet his grieving wife as he passed by the area where his four daughters had recently died from a collision in the Atlantic Ocean.

45. Adult mayflies don't have a functioning mouth or digestive system, simply because they don't live long enough to need them.

46Black and white pepper

Black and white pepper

Black pepper and white pepper actually come from the same plant. Black pepper is cooked and dried unripe fruit, whereas white pepper is ripe fruit seeds.

47. Serial killer Edmund Kemper was so friendly with his local police that they initially thought his phone call confessing to killing his mother was a weird prank. They also didn't know he'd killed his own grandparents in his teens because that record was expunged.

48. The Icelandic Elf School in Reykjavík, Iceland offers lectures and guided tours about Icelandic folklore. The organization teaches about the hidden people and the 13 different kinds of elves that the organization believes inhabit the country of Iceland.

49. Jellyfish will almost disappear if left out in the sun. Because they are 98% water, they mostly evaporate into thin air.

50. Rice University has a nonprofit ed-tech based initiative called OpenStax, which provides completely free, openly licensed college and university level textbooks for various subjects.

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  1. As an Afrikaans South African I have never in my almost 24 years of life used the word “papier vampier” I have used “stapler” and “papier kramer” which translates to “paper crammer/pusher”.



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