50 Random Facts List #207

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1Shazam

Shazam has been around since 2002. Before smartphones you could to dial 2580 to Shazam a song. Shazam would then text you with what song it was.


2. James Sinegal, the former CEO of Costco, said he did not care about Wall Street analysts who had criticized him for putting the good treatment of employees and customers ahead of pleasing shareholders. A favorite quote attributed to Sinegal is “you have to take the sh*t with the sugar.”


3. Ben Affleck dropped out of college after his creative writing teacher ridiculed an early draft of the Good Will Hunting screenplay.


4. When Mossad agents discovered Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann was hiding in Argentina, they kidnapped him off the street in broad daylight and smuggled him back to Israel on a commercial flight by drugging him and dressing him as a flight attendant.


5. Discredited South Korean scientist Hwang Woo-suk, who falsely claimed to have extracted stem cells from cloned human embryos was, unbeknownst to himself at the time, actually the first to produce human embryos via parthenogenesis, a form of asexual reproduction.


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6William Banning

William Banning (father of a soldier who was killed in the Korean War) sent his son's purple heart, and an angry letter to Harry Truman, blaming him for his son's death. Both items were found in Truman's desk after he died 20 years later.


7. There is evidence of early humans being killed and eaten by eagles.


8. The name of America's #1 WWII Flying Ace was Dick Bong.


9. There is a city in Kansas called Gas. Their official motto is "Don't Pass Gas, Stop and Enjoy It."


10. The Three-mile limit for international waters was created as this was the maximum distance a cannonball could travel from the shore.


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11Partner letter

In 1586, a pregnant widow wrote a letter to her partner, who had died at the age of 30. This was found by archaeologists in South Korea in 1998, intact with the man's mummified body and a pair of sandals woven from hemp and the woman's hair.


12. In 1440, a land sale treaty between the Pope and Florence accidentally left out a small strip of land around Cospaia. The people of the area promptly declared their independence and remained sovereign for nearly 400 years.


13. The blue whale can produce the loudest sound of any animal. At 188 decibels, the noise can be detected over 800 kilometers away.


14. There is a band called 'NǽnøĉÿbbŒrğ VbëřřĦōlökäävsŦ' (pronounced 'Nanocyborg Uberholocaust') originating from Antarctica. It was formed by two scientists who happened to have similar tastes in music. Their first album, 'The Ultimate Fate of the Universe', was recorded at the exact south pole.


15. Actor Paul Marcarelli - the Verizon Wireless' "Can you hear me now?" guy - told "The Atlantic" magazine that the catchphrase plagues him so much that someone even said it to him at his grandmother's funeral as her casket was being lowered into the cemetery plot.


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16Hippos

Hippos often enjoy licking massive crocodiles.


17. The Algerian national anthem was first written in blood on a prison cell wall by an Algerian revolutionary named Moufdi Zakaria who was imprisoned by the French colonial regime.


18. In 2013, a Huffington Post poll was run where only 20% of respondents identified as Feminists, but 82% of respondents claimed that "men and women should be social, political, and economic equals."


19. In 1940, the Germans conquered Denmark so quickly, the Danes didn't have time to formally declare war against them. They surrendered after 2 hours.


20. Sperm whales are so-called because their heads are filled with large amounts of oily fluid, which whalers thought was sperm. Scientists still aren't sure what it's there for.


21Duane P. Kerzic

In 2009, Amtrak police arrested a guy named Duane P. Kerzic for taking pictures of trains as they pulled into New York City's Penn Station. He was trespassing and acting suspicious, people claimed. Why he was there for actually came to light later. The reason was he wanted to take photos for his entry into Amtrak's "Picture Our Train" contest.


22. Bottlenose dolphins have the longest memory among non-humans. They can recognize the whistles of their mates after being separated for more than 20 years.


23. Noah Webster, the founder of Merriam-Webster, learned 26 languages in order to evaluate the etymology of words.


24. Guillermo Del Toro lost his notebook in the back of a London cab, which contained most of the ideas for Pans Labyrinth. Cab driver returns the book as him Del Toro discussed comic books and had told the driver what hotel he was staying in. He received a $900 reward for its return.


25. A sly foodie named George Rector convinced upper-class Americans not to ever wash their salad bowls in the 1930s. The idea was that the dressing would cure the wooden bowl over time and make better and better salads. The real result was a rancid, smelly bowl. The practice continued for 30 years.

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