50 Random Facts List #208

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26Jacques Cartier

In 1536, French explorer Jacques Cartier and his crew were cured of scurvy by drinking tea of pine needles and by eating bark given to them by the Iroquois after the crew suffered months of nutritional deprivation at sea. Pine needles have approximately 3 to 5 times more vitamin C than an orange.


27. The space shuttle Atlantis flew 135 missions with a flight computer that had less than 1% of the computing power of an Xbox 360.


28. Scientists have discovered a unique organism that they have named hemimastix kukwesjijk which is not a plant, animal, fungus, or a protozoa. It constitutes an entirely new Kingdom, a new branch on the tree of life.


29. The Guatemalan government carried out a genocide in the 1980s known as the Silent Holocaust against the Mayan people. Throughout it, the US government under Ronald Reagan gave Guatemala military aid, helping the genocidaires commit their atrocities.


30. Adolf Hitler's personal chauffeur and close confidant, Emil Maurice, was Jewish. He was also one of the founding members of the SS. After uncovering of his Jewish heritage, Hitler declared that he was an 'honorary Aryan' and prevented him from being expelled from the SS by Himmler.


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31Kodak Kodachrome

The last roll of Kodak Kodachrome film was given to National Geographic photographer Steve McCurry who used it to capture 36 original images including one of a nomadic tribe in India whose nomadic ways were coming to an end.


32. The summit of Mount Everest is made of marine limestone which means the highest point on earth was once at the bottom of the sea.


33. The largest empire ever to exist based on the percentage of the world population was the Achaemenid Empire originating from Iran, which contained 44% of the global population in 480 B.C.


34. When French explorers thought they were the first Europeans to ever reach some historical Afghan caves in the 1930s, they were surprised to find a text inscribed on the wall saying: "if any fool this high samootch explore, Know Charles Masson has been here before."


35. In the United Kingdom, several Prisons have restaurants that are fully run by inmates at the prison, including chefs and waiters. These restaurants are also open to the public and rank highly on Tripadvisor.


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36Blue M&Ms

Blue M&Ms didn't exist until 1995 when a poll was held to replace the tan shade of M&M that was deemed redundant in addition to the brown M&M. Of pink, blue, and purple, blue won.


37. Frank Willis, a security guard in 1972. While on duty, he noticed the tape on a basement door lock. Thinking a worker had left it there accidentally, he removed it. Willis later found tape again in the same place. He called the police, saying he believed there had been a break-in at Watergate.


38. Ama are female Japanese pearl divers that start diving at the age of 12-13, and are well active into their 70s. They endure freezing conditions and great pressure from deep-sea depths to get pearls. They have a unique technique in which they release air in a long whistle as they resurface.


39. The drink mix Tang wasn't created by or for NASA. It was introduced in 1957 but sold poorly until the U.S. space agency used it for John Glenn's 1962 Mercury mission. Tang was then marketed as what the astronauts drank, but Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin later said, "Tang sucks."


40. Cheryl Crane, the daughter of actress Lana Turner, stabbed one of her mother’s boyfriends to death during a domestic struggle at the age of 14 in 1958. It was considered a justifiable homicide and she was deemed to have been protecting her mother. The boyfriend was a known abuser.


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41Quipu

The Incas did not have a written language, instead, they used colorful knotted cords called Quipu to record numbers and archives such as census data and storehouse records. They had up to a thousand unique strands.


42. Brazilian prisons offer to reduce the sentences of their prisoners by 4 days (up to 48 days/year) for every book they read and write a report on.


43. In order to prevent tourists from stealing their beer glasses, some bars in Belgium require people to hand over one of their shoes as a deposit which is then put in a basket and hung from the ceiling.


44. Because of the shorter commercial breaks in the United Kingdom, every episode of The Muppet Show had two minutes of additional footage, usually consisting of a skit or a short song.


45. When the show of comedian Benny Hill was canceled, it devastated him and his health started to decline. However, fans of his show continued pushing for a new series. A company saw this and sent him an offer for some specials. It arrived in the mail on the same day he died.


46Go-Go

The Go-Go's are the only all-female band to both write their own songs and play their own instruments to top the Billboard album charts.


47. The government used to take raisins from farmers to keep prices artificially high until the supreme court struck down the practice in 2015 as unconstitutional.


48. No one in China expected that Chairman Mao Zedong would die, so there were no preparations at all for his death. Mao's body was drained of fluids, injected with formaldehyde, and it was said his head swelled up “like a football.”


49. On the set of Star Trek: Voyager, the costume for Seven of Nine required the actress to wear an extremely tight corset underneath the visible uniform. The corset made it impossible for the actress to sit, was difficult to remove, restricted breathing, and using the restroom took up to 20 minutes.


50. Shirley Temple was among the highest-profile advocates about breast cancer awareness. In 1972, it was common for doctors not to tell women their diagnosis and to initiate mastectomy without their knowledge or consent because they were thought unable to deal with the news of their affliction.

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