50 Random Facts List #212

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1Teller

Teller (the silent half of Penn and Teller) began doing magic in complete silence when performing at fraternity houses as he found it reduced heckling and beer that was thrown at him during his act.


2. When Theo Albrecht, the CEO of discount supermarket chain ALDI was kidnapped, he haggled about his ransom money and claimed the sum as a tax-deductible business expense in court after his release.


3. In 1896, New York passed the Raines law to reduce Sunday drinking. The law had a loophole though that allowed bars to serve alcohol only with a meal. Staff added a sandwich to every drink order, then took it away, serving it to the next customer. The sandwich often lasted all day.


4. Bats in the US eat so many insects that they save farmers an estimated $22.9 billion every year on pesticides.


5. Astronaut Gus Grissom was accused of prematurely blowing the hatch on the Liberty 7 space capsule, causing it to sink. He always maintained that the hatch blew on its own without his intervention. He later died in the Apollo 1 capsule fire because of a complicated hatch that would not blow quickly enough.


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6Robert Goddard

When Professor Robert Goddard proposed using rockets to send men to the moon, New York Times ran a scathing editorial questioning his credentials, his chair at Clark College and his intelligence. In response to Apollo 11, New York Times printed one of the most famous retractions in history.


7. American singer Al Green who originally made Take Me To The River got more royalties from the Big Mouth Billy Bass fish than from any other recordings of the song.


8. The massive ancient library of Nineveh (Mesopotamian equivalent of library of Alexandria) was burnt by the Medes. The fires rather than destroying the documents surprisingly treated the approximately 30,000 clay tablets and preserved the cuneiform text very well.


9. The oldest continuously operating Chinese restaurant in the US is not in New York or San Francisco, but Butte, Montana. Pekin Noodle Parlor opened in 1911 and is still open today.


10. In the early days of home computers, late 70's to early '80s, computer magazines featured code listings that readers would spend hours typing into their computer in order to play a game or have a certain program.


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11James Matthew Barrie

Sir James Matthew Barrie assigned the copyright of Peter Pan to Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital. Peter Pan is the only copyright in the UK that has been extended in perpetuity, meaning the Hospital can receive royalties forever. It is the copyright which never grows old.


12. In 2017, Frankfurt police found a car belonging to a 76-year-old man who had forgotten where he had parked it 20 years earlier.


13. During the American Civil War, Southern Unionists and Quakers formed a secret society known as the Red Strings. Red Strings aided deserters, spies, escaped prisoners and passed intelligence on Confederate forces to Union authorities. After the war, they actively opposed the KKK.


14. The story of Kitty Genovese's murder being ignored by 38 people is a myth and the police were called twice. One woman even went down and held her after she was stabbed. The myth came due to the New York Times's writer wanting a more dramatic story.


15. The physical shape of the human ear selectively filters out frequencies outside of the human vocal range.


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16Bruce Dickinson

Bruce Dickinson (lead singer of the heavy metal band Iron Maiden) and his then-solo band drove through the front lines of the war in Sarajevo during the Bosnian war. They weren't protected and there were bullets flying around. They played a show for the people trapped in the city.


17. A few weeks before the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, US scientists performed a safety test on the EBR-II reactor by disabling cooling pumps and automatic protection systems at full thermal power. The core passively cooled itself as designed without human intervention or damage.


18. The meeting of presidents President Taft and Díaz in Mexico in 1909 was the first between a president of the United States and a president of Mexico. Because both presidents were bilingual there was no need for interpreters. No one else attended the meeting where they spent 20 minutes alone.


19. Bumblebees have parasitic "doppelgangers" called cuckoo bumblebees that resemble a specific race enough to be able to sneak into their nest, kill the queen, and trick all the workers into feeding their offspring and ultimately taking over the whole nest before moving onto their next target.


20. It makes no difference which side of the aluminum foil you use, both sides do the same fine job of cooking, freezing and storing food. The difference in appearance between dull and shiny is due to the foil manufacturing process.


21Buddha

Most Buddhists do not believe in God. Although they respect and look up to Buddha, they do not believe he was a God but they worship him as a form of respect.


22. There are over 40,000 unclaimed bodies in morgues across America. Families often don't show up and claim the bodies because they can't afford a funeral for them. These bodies are then later buried in mass graves.


23. Back when dinosaurs existed, there used to be volcanoes that were erupting on the moon.


24. There was a Tennessee Republican politician named Byron Looper who changed his middle name to 'Low tax' so that it would appear on the ballot box. He murdered his political opponent in a later senatorial race, was sentenced to life and died in prison.


25. During the filming of 'The Longest Day' a tank from the actual invasion of Normandy was found buried in the sand since D-Day. The tank was cleaned up and used in the film.

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