50 Random Facts List #215

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1Ronald Reagan

The first anti-hacking law was passed after President Ronald Reagan saw the movie War Games and asked his staff if this could happen. A week later the response was “Mr. President, the problem is much worse than you think.”


2. Rick Rescorla, the director of security at Morgan Stanley, saved all but 6 of his 2700 employees during the 9/11 attacks by directing people down the stairs using a bullhorn and encouraging them by singing Cornish songs.


3. Beekeepers are advised not to eat bananas because the smell of bananas makes bees aggressive as it releases the same pheromones that alert bees to attack.


4. In 2012, a German kindergarten teacher named Ina Koenig jumped down a 75-foot mine shaft when one of her 3-year-old students accidentally fell down it. It was filled with cold water. For more than 2 hours, she kept the child’s head above the deluge, saving his life, until help arrived.


5. There were 4 dogs used in the film “Cujo” and they all had to have their tails tied down by fishing wire to make them appear menacing because they were all wagging their tails the entire time.


6Star Trek

"The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few" is not a quote from some ancient philosopher or legal code. It is a quote from the 1982 Star Trek film The Wrath of Khan.


7. During the Cold War, a system administrator named Clifford Stoll tracked a $0.75 accounting error back to an East German spy ring. It was one of the first documented cases of a computer break-in.


8. Switzerland has no landfills. 50% of the municipal waste is recycled, 50% is incinerated to produce electricity.


9. Every year on September 11, firefighters in the United States will climb 110 flights of stairs in full gear in buildings or at the gym to remember the 343 firefighters who lost their lives that day.


10. Warner Bros. allowed Bugs Bunny to appear in 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit?' under the stipulation that he only appears opposite Mickey Mouse, and that the two receive the same amount of screen time. The resulting scene is the only time in film history that the two have shared the screen together.


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11Rats

Rats have empathy. When offered the choice of a tempting chocolate treat, or rescuing a drowning rat, they chose to rescue the drowning rat.


12. Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa, who is often portrayed as the epitome of Mexican machismo, never drank alcohol. He actually was so worried about alcoholism spreading in Mexico, that he banned alcohol from his province of Chihuahua.


13. Upton Sinclair's novel "The Jungle" was never about the meatpacking industry. Sinclair intended it as a "breaking of human hearts by a system which exploits the labor of men and women for profit."


14. A Norwegian Ethnographer named Thor Heyerdahl sailed from Peru to Polynesia on a primitive balsa wood raft to prove that ancient trans-oceanic travel was possible. When experts called it a fluke, he made an Egyptian reed boat and sailed it from Morocco to Central America to prove them wrong.


15. Honey bees sleep between five and eight hours a day, some bees hold each other's legs as they sleep. Colonies are divided into different sectors of work. There are cleaners, nurses, security guards, also collection bees whose sole job is to cache nectar in the comb. Promotions happen as well.


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16Weird Al Yankovic

When Weird Al Yankovic asked the publishers of The Kinks' Lola whether songwriter Ray Davies would allow his parody, Yoda, to be released. He got a negative response. However, when Yankovic met Davies five years later, Ray told him that he had never been asked and allowed Al to release Yoda.


17. The Code of Hammurabi, while notorious for its eye for an eye punishment and the removal of body parts of the guilty party, was also one of the earliest pieces of written law to have it a requirement for an innocent person to be assumed innocent until proven guilty.


18. The Monkees named their movie Head so that if they ever released a second film they could use the tag line “from the people who gave you Head.”


19. A man named Richard Proenneke left his career as a heavy equipment operator, flew to a remote Alaskan lake, built a log cabin by hand, and lived there alone for 30 years.


20. White Castle became popular because of public reaction to Upton Sinclair’s “The Jungle”. To make sure that customers thought their food was clean, the buildings were painted completely white, the interiors were made of stainless steel, and the employees all wore spotless uniforms.


21Irwin Horwitz

In 2015, a Texas professor named Irwin Horwitz failed his entire class and quit because he thought that all of his students were disruptive or dishonest and therefore didn’t deserve to pass the course. He said the class was his worst in his 20 years of teaching.


22. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology offers a "pirate certificate" to students who complete the archery, sailing, fencing, and pistol or rifle shooting courses. The department frequently holds "pirate induction" days and has had a steady stream of students awarded the achievement.


23. A 67 million-year-old dinosaur mummy was found in 2007 with a lot its body still intact. This borealopelta was discovered with the protective armor, skin, and partial stomach still intact. It's been so well preserved that scientists deemed it closer to a mummy than a fossil.


24. In 1972, Canadian radio station CBC held a poll to find a national simile (an answer to 'As American as apple pie'). The winning response was "As Canadian as possible under the circumstances."


25. There is a 25 foot replica Statue of Liberty in the river outside of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. It was erected as a prank in 1986, and was originally made of Venetian blinds and plywood. A local lawyer admitted his role in the prank 25 years later, “well after the statute of limitations had expired.”

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