50 Random Facts List #217

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26Malcolm X

Malcolm X

American minister Malcolm X said that white people could not join his black nationalist Organization of Afro-American Unity, but "if John Brown were still alive, we might accept him." Brown was a famous abolitionist convicted and hanged for treason after attempting to lead a slave rebellion in 1859.


27. The Vatican has a single pharmacy. The Vatican claims it is the busiest pharmacy in the world with 2,000 daily visitors. Due to complicated Italian laws, the pharmacy has medicines available years before Italian pharmacies. People often visit this pharmacy to buy them.


28. After submitting six names in order to get a post office and having all six rejected, citizens responded by stating, "Let the post office be nameless and be damned!" The government accepted this suggestion and the town of Nameless, Texas was born.


29. The Jacuzzi was invented by Candido Jacuzzi to provide pain relief for his 15-month-old son named Kenny Jacuzzi, who was born with rheumatoid arthritis.


30. If an Interstate is an odd number, it runs North and South and even-numbered Interstates run East and West.


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31Dragonfly

Dragonfly

Dragonfly wings kill bacteria on contact by ripping apart their cell membranes with sharp nanopillars as they move across the surface of the wing.


32. In Tina Fey's childhood, her parents allowed her to watch Young Frankenstein, SNL, Monty Python, Marx Brothers, and The Honeymooners, but she was not allowed to watch The Flintstones.


33. Until the late 15th century the word ‘girl’ simply means a child of either sex. Male babies were called ‘knave girls’ and female babies were referred to as ‘gay girls.’


34. Charlie Chaplin was the subject of an FBI investigation due to alleged communist sympathies during the height of McCarthyism. He later said "As for politics, I am an anarchist. I hate government and rules - and fetters ... People must be free."


35. It was first assumed that the sharks in the freshwater Lake Nicaragua were an endemic species, but it was later observed that the sharks were able to jump up and down the rapids of the freshwater San Juan River (which connects Lake Nicaragua and the Caribbean Sea) like salmon.


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36Parsley Massacre

Parsley Massacre

During the Parsley Massacre, Dominican soldiers identified and killed thousands of Haitian migrants based on their pronunciation of the Spanish word for ‘parsley.’


37. An American psychiatrist named Herbert Kleber pushed for evidence-based addiction treatment, not punishment and moralisms. This approach treated addiction as a medical condition instead of a failure of moral character and helped prevent relapses, saving countless lives and transforming substance abuse treatment.


38. Some trucks in North Korea are powered by burning charcoal because the price of oil is too high for most citizens.


39. When The Beatles were performing 'Twist and Shout' live, John Lennon would change the lyrics to 'I'm pissed with gout', and due to the screaming crowds, no one ever noticed.


40. The production of Apocalypse Now had actual dead bodies on set, from someone who supplied bodies to medical schools for autopsies. It turned out he was a grave robber.


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41Mother's Ruin

Mother's Ruin

In 1723, the death rate in London outstripped the birth rate and it remained higher for the next decade. Gin was to blame. Women addicted to gin neglected their infants or quietened them with Gin. The term “Mother’s Ruin” survives to this day.


42. In 1054, Chinese astronomers noted a bright "guest star" in Taurus that was visible in the daytime for 3 weeks and didn't completely fade out for almost two years. The "guest star" was actually the supernova explosion that created the Crab Nebula, which is located some 6,500 light-years away.


43. The earth's center is 2.5 years younger than the outside as a result of gravitational time dilation.


44. The most celebrated “toilet attendant” was Victoria Hughes who for three decades served in a female public toilet in Bristol. Unexpected national fame came her way at the age of 80 in 1977, when she published her memoirs, called Ladies Mile. She revealed being a confidante of prostitutes.


45. Ice is a mineral just as much as Quartz is. Ice is a naturally occurring compound with a defined chemical formula and crystal structure, thus making it a legitimate mineral. Its only limitation, in comparison to all other minerals, is that it is not stable at room temperature.


46Testimony of Truth

Testimony of Truth

The Testimony of Truth is a 4th-century Gnostic manuscript that tells the story of The Garden of Eden from the point of view the serpent, a gnostic symbol for divine wisdom and knowledge, in which it depicts God as jealous and the villain in the story.


47. Brushing your teeth can significantly reduce your risk of having a heart attack or stroke.


48. During the Battle of Lexington in the American Revolution there was a tense 10-minute standoff between the British and the Americans. A local mentally ill man took this time to wander between both sides trying to sell hard cider.


49. Hy-Brasil is a phantom island said to lie in the Atlantic Ocean west of Ireland. Irish myths described it as cloaked in mist except for one day every seven years when it becomes visible. It is listed on several early maps, but still cannot be reached.


50. In 2001, a South African company named Naspers decided to purchase a 46.5% stake into an up-and-coming Chinese tech company. This initial investment of $32 million into what would become Tencent has now ballooned to over $175 billion, making it one of the most successful investments in history.

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