50 Random Facts List #222

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The chemical element Berkelium is named after the University of California, Berkeley, which is named after the city of Berkeley, which is named after the philosopher George Berkeley, who, ironically, believed that the physical world does not actually exist.

27. A camel by the name of Douglas was killed by a Union sharpshooter at the Siege of Vicksburg. A team of 6 Confederate snipers was assembled and tasked with avenging his death.

28. The Orangutan birth rate of once every 9 years is one of the slowest among mammals, hindering their survival but also creates one the strongest mother-child bonds in nature as kids stay close to their mother during that whole period and nurse for most of it.

29. Elvis Presley stopped a mugging 53 days before he died. He had been passing by a gas station in his limo when he saw two men beating up a teen. He got out, assumed a karate stance and challenged the fighters to take him on. They were so thrilled that they stopped immediately.

30. The racehorse Sham ran the Kentucky Derby, “The Fastest Two Minutes in Sports”, in under two minutes at 1:59.90. It was a time good enough to win any Kentucky Derby past or present, except the one he was in. He lost to the legendary Secretariat by about 2 ½ lengths.

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31Horse and goat

Even horses get nervous when they are about to participate in a race, and the jockeys bring goats that calm the horse down.

32. Fez's name in 'That 70's Show', was in the script as F.E.S. as in "Foreign Exchange Student."

33. There is a Japanese phrase “kuchi sabishii” which translates to – ‘when you are not hungry, but you eat because your mouth is lonely.’

34. Doritos were originally Disneyland trash. In the early days of Disneyland, a restaurant named Casa de Fritos invented Doritos by repurposing stale tortillas they bought from a local vendor. The chips proved to be so popular they were eventually rolled out nationally by Frito-Lay in 1966.

35. Andrew Johnson is the only tailor ever to be president. As president, he would typically stop by a tailor shop to say hello. He would wear only the suits that he made himself.

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Hatshepsut was the first female ruler of ancient Egypt who acted as a full pharaoh. In art, she had herself depicted as a male ruler; she wore a false beard, had her breasts reduced and deemphasized, and her shoulders portrayed as broad and manly. She brought Egypt into a period of prosperity.

37. The United States has had a Vice President who was Native American. Charles Curtis served as Vice President under Herbert Hoover from 1929-33. His mother was of mixed Native heritage, and he grew up with his maternal grandparents on the Kaw Reservation in Kansas.

38. There is a plane that flies above Los Angeles every single day releasing thousands of sterile fruit flies from 2,000 feet in the air to combat the invasive Mediterranean Fruit Fly. Up to 125,000 flies per square mile are released each week in what’s called “biological birth control.”

39. An American man named Randy Johnston spent 12 years building his own 'castle' in the Nevada Desert from scratch. It features 22 rooms, including 2 kitchens, 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms and a man cave with home theater. It's now on the market for $699,900, down from $3.2 million.

40. After Boeing pressured the US Government to impose a 300% tariff on imports of Bombardier CSeries planes, Bombardier sold a 50.01% stake in the plane to Boeing's main competitor, Airbus, for $1 CAD.

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Pioneer was originally a 16th-century military rank, meaning people who advanced first into enemy territory to cut down forests, clear trails, make roads and bridges, etc., so that the actual troops could march through after. Pioneer has the same French root as pawn or peon, meaning foot soldier.

42. Taarof is an Iranian etiquette in which the host offers anything to the guest and the guest declines it repeatedly until eventually giving in, regardless of whether they want it or not. Taxi drivers might refuse payment initially as passengers are meant to insist on paying.

43. Neither of the Wright Brothers married. Wilbur Wright once quipped "I do not have time for both a wife and an airplane."

44. The abandoned town of Old Jefferson in Tennessee was evacuated and burned down in 1963, to make way for an artificial lake. But the water drained away into underground caves and the site of the town never flooded.

45. The Simpsons episode “22 Short Films About Springfield” was a backdoor pilot for a proposed series. 'Tales from Springfield' would have told three different short stories per week, focusing on secondary characters and telling stories about the Simpsons family members’ past or future.

46NYPD cars

Until 1996, NYPD cars were painted blue. They phased out the blue cars in favor of factory white, resulting in a $1 million savings. Light blue shirts were replaced with dark blue to "hide coffee and donut stains."

47. A French footballer named Jean-Pierre Adams has spent nearly 40 years in a coma he entered at the age of 34, following an anesthetist’s error. His wife has stayed by his side this whole time.

48. Half of Thailand’s 349,000 monks are either overweight or obese. They rely solely on alms from the faithful and must consume what they are offered before noon each day. After midday, to keep their energy up, many rely on highly sweetened beverages, including energy drinks.

49. Kombucha is claimed to treat AIDS, aging, anorexia, arthritis, atherosclerosis, cancer, constipation, and diabetes, but there is no evidence to support any of these claims. Moreover, the beverage has caused rare cases of serious adverse effects, including fatalities.

50. The Blue Hole is a 120-meter-deep sinkhole, five miles north of Dahab, Egypt. Its nickname is the “divers’ cemetery”. Divers in Dahab say 200 died in recent years. Many of those who died were attempting to swim under the arch. This challenge is to scuba divers what Kilimanjaro is to hikers.


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