50 Random Facts List #223

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1Queen Elizabeth

Queen Elizabeth once went for a walk near her Balmoral estate with one of her protection officers and met some American tourists who didn’t recognize her. They asked her if she’d ever met the Queen and she said “No”. She then pointed to her officer and said: “he has”. They didn’t connect the dots.


2. The death of Sherlock Holmes almost destroyed the magazine that had originally published the stories. When Arthur Conan Doyle killed him off in 1893, 20,000 people canceled their subscriptions. The magazine barely survived. Its staff referred to Holmes’ death as “the dreadful event”.


3. It is unknown what Neil Armstrong took with him to the moon personally and the record of his personal property kit was never found. Armstrong made an unscripted visit to a crater and it is speculated he left his late daughter's bracelet there.


4. Bees will not build in a gap that is very specifically 6-9 mm in width, but they will build in larger or smaller spaces. This discovery that is now termed as “bee space” is what made modern beehives with removable “frames” for honeycomb possible. Otherwise, the bees would just cement everything together.


5. The guy who invented annoying password rules (i.e., passwords must use upper case, lower case, #s, special characters, etc.) realizes his rules aren’t helpful and has apologized to everyone for wasting our time.


6Icelandic Thursdays

Until 1987, there was no TV broadcast in Iceland on Thursdays. The idea behind the decision was to reserve Thursdays as a day for socializing. As a result, many Icelanders born before 1987 joke that they were most likely conceived on a Thursday.


7. A Texas dad sold his business and built a $51 million amusement park for his disabled daughter with free admission for everyone with special needs. Morgan’s Wonderland has had more than a million visitors since it opened, and one-third of its staff includes people with special needs.


8. When ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ debuted in 1980 some showings were preceded by the short film Black Angel which was directed by Star Wars art director Roger Christian. The film was thought lost for decades but has since been recovered and is available on YouTube.


9. There is a diamond mine open to the public in Arkansas. It is the only diamond mine open to the public. So far 31,000 gems have been found since it became a state park in 1972. The visitors who find them get to keep what they find.


10. In March 2019, a fisherman in Florida hooked a swordfish so big that it dragged his boat for 20 miles. He fought for eight hours before he could pull it in. It turned out to be the biggest swordfish ever caught in Florida waters.


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11Evel Knievel

Evel Knievel tried to beat a man to death with a baseball bat in 1977 for writing a book that portrayed Knievel as “an immoral person.”


12. “Blue Raspberry” is simply an artificial raspberry flavoring and its widespread use of being colored blue is credited to the ICEE brand who wanted their signature flavors (the other being red cherry) to match their logo.


13. In 1951, Natalie Carbone Mangini became the first female scientist at Westinghouse. They meant to hire a man but they misread her resume and gave her an interview when she showed up. As a radiochemist, she worked on the world’s first full-scale atomic reactor and the first nuclear submarine.


14. The sound quality of the album ‘Back in Black’ by ACDC is so good, that after its release, studios in Nashville would use it to check the acoustics of a room, while Motörhead would use it to tune their sound system.


15. In 2012, a man named Jose Melena was cooked alive in a 270-degree pressure cooker oven along with 12,000 pounds of tuna. In California’s largest workplace safety violation settlement ever ($6 million), Bumble Bee Tuna agreed to pay $1.5 million to the deceased’s family, $1.5 million to state government and courts, and $3 million to purchase new automated ovens.


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16Christopher Lee

When actor Christopher Lee was once driving through Italy with his wife, their car had a puncture. When he went out for help, he fell into a ditch and got covered in mud. Finally, when he reached a house and knocked on the door, the owner who opened it shrieked and fainted because he had just seen a Dracula film the night before.


17. Some DVD copies of “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” includes a subtitle track called “Subtitles For People Who Don’t Like The Film”, which comprises of lines from Shakespeare’s Henry IV Part 2, which vaguely resemble what the actors are actually saying.


18. Amelia Earhart and Eleanor Roosevelt once snuck out of a White House event, commandeered an airplane, and went on a joyride to Baltimore.


19. When Dan Aykroyd was developing Crystal Head Vodka, he thought there would be a trademark conflict with “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull”. A meeting between Aykroyd and director Steven Spielberg resulted in the drink being served at the movie’s premiere.


20. Although buttons are about 5,000 years old, functional buttons with buttonholes for fastening clothes only appeared in the 13th century. For millennia, they had only been used ornamentally, or as seals.


21Battle of Lanzerath Ridge

In 1944, about 22 Americans fought off 500 Nazi paratroopers for almost an entire day. After the war, they learned that they'd put an entire Panzer Division hours behind schedule during the Battle of the Bulge.


22. In Canada, there is a prisoner known as “the Unknown Person” who has been imprisoned since 2013 because he refuses to identify himself. This puts him in a bizarre state of limbo: Until Canadian officials know his identity and nationality, they cannot deport him; until they can deport him, they don’t want to release him.


23. Though they’re associated with unhealthy foods, pork rinds are actually a healthy alternative to chips. They are low in carb, high in protein and have good fats - 43% of the fat is oleic oil, which is the same fat found in olive oil and 13% of it is Stearic acid, a cholesterol neutral saturated fat.


24. The individual animal with the most human kills ever was a tiger (named Champawat Tiger) from Northern India, which adjusted its hunting strategy to kill people after a tooth injury left it unable to hunt normal prey and was shot after an estimated 436 kills.


25. On December 16, 1965, NASA received a transmission from two astronauts: “We have an object, probably in polar orbit... I see a command module and … and eight smaller modules in front. The pilot of the command module is wearing a red suit.” Then transmission automatically started playing, “Jingle Bells.” The astronauts had pranked the mission control.

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