50 Random Facts List #227

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1William Murdoch

Titanic crew member William Murdoch who was portrayed as shooting a passenger and then committing suicide in the movie, was in fact last seen trying to fill as many lifeboats as possible and heroically went down with the ship.


2. In 1954, Betty White was criticized for having Arthur Duncan, a black performer, on her show. When the show went national, affiliates from southern states complained and Betty said “I’m sorry. Live with it” and gave Duncan more airtime. The show was soon canceled.


3. A man in 2002 found a way to crack the lottery in the US state of Michigan using math and probability. He figured out that if he bought a certain amount of tickets that he would certainly make a profit. He and his wife Marge ended up making millions of dollars.


4. In 2014, an Iraqi man named Mohammed Abu Ali slept through the invasion of his town after it was attacked by militants. He was the only person left behind when the town was evacuated. He woke up, watched a movie and fiddled with his A/C, only noticing the takeover that evening. The militants left him alone.


5. The State of Washington once forced Comcast to refund nearly 50,000 customers for charging them a $5/month “service protection plan” that actually did nothing.


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6Rose-Noelle Survivors

In 1989, 4 sailors survived at sea off the coast of New Zealand for 118 days after their trimaran, the Rose-Noelle, was upturned by a rogue wave. They cut holes in the hull, collected rainwater, and eventually caught and cooked fish. They were in such good shape upon return many doubted their story.


7. It wasn’t a single drug discovery that stopped people from dying of AIDS in the 1990s but the discovery that combining several drugs would each affect a different aspect of HIV and together force the virus into undetectable remission, called the “AIDS cocktail.”


8. Aleksander Doba is a Polish kayaker who is known primarily for his long voyages across oceans. He kayaked across the Atlantic Ocean under his own power on three separate occasions. He completed his last crossing at the age of 70. His passages remain the longest open-water kayak voyages ever made.


9. In 346 B.C., Alexander the Great, at the age of 10, after taming a large anxious horse was allowed to buy it. He named the horse “Bucephalus” and he rode the horse until the Battle or Hydapes in 326 B.C. when it died at the age of 30. Alexander later named a city after his steed.


10. The coldest temperature recorded was -144°F in Vostok, Antarctica. Humans can’t inhale air that cold for more than a few breaths. It would cause your lungs to hemorrhage. Russian scientists ducking out to check on the weather station would wear masks that warmed the air before they breathe in.


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11Paul Reubens Arrest

In 1991, Paul Reubens (Pee-Wee Herman) was arrested by undercover detectives in Sarasota, Florida for indecent exposure at a porn theater. Pee Wee made an appearance at the 1991 MTV VMAs and received a standing ovation after asking the audience, “Heard any good jokes lately?”


12. Beloved WWII correspondent Ernie Pyle was responsible for military troops receiving higher pay when in combat. Pyle felt that ground troops were at equal risk as airmen and that 'flight pay' should extend to 'fight pay'. It became the Ernie Pyle bill.


13. General anesthesia does not simply result in a deep sleep. EEG (electroencephalography) readings show that even the deepest sleep is not as deep as the lightest general anesthesia. General anesthesia EEG patterns are most similar to a comatose brain. General anesthesia essentially gives you a “reversible coma.”


14. Bayard Rustin was told to move to the back of a bus but stopped when a white child reached out to grab his tie, before being scolded by its mom. He thought, “I owe it to that child that it should be educated to know that blacks do not want to sit in the back”. He was then arrested and beaten.


15. White mushrooms, cremini mushrooms, and portobello mushrooms are all the same mushroom but at different stages of growth.


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16Ablaut Reduplication

Ablaut Reduplication is an unwritten English rule that makes “tick-tock” sound normal, but not “tock-tick”. When repeating words, the first vowel is always an I, then A or O. “Chit chat” not “chat chit”; “ping pong” not “pong ping”, etc. It's unclear why this rule exists, but it’s never broken.


17. Disney was planning to buy Twitter but then decided to cancel the deal because of the “nastiness” on the social media platform.


18. Sex traffickers have been known to implant their victims with RFID chips similar to the RFID chips implanted in pets that help identify pets if they are lost.


19. The urban legend of Atari burying hundreds of thousands of ET cartridges in a New Mexico landfill actually happened. An excavation found them in 2014.


20. In 1956 two young girls Patricia and Barbara Grimes who were obsessed with Elvis Presley went missing after going to see “Love Me Tender” for the 15th time. Elvis was so concerned that he issued a public appeal over the radio pleading with them to be “good Presley fans and go home and ease their mother’s worries.” Their bodies were found a couple of months later and this crime remains unsolved to this day.


21Windscale Fire

The Windscale Fire, UK's worst nuclear accident, would have been much more severe, were it not for “Cockroft’s Folly” - chimney filters installed at great expense, and labeled as a waste of time and money.


22. In 2013, instead of donating money, Toyota helped Food Bank (country’s largest anti-hunger charity) by improving the serving system at Food Bank. They cut down the wait time for dinner to 18 minutes from as long as 90. Toyota used “Kaizen” (Japanese philosophy of continuous improvement) instead of just giving a check.


23. Switzerland is mostly Lutheran because Lutheran priests allowed the population to eat sausages during the fasting period.


24. Two MIT scientists have been able to successfully plant a false memory into a mouse. When set in a certain box, the mouse freezes in terror, recalling that it receives a shock in this box, when this never happened. This research may lead to new treatments for Depression or Alzheimer’s, etc.


25. Jon Bon Jovi’s first professional recording was singing backup vocals on the 1980 Star Wars tie-in Christmas album “Christmas In The Stars.” The only reason he got the gig was that his cousin Tony managed the studio where the album was recorded and had hired him as a janitor.

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