50 Random Facts List #231

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26Dolly Parton

Elvis Presley wanted to record “I Will Always Love You.” Dolly Parton was interested until Presley's manager told her that she needed to sign over half of the publishing rights to the song. She refused. This decision helped her make millions of dollars in royalties from the song.


27. Throughout South London, there are large sections of fence made out of WWII stretchers. These stretchers were used by civil authorities to transport the injured during the Blitz. They are what remains of the 600,000 built for the city during the war.


28. On June 11, 2019, a 16-year-old girl named Riley Horner was hit in the head while crowd surfing at a dance. As a result of her concussion, her memory resets every two hours, meaning she wakes up every day thinking it is still June 11.


29. A suspected rhino poacher who illegally entered a national park in South Africa was trampled to death by an elephant then eaten by a pride of lions. His accomplices told the man’s family they moved his body to a road and left the park. Park rangers said lions left only the man’s skull & trousers.


30. For a cloth bag to actually be sustainable and better for the environment, it has to be reused 131 times to break even with the plastic bags in terms of impact on the environment in the process of making, while plastic bags can also be reused but people just don’t.


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31Abram Petrovich Gannibal

Abram Petrovich Gannibal was an African child who was kidnapped to Russia to be gifted to Peter the Great. The tsar freed him and raised him as his godson. Gannibal became a Major-General and the Governor of Reval. He is the great-grandfather of Alexander Pushkin, considered the greatest Russian poet.


32. The Dorobo tribe of Kenya steals fresh meat from the mouths of lions. The method they use is thousands of years old. They find a pride of lion that has had a fresh kill during the daytime, then walk up to them while they’re feeding and cut off some meat. The lions are too startled to react and usually run away.


33. In 2018, a man plotted to plant small bombs in Target stores disguised in food packages. His goal was to create bad publicity for Target, which would lower stock prices and allow him to buy cheap shares before they rebounded. He was caught after paying someone else to plant the bombs.


34. Sunflowers are used to assist in clean up after a nuclear disaster. They are known as hyperaccumulators because they are capable of absorbing toxic heavy metals from the ground and have been planted at both Chernobyl and Fukushima to aid in soil restoration.


35. Female Atlantic right whales lower their voices to a whisper when communicating with their young to prevent “eavesdropping” by predators.


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36Bald Eagles

Bald Eagles have been feeding in a suburban Seattle landfill and dropping their trash leftovers in nearby residents’ yards. The official “bird management plan” sent drones to chase away birds but they were ripped up in the sky by eagles. “Scarecrow” mannequins with safety vests and hard hats have also failed.


37. In the late 1960s, U.S. Congress proposed a measure known as the Uniform Monday Holiday Act where all federal holidays fell on a Monday, as a way of creating more three-day weekends for the nation’s workers, thus reducing employee absenteeism.


38. Actor Martin Sheen has been arrested more than any other person in Hollywood, a total of 66 times for civil disobedience.


39. The Notre-Dame cathedral features a carving of a knight fleeing from a rabbit, symbolizing cowardice. This carving inspired the Rabbit of Caerbannog scene in Month Python and the Holy Grail.


40. Richard the Lionheart knighted his cook after one particularly memorable feast. Richard made him ‘lord of the fief of the kitchen of the counts of Poitou’. In those days of little hygiene, the cook was an important member of a noble household because his mistakes could kill his employer.


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41Pirates

Pirates were considered “Hostis humani generis” (the enemy of all mankind) and it was the universal right and duty of all nations to capture any pirates they encountered and execute them if found guilty. Even in modern days, piracy is considered a special crime of universal jurisdiction.


42. A German nurse named Niels Högel was sentenced to life in prison without eligibility for parole after he murdered more than 85 patients because he wanted to show off his resuscitation skills and be the hero who saves them on the hospital bed.


43. A man named Meredith Eberhart retired at the age of 61 and became a perpetual hiker. Over 15 years he walked over 34,000 miles (55,000 KM). He became the first known person to hike the entire Appalachian Range in North America, from Newfoundland to the Keys and more and more.


44. During a 1973 Rolling Stones tour of Australia, Keith Richards lived with a single mother and her son for a week, taking care of the baby while the mother was at work. He recently said that “there’s somebody in a suburb in Melbourne who doesn’t even know I wiped his ass.”


45. Black and white stripes deter insects. Japanese scientists hypothesized that zebras’ stripes deter insects, so they painted black and white stripes on cows. Striped cows had about 50% fewer biting flies land on them than unpainted cows.


46John Woods

John Woods was an army private who lied his way into becoming the Army’s hangman and an officer. He carried out 60-70 executions in two years, several of which he bungled by building the gallows too short, including all ten of the Nuremberg Executions of the Nazi high command.


47. In 1992 German politician Vera Lengsfeld divorced her second husband after finding out he had been an informant for the Stasi and had spied on her for most of their marriage.


48. The human brain is estimated to compute at roughly 1 exaFLOP (10^18 operations) per second. The world’s currently largest supercomputer operates at 0.2 exaFLOP per second and consumes 13 Megawatts. Our brain uses 20 watts.


49. Within the first 5 years of the “Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk” campaign (begun in 1983), the U.S experienced its lowest number of alcohol-related fatalities since the DOT began keeping records, and more than 68% of Americans reported trying to prevent someone from driving after drinking.


50. After suffering a massive heart attack and thought to be on his death bed, an inmate named James Washington in Nashville confessed to a decade-old murder as a way to clear his conscience before he died. Instead, he made a full recovery. He was then indicted for murder and later convicted.

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