50 Random Facts List #3

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26Jessica Cabot

United airlines promised to help a blind woman named Jessica Cabot off a plane once everyone had gotten off but they just left her there and the maintenance crew had to help her out.


27. An Australian family used a large black crystal as a doorstop for over a decade before realizing that it held a 733-carat black sapphire, the Black Star of Queensland


28. Breast cancer research receives more funding than any other cancer, including those more deadly or widespread


29. Programmers for Atari in the late 70s went to the CEO of the company asking for royalties and their names be included in the boxes, when he turned them down they went and formed their own company Activision


30. The newest member of the US Supreme Court must take notes, answer the phone, hold the door and pour the coffee for the more senior members during private meetings.


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31Ray Bradbury

Ray Bradbury was so poor growing up that he borrowed the suit with a bullet hole his uncle was murdered in for his high school graduation ceremony.


32. The average American woman now weighs as much as the average American man in the 1960s


33. The Italian government is offering all 18-year-olds a €500 'culture bonus,' which can be spent on books, concert tickets, theater tickets, cinema tickets, museum visits and even trips to the country’s national parks.


34. Movie Napoleon Dynamite had a budget of only $400,000 and Jon Heder was paid only $1,000 for his role as Napoleon


35. A Harvard Business School research found that sarcasm is the "highest form of intelligence," as "interpretation and construction of sarcasm lead to greater creativity because they activate abstract thinking."


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36Charles J. Guiteau

President James A. Garfield's killer Charles J. Guiteau bought a revolver with an Ivory grip over a cheaper wooden grip because he thought it would look better as a museum piece after the assassination.


37. An adult gets a whole new skeleton every 10 years due to constant bone remodeling.


38. A commando unit of 12 men sabotaged a heavy water plant in Norway in WWII, crippling Nazi attempts at developing an atomic bomb.


39. A homesick Welshman named Brian Robson living in Australia who was too broke to get home. He decided to mail himself in a crate back to the UK nearly dying in the process, only to find himself in Los Angeles by accident.


40. There is a scientific measurement of the 'risk of death' of any action: the micromort. If an activity is rated as one micromort, you would have a one in a million chance of dying while doing it. Running a marathon is ~7 micromorts, skydiving 10, and climbing Mount Everest 40,000!


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41Yasuke

There was a black African samurai called Yasuke that served warlord Oda Nobunaga. He was the first foreign samurai and the inspiration for the main character in Afro Samurai.


42. During WWII British spies posed as fake charity groups to hand out special monopoly games to allied prisoners of war. These games had compasses, maps, real money, and other useful tools for escaping.


43. Junaluska was a Cherokee leader who saved Andrew Jackson's life. Jackson later sent the Cherokee on the Trail of Tears from NC to OK, which killed up to 1/3 of them en route. Junaluska survived, escaped twice, walked hundreds of mountainous miles home, and lived well into old age as a Chief.


44. When asked why he'd punched the man who'd hit him with a raw egg, UK politician John Prescott said that he was following Tony Blair's orders to, "Connect with the electorate."


45. The Navy's stealth destroyer, the USS Zumwalt, can't fire its guns because the ammo is too expensive


46Stan Lee

Although Stan Lee gave the Hulk's alter ego the alliterative name "Bruce Banner", Lee misremembered it and referred to him as "Bob Banner" in some later stories, an error which readers quickly picked up on. To resolve this discrepancy he decided the official name is "Robert Bruce Banner".


47. Braille was based on a tactile military code called night writing, developed in response to Napoleon's demand for a means for soldiers to communicate silently at night and without a light source. It proved to be too difficult for soldiers to recognize by touch and was rejected by the military


48. 3 banana companies overthrew the government of Honduras.


49. A planet shaped like a donut is theoretically possible


50. Soviet composer Dmitri Shostakovich was so obsessive that he regularly sent cards to himself to test how well the postal service was working.

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