50 Random Facts List #51

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1Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer

Harvard professor Tom Lehrer was asked at the age of 84 by rapper 2 Chainz if he could sample his 60-year old song. Lehrer replied, "I grant you motherf*ckers permission to do this. Please give my regards to Mr. Chainz, or may I call him 2?"

2. When the band Judas Priest appeared on The Simpsons, they were mistakenly defined as "death metal". The producers decided to apologize for the mistake by having Bart Simpson write "Judas Priest is not 'Death Metal'" in the opening sequence chalkboard gag.

3. 'Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea' (sci-fi novel) refers not to depth, but the distance traveled whilst submerged.

4. Mythbusters was going to do an episode which highlighted the immense security flaws in most credit cards, but Discovery channel was threatened by, and eventually gave into immense legal pressure from the major credit card companies.

5. There is a company called Persistent Surveillance Systems that secretly takes continuous, rapid, high-resolution aerial photos of crime-plagued cities to help police "rewind" time to view a crime as it happens and then to "fast-forward" the movement of suspects to their present locations.

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Owls make almost no noise from flying, even when tested in a room with multiple microphones.

7. For at least 6 years, ad companies have been retroactively adding/changing product placements in old TV shows.

8. Half of academic papers are never read by anyone other than their authors, peer reviewers, and journal editors.

9. 'All of My Love' by Led Zeppelin was written as a tribute to Robert Plant's son Karac, who died of a stomach infection in 1977 when he was 5. Plant did the vocals in one take.

10. Dread Zeppelin is a parody band. They perform Zeppelin material in a reggae style, sung by a 300-pound Elvis impersonator.

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11Noela Rukundo

Noela Rukundo

A Burundi woman named Noela Rukundo crashed her own funeral after her husband hired hitmen to kill her. They let her go, telling her they didn't believe in killing women. Five days later she appeared at her own funeral, with her husband pleading for forgiveness.

12. In April 1998, two women walked onto The Golden Gate Bridge at the same time intending to commit suicide. They did not know each other, but soon realized they were there for the same reason. A patrol officer saw them sitting on the railing, chatting. One jumped, followed by the other.

13. When Simon and Garfunkel were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Art Garfunkel thanked Paul Simon for enriching his life and Simon said, "Arthur and I agree about almost nothing. But it's true, I have enriched his life quite a bit." After three songs, the duo left without speaking.

14. In the word "helicopter", "-copter" is not the suffix. The etymology is Greek, where "helico-" comes from "helix"(spiral), and "-pter" from "pteron"(wing).

15. Hitler was a chronic tax evader and was even fined by his own government over it in 1934. He then got the tax department to declare him exempt from taxation.

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Prolonged anger changes the body and brain in permanent ways leaving a person angrier, more aggressive and less healthy. Anger and depression share similar signs. Angry people have trouble letting go of things that are beyond their control. Laughing could be a good way to alleviate anger.

17. Donkey Xote is a Spanish-Italian knockoff of the Shrek films released in 2007. They promoted it’s DVD with a caption legitimately reading “From the producers who SAW Shrek”.

18. A "white elephant gift exchange" takes its name from the legend of the King of Siam gifting rare albino elephants to those who displeased him because the upkeep costs would financially ruin them.

19. Viagra was invented by accident: "It was originally developed as a medication used for lowering high blood pressure. It failed to achieve this purpose and was discontinued. When test subjects were asked to return their unused medicine, however, they all refused".

20. A Chinese man named Lei Jingxiong was almost cremated alive after being beaten by police and left for dead. The cremation process was stopped when a medical worker noticed he was still breathing. He was then taken to a hospital where he was beaten again by the police and arrested.

21John D. Rockefeller

John D. Rockefeller

Despite his immense wealth, John D. Rockefeller always took the train from his mansion to his downtown New York office every day. He was often harassed by beggars and other passengers but refused to travel with bodyguards or use private transportation.

22. There are more public libraries than McDonald's in the U.S.

23. NBA player Shaquille O’Neal requested to be (and now is) the spokesperson for The General car insurance because he was a customer while in College and remains a customer to this day

24. Blu-Ray discs are called blue and can hold more storage because the laser it uses is blue, which has a shorter wavelength than red and hence can read more accurately, allowing for more data to be stored.

25. To be legal, prop money for films in the U.S. must be one-sided and less than 75% or more than 150% of the size of a real banknote.

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