50 Random Facts List #64

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26 The Shriners

The Shriners

The Shriners (known for the Shriners Hospitals) is a body of Freemasons dedicated to fun, brotherly love, relief, and truth.


27. In 1996 Tonya Harding, by then already a scandalous figure from the 1994 skating incidents, gave mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to an 81-year-old woman who collapsed at a bar in Portland and was credited with saving her life.


28. Aldrich Ames was an alcoholic and average CIA agent, who sold out CIA secrets to the Soviets. At the time of his arrest, he had compromised more CIA assets than any other mole in history and had even passed two polygraph tests.


29. Steve Albini, who produced Nirvana’s “In Utero”, took a flat fee of $100,000 and refused to take percentage points on record sales which would have earned him about $500,000. He considered it to be immoral and “an insult to the artist”.


30. Blood Falls is a waterfall in Antarctica made up of primordial bacteria which have been sealed away from the rest of the earth for millions of years.


31 Urine specimen jar

Urine specimen jar

The Russian F.S.B. (formerly KGB) figured out a way to open and then reseal a tamperproof urine specimen jar to cheat in the 2014 winter Olympics.


32. The Soviets used mobile gas chamber vans to execute groups of counter-revolutionaries during The Great Purge of the 1930’s.


33. The man who scored “Thor: Ragnarok” was part of Devo in the 1980’s when they released their hit song, “Whip It”, and is actually the one whipping people’s clothes off in the music video.


34. Though President Nixon is often praised for having created the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), he only did so because Congress was eyeing the creation of a Department of Environmental Protection (presidents have more control over agencies than departments).


35. During the 1943 Bengal genocide in India, Winston Churchill as part of the war effort, diverted food from starving Indians to already well-supplied british soldiers and stores elsewhere in Europe. 3 million Indians starved to death. Churchill’s response was to ask why Gandhi hadn’t died yet.


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36 Akihito

Akihito

The current emperor (Akihito) of Japan has published scientific papers in Taxonomy and has a goby species named after him.


37. After Keith Moon passed out on stage performing with ‘The Who’, Pete Townshend asked the crowd if anyone knew how to play drums. Scot Halpin, a fan, finished the show with the band.


38. Hawaii wasn’t a state when Pearl Harbor was bombed in World War 2.


39. Salted butter can be left out of the fridge indefinitely. The salt soaks up the moisture in the butter that would otherwise be a breeding ground for bacteria.


40. Northeast Greenland National Park is bigger than all but 29 countries in the world. It features 5000 – 15,000 musk oxen and no permanent human population.


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41 Mozart

Mozart

Mozart was one of the first to pirate music. He heard Miserere while in a chapel and transcribed the entire composition from memory later that day.


42. President Andrew Johnson was drunk during his inauguration.


43. Norway wanted to give Finland a mountain for its 100th birthday.


44. Boston Corbett, the man who shot and killed President Abraham Lincoln’s assassin, John Wilkes Booth castrated himself with a pair of scissors in order to avoid sexual temptation and remain holy.


45. There is a city in Siberia called Akademgorodok created by Khrushchev to be an academic utopia filled with nothing but scientists with its own schools, single-family homes, and markets, which was considered a luxury at that time.


15 Most Controversial & Costly Blunders in History


46 George R Binks

George R Binks

In Star Wars Legends, Jar Jar Binks’ father was named George R Binks. He was an adventurer and successful whaler but attempted suicide because of how annoying his son was.


47. Schizophrenia was so commonplace among the post-famine Irish immigrant population, that it was often called ‘Irish Madness’.


48. Actor Phill Lewis, Mr. Moseby in ‘The Suite Life of Zack & Cody’, was sentenced to 5 years in prison in 1991 after killing a woman in a car crash.


49. The verb ‘to snipe’ originated in the 1770s among soldiers in British India where a hunter skilled enough to kill a particularly elusive bird, the snipe, were called ‘snipers’. This is also the origin of the term ‘snipe hunt’ to describe an impossible task.


50. London Hammer is a man-made tool that was mysteriously found encased in a 400 million-year-old rock.


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1 COMMENT

  1. Item 35 about the Bengal famine is a gross distortion. The ‘source’ is simply an assertion by a nationalist Indian politician. The reality Is far more complex. The population of the area was already poor and lived a precarious existence, due to poor agricultural practices and exploitation by landlords and others. The brutal Japanese occupation of Burma had cut off rice supplies and profiteering by dealers to take advantage of the shortages exacerbated the situation. The British were fighting a world war and were short of food themselves, as well as the shipping to supply India. Undoubtedly the administrators in India weren’t particularly effective in responding, until the British army took over control of relief supplies. Yes many people died, and yes the British didn’t do enough, but that was only one element of a very complex situation, and presenting this simplistic and prejudiced opinion as ‘fact’ does the site no good at all.

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