50 Random Facts List #68

1Ricky Henderson

In 1989, the Oakland A's (American professional baseball team) Accounting Department was freaking out over a $1M surplus. Turns out, Ricky Henderson framed his $1M signing bonus cheque and hung it on his wall without cashing it.


2. The McDonnell Douglas F-15 can reach 30,000 feet (9,100m) in 60 seconds and has a thrust-to-weight ratio that allows the aircraft to accelerate while flying straight up. It is also the only aircraft to ever shoot down a satellite orbiting in space.


3. During the filming of Batman Forever, Jim Carrey approached Tommy Lee Jones to say hello. Jones replied, "I hate you. I really don't like you...I cannot sanction your buffoonery."


4. There was a lawsuit against Canon in 2014 over a printer error code that would appear shortly after the warranty expired, which they settled out of court after agreeing to extend the warranty to anyone experiencing this code. The issue still exists in their new printers, under a different error code.


5. Comcast (NBC Universal) owns 70% of Rotten Tomatoes (American review aggregation website) and Warner Bros the remaining 30%.


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6Franz Schmidt

Albrecht II of Bayreuth, a famously cruel ruler once picked a random man (Franz Schmidt) from a crowd and ordered him to perform an execution. Due to the severe social stigma attached to executioners, he couldn't return to his job as a woodcutter. He was condemned to carry on as an executioner and so was his son.


7. The number 2147483647 is the biggest possible number in 32-bit computing. In December 2014, "Gangnam Style" exceeded the 32-bit integer limit for view count, necessitating YouTube to upgrade the variable to a 64-bit integer.


8. Stalin's daughter Svetlana Alliluyeva caused an international furor when she defected and became a naturalized citizen of the United States.


9. There is a name for such common errors as writing "tow the line" instead of "toe the line." The word eggcorn was coined when a linguist noted a woman who used that word instead of "acorn" and realized there was no word for the general phenomenon.


10. Tycho Brahe was an immensely rich Danish astronomer living in the 16th century that owned not only a midget that could predict the future but also a pet elk that once drank too much beer on a party, fell down the stairs and died.


11Rose

In the Middle Ages, a rose hung from the ceiling of a room meant anything said in this room becomes a secret.


12. In 1934, a group of Wall Street bankers planned to create a militia and overthrow President Franklin D. Roosevelt in a military coup d'état.


13. Each train car of coal loses up to 3% of its load, a literal ton of coal, as dust when it is traveling from the mine to the power plant.


14. Jimmy Carter helped launch the craft beer revolution by removing taxes for beer brewed at home for personal use.


15. Witnessing 9/11 had such a profound effect on aspiring comic book artist Gerard Way, that it inspired him to start a band and write their first song. My Chemical Romance (American rock band) would not exist if 9/11 had never happened.


16Hangings

Many of the hangings during the Nuremberg trials were carried out with a short rope that caused prisoners to die a long, lingering death from suffocation, rather than an instantaneous death from a broken neck.


17. "Where in North Dakota is Carmen Sandiego?" is a 1989 Apple II game commissioned by the North Dakotan government. Only 3 retail copies are known to exist.


18. The 'appeal to nature' is a logical fallacy where people assume that something is either good because it's perceived as "natural", or bad because it's perceived as "unnatural".


19. The Talmud (Text of Rabbinic Judaism) says Jesus was fathered by a Roman soldier named "Pantera".


20. Mamie Johnson was a professional Negro League baseball player, with a 33–8 win-loss record and a batting average of .262. She was known as "Peanut" during her career due to her height 5 feet, 3 inches. After retiring, she went to nursing school and became a nurse for 30 years.


21Medical errors

Medical errors are the 3rd leading cause of death in the United States with more than 250,000 Americans dying each year from medical errors.


22. Those who see Earth from space experience “The Overview Effect:” A remarkable sense of connection with the rest of the human race, and a desire for world peace.


23. After South Park premiered in 1997, the number of households with Comedy Central jumped from 9.1 million to a staggering 50 million by 1998.


24. The 1964 Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer TV special is in a grey area of copyright due to the fact that the studio mistakenly spelled out the copyright date as 1164 in roman numerals and haven't corrected it since.


25. Korean is a language isolate having developed independently of all other languages. It is the largest language isolate by a wide margin.

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1 COMMENT

  1. Re #25: That’s not how language isolates come about. They are the surviving languages of a group or family of languages; the others having died off.

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