50 Random Facts List #79

1Q*bert game

A man named Ed Heemskerk attempted to beat a world record by playing Q*bert for 100 hours straight on a single coin. His attempt failed because a thunderstorm shorted out the game after 56.5 hours of continuous gameplay.


2. Spills in an ice hotel are cleaned with an ice pick and then packed with snow.


3. The Queen uses her purse (handbag) to send secret messages to her staff, such as swapping which shoulder it is on when she's done talking with a particular person and wants an excuse to leave the conversation.


4. Garlic Knots were invented to prevent waste. In 1973, a Pizzeria in Queens, New York came up with the garlic knot as a way of not wasting leftover pizza dough scraps. They became an instant hit.


5. Disneyland's Jungle Cruise is now a self-sustaining ecosystem and requires very little landscaping.


6Pillars of Creation

The "Pillars of Creation" within the Eagle Nebula are about 4-5 Light years tall.


7. An Ox is just a bull that's made to work as a draught animal and is not a separate species.


8. Scientists believe there is a 9th planet in our solar system that is roughly 10 times larger than earth but hasn't been located yet. They know it's there because of its gravitational effects on other objects.


9. 98% of adoptions in Japan are of adult men aged 20-30.


10. The voices schizophrenics hear are actually their own subvocal speech. This is why it's so common for schizophrenics to believe their minds are being read.


11Dying stars

Dying stars cause space to smell like "hot metal, diesel fumes, and barbecue." Astronauts have also compared the smell of the moon to "spent gunpowder."


12. Three physicists flew around the world twice in 1971 with synced atomic clocks to test out the time dilation theory. Upon meeting up, they found that all 3 of the clocks disagreed with each other.


13. The Arctic comes from the Greek word "Arktos," which means bear, so the Arctic is the land of the bears, and Antarctica is the land without bears.


14. Cardinal birds are romantic. They mate for life, travel together, sing before nesting, and during courtship, the male feeds seed to the female beak-to-beak.


15. The story of mass panic in New York caused by the radio broadcast of 'The War of The Worlds' in 1938 is largely false and was caused by the newspaper industry sensationalizing the story, seeing it as an opportunity to attack the radio as being an untrustworthy source of news.


16Andrew Ainsworth

UK prop designer Andrew Ainsworth, who made the original Stormtrooper helmets, was sued by Lucasfilm for $20m for making and selling replicas. They argued he did not hold the intellectual property rights, a point upheld by a US court. After spending £700,000 defending himself, Ainsworth won.


17. Steve Jobs refused to have his cancer treated even though it was a curable kind of pancreatic cancer and instead he tried out alternative medicine and diets which worsened his condition.


18. A guy once tested Major League Baseball's copyright disclaimer by asking for "express written consent" to show an old playoff game at a party. MLB Headquarters responded with a letter granting him permission.


19. There's very little proof that vitamin C actually has any effect on preventing or treating the common cold, although after reviewing 60 years of clinical research it was found that when taken daily, vitamin C very slightly shortens cold duration, by 8% in adults and 14% in children.


20. April 11, 1954, is considered the most boring day in history with no significant births or deaths occurring on that day.


21Great escape attempt of Juan

In 2004, Juan, an Andean spectacled bear in Berlin zoo attempted to escape. He paddled across a moat using a log as a raft, scaled a wall and then finally appeared to commandeer a bicycle before being shot with a tranquilizer gun.


22. Phenylephrine, the drug commonly found in many cold and flu medications as a replacement for pseudoephedrine, is no better than a placebo in helping sinus congestion.


23. Heavy metal band Black Sabbath started as a blues band called Earth, but changed their name after seeing the Boris Karloff horror film "Black Sabbath". They liked "that people paid money to be frightened".


24. The current CEO of Toyota, Akio Toyoda, is the great-grandson of Sakichi Toyoda, who is known as the father of the Japanese Industrial Revolution thanks to his invention of the power loom that implemented the principle of Jidoka, meaning the machine stops itself when a problem occurs.


25. Ronnie Van Zant, the former Lead singer of Lynyrd Skynyrd once told his father "Daddy, I'll never be 30 years old". He died in a plane crash four months before his 30th birthday.

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