50 Random Facts List #90

26Birth Control Handbook

The first widespread book detailing contraception and sexual health was created and published illegally by some Canadian students in 1968. The ‘Birth Control Handbook’ rapidly gained popularity with its critical information and, within a year, millions were distributed across the US and Canada.


27. Skateboard legend Tony Hawk was tested to have an IQ of 144.


28. American actress and screenwriter Sofia Coppola wrote the lead of Lost in Translation, for Bill Murray. She didn't know him, spent a year trying to track him down, including asking random people who knew him through golf. Eventually, she showed him the script, but he didn’t commit. She flew to Japan to film not sure if he would show up.


29. In 2014, a man was fined $48,000 by the FCC for using a cell phone jammer every day on his commute because he didn't like motorists around him on their phones.


30. The song "Boy Named Sue" made popular by Johnny Cash was actually written by Shel Silverstein.


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31Gaokao exam

In China, roughly 9.4 million students take the Gaokao exam every year. It is a college entrance exam that lasts two days. During testing time, factories shut down, motorists are banned form honking, and police monitor the streets to ensure that the students are not distracted.


32. Venomous and poisonous are different. If you bite it and die, it is poisonous. If it bites you and you die, it is venomous.


33. The 1960s Japanese TV series The Samurai became very popular in Australia. After few episodes were shown on Australian TV in 1964, viewer demand led to the entire series being shown. It became the most popular show on TCN9 at that time and when the series star arrived in Melbourne, he was met by thousands of fans, many in costume.


34. Scientists have managed to recreate the 1918 flu from a victim found in the Alaskan permafrost. Monkeys infected with the flu strain had classic symptoms of the 1918 pandemic and died from a cytokine storm - an overreaction of the immune system. This has helped science understand why healthy individuals died from the flu.


35. The duck-billed platypus has a gene mix of birds, reptiles, and mammals and genetically has 25 possible sexes.


36US Department of Transportation

Government Agencies have calculated what an average citizen's life is worth. For example, the US Department of Transportation values a life at $9.6 million as of 2016.


37. Olympic gold medals are actually made of silver. 1912 was the last Olympics to hand out solid gold medals. Today's gold medals are 92.5% silver.


38. Claims that red wine can help prevent heart disease are inconclusive at best, and at worst may lead people to drink more alcohol in pursuit of the health "benefits".


39. Steven Spielberg is responsible for the PG-13 rating. He suggested it after parents complained about the PG rating given to 'Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom'. Three months later, 'Red Dawn' became the first release rated PG-13.


40. The word 'bald' in 'bald eagle' has nothing to do with the definition as a lack of hair. Rather, the term bald eagle is derived in English from the word 'piebald', in reference to their white heads and tail feathers in contrast to the darker color of the rest of their bodies.


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41Roberto Gómez Bolaños

Roberto Gómez Bolaños, the inspiration for the Simpsons Bumblebee Man, is so popular that reruns of his show ' El Chavo del Ocho' from the 1970s-80s still get an average of 91 million daily viewers around the globe.


42. During the Greek War of Independence, 115 Greek revolutionaries surrounded by 10,000 Ottoman troops managed to kill 300 and wound 800 while suffering just 6 casualties. When the Ottomans paused their attack to get cannons ready, the Greeks escaped through enemy lines undetected.


43. The Mason bees are solitary, are easy to farm to use as pollinators and rarely sting (and even if they do it is not painful).


44. During the 80 Years War, the Dutch defeated the invading Spanish by flooding their cities and farmlands. When winter arrived, Dutch soldiers used ice skates to quickly advance, fire muskets and retreat quickly to reload. The Spanish were then lured to, and fell through thin ice.


45. Charles Kuentz fought for the Germans during World War 1 but became a French citizen after his homeland, Alsace-Lorraine, was taken back by France after the war. When France surrendered to Germany in 1940 he became a German citizen until the fall of the Third Reich which again made him a French citizen.


46Bill Gaede

When Intel employee Bill Gaede offered rival AMD stolen company secrets in 1995, rather than taking the opportunity to get ahead, they informed Intel and the authorities, leading to his arrest.


47. M&M stands for Mars and Murrie, the names of its founders.


48. In 2005, in an effort to demonstrate time dilation, a father and his kids drove three atomic clocks up Mt. Rainier. The measured effect was just over 20 nanoseconds, matching Einstein's theory of relativity.


49. The Lakota tribe has their own version of the Slenderman legend called “Walking Sam”, who wears a stovepipe hat and tries to make you commit suicide.


50. A cathedral in Italy, destroyed by an earthquake in 1976, was rebuilt using most of its original cataloged stones that were placed in the exact same positions they were in before it fell.

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