Random #242 – 50 Interesting Facts About Everything

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1Outlaw

An outlaw isn't any mere criminal, but rather a criminal who has been sentenced to be "outside of the protection of the law". He has no right to a trial, and can be killed or persecuted by anybody.


2. A local folk remedy in Boho, Ireland was to place soil from the local church under a pillow while you slept to cure infections. In 2018, a microbiologist found the churchyard's soil contains a previously unknown strain of streptomyces which can be used to create antibiotics.


3. Avatar: The Last Airbender won a Peabody Award for “multi-dimensional characters, unusually complicated personal relationships for a cartoon serial, and a healthy respect for the consequences of warfare.”


4. A sloth's claws work the opposite way that the human hand does. Their default position is a tight strong grip, and sloths must exert effort to open them up. This is why sloths don't fall out of trees when they are asleep.


5. After being shot by poachers, an elephant in Zimbabwe named Ben walked to and patiently waited outside a medical lodge for 5 hours.


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6Whiskey

In the 1800s, Americans drank, on average, 90 bottles of whiskey per year, or 1.7 bottles per week. This was because at the time, whiskey was sold at twenty-five cents a gallon, making it cheaper than wine, beer, tea, coffee and even milk.


7. Carl Weathers was a retired NFL linebacker who had only done minor acting roles when he auditioned for the part of Apollo Creed in Rocky. He got the role because during the audition, he said Sylvester Stallone wasn't a "real actor" and Stallone thought it was something Creed would say. 


8. The USSR tried to blackmail a gay US journalist named Joseph Alsop with photos of him having sex with a Soviet spy, but he refused to cooperate and reported the incident to the CIA. When the Soviets sent the photos to prominent journalists, they all refused to out him.


9. Benjamin Franklin attempted to predict the death of his competitor, Titan Leeds. When Leeds was still alive he posted an obituary anyways. When Leeds challenged it, Franklin insisted he was an imposter. When Leeds died in 1738 Franklin publicly commended the impostors for ending their charade.


10. Robin Williams was asked to appear for the final night of Monty Python Live. He declined citing 'severe depression'. He committed suicide the following month. The DVD of the night was dedicated to Robin Williams upon release. 


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11David Tennant

Scottish actor David Tennant was so popular as the Tenth Doctor in Doctor Who that the BBC considered canceling the show upon his exit rather than casting a new Doctor, as they thought the show would fail without him.


12. In Project 100,000', 25% of US Army soldiers in Vietnam were intentionally-recruited "misfits" who couldn't read and write, had an IQ of below 75, and/or dropped out of high school. Some didn't even know the US was at war. They had 3 times the casualty rate of regular soldiers.


13. Those wounded while fighting in the French Foreign Legion can immediately apply to be a French citizen as they are "French by spilled blood."


14. “Freddish” were Mr. Rogers’ carefully crafted set of rules for talking to children. They were designed to keep kids from taking things too literally or becoming unnecessarily scared.


15. In-N-Out burgers operate occasional pop-up restaurants in Australia for the sole purpose of protecting their trademark there.


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16Lyndon B. Johnson

In 1948, Lyndon B. Johnson used a helicopter to campaign for office. He would hover over farmers working in their fields, many who had never seen a helicopter, and blare through the loudspeaker: "Hello, down there! This is your friend, Lyndon Johnson, your candidate for the United States Senate."


17. With Aliens (1986), Sigourney Weaver received her first Academy Award nomination for Best Actress and although she did not win, it was considered a landmark nomination for an actress to be considered for a science-fiction/horror film, a genre which previously was given little recognition.


18. Sarah Rector was an impoverished black girl who became a millionaire oil baron when oil was discovered on the land allotted to her by the government. She became so wealthy that Oklahoma legislature declared her to be a white person.


19. Every then-living ex-President of the United States - Nixon, Ford, Carter, and Reagan – were offered a guest role in The Simpsons episode Krusty Gets Kancelled. Only Ronald Reagan responded to the offer by politely declining.


20. A restaurant named Wattana Panich in Bangkok has been constantly cooking and serving from the same soup for 45 years, which is a form of “perpetual stew.”


21Belgrade

Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, is in such a strategic position that it has been destroyed in wars 44 times, and battled over in 115 different wars.


22. The blue whale’s heart rate was measured for the first time in 2019. It gets as low as 2 beats per minute, raising up to 37 when it resurfaces (more oxygen access). It works at physiological extremes and explains why the whale never evolved to be even bigger.


23. The DNA tests of 39 of Adolf Hitler's living relatives suggest that he had both Jewish and African ancestors.


24. There was a two-week-long lion-hyena war over disputed territory in Ethiopia in 1999, where lions killed 35 hyenas, and hyenas managed to kill 6 lions, with the lions eventually taking over the territory.


25. The city of Philadelphia, which was where George Washington had to live when he was president, had laws in place that said any slave that lived there for more than 6 months would be freed. So, Washington set up a rotational schedule exchanging his slaves between states to prevent their freedom.

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