Random #242 – 50 Interesting Facts About Everything

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26Pandiculation

Yawning and stretching at the same time is called "pandiculation." It's apparently very important in waking up our nervous system.


27. Tsar Bomba (most powerful explosive ever detonated by mankind; 4000 times Hiroshima; 59-mile high mushroom cloud, 10 times the height of Mt. Everest) was dropped with a parachute so that the release plane could fly 28 miles away, giving the crew a 50% chance of survival.


28. Within 10 years of graduation, most people work in careers that aren't directly related to their majors.


29. American comedian Henry Winkler is an honorary OBE (Order of the British Empire) awarded to him by Queen Elizabeth II for services to children with special educational needs and dyslexia in the UK.


30. When Chinese diplomat Ho Feng-Shan was consul-general in Vienna during World War 2, he risked his life and career to save "perhaps tens of thousands" Jews by issuing them visas, disobeying the instruction of his superiors.


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31Nikita Khrushchev

Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev pressured writer Boris Pasternak to decline a Nobel Prize for Literature, after publishing his banned novel Doctor Zhivago. After retirement, Khrushchev obtained a copy of the novel and stated, "We shouldn't have banned it. I should have read it myself."


32. An octopus named Otto once caused a power outage by shooting water at the 2000 watt spotlight over his tank which was seemingly annoying him. Otto is an interesting octopus who has also been caught juggling hermit crabs, throwing rocks at the glass, and re-arranging the contents of his tank.


33. When it gets too hot in Australia, the nectar in certain flowers will ferment and turn into alcohol. These bees get "drunk" and are not allowed back into the hive before they sober up.


34. Archaeologists have discovered a 1,000-year-old ritual bundle in the Bolivian Andes that had traces of at least 5 psychoactive compounds including the ingredients for ayahuasca: cocaine, benzoylecgonine, harmine, bufotenine, dimethyltryptamine (DMT), as well as wood tablets to grind substances and a wooden snuffing tube.


35. The earliest record of a named cat is from over 3400 years in Egypt. His name was “Nedjem” which means sweet or pleasant.


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36Rick James

In 1990, Rick James sued MC Hammer for copyright when Hammer sampled his song “Super Freak” in Hammer’s hit “Can’t Touch This” without permission. They agreed to settle out of court and Hammer credited James as a co-composer. James won his first and only Grammy from “Can’t Touch This.”


37. Actress Fay McKenzie’s movie career lasted 100 years. She was in a silent movie in 1918 as an infant and was in over 50 films ending with a cameo in 2018. She lived to be 101.


38. In the 1700s, you could get admission to the London Zoo by bringing a dog or cat to feed to the lions.


39. Charles Darwin lost his faith in God after witnessing parasitic wasp larvae devour a caterpillar from the inside out.


40. The “Cinnamon Challenge” is dangerous. Cinnamon powder, when inhaled, can cause inflammation and permanent scarring in the lungs, leading to conditions like emphysema and pulmonary fibrosis.


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41Hermann Buhl

The Nazis focused on climbing the mountain Nanga Parbat first because they couldn’t access Everest and Kanchenjunga was too difficult. They never succeeded, but in 1953, after 31 already died on Nanga Parbat, Austrian Hermann Buhl finally climbed it partially solo, under the influence of coca and meth.


42. Pandora Radio didn't pay its employees for 2 years. The CEO claimed he "didn't know he was breaking the law."


43. In Switzerland, applications for citizenship are decided at the municipal level. Hence, if your neighbors find you annoying then they can vote to deny your citizenship.


44. A California dam collapse (St. Francis Dam) in 1928 is considered one of the worst engineering disasters in US history. Its chief engineer took sole responsibility, testifying, "If there was an error in human judgment, I was the human." Over 400 people were killed when the dam failed in the middle of the night.


45. The BBC created a Radio Soap Opera during World War 2 specifically for the American market. It was propaganda designed to get the USA to end its neutrality. One of the aims of the show was to appeal to those with a 'limited mentality'. It ended up being a popular radio show in the US.


46Elephant

A male elephant in India smashed through a wall in the house of Kipak and Lalita Mahato where their baby was. They saw the elephant start to move away; but when the baby kept crying, the elephant returned and used his trunk to gently remove pieces of brick and stone that had fallen on the baby.


47. After their victory at the Battle of Marathon, the Greeks carved a statue of Nemesis (the Goddess who punishes the arrogant) out of an enormous block of marble that the Persians had brought to the battle with the intention of carving a monument to their victory over the Greeks.


48. The Nigerian government has removed history from the secondary school curriculum as a result of the Nigerian civil war (the Biafran war) being too controversial, where the Nigerian government blockaded and starved 3 million people to death.


49. Out at sea, a tsunami is only about a meter high and could pass a boat without being noticed. As it approaches the shore, it’s the sudden deceleration from about 800km/h to 50km/h which creates the immensely huge waves.


50. American comedian Redd Foxx avoided the United States military draft for World War 2 by eating half of a soap bar before his physical, causing heart palpitations.

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