Random #247 – 50 Entertaining Random Facts

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26Santacon

In December 2014, a guy dressed as Santa robbed a bank in San Francisco. The robbery took place during “Santacon”, an annual event in which hundreds of people dressed as Santa swarm Union Square. 


27. British singer Petula Clark caused a stir when she touched the arm of Harry Belafonte during a duet. She refused to destroy the negative and sponsors lost their cool. She and her husband ensured the negatives remained intact by locking herself in the editing suite and refused to do another take.


28. Neil Douglas boarded a flight and found his doppelgänger/lookalike, Robert Stirling, sitting in his seat. The whole plane laughed & they took a selfie. Douglas arrived at his hotel, only to find the same double at the check-in desk. Their paths crossed again at a bar & they shared a laugh & a pint


29. In the book "Gulliver's Travels", the laputans, scientists who live on a magnetically levitating island, discovered two moons of Mars. This was 150 years before we actually discovered Mars had moons.


30. Jonathan Lee Riches got the Guinness world record for having filed the highest number of lawsuits in the world. When he heard of this, he sued the Guinness Book of World Records.


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31American Airlines

In the 1980s American Airlines sold tickets for unlimited travel (priced around $250,000). One passenger, over a period of more than 10 years, traveled more than 10 million miles, accumulated over 40 million frequent flier miles (all of which he gave away), and cost the airline more than $21 million.


32. In German, there are two verbs for eating, one exclusively for humans and one for animals. In fact, you can use the animal verb to imply (impolitely) that someone eats like an animal.


33. Children’s book author and illustrator, Gyo Fujikawa is recognized for being the earliest mainstream illustrator of picture books to include children of many races in her work before it became common to do so.


34. Skateistan is an organization in Afghanistan dedicated to young people's education and skating. 50 percent of the children skating are girls because Afghanistan culture views it as a toy rather than a sport.


35. In 2004, 260 ships were sailing under the flag of Mongolia, despite Mongolia being a landlocked country with no access to the sea.


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36Mr. Rogers

Mr. Rogers enjoyed George Romero's films even calling Dawn of the Dead "a lot of fun." Romero even wanted to cast some actors from Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood but Rogers wouldn't let him. 


37. After the fantasy author Sir Terry Pratchett was knighted in 2009, he forged his own sword out of iron and some pieces of a meteorite. He humorously said that he was frustrated knights were not allowed to carry around swords anymore due to knife crime laws in the UK.


38. Helen Keller's family forbade her from marrying her fiancé, Peter Fagan, an ex-newspaper reporter who was working as her secretary, because of her disabilities. And the society of her time believed women with disabilities shouldn't experience romance of any kind.


39. In 1964, Muhammad Ali threw his Olympic gold medal into the Ohio River as an act of protest against racism.


40. A study found that a majority of women tended to prefer a man who cracks clean jokes vs dirty jokes, both for a casual hook-up & for a long-term relationship. But women who had a positive feeling about casual sex tended to find dirty jokes funnier.


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41Swiss cheese

The holes in Swiss cheese are called eyes and come from carbon dioxide bubbles released by the bacteria inside. Swiss cheese without the holes is referred to as blind.


42. When African-American Edward A. Carter Jr. was a teenager, he snuck out and joined the Chinese Army, reaching the rank of Lieutenant before being exposed and sent back to his parents. He later earned the Medal of Honor.


43. Alice Cooper was one of 9 donors to restore the HOLLYWOOD sign in 1978. Cooper’s donation, which is the second “O”, was made in memory of Groucho Marx. 


44. The iconic tumbleweed found throughout the American Southwest was accidentally imported to the USA from Russia in 1877.


45. Famous actor has Gary Sinise taken over 1,000 children of fallen soldiers to Disneyland, free of charge.


46Cooling tower

Those giant cylinder towers at nuclear power plants are for cooling water and the stuff coming out of it isn’t smoke but water vapor.


47. Robert Downey Jr. considered retiring as Iron Man in 2013 after receiving an on-set injury, believing that he was too old to continue playing the role of Tony Stark.


48. Narwhals and beluga whales can mate to produce a hybrid called the Narluga.


49. Paul Stanley of KISS starred in a 2000 Folgers ad that never actually aired because focus groups asked “Who is the old, creepy guy?”


50. Jesse Owens was not only not acknowledged by Hitler, but also from his president, Franklin D. Roosevelt. Only white Olympians were invited to the White House in 1936. Most likely, Franklin D. Roosevelt did not want to risk losing the support of Southern Democrats by appearing overly soft on the race issue.

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