Random #249 – 50 Wonderful & Mind-blowing Facts

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1Stephen Hawking’s Prank

Stephen Hawking’s Prank

In 2004, during an interview with Stephen Hawking, the camera operator yanked a cable causing an alarm and Hawking to slump forward. Worried they had killed him, everyone rushed over to find Hawking giggling at his own joke. The alarm was from an office computer losing power.

2. A guide dog named Roselle led a group of people including her blind owner down 78 flights of stairs before the North Tower collapsed on 9/11. She only stopped to give kisses to a woman who was having a panic attack.

3. In 2006, Bill Murray (56 at the time) accepted an invitation to a college party in the Scottish Town of St. Andrews after a round of golf. He showed up, drank their vodka, did all the dishes, and left.

4. Raphael Gray is a hacker who posted stolen data of over 6500 credit cards, claiming that the law enforcement was too incompetent to stop him. Gray's arrogance annoyed ex-hacker Chris Davis so much that he found Gray’s information and informed the FBI about the crime, leading to Gray’s arrest.

5. Despite a diet of up to 7,000 calories per day and weighing up to 400 lbs, sumo wrestlers typically do not suffer from symptoms of obesity due to their intense workout regimens. Upon retirement, however, they must seriously cut calories or become at risk for cardiovascular disease.

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6Drinking Age

Drinking Age

In the 1980s, the drinking age in the USA was raised from 18 to 21 nationally because Reagan passed a bill in 1984 that required states to raise their drinking age to 21. They don't have to make it 21 per se, but if they chose to opt-out, they would simply be ineligible for federal highway funding.

7. Polygamist Brigham Young got out of paying alimony to one of his ex-wives on the grounds that since polygamy was illegal, they were never actually married.

8. The first first-person shooter game, Maze, was created in 1973. It included features like corner peeking, AI bots, and 8-player online play. In fact, it was so popular that DARPA had to ban it from ARPANET because half of all network activity for a month was between players at MIT and Stanford.

9. Matthew McConaughey originally auditioned with Kate Winslet for 'Titanic' (1997) and was confident he got the role of Jack, but Leonardo DiCaprio interviewed next and James Cameron said every woman in the building showed up for the meeting so he thought, ‘maybe I should cast this guy.’

10. Robert Downey Jr. was paid $10 million for only 8 minutes of screen time in ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’. He got paid over $1 million per minute he’s in the movie.

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11Walmart Arrests

Walmart Arrests

Police are called to Walmart stores in the USA 3-4 times as often as they are to other big-box retailers like Target. About 25% of all arrests in St. Petersburg, Florida, and 92% of larceny calls in Granite Falls, North Carolina are attributed to single Walmart locations in each city.

12. As they became domesticated (in a remarkably short time), dogs evolved specific muscles that allowed them to raise their inner eyebrows to manipulate human emotions. Dogs who made the facial movement enabled by these muscles are more likely to be adopted from a shelter than those who don't.

13. Serena Williams, often considered to be one of the greatest tennis players of all-time, voiced Ming the Prison Guard on “Avatar: The Last Airbender”, after she said it was her “favorite show.”

14. After Beatles fired drummer Pete Best in favor of Ringo Starr, he formed a new band and released the album: “Best of the Beatles”, a play on his own name. This led to disappointment from fans who bought the album without reading the tracklisting.

15. Despite its association with the supernatural, a full moon rarely occurs on Halloween. This once in a blood moon event falls on Halloween night of 2020. The last time this happened was in 2001.

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16H.B. Reese

H.B. Reese

Early in his career, H.B. Reese, inventor of the Reese's Peanut Butter Cup, created two nearly identical candy bars. The "Lizzie Bar" was named after his oldest daughter and the "Johnny Bar" was named after his son. The only difference between the two was that the Johnny Bar had nuts.

17. The number of nuclear weapons in the world is actually down from 70,000 in 1986 to around 14,000 today.

18. Horses hide pain very well, almost too well, due to their nature as range prey that historically wouldn’t show weakness to their predators.

19. Fran Drescher’s stalker changed how sitcoms were made. To stop him from sneaking into the studio audience of The Nanny, they began to cast the audience from extras. Good/loud laughers were picked in casting, making the show feel funnier to home audiences. This became an industry standard.

20. When a French scientist wrote that American wildlife was physically inferior to European wildlife, Thomas Jefferson was so offended that he got a group of soldiers to find and send the scientist a bull moose from New Hampshire to prove the “stature and majesty of American quadrupeds.”

21Sun Burn

Sun Burn

Your skin gets sunburned because your skin cells put up a protein flag on their surface that tells your white blood cells to come kill them so that they don't become cancerous. So they basically put a hit out on themselves.

22. The author of Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins, helped develop several Nickelodeon shows such as “Little Bear” and “Clarissa Explains It All.” She was also the head writer for Scholastic’s “Clifford's Puppy Days.”

23. When Clark Gable discovered the studio facilities for filming ‘Gone with the Wind’ were segregated, he threatened to walk out of production until the segregation signs were taken down.

24. American physicist John Bardeen is the only man to have received 2 Nobel Prizes in Physics. While receiving his first Nobel Prize, the King of Sweden asked him: “why did he bring just one of his 3 kids?” He replied: “I’ll bring them all for the next time.” He kept his promise.

25. Aglaonice of Thessaly was an ancient Greek sorceress who was part of a coven of witches known for their ability to “draw down the moon.” In reality, Aglaonice and her female acolytes were likely accomplished astronomers who were able to predict lunar eclipses.

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