Random #249 – 50 Wonderful & Mind-blowing Facts

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26Hass Avocado Tree

Rudolph Hass, the man who grew and patented the original Hass avocado tree, didn’t make very much money despite its success as most people bought one single tree and then grew vast orchards from cuttings. He only made $5000 from his patent and remained a postman his entire life.


27. The optimal recovery position post-exercise is hands on knees, rather than hands on head. The results of a study indicated that the hands on knee posture significantly improved heart rate recovery, tidal volume, and carbon dioxide elimination in comparison with the hands on head posture.


28. Betty Crocker was never a real person. She was created for a Gold Medal Flour ad in 1921. Shortly after the company decided to use the character to answer all the baking and cooking questions received by mail, as a woman was a more trusted source of baking information than an all-male staff.


29. Danny DeVito’s short stature, 4 feet 10 inches, is the result of Fairbank’s disease, a rare genetic disorder that affects bone growth.


30. Alfred Hitchcock was so afraid of Psycho being spoiled ahead of time that he bought up as many copies of the original novel as possible. He also insisted that cinemas (for the first time) schedule screening times, sell tickets for those screenings, and not let anyone in after the film started.


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31Iceland

Iceland was extensively forested before the first humans settled there. But within 500 years of their arrival, 95% of woodlands had been cut down, leading to soil erosion, crop failure, and the eventual abandonment of many farms.


32. A pigeon named Gustav carried the first word of the Normandy invasion back to the British mainland during World War 2, as the fleet underwent radio silence at that time. He flew 150 miles in 5 hours 16 minutes. He was awarded the Dickin Medal for bravery. He died after the war after he was accidentally stepped on.


33. During a live performance in 1965, The Kinks guitarist Dave Davies asked drummer Mick Avory “Why don’t you get your c*ck out and play the snare with it? It’ll probably sound better.” In response, Avory knocked Davies unconscious with a cymbal and then fled the venue, thinking he’d killed him.


34. ‘Umarells’ is a term used in Italy used to describe old men, who watch over construction sites with their hands behind their backs, offering unwanted advice.


35. The person on the 10,000-Yen banknote in Japan is Fukuzawa Yukichi, who was among the first Japanese to visit America in 1860, after the end of Japan’s isolation period. He became known as one of the foremost experts on Western culture, and the college he founded, Keio University still stands today.


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36Roosters

When roosters open their beaks fully, their external auditory canals completely close off. Basically, roosters have built-in earplugs and this helps prevent them from damaging their hearing when they crow.


37. A German Shepard named Rin Tin Tin was rescued from a World War I battlefield by an American soldier, Lee Duncan. Duncan trained Rin Tin Tin and obtained silent film work for the dog. He was an immediate box-office success and went on to appear in 27 Hollywood films, gaining worldwide fame.


38. Actor Adam DeVine from Workaholics and Pitch Perfect was paralyzed and nearly had his legs amputated at the age of 11 after being run over by a truck. He recovered years later after multiple surgeries and still has scarring. He credits this experience with giving him his ambition and drive.


39. The 369th Infantry Regiment (better known as the Harlem Hellfighters) served on the front lines for 191 days during World War I, longer than any other American unit. In that time they never gave up any ground they captured.


40. The Quaker Oats Company isn’t Quaker and never was. They picked their name based on a religious stereotype about Quakers being honest in business.


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41Puppies & Mothers

Puppies removed from their mother before 12 weeks of age experience more behavioral problems and are less healthy than puppies separated from mother after 3 months. Removing puppies early doesn't improve puppies' ability to bond with humans.


42. Predjama Castle was under siege by the Austrian army for almost a year in the 15th Century. The castle lasted so long because it had a secret tunnel in the back which brought food to the castle. The siege ended only when the ruler died on the latrine after getting hit by a cannonball.


43. The “overview effect” is a cognitive shift in awareness reported by some astronauts during spaceflight, often while viewing the Earth from outer space. It is the experience of seeing firsthand the reality of the Earth in space. According to astronaut Edgar Mitchell, “You develop an instant global consciousness, a people orientation, an intense dissatisfaction with the state of the world, and a compulsion to do something about it. From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, ‘Look at that, you son of a b*tch.’”


44. Although most schizophrenics hear voices, the reverse is not true. Most people who hear voices are not schizophrenic (or necessarily mentally ill). Around 10% of people have had auditory hallucinations of some kind and there are many potential causes of auditory hallucinations.


45. Madagascar has a larger population than Australia.


46Sir Ewan Forbes

Sir Ewan Forbes was an intersex British aristocrat and rural doctor who applied to change his sex in 1952. Afraid of possible ostracism, he alerted his patients, priest, and friends in advance and found that they were “universally supportive”. He married his partner in a church a month later.


47. Sausage sizzles are public sausage barbecues generally held either as free community events or as fundraisers that have become a recognized and expected addition to polling booths at Australian elections. The sausages at these events have been nicknamed “Democracy Sausages.”


48. James Cagney in the 1932 film ‘Taxi’ is famous not only for Cagney's dancing, but it’s also the first film where he refused to be shot at with live ammo. This was very common at the time, due to it being much cheaper to use than blanks.


49. The letter Y is not just “sometimes” a vowel. It is almost always a vowel. It is only a consonant around 2.5% of the time.


50. Televangelist Pat Robertson, who has a net worth of $100 million, predicted in 1976 that the world would end in November of 1982. After that didn’t happen he tried again a decade later. In his 1990 book ‘The New Millennium’, he said the world would be destroyed on April 29, 2007. The world did not end on that date.

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