Random #250 – 50 Fantastic Random Facts

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1Cantor Fitzgerald

Cantor Fitzgerald

The firm Cantor Fitzgerald lost 658 employees on 9/11. The CEO, who was taking his child to a school that day, later distributed $180 million to the families and offered jobs to all children of the victims. 57 of those children were employed by Cantor Fitzgerald as of 2016.

2. In 2013, a 12-yr-old Canadian boy was caught after hacking multiple sites in order to trade pirated information to the hacktivist group Anonymous for video games. His lawyer said the boy who had been hacking since age 9 was not politically motivated; he merely saw it as a challenge.

3. J.R.R. Tolkien originally set out to just create a language, Elfish. He then figured that that language needed a history. That history then needed a world, which eventually led to him writing ‘Lord of the Rings’ in said world.

4. In 2011, a baby penguin was born in a Chinese zoo without feathers and was thus rejected by his parents. The zookeepers then found out he was having problems with his digestion, so they fed him by hand until he grew feathers and was reunited with his parents.

5. When Primus played their song "My Name is Mud" at the rainy Woodstock 94, the crowd responded by pelting the band with mud. The band's singer, Les Claypool, stopped the song and said "when you throw things on stage, it's a sign of small and insignificant genitalia." The crowd ceased throwing.

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6Rolls Royce

Rolls Royce

Rolls Royce uses the leather of 15 to 18 Bulls per car, raised in cold climates to prevent marks from insect bites. Cows aren't used because they might have stretch marks from pregnancies.

7. A monkey was electrocuted as it walked on high tension wires in India's railway station, falling unconscious on to the tracks. Another fellow monkey attempted to resuscitate the animal by repeatedly biting, hitting, and dunking him in water. The electrocuted monkey was eventually revived.

8. Betta fish are very intelligent. They have been known to be able to recognize their owners. There are even some Betta fish that can do tricks like pushing a tiny ball through a ring using their nose. This is something that most fish are incapable of.

9. Imperial China had laws on depicting Dragons in artwork: commoners can only depict their dragons with 3 claws, nobility/high officials can only use 4-clawed dragons, while the Emperor reserved 5-clawed dragons for himself. Anyone else using 5-clawed dragons can be executed for treason.

10. Dwayne Johnson’s first acting role was on ‘That 70’s Show’ in which he played his real-life father, Rocky Johnson.

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Part of the reason kids like to spin, roll, and swing is that it stimulates and develops their proprioceptive system, which influences coordination, spatial, and body awareness, and also helps calm them down.

12. At the age of 65, Stephen Hawking fulfilled his dream and did a backflip in zero gravity.

13. The cast of Pawn Stars don't work at the shop. The Gold and Silver Pawn is managed by someone else and filming interrupts business because they have to close down to bring in the cast and pre-screened customers.

14. Monty Python's famous gag in Holy Grail of using coconuts for horse clops was not out of budget necessity but was in fact the first idea they had which served as a starting point for the film.

15. Corazon Aquino was the wife of a staunch political opponent against the dictator of the Philippines. Upon the assassination of her husband by the dictator, she ran for president against him, won and restored democracy to Philippines.

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16Hypnic jerk

Hypnic jerk

A hypnic jerk is a brief and sudden involuntary contraction of the muscles of the body which occurs when a person is beginning to fall asleep (often causing the person to jump and awaken suddenly).

17. People with pollen allergies can develop "oral allergy symptoms" and have mild allergic reactions to raw fruits/veggies with proteins similar to pollen, such as an itchy mouth/throat.

18. When George Lucas sold Lucasfilm to Disney in 2012, Lucas donated nearly the entirety of the $4 billion to charities based on education and wellbeing.

19. In 2018, an 88-year-old former commando named John Nixon was attacked by five robbers who were mugging a woman. He was stabbed in the hands and head after he tried to disarm one of them. They fled afterward, leaving empty-handed. Nixon survived the encounter and recovered in hospital.

20. Sperm whales can vocalize at 230 decibels, which is about 100 decibels more than a jet engine (from 100 feet away). The sound is so loud that, if close enough, it can paralyze or even kill a human by vibrating their body to death.

21Tomato plants

Tomato plants

Tomato plants fertilized with human urine produce up to four times more fruit and had higher levels of beta-carotene and protein than traditional fertilizers.

22. When Monty Python and the Holy Grail screened at the Cannes Film Festival, firefighters came in and made everyone in the cinema go outside as there was a bomb scare. As the projector stopped, the audience roared with laughter thinking it was all part of this movie.

23. All US Army helicopters are named after indigenous North American tribes.

24. Pavilion Lake, a freshwater lake in Canada is one of only a few lakes in the world to contain living coral reef-like structures believed to resemble early life on earth or life on other planets.

25. The asteroid belt is nowhere near as crowded as portrayed in movies and on TV. There are millions of kilometers between each object and astronauts would probably not even realize they were flying through the belt.

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