Random #252 – 50 Cheerful Random Facts

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1Isaac Newton

Isaac Newton studied the occult and predicted the end of the world as we know it to happen around the year 2060. He believed humanity would then progress into an era of divinely inspired peace.


2. In the 1980s, deaf Nicaraguan children with no prior sign language (or any true language) exposure were brought together to a deaf school and started spontaneously making their own sign language, developing complexity and syntax. This gave linguists rare insight into the birth of human language.


3. When a 30-year-old woman in Canada was shot in her left breast, her silicone breast implant deflected the bullet away from her vital organs; her injuries were only broken ribs and damaged implants. It's the first recorded incident of a breast implant deflecting a bullet.


4. To compose a picture of a black hole in 2019, 5 petabytes of data were used, which took half a ton of hard drives. Part of this data was physically moved by plane. This allowed a transfer of 14 gigabytes per second, which was faster than if data would be transferred through the internet.


5. The car JFK was assassinated in was cleaned and repurposed back into rotation and served as the presidential limo for Johnson, Nixon, Ford, and Carter before being retired in 1977.


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6Trey Parker

One of South Park co-creator Trey Parker's first productions was a sketch for his 6th-grade school variety show called "The Dentist." There was so much fake blood involved that the sketch upset kindergarten students in the audience and Parker's parents were called.


7. Elephants rarely get cancer because they have extra copies of two cancer-fighting genes: P53, which hunts for cells with miscopied DNA, and LIF6, which obliterates the mutated cells before they can form a tumor. 


8. An ethical hacker called Jim Browning (Alias) routinely tracks down internet scammers who exploit old and vulnerable people online. He managed to shut down a company that scammed people with the help of the BBC recently.


9. In 2019, a Russian cat was used by prisoners to sneak drugs into their penal colony near Moscow. The cat allegedly had 5.79 grams of hashish and 1.56 grams of amphetamine under its collar. Defense/prosecution lawyers each wanted the cat to support their case but it escaped from its kennel before trial.


10. In 2000, Tim Miller founded Nonprofit organization Texas EquuSearch, a search-and-recovery non-profit which has assisted with hundreds of missing-persons cases and located more than 400 living people and 238 bodies. His own daughter was abducted and murdered in 1984.


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11Francis Pegahmagabow

The most skilled sniper in all of World War 1 was a Canadian Indigenous man, Francis Pegahmagabow. He had 378 confirmed kills, captured over 300 enemy soldiers, and spent his post-war life fighting for Indigenous rights. He remains the most decorated Indigenous soldier in Canadian history.


12. In 2002, three geriatric Catholic nuns broke into a US nuclear missile launch facility, vandalized it with hammers, and drew crosses on the silo with their own blood.


13. Aspirin was trademarked by Bayer in 1897. Bayer, a German company, was forced to surrender the trademark in the Treaty of Versailles, causing aspirin to become a generic drug.


14. Psychologist B.F. Skinner tried to train pigeons to serve as guides for bombing runs in World War 2. After canceling the project, he successfully taught the pigeons to play ping pong instead.


15. During World War 2, there was a Nazi sailor who flushed his toilet incorrectly, causing his submarine (U-1206) to flood with seawater. The sub was forced to surface in view of the British who then attacked, resulting in the vessel's destruction, 4 Nazi deaths, and 46 Nazis captured.


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16Kagnew Battalions

Ethiopia sent troops to the Korean War as part of the UN Command. It is known as the Kagnew Battalions, 3,158 men served, of which 121 were killed and 538 wounded. They were never defeated in battle and not a single soldier surrendered. They were also respected for never leaving their dead behind.


17. In 1954, there was a windshield pitting epidemic in Seattle, when nearly 3000 residents reported unexplained damage to their windshields, blaming everything from vandals to cosmic rays to sand fleas. However, it was actually just people noticing normal damage that had always been there, causing mass delusion.


18. Ivy League schools all had ties to the Opium trade in the late 19th century with major benefactors using their drug money to fund libraries, societies, and even Princeton itself. Undergraduates even began running opium dens from Boston to New York until a Harvard student overdosed in 1889.


19. The US Department of Defense withdrew its financial and logistical support for the TV series “The Lieutenant” (1963–1964) after its creator Gene Roddenberry pressed ahead with a pilot titled "To Set It Right" in which a white and a black man find a common cause in their roles as Marines.


20. Despite being one of the leading artists of the High Renaissance, only fifteen of Leonardo da Vinci's paintings have survived. The small number of surviving paintings is due in part to Leonardo's frequently disastrous experimentation with new techniques and his chronic procrastination.


21Venice

Venice does not have a complete modern sewage system, meaning its canals are also its sewer system.


22. An Indonesian man who claimed to be the world’s oldest person died at the age of 146 in 2017. According to his identity card, Sodimejo was born on December 31, 1870, but Indonesia only started recording births in 1900.


23. The reason one cannot drive straight from North America down to South America is an 100 km stretch of extremely difficult, dangerous, and environmentally sensitive terrain called the Darien Gap in Central America.


24. Mercury is thought to be the almost-exposed core of a planet that was 4.5 times bigger before a collision with another proto-planet that blew away most of its crust and mantle.


25. A man named Marcos Rodriguez Pantoja grew up in the wild amongst wolves from an early age until 19 years old. In 2018, he expressed he was disappointed with humanity and wished to return to the wild.

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