Random #253 – 50 Random Facts You Didn’t Knew

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26Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II

Among Queen Elizabeth II's many honors - she is an Admiral in the Great Navy of the State of Nebraska. Its award certificate "requires all officers, seamen, tadpoles, and goldfish under your command to be obedient to your orders as Admiral". Nebraska is America's only triply landlocked state.

27. Before he was president, Abraham Lincoln was a wrestler winning 299 out of 300 matches. Old Abe is actually in the Wrestling Hall of Fame.

28. Kurt Cobain came up with the song's title when a friend wrote "Kurt Smells Like Teen Spirit" on his wall. She meant that Cobain smelled like the deodorant Teen Spirit, which his girlfriend wore. Cobain said he was unaware of the deodorant and had interpreted it as a revolutionary slogan.

29. Fermi's Paradox proposes theories for why we haven’t heard from or seen any aliens, one of which is that they aren’t communicating because of an impending threat they know about, that we are not aware of.

30. A unit of 'shyness' is called a Dirac, named after the famous theoretical physicist and father of quantum physics, Paul Dirac. Known for his succinctness, his colleagues jokingly defined 1 Dirac as 1 word per hour.

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31One ring scam

One ring scam

There is a form of telephone fraud called the "one ring scam," in which the scammer calls the victim via the area code (473) at times in which the victim is unable to take the call, and then when the victim calls back an automatic $20 fee is charged to their account for making the call. 

32. When Japan Airlines Flight 123 crashed, the first helicopter on the scene that evening reported no signs of life so rescuers decided to pause and continue the next morning. Many initial survivors slowly died through the night from shock and exposure, leaving 4 survivors out of 524.

33. Not only did the infamous Wicked Bible of 1631 contain the misprinted commandment "thou shalt commit adultery", but also that it contained "God hath shewed us his glory and his great-asse" instead of "greatness", suggesting that the errors were actually a sabotage.

34. From 1965 to 1968, the United States was dropping 32 tons of bombs per hour on North Vietnam. Seven million tons of bombs including 400,000 tons of napalm were dropped in Southeast Asia during the conflict. This is more than three times as many tons of bombs than were dropped in all of World War 2.

35. In 2005, a group of reporters swab tested 46 bathrooms in the EU parliament for traces of drugs. 41 of them tested positive for cocaine.

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36Elise Rivet

Elise Rivet

In 1945, a Roman Catholic nun named Elise Rivet volunteered to go to the gas chamber in place of a mother at the Ravensbruck concentration camp. Less than two months before Germany surrendered, she was killed at the age of 55.

37. On July 4, 1826, while on his deathbed, former president John Adams' last words were "Jefferson still survives", referring to former president Thomas Jefferson, who unknown to Adams, had died hours earlier, on the same day.

38. Oklahoma has the largest number of lakes made by dams in the U.S. at over 200 lakes. All of Oklahoma’s lakes are man-made by making dams. There are only a handful of natural lakes in Oklahoma.

39. A Venus flytrap can count the number of times its victims touch the hairs on its leaves. One-touch does nothing, two closes the trap, three primes the trap for digestion, five triggers the production of digestive enzyme. So, victims tell the plant to start killing it and how vigorously to do so.

40. Elton John once bought a tram while on a 3-day cocaine binge. He had the vehicle shipped from Australia, and two Chinook helicopters were needed to deliver it to his house.

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While women weren't allowed to participate in the ancient Olympic Games, they actually had their own event called the Heraia which consisted of the same elements the Olympic Games that started out with; a foot race and religious festivities.

42. Many customer service agents can actually see what you are typing in the online support chat before you actually hit "send." 

43. Ulysses S. Grant's real name was Hiram Ulysses Grant, but it was entered incorrectly when he went to West Point. He was embarrassed by his real initials (H.U.G.) so he didn't tell anyone. He ended up going by Ulysses S. Grant for the rest of his life.

44. In 1861, the Japanese created an illustrated history of the United States called Osanaetoki Bankokubanashi (“Children’s Illustrated Tales from 10,000 Countries”) which is a mythology of bizarre tales about the country, including John Adams and his fight against a giant serpent.

45. Archimedes was killed by a Roman soldier during the Seige of Syracuse in 212 B.C., despite orders that he not be harmed. His last words were "Don't disturb my circles!"

46Coronal Mass Ejection

Coronal Mass Ejection

A solar storm in 2012 with a strong Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) missed Earth by nine days. Had the CME hit Earth, it would have inflicted serious damage to worldwide electronic systems and cost up to $2.6 trillion. The recovery time from such a disaster would have been about 4 to 10 years.

47. Larry Thomas, the actor who played the Soup Nazi on 'Seinfeld', auditioned in a military uniform in character. He was nominated for an Emmy for the role after paying the $100 application fee himself.

48. Salvador Allende, Latin America's "first-ever Marxist to be elected president in a liberal democracy"; gave his final speech while his house was being bombed and raided by troops loyal to Augusto Pinochet's US-backed coup. Allende committed suicide shortly after giving the speech.

49. There were only two other SEAL teams when SEAL Team Six was created (ST1 and ST2). The numbers 3-5 were skipped in order to confuse Soviet intelligence about the actual number of SEAL teams in existence.

50. King of Norway Harald V once threatened to never marry if he wasn't allowed to marry Sonja Haraldsen, a commoner. The ultimatum would have threatened the end of succession.

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