Random #254 – 50 Lesser Known Random Facts

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1Fred Rogers

Fred Rogers proposed to his wife Joanne via letter. When she received it, Joanne rushed to a payphone to respond. She was so nervous that when Fred answered the phone she was focused on the phone booth graffiti and greeted him by saying, "Sh*t." Fred laughed and she agreed to marry him.


2. A Texas state representative introduced a bill honoring Albert DeSalvo, widely thought to be the Boston Strangler, for his work in "population control." He wanted to prove that his colleagues passed legislation without due diligence. They passed the bill unanimously.


3. American football defensive tackle Derrick Nnadi vowed to pay the average adoption fee of $150 for every dog at a Missouri shelter if the Kansas City Chiefs won the Super Bowl. They won, and Nnadi paid the fees. A few days later, all 109 shelter dogs had been adopted.


4. Since Jason Alexander (George Costanza) is a trained Broadway singer, he had to re-record the famous George answering machine song because he sang it too well; Larry David wanted him to purposely sing terribly to make it sound believable.


5. Abraham Lincoln loved cats so much that he once fed them from the table during a formal White House dinner. When his wife told him that it was “shameful in front of their guests,” he replied, “If the gold fork was good enough for former President James Buchanan, I think it is good enough for Tabby.”


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6Seat belts

Seat belts were very controversial when they first appeared in cars during the 40s and 50s with many arguing that they caused injuries and didn't work, no matter how much researchers disputed these claims. Many people refused to wear them and even cut them out of their car seats.


7. When Arnold Schwarzenegger was Governor of California, rival politicians accused him of hiding the words, 'F*ck You', in an acrostic-style message to them when he vetoed a bill. When asked, Schwarzenegger's campaign team said, "My goodness. What a coincidence."


8. The video game Rock Band: The Beatles were produced under the code name Rock Band: Nickelback, in order to keep the game's development a secret and deflect curiosity about it.


9. Humans spend less time sleeping than any other primate. However, humans also sleep deeper than other primates. Because we sleep on the ground (no risk of falling from a tree) and are well-defended from predators, we can afford to get deeper, higher-quality sleep—so we don't need to sleep as long.


10. Astronaut Jim Lovell was asked if he would go on another spaceflight after an explosion almost killed the crew of Apollo 13 on its way to the Moon. Lovell was about to say yes. Then he saw a hand shoot up from the audience and slowly give the thumbs-down sign. It was his wife, Marilyn.


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11Perp walks

Perp walks (perpetrator walks) are illegal in France, as it is illegal to publish pictures of an identifiable person in handcuffs or police custody unless they have been convicted.


12. Turkeys will attack or attempt to dominate humans they view as subordinate.


13. In Germany, you can be punished by up to one year in prison if you don't help someone who's in danger or has had an accident.


14. The price of pizza has matched, with uncanny precision, the cost of an NYC subway ride for 50 years. Economists have named it "The Pizza Principle."


15. Mr. T majored in mathematics while attending college on a football scholarship.


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16Cage the Elephant

American rock band Cage the Elephant changed their name from 'Perfect Confusion' after a man with mental health issues ran up to the lead singer after a show in Tennessee, grabbed him, and just repeatedly shouted: "You have to cage the elephant, you have to cage the elephant."


17. Scientists have discovered that broadcasting the sound of a healthy coral reef on speakers underwater in dead areas along the Great Barrier Reef resulted in life returning and thriving. Twice as many fish visited those areas with speakers compared to spots on the reef without speakers.


18. For the film 'Ray' (2004), Jamie Foxx had to wear eye prosthetics that would make him go blind for up to 12 hours a day. It barely left him any time to sleep because he would practice piano after shooting with the blindfold on. He went on to win the Oscar for best actor for his performance.


19. All modern penicillin can be traced back to a single moldy cantaloupe from a small grocery store in Peoria, Illinois.


20. There is a town named High Wycombe in the UK that publicly weighs their Mayor before and after their term to ensure they haven't gained weight at the taxpayers’ expense. If they have gained weight they are publicly booed.


21Cambodian superstition

According to a Cambodian superstition, opposite-sex twins were lovers in a past life whose relationship was ill-fated, causing them to be born as twins and preventing them from marrying in this life.


22. The real name of the man who is popularly known as “Hide the Pain Harold” is Arató András. He is a retired Hungarian electrical engineer turned stock photography model and stumbled upon himself as a meme when he was looking up stock photos of himself to see how they turned out.


23. Lynyrd Skynyrd is named after a P.E. teacher called Leonard Skinner, who had the band members in his class and was known for being very strict about enforcing the school’s no long hair on boys policy so the band named themselves to mock Skinner and changed a few letters to avoid a lawsuit.


24. Betty Ong was a flight attendant aboard the American Airlines Flight 11 that was hijacked by five al-Qaeda members on September 11 in 2001. Ong notified the American Airlines ground crew of the hijacking, staying on the telephone for 25 minutes and relaying vital information that eventually led to the closing of airspace by the FAA for the first time in history.


25. Serial killer Randy Woodfield was actually drafted by the NFL to play for the Green Bay Packers but was cut due to a series of indecent exposure arrests. He would go on to become the I-5 Killer and is thought to have been responsible for over 40 murders along Interstate 5 from 1980-81.

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