Random #254 – 50 Lesser Known Random Facts

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26Michelin stars

Michelin stars

Michelin stars only go to three, one being "Very good", two being "Worth a detour" and three "Worth a special trip."

27. Wearing sunglasses can improve your mood. Squinting your eyes in bright sunlight convinces your brain you are in a negative mood because people squint when they are angry. Wearing sunglasses can prevent you from squinting, and from involuntary frowning due to bright sunlight.

28. There were only two groups in Sparta that could have their names inscribed in their tombstones: mothers who died giving life and soldiers who fell in battle.

29. Queen Elizabeth is no longer Lord High Admiral of the Royal Navy because she gave the title to her husband as a 90th birthday present.

30. Many elements of Harry Potter are very similar to a book written 3 years before. The Secret of Platform 13 features a boy of magical lineage who lives in an abusive house with a spoilt other child, and you get to the magical world through a platform at King's Cross. 

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31Malcolm in the Middle

Malcolm in the Middle

Much of the filming for Malcolm in the Middle television sitcom was done on location in various parts of Los Angeles. A privately-owned home was rented for upwards of $3,000 a day to film as Malcolm's house.

32. One of the conditions Woody Harrelson had for taking his role in Zombieland was that the director, Ruben Fleischer, not eat dairy products for a week. Instead of sticking with just a week, he maintained a vegetarian diet for 11 months.

33. The Simpsons producer's contract allows them to write the show without interference from Fox. This allows them to make fun of the network.

34. Both a human and a dog's blood pressure decrease while the human pets the dog.

35. The USPS mistook a Las Vegas replica for the real Statue of Liberty when creating the Lady Liberty "forever" stamp in 2010, resulting in a $3.5 million payouts to the replica's sculptor for violating his copyright.

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36Peter Norman funeral

Peter Norman funeral

Tommie Smith and John Carlos, the two black athletes who gave Black Power salutes at the 1968 Olympics, were pallbearers and gave eulogies at the funeral of Peter Norman, the white athlete on the podium.

37. William Henry Sheppard, one of the first Black American missionaries to Africa, helped to expose King Leopold’s atrocities in the Belgian Congo to the world.

38. Charlize Theron has suffered many injuries such as dislocating her jaw due to a camel and laughing so hard at Borat that her neck locked up for 5 days.

39. Peter Hill was the first known African American clockmaker and the only Black clockmaker known to have worked in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. He earned enough money to buy his freedom at the age of 27. The following year he married his wife Tina and purchased her freedom as well.

40. US Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq is the world's largest (almost of the same size as Vatican City). It houses its own power station, water and sewage treatment, internet and phone network, gym, cinema, and sports facilities. It also has 6 apartment buildings to house its employees.

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41American Bald Eagle

American Bald Eagle

The American Bald Eagle sounds like a seagull. The mighty screech that is often dubbed over the image of a bald eagle is actually the cry of a Red-Tailed Hawk.

42. While only 2% of Europeans lack the genes for smelly armpits, most East Asians and almost all Koreans lack this gene.

43. In 1857, a woman named Hannah Crafts escaped her owner by dressing up as a man and pretending to be white. She later wrote a book called The Bondwoman's Narrative but didn't publish it. It was found years later in a New Jersey attic and was finally authenticated and published in 2002.

44. In the Philippines, the legal term for car-theft is "carnapping." This is because when cars used to be very rare in the country and were prized status-items, thieves would steal and hold them for ransom like in a kidnapping. Now the term is used for both car-theft and carjacking cases.

45. The phrase "the customer is always right" was coined by an indigent Prussian migrant named George C. Boldt who worked in the hotel industry, invented room service, became a multi-millionaire, bought an island, and built a castle for his beloved wife. His wife died before completion, and he never set foot on the island again.

46Joseph Stalin death

Joseph Stalin death

After Joseph Stalin's death, his successor embarked on a program of 'De-Stalinization' - systematically reversing most of Stalin's policies while in office, to end the "era of the cult of personality."

47. Dolphins have learned to use rudimentary tools. For example, mother dolphins teach their young to cover their snouts with sponges while foraging on the ocean floor. This prevents them from being stung by venomous creatures.

48. Danny Trejo got his first acting job when visiting a patient he was doing substance abuse counseling for on the set of "Runaway Train". He was offered a job as an extra in the film's prison scenes.

49. Hazel Hill was a 13-year-old schoolgirl who influenced the design of the Spitfire fighter aircraft. She and her father did the calculations that allowed for the aircraft to be fitted with 8 guns instead of 4. The aircraft became famous for winning the Battle of Britain.

50. There are over 43 quintillion possible combinations for a Rubik's cube, and yet you are never more than 20 turns away from solving it.


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