Random #255 – 50 Fascinating Random Facts

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The main cause of the “lump” in your throat when you cry is because the autonomic nervous system responds to all types of crying as stress. In turn, this opens the glottis to allow more oxygen into the lungs. When we swallow, the glottis must close, creating the “lump.”

27. There is a school in India named Veena Vadini School that teaches children to use both hands. This school is also known as "The ambidextrous school". The students from this school can write six different languages and two different languages simultaneously.

28. Elvis Presley recorded over 600 songs throughout his career and did not write a single one of them on his own.

29. Paul McCartney was arrested in Japan for bringing 8 ounces of Marijuana into the country in 1980. After spending 10 days in jail he was released without charge and immediately deported.

30. Harry Houdini invited his friend Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to the annual meeting of the Society of American Magicians in 1922. Doyle set up a projector and shocked them all with footage of live dinosaurs on screen. It was actually a clip from the upcoming 1925 film The Lost World based on his novel.

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Ornithologists often use Cheetos to study behavior in crows. Along with being easy to spot, they’re also one of the birds’ favorite snacks. 

32. Lake Tahoe at one time was named Lake Bigler in honor of the popular third governor of California. However, once it was revealed that Bigler was a Confederate sympathizer during the US Civil War, his name was removed from the lake and renamed Tahoe.

33. British General Charles O'Hara had the unfortunate "distinction" of surrendering not only to George Washington at Yorktown, but Napoleon Bonaparte at Toulon as well. 

34. During World War 2, Norwegians mostly resisted the German occupation nonviolently. They would refuse to go to German-owned businesses, pretend to not speak German, and refuse to sit next to Germans on public transport.

35. Patrick Star from SpongeBob SquarePants is portrayed as dimwitted and lacking common sense because starfish do not have a brain.

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36Aaron Burr

Aaron Burr

Former Vice President of the United States Aaron Burr married at the age of 77 to a woman that was well-off. She realized her fortunes were dwindling because of his land speculations, and filed for divorce. It was granted on the day of his death. Her lawyer? Alexander Hamilton, Jr., who was graduating from college when his father died.

37. Chanakya, one of the oldest known economist added a tiny bit of poison in his King's food, without his knowledge, to immunize him from enemy assassination attempts. The king accidently killed his 8 months pregnant Queen by sharing his food.

38. A question mark superimposed onto an exclamation mark, often seen as ?!, is called an Interrobang. Martin K. Speckter is credited with inventing the mark in 1962 which made it the first new punctuation mark to have been introduced in 300 years

39. Bill Nye's family has a history of a neurological disorder called ataxia and the reason he decided not to have kids was to avoid passing down the condition to them.

40. Spider-man received a Japanese live-action adaption in 1978, in which he piloted a giant robot. This use of giant robots subsequently became its own franchise, which, in turn, is adapted back in the US as Power Rangers.

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41Meg and Jack White

Meg and Jack White

Meg and Jack White of the White stripes publicly portrayed themselves as siblings despite the fact that they weren't related and had married in 1996 prior to the band's formation.

42. Covered bridges are designed with roofs to protect and preserve the wooden structure from the elements. Uncovered wooden bridges typically have a lifespan of only 20 years because of the effects of rain and sun, but a covered bridge could last 100 years.

43. A mathematician named Nicolas Bourbaki who has made many strides in mathematics, never even was a real person, but was a collective pseudonym for a group of mathematicians who wrote their own textbooks.

44. An average man shouldn’t have more than 36g of added sugar and an average woman shouldn't have more than 25g of sugar per day. To put that into perspective a can of soda has 40g of sugar in it.

45. The High Place Phenomenon, also known as "The Call of the Void" is a sudden, strong, but usually very quickly dismissed, urge to do something incredibly stupid, usually associated with jumping off a high place.

46Here Be Dragons

Here Be Dragons

Despite being a cliche, only one historical map actually uses the phrase "Here Be Dragons". The Hunt-Lenox Globe from 1504, one of the oldest globes in existence, uses the phrase on the east coast of Asia. It is believed to have been inspired by tales of Komodo Dragons from Indonesia.

47. The sections of the shiny stainless steel exterior of the Frank Gehry designed Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles had to be de-polished because in the bright sun they were cooking neighboring buildings and blinding drivers.

48. A Viking grave of a woman warrior was dug up, and contrast to the skeletal evidence, it was assumed to be male due to the weapons in the grave. Even after DNA testing proved she was female, claims were then tried to be made that the bones got mixed up.

49. In Stalin’s Russia, some people who were late to work three times were sent to a hard labor camp for three years as punishment.

50. Salem Poor (1747–1802) was an African-American man who purchased his own freedom, became a soldier, and rose to fame as a war hero during the American Revolutionary War. He fought at Bunker Hill and was praised by 14 officers as “a Brave and gallant Soldier.”

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