Random #256 – 50 Interesting Random Facts

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1Lyndon B. Johnson

Lyndon B. Johnson constantly asked the flight crew of Air Force One to change the temperature of the cabin. Eventually, they installed a fake control knob for him to 'control' the temperature himself. Then he stopped complaining.


2. The floor plans of MI6 (British Secret Intelligence Service) headquarters in London were 'lost' by building contractors during refurbishment. The documents held sensitive information on the layout, including entry and exit points. Most documents (but not all) were later recovered.


3. Some indigenous people are known to have deciphered bird language and used it to locate predators that birds were warning other birds about.


4. Teddy Roosevelt took a break from the presidency to go camping with Scottish-American naturalist John Muir for 4 days. They explored without any supervision/security. Roosevelt was so inspired by the trip that it eventually led to the creation of the National Park Service.


5. The Mexican government has seized 599 aircraft, 586 planes, and 13 helicopters from the Sinaloa cartel between 2006 and 2015. That's more planes than owned by Mexico's largest airline.


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6Marlee Matlin

The episode of Seinfeld where Jerry dated a deaf woman actually hired a deaf actor. Her name is Marlee Matlin, and she is the only deaf performer to win an academy award.


7. Candy Land was invented to cheer up children living in polio wards. Polio paralyzed many of its victims and the game offered the illusion of movement, allowing the sick children to lose themselves in the sweet imaginative world of the game.


8. Time Zones were largely created due to the rapid expansion of railroads needing a more accurate way to plan train schedules. Before, each town utilized their own local time based on the sun's position.


9. To prevent a rodent infestation, the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia owns around 70 cats. The cats spend their days mostly in the basement and are taken care of by the museum staff. The museum has a small kitchen and a pet clinic dedicated to the well-being of the cats.


10. When Nigerian women's rights activist Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti was banned from organizing demonstrations, she organized "picnics" and "festivals" instead, drawing up to 10,000 participants.


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11Felis nigripes

Felis nigripes a.k.a. “the deadliest cat on earth” is an African Black-footed Cat which weighs in at just under 5 lbs. It kills 10-14 rodents or birds per night to satisfy its accelerated metabolism. It has a kill rate of 60%, whereas a lion’s kill rate is about 25%.


12. Charles Liteky is the only Medal of Honor recipient to have returned the medal. He saved 20 wounded soldiers, while he was an unarmed chaplain, during an intense enemy fire, in 1967. He ultimately chose to return the honor in 1986, as a protest of US policies in Central America.


13. George Lucas wanted the final Star Wars trilogy to take place in a micro biotic world. It would be shown that creatures called Whills are actually what use the Force and that Jedi only communicate with Whills via their midi-chlorians. His vision for Star Wars was to teach appreciation for ecosystems.


14. The primary function of a bathroom vent fan is not for removing odors but to exhaust warm, moist air created from using the shower or bathtub which discourages mold growth.


15. Beate Sirota was an Austrian-born Jew who was raised in Japan and was educated at the German School of Tokyo for six years. Her parents deemed it “too Nazi” and moved her to the American school. She helped write the Japanese constitution in 1946 ensuring equality for women being enshrined in law.


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16Norwegians tax

Norwegians pay half tax in November (compensating by paying more tax in other months), so everyone has more money for Christmas.


17. The very first strike ever recorded in history started in 1152 BC. During the reign of Ramses III in Ancient Egypt, while building a royal necropolis, the workers felt they were being underpaid, so they organized a massive strike. Their wages were actually increased and workers returned to work.


18. The Loggerhead Shrike aka the Butcherbird which is endemic to North America impales its prey on thorns or barbed wire due to lack of adequate talons of its own. It has been nicknamed the Butcherbird due to its carnivorous behaviors and the fact that it sometimes leaves its' prey on display.


19. In 1961, a handful of the world's top scientists gathered at the Green Bank Observatory in West Virginia, to give Dolphins LSD. They noted that as soon as the dolphin on LSD had contact with another intelligent mammal, it wouldn’t shut up.


20. A device which has been aptly named the StingRay is used by Law Enforcement for surveillance. It mimics a cell tower forcing all nearby mobile phones and other cellular data devices to connect to it.


21Hmong people

The Hmong people communicate by whistling. The valleys of the Himalayas they live in, makes this mode of communication ideal for transmission, sometimes carrying the sounds as far as 8 km. They even perform whistling courtship ceremonies, and once in a relationship, lovers can make up their own ‘secret’ syllables.


22. Claw machines are rigged, and the owner can program them to drop a toy after it gets picked up, giving you the illusion of near-success.


23. A prisoner named James Scott fought in 7 nationally televised boxing matches from behind bars. He rose to be the No.2 contender in the WBA rankings, defeating the No.1 along the way. The WBA stripped his ranking after becoming concerned that a prison inmate might actually win the world title.


24. The U.S. Postal Service is required by law to fly the POW-MIA flag anytime they fly the American Flag.


25. In Svalbard, by law, you must carry a gun when traveling outside of the settlements because of the archipelago’s abundant polar bear population.

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