Random #260 – Fascinating Random Facts

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1Louis Armstrong

American musician Louis Armstrong always wore a Star of David as an homage to a Jewish family that took him in when he was young and gave him his first horn.


2. “Military Grade” is just a marketing ploy. In military, “military-grade” actually means “meeting the bare-minimum requirements of durability, while also costing the least.”


3. The Seminole Tribe of Florida generated so much revenue from opening tax-free smoke shops and organizing high-stakes bingo games that in 2007 they bought Hard Rock Cafe International. The tribe still owns it today, with 180 Restaurants, 24 Hotels, and 11 Casinos in 74 different countries.


4. Fashion company Louis Vuitton burns surplus bags and products at the end of each year. This maintains the exclusivity of the brand and ensures that their products are never sold at a discounted rate.


5. In his college days, Steve Wozniak used a blue box (an illegal phone hacking device) to call the Vatican. He pretended to be Henry Kissinger and asked to speak with the Pope but was denied because the Pope was asleep.


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6Danish Kings

From 1513 to 1972, the Danish Kings were named Christian, Frederick, Christian, Frederick, Christian, Frederick, Christian, Frederick, Christian, Frederick, Christian, Frederick, Christian, Frederick, Christian, Frederick, Christian, Frederick (it ended with the current monarch, a Queen).


7. The first artificial sweetener Saccharin was discovered on accident when a chemist named Constantine Fahlberg forgot to wash his hands after work and tasted something "unspeakably sweet" during supper. He dropped his dinner and went on to taste every beaker in his lab, which luckily for him contained nothing poisonous.


8. In her nearly 70-year reign, Queen Elizabeth II has visited 116 countries in the world, but Greece is not one of them, despite her husband being born there. It is believed that Philip hates his birth country, because of how they treated his family over the years.


9. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's father (Rocky Johnson) descended from Black Loyalists, who escaped to Nova Scotia after the Revolutionary War on the promise of British emancipation.


10. The CIA found games such as Final Fantasy, Devil May Cry, and even Animal Crossing on Osama Bin Laden's hard drive. They also found anime like Naruto, Bleach, and Dragon Ball.


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11Appendix

Researchers deduce that the appendix is designed to protect good bacteria in the gut. That way, when the gut is affected by a bout of diarrhea or other illness that cleans out the intestines, the good bacteria in the appendix can repopulate the digestive system and keep you healthy.


12. A Florida animal shelter named Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando removed breed cards and instead sorted dogs into a "Pawgwarts House" by watching each dog play with a "sorting toy": brave Gryffindor pups are athletic, Slytherins are cunning pack leaders, Ravenclaws are problem-solvers, and Hufflepuffs are loyal and friendly.


13. The cost of acquiring the rights to use The Beatles' music in "Yesterday" was around $10 million, nearly 40% of the movie's total cost. 


14. A Latvian man named Jānis Pīnups evaded the Soviets in bunkers in the woods for the entirety of the 50-year Soviet occupation. He came out at the age of 70 when the last Soviet troops left.


15. A producer on Family Ties felt Michael J. Fox was too short for the role and tried to have him replaced saying “this isn’t the face you'll see on a lunch-box." Fox later gave him a custom-made lunch-box with the inscription "this is for you to put your crow in. Love and Kisses, Michael J. Fox.”


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16Jamie Siminoff

Jamie Siminoff, the inventor of the Ring Doorbell failed to secure a deal on ABC’s Shark Tank but later went on to sell his company to Amazon for $1 billion. He then later got the opportunity to guest star on the show alongside the same investors who once turned him down.


17. 96% of Americans use automatic cars while 80% of Europeans use manual.


18. In terms of long-distance running, there is no animal that can outrun a human.


19. Michel and Edmond Navratil were two brothers whose father kidnapped them after separating them from his wife. He tried to move them to America on the Titanic but died when the ship sank. The brothers were rescued and reunited with their mother after she saw a newspaper picture of them.


20. In 2008, Henri, the Grand Duke of Luxembourg, refused to give his assent to a euthanasia bill passed by the Chamber of Deputies. In response, the Chamber amended the constitution so that bills no longer require the Duke's assent, rendering the Duke symbolic. 


21Beluga whales

Beluga whales can mimic human speech and have caused divers to inadvertently surface due to them mimicking commands to surface.


22. In the United States of America, only the license plates in New Mexico have the letters ‘USA’ written on them because many Americans don’t know New Mexico is part of USA.


23. The funk band Vulfpeck released a completely silent album on Spotify and asked their fans to play it on repeat while they slept. The album, called Sleepify, earned $20,000 in royalties before Spotify caught on, allowing Vulfpeck to give their fans a free tour.


24. Christian Bale didn't socialize with any of his American Psycho castmates, explaining: "I start laughing if I know people too well. I start laughing in the middle of scenes."


25. The neck rings worn by the women from the Kayan tribe in Myanmar don’t actually tend to stretch their neck. They just push the shoulders and the clavicles down to create the illusion of a longer neck. Removing these rings incorrectly is dangerous as it may cause death because the neck muscles of these women weaken so much that they can’t even support their own head.

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