Random #269 – 50 Fascinating Random Facts

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26First drive-through

The first McDonald's drive-through was created in 1975 in Sierra Vista, Arizona, near Fort Huachuca, a military installation, to serve military members who were not permitted to get out of their cars off-post while wearing fatigues.


27. Hercules had a fraternal twin brother, Iphicles. They shared the same mother, Alcmene, but while Hercules' father was Zeus, Iphicles' father was Amphitryon, a normal man. Born one day apart, the brothers were close and Iphicles' son, Iolaus, became a favorite companion of Hercules. 


28. The Swiss Banking Act made it a criminal offense to disclose the account information and activity of Jewish clients to Nazi Germany affiliates during World War 2.


29. In 2005, when speaking to a class of 4th graders, the Mayor of Las Vegas, Oscar Goodman, was asked what he'd take with him if stranded on a desert island. He replied: "A bottle of Bombay Sapphire Gin." When asked about his hobbies, he said he enjoyed drinking Bombay Sapphire Gin.


30. In Poznan, Poland, eight clams get to decide if people in the city get water or not. They are equipped with sensors atop them that trip the water supply pumps when they close due to detecting something unsafe in the water.


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31David Bowie

David Bowie founded the “Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Men with Long Hair” when he was 17. The BBC interviewed him about it on which he stated: “It's not nice when people call you darling and that."


32. Mushrooms are the only non-animal food with Vitamin D and their vitamin D levels can be increased by placing them in the sun, just like humans.


33. In 1998, a US Navy pilot flew too low against regulations and cut a gondola’s cable, killing 20 people. He and his crew were put on trial and found not guilty of involuntary manslaughter and negligent homicide.


34. Charles Darwin never used the word "evolution" in his book ‘On the Origin of Species.’ He instead called the process “descent with modification.” He only used the term “evolved” once, as the last word of the last sentence of the book.


35. Japanese POWS provided a vast wealth of information during World War 2. This was because most Japanese soldiers were unaware of the rights they retained as prisoners under the Geneva convention. Many also felt indebted to American troops for the courteous treatment they received.


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36Benito Mussolini

In 1932, Benito Mussolini described antisemitism as a "German vice" and stated that "There was 'no Jewish Question' in Italy and could not be one in a country with a healthy system of government."


37. The coffee bean is actually just the pit of a bright red fruit called a coffee cherry.


38. XF-84H, also known as Thunderscreech, is perhaps the loudest aircraft ever. A turboprop plane intended to break the sound barrier, its single propeller visibly produced a continuous sonic boom that radiated for 100s of yards. The ground crew was regularly incapacitated by nausea and, in one case, a seizure.


39. In Māori, France is known as Wīwī, derived from the French phrase oui, oui (yes, yes).


40. The Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation which runs the Crazy Horse statue in South Dakota is worth $77 million. It is not operated by the local Lakota people, and is considered a disgrace by many Lakota. Crazy Horse was known for his humility and never allowed his picture to be taken.


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41Anti-urination devices

The 19th-century anti-urination devices built against sides of buildings were shaped such that anyone urinating there needed to stand away from the wall in public view. The slope of them meant that if anyone still tried to do so, the urine would be deflected back onto their feet and legs.


42. American Samoa has a population of less than 60,000 but has the highest rate of military enlistment of any U.S. state or territory. The local Army recruitment station in Pago Pago ranked #1 in 2014 and 2015 in enlistment out of the 885 Army recruiting stations at the time.


43. During a flight of the Hindenburg over the UK a parcel was thrown overboard and found in West Yorkshire. It contained flowers, a small silver Cross, and a note requesting they be delivered to a passenger's brother's grave


44. Due to Japanese salmon having a parasite in it, the Japanese always cooked their salmon. They only started eating salmon sushi in the 1990s after a decade long campaign by Norwegian Bjorn Eirik Olsen to convince the Japanese to eat it raw.


45. The chips (fries) British tourists eat in the Canary Islands are grown in the UK and exported there because Canary Islands' production can't cope with demand.


46Moonwalk dance

The moonwalk dance move, popularized by Michael Jackson, is an old move dating back to the 1930s when Cab Calloway called it "the buzz." Dancer Bill Bailey was filmed doing the move at The Apollo Theater in 1955. Jackson saw a dancer on Soul Train doing the move and learned it from him.


47. Russia first tried to sell Alaska to the tiny state of Liechtenstein, who declined the offer, before selling it to America.


48. During the 1938 FIFA World Cup, the Brazilian team was so sure of winning the semi-final match against Italy that they requisitioned the only plane to Paris on the day after the match. After losing to Italy, they refused to sell them the tickets, and the Italian team had to travel from Marseilles to Paris by train.


49. Humans are the only animals whose brains shrink and become subject to cognitive dysfunctions like Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Not even close relatives like Chimpanzees experience this shrinkage.


50. Archduke Franz Ferdinand killed over 300,000 animals while hunting during his life. He’d ride on a train with servants loading rifles on either side of him and he’d shoot any animal he saw. Trailing train would pick up the carcasses.

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