Random #270 – 50 Interesting Facts You Need to Know

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1Stephen Hawking

The ashes of Stephen Hawking were buried between the graves of Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin, in a section of Westminster Abbey known as the "Scientists Corner." As a final tribute, during the burial, the European Space Agency beamed recordings of Hawking's voice to the nearest black hole.


2. America's Most Wanted once aired an episode on John List, a family annihilator who had evaded justice for 18 years. It featured an age-progressed clay bust of John, which was so accurate that a man in Denver recognized it as his own neighbor. List had relocated, assumed a new identity, and remarried.


3. Beyoncé assumed she would automatically get the title role of Princess Tiana - Disney's first black princess - in the 2009 film The Princess and the Frog, so she refused to audition. The role went to Anika Noni Rose, who had co-starred with Beyoncé in the 2006 film Dreamgirls.


4. The "Leaning Tower of Pisa" should have collapsed a long time ago, but British Engineer John Burland managed to reverse the tilt. He could have made it completely straight but only reversed the tilt by 10% out of fear that turning it into the "Tower of Pisa" would anger a lot of people.


5. Albert Einstein once gave a note in lieu of a tip to a Japanese courier. The note said, “a quiet and modest life brings more joy than a pursuit of success bound with constant unrest”. It sold in 2017 for $1.56 million.


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6Robocop

Robocop's suit was so cumbersome, it would not fit into his police car. Every time you see Robocop driving, he doesn’t have his Robo pants on.


7. Ancient Persian psychiatrist Avicenna once had a malnourished patient who believed he was a cow ready to be slaughtered. Avicenna, impersonating a butcher, came to kill him but said the cow was too lean and had to eat more. The patient ate more food which restored his health and cured the delusion.


8. Raven the Chimpanzee became the 22nd most successful money manager on Wall Street after choosing her stocks by throwing darts at a list of 133 internet companies.


9. The original manufacturing method for shotgun pellets was to pour molten lead through a sieve at the top of a tower. The falling lead would naturally form nearly-perfect spheres due to surface tension.


10. At the age of 71, the legendary songwriter Leonard Cohen discovered he was nearly broke after his long time manager and former lover stole $5 million. The theft started after Cohen entered a Zen Buddhist retreat when he retired, believing he had enough money to live there for the rest of his life.


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11Deforestation

Deforestation is leading to more infectious diseases in humans due to native animals migrating for survival.


12. Scooby-Doo’s “Hex Girls” are treated as a legitimate band by Warner Brothers. They are credited on two studio albums and have released thirteen singles since 1999.


13. Freddie Mercury, upon releasing his only solo album in 1985, added special thanks to his Queen bandmates, Brian, Roger, and John, “for not interfering”. Less than three months later Queen performed their legendary live set at Wembley for Live Aid.


14. The Church of Scientology tried to take over the city of Clearwater, Florida, in the 1970s. When mayor Gabriel Cazares criticized this, the Church tried to concoct a sex scandal and stage a false hit-and-run accident involving Cazares, calling the operation “Speedy Gonzalez.”


15. A man confessed on his deathbed that the iconic Loch Ness Monster photograph was a hoax. His stepfather wanted revenge for being publicly humiliated regarding his claims to have spotted Nessie footprints- which turned out to be from a hippo-foot umbrella stand.


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16Pheidippides

The legendary Athenian herald Pheidippides ran 40 km from Marathon to Athens after spending the previous two days running from Marathon to Sparta and back, a round-trip distance of 240 km! Arriving at Athens, he shouted "νικῶμεν!" ("We win!") and died.


17. The 1972 hit movie The Godfather does not contain the words ‘mafia’ or 'la cosa nostra’ because of a deal struck between the producer and the real mafia.


18. According to an index developed in 2015, Earth is not the most habitable planet found yet. Kepler-442b, a rocky near-Earth-sized exoplanet that is 1206 light-years away from Earth and orbits within its star's habitable zone, has a rating of 0.836. On the other hand, Earth has a rating of 0.829.


19. Boston College football wears a uniform every year with red bandana pattering in honor of alumni student Welles Crowther, who died saving 18 people on 9/11 while wearing a red bandana.


20. F1 driver Kimi "Iceman" Räikkönen once had his car break down during the Monaco Grand Prix. After this, live TV showed him walking along the sidewalks with the helmet still on, straight to the harbor, where he climbed aboard his yacht.


21Jake Allex

During World War 1, medal of honor recipient Jake Allex, all alone and exposed, ran directly towards machine gun fire, neutralizing the turret. Out of bullets, he used his bayonet to kill five soldiers before it snapped. He then used his rifle butt to subdue the rest of the nest, capturing 15 prisoners, all by himself.


22. An English submarine on a combat patrol in World War 2 accepted a Russian reindeer as a gift. The reindeer spent six weeks at sea, slept under the captain's bed, and got fat off of condensed milk. It then spent the rest of its life in an English zoo.


23. In 1990, BBC’s Tomorrow’s World featured a white, sticky coating with astonishing heat-resisting properties, Starlite. In a demonstration, a raw egg painted with the stuff stayed raw in the heat of a blowtorch. The inventor died in 2011, having failed to strike a deal with any manufacturer.


24. In 1951, a 66-year old man named Gustaf Hakansson tried to register for a bicycle race that spanned the country of Sweden but was denied because of his age. He raced anyway, out of competition, and did the whole 1,764 km ride in six days, beating all other contestants.


25. There is a kind of honey called “mad honey” and consuming it will cause hallucinations. People in Nepal venture through dangerous vertical climbs to gather it. It is priced at $60 per pound.

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