Random #270 – 50 Interesting Facts You Need to Know

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26Smartphone interruptions

Constant interruptions from your smartphone can change your brain's chemistry to make you feel anxious and distracted. Notifications can trigger the release of a hormone called cortisol. This tenses muscles, increases heart rate and causes palms to become sweaty.


27. Despite being seriously ill at the siege of Acre in the Third Crusade, Richard I, better known as Richard the Lionheart, had his men carry him on a stretcher on the front lines so he could shoot enemies on the walls of the city with his crossbow.


28. The “n” in 7-ELEVEn is lowercase because the President’s wife thought the all-caps was too harsh and, with a lowercase letter, the logo looked more graceful.


29. Soul Superstar Curtis Mayfield ("Super Fly", "Move on Up", etc) was paralyzed from the neck down in an on-stage accident. Mayfield wrote and recorded his final album while paralyzed, lying flat or at a slant on the studio floor and singing a couple of lines at a time.


30. Time is perceived differently among different creatures according to flicker fusion threshold. This is why it’s so hard to kill flies. Time is perceived 600% slower by them.


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31Egyptian pharaohs

Egyptian pharaohs were often fat. They had high-sugar diets that were rich in bread, honey, beer, and wine. Examinations of various royal mummies show that many suffered from obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. Hatshepsut, Egypt's most famous woman pharaoh, was obese and had tooth decay.


32. Seal milk is super rich in fat (75%) so the pups can grow really fast and survive in the extreme Arctic environment. Some seals can double their weights in 4 days.


33. Wearing paper clips was a symbol of rejecting Nazi ideals and racism during World War 2.


34. In 2019, a grandmother in Iowa was killed at a gender reveal party when the partygoers mistakenly built a pipe bomb instead of a clever gender reveal device.


35. The Fibonacci numbers (1,1,2,3,5,8....) can be used to approximately convert miles to kilometers. 2 mi ≈ 3 km, 3 mi ≈ 5 km, etc.


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36Batman & Robin

If Batman & Robin was more successful, a sequel was already planned. Batman Unchained would have had Clooney and O'Donnell reprising their roles, with Scarecrow and Harley Quinn as the main villains, and cameos from past villains appearing as hallucinations due to Scarecrow's fear gas.


37. When Gene Kelly was asked to direct the movie The Sound of Music, he declined saying "Go find someone else to direct this piece of sh*t."


38. Bulgarian man Dobri Dobrev, also known as Grandpa Dobri, spent his life begging for money and donated all the money he collected to charities, orphanages, churches, and monasteries. He died in 2018, at the age of 103.


39. 7-Up used to contain Lithium citrate; a known mood stabilizer still used today to treat bipolar disorder and mania.


40. Pilates was developed by German boxer and circus performer Joseph Pilates while he was in a British internment camp during World War 1. He developed the system in the camp for four years with minimal equipment by working on his fellow internees.


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41Swansea Jack

A dog named Swansea Jack saved a total of 27 people during her lifetime from drowning in the River Tawe in Wales. He was awarded a silver cup by the Mayor of London and to this day is the only dog to have been awarded two bronze medals by the National Canine Defence League. He was named ‘Dog of the Century’ after his death.


42. The first victim of the American Revolution was a man of African and Native American descent named Crispus Attucks, who according to some historians might have even been a free American citizen.


43. A recent study found that those who “troll online” are high in cognitive empathy and psychopathy. This suggests that trolls employ an empathic strategy of predicting and recognizing the emotional suffering of their victims in order to “troll” them.


44. During Benjamin Franklin’s famous kite experiment, the kite was not struck by visible lightning. Had it been, Franklin would almost certainly have been killed. Instead, he noticed loose threads on the kite string were repelling each other and there was a spark when he moved his hand near the key.


45. A German socialist politician named Ernst Thalmann downplayed the rise of Nazism because he thought centrism was the real enemy. When the Nazis came to power, they imprisoned him in a concentration camp, destroyed his political party, and finally killed him ten years later.


46Eurasia

Europe and Asia aren't actually continents but are two parts of one large continent called Eurasia. The division between Europe and Asia is a historical social construct that originated from the Ancient Greeks. 


47. Prometheus had a brother, Epimetheus, and that their names are references to human intellect. Prometheus (meaning "fore-thinker") is a smart trickster while Epimetheus (meaning "afterthinker") is foolish. Plato used the brothers to argue that nature has no meaning, humans are just afterthinkers.


48. 92% of people can only breathe through one nostril at a time and the "dominant nostril" switches several times per day.


49. “Burrito” is Spanish for “little donkey”. It is named so because it can hold many things, like a donkey can.


50. French radical Charlotte Corday's last request before death was to have her portrait painted. She even picked Jean-Jacques Hauer as the artist, and the painting was finished shortly before her execution.

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