Random #273 – 50 Random Fascinating Facts

- Sponsored Links -

1J. R. R. Tolkien

As a schoolboy, J. R. R. Tolkien felt "bitter disappointment and disgust" that the woods did not actually march on the villain's castle and Shakespeare’s prophecy was revealed as a rhetorical trick (Macbeth). Later, Tolkien made a point of writing a story where the trees performed as advertised.


2. Phil Collins, the composer of the soundtrack to Disney's 1999 animated film "Tarzan", performed all the songs not only in English but French, German, Italian, and Spanish as well.


3. Walt Disney was originally against the famous spaghetti-eating scene in Lady and the Tramp. He thought it would look too silly, and not romantic. Animator Frank Thomas disagreed, and animated the whole scene without layouts to convince Walt it would work. Walt was impressed and kept it in.


4. The borders between Belgium and the Netherlands are so complex that many buildings have an international border running right through them. A bank was built on top of the border so paperwork was moved from one side of the building to the other whenever one nationality’s tax inspectors came.


5. Hundreds of thousands of Moroccan Jews were saved from being deported to concentration camps thanks to Sultan Muhammad V who told the Nazis in 1941 "there are no Moroccan Jews or Muslims, only Moroccans."


Latest FactRepublic Video:
32 Incredible Easter Eggs You Missed in Harry Potter Movies


6Christopher Reeve

For the first Superman movie producers wanted Christopher Reeve to wear fake muscles under the suit but he refused. He instead started an intense two-month training program which added 14kg to his 86kg frame. He got so big they had to reshoot earlier scenes as they didn’t match the later shots.


7. Crows and owls hate each other. On their own great horned owls will behead and eat crows. But if caught unaware, a crow will surveil and call for reinforcements. Then the murder (collective noun for a group of crows) of crows will mob the owl and give chase. If the murder grows into dozens or so crows, they can even kill the owl.


8. The world's first known author was a woman named Enheduanna. She was a high priestess who composed hymns, prayers, psalms, and poetry more than 4000 years ago.


9. English speakers of Indian descent in South Africa say "Y'all" with the same meaning and pronunciation as southerners in the U.S. It is one of the few non-American instances of "y'all" in English and is attributed to coincidence.


10. Farmed salmon is actually naturally white in color. It's reddish-pink only because farmers add in a pigmenting compound to the fishes' food that changes the color of their flesh, which is more appealing to consumers.


- Sponsored Links -

11The Social Network

While Mark Zuckerberg was critical overall of his portrayal in "The Social Network", he was impressed by the accuracy of his depicted wardrobe: "Like every single shirt and fleece they had in that movie is actually a shirt or fleece that I own."


12. President Andrew Jackson didn’t like paper money. This is because during his presidency, paper money was printed by individual banks, and their value could fluctuate greatly. Some of it was worthless, and Jackson felt bankers were abusing the citizenry.


13. Byzantine Emperor Justinian II was called "the slit-nosed". After he was deposed in 695 A.D., his nose was cut off, to prevent him from seeking the throne again. Tradition prevented mutilated people from Imperial rule. He replaced his nose with a solid golden prosthesis, and in 705 A.D. retook the throne.


14. One in three women in Europe inherited the receptor for progesterone from Neandertals—a gene variant associated with increased fertility, fewer bleedings during early pregnancy, fewer miscarriages. and birthing more children.


15. A 37-year-old opera singer named Frederick Federici died whilst performing the role of Mephistopheles in "Faust," on opening night. At the end of the opera, Mephistopheles sinks through a trapdoor in the stage, returning to hell. As Federici was lowered, he suffered a heart attack and died in minutes.


- Sponsored Links -

16Chick Hearn

Many of the sports/ basketball phrases we use every day - "Slam Dunk", "Air Ball", "No Harm, No Foul", "Throw A Brick", "Garbage Time" etc, were coined by one man - Lakers announcer Chick Hearn.


17. Harold Harmsworth, the founder of The Daily Mail in the UK, openly supported fascism and regularly sent telegrams to Adolf Hitler describing him as “Adolf the great” while praising the “genius” of Mussolini.


18. Marian 'Joe' Carstairs who was born in 1900 in London dressed as a man, had tattoos, drove ambulances in World War 1 France, had affairs with Garbo & Dietrich, inherited a Standard Oil fortune, became a successful powerboat racer, employed 100s of Bahamians, died at 93, and was buried with a doll Lord Tod Wadley.


19. Tater tots were invented in 1953 to use up leftover slivers of cut-up potatoes.


20. Rapper Lil Wayne was kicked out of an anti-violence charity basketball game after he tried to fight a referee.


21Mars defect

In Hindu astrology, someone born under the influence of Mars is said to have a "Mars defect", and such a bride will cause her husband's early death. To prevent this disaster, the bride will be married to a tree, an animal, or an object, and her subsequent marriage to a human will be a happy one.


22. After the samurai class was dismantled in Japan, some samurai became farmers. These samurai were given apple seedlings in the town of Aomori so that they could produce them. Aomori would later become Japan's apple capital.


23. The largest mass mailing in American history was the ‘Understanding AIDS’ pamphlet in 1988. 126 million pamphlets were sent out hoping to reach every household in the USA. It contained information to avoid AIDS and encouraged the reader not to fear day-to-day contact with people with AIDS.


24. Princess Diana was a member and patron for more than 100 charities, many of which are now supported by her two sons, Prince William and Prince Harry.


25. The Aztec noble class spoke in parallelisms, repeating a phrase in two different ways, and in difrasismo, words said in a metaphorical sense. Examples are "may we not die, may we not perish" and "The flower, the song" – meaning "poetry."

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here