Random #274 – 50 Random Facts You Need to Know

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1Peking Duk

In 2015, a fan of the Australian band Peking Duk got backstage at their concert by adding himself as a family member on their Wiki page and showing it to security. The band wasn't even upset, saying "We ended up having a bunch of beers with him and he was an absolute legend."


2. American rapper Biz Markie was not supposed to sing the chorus in his hit song "Just a Friend", but none of the people he invited showed up at the studio so he sang it himself.


3. "Wake Me Up When September Ends" by Green Day band is about, a lead singer, Billie Joe Armstrong's father dying of esophageal cancer on September 1st, 1982, when Billie was 10 years old.


4. In 2014, Pope Francis said he would baptize Aliens if they asked. He did not want to close doors to green Martians with "long noses and big ears". In 2010, a papal astronomer also said he would baptize Aliens if they asked, he said: "Any entity – no matter how many tentacles it has – has a soul.”


5. The Chinese Army has been training 10,000 pigeons to provide support to the military's communications in the event that war renders its modern technology unusable. The pigeons, flying at speeds of up to 75 miles (120 km) per hour, are being trained to carry loads of up to 3.5 oz (100 g).


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6Fruit

Fruits aren’t always vegan. Many stores spray their fruit with shellac wax to preserve it, and shellac is derived from insects, making it non-vegan.


7. Ant queens can take over other colonies by murdering their real queen and bathing in her bodily fluids to avoid detection. Since ants can only parasitize other specific species, it is speculated that some ants decorate their homes with the heads of other ant species to mask their own scent.


8. The song "Hello Ma Baby" was nearly 60 years old when sung by the cartoon frog. It's the oldest known song to mention the telephone and the first about a man falling in love with a woman he never met via technology.


9. The scenes of Kazakhstan in Borat were shot in Glod, a tiny village in Romania. All the extras are villagers of Glod who got paid to be in the film and were told it was a documentary. They felt insulted by their portrayal, tried to sue the producers, and threatened to kill Borat for insulting them.


10. Major Pentagon officials once called Five Guys and requested them to break their no delivery rule. Not only did they refuse, the restaurant's founder also ordered a 22-foot banner saying "ABSOLUTELY NO DELIVERY" and hung it in front of the store. Business from Pentagon employees increased.


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11Hank the Angry Drunken Dwarf

In May 1998, Hank the Angry Drunken Dwarf beat Leonardo DiCaprio as People Magazine's Most Beautiful Person. As a joke write-in candidate, Hank was nominated en masse by fans of The Howard Stern Show as a chance to "violate People's expectations while still playing by its rules."


12. In 1960, debris from a failed American launch (Thor Able Star) fell on Cuba, killing one cow. Many Cubans demonstrated, with banners on cows reading "The Yankees are killing us without mercy" and "Eisenhower, you murdered one of my sisters". Cuba received $2 million in compensation, and the cow had a state funeral.


13. In the 1930s Bob Wian had a cushy job managing a restaurant but felt he didn't know the business fully. So he quit, got jobs as a dishwasher, fry cook, and then counter help. With that experience, he started the restaurant chain Bob's Big Boy, invented the double-decker burger, and became hugely successful.


14. When people act like Frankenstein's monster, they often stretch their arms out in front of them because of the 1943 movie Frankenstein Meets the Wolf-Man. In the movie, the monster is blinded and has to walk holding his hands in front of him.


15. Construction workers at the new World Trade Center site in NYC stumbled upon the hull of an 18th century Philadelphia sloop active in colonial-era Caribbean trade. Tree-ring scientists at Columbia University found that the wood used to build the ship were felled in 1773.


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16Cinnamon

Cinnamon is made from the inner bark of laurel trees and used to be more valuable than gold.


17. Hasbro trademarked the smell of Play-Doh, and in order to do so, they had to explicitly define every nuance of the scent.


18. Carrie Chapman Catt, the women's suffrage leader of the early 20th century, had a special clause in her 1890 wedding prenuptial. It guaranteed her four months of free time every year, so she could campaign to get women the vote in the US.


19. The last duel in Canada was fought in 1873 over a woman. Upon turning and firing, one duelist fell to the ground. Both duelists unknowingly had blanks loaded in their guns by their seconds. The one-man who fell had fainted due to fear.


20. Thai last names are so long because Thai citizens are not legally allowed to have the same last name as anyone they are not related to.


21Route 66

A stretch of Route 66, between Albuquerque and Tijeras, will play "America the Beautiful" as you drive over added grooves in the road. If you drive the speed limit of 45 mph for the quarter-mile stretch, you can hear "America the Beautiful" play through the vibrations in your car's wheels.


22. The creator of chiropractic medicine, D.D. Palmer, had claimed that he had received his chiropractic knowledge from the spirit of a deceased physician named Jim Atkinson and believed chiropractic medicine was a moral obligation and a religious duty.


23. In 1968, US businessman Robert McCulloch bought London Bridge for $2,460,000 plus shipping costs of around $240,000 and moved it to the Arizona desert. Instead of applying the 11% import tax for granite, US customs declared the 137-year-old bridge to be an "antique" and therefore duty-free.


24. Every night the U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence are lowered underground into a bomb-proof vault.


25. In Japan, it is a custom for a girl to ask for the second button from the boy’s jacket, if they like the boy. It is thought that the second button is close to the heart, meaning they ask for his heart.

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