Random #274 – 50 Random Facts You Need to Know

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26Salt

Before the start of salt iodization in the 1920s, 47% of schoolchildren in Michigan had goiter and 30% of World War 1 draftees were medically disqualified due to this condition.


27. William Castle was a B-horror movies maker who allowed his audiences to get refunds if a movie was too scary. Many abused it, angering him. The abuse stopped when he made refund seekers go to a “Coward’s Corner” in the theater as a record screamed “Watch the chicken!” and a yellow light followed across the theater.


28. In 1911, a 35-year-old French miner named Augustin Lesage began hearing voices in the dark that convinced him to become a painter. With no prior training, he became very successful and claimed the “spirit voices” guided every one of his 800 paintings.


29. The death of British author C.S. Lewis went largely unreported by news media because U.S. President John F. Kennedy was assassinated less than an hour later.


30. During his tenure, Theodore Roosevelt had a lion, a coyote, a hyena, a black bear, and a zebra living on White House grounds at various times. Also, he shot 11397 creatures, including endangered animals. He also hired people, to find remains of a Mammoth, which he was successful in procuring.


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31Rod Serling

Rod Serling got the idea for the Twilight Zone episode "I Shot an Arrow into the Air" from a conversation with a friend, to whom he paid $500 for the rights. More people would pitch episode ideas to Serling in person over the years, but none were ever produced.


32. In the winter, when it's too cold for the male bees to do their only job (mate) the lady bees kick them out of the hive, where they quickly die in the elements.


33. The two highest-ranked Sumo referees (Gyoji) have a dagger tucked into the belt of their kimono representing their willingness to commit ritual suicide if they get a decision wrong in the ring.


34. In 1913, Rudolf Diesel, the inventor of the Diesel engine mysteriously died while travelling from Belgium to the UK to meet with the British navy about installing his engines on their submarines. His body was found 11 days later floating in the sea. It’s still unknown if he was murdered.


35. Ancient Greek messengers (hemerodromos: one of the men in the Greek military known as day-long runners) routinely ran hundreds of miles to spread information across the Greek city-states.


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36Wiffle ball

In 2011, the State of New York proclaimed that Wiffle ball, as well as kickball, freeze tag, and dodgeball were "unsafe" for children and that any summer camp program that included two or more of such activities would be subject to government regulation.


37. In 1964, Andy Warhol directed a feature film where Batman battles Dracula, imaginatively titled “Batman Dracula”. The film was never released as Warhol failed to get permission to use the character from DC Comics.


38. During Victorian England winters, street vendors sold baked potatoes for food and as hand warmers. In London, they sold around 10 tons of potatoes every day from "cans" - small metal boxes on four legs fueled by charcoal.


39. It's better to leave an impaled knife in place until it can be surgically removed rather than remove it on the spot - once the knife has punctured deeply, it controls the bleeding. Removing the knife risks uncontrolled bleeding.


40. Dogs can get “Limber Tail” or sore tail muscles from working out too hard, often resulting from swimming. It can cause the dog to have such a sore tail that touching the tail may result in the dog crying and the tail may not wag for days.


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41Ankhesenamun

Ankhesenamun, the daughter of Nefertiti, was forced to marry her father, Pharaoh Akhenaten. After her father's death, she married her half-brother, the pharaoh Tutankhamun. After King Tut died, she was forced to marry her grandfather.


42. In 1962, scientists discovered a limit to how many times human cells divide before they become exhausted. They also figured out that telomeres, which cap the ends of chromosomes and prevent them from fraying, shorten each time a cell divides. When they get short enough, a cell stops dividing.


43. Arthur Conan Doyle, the author of Sherlock Holmes was on a cricket team with the authors of Peter Pan and Winnie the Pooh.


44. Vulture bees eat rotten meat and make meat honey from it, which is clear and sweet.


45. John Adams is considered the Father of the American Navy, founding it during the Quasi-War, a non-declared war between America and post-revolution France. Adams believed in peace and neutrality but felt such goals could only be obtained if backed by the ability for America to defend itself.


46Willy Rozier

In 1949, French director Willy Rozier challenged a film critic to a duel over comments he had made about Rozier's film. Rozier won the duel (fought with rapiers, to first blood) in front of journalists and photographers. The film was a hit - and footage of the duel is included on the film's DVD.


47. In 216 B.C during the Battle of Silva Litana, the Germanic Boii cut the trees in surrounding forests in such a way that they could fall down with the force of a simple push. Following this they waited and ultimately crushed the approaching Roman column, and destroyed their army of 30,000.


48. The Sandby borg situated on an island in Sweden is the site of a 1,500-year-old massacre. It is believed that the whole settlement was destroyed. The exact reasons for the massacre are unknown, but the area has retained a taboo reputation among locals for centuries.


49. Those who carry the coffin at a funeral are called “pallbearers” because the cloth that covers the coffin is called a “pall.”


50. The fattiest pastry in all of Europe is a French cake called Kouign-amann that is 30% butter and 30% sugar.

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