Random #278 – 50 Interesting Random Facts Very Few People Know

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In 1980, the FBI formed a fake company and attempted to bribe members of congress. Nearly 25% of those tested accepted the bribe and were convicted.

2. Mel Gibson could not get any studio to fund 'Passion of the Christ'. Instead of scrapping the film, he chose to finance it all by himself, an action which analysts labeled as "idiotic". He spent $45 million on the project and went on to make over $475 million because he didn't have to split the profits.

3. Bill Murray once drove a taxi cab so that the cab driver could spend time playing saxophone in the backseat. The cab driver mentioned that he never had time to play his sax since he had to work 14 hours a day. Murray took the driver’s seat so that he could finally play some tunes.

4. Almost all shells open on the right-hand side, with the exception of a few snail species whose shells open on the left. If you find a shell that opens on the left (as long as it's from a normally right-hand species), you have a rare shell sometimes highly sought by collectors.

5. The US Navy sustainably manages over 50,000 acres of forest in Indiana in order to have more than 150-year-old white oak trees to replace wood on the 220-year-old USS Constitution. 

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6Azaria Chamberlain

Azaria Chamberlain

It took 32 years to officially clear the parents in the famous “dingo took my baby case”. The mother spent 3 years in jail until evidence supporting their defense was found by chance. They ultimately received $1.3 million for wrongful imprisonment, less than 1/3 of their legal fees.

7. A mother whose daughter was having brain surgery called the Mister Rogers Neighborhood studio to ask for a signed photo. After hearing about this, Mr. Rogers flew to the hospital to see her. His only request was that there was no press.

8. In 1888, Richard Mansfield played Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in a stage production at a time when Jack the Ripper was murdering women. A theatre-goer wrote to the police accusing him of the murders because his stage transformation from a gentleman to the mad killer was so convincing.

9. Wild orangutans use medicinal plants to sooth joint and muscle inflammation. The apes chew leaves of the Dracaena cantleyi plant to create a white lather, which they then rub onto their bodies. Local indigenous people also use the plant for the same purpose.

10. In 2006, VH1 ran a fundraiser for Hurricane Katerina where viewers who made donations were able to choose which music videos the station would play. One viewer donated $35,000 and requested continuous play of "99 Luftballons" and "99 Red Balloons" for an hour. 

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11Ken Allen

Ken Allen

Ken Allen was a Borneo orangutan in the San Diego Zoo who escaped his enclosure three times. He never acted aggressively towards anyone during his escapes, and generally wandered around the zoo looking at other animals.

12. The Simpsons episode "Itchy and Scratchy Land," was written in response to new, stringent censorship laws that were being put in place at the time. Fox had tried to prevent the inclusion of Itchy and Scratchy cartoons in the show, prompting the writers to make the episode as violent as possible.

13. Isaac Hayes (voice of Chef) didn’t quit South Park willingly. In 2006, he had a stroke and lost the ability to speak and someone involved in Scientology quit on his behalf.

14. The red stuff dropped from airplanes to put out forest fires is named Phos-Chek and it also acts as a fertilizer.

15. 44% of adults have held on to their childhood teddies and dolls, and as many as 34% of adults still sleep with a soft toy every night.

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Samoset, the first Native American who met the Pilgrims at Plymouth Colony walked into their encampment and greeted them in English. He had begun to learn English from fishermen frequenting the waters of Maine. Supposedly, he greeted them then asked if they had beer.

17. The USS Arizona, sunk during the Pearl Harbor attack, had the guns of her number 2 turret salvaged. They were straightened, relined, and installed on the USS Nevada during a refit of that ship, and were later fired at the Japanese at Iwo Jima and Okinawa.

18. Air conditioning wasn't invented for human comfort whatsoever, rather it was a solution to decrease humidity at a printing company having issues with too much moisture impacting the paper and ink. 

19. On a visit to Constantinople, American inventor Samuel Colt gave a custom gold inlaid revolver to the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire and informed him that the Russians were buying his pistols. The Turkish ordered 5,000 pistols. Colt neglected to tell the Sultan that he had used the same tactic with the Russians.

20. llamas that spend too much time around humans are prone to Berserk llama syndrome. Such llamas believe that humans are fellow llamas, and sneak up behind them to attack.

21School bathrooms

School bathrooms

In the early 1900s, school bathrooms were invented to help teach children to bathe regularly and to promote the idea of regular bathing to their parents. During this time period, people usually only bathed once a week.

22. During the reign of Tsar Peter the Great, it was customary for foreign dignitaries to drink from the “Cup of the White Eagle”, a chalice containing 1.5 liters of vodka. Therefore many nations’ ambassadors traveled in pairs, with one official drinking the vodka, and the other discussing state issues.

23. A 1949 BBC memo forbade employees to use desk lamps unless the main room light was on. The head of the Variety department believed that a man working at a desk in a confined space with only the light from a low-wattage lamp would nurture furtive ideas and produce degenerate programme material.

24. Clink Restaurants are a chain of restaurants in UK where your meals are cooked and served by prisoners who are training towards gaining their accredited qualifications. Their aim is to increase future prospects of the prisoners who want to turn their lives around and reduce reoffending.

25. In 2016, the writer of Dragonball Evolution formally apologized to fans of the franchise. He said that he approached the project with no passion and only wanted the money. He accepted full responsibility for the quality of the film and viewed it as a learning experience.

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