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

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26Steve Bartman

Steve Bartman, the fan who in 2003 infamously but inadvertently interfered with a foul ball contributing to the Chicago Cubs’ loss in playoffs that year, received a World Series ring when the Cubs won in 2016.


27. As British taxes only applied to lumber on a ship, and not the lumber that made up the ship, Canadian loggers began building large, barely seaworthy disposable ships that would be broken up for timber once they reached British shores.


28. While the Americans sent space probes to Mars, the Soviets sent many probes to Venus, of which 8 of them successfully landed on the Venusian surface and took the first measurements and pictures of the planet’s surface, showing Venus to be a hot, hellish wasteland.


29. Chevy Chase escaped the military draft by "falsely claiming, among other things, that he had homosexual tendencies."


30. In 2012, a bullied girl named Whitney Kropp was nominated for homecoming queen by her bullies as a prank. It backfired when the whole town in Michigan rallied around her and supported her nomination. She ended up winning.


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31Spock

Spock was originally going to have red skin, but the idea was scrapped because the makeup looked like blackface on a monochrome television.


32. In 2012, a “lost” ancient city in Mexico named Angamuco was uncovered. It had more buildings than Manhattan. It was built by a civilization that were rivals to the Aztecs and it remained buried under vegetation for centuries.


33. Newman's Own company started out as an inside joke between Paul Newman and friend and writer AE Hotchner, who would tease Newman for calling late at night just to 'talk about salad dressing'. They began making batches for holiday gifts. To date, over $500 million has gone to charities. 


34. In 1973, General Motors decided it was worth it to keep paying lawsuits than to spend $6 per car to make them safer.


35. The loris is the only known venomous primate. They create the venom using a secretion from glands in their elbows, which becomes venomous when mixed with their saliva. The mother will coat the babies in this venom to deter predators so that she can forage for food.


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36Here Comes The Bride

Despite its popular use at weddings, "Here Comes The Bride," derives from Wagner's opera Lohengrin, in which the groom (a Knight of the Holy Grail) murders someone in the bridal chamber and subsequently leaves his wife, causing her to collapse, grief-stricken, and die. 


37. International building code originated from King Hammurabi of Babylon in 1758 B.C. Hammurabi's Code stated, “If a builder has built a house for a man and his work is not strong, and if the house he has built falls in and kills the householder, that builder shall be slain.”


38. The Placebo effect is stronger in the US than in other countries, causing a problem for medicinal trials.


39. Cher and Meryl Streep once saved a woman from being attacked when they were walking in Manhattan together. They ran screaming towards the person who was attacking the woman and was able to get them away from her.


40. In August 1864, a sniper tried to shoot Abraham Lincoln as he left the White House. They had missed by inches and shot through Lincoln’s hat, knocking it off his head. Lincoln had left without guards. He was just riding out to an evening retreat.


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41Napoleon

Napoleon did not like to eat set meals, instead choosing to eat when he was hungry. Napoleon’s preference forced his palace chefs to constantly have chickens roasting on spits to suit his erratic hunger. Additionally, Napoleon preferred eating with hands rather than use utensils.


42. A 19-year-old wrestler died after losing 9 pounds in 8.5 hours by exercising vigorously in a hot environment wearing a vapor-impermeable suit under a cotton warm-up suit. He resumed exercising 2 hours after the weight loss and died from cardiac arrest an hour later.


43. The Mayo Clinic was started due to a tornado. In 1883, a tornado ripped through Rochester, Minnesota killing 37 people. Some injured residents were taken to a convent prompting a nun to suggest that a hospital be opened in the city.


44. The Canadian government will pay you to plant trees for summer. This program has become so popular that work visas are available for foreign workers simply to plant trees.


45. Beekeepers avoid eating bananas or even using lotions or products with that smell before tending to their bees. The smell of bananas triggers bees to attack, while the smell of almonds repels them.


46Will Ferrell

Will Ferrell once signed on to play Ronald Reagan in a film that focused on Reagan succumbing to Alzheimer’s-induced dementia while in office. He dropped out after an outcry from Reagan's family and the Alzheimer's Associaton, and the project died.


47. The sharpest object ever created is a tungsten needle that tapers down to the thickness of a single atom.


48. The hedgehog was a holy animal for Persian Zoroastrians, and most houses had one living there to keep away ants, vipers and evil spirits.


49. In Thailand, each day of the week has a color and a God who protects it. In the past, people would wear the color assigned to each day. Now most people just use their personal lucky color which is based on the day they were born.


50. At the age of 30, Wassily Kandinsky saw Monet at an exhibition and became obsessed. He promptly abandoned his law career and devoted himself full-time to the study of art, later becoming one of the founders of pure abstraction in painting.

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