Random #279 – Fascinating Random Facts

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26SmelloVision

On April Fools Day 1965, the BBC aired an interview with the supposed inventor of "SmelloVision" who cut onions and brewed coffee to prove he could transmit scents through a television screen. Viewers called and confirmed that they had received the smells.


27. The Missouri Bar has produced coloring books to inform children about the functions of the government and the function of lawyers and judges and made them available for free.


28. Wanda Stopa became Chicago’s youngest and first woman assistant U.S. district attorney. Her career was cut short when she tried to shoot her lover's wife but accidentally shot and killed a 65-year old gardener.


29. When Peter the Great became Czar as a child, a hole was cut in the back of his throne and the regent hid inside and whispered orders into his ear so it could appear he was coming up with them on his own.


30. Kurt Lee was the first Asian (US) Marine Corps officer. When fighting in the Korean War he used his Mandarin language skills to confuse the enemy soldiers and infiltrate their positions during the battles around Inchon.


31The Weather Girls

The Song “It’s Raining Men” was rejected by Donna Summer, Barbara Streisand, Cher and Diana Ross. Backing singers Martha Wash and Izora Armstead then recorded it, with the duo now named ‘The Weather Girls.’


32. There were two pandemics running together during World War 1. ”Encephalitis Lethargica” affected 5 million and killed over 1.5 million. The patients were conscious – yet not fully awake; they would sit motionless, totally lacking initiative, affect, or desire. They registered the inputs with profound indifference.


33. When Clint Malarchuk, a goalie in the NHL, had his throat accidentally slit by another player's skates, his main thought was to get off the ice as quickly as possible so his mother wouldn't see him die.


34. The first pipe organ was made 2200 years ago by Greek engineer Ctesibius of Alexandria, making pipe organs 200 years older than Christianity. They weren't adopted by the church until 1000 years later when Charlemagne requested one for his private chapel.


35. The term "Slapstick Comedy" came from the comedy style known as “Commedia Dell'arte” in 16th-century Italy. The "slapstick" consists of two thin slats of wood, which make a "slap" when striking another actor, with little force needed to make a loud and comical sound.


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36Florida Everglades

The only place on Earth where both crocodiles and alligators live together is in the United States, in the Florida Everglades.


37. In Japan, the law forbids drivers to use car horns and bicycle bells unless it’s necessary. That’s why city streets are very quiet.


38. William Pitt the Younger was admitted into Cambridge University at the age of 13 and became UK prime minister at the age of 24. He is the youngest prime minister in British history.


39. Ashvamedha was an ancient Indian ritualistic horse sacrifice where a horse was allowed to wander for 1 year protected by the king’s guards. If no rivals managed to kill or steal the horse after a year, it was returned and sacrificed in the city capital, legitimizing the sovereignty of the king.


40. Van Halen refused to make videos for their album 5150, so Warner Bros quickly cobbled together a video for the song "Dreams" by using stock footage of the U.S. Navy's Blue Angels. The cheap video became a surprise hit on MTV and the Navy began to use it as part of their recruiting efforts.


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41Scotch whiskey

Single malt scotch is required to be made completely and bottled in Scotland to be labeled as scotch whiskey.


42. Classical "angels" are the lowest tier of God's servants in traditional Christian Angelology. There are actually nine angelic orders, each with distinct responsibilities. The highest orders appear as firey beings with six wings, four-faced creatures covered in eyes, and chariot wheels.


43. Disposable diapers are the third largest individual constituent of municipal solid waste and need at least 500 years to decompose.


44. When the Australian film ‘The Story of the Kelly Gang’ (the first-ever full-length narrative feature film) was released in 1906, the screenings of the silent film were accompanied by live sound effects, including blank cartridges as gunshots and coconut shells beaten together to simulate hoofbeats.


45. Persian Emperor Nader Shah plundered so much loot during his invasion of Mughal India that he stopped taxation of Iran for the next 3 years.


46Okay

The American English expression "Okay" (or O.K.) is nearly identical to the expression "Okeh" from the Amerindian Choctaw-Chickasaw language, which first appeared in print a decade earlier and means "it is so and not otherwise."


47. Between the 13th and 18th century, animals in Europe were often taken to trial for charges ranging from murder to criminal damage. Witnesses were heard from and lawyers were often provided to the animals. Pigs were found to be the most frequent and worst offenders.


48. People who prefer books over TV are more likely to act in a socially acceptable manner. People who prefer watching TV over books come across as less friendly and less understanding of others’ views.


49. Bartolomé de las Casas was a 16th-century Spanish priest who, after witnessing the atrocities of the Spanish against the indigenous peoples, came to oppose their abuses. He would go on to spend 50 years actively fighting slavery and is considered one of the first advocates for human rights.


50. President Franklin D. Roosevelt kept Vice President Truman in the dark about the atomic bomb's development and it was not until Roosevelt died that Truman learned of the Manhattan Project.

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