Random #282 – 50 Interesting Random Facts You Should Know

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1Gordon Ramsay

Gordon Ramsay set up a business inside a London prison that taught inmates how to bake and sold the goods on the outside, providing the prison with financial support while giving the inmates work experience they could use to find honest work after their sentence.


2. In 2007, Rockstar Games allowed fans to call a number and rant about what they thought was wrong with America. The best calls were featured on a radio station in "Grand Theft Auto IV."


3. America's oldest, unbroken treaty relationship is with Morocco, which was the first nation to recognize the US. The treaty was signed by Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Sultan Muhammad III. It has lasted 232 years and is called the "Treaty of Friendship."


4. Air traffic controllers get a break every 2 hours. When controllers remain "on position" for more than 2 hours without a break, performance can deteriorate rapidly, even at low traffic levels.


5. Dwight D. Eisenhower wanted to attend his son John's graduation from West Point, but was unable to do so because he was "a bit too busy with work." On graduation day - June 6, 1944 - the elder Eisenhower was overseeing the Allied invasion of Normandy.


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6Drayton Daugherty

A doctor named Drayton Daugherty cured a dying man by pretending to undo a voodoo hex in a last-ditch effort after modern medicine didn't work. The man believed he was cured and lived for ten more years.


7. A teenager named Evel Knievel, while working at a copper mine, popped a wheelie with a piece of heavy machinery. He hit a power line, causing the city of Butte, Montana to lose power for several hours.


8. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess was written over a period of three weeks after he was misdiagnosed with brain cancer and given a year to live. He decided to spend that year writing five novels to provide for his wife after his death. Ironically, he outlived her.


9. The 1960s was the heyday for the Quicksand trope - almost 3% of films showed characters sinking in clay, mud, or sand.


10. The German candy "Werther's Original", was purposefully marketed in the 1990s as being a candy that grandparents would give to their grandchildren.


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11Pekin Noodle Parlor

The oldest still-operating Chinese restaurant in the USA is not in New York or San Francisco, but in Butte, Montana, where the Pekin Noodle Parlor has been business since 1911.


12. Mapmakers used to plant fictitious streets in their maps, so that if a person copied their map, they could point out the replication of the fake street to prove copyright infringement.


13. When Nelson Mandela left the prison gates in 1990, one newsman shoved a modern microphone in his face. He recoiled slightly, wondering if it were some newfangled weapon that had been developed while he was in prison.


14. Octopuses are immune to the stings of various types of jellyfish. They know this and will often rip off the stings of man-o-war (species closely related to jellyfish) and use them as whips to defend themselves from larger predators.


15. American boxer John Morrissey went from being a famous gambler during the Gold Rush to a heavyweight boxing champ to the boss of the Irish mob to a New York senator to Grand Sachem of Tammany Hall, which basically controlled New York politics for the Gilded Age, all before dying at 47 years old.


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16Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Sentinels guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier wear no rank insignia, ensuring that the guard is always junior in rank to whoever is buried in the tomb.


17. Bilingual reduced emotional resonance is a fairly well-established phenomenon where many bilinguals report “feeling less” in their second language, which might make it easier to use highly emotional vocabulary, and swear.


18. In Russian culture "British Scientists," is a running joke and Internet meme used as an ironic reference to absurd news reports about scientific discoveries, particularly ones that have no practical value. For example, "British scientists debunked the myth that mice love cheese."


19. Scheherazade, the storyteller from One Thousand and One Nights tells her stories (Aladdin, Sinbad, ...) to the monarch so that he would stop marrying and killing a new virgin every day after his first wife betrayed him. He had already killed 1001 women when they met.


20. Viagra is given to some premature babies to increase oxygen transport by widening the blood vessels, as their lungs often haven't developed enough to transport oxygen efficiently on their own.


21Soviet Union

The Soviet Union was issued “.su”, a top-level internet domain just before its 1991 collapse. The domain was never deactivated and has since become a haven for cybercriminals due to its lack of regulation.


22. George McClellan, the mayor of New York in 1904, was to symbolically start the first train at City Hall station and the hand it over to an engineer. However, he enjoyed himself so much that he refused to stop controlling the train until he reached 103rd street.


23. Cards Against Humanity was initially named 'Cardenfreude', a pun on 'Schadenfreude', which is the experience of joy that comes from the humiliation of someone else.


24. 95% of Mongols are lactose intolerant yet eat a diet that consists heavily of dairy products.


25. The Northern Great Plains was home to many fortified Native American towns, beginning in the 800s and existing all the way until the 1880s. These towns had over a thousand residents and a plaza centric layout. These were sedentary towns where people lived year-round.

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