Random #282 – 50 Interesting Random Facts You Should Know

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26Misery

Stephen King’s character of Annie Wilkes in “Misery” was the personification of his severe addiction to cocaine and alcohol.


27. Helga de la Brache was a woman who grew up in lower-class circumstances but successfully posed as a Swedish princess for years. She even convinced the Swedish royal family who gave her a pension and “furniture befitting a princess.”


28. Harry Houdini in disguise often attended magic shows by people who claimed to be “spiritual mediums.” Knowing their trick, he would finally light a flashlight that left the deception in the open and stand up and cry “I am Houdini! And you are a fraud!”


29. The Netherlands loaned $2.5 million to John Adams, who was the ambassador to the Netherlands back in 1782. This was done in order to stabilize the US after their war of independence finished. In today's value that would be a loan of roughly $150 billion.


30. All of the vanilla produced in today’s world is pollinated by hand utilizing a technique developed by an enslaved boy back in 1841.


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31Tim Allen

In 1978, American actor Tim Allen was arrested after he was caught drug trafficking with over 650 grams of cocaine. He provided the names of other dealers in exchange for a sentence of 3-7 years than possible life imprisonment. Finally, he served two years and four months in federal prison.


32. Because of their massive balloons during Thanksgiving parades, Macy's is the second biggest consumer of Helium in the world after the US Military.


33. Food company Hormel offered a reward for information leading to the rescue of kidnap victim Jayme Closs. They paid out $25,000 to Jayme upon her escape, for "rescuing herself."


34. During the 1997 UK general election, the Liberal Democrats won the Winchester constituency by 2 votes. The Conservative incumbent legally challenged the result and secured a re-run of the election. The second time he lost by 21,556 votes.


35. Using a natural phenomenon called radiative cooling, the ancient Persians created ice, even when temperatures were above freezing.


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36Stink bombs

In World War 1, the British would fire giant stink bombs at the German trenches. The bombs smelled terrible but were harmless. This was done to compel the Germans to put on gasmasks, which made them less effective fighters, prior to an assault.


37. During World War 2, Aimo Koivunen became the first soldier to overdose on methamphetamine during combat. He entered into a state of delirium and became separated from his patrol for a week. In that time he was injured by a land mine, caught and ate a raw bird, and skied 400 km.


38. Production of alarm clocks in the US stopped in 1942, to direct resources towards the war effort. In 1944 production was restarted due to the number of workers arriving late because broken alarm clocks, and being unable to buy new ones.


39. Don Featherstone, the creator of the famous plastic Pink Garden Flamingo, also wore matching outfits with his wife every single day for 35 years.


40. There is a thing called the "sweater curse." Some knitters believe that knitting a sweater for a significant other and giving it to them as a gift will result in a breakup. A 2005 poll found that 15% of knitters have experienced it firsthand.


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41Church of the SubGenius

The Church of the SubGenius is a parody religion that satirizes better-known belief systems. Church members seek to acquire “Slack” through sex and avoidance of work.


42. Wolves make great foster parents and even adopt other species' offspring sometimes such as fox cubs.


43. An average individual in 1700s consumed 4 pounds of sugar annually. By 2009, 50% of Americans were consuming at least 180 pounds of sugar annually.


44. John Quincy Adams had a pool table installed in the White House that he enjoyed playing most days. This was something that his opponents and some dignitaries found scandalous.


45. There are “ghost islands” off the coast of Virginia that have been uninhabitable since 1936 as they act as a natural barrier to the coast during hurricane season. They are home to a feral horse population, a NASA flight facility, and the second tallest lighthouse in the United States.


46Richard Halliburton

The lowest toll ever paid for crossing Panama Canal was 36 cents by Richard Halliburton in 1928, who swam across the canal.


47. In 1856, businessman and aeronautics enthusiast Matías Pérez took flight in a hot air balloon at sunset in Cuba, and was never seen again. This incident originated the Cuban phrase, "Voló como Matías Pérez," (flew away like Matías Pérez) to refer to someone vanishing into thin air.


48. A Japanese warrior named Saitō Musashibō Benkei is said to have killed in excess of 300 trained soldiers by himself while defending a bridge. He was so fierce in close quarters that his enemies were forced to kill him with a volley of arrows. He died standing upright.


49. The disembodied hand of the Statue of Liberty sat in Madison Square for 6 years to raise money for the rest of the statue.


50. The original Hulk was not supposed to be green, but gray. Due to a printing error, the hulk showed up as green instead of grey.

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