Random #283 – Fascinating Random Facts

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26Radiation cat

In 1981, a group of scientists met to discuss ways of making future humans aware of nuclear waste disposal sites. One idea was genetically engineering cats to change color in the presence of radiation and introducing a cultural idea to run away when you see a cat change color.


27. Henry Rathbone, the other man in the balcony with Lincoln the night he was assassinated was so consumed with guilt over not having prevented it that he slowly went mad and eventually stabbed his wife to death and tried to kill his children before he was committed to a mental asylum for the rest of his life.


28. The U.S. Air Force had a doomsday weapon named SLAM. It was a rocket that was designed to fly fast and low over the Soviet Union, dropping hydrogen bombs over predetermined targets while its unshielded nuclear reactor contaminated everything in its path.


29. Despite censoring "dirty" language in songs, Kidz Bop has been criticized due to changing only individual lyrics and not the overall meaning and themes of songs. A University of Colorado professor called Kidz Bop "an abomination" due to it only censoring lyrics and not the overall content.


30. Iceland has the highest number of authors per head, and one in ten Icelandic people will publish a book in their lifetime.


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31McDonald's burger

A McDonald's burger doesn't rot, not because there are any mysterious chemicals in it, but because low moisture and dehydration basically turns it into a jerky.


32. In February 2020, a photographer snapped a rare photo of the only known pink manta ray near Australia. It likely has a genetic mutation causing the unusual coloration.


33. In 2013, Detroit was so broke that they were unable to print out death certificates because they had not been able to pay the company that provided the special embossed paper on which they were printed, and subsequently ran out.


34. Studies by the IIHS and Federal Highway Administration have shown that roundabouts typically achieve a 37% reduction in overall collisions, a 75% reduction in injury collisions and a 90 percent reduction in fatality collisions.


35. In 2007, six US cruise missiles with the nuclear warheads were mistakenly loaded onto a bomber, not reported missing, and remained mounted for 36 hours with no security precautions for nuclear weapons implemented.


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36Asbestos

Before asbestos was seen as hazardous, a Han dynasty general had a jacket made from it. He would pretend to spill wine on it at dinners. Then he'd throw it into a fire and pull it out to show it was still intact to impress his guests.


37. Our brains do not necessarily process everything as that would be an overload of information. A study from 2016 found that under the influence of LSD, the brain recruited many more regions for visual processing than normal, enriching the images people saw even when their eyes were shut.


38. Bobby Farrell, the member of the group Boney M., famous for the song Rasputin, died on the 30th of December in St. Petersburg, the same date and place that Grigori Rasputin died.


39. Pinot noir (red wine) became considerably more popular among consumers as a result of the film Sideways. Throughout the film, the main character speaks fondly of Pinot Noir while denigrating Merlot. A study estimated that Sideways cost American Merlot farmers over US$400 million in lost revenue.


40. UK's highest-paid entertainer in World War 2, George Formby, went to Normandy after the landings and gave 9 shows to frontline troops who’d held out for 56 days without relief, his audience in foxholes. He also crawled through trenches to tell jokes when the enemy was too close for a show.


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41PTSD

Following a traumatic event, a person may develop a sense of a foreshortened future, which is currently considered an avoidance symptom of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). They may also feel as though they won't be able to reach milestones in their life, such as a career or marriage.


42. 900-year-old African coins were found on the coast of Australia, making them the oldest foreign artifacts found on the continent, predating the Europeans by centuries.


43. An American actor named James Stewart rose from the rank of Private to Colonel in only 4 years during his World War 2 military service, and eventually became a Brigadier General, making him the highest-ranking actor in American military history.


44. George B. McClellan, the mayor of New York in 1904, was to symbolically start the first train at City Hall station and 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.


45. The word "skunk" is derived from a word that literally means pee fox.


46Boone Helm

Boone Helm was an old-west serial killer and cannibal who, at his execution, yelled “Hurrah for Jeff Davis! Let 'er rip!” and then jumped off of the hangman’s box before the executioner could kick it away.


47. While the Beach Boys sang a lot of songs about surfing, only one member of the band, Drummer Dennis Wilson, could actually surf.


48. The upper limit for Yu-Gi-Oh! decks is 60 cards because someone once entered a tournament with a more than 2000 cards deck and that wasn't illegal at the time.


49. As a kid, Ice-T had his bike stolen. When he told his father about it; he simply shrugged and said: “Well, then, you ain’t got no bike.” Ice-T then stole parts from various bicycles and assembled “three or four weird-looking, brightly-painted bikes” from the parts. His father never even noticed.


50. Koalas sleep 18-22 hours a day due to the daily strain on their system to digest toxic Eucalyptus.

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