Random #285 – 50 Random Interesting Facts You Need to Know

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26Hegesias of Cyrene

Hegesias of Cyrene

A book named “death by starvation” was written by Hegesias of Cyrene, a philosopher who believed that life was futile and advocated for suicide. The book became was so influential that it convinced a number of people to kill themselves. Subsequently, Hegesias was banned from teaching in Alexandria.

27. Robert Millikan disliked Einstein's theory that light consisted of particles (photons) and carefully designed experiments to disprove them, but ended up confirming the particle nature of light, and earned a Nobel Prize for that.

28. In a book named ‘Revolt’ (bunt), farm animals revolt and take over their farm in order to introduce equality, with things quickly denigrating into abuse and terror. The story was meant as a metaphor for the Bolshevik Revolution and was published 21 years before George Orwell’s Animal Farm.

29. US Senator William Proxmire of Wisconsin wanted the US to ratify the UN Genocide Convention. He gave a speech on the need to ratify it each day the Senate was in session from 1967-1986 (a total of 3,211 times) until the US Senate finally ratified it on Feb. 11th, 1986 in an 83-11 vote.

30. NASA uses Taco Bell tortillas for space missions. Bread has too many crumbs so they use tortillas for sandwiches, and NASA started making space tortillas. Taco Bell made a tortilla in the 90s with a 9-month shelf life, so NASA started using those instead.

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31Reindeer and Caribou

Reindeer and Caribou

Reindeer and Caribou are the same animals. In Europe, they are called reindeer. In North America, the animals are called caribou if they are wild and reindeer if they are domesticated.

32. Dogs would often dig up bodies and tombs in ancient Egypt, which was a problem because the dead and their belongings were sacred. So, the Egyptians gave the god Anubis a canine head and made him "protector of the dead."

33. The title of the Radiohead album "OK Computer" comes from a line in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: "OK, computer, I want full manual control now." The song "Paranoid Android" refers to "Hitchhiker" character Marvin, the Paranoid Android.

34. Maus is the only graphic novel, as of 2020, to win the Pulitzer Prize.

35. The Battle of Adwa in 1896 saw Ethiopia win a decisive victory against Italy, securing Ethiopia's independence for another 40 years. In that period Ethiopia was hailed as the only surviving African state to defeat a European colonial power in an open battle.

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36King George V

King George V

Queen Elizabeth's grandfather, King George V, was euthanized by his physician. The physician wrote in his journal that he euthanized the King so that his death would be announced in the morning newspapers, rather than the "less appropriate evening journals." 

37. Mel Gibson and Liam Neeson were largely considered to play James Bond in the movie "Goldeneye". Neeson turned it down because he wasn't interested in action films at the time and Gibson was too busy with his project "Braveheart" despite being recommended by Sean Connery. 

38. The novel ‘Finnegans Wake’ by James Joyce is so incomprehensible that no two plot summaries made have ever agreed with each other. Some have even said any attempt to work out the plot is impossible and a waste of time.

39. In Bugatti's world record video of the Chiron going from 0-400kmph-0, the one-shot scene of the car accelerating was achieved by simply using another Bugatti Chiron as the camera car because nothing else on set was fast enough to record the shot.

40. Gertrude Temple, Shirley Temple's mother tried to make her childhood as normal as possible. She asked the parents of Shirley's friends to not let their children see her films so they wouldn't treat her differently, and she withheld all of Shirley's fan mail until she was much older. 

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The term "420" was coined by five students in 1971 at San Rafael High School to signal a meetup at 4:20 p.m. by the campus’ statue of chemist Louis Pasteur to take a hit. They chose that specific time because extracurricular activities had usually ended by then.

42. In 1987, an engineer used a new computer program “rwall” to send a message to his university server. Instead, the program broadcasted the message to every user on the internet—including the Pentagon.

43. A 3600-year-old ancient Egyptian papyrus is the oldest known surgical text and contains the earliest recorded use of the word “brain” and suggests using raw meat to stop bleeding.

44. Russians eat ice cream in the winter to be warm.

45. Despite flopping massively, Grease 2 inspired an Indian remake (Premaloka). While Bollywood didn't make a remake of the original Grease, instead only focusing on the sequel, the movie became so successful the state of Karnataka had to grant a public leave day so people could watch the movie.

46Daniel Hoevels

Daniel Hoevels

In 2008, a German actor named Daniel Hoevels accidentally cut his own throat on stage in a “suicide scene” when he was given a real knife by mistake.

47. Spies can eavesdrop on a conversation from hundreds of feet away, just by watching a light bulb’s vibrations through a telescope.

48. Santa was skinny for most of his existence. In 1863, cartoonist Thomas Nast began drawing him with a huge stomach. Both the skinny and fat versions of Santa existed into the 1930s, when Coca Cola used a fat Santa in their advertisings, forever cementing that image in pop culture.

49. The “Desert of Maine” is a 40-acre tract of sand dunes caused by soil erosion from poor farming techniques. The area resembles a desert and has become a tourist attraction.

50. Steve Gerber, the creator of Howard the Duck lost the rights to Marvel but took him back in spirit by convincing Marvel to do a crossover with a new character of his and added a scene where Howard gets cloned and the real one leaves and changes his name to Leonard while a clone stays behind.

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