Random #291 – 50 Interesting Random Facts Very Few People Know

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26Zuiikin' English

A 1992 Japanese TV show combined English lessons with gymnastic exercise programs. On the show, three gymnasts would perform synchronized exercises while chanting phrases like, "Hasta la vista, baby," "Spare me my life!", "I was robbed by two men!", and "I have a bad case of diarrhea."


27. A lot of people have died by following their GPS systems off cliffs, into lakes, and deep into the desert. These deaths are mainly attributed to “uncritical acceptance of turn-by-turn commands and paying more attention to the navigation system than what is in front of them.”


28. When Princess Diana died in 1997, the funeral's broadcast attracted an estimated 2.5 billion people worldwide, which makes it one of the biggest televised events in history.


29. German-American magicians Siegfried and Roy were fired from their first gig together for bringing a live cheetah on a cruise ship.


30. The Utah teapot is a computer rendered 3D model created in 1975 at the University of Utah, based on a Melitta teapot. It has since been used as a standard reference object in computer graphics community. The teapot maker only learnt of the product’s fame in 2017, whereupon they officially renamed it Utah Teapot.


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31Squanto

Squanto was a Native American of the Patuxet tribe who was taken from his home village, transported to Europe, conscripted into slavery, escaped, and made his way back to his homeland, only to find he was the last of his tribe.


32. American singer Cher was the first woman to regularly display her belly button on television, becoming the first woman to do so in front of a live studio audience in 1971.


33. Edvard Munch's famous painting "The Scream" was painted on cardboard.


34. Italian racing driver Alex Zanardi in 2001 crashed his racing car which ripped off his legs. Two years later, he had recovered enough to complete his remaining 13 laps with the help of prosthetics and hand controls. Zanardi overcame his injuries and resumed full-time racing again in 2004.


35. In 2012, doctors around the world voted the 1846 paper describing anesthesia as the most important discovery in modern medicine, ahead of things like antibiotics and X-Rays.


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36Hofner Bass

Paul McCartney's first Hofner bass used on iconic Beatles recordings was stolen from him at Twickenham Film Studios in 1969 and has never been found. This particular model was only produced for four months and is one of the most sought after instruments in rock history


37. At Boston’s Logan International Airport, two American flags fly above gates B-32 and C-19. These gates are where American Airlines flight 11 and United Airlines flight 175 departed from on 9/11.


38. The circumstances surrounding French playwright Molière’s death became legend. He was suffering from pulmonary tuberculosis. While performing in his last play he had written, he collapsed on stage, in a fit of coughing and hemorrhaging. He insisted on completing his performance and collapsed again, dying hours afterward.


39. In 1995, Hayao Miyazaki directed a cyberpunk shortfilm for a rock song after having writer's block. He purposely misinterpreted the lyrics to make the video cryptic to evoke creative interpretations among viewers. SciFi writers and magazines called it "the most perfect short science fantasy film."


40. Sir David Mathew was a Welsh knight who stood at 6’8” (2.03m). At the age of 60 he saved the life of Edward IV at the largest and bloodiest battle ever fought on British soil (the battle of Towton 1461). He died at the age of 84 in an ‘altercation.’


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41Twister

The first movie ever released on DVD was Twister.


42. The story of the Chernobyl power plant didn’t end with the tragedy of 1986. There was actually a second fire that broke out on Reactor 2 in 1991, and it wasn’t until 2000 that the last operating reactor was fully shut down.


43. After John Wilkes Booth assassinated Abraham Lincoln by shooting him the back of the head, the largest manhunt in US history, involving thousands of troops and countless civilians, tracked him down to a barn. As he attempted to escape, Sergeant Boston Corbett killed Booth by shooting him in the back of the head.


44. A hotel in Japan named Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan has been running for over 1300 years, ever since it started operating in 705 A.D. It has been open and owned by over 52 generations of the same family, which still operates it today.


45. Bebop legend Dizzy Gillespie ran for president in 1964. Though it started as a joke, he kept it up in part because proceeds from his campaign merchandise went to Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


46Dragonfly

A dragonfly can live for 5 years but only develops wings in the last 2-4 months of its life. During its second stage of life, the nymph lives a water-bound existence where it molts (sheds skin) up to 12 times before developing wings.


47. Saving data to an SSD, RAM, flash memory, etc. increases its weight by an extremely small amount. One calculation states that 1GB of flash memory completely filled with 1s weighs something like 729 femtograms more than the same memory filled with zeros.


48. Predatory dragonflies the size of modern seagulls were present on the earth about 300 million years ago. The leading theory suggests that their large size was due to high oxygen concentrations (over 30% unlike the 21% today) in the atmosphere.


49. Dorothy Levitt was one of the first British female racing drivers. In her column for women, she advised women on a car to buy, how to dress while driving, and items to bring, including gloves, an extra handkerchief, a clean veil, a powder-puff, hair-pins, a hand mirror, chocolates, and a gun.


50. Queen Victoria's engagement ring was shaped like a serpent. Prince Albert designed the ring by himself. During this time, serpents were a popular symbol of love. They are also an ancient Roman symbol for everlasting love.

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