Random #292 – 50 Fascinating Random Facts

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26Mozart

Mozart had Tourette’s syndrome. 11 out of 25 people that were associated with him talked about “his perpetual movements and mannerisms, which were regarded as facial and bodily tics.”


27. Adam Mattocks is the only aviator to bail out of a B-52 cockpit without an ejector seat and survive. The B-52, he jumped out of, was carrying two 3.8-megaton Hydrogen bombs, before it crashed in North Carolina. Upon reaching an Air Force base to explain his story, Mattocks, who was African-American, was arrested for stealing a parachute.


28. American comedian Mike Birbiglia is a diagnosed sleepwalker who once jumped through a second-story window while dreaming that a missile was about to hit his hotel. Birbiglia restrains himself by sleeping in a sleeping bag and wearing mittens at night.


29. One of the worst books ever written is ‘English as She Is spoke’ which is a Portuguese-English phrasebook written by a man who did not speak English. He instead relied on a Portuguese-French phrasebook and a French-English dictionary. The reprinted version of this book now comes with a preface from Mark Twain, essentially espousing that “Nobody can add to the absurdity of this book, nobody can imitate it successfully, nobody can hope to produce its fellow; it is perfect.”


30. Caffeine increases the power of aspirin and other painkillers, which is why it is found in some medicines.


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31Iceland Foods

There is a grocery chain in the United Kingdom called Iceland Foods that once pursued legal action against Icelandic companies that used the name Iceland in their names. Iceland Foods was founded in 1970, while the country Iceland was established in 874.


32. Two Playstation 1 games featured a scratch and sniff disc. FIFA 2001 smelled like a soccer field and Grand Turismo 2 smelled like car tires.


33. In 1984, David Letterman introduced the world to “Velcro Jumping” by proving that with enough Velcro a man could stick to a wall. By the 1990s, it had become a favorite pub activity in New Zealand.


34. Ancient Egyptians would shave off their eyebrows when their cats died and shave off all body hair (including their head) when their dog died to mourn until it grew back.


35. The idea of Catholic Monks/Nuns taking a "vow of silence" never existed. The concept is a misunderstanding of "Monastic Silence" which established rules for time and place when speaking in a monastery. There was never a rule which required perpetual silence.


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36Sushruta

Sushruta, the first known plastic surgeon specialized in rhinoplasty i.e. nose reconstruction. This was important in ancient India as convicted criminals and women accused of adultery had their noses amputated as a mark of untrustworthiness. Rhinoplasty offered them a chance to escape the stigma.


37. A shoelace knot gets untied while running due to the foot striking the ground at 7G. As the knot loosens, the swinging leg applies an inertial force on the free ends of the laces, which rapidly leads to a failure of the knot in as few as 2 strides after inertia acts on the laces.


38. Georgi Dimitrov was an influential Bulgarian antifascist communist. In 1933, he was arrested by Nazis following the Reichstag fire. He refused juridical counsel, and his defense and conduct became so famous a popular saying spread: “There is only one brave man in Germany, and he is a Bulgarian.”


39. Snoop Dogg’s real name is Cordozar Calvin Broadus Jr. His “Snoop Dogg” nickname came from his mother who thought he looked like Snoopy from the Peanuts.


40. Aleen Cust was the first woman veterinary surgeon in the UK and Ireland. She practiced as a vet for 25 years before she was officially recognized by the RCVS (Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons). During this time, she owned her own practice and volunteered at the front lines of World War 2 treating horses.


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41Statue of Liberty

The star-shaped base of the Statue of Liberty was originally a fort built to defend against the British.


42. In 2018, Microsoft lowered a datacenter underwater, approximately 117 meters deep into the seafloor. The datacenter was proven to be more reliable than the ones on land as it was isolated from humidity, temperature fluctuations, and human accidents.


43. Lois Gibson is a forensic artist whose sketches have led to the arrest of over 1,200 criminals. One of her sketches was the first ever used on America’s Most Wanted, and she’s known for her uncanny accuracy.


44. Mary the Jewess was one of the first alchemical writers, living between the 1st and 3rd centuries A.D. She is credited with the invention of several kinds of chemical apparatus and is considered to be the first true alchemist of the Western world.


45. An aerodynamic wind tunnel was installed at the base of the Eiffel tower in 1909. The tunnel was used to carryout out thousands of tests, including those on Wright Brothers airplanes and Porsche automobiles. The tower had a laboratory used by scientists to study meteorology, physiology.


46Limonene

Extract from citrus peels called limonene was once used as an experimental liquid rocket fuel. It blanketed the entire testing area with the smell of lemon oil whenever it was fired.


47. The movie “The Wolf of Wall Street” set a Guinness World Records record for most swearing in one film. The movie used the f-word 506 times with an average of 2.81 times per minute.


48. The Gruen Transfer is a psychological phenomenon where a person feels lost in a shopping mall, due to its intentionally complex layout. This layout is designed to deliberately make people buy more impulsively. This phenomenon is named after the Austrian architect, Victor Gruen.


49. The orange balls on power lines are called visibility marker balls (or just marker balls, for short), and they help make power lines more obvious to low-flying aircrafts like planes and helicopters.


50. Thomas Edison tested over 1,600 different materials to find the right filament for the inside of his light bulbs including coconut fiber, fishing line, and hair. Edison and his team eventually figured out that carbonized bamboo was the best material for the job.

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