Random #302 – 50 Mind Blowing Random Facts

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26Stu Sutcliffe

Nine months after Stu Sutcliffe left the Beatles to pursue a career in painting, he died of a brain hemorrhage at the age of 21.


27. Pennantia baylisiana a.k.a. the world’s rarest tree, native to New Zealand, has been rescued from extinction after 40 years of trying to get the very last female tree in the world to fruit again.


28. All Formula 1 cars must be fitted with a wood plank on their undercarriage prior to each race. The plank enforces a minimum clearance on the cars and is examined following the race for excessive wearing, which would indicate a violation of clearance rules.


29. William Wrigley, the founder of Wrigley’s Gum, invented direct mail marketing. In 1915, he mailed a pack of gum to every person in the phone directory in the United States.


30. Back when the NYC subway system used tokens, people called “token suckers” would jam token slots with paper and suck out the tokens with their mouth. To prevent this, some attendants would sprinkle chili powder in the slots.


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31Ernest Hemingway

During World War 2, Ernest Hemingway used his fishing boat named after his ex-wife (Pilar) to hunt German U-boats in the Caribbean armed only with Thomson machine guns and hand grenades. He was given unlimited gasoline by the US government.


32. In 1985, Takahashi Meijin (real name Takahashi Toshiyuki) became a celebrity in Japan when he managed the feat of pressing a button on a video game controller 16 times in one second on television. It's still a world record.


33. In 2009, Muammar Gadaffi invited 500 Italian models to a party, only to give them an hour lecture on Islam and a copy of the Quran each.


34. Over the last decade, there have been at least 15 cases of athletes who have died from over-hydration during sporting events. Too much fluid consumption can cause serious health issues by diluting the sodium in the blood, which creates a swelling of the brain and lungs.


35. Henry VIII was sometimes called "Old Coppernose." He issued debased coins to fund wars and one coin was mostly copper with a thin layer of silver on top. The coin had a portrait of Henry and his projecting nose caused the silver to wear off first exposing the copper underneath.


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36Alice Cooper

In 1978, Alice Cooper donated $27,000 to help restore the famous HOLLYWOOD sign. He sponsored an "O" in memory of his friend, Groucho Marx.


37. The vocal effect used in the song Zombie by The Cranberries is known as 'keening'. This is a wailing sound used in Ireland to mourn the dead at funerals.


38. The lyrics to Michael Jackson's "Smooth Criminal" was inspired by the CPR doll Resusci Anne, a dummy that is used to teach people how to properly perform CPR. Trainees are taught to ask "Annie, are you OK?" while performing CPR on the dummy.


39. Research has found that after intense workout or exhaustion, the “hand on knees” posture resulted in superior heart rate recovery and greater tidal volume (the amount of air inhaled into the lungs with each breath) compared to the “hands on head” posture.


40. The role of U.S. First Lady does not need to go to the president's wife. Prior First Ladies include nieces and daughters-in-law of the sitting president.


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41Unfocusing Eyes

Not everyone can unfocus their eyes whenever they want to. It's accomplished by having the ability to relax the ciliary muscles in your eyes, which causes them to lose their focusing powers.


42. Limping was a fad in Victorian England. Young women admired the genuine limp of Alexandra of Denmark, the bride of the Prince of Wales. So, women went around fake limping, dubbed the "Alexandra Limp." Shopkeepers at the time sold pairs of shoes with one high heel and one low.


43. Our stomach has to constantly secrete mucus to stop itself from being digested by our own stomach acid. Without that mucus, our stomach acid would eat through our stomach’s lining.


44. One in every 1500 people has something called Voluntarily Piloerection, the ability to consciously give themselves goosebumps. The phenomenon both perplexes and intrigues neurophysiologists because it defies conventional understanding of how the unconscious nervous system operates.


45. Will Sampson had never acted before playing Chief in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. The producers were just looking for a tall Native American and chose the 6'7" (2.01 meters) Sampson after a car dealer called them and said “the biggest sonofab*tch Indian came in the other day!”


46Muse Band

In 2017, the British band Muse invited ticket-holders for an upcoming gig in London to vote online for 10 songs that they wanted to be added to the setlist. Fans immediately flooded the poll with votes for 15-year-old B-sides and tracks that the band had never played live before.


47. In 1967, Soviet cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov died in an accident on the Soyuz 1 mission, making him the first human to die in a space flight. He was aware of the faulty design of the shuttle and specifically asked the authorities to give him an open casket funeral after the mission.


48. In the 70s, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, tried creating its own artificial coral reef by dumping some 2 million used tires into the ocean. It became an environmental disaster, naturally, but also a military training exercise when divers had to retrieve the tires (almost one by one).


49. In the 1930s, the US spent $300,000 ($5.5 million adjusted for inflation) to build a massive car (Antarctic Snow Cruiser) with the goal to cross Antarctica. They discovered upon arrival that the tires didn't work in the snow, and the whole thing was abandoned after 140 km (driven in reverse).


50. Jane Stanford, the founder of Stanford University, was murdered by strychnine poisoning. The president of the university at the time, David Starr Jordan, was suspected of covering up the murder. The killer was never found.

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