Random #305 – 50 Incredible Random Facts You Didn’t Know

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26Pursuivant

The lowest-paid job in the United Kingdom is pursuivant to the King of Arms. The wage is £13.95 per year. The position hasn't seen a wage rise since the 1500s. Their job is to advise the monarchy on matters of ceremony.


27. Jürgen Hinzpeter was the only journalist to film massacres during the government suppression of the democratic uprising in the South Korean city of Gwangju in 1980. His footage was delivered to Germany and broadcast worldwide. In the 2000s, he was honored by South Korea for his efforts.


28. J.P. Morgan was so good at taking over troubled businesses, organizing their structure and management to start making stable profits that the term “Morganization” was coined by the banking and finance industry. This reputation made him the most successful banker and financier in America’s history.


29. In 1443, King Sejong single-handedly created Hangul, the Korean alphabet, in response to the immense difficulty that common people faced in learning Chinese characters. The publication date of the document revealed in 1446 detailing the new alphabet is now a national holiday in both Koreas.


30. During the Korean War, American and Greek soldiers at Outpost Harry defended against multiple Chinese assaults of far greater numbers. At times being outnumbered 30:1, massive artillery bombardments and intense hand-to-hand fighting were daily occurrences. The Chinese failed to take the outpost.


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31Blasters

For the movie Star Wars, the sound designer for the Stormtrooper's blasters came up with the sound of the blaster during a family backpacking trip. He hit the guy-wire of an AM radio transmitter tower with a hammer and recorded the sound with a microphone close to the impact.


32. Former Dunkin' Donuts spokesman Fred the Baker (played by actor Michael Vale) was so beloved by the public that he was given an official retirement including a parade in Boston and free donuts for 6 million people.


33. “The Doll Test” found that given a choice between Black dolls and white dolls, most Black children preferred to play with white dolls. This study was later cited as a factor in the Brown v. Board of Education decision.


34. Time Team was the biggest funder of archaeological digs in the United Kingdom. The TV show also produced more research papers than any other archaeology group or university in the country. The show is credited for increasing the number of people interested in archaeology.


35. Alexander Yuvchenko was a survivor of the Chernobyl disaster. Most will recognize him as the man who holds the reactor door open in Episode 1 of the HBO show. Many assumed he had died, but he in fact survived his exposure to the radiation, living for another 22 years after the accident.


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36Sun Li Jen

Sun Li Jen, a commander of the Republic of China during World War 2 was known as “Rommel of the East” due to his military achievements in various campaigns. He is considered the most capable Chinese field commander during World War 2. He spent the last 30 years of his life under house arrest in Taiwan due to suspicions of collaborating with the CIA.


37. Kentaro Miura, the author of the manga series Berserk, was so meticulous that he would often go pixel-by-pixel in digital drawing software meant to streamline his inking and drawing process.


38. In 1937, a woman named Hallie Latham disappeared. Her body wasn’t discovered until 3 years later by fishermen in the Crescent Lake of Washington State, and due to the cold water and minerals present in the lake, her body was perfectly preserved and in fact turned into a soap-like substance.


39. The last recorded sword duel took place in France in 1967 after French politician Gaston Defferre yelled "Taisez-vous, abruti" (Shut up, stupid) at René Ribière after an argument at the French parliament. Ribière demanded an apology, Defferre refusesd, so Ribière demanded a duel. René Ribière lost the duel, having been wounded twice. He escaped relatively uninjured, however.


40. American-born British inventor Hiram Maxim took out ads in the local paper to warn his neighbors in West Norwood on the days he was planning to test-fire his prototype machine gun in the back garden.


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41Ant Undertakers

In an ant colony, there are ant ‘undertakers’ whose sole job is to remove dead ants from the nest and take them to a trash pile.


42. Cortlandt Alley in New York City serves as the movie shoot location for almost all alley scenes filmed in the city. This is because, contrary to popular conception, there are not many alleys in New York City.


43. Denver, Colorado rejected the 1976 Winter Olympics by referendum after bidding for and winning selection to hold the Games. It is the only time a city has rejected the Games after they had been awarded.


44. The first road vehicle to go over 100 kilometers per hour (62 mph) was a Belgian electric vehicle. Camille Jenatzy accomplished this feat in a car he designed himself, "La Jamais contente" (Never Satisfied), set a road speed record of 105.88 km/h on 29 April 1899, in Achères.


45. The Chinese town of Qiaotou has been nicknamed the “button capital of the world.” Around 60% of the world’s supply of clothing buttons is produced there, as well as 80% of the world’s zippers.


46Halloween Whopper

Burger King discontinued its Halloween Whopper that had a black dyed bun after customers started reporting that their poop was turning green after eating it.


47. The “singing” Colossi of Memnon are two large statues of Pharoah Amenhotep III that have been described throughout history to be making low moaning, whistling, or blowing noises due to vaporizing dew escaping from cracks within the statues.


48. King’s Hawaiian Bread was founded by an Okinawan immigrant to Hawaii who based it on the sweet bread that fellow sugar plantation workers from Portugal made and is no longer made in Hawaii but comes from Torrance in Los Angeles


49. The Italian dessert, Tiramisù, was meant to be a natural aphrodisiac as it was invented in a brothel and it literally means “pick me up.”


50. The Lewis chessmen are 12th-century chess pieces that have been carved from walrus ivory. Being discovered in 1831 on the Island of Lewis, Outer Hebrides, Scotland they may constitute some of the few complete, surviving medieval chess sets. The hoard contained 93 artifacts: 78 chess pieces, 14 tablemen, and one belt buckle.

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