Random #308 – 50 Awesome Random Facts

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1Soul

Before any details of Pixar’s ‘Soul’ were made public, a Black chauffeur told Kemp Powers (the film’s co-writer & co-director) that he knew Pixar was making a Black movie because he had never driven so many Black people to Pixar before.


2. Shrek was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”


3. A psychologist adopted a Chimpanzee and raised it alongside their own human baby boy, to see if the Chimp could grow up to behave/think like a human. Eventually, the Chimp hit a cognitive wall and no amount of training or nurturing could overcome the fact that he was a Chimpanzee.


4. Jared Hess had a $400,000 budget for “Napoleon Dynamite”, relying on the generosity of the locals of Preston, Idaho, to provide housing and food for crew members. Jon Heder was initially only paid $1000 for starring as Napoleon.


5. In 1998, Tom and Eileen Lonergan, a married couple, were left behind during a diving trip to the Great Barrier Reef. Two days passed before anyone realized what had happened. Despite a 5-day search, the couple was never found. A dive slate was later recovered which read “... rescue us before we die...”


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6Kalpana Chawla

Kalpana Chawla, one of the astronauts killed in the Columbia tragedy, knew Steve Morse of Deep Purple and had even taken the band’s “Machine Head” album to space with her on the mission. Morse wrote a song called “Contact Lost” as a tribute to her.


7. The person who graduates last in his class during the United States Military Academy at West Point graduation ceremony each year is called “the goat,” joining an exclusive club whose members include Civil War hero General George Custer.


8. The world record for eating three 72-oz steaks (more than 6 kg) is held by Molly Schuyler, a 120lb Sacramento woman, who ate them in 20 minutes.


9. More than half of the oxygen you breathe comes from marine photosynthesizers, like phytoplankton and seaweed.


10. When the Red Cross got suspicious and demanded to see what’s happening inside Nazi camps, the Nazis created a ‘model’ camp. They planted gardens, repainted buildings, and prisoners were forced to play “happy” workers. The two delegates were successfully tricked during their visit in 1944.


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11Doughnut Machine

The first doughnut machine was made in 1920 to meet the demand for doughnuts as a breakfast food item following WW1. Adolph Levitt, a Jewish refugee who came to America fleeing czarist Russia, designed the machine and began selling fried doughnuts from his Harlem bakery in New York City.


12. A hairless cyclops deformed piglet was stillborn in 1642 and it looked so much like a local man, George Spencer that he was brought before a magistrate on suspicion of unnatural relations. He confessed and recanted, but ultimately Spencer was hanged and the mother pig was put to the sword.


13. Jamie Farr, Alan Alda, and Mike Farrell, who starred in the TV show M*A*S*H all actually were in the military and served in Korea (after the war). Farr wore his actual dog tags on the show.


14. The Jewish religion does not allow cooking/eating meat and dairy together because it is considered cruel to cook an animal in the very milk that was meant to nourish it.


15. L Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology, believed that tomatoes felt pain and said that if it is quiet enough, you can hear them scream when they are sliced.


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16Rats in Water

Rats left unaided in water will drown in a just few minutes if they feel hopeless, but if they know there is hope of being rescued they will swim for days.


17. Rats can be trained to detect a chemical compound within explosives, meaning they ignore scrap metal and can search for mines more quickly. An African giant pouched rat named Magawa has been awarded a prestigious gold medal for his work detecting land mines.


18. The body of Alexander the Great has been lost over time. It was well-known to be in Alexandria, Egypt for centuries and was even worshipped for a while, but its exact location has apparently been forgotten.


19. After their characters unsuccessfully flirted in Jurassic Park, Jeff Goldblum and Laura Dern actually dated and got engaged.


20. USDA requires Salisbury Steaks to be a minimum of 65% meat, of which up to 25% can be pork.


21Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower was originally intended to stand from 1889 to 1909 but was saved due to its use as an army radio transmitter. Its concession was extended for the next 70 years, to 1980, lasting beyond as a tourist attraction and receiving regular modifications such as television broadcasting.


22. Chinese Mythology also has a Great Flood Myth. Unlike the Biblical story, humans fought the flood, led by the mythical heroes Prince Gun and his son, Yu the Engineer, who battled evil demons & solicited the aid of gods and dragons to build massive drainage basins and mighty dams to end the flooding.


23. Pom-Pom Crabs are small crabs that hold anemones in their small pinchers and will replace lost anemones by splitting the one left into two. This is the first known case of one animal stimulating another animal to reproduce asexually.


24. Actor Hugh Laurie was one of the highest-paid actors in television drama, earning $409,000 (£250,000) for each episode of the television series ‘House.’


25. The ‘Bermuda Triangle’ isn’t statistically more dangerous than almost any other place on the world’s oceans per capita, though the traffic there is just much higher.

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