Random #308 – 50 Awesome Random Facts

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26Paradoxical Undressing

Just before lethal hypothermia, a person will undress themselves because they perceive themselves to be burning up when indeed they’re freezing (paradoxical undressing). Consequently, people frozen to death are often found naked and misidentified as a victim of a violent crime.


27. Back in Roman times, people used to celebrate the New Year in the month of the first harvest after winter, which was March. That makes March the first month of the year, and Sept, Oct, Nov, and Dec indeed the 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th months.


28. The US dollar bill has remained unchanged since 1929. US government believes no one would take the trouble of counterfeiting such a low denomination currency and hence it does not need the fancy updates or security features seen in the higher value currencies.


29. Natalee Holloway, who disappeared in 2005 while on a senior trip with her high school to Aruba, has never been found, and her disappearance/murder has never been solved, even though the lead suspect, Joran van der Sloot, was convicted of murdering another girl 5 years later in Peru.


30. In 2019, Pope Francis approved changing the lord’s prayer. The phrase “lead us not into temptation” changed to “do not let us fall into temptation”. He said the original was a bad translation because it suggested God caused the temptation.


31Goodyear Tire Company

The Goodyear Tire company was not founded by Charles Goodyear, the inventor of vulcanized rubber. Charles died penniless trying in vain to protect his patents. Brothers Frank and Charles Seiberling started the rubber company in 1898 and named it in honor of Goodyear.


32. Sarah Forbes Bonetta was an admitted genius and royal of the Yoruba tribe's Oyo Empire. She was given to Queen Victoria in 1850 as a present after her parents were decapitated and her siblings sold in the Atlantic slave trade. She would be raised as the Queen’s Goddaughter.


33. In 1888, an Egyptian farmer discovered a cavern packed with tens of thousands of mummified cats dating back to ancient Egyptian times. They were sold to British merchants by the ton and were mainly used in Liverpool as fertilizer.


34. Juno Beach was originally going to be named Jelly Beach, but Churchill disapproved of the name, finding it to be undignified “for a beach on which so many men might die.”


35. Tondrakians were members of an anti-feudal, heretical Christian sect that flourished in Armenia who advocated the abolition of the Church, denied the immortality of the soul, afterlife, the church, and its feudal rights. They supported property rights for peasants, and equality between men and women.


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36Hormonal Cycle in Men

Men also have a hormonal cycle in which varying levels of testosterone affects mood, sex drive, and behaviors whilst simultaneously being responsive to cues in a woman's hormonal cycle; however, the outward signs displayed are not as evident as a woman’s monthly cycle.


37. Australians developed Vegemite because they couldn't wait for Marmite supplies to resume after World War I.


38. Camels can be larger than moose, run up to 40mph, live close to 40 years in the wild, and are more intelligent/emotional than horses.


39. Raccoons have extremely sensitive front paws, and often moisten objects to “see” them better with their paws (largely to determine if they are food).


40. Dmitry Glukhovsky wrote the novel “Metro 2033” when he was 18. He published the novel on his website available for free. This eventually led to a video game deal with 4A Games and a comic deal with Dark Horse comics.


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41Memorial Day Observance

Some of the slaves freed from Charleston, South Carolina during the civil war organized a March at a race track where union soldiers had died in what is known as the first memorial day observance (a year before other states, and 3 years prior to the first national observance).


42. Thomas Selfridge was the first person to be killed in an airplane crash in 1908. The propeller shattered mid-flight and the plane nose-dived into the ground. Selfridge hit his head on the framework and died from a skull fracture. The pilot of the plane was Orville Wright.


43. Leading up to Normandy, MI-5 conducted one of the largest military deception efforts to convince the Germans that a landing would instead take place at Calais; going so far as to fake a whole army, with radio messages of “coded” gibberish, fake vehicles, and ersatz camps to fool recon planes.


44. In 1984, British new wave pop group Thompson Twins released a video game on a vinyl record. Players had to copy the game from the vinyl disc to a cassette tape, which could then be played on a ZX Spectrum or Commodore 64 computer.


45. William Shatner filmed Leonard Nimoy secretly during a convention appearance to include as footage in his film without Nimoy’s permission, prompting Nimoy's refusal to ever speak to him again. Shatner never understood why.


46Chimps vs Bonobos

Chimps have a closely related counterpart called bonobos. While chimps are violent and cannibalistic, bonobos are very passive and often appease each other with sex.


47. Allergan is a company in Ireland that produces about 90% of the world's commercial Botox. Allergan only produces the finished product (a thin almost invisible film on the inside of the vials) and the toxin itself is produced in Irvine, California. Once a year it is shipped, and only a few people on either side know when it's coming. The amount shipped that satisfies 90% of the global commercial market is just 1 gram. 5 grams are made in Irvine a year, with the other four going to DoD.


48. When Leonid Brezhnev was the head of government of the Soviet Union, he awarded himself the Hero of the Soviet Union for his birthday in 1966, 1976, 1978, and 1981.


49. Eating food containing uncooked flour can give you food poisoning. Bacteria are killed only when food made with flour is cooked. In 2016 and 2019, two outbreaks of E. coli infections linked to raw flour made more than 80 people sick. One should avoid tasting or eating raw dough or batter.


50. Herbert Hoover’s last known written words were a get-well message to his friend Harry Truman, six days before his death, after he heard that Truman had sustained injuries from slipping in a bathroom.

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