Random #313 – 50 Little Known Random Facts

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26Miami Marlins Stadium

When the Miami Marlins built their new stadium, they consulted NASA to make sure no one could hit a home run of more than 500 feet. Aaron Judge hit one 513 feet at the Home Run Derby in 2017.


27. In 1299, Florence banned the use of Arabic numerals in banking, and in 1348 Padua outlawed zero. The bankers switched to having two sets of books: one with Roman numerals to show authorities, and another with Arabic, to do calculations.


28. Saddam Hussein once burned his son Uday’s car collection, consisting of hundreds of rare, luxury cars, as punishment for Uday’s shooting at a dinner party, which killed several people and injured Saddam's half-brother.


29. There is a religion in Vietnam called Caodaism. Its followers believe in a single god who sent many prophets. Some of these prophets include Buddha, Confucius, Jesus Christ, Muḥammad, Pericles, Julius Caesar, Joan of Arc, Victor Hugo, and Sun Yat-sen. It even has a Holy See and Pope figure.


30. Ford Motor Company paid for an uncensored, commercial free airing of Schindler’s List in Primetime on NBC in 1997. It included two short intermissions with countdown clocks.


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31California Condor Louse

The California condor louse exclusively parasitizes the California condor. During efforts to save the condor from extinction, it became extinct itself due to all condors being deloused. This led to major debates about the ethics of saving one species from extinction by killing another.


32. While Austria derives its name from the Germanic for East, Australia gets its name from the Latin for South.


33. PEZ Candy was invented in Vienna, Austria by Eduard Haas III as an alternative to smoking.


34. While many states in the USA have an official food or state fruit, Oklahoma is the only state with an official meal. The full meal is upwards of 2000 calories. A bill to repeal the official meal due to health concerns failed to pass.


35. In 1938, the Chinese caused an intentional flood in an attempt to stop the advance of Japanese troops. It is estimated that 400,000-900,000 people died due to the flood.


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36Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream was invented by Ben and Jerry’s in 1984 after a fan anonymously listed it as an idea on their ‘flavor board.’


37. In 1991, a plane crashed after an inspector from the afternoon shift started repair by unscrewing 30 screws, but failed to pass the information when changing shifts. The plane then fell from 3 km height, killing everyone on board.


38. The royalties for The Verve’s “Bitter Sweet Symphony” now go to its songwriter Richard Ashcroft, after Mick Jagger and Keith Richards finally agreed in 2019 to grant him the authorship of the song and all the future royalties it generates.


39. Key Limes were considered a weed until The Great Freeze of 1894-95 destroyed Florida’s lemon groves. Farmers replanted “Mexican” limes and they became known as “Florida Key Limes, a beloved regional crop.”


40. The inside of the Leaning Tower of Pisa is completely empty.


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41Japanese Firestorms

Hiroshima and Nagasaki were just 2 of dozens of Japanese cities subjected to massive incendiary attacks. Firestorms leveled almost 100 square miles in Japan's three largest cities (Tokyo, Osaka, and Nagoya) alone. Hundreds of thousands were killed and millions were forced to evacuate.


42. There is a breed of horse called the Yakutian that is native to Siberia. Bulkier than other horse breeds, it has extremely long hair for its coat and can withstand temperatures as low a -70°C (-94°F).


43. The Statue of Liberty was a recycled idea originally meant for Egypt. The original statue was to be called “Egypt Carrying the Light to Asia” and the statue was to sit at the entrance of the Suez Canal. The project was rejected due to its cost and the idea was recycled to be “The Statue of Liberty.”


44. The Sunshine 60 building is a skyscraper in Japan, which is considered haunted in modern folklore. It was built over the former Sugamo Prison, the place where many high-ranking Japanese war criminals, the most famous of which was Hideki Tojo, were held and eventually executed.


45. The School of the Americas has had more graduates become dictators than any other school in history.


46Pete Goss

Pete Goss is a British yachtsman who turned back during the 1996 Vendee Globe race to save a fellow competitor, Raphael Dinelli. Goss sailed into hurricane-force winds for two days to reach Dinelli; who was said to have been clutching a bottle of champagne when he was pulled from the sea.


47. The last surviving palace eunuch of the Chinese Empire only died in 1996. His family was desperate for money and he was castrated at the age of 9 in 1911, and the last Emperor of China abdicated only a few months later.


48. Former tallest woman in the world, Sandy Allen (7’7” or 2.31m), never married saying that she was “an old-fashioned girl” and would not date a man shorter than her.


49. The Oregon Trail (1971) videogame is actually older than Pong (1972). It was originally developed for use by a school teacher in Minnesota as a history lesson.


50. No. 2 pencils became the standard primarily due to the electrical conductivity of its lead (graphite). Early scanning-and-scoring machines couldn't detect marks made by harder pencils, so No. 3 and No. 4 pencils usually resulted in erroneous results, and softer pencils like No. 1s resulted in smudges.

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