Random #315 – 50 Fantastic Random Facts

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1Destiny Jones

Nas listed his then 7-year-old daughter, Destiny Jones, as an executive producer on his fifth studio album Stillmatic to ensure she would always receive royalty checks from the album.


2. Beavers build their dams as an instinct to stop the sounds of water leaks. If a speaker is playing just the sound of running water, a beaver will build a dam over it. This is even if it’s over concrete with no visible water, or if an actual nearby leaky water source is quieter than the speaker.


3. There is a group of wolves in British Columbia known as "sea wolves" and 90% of their food comes from the sea. They have distinct DNA that sets them apart from interior wolves and they are entirely dedicated to the sea swimming several miles every day in search of food.


4. Blink 182 removed the red cross from the (adult actress) nurse's hat on their album "Enema of the State" because the American Red Cross told them it was a violation of the Geneva Convention.


5. In his acceptance speech for the 1976 Best Album Grammy, Paul Simon jokingly thanked Stevie Wonder for not releasing an album that year. Stevie Wonder had won Best Album in the previous two years and would go on to win again in 1977 for Songs in the Key of Life.


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6Horror Death

While serving together in World War 2, Twilight Zone creator Rod Serling’s friend Melvin Levy ventured out to watch an aircraft drop off food crates. Levy was joking about where the food would fall when one of the crates landed on his head and decapitated him as Serling looked on in horror.


7. The details of the Manhattan Project were so secret that many workers had no idea why they did their jobs. A laundrywoman had a dedicated duty to "hold up an instrument and listen for a clicking noise" without knowing why. It was a Geiger counter testing the radiation levels of uniforms.


8. Augustin Trébuchon, the last French soldier to die in World War 1 was killed 15 minutes before the ceasefire. He was delivering a message to his unit that soup would be served for lunch.


9. A Brazilian company reverse-engineered the Nintendo Entertainment System and produced a clone that could play official carts since it was never released there. Nintendo asked them to cease but because they designed their own hardware and Nintendo had no presence in Brazil it was totally legal.


10. As US senator, Harry Truman took note of a project receiving funding named “Expediting Production” with no further explanation. He asked the Secretary of War about it who said it was classified. Truman learned about The Manhattan Project when he became president from the same Secretary of War.


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11Malaria Eradication

The CDC is based in Atlanta because it was started to fight malaria in the South. It did this by spraying homes (inside and outside) with DDT and draining wetlands. Starting in 1946, malaria was eradicated in the US till 1951.


12. Dr. Heimlich fought against the Red Cross for 20 years over the practice of giving "5 back slaps" being a better alternative to the Heimlich Maneuver.


13. In 1921, a submarine named USS R-14 ran out of fuel some 190 Km from Hawaii during searching of a lost tug boat. The submarine had a week's worth of ration on board and no radio communication. The crew then made a sail by rigging up blankets. The submarine successfully sailed to Hawaii in a couple of days.


14. In 1982, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother was rushed to hospital when a fish bone became stuck in her throat, and she ended up having an operation to remove it. Being a keen fisher, she calmly joked when it was done: "The salmon have got their own back."


15. During the Civil Rights Movement, Louis Armstrong "blew his top" in an interview about the segregationist governor of Arkansas, referring to him as a "motherf*cker" and singing an F-bomb-laced rendition of the national anthem.


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16Busch Beer's Creation

Busch Beer was created to spite Major League Baseball. STL Cardinals owner August Busch Jr was told by MLB he couldn't name their ballpark Budweiser Stadium. He got approval to name it after his family and then ordered his brewers to create the new beer.


17. Research during 1950s all-male combat aircraft assignments revealed that a woman's voice was more likely to gain the attention of young men in distracting situations. Joan Elms's voice was used for the automated voice warnings for Convair B-58 and was named "Sexy Sally" by the pilots.


18. There is a spider called the Darwin's bark spider whose web is 10 times stronger than kevlar. It is the toughest biological material ever studied.


19. North America and the USA in particular have the world's most extreme weather, averaging more than 10,000 severe thunderstorm events per year, with more than 1,000 tornadoes.


20. Al Green has stated that “Take Me to the River” has earned him more royalties from being featured on the animatronic singing fish Big Mouth Billy Bass than from any other recordings of the song.


21Curtis Mayfield

Curtis Mayfield became paralyzed from the neck down after stage lighting equipment fell on him while he was being introduced at an outdoor concert. He discovered he could continue to sing by lying down and letting gravity pull down on his chest and lungs and went on to record an album in 1996.


22. The clearest lake in the world is the Blue Lake located in Nelson, New Zealand. Visibility in the lake is up to 80 metres meaning the water is considered almost as optically clear as distilled water.


23. After announcing the discontinuation of the SEGA Dreamcast in 2001, the price was reduced to as low as $49.95. Japanese businessman Isao Okawa forgave SEGA's debt of $500 million prior to his death and returned $695 million worth of SEGA stock helping the company survive.


24. Brenda Lee (best known for her hit "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree") had 47 US chart hits during the 1960s, the most by a woman and surpassed only by Elvis Presley, the Beatles, and Ray Charles.


25. When mummification became accessible to middle/lower classes in ancient Egypt, embalmers started secretly cutting out the hearts of the lower classes so the elite wouldn't have to share the afterlife with them. The heart was considered the seat of the soul and vital to access the afterlife.

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