Random #316 – 50 Awesome Random Facts

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1Ronald McDonald

The McDonald's corporation quietly phased out Ronald McDonald, the company’s clown mascot, due to the 2016 clown scare video fad.


2. Los Angeles is the first major city in the world to synchronize all its traffic lights. Nearly 4,400 lights across 469 miles receive real-time updates about traffic flow to make second-by-second adjustments. The system limits congestion by up to 16% while also dramatically reducing idling time.


3. When Wayne Rogers left M*A*S*H, the producers tried to sue him for breach of contract. They ended up discovering that Rogers had never actually signed his contract, having objected to a morals clause and that he had been a free agent the entire time.


4. When he was 13, Davy Crockett attacked a school bully. Fearful of his father’s punishment, he ran away from home. Over the next two and a half years, he did odd jobs, learned several woodsman skills, and traveled around in 3 states. When he finally returned home, his family couldn't recognize him.


5. After his father and brother were killed by Confederate Home Guard, Henry Berry Lowrie led a band of American Indian, White, and African-American men in a guerrilla war against the Confederacy and later the upper class. He obtained a Robin Hood-like status and vanished without a trace in 1872.


6Byker Grove

Byker Grove was a relatively grounded British teen drama set in a youth club that aired from 1989 to 2006. It ended with all the characters becoming aware they were in a TV show with no free will of their own, fending off a T.Rex attack and ultimately being blasted into a void of nothingness.


7. The Lion King Game (SEGA/SNES) was made extremely difficult on purpose. Disney told the developers to make the game so difficult that people wouldn't be able to beat it during a rental period at Blockbuster. A few developers would later apologize to fans for how hard the game is.


8. A 2018 study by Yale psychologists found introverts who are prone to melancholy seem to be more astute at understanding how people behave in groups than their sociable peers. Introverts are more prone to assessing truths about humans’ “social nature” without formal training or tools.


9. A month after Marin County (one of the wealthiest counties in the US) residents protested to block George Lucas from building a movie studio on his ranch, Lucas responded with a new proposal: using the land for low-income housing.


10. Research has found that 94% of British people said that they had conversed about the weather in the past six hours, and 38% said they had in the past 60 minutes. This means that at any moment in the UK, a third of the population is either talking about the weather, has already done so, or is about to do so.


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11Pretty Woman

In the original ending to “Pretty Woman”, Richard Gere’s character throws Julia Roberts' character out of his limo in a dirty alley and tosses $3,000 on top of her.


12. A Belgian businessman named Edgar Sengier was instrumental to the Manhattan Project’s success. Realizing uranium’s importance, he shipped 1,200 tons of it to Staten Island. When Lieutenant Colonel Nichols contacted him, he simply responded: “You can have the ore now. It is in New York. I was waiting for your visit.”


13. Leonard Treherne Schroeder Jr., the first American soldier to land on the beach during the invasion of Normandy was shot twice and not only survived but lived to be 90 years old.


14. During the Korean War, 71 teenage students were stationed to protect a South Korean headquarter despite having no experience in war or even firing a gun. The South Korean army didn’t think the North Korean army would attack that headquarter, but they did. Those students, still in their school uniforms, held back the North Korean army for 11 hours.


15. The death of Layne Staley, singer of Alice In Chains, was discovered when his accountants noticed that no money has been withdrawn in two weeks. They informed his former manager who then contacted his mother who then called 911.


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16Lisa Leslie

Lisa Leslie is a high school basketball player who once scored 101 points in 16 minutes of play. She shot 37 of 56 from the floor and 27 of 35 from the line. However, she did not break the record for women’s points in a high school game because the other team’s coach refused to play the second half.


17. Brisbane was originally founded as a penal colony for convicts who committed new offenses after they had arrived in Australia.


18. The jumping spider, Nefertiti, was launched to the International Space Station to observe if it could catch prey in microgravity. It succeeded in catching prey by learning to walk slowly, rather than leaping, as this species usually does. It survived re-entry and re-adjusted to full gravity before its natural death.


19. Elan School was a child behavior modification camp in Poland which operated between 1970 and 2011. Using Lord of The Flies style techniques, they would psychologically destroy the children for years, leading to extraordinarily high suicide rates. If a child escaped, bounty hunters would chase them across the country.


20. Elephants stay cancer-free as they have 20 copies of a key tumor-fighting gene. Humans have just one.


21Space Shuttle Orange Tank

The big orange fuel tank attached to the space shuttles was originally white, but they stopped painting it to save 600lbs.


22. The 2nd wealthiest former NBA player behind Michael Jordan is Junior Bridgeman who has a net worth of over $600 million (as of September 2021). He worked at Wendy’s in the off-season to learn the business, eventually owning over 100 franchises and a Coke bottling plant.


23. Words that share a semantic relationship and are grouped in a specific order are called Irreversible Binomials/Trinomials. This can include things like “mac & cheese”, “spick and span”, and “lock, stock, and barrel.”


24. A Spanish civil servant named Joaquín García didn't show up to work for 6 years (possibly as many as 14), and this was only discovered when someone tried to give him an award for long service.


25. The chemical reaction in glow sticks was discovered by Dr. Edwin Chandross in 1962, but he had no idea that the “chemiluminescent” objects were popular at music shows until a Vice interview in 2013. “Is that so?” he said. “Maybe my granddaughter will think I’m cool now.”

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