Random #320 – 50 Awesome Random Facts

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1Twins Movie

Instead of taking their usual salaries for “Twins”, Schwarzenegger and DeVito both agreed with the studio to take 20% of the film’s box office returns which resulted in them receiving the biggest paychecks of their film careers. The movie ended up making $216 million worldwide.


2. Anchorage, Alaska, is almost equidistant from New York City, Tokyo, and Frankfurt, Germany (via the polar route), and lies within 10 hours by air of nearly 90% of the industrialized world.


3. Pepperoni is an American invention. It’s similar to the spicy salamis of southern Italy, but it also has elements characteristic of German sausages (smokiness, beef content, and fine grind). In Italian, “peperoni” just means “bell peppers.”


4. Teddy Roosevelt became president in 1901 upon the assassination death of William McKinley. But when this happened he was at Mount Marcy in the High Peaks of New York State. He had to be found in the middle of nowhere and brought to civilization to be sworn in. It became known as “Roosevelt’s Midnight Ride.”


5. The Icelandic government banned the stationing of black American soldiers in Iceland during the Cold War so as to “protect Icelandic women and preserve a homogenous national body.” After pressure from the US military, the ban was eventually lifted in the late 1960s.


6Granny Style Throws

“Granny style” is the most efficient throwing technique for free throws in basketball. The only reason no one does it seems to be because the players are afraid of ridicule. There is no rule against it.


7. Desert sand is effectively useless for construction. Saudi Arabia imports sand for construction from Australia.


8. In 2004 at the Smithsonian, Walnut, a rare female White-Naped Crane, fell in love with a zoologist named Chris Crowe, who was able to rear her eggs without Walnut hurting other males. White-Naped Cranes are monogamous and stress easily so Chris must stay until he, or Walnut, dies.


9. Kangatarianism is a diet that cuts out all meat except Kangaroo meat on environmental and ethical grounds.


10. Frank Wills, the security guard who discovered the Watergate break-in that eventually led to the resignation of Richard Nixon, struggled with unemployment and poverty for the rest of his life. He died at the age of 52 of a brain tumor.


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11Genesis

Genesis isn’t the oldest book of the bible. It was written later than at least a dozen other books.


12. In 2019, a potato chip factory in Hong Kong found a World War 1 grenade in a shipment of French-grown potatoes, just as the potatoes were going through their processing machines.


13. The watch made its migration from the pocket to the wrist during World War I, when soldiers were obligated to attach them to their arms for coordinated attacks, instead of fumbling in their pockets. Before then, the “bracelet watch” had mostly been regarded as a joke and “silly-a*s fad.”


14. Gordon Ramsay has 16 Michelin Stars. Only two chefs have ever earned more.


15. Jouhatsu refers to people in Japan who choose to vanish from their current lives without a trace. There are companies there who can help them do that.


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16Merle Haggard

Merle Haggard was a prisoner in the audience when Johnny Cash performed for inmates at California’s San Quentin State Prison in 1959.


17. Mice do not have a special appetite for cheese and will eat it only for lack of better options. They actually favor sweet, sugary foods. It is unclear where the myth came from.


18. When Fleetwood Mac broke up mid-tour, their manager decided he owned the name of the band and continued the tour with a completely different band, which he renamed Fleetwood Mac. The tour was eventually canceled due to angry crowds and promoters pulling the shows.


19. About 138 songs of Taylor Swift have entered the Billboard Hot 100 (as of October 2021), the all-time record for a female artist.


20. The transformation of common metals into gold, a seemingly impossible goal attempted by alchemists for centuries, is now entirely possible using either a nuclear reactor or a particle accelerator. However, the process is so expensive that it is functionally useless.


21William Walker

An American doctor named William Walker overthrew the Nicaraguan government in 1856 and became president for 10 months. He was overthrown by a coalition of Central American armies and later executed by Honduras.


22. In 1900, the Secretary of the Navy wanted to use the USS Constitution for target practice until it sunk. A benefactor offered to buy it but was refused so he started a campaign that successfully pressured Congress into saving it. Built-in 1797, it is now the oldest ship still afloat.


23. Switzerland has 7 simultaneous “presidents”, each with equal power. Every year they rotate control of 7 federal departments and who acts as “head of state” (e.g. when dealing with other countries). They come from various parties, i.e., right now (as of October 2021) it's 2 conservatives, 2 liberals, 2 socialists, and a centrist.


24. In 1997, a 50-pound pumpkin was speared atop a tower at Cornell University, 173 feet in the air. It stayed in place for months. Alumni are still trying to figure out who did it without being noticed and how.


25. Guevedoces is a term used in a small community in the Dominican Republic for some children who are genetically males but are born with a vagina instead of a penis. Miraculously though at puberty, the vagina automatically fuses into a fully-functioning penis and scrotum.

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