Random #323 – 50 Fascinating Random Facts

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26Deporting Communists

The US government deported hundreds of anarchists and communists in 1919, fearing a repeat of the Russian revolution.


27. If you could accelerate continually at just 1g you could travel to the other side of the known universe within your lifetime.


28. Despite Australia being known for deadly venomous variants of spiders such as the Funnelweb and Redback; nobody has died from a spider bite in the entire country since 1981; largely thanks to antivenoms.


29. Tchaikovsky and his patron shared over 1,200 letters, but only met once by accident. When he wrote her to apologize, she responded that there was nothing to apologize for, and invited him to visit her home to see her new paintings, but at a time when she would be away.


30. Austrian scientist Herman Francis Mark was the son of a Jew, so he chose to flee Austria in 1938. He clandestinely bought platinum wire, worth roughly $50,000, which he bent into coat hangers while his wife knitted covers so that the hangers were able to be taken out of the country.


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31Nyota Uhura

When Nichelle Nichols read for the part of a communications officer in 'Star Trek', she had a copy of Robert Ruark's 'Uhuru' with her. 'Uhuru' is Swahili for 'freedom', and when Gene Roddenberry heard what the word meant, he changed the character's name to 'Uhura.'


32. After being ejected from a game, NY Mets manager Bobby Valentine disguised himself with sunglasses and a fake mustache, and made his way back to the dugout. The game's TV announcers spotted him, and MLB fined him for it.


33. A teenage Tyrannosaurus Rex would go through a growth spurt where it gained 35-45 pounds a week.


34. Watching a fire can lower your blood pressure.


35. Sabbath Mode is an option for some ovens and kitchen appliances. It exists to allow for use of the appliance while still observing restrictions on certain activities during the Jewish Sabbath and holidays that might otherwise be violated by operating the appliance in its usual manner.


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36Reindeer Eyes

Reindeer is the only mammal that can change its eye color to adjust the amount of light that enters its eyes in different seasons. They have golden eyes in summer and blue in winter.


37. The Far Side was so significant in the 80s that when a cartoon was printed which was hard to understand, creator Gary Larsson felt the need to issue a press release expressing his regret and explaining the joke.


38. The owner of the Café de la Rotonde in Paris would allow starving artists to pay for their drinks with a painting or drawing. In the 1900s the walls of the cafe would have been casually adorned with works that are now considered priceless.


39. Less than half the claims made on The Dr. Oz Show were backed by "some" evidence, and that fell to a third when the threshold was raised to "believable" evidence.


40. The man who took the first up-close photo of a snowflake, Wilson A. Bentley in 1885, also started the concept "No two snowflakes are alike". In his lifetime, he took over 5000 photos of snowflakes.


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41Angostura bitters

Angostura bitters have a label that doesn't fit because two brothers in 1870 redesigned the bottle and label but did not consult one another. They entered a contest but did not win. One of the judges convinced them to keep it as "signature labeling."


42. In 1993, the Barbie Liberation Organization switched the voice boxes on talking G.I. Joes and Barbie dolls causing the barbies to say phrases like "vengeance is mine" and G.I. Joes to say "The beach is the place for summer." 300 to 500 dolls were modified.


43. A tree in Glastonbury, England, is said to flower on Christmas day and people were disappointed that it did not obey the switch to the Gregorian calendar in 1752.


44. Charles Martinet, the long-time voice actor for the video game character, Mario, showed up uninvited to the audition for the role. The audition crew was already packing up their gear, but he managed to convince them to let him try out.


45. Molly Brown survived the Titanic and was rescued by the Carpathia. Aboard the Carpathia, a battered Brown did what she could to help the other survivors, including raising money from the wealthy to help poor passengers. Her acts of heroism earned her the nickname "the Unsinkable Mrs. Brown." 


46Crawfish Imports

Sweden imports more live crawfish from the US than any other country, and 90% of all crawfish produced in the US is grown in Louisiana.


47. The first airship (USS Shenandoah) to be lifted by helium used most of the helium available in the world at the time to fill its 59,000 cubic meter volume.


48. The Ancient Silk Road city of Merv, Turkmenistan had once held the title of the world's largest city during the 12th-13th century with a population of more than 500,000 and in 1221 was horrifically decimated in its entirety by the Mongols in one of the worst genocides in human history.


49. Prior to the American civil war, King Rama IV of Siam offered to send war elephants to the Union for their own military and logistical use. Lincoln declined, stating that the American climate would not support the domestication of elephants and that the steam engine would suffice.


50. Solitary bees are considered "super pollinators" with a 95% pollination rate compared to honey bees at 5%.

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