Random #325 – 50 Surprising Random Facts

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1 Literacy Rate in the USA

Literacy Rate in the USA

According to the U.S. Department of Education, 54% of U.S. adults lack proficiency in literacy, reading below the equivalent of a sixth-grade level.

2. The Russian Soyuz series of spacecraft has been in continual use with the same basic design for 55 years and 140 flights. It is widely considered the world’s safest, most cost-effective human spaceflight vehicle. At least one is always docked at the ISS at all times for use as an escape craft.

3. “The Harris’s List” was a directory from the 1700s that catalogued all the prostitutes in London during that period, including their address, price, age and skills. It also rated their performance and described their appearance. It was published annually for decades.

4. The dolly from the Island of Misfit Toys was intended to represent mental illness. Although she appeared to be fine physically, she suffered from depression and low self-esteem due to being abandoned in the past.

5. 8% of modern Spanish words are Arabic in origin, entering Spanish usage during Muslim rule in the southern Iberian peninsula in 711-1492 AD. These loan words often begin with “a-” or “al” (e.g., almuerzo, aceite, arroz, azul) because these sounds mark a definitive noun in Arabic.

6 Elizabeth II’s Reign

Elizabeth II’s Reign

Queen Elizabeth II has reigned longer than her father, uncle, grandfather and great-grandfather combined (as of January 2022).

7. A white abolitionist named Thomas Garrett despite having a $10,000 bounty on his head worked alongside Harriett Tubman and helped free over 2500 slaves.

8. Frito-Lay ran a market research study in the 90s to rebrand Doritos, which resulted in making the corners of the chips rounded so they broke less and produced fewer scraps at the bottom of the bag.

9. The worst disaster in the New York area before 9/11 was the 1904 burning and sinking of a steamboat named PS General Slocum that killed 955 people. Life jackets aboard the steamboats were useless as some of them had iron weights in them instead of corks which were supposed to help with floatation.

10. In 1947, FBI issued a memo on the film “It’s a Wonderful Life.” The memo stated that the film represented rather obvious attempts to malign bankers and the upper class with the character of Mr. Potter, and accused the film of promoting communism.

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11 Lee’s Spider-Man Inspiration

Lee's Spider-Man Inspiration

Stan Lee came up with Spider-Man when he was experiencing writer’s block for new superpowers and saw a fly crawling on a wall. Lee then started thinking of names like Insect Man, Fly Man, Stick-to-Wall Man, and Mosquito Man before settling on Spider-Man, because it sounded scary and dramatic.

12. Japan’s execution system is done only by hanging, with prisoners in “detention centers” being taken to an execution chamber and dropped to their death using a trapdoor.

13. The recommended depth for CPR (approximately 2 inches) will result in broken ribs or sternum for 30% of patients.

14. Prince Charles is a descendant of the real-life Dracula (Vlad the Impaler).

15. Queen Elizabeth II ordered the guest rooms of her palace to be stripped of valuables before the President of Romania visited in 1978 because she feared he and his wife would steal from her.

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16 Hunting Hitler Show

Hunting Hitler Show

History Channel had a show called “Hunting Hitler” that posited the idea that Hitler escaped his bunker, and the cast of the show thought a picture of Moe Howard (one of the Three Stooges) was literally Hitler.

17. Crowds who watched the first execution by guillotine were unsatisfied with how quick and effective it was and stated that it didn’t provide them with “proper entertainment.”

18. In 1939, a Maine State Representative named Cleveland Sleeper drafted a bill to outlaw the use of tomatoes in clam chowder. The punishment for breaking this law was to have the individual dig up a barrel of clams at high tide, which is impossible.

19. The US-made Schoolhouse Rock-like cartoons called The Metric Marvels in 1978 to prepare the country to switch to the metric system.

20. Henri Paul, Princess Diana’s driver, was 3 times over the legal drink-drive limit on the night of her death and was using both anti-depressants and anti-psychotics.

15 Most Controversial & Costly Blunders in History

21 Very Good Song

Very Good Song

In 2017, a 10-minute song of silence entitled “A a a a a Very Good Song” became one of the top-selling songs on iTunes because it helped solve the problem of car stereos playing the first song from an iPhone playlist in alphabetical order, giving people enough time to pick a song.

22. It is basically impossible to get a hamster drunk due to how efficiently their livers process alcohol.

23. Raw red kidney beans are toxic. Three to four raw red kidney beans are sufficient to cause food poisoning-like symptoms.

24. The movie Jaws (1975) is considered the first “summer blockbuster” ever. Up until then, summer was traditionally when the worst movies were dumped into theatres.

25. Unscripted programs AKA “reality shows” became much more prominent as a result of the 2007-08 Writer’s Guild strike which affected much of the industry and halted many tv productions. Because it was profitable under desperate circumstances, reality television was allowed to expand as a genre.

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