Random #325 – 50 Surprising Random Facts

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26NYC Pinball Ban

Pinball was banned beginning in the early 1940s until 1976 in New York City. New York mayor Fiorello La Guardia was responsible for the ban, believing that it robbed school children of their hard-earned nickels and dimes.


27. Xiao Yuan, Curator/Forger , a curator at the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts in southern China replaced more than 140 paintings in the museum with his own forgeries and sold 125 of them for $6 million. He later found out his own fakes were being stolen and replaced with yet more copies.


28. The Artificial Virginity Hymen kit was developed in Japan and sold by a Chinese manufacturer in many countries. It contained a red dye that mimicked blood when the product was broken. It was banned in 2009 by lawmakers in Egypt over fears that newlywed women would use the product to fake their virginity.


29. Diesel train locomotives use their diesel engines only to power generators that, in turn, power electric motors that drive the wheels.


30. In 1869, George Hull hired people to make a stone statue of a man, bury it, then later pretend to discover an ancient giant. The hoax was so lucrative that P.T. Barnum offered $50,000. When George Hull declined, Barnum had a replica made and said that he had the real giant and George had the fake.


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31Pediatric Cataracts

Unlike adult cataracts, which can be removed after years and normal eyesight is restored, severe pediatric cataracts must be treated within weeks or the brain will learn to permanently ignore the defective eye.


32. The reason behind Titanic not having sufficient lifeboats was not because it was “unsinkable.” Regulations at the time only required a small amount of lifeboats because they thought there would be enough time to ferry passengers back and forth to waiting rescue ships.


33. HBO Max did not choose its name to be descriptive. Rather, it's a portmanteau of HBO and Cinemax, which are owned by the same company.


34. The only person to die playing baseball is Ray Chapman who in 1920 died at the age of 29 after being hit by a pitch. His death led to the ban on spitballs after the season and a rule was implemented requiring umpires to replace dirty balls. His death also led to the use of batting helmets, albeit 30 years later.


35. Venom wasn’t originally supposed to appear in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 3. He wanted to use that movie to set up the Vulture instead.


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36Prisoner's Cinema

Your brain/eyes will generate a "light show" (known as the Prisoner's Cinema) if kept in darkness for long periods of time. The phenomenon is reported by prisoners confined to dark cells and by others kept in darkness as well as; truck drivers, pilots and practitioners of intense meditation.


37. Charles Strite invented the pop-up toaster (and nothing else) out of frustration. At the time, bread had to be turned manually in order to toast both sides, which resulted in cafeterias serving burnt toast most of the time.


38. In 2018, once the mission was declassified, the US Air Force awarded 4 retired Swedish pilots the Air Medal for their role in saving an SR-71 Blackbird 31 years prior.


39. Giant Anteaters have killed people. There have been 2 documented attacks in the wild both resulting in the death of people hunting them. The anteaters slashed at the hunters with their long claws, hitting the femoral artery, making the victims bleed to death.


40. Sika deer in Nara Japan are conditioned to bow their heads for treats. This has caused issues as male deer instinctively bow to signal they are about to charge and headbutt.


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41Golden Sea Silk

Byssus fabric was called “sea silk” because it was made from the filaments of Mediterranean mollusks. It was farmed/collected by the Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans, who wove them into clothes that when treated with lemon juice, turned golden and this color never faded.


42. F7U Cutlass was one of the worst US Navy Jets ever. Underpowered and prone to catching on fire, it nearly crashed on its Blue Angels debut and was kicked off USS Hancock. One even disintegrated in flight in front of thousands of onlookers. One-fourth of all the F7U Cutlasses ever made were destroyed in crashes.


43. Shakespeare’s Globe which is a reconstruction of the original Globe Theatre is the first and only building in London permitted to have a thatched roof since the Great Fire of 1666.


44. Puma sued Dolce & Gabbana over a slipper design they believe was copied. D&G argued that their design was for a different clientele and used real fur. Puma lost because D&G only sold 3 pairs with 2 being bought by Puma’s test buyers. The judge said there was no competition.


45. In World War 1, California’s schoolchildren were enlisted in a war on squirrels with one-sided casualties exceeding 100,000 ground squirrels.


46Chicken Gun

A Chicken Gun is a compressed air cannon that fires bird carcasses in excess of 400 MPH at aircraft components in order to simulate high-speed bird strikes during the aircraft's flight. Engineers use them to test plane safety.


47. Giraffes live in two tribes, male and female. They only come together for mating. Outside of that male giraffes have sex with other males, often after necking contests where the winner dominates the loser with penetrative sex.


48. There are species of owls (Great Horned Owls) that freeze mice to eat later. When they are hungry, they just sit on a mouse until it thaws and eat it then.


49. Bumblebees bite plants’ leaves to cause them to flower a month earlier than normal.


50. Beaver teeth are super strong and are bright rusty-orange in color because they have iron in their teeth enamel.

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