Random #326 – 50 Fascinating Random Facts

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There was a rumor in the 1960s that Japan made products in a town called USA which was then exported to the US with the label "MADE IN USA" to make them appear as if they were made in the US.

27. Gerald Ford had the distinction of being the only person to serve as POTUS without being elected to either the presidency or the vice presidency. He was voted by Congress to be vice president after Spiro Agnew resigned, then filled the presidency after Nixon resigned.

28. For Māori women, the traditional female chin tattoo is considered a physical manifestation of their true identity.

29. An art thief named Stephane Breitwieser stole $1.4 billion worth of art. He never sold any of the art, he was an avid art fan and hung them in his house.

30. When American animator Adam Reed quit Cartoon Network he stole the master tapes for Sealab 2020. Reed would later use these tapes to make the pilot for Sealab 2021 which was picked up by Adult Swim.

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31Isaac Asimov

American writer Isaac Asimov wrote or edited more than 500 books, 380 short stories, and an estimated 90,000 letters and postcards. He was a professor of biochemistry at Boston University. He had a triple bypass in 1983 during which he got HIV from a blood transfusion which was kept secret until 10 years after his death.

32. Betty white's character, Rose Nyland, on The Golden Girls, had a brush with HIV. The show, titled “72 Hours,” centered on Rose after she learns that a blood transfusion she received may have exposed her to HIV. The message of the show was that HIV and AIDS had the potential to affect anyone.

33. Margaret Thatcher's 'Britain Awake' speech in 1976 where she stated the USSR was "bent on world domination", had failed in economic and human terms, its only recourse to become a superpower was military means. Soviet newspapers dubbed her the "Iron Lady" which she adopted.

34. Jewish Americans have made it a tradition of eating Chinese food during the holiday season since the early 1900s.

35. Some monkeys, like the Japanese Macaque, have the necessary vocal anatomy to produce human-like speech, only inhibited by the fact that their brain lacks the capability to control the muscles responsible for speech.

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36Shoe-Fitting X-Ray Gimmick

In the 1950s, most American shoe stores used powerful x-ray machines as a sales gimmick that allowed customers to observe the fit of their feet inside shoes in real-time. The machines often lacked adequate shielding and were commonly used to fit children's shoes.

37. In 2009, a French free diver named Stéphane Mifsud held his breath underwater for 11 minutes and 35 seconds.

38. In 1997, Lottie Williams of Tulsa Oklahoma was struck harmlessly in the shoulder by a 15 cm piece of metallic material which was determined to be a piece of a Delta II rocket that had been launched eight months earlier. Williams is the only known person to have been struck by space debris.

39. In 2005, the Smurfs were featured in a UNICEF ad in which their village was bombed by warplanes, and the Smurfs were shown burned and crushed to death under debris. It only aired after 9 PM to prevent children from seeing it.

40. In 1976, the band Queen had been booked to appear on Bill Grundy's Today show, but the group pulled out last second. EMI scrambled to find a last-minute replacement and settled with The Sex Pistols. The interview became a potty-mouthed confrontation and changed British broadcasting forever.

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41Japan's Namahage Tradition

There is a local tradition in Akita Japan called Namahage where grown men dress up like demons to scare children into behaving for their parents. They go from house to house yelling things like "Are there any crybabies at home?" or "Are naughty kids around?"

42. Bulla Felix was a Roman bandit leader active around 205–207 A.D. Bulla is known for not killing his victims, stealing only some of their money, employing artists, disguising himself as an Roman official, and leading a 600 man regiment of runaway slaves and free men.

43. The US strategic petroleum reserves are stored in underground caverns carved out of salt. Salt does not react with the oil and is self-healing. The plastic behavior of salt will cause it to naturally close fractures or gaps and prevent any leakage.

44. Project 100,000 was a controversial 1960s program where LBJ and Sec of Def Robert MacNamara decided to lower the mental and medical standards to recruit more soldiers to fight in Vietnam. These soldiers died at approximately 3 times the normal rate.

45. Saturday Night Live still uses cue cards instead of teleprompters, and Wally Feresten has been doing it for over 30 years.

46Death Star Trash Can

The original Death Star model from 1977's A New Hope was used as a trash can in Missouri in the 1990s by a store owner who did not know its significance.

47. Drinking a beer in space is impossible because it's all foam.

48. A nurse named Caroline Hampton helped popularize surgical gloves. She almost quit her job as a surgical nurse at John Hopkins due to severe hand eczema caused by surgical disinfectant until her boss bought her custom rubber gloves. Other staff members copied this and found they made work easier.

49. On 10 June 1898, mathematician Alice Lee barged into a meeting of the all-male Anatomical Society, measured 35 skulls, and found that some of the most well-regarded anatomists had the smallest skulls. These anatomists believed that skull size determined intelligence.

50. Abigail Adams Smith, the daughter of President John Adams, underwent a mastectomy in a room of the Adams home at the age of 46. The operation was performed without the benefit of anesthesia.


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