Random #328 – 50 Fascinating Random Facts

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1Margaret Sixel’s Mad Max Edit

Director George Miller had his wife Margaret Sixel edit Mad Max: Fury Road. Miller said that she had never cut an action movie before. He said that if it had been edited by “the usual kind of guys, it would look like every other action movie we see.” She went on to win an Oscar for her editing work in the film.


2. Someone translated Dracula into Icelandic and it took over 100 years for anyone to point out he just made a fanfic-rewrite of what he wanted the story to be.


3. During the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russians made a small "mouse" hole into a secure anti-doping lab and exchanged "clean" urine samples for those showing their athletes' PED use. Over 100 dirty samples were smuggled out by a Russian agent pretending to be a sewer engineer.


4. NASA only uses 15 digits of pi for calculating interplanetary travel. At 40 digits, you could calculate the circumference of a circle the size of the visible universe to an accuracy equal to the diameter of a hydrogen atom.


5. In the 1800s, US dairy producers regularly mixed their milk with water, chalk, embalming fluid and cow brains to enhance appearance and flavor. Hundreds of children died from the mixture of formaldehyde, dirt, and bacteria in their milk.


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6Boneless Ham

A boneless ham is a ham from which the bone has been removed, after which the ham is tightly pressed into an oval-shaped package. Salt will break down some of the proteins in meat muscle, allowing them to reconnect and link with each other. That's why a boneless ham still appears solid.


7. The night before Iraq invaded Kuwait there was a soar in pizza orders made by the CIA.


8. Fire poles in firehouses were originally installed to allow for faster descent than the houses' narrow spiral staircases, which were themselves installed because horses kept climbing to the second floor and getting stuck.


9. An Albanian superstition about hiccups is that they occur when someone mentions the hiccuping person's name in conversation. To stop the hiccups, one must say the names of anyone they think talked about them. The hiccups will cease once the gossiper's name is spoken.


10. In 1895, a swarm of Rocky Mountain locusts measuring 1,800 miles long and 110 miles wide, blocked out the sun for 5 days. Thirty years later the locust was extinct. Between outbreaks, the locust hid out in the river valleys of Wyoming and Montana, the same river valleys that settlers had discovered were best suited for farming. By converting these valleys into farms, diverting streams for irrigation, allowing cattle and sheep to graze in riparian areas, and eliminating beavers and their troublesome dams, the pioneers unknowingly wiped out locust sanctuaries.


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11Razor Blades Disposal

In houses built before 1971, it was common to have a medicine cabinet that allowed razor blades to be disposed of in a slot that would drop the razor blades into the bathroom wall.


12. It's a common practice in China, to not tell an old person about their cancer diagnosis, where it is believed that telling them can make their condition deteriorate quicker.


13. There are trails in Ireland that have been certified as part of the International Appalachian Trail because they were formed together during Pangea.


14. Music is a 'Cultural Universal', which means it is a thing that is common to all known human cultures worldwide. These include Personal Names, Sexual Jealousy, Proverbs, and Incest Prevention or Avoidance.


15. It took Taco Bell food engineers two years and 40 different recipes to create the Doritos Loco Taco. It became so popular that it led to Taco Bell adding 15,000 jobs, propelling the company to outgrow Pizza Hut, KFC, and even McDonald’s.


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16Macy's Owners in Titanic

The elderly couple seen hugging on the bed in Titanic (1997) while water floods their room were the owners of Macy's department store, Rosalie Ida Straus and Isidor Straus. Ida refused a seat on a lifeboat, stating "Where you go, I go" which inspired Rose's line in the film.


17. Escher Sentences seem to make sense at first, but actually have no coherent meaning and convey no information. An example is "More people have been to Berlin than I have".


18. After her death, Mercy Brown’s heart and liver were burned, and the ashes mixed into a tonic that was given to her sick brother to drink. Her father believed that she was a vampire and that the tonic would cure the brother of tuberculosis. It however didn’t cure him and he died two months later.


19. In 1986, the small New Zealand town of Otorohanga briefly changed its name to "Harrodsville" in support of the local restaurant Harrods, which was facing lawsuits by the famous London department store of the same name. In addition, every business in town changed their name to “Harrods.”


20. In ancient Rome, masters discouraged slaves from running away by putting a tattoo reading "Stop me! I am a runaway!" on their foreheads. At a temple of the Greek god of healing, thousands of tablets from escaped slaves asking the god to make the tattoos on their forehead disappear have been found.


21'Communication With Dead' Experiment

In 1921, spiritualists Thomas Lynn Bradford and Ruth Doran decided to test whether it was possible to communicate with the dead. Bradford killed himself by sealing his apartment and turning on his gas stove and planned to appear as a ghost to Doran after his death. He didn't.


22. Bruce Willis turned down the role of Sam in the movie Ghost. He said he didn't understand how the movie would work with the main character being dead for the majority of the movie, and the role went to Patrick Swayze. Nine years later Willis would star in The Sixth Sense.


23. Humans will walk in circles when lost unless there is some sort of external reference point.


24. Laws in USA that restricted Chinese people from getting special merchant visas caused a boom in Chinese restaurants in the U.S. These visas were only for fancy shops and the person had to run it for a year. Some groups used all their cash to open a nice restaurant and then switched who ran it each year so that they’d all get visas.


25. Dean Martin refused to attend JFK’s inauguration because Sammy Davis, Jr (who helped Kennedy campaign) wasn’t allowed to attend because he was black.

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