Random #333 – 50 Fascinating Random Facts

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26Grateful Dead Concerts

Grateful Dead concerts were so crucial to the LSD market that Jerry Garcia's death in 1995 contributed to a nationwide decline in LSD use.

27. During a contentious White House meeting about patronage appointments for customs officers in the Northeast, Treasury Secretary William H. Crawford became so angry at president James Monroe that he began whipping his cane at the president, forcing Monroe to use fireplace tongs to defend himself.

28. Self-taught inventor/engineer E. Lilian Todd was the first woman to design and build an airplane, only 3 years after the Wright brothers' first flight. However, she did not pilot the aircraft herself because she was denied a permit.

29. The Toyota team was caught cheating in the 1995 World Rally Championship. Its engineers had developed a mechanism to temporarily remove the mandated turbo restrictor plate and give their Celica an extra 50 BHP.

30. Daniel 'Rudy' Ruettiger, the football player who became the basis of the classic sports film "Rudy", once ran a pump and dump scheme. He was charged with stock fraud charges and settled for $4.5 million.

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31Lynyrd Skynyrd

Lynyrd Skynyrd based the group's name as a mocking tribute to a P.E. teacher named Leonard Skinner. He disciplined two of the band's members for letting their hair grow long.

32. Moe Howard of 'The Three Stooges' once broke three ribs filming a pratfall. Dazed, he managed to pick himself up off the ground and slap Curly in the face before passing out. The footage ended up being used in the finished short.

33. Gelatin is obtained by boiling cattle and pig carcasses.

34. Potatoes are native to South America. They were introduced to the rest of the world only in the last 500 years.

35. Banjo player Bela Fleck has been nominated in more Grammy categories than any other musician and won Grammys in bluegrass, country, folk, pop, jazz, classical, and world music categories.

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36Milk Fiber

Fabric can be made from milk. In 1935, due to the Italian government wanting to reduce wool imports, Antonio Ferretti created a milk fiber derived from the casein protein in skimmed milk. Milk wool was soft, warm, and shrink resistant, but smelled like spoiled milk or cheese when wet.

37. The fat Chinese buddha is actually "Budai," a Chinese monk from the 10th century.

38. Nebraska's USPS abbreviation was original "NB". However, it was changed to "NE" at the request of Canada to avoid confusion with New Brunswick. It is the only time a state territory has changed its USPS abbreviation since the introduction of the system in 1963.

39. Ponytail headaches are a type of extracranial headache arising from pericranial muscle fascia and tendon traction. Essentially, if your hair is tied too tightly, you can get a nasty headache.

40. The US Navy was going to name a submarine, "USS Corpus Christi", after the city in Texas, but Catholic politicians objected to a navy ship which would translate to USS Body of Christ. It was instead named the USS City of Corpus Christi, a formulation that remains unique in the names of naval ships.

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41PoW Canteens

Under Article 28 of the Geneva Convention, canteens should be installed in all POW camps, where prisoners can procure foodstuffs, soap, tobacco, and other ordinary articles of daily use. The tariff should never be in excess of local market prices.

42. Naked mole rats can survive 18 minutes without oxygen by metabolizing fructose instead of glucose.

43. The Bronx has 'the' in front of it because it's named after the Bronx River and was original "The Borough of The Bronx [River]."

44. A World War 2 artillery spotter named Charles Carpenter added bazookas to his unarmed plane. Thus the nickname 'Bazooka Charlie' came up and he scored six tank kills with his modified plane.

45. A star named "The Random Transiter" is considered to be one of the most mysterious stars in the galaxy, as it has 28 equal planet-sized objects orbiting it in random ways.

46Marie Marvingt

In 1915, Marie Marvingt became the first woman to fly combat missions. She even successfully bombed a military base in Germany. In her lifetime, she held four different pilot licenses, unofficially cycled the Tour de France, and was awarded a gold medal "for all sports" by the French Academy of Sports.

47. The Solomon Islands were named as such because the explorer who discovered them thought they were the mythical land of Ophir, mentioned in the Bible where King Solomon acquired his gold.

48. The Norovirus is a common cause of the "stomach flu." It is resistant to alcohol-based hand sanitizer and is affected by the host's blood type.

49. The Nutmobile is a peanut-shaped car that has existed since 1935, and it is used to promote and advertise Planters products in the United States.

50. The Chapel of Our Lady of the Snows is a Catholic church carved into Antarctic ice and the southernmost place of worship in the world.


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