Random #334 – 50 Interesting Random Facts

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26Food Storing Birds

The hippocampus of food-storing birds increases in size by up to 30% for a short period each year, so that they could remember where they hid their food.


27. A Polish man named Stephan Bibrowski (1890–1932), was also known as Lionel the lion-faced man due to the 8-inch-long hair that covered his entire face. Stephan's mother gave him away at the age of 4 as she had witnessed a lion mauling her husband while she was pregnant with Stephan, and thus viewed him as an abomination.


28. Before becoming president of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh worked as a dishwasher at the Drayton Court Hotel in London, as a line manager for General Motors in Boston, and as a pastry chef in Brooklyn among other jobs.


29. Counterfeit detector pens used in grocery stores contain an iodine solution that reacts with the starch in wood-based paper to create a black stain. When the solution is applied to the fiber-based paper used in real bills, no discoloration occurs.


30. In 1912, after the sinking of the RMS Titanic, crewmen on its sister ship RMS Olympic went on strike over its small number and poor quality of lifeboats.


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31Chocolate

Chocolate is crystalline and therefore has 6 phases (different ways of arranging crystals). This is important for the production of glossy, brittle, melt-in-mouth-not-in-hand tempered chocolate.


32. The color "Jet Black" comes from a gemstone called jet. Jet is extremely dark, and so jet black refers to that dark.


33. Bananas are curved because they are negatively geotropic. They curve upwards to break through the banana leaf canopy to reach sunlight.


34. The asteroid belt is splintered and cannot coalesce into a planet because of the effects of Jupiter's gravity, which disrupts the asteroids and keeps them colliding with each other.


35. Circular Breathing is a technique used to continuously sustain embouchure on wind instruments without interruption. It is achieved by breathing in through the nose while simultaneously pushing air out through the mouth using air stored in the cheeks. Like a chipmunk. With this technique, you can play a wind instrument forever.


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36Empress Leopoldina

Empress Leopoldina from the house of Habsburg was the first woman to become head of state in an independent country in America. She was one of the masterminds behind Brazil's independence and the yellow in the flag symbolizes her house of Habsburg. She was also behind German migrations there.


37. Queen ants can live for 15 to 30 years and worker ants (female) up to 1-3 years. Male ants may only live for several weeks, mate once, and then die.


38. Doctors in popular media are often portrayed as wearing mirrors over their forehead. These mirrors are actually meant to be worn over one of the doctor's eyes when in use.


39. The "sailing stones" in Death Valley move in very short 15-minute bursts due to a very specific combination of rain, freezing temperatures, and wind.


40. Antarctica has a museum, gift shop, and a post office in the same building, known as Port Lockroy, which is open to all public. It is operated by the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust. Around 70,000 cards are sent from its post office each year.


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41Baby Einstein

As a result of the "Baby Einstein" franchise of videos and books being named after Albert Einstein, royalties paid to his estate made Einstein one of the top five earning dead celebrities for a time.


42. John Deydras was an imposter who pretended to be King Edward II due to being swapped at birth. When arrested, he challenged the real king to single combat and was found guilty of sedition. He claimed his cat was the devil in disguise and caused him to do it. Both he and the cat were hanged.


43. Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) can only be titled as such if it meets certain conditions. Its free acidity must be less than 0.8%, must have a sensory grade higher than 6.5 points, and a median of zero defects, and a median of fruitiness above zero. It is the highest quality of olive oil around.


44. During World War 1, the amount of trenches built along the western front was so mind-boggling that if they were to be laid end-to-end, their total length would gross over 25,000 miles, which would be enough to encircle the earth at the equator (24,901 miles).


45. From 1927 to 1952, Tobacco Companies used pictures of doctors in their advertising and used slogans claiming that doctors endorsed their brand.


46Skeuomorphs

Skeuomorphs are objects designed to look like an older version of the same object. Examples include fake buckles on leather shoes, rivets on jeans, mechanical arms on slot machines, and digital apps designed to look like their analog equivalent.


47. Rhododendrons and Azaleas are toxic to both pets and humans, including honey made from both plants.


48. In December 1868, the first traffic light in the world was installed in London outside the British Parliament of Westminster.


49. There is a restaurant in Amsterdam called Ctaste Restaurant where patrons dine in the dark and all the wait staffs are blind.


50. The Three Stooges were the first to release a Hitler film parody. "You Nazty Spy!" is a 1940 comedy film that was released months before Chaplin's "The Great Dictator."

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