Random #337 – 50 Interesting Random Facts

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26Rebel Yell

During World War 1, US Army called upon elderly Confederates to teach its recruits the famous "rebel yell" so that they could use it when going over the top.


27. In 1958, the French Army invaded Corsica and planned to attack Paris. There was a crisis in Algeria at the time and French generals wanted Charles de Gaulle to return to power to deal with the issue. The invasion of Paris was canceled when parliament invited de Gaulle to be Prime Minister again.


28. Professional librarians date back to the 8th century B.C. in Assyria. Also, the Romans had libraries but not librarians, with the job performed by nonspecific scholars such as praetors or grammarians.


29. During the Mexican-American War, General Winfield Scott used the highly risky tactic of abandoning his supply lines and foraging for needed supplies to continue his attack. One of his staff officers, William T. Sherman, would later use this tactic in the Civil War in his March to the Sea.


30. "Remittance Men" were young British emigrants paid by their families to live outside of Britain, usually in Canada or the U.S., with the expectation that they did not return home. This practice began in the 1880s and continued well into the early 20th century.


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31Astronomer Robert Evans

Robert Evans is a church minister and an amateur astronomer who holds the record for visual discoveries of a supernova. Utilizing nothing more than modest telescopes situated in his backyard and an astonishing visual memory for star fields and galactic features, Evans has discovered 39 supernovas.


32. Nicholas Owen built "priest holes" which were hidden rooms to protect Catholic priests from persecution in England. After the Gunpowder Plot, Owen was captured, taken to the Tower of London, and tortured to death on the rack. He was canonized as a martyr by Pope Paul VI in 1970.


33. National Lampoon released a full-length parody of Frank Herbert’s Dune called Doon, the desert planet. Giant pretzels replaced sandworms and the most valuable substance was beer, not spice.


34. The US military developed small nuclear warheads meant to destroy other incoming nuclear warheads. W66 is a small 150 lbs warhead that would send a neutron flux that would disable any other incoming warhead. Essentially, it would nuke its own airspace to prevent another explosion a thousand times larger.


35. In 1975, upon gaining independence, Papua New Guinea extended an invitation to Queen Elizabeth II known there as 'Missis Kwin' to become their head of state, making her an elected Monarch of sorts.


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36USPS' Reckless Drivers

United States Postal Service drivers are so reckless that the agency has paid out more than $23 million to settle claims by New Yorkers who have been injured or killed in crashes caused by mail company employees since 2013.


37. King William IV of the United Kingdom had 10 illegitimate children with Irish actress Dorothea Jordan. They were given the last name FitzClarence, as William was the Duke of Clarence at the time of the relationship and Fitz means "Son of."


38. A Boeing 747 can carry roughly 63,000 gallons of fuel. This weighs approximately 400,000 lbs, which is about nearly as much as the empty plane itself.


39. When you stand, your body compensates for gravity by constricting blood vessels, ensuring that enough blood returns to your brain. In people with orthostatic hypotension, this mechanism fails and their blood pressure drops, leading to dizziness, lightheadedness, blurred vision, and fainting.


40. The 1931 best picture nominee ‘Trader Horn’ was the first non-documentary filmed in Africa. While filming, one of its crew members was eaten by a crocodile, another was stampeded by a rhinoceros, and the lead actress suffered a career-ending illness.


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41Egyptian Mummies As Medicine

Since the 12th century, Europeans were eating Egyptian mummies as medicine.


42. Babe Ruth is part of the first recorded no-hit by the committee in 1917 except he never recorded an out. He punched out the umpire and was ejected after walking the first batter. Ernie Shore finished the game with no hits.


43. Ticks are not insects but are a type of arachnid (like scorpions & spiders).


44. The ‘New Madrid Seismic Zone’ is a major earthquake zone that’s located in the Southern and Midwestern United States, stretching to the southwest from New Madrid, Missouri. This fault zone was responsible for a magnitude 7.0 earthquake in the early 1800s. The nature of the bedrock there means quakes can shake an area 20x bigger than quakes in California. There is a 1 in 10 probability of the area being hit by another earthquake in the next 50 years.


45. In 1922, Deputy Prime Minister to Ireland Kevin O'Higgins ordered the execution of Rory O'Connor, who was the best man at his wedding only one year prior.


46Owl Varieties

There are 225 varieties of owls, with wingspans ranging from 10 inches to 5 feets.


47. Arctic foxes strongly prefer to dive in a north-easterly direction. They are more likely to make a kill if they jumped along the invisible axis, especially when their prey was hidden by snow. If they pounced to the northeast, they killed on 73% of jumps compared with 18% in other directions.


48. Cats have whiskers behind their front legs. These are known as carpal whiskers and they play an important role when hunting.


49. While postboxes in England, N. Ireland, and Wales are engraved with "EIIR" -the royal cipher of Queen Elizabeth II, those in Scotland bear only a Crown; as there was no Elizabeth I of Scotland. The controversial use of "EIIR" on Scottish postboxes lead to the "Pillar Box War" in the 1950s.


50. The planet Mercury has a tail, much like a comet, thanks to sodium atoms blasted off its surface and atmosphere by solar winds.

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