Random #339 – 50 Awesome Random Facts

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1Uterus Hysteria

People in ancient Greece believed that the uterus could wander around the body like an animal searching for conception and caused "hysteria" in women.


2. In Finland, knitting is part of the school curriculum.


3. Samuel Upham was a Philadelphia merchant who printed more than $15 million worth of fake Confederate dollars from 1862 to 1863. The fake notes were widely circulated in the South. When investigated by the US Government, his case was dismissed as it's not illegal to the counterfeit currency of a country not recognized by the US.


4. When Abraham Lincoln took off his stovepipe hat to give his first inaugural address, he awkwardly looked around for a place to put it. The losing presidential candidate, democrat Stephen A. Douglas, stepped forward, said "permit me," and took the hat to hold on his knee during the address.


5. In 1972, Jean Boulet set the world record for the highest altitude reached in a helicopter, which was 40,280ft. During descent, his engines failed, and he safely landed the helicopter without power, setting another record in the process for the highest unpowered helicopter landing.


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6Kleptogenesis Reproduction

All mole salamanders in the genus Ambystoma are female and no males exist in this genus. These female salamanders 'steal' sperm from up to five different species of salamanders and recombine it to produce female hybrid offspring. This method of reproduction is called kleptogenesis.


7. Toyota is headquartered in the city of Toyota, Japan, and was founded there, but is not named after the city. The city (originally called Koromo) renamed itself after the company in 1959 because of the company’s fame and because Toyota was the city’s major employer.


8. Ravens and wolf cubs have been observed playing with each other. Ravens fly over the cubs with sticks, teasing the cubs into jumping to grab the stick.


9. Bentley only uses leather from bulls for the upholstery of its cars, because they don't get the stretch marks cows do.


10. Amidst early concerns about leaded gas, the engineer (Thomas Midgley Jr.) who discovered tetraethyllead as an additive demonstrated its 'safety' by pouring it over his hands and inhaling its vapor, stating he could do this every day without issue. He later took a leave of absence due to lead poisoning.


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11High Pressure Processing

There is a food preserving technology called High-Pressure Processing that puts food under 6000 bars of pressure and kills the bacteria by crushing it under huge pressure, even at cold temperatures. It is widely used for store-bought Guacamole.


12. There is a fake American Wild West town in England called Laredo, built by re-enactors, who bring it to life every other weekend.


13. There is a restaurant named Casa Sanchez in San Francisco which closed down in 2012, but people who got tattooed with their logo as part of a promotion can still get free pupusas from the restaurant that took over their lease.


14. The 1970s disco mega-hit "More, More, More" was recorded in Jamaica by American porn star Andrea True. She was there to film some commercials, but a diplomatic dispute with the USA forced her to choose between spending her pay there or forfeiting it. She decided to pay for a demo record.


15. The 2014 Nobel Prize in physics was awarded to the three men who invented the blue LED. Until their discovery in the 90s, white LED lights couldn't be produced.


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16Bath School Massacre

In 1927, a school board treasurer in the Bath Township in Michigan got angry over a property tax increase and spent most of the year sneaking hundreds of pounds of dynamite and pyrotol into the new school building. The resulting detonation at the first school bell killed 38 children. Earlier that day he killed his wife.


17. Pork butt is not the rear end of the pig. It's the shoulder. The pork shoulders were named after the barrels they used to be kept in, which were called butts.


18. The soundproofing of the new Rolls-Royce Ghost was so over-engineered that occupants in the car found the near-total silence disorienting, and some felt sick. Acoustic engineers had to go back and work on "harmonizing" various sounds in the car to add a continuous whisper.


19. After 5 Tamil chiefs defeated the Sri Lankan king Valagamba in 103 B.C., one of them became king but was eventually slain by another, who also became king before being slain by another, and so on until only one remained. Then Valagamba returned, slew the last one and took back his throne.


20. Kriegspiel is a chess variant where each player can see their pieces, but not those of their opponent. Players attempt to move on their turns and the umpire declares their attempts 'legal' or 'illegal.' If the move is illegal, the player tries again; if it is legal, that move stands.


21NASA Logo Merchandise

NASA logo merchandise has been seeing growing demand since 2017 when luxury fashion brand Coach asked permission to use NASA's 1970s-designed, retro red logotype for its collection and then approval requests doubled. NASA doesn't make a cent off merchandise bearing its name.


22. Most US commercial radio stations east of the Mississippi river start with the letter 'W' and west start with the letter 'K.' By law, these call signs must be announced at every top of the hour.


23. During the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge an earthquake struck it in 1935. A dozen workers were trapped on top of one of the towers, swaying 16 feet back and forth, while their coworkers were throwing up on the deck.


24. Potassium's main role in the body is to help maintain normal levels of fluid inside our cells whereas sodium maintains normal fluid levels outside of cells. Potassium also helps muscles to contract and supports normal blood pressure.


25. Mud Dauber Wasps reproduce by building tubular nests out of mud, then going out and gathering spiders by paralyzing them then sealing them inside the nest with an egg. The offspring will then consume the paralyzed spiders when it hatches.

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