Random #339 – 50 Awesome Random Facts

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26Soil Consumption

The consumption of soil in sub-Saharan Africa is common, primarily among pregnant women (ranging from 30% to 80% depending on the country). The soil is mostly air-dried, but can also be baked, smoked, salted, or mixed with herbs or water and the soil from termite mounds isn't sour.


27. Beauty Parlour Stroke Syndrome is an extremely rare phenomenon that describes a stroke caused by having your hair washed over a basin at a salon. It is thought to be the result of reduced blood flow to the brain caused by the sustained distortion of the neck during the washing process.


28. Portraits of presidents were not depicted on the official currency of the USA until the beginning of the 20th century. The first dollars had the figures and faces of the characters of Greek and Roman mythology and even pictures with the participation of Native Americans appeared on the money.


29. When King William II organized a hunting trip in 1100, he was presented with six arrows. He took four for himself and handed the other two to Tirel, saying, "Bon archer, bonnes fleches." ("[To the] good archer, the good arrows.") It was the last time that William was seen alive.


30. After the peaceful dissolution of Sweden-Norway, the Norwegian legislature asked Prince Carl of Denmark to become King of Norway. In 1905, he asked that the Norwegian people to vote on a proposal on whether to remain a monarchy. He was crowned King of Norway after 79.8% of voters approved the proposal.


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31French Movie Tax Rebates

Movies made in France can access a tax rebate (worth up to 40% of spend) if the movie passes a Cultural Test, which awards points if at least one main character is "of a nationality that cannot be determined". More points are given for sets being "symbolic of France."


32. The Royal Air Force and the United States Air Force dropped 3,316,000 magnesium incendiary bombs on Munich alone during World War 2. That’s about 4 bombs for every inhabitant.


33. Project plowshare was once a US program whose purpose was to find peaceful uses for nuclear weapons including excavating dig sites using nuclear weapons.


34. During the ‘Degenerate Era’ of the universe, the stars in our universe will run out of fuel, and the starry night sky we see today will no longer exist. Aging stars and stellar remnants will be too cold to support life. It is hypothesized to happen about 1 quintillion years after the Big Bang.


35. During the 19th century, Paris was characterized by tight winding streets and small thin buildings that Voltaire said were suitable for Goths. Under Napoleon III the city had massive renovations that widened the streets and created large apartment buildings.


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36Perfluorohexane

A fluorocarbon called perfluorohexane has enough oxygen and carbon dioxide inside it with enough space between the molecules that animals submerged in the liquid can still breathe normally.


37. The official rules of Ping Pong allow the ball to touch your paddle hand, which includes all fingers and the hand area below the wrist. Players however are not allowed to touch the ball with a non-paddle hand for any reason.


38. ASCII is a character encoding standard for electronic communication. In 1968, president Lyndon B. Johnson mandated that all computers purchased by the United States Federal Government support ASCII. It remained the most common character encoding on the World Wide Web until 2007.


39. Alan Menken, the composer responsible for "Disney Renaissance" soundtracks like Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Beauty, and the Beast, etc. wrote a song exclusively for the Japanese Disney-Sea ride "Sinbad's Storybook Adventure" and it's only ever been officially released in Japanese.


40. Frans de Waal won an Ig Noble Prize for discovering that chimpanzees can identify other chimpanzees individually by seeing photographs of their anogenital regions.


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4118th Century Wig Fashion

In the 18th century, rich people usually owned a large wig for formal occasions and a smaller one to wear at home. Wigs were a status symbol and were also the target of thieves due to how costly some of them were. Those who couldn't afford wigs tried to make their real hair look like one.


42. Greg "Pappy" Boyington was the commander of the legendary Marine jet fighter ‘Black Sheep Squadron’ during World War 2. He was captured by the Japanese and held as a POW. He admitted his health drastically improved during his imprisonment as a result of the enforced sobriety.


43. The United States Camel Corps was a mid-19th-century experiment by the United States Army in using camels as pack animals in the Southwestern United States. Civil War interfered with the experiment and it was eventually abandoned. The animals were sold at an auction.


44. The song "I Knew You Were Waiting For Me'' was supposed to be a duet between George Michael and Michael Jackson until Jackson dropped out and then they tried to get Stevie Wonder but due to the timing issue that fell off until it went to Aretha Franklin.


45. The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds has developed a 'splatometer' for insect analysis which is a postcard-sized piece of plastic attached to a car that catches bugs as one drives it.


46Mud Puddling

Butterflies like to "mud puddle" where they basically extract and eat the salts they find in mud, blood, feces, and dead animals, because it's extremely nutritious for them.


47. Fast-food chain Burger Chef pioneered kids' meals that included toys in the early 1970s, with their Funmeals. They later unsuccessfully sued McDonald's after the introduction of the Happy Meal in 1979.


48. Polaris, the North Star, is a star system of three stars gravitationally bound to one another.


49. The popular manga/anime, 'One Punch Man' was inspired by the even more popular children's anime An Pan Man. The characters are a play on each other with their color schemes reversed and the play on names (One Punch Man is pronounced Wan Pan Man in Japanese).


50. The longest word ever used in literature is from a 391 BC work by Aristophanes. The word is ‘Lopado­temacho­selacho­galeo­kranio­leipsano­drim­hypo­trimmato­silphio­karabo­melito­katakechy­meno­kichl­epi­kossypho­phatto­perister­alektryon­opte­kephallio­kigklo­peleio­lagoio­siraio­baphe­tragano­pterygon.’

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