Random #348 – 50 Lesser Known Random Facts

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1Preparedness Paradox

Preparing for an emergency (an epidemic, natural disaster, etc.) can sometimes prevent people from being harmed by it and when people don’t see the negative consequences from the emergency, they wrongly conclude that the emergency wasn't that bad to start with. This is known as the "Preparedness Paradox."


2. A 36-yr-old man named Jamie Siminoff founded a company named Doorbot in 2013 and went on Shark Tank to raise $700,000. Jamie refused the shark offer from Kevin, rebranded the company as Ring, brought on Shaquille O'Neal as investor and spokesperson, and in 2018 sold Ring to Amazon for $1.2-1.8 billion.


3. The British Pound is the oldest currency in the world. It has been used for over 1,200 years and it dates back to the Anglo-Saxon era. Back then it was equivalent to 1 pound of silver. One pound back then could buy you 15 cows.


4. The trope of vampires dying in the sun was only created in 1922 during the ending of Nosferatu.


5. Ronald Reagan started eating Jelly Belly to quit smoking and kept eating so much of it during his terms as President that they had to bring in more than 300 thousand jelly beans to the White House each month.


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6Irish Tax Relief

Ireland limits taxation on writers, artists, composers, painters, etc. for their contribution to culture.


7. The first victim of the Chernobyl disaster was Valery Khodemchuk who died as the reactor exploded. His body was never found and it is most probably entombed in the wreckage of the Chernobyl power plant.


8. Historic hydrological landmarks named hunger stones (hungerstein) are strewn throughout Central Europe near rivers, which are marked with inscriptions that are visible only when the water flow gets low enough. These were used to warn the future generations of droughts that could cause famines.


9. Actor Matt Doherty, who played Les Averman in the Mighty Ducks films, didn't know how to skate or play hockey at all when he was cast in the first movie. By the time they shot the 3rd movie, he was captain of his high school hockey team and had been offered a scholarship to play in college.


10. The Salvation Army was originally opposed by and fought with The Skeleton Army which was composed of lower and working-class citizens, punks, and miscreants who objected to the SA's views on abstinence and cleanliness.


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11Odette Sansom Hallowes

Odette Sansom Hallowes was a British Special Operations Executive (SOE) agent during World War 2. She was captured by the Gestapo, interrogated, tortured, and sentenced to death twice. She survived the war and was the first woman to be awarded the United Kingdom’s George Cross. In 1951, her George Cross medal was stolen, but later returned with an apology note.


12. Queen guitarist Brian May uses banjo strings on his electric guitars. Banjo strings are much lighter (thinner) and can bend much easier, giving it that signature Queen sound.


13. Sonya Thomas is a competitive eater who in 2005 held 22 world eating titles with a bodyweight of just 99 pounds. She even defeated elite male and female competitors twice her size or more.


14. In the 1950s, there used to be a bus route from London in England to Calcutta in India. It took about 50 days for the bus to reach Calcutta from London.


15. During World War 2, a Japanese-American woman named Iva Toguri D'Aquino (Tokyo Rose) used double entendres to make farce of Japanese propaganda on her Radio Tokyo show “The Zero Hour” which was broadcasted to Allied troops in the South Pacific. She also used part of her $7 a month paycheck to smuggle food to American POWs. She was named a traitor by the USA and arrested for treason. It took her 30 years for her to prove her innocence.


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16Christian Bale

Christian Bale had dental work done to make his teeth more perfect for American Psycho (2000) to match the superficial appearance of his character Patrick Bateman.


17. During the Battle of the Little Bighorn with American troops led by General Custer, Chief Sitting Bull moved within rifle range, methodically filled his pipe, encouraged others to join him, slowly smoked as bullets flew by, and returned unscathed as a display of contempt and courage.


18. The average Mexican is genetically 50% indigenous with evidence of native ancestry being significantly higher on the X chromosome.


19. Socrates wrote nothing. All that is known about him has been inferred from accounts by members of his circle, primarily Plato and Xenophon, as well as by Plato's student Aristotle, who acquired his knowledge of Socrates through his teacher.


20. In ancient Rome, actors had a very low social status and were seen as little better than prostitutes.


21Cessna 172

Measured by its longevity and popularity, Cessna 172 is the most successful aircraft in history. First produced in 1956, more than 44,000 were made as of 2015. It also holds the world record for the longest manned non-stop flight of 65 days, which was set way back in 1959.


22. Onions have sucrose, a natural sugar, trapped in their cells. The longer you cook an onion the more sucrose is released and the heat converts the sucrose into glucose and fructose which are sweeter sugars. This process is called caramelization and it creates very sweet-tasting onions.


23. Using recycled glass to make new glass requires 40% less energy than making it from all new materials. It saves energy because crushed glass melts at a lower temp than the raw materials. Glass is sometimes recycled into "Glassphalt" or is used as a landfill covering over waste materials.


24. John F. Kennedy suffered from chronic back pain. He underwent 4 back operations, including a discectomy, instrumentation, and fusion, and 2 minor surgeries, all of which failed to improve his pain.


25. The reason why Wine Coolers dropped in popularity in the USA after the 80s was because, in 1991, the US excise tax on wine was raised from $0.17 per gallon to $1.07, making it uneconomical for Wine Cooler makers to produce at a palatable price for buyers.

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