Random #357 – 50 Mind-Blowing Random Facts

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1Jimmy Carter's Nuclear Mission

Jimmy Carter's Nuclear Mission

In 1952, Jimmy Carter led a team of nuclear scientists in disassembling a Canadian nuclear reactor undergoing a meltdown. To accomplish this, Carter, alongside other American military personnel, personally lowered themselves into the reactor to disassemble it by hand.

2. The reason we see fewer fireflies nowadays is that there are genuinely fewer of them. One in three North American firefly species is at risk of extinction, with some species already officially listed as 'Critically Endangered'!

3. Prostitution was the biggest source of employment for women in Helena, Montana, in the 1870s and 80s. In 1886, there were 52 prostitutes working in the city. The madams became so wealthy that they bought up blocks of downtown property and even started their own mortgage company.

4. When random people of varying physical attractiveness are placed in a room, the most physically attractive people tend to seek out each other and congregate with only each other.

5. In 2018, Tracy Chapman sued Nicki Minaj for copyright infringement. According to the complaint, Chapman repeatedly refused to give Minaj permission to sample her 1998 song "Baby Can I Hold You." Maraj anyway used the lyrics and vocal melody in an unreleased track called "Sorry." In 2021, Minaj settled and agreed to pay Chapman $450,000.

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6South Korea's Failed Assassination Attempt

South Korea's Failed Assassination Attempt

In 1968, South Korea's CIA recruited a suicide squad to kill North Korea's dictator, Kim Il Sung. The squad mutinied, killed their commanders, hijacked a bus to Seoul, and were blown up by their own military. The survivors were then executed.

7. As the reigning monarch of 14 countries, King Charles III is allowed to travel without a passport and drive without a license.

8. In 1903, Daniel Barringer gambled his entire fortune on a mineshaft, believing geologists had misclassified a meteor creator as a volcano and that an iron ore deposit worth $1 billion was to be found. He was correct that the site was a meteor creator, but he didn't realize that the iron ore had vaporized on impact.

9. Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry has bred nearly 8,000 chicks annually (around 20 a day) as part of a chicken hatchery exhibit since 1956. The chicks are kept on exhibit for museum visitors to view for a week. After that, most are fed to animals at the Lincoln Park Zoo.

10. First Lady Mamie Eisenhower disliked the Kennedys. Mamie did not inform Jacqueline of the wheelchair available for her during a White House tour. Kennedy remained composed during the tour but collapsed once home. When questioned, Eisenhower's reply was simply, "Because she never asked."

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11The Disappearance of Ettore Majorana

The Disappearance of Ettore Majorana

Ettore Majorana, an Italian theoretical physicist, predicted the existence of the neutron and neutrino before disappearing without a trace in 1938.

12. Ohio has license plates reading "Birthplace of Aviation," and North Carolina reads "First in Flight" because the two states both claim the Wright Brothers as their own. The Wrights performed the first controlled, powered flight in Kitty Hawk, N.C., but built their plane in Ohio.

13. In 1993, Mattel's Barbie division accidentally released a gay Ken doll. Despite being quickly recalled, it remains the best-selling Ken doll of all time.

14. Shortly after the Berlin Wall fell, Eugene Stoner, inventor of the AR-15, and Mikhail Kalashnikov, inventor of the AK-47, met near Washington, D.C., and developed a friendship that lasted until Stoner's death seven years later.

15. Iceland has no McDonald's restaurants anywhere in the country. McDonald's left Iceland on October 30, 2009, as a result of the 2008-2011 Icelandic financial crisis and high import tariffs on imported ingredients, which required the prices of their products to increase.

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16Burt Ward's Robin Costume Issue

Burt Ward's Robin Costume Issue

Burt Ward once claimed that ABC prescribed him penis-shrinking pills because his bulge was too large for his Robin costume.

17. King Alfonso XIII of Spain was known as "the Playboy King" and considered the pioneer of pornographic cinema in Spain. He commissioned immoral and degenerate pornographic films, including those depicting sexual relationships involving Catholic priests, and had a passion for "women with enormous breasts."

18. The Movile Cave in Romania has been completely sealed off from the outside world for 5.5 million years and has evolved dozens of animal species found nowhere else. These animals are sustained only by toxic chemicals in the air and water, not photosynthesis.

19. Jethro Tull's album "Thick as a Brick" was created as satire, poking fun at the 10-plus minute songs from prog rock bands at the time. It is now considered one of the best prog-rock albums of all time.

20. When Buddy Holly died six months after being married, his widow inherited everything but signed over 50% to his family.

21Aardwolf's Sustainable Eating Habits

Aardwolf's Sustainable Eating Habits

The aardwolf knows not to destroy its food sources. Aardwolves eat part of a termite mound, leave it, and return a few months later when the colony has rebuilt so it can have another meal. An aardwolf keeps track of mounds it has attacked and can eat 250,000 termites in a single night.

22. The Japanese turned the third of their superbattleships (after Yamato and Musashi) into the largest aircraft carrier ever built at the time. After four years of construction at enormous cost, she left the shipyard and was immediately sunk by a submarine.

23. The crews of Apollo 11, 12, and 14 had to spend three weeks in quarantine after returning to Earth because of the possibility that they might have spread contagions from the moon on earth.

24. Sperm whales use babysitters. Sperm whale youths cannot dive as deep as their mothers, so when the mother needs to forage in the deep, the youth is kept safe by swimming with other adult whales.

25. In 1974, the band Ace had their only hit, "How Long (has this been going on)." The song is not about a cheating girlfriend. It's about the band's bass player, who was moonlighting with another band.

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