Random #373 – 50 Remarkable Random Facts from Around the Globe

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1 Women Banned from Sumo

Women Banned from Sumo

Traditionally, women are prohibited from entering a sumo ring, and this tradition is so strictly enforced that in 2018, two women were asked to leave the ring, even though they were performing CPR on a man who had collapsed in the ring.

2. When Conan O’Brien reached a settlement with NBC over the Tonight Show drama, he was awarded $45 million, $12 million of which was designated for his staff who had relocated with Conan from New York to Los Angeles when he left Late Night.

3. In 1840, the average age of onset of menstruation for girls was 17. By 2000, this age had dropped to 12 years old.

4. During the 1990s and early 2000s, the FBI dedicated considerable effort to building a RICO case against Wu-Tang, suspecting them of being a broader criminal enterprise responsible for gunrunning and murders spanning from Ohio to New York.

5. Walt Disney used shell companies and fake names to acquire the land in Orlando that would eventually become Disney World in 1971.

6 Silk Road Crypto Heist

Silk Road Crypto Heist

In 2012, Jimmy Zhong uncovered a coding error on the now-defunct crypto market Silk Road that enabled him to withdraw more funds than he had deposited. He managed to steal 51,680 BTC ($3.4 billion) and maintain anonymity for ten years before finally being apprehended and sentenced to one year in 2021.

7. In the UK, it is extremely rare for a football club to relocate to another city, since the team is inexplicably tied to the city and culture there, rather than just being operated like a business.

8. The USS Kidd is the sole US Navy ship authorized to fly the Jolly Roger.

9. Prior to the U.S. invasion of Grenada 40 years ago, the Pentagon possessed such limited knowledge about the country that they had to plan the invasion using maps typically sold to tourists.

10. In 1968, students at a French university staged protests against bans on dormitory visits that prevented male and female students from sharing sleeping quarters. Following instances of police violence, 10 million workers joined the strike, which constituted over 20% of the population and effectively brought the country to a standstill.

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11 Philly’s Revolutionary Party

Philly's Revolutionary Party

Following the Revolutionary War, Philadelphia experienced a spike in sexual activity that was characterized by impromptu encounters almost anywhere. During this time, it acquired the moniker “Sin City,” among many others.

12. Apple assigned the code name “Carl Sagan” to the PowerMac 7100, leading to a cease and desist letter from Sagan himself. Apple complied, subsequently renaming it “BHA” for “Butthead Astronomer.” After an out-of-court settlement, the final name became “LAW” for “Lawyers are Wimps.”

13. The Quiznos sandwich chain, once a common sight with its catchy slogan “Mmm… Toasty!” and boasting 4,700 locations in 2007, experienced a sharp decline and the closure of over 90% of its stores within the next decade. This event stands as the industry’s most significant and swiftest collapse.

14. Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum rewarded its ten millionth visitor with the opportunity to spend a night alone in the museum. The winner had the privilege of sleeping beneath Rembrandt’s masterpiece, “The Night Watch.”

15. The National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) boasts the largest budget of any US intelligence agency, despite maintaining a nearly nonexistent federal workforce.

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16 Jonestown’s Two Survivors

Jonestown's Two Survivors

Of the 920 people at Jonestown, only two survived the massacre: Hyacinth, who hid under her bed, and 79-year-old Grover Cleveland Davis, who, hard of hearing, unknowingly slept through the tragic event.

17. To maintain the attention of young military recruits, the Nazis’ Tiger Tank manual was filled with lewd jokes, limericks, and explicit content. The manual also featured a voluptuous blond character named Elvira, often sketched in red to make her stand out.

18. During the 1800s, Hawai’i became one of the world’s most literate nations, with over 90% of the population proficient in reading and writing. Even King Kamehameha III proudly declared, “He aupuni palapala ko’u” (“I have a kingdom of education”).

19. Orbital trajectories are subject to patents, and a telecommunications satellite was once abandoned after a necessary maneuver turned out to be owned by Boeing.

20. When humans take a breath, they replenish only 15% of the air in their lungs with fresh air. In contrast, when dolphins breathe, they refresh 90% of the air in their lungs with fresh air.

15 Most Controversial & Costly Blunders in History

21 Buried Alive Record Attempt

Buried Alive Record Attempt

When Mike Meaney embarked on his record attempt to be buried alive, he omitted to inform his wife about his plan. She discovered it through a radio broadcast. He conducted workouts in a pub while confined in an oversized coffin, subsisted on a diet of steak and cigarettes, and endured 61 days buried alive.

22. Frances Bean Cobain, the daughter of Kurt Cobain, filed for divorce from her first husband, Isaiah Silva, in 2016, after a marriage of less than two years. Their legal battle included a dispute over Kurt’s guitar, which he played during his MTV Unplugged performance in November 1993. The court ultimately awarded it to Silva.

23. Arsenic was once marketed as a beauty product in the late 1800s. Women would nibble on wafers laced with arsenic or even use it for washing, hoping to attain a complexion free of “freckles, blackheads, and pimples.”

24. A European Snickers commercial titled “Get Some Nuts,” featuring Mr. T using a vehicle-mounted rotary machine gun to pelt Snickers bars at a speedwalker, branding him a “disgrace to the man race,” was withdrawn in 2008 following complaints of homophobia in the United States.

25. The northernmost inhabited place on Earth is “Alert” in Canada. The armed forces maintain a year-round presence here, though the official population is recorded at 0. The average temperature in Alert is -17°C (0°F).

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