Random #375 – 50 Quirky Tidbits of Information

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1 Penny Licks Spread Disease

Penny Licks Spread Disease

Before the invention of ice cream cones, ice cream was served in reusable glass containers called “penny licks,” which were notorious for spreading disease because they were reused and never washed between customers.


2. Researchers conducted the initial tests on goats to evaluate the effectiveness of Kevlar bulletproof vests. After 24 hours, one died, while the rest sustained non-life-threatening wounds.


3. Che Guevara’s executioner, Mario Terán, was a 27-year-old Bolivian sergeant who, while half-drunk, requested to shoot him because three of his friends, all named “Mario,” had been killed days earlier by Guevara’s band of guerrillas.


4. It is reported that roadside food stall operators in Kenya purchase transformer oil stolen from transformers for deep-frying purposes. When used for frying, it is reported that transformer oil lasts much longer than regular cooking oil, probably due to the presence of PCBs, which is highly carcinogenic.


5. Americans actually started using the dating system (mm/dd/yyyy) from the UK, who used it before the 20th century.


6 Boy Scout Nuclear Science

Boy Scout Nuclear Science

The Boy Scout Nuclear Science Merit Badge has requirements that include building a Geiger counter, planting irradiated and nonirradiated seeds, and visiting an accelerator (research lab) or university where people study the properties of the nucleus or nucleons.


7. According to the ADA guidelines, individuals with disabilities are required to leash or tether their service dogs at all times, unless their disability prevents them from doing so. Additionally, it is important to note that emotional support dogs are not considered service dogs.


8. In 1939, two days before Britain declared war on Germany, the government took the BBC off the air with little warning, and the last program broadcast was a Mickey Mouse cartoon. The government was concerned that VHF transmissions would act as a beacon for enemy aircraft that could bomb London.


9. The song “Fight for Your Right” by the Beastie Boys was written as a parody of frat culture, and the band was upset that people took it at face value.


10. Even a copy of Action Comics #1, graded as low as 1.5/10 by the CGC, still fetched $175,000.


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11 Ford’s 1903 Model A Auction

Ford's 1903 Model A Auction

Ford’s first car, a 1903 Model A with an original price of $850, sold at auction in 2012 for $264,000. This specific car was the third 1903 Model A made by Ford and is the oldest known surviving Ford car. The buyer was William Clay Ford Jr., the great-grandson of Ford founder Henry Ford.


12. Steven Spielberg was not present for the shooting of the final scene in Jaws because he thought the film crew was going to throw him into the water once the shoot ended. Since then, it has become a tradition for him to be absent when the final scene of one of his films is being shot.


13. In the 1980s, Jim Davis wanted plush Garfields made with Velcro so people could hang them on curtains, but the factory mistakenly returned the prototype with suction cups. He approved it. They soon became a craze, and people were putting them on car windows and smashing car windows to steal them.


14. Languages that originate in humid environments are more likely to have a wide range of tones because human vocal folds become more elastic in humid environments.


15. The Mani Peninsula of Greece contained the last remnants of Spartans, the last of the Roman Empire to convert to Christianity, never fully conquered by Ottomans, the source of the Greek War of Independence, contains a cave to Hades and a temple that Roman Generals and Emperors would visit.


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16 Pedestrianism Spectator Sport

Pedestrianism Spectator Sport

Pedestrianism used to be a major spectator sport. In 18th- and early 19th-century Britain, a common challenge was to walk 1000 miles in 1000 hours, and gambling was often involved.


17. Tanna is a small island in the South Pacific where villagers worship a mythical American WW2 veteran named John Frum, believing that he will bring them material wealth one day.


18. During WWII, Buddy Lewis, an MLB player, served as a pilot and received instructions to carry a cake of cocaine in his pocket while flying over the Burmese jungles. This was because, in the event of a crash, the locals had a fondness for the substance and would assist him in safely navigating out of the jungle.


19. In the 7th century BC, lawmaker Charondas forbade anyone from bringing weapons to the assembly under penalty of death. One day, seeking to defeat some brigands in the hills, he brought a knife to the assembly. In order to uphold his own law, he killed himself.


20. During the famous 1959 Kitchen Debate, Khrushchev claimed that Nixon’s grandchildren would live under communism. However, Khrushchev’s son became a naturalized American citizen, disproving his claim.


15 Most Controversial & Costly Blunders in History


21 Death Row Inmate’s Unusual Request

Death Row Inmate's Unusual Request

A death row inmate named James Edward Smith requested a lump of dirt for his last meal as part of a voodoo ritual to assist in his reincarnation.


22. In Austria, Americans can go to any McDonald’s to get in touch with the U.S. Embassy if they need help. McDonald’s locations in Austria and the U.S. Embassy in Vienna established this under a new partnership.


23. Saint Nicholas’ reputation as a secret gift-giver originates from him discreetly funding three poor girls’ dowries so that they wouldn’t be forced into prostitution.


24. The Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., displayed a working “Little Boy” atomic bomb that lacked only uranium until 1986. The Department of Energy removed the bomb’s inner components from the museum to prevent it from being stolen and detonated with fissile material.


25. The entire population of a village on the Kenyan island of Pate is descended from medieval Chinese sailors. The story is that when Chinese merchants came to the island to trade with the locals, they ended up running aground. They then decided to settle and marry local women.


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