Random #376 – 50 Unexpected Facts to Ignite Your Curiosity

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1 AI Replaces Darth Vader

AI Replaces Darth Vader

James Earl Jones was officially replaced as the voice of Darth Vader last year by AI with Jones’s consent. After informing Disney that he was considering retiring the character, the move was made to replace James Earl Jones as the voice of Darth Vader. He consented to the future use of his voice with AI to “keep Vader alive.”

2. Coco Chanel tried to take advantage of her Jewish co-founders, brothers Pierre and Paul, during the Nazi Occupation of France and attempted to seize their stake. The brothers anticipated this and transferred their shares beforehand to a Christian friend, who later returned them after the war.

3. Soon after the famous D.B. Cooper hijacking, five other copycat hijackers employed the same tactics on other flights. All five survived their parachute jump, forcing the FBI to re-evaluate their initial conclusion that Cooper was likely killed during his attempt.

4. The pimp from the movie Taxi Driver was originally written to be black, as it matched what the writer of the movie was seeing in everyday life. However, he was changed to white because it was thought to be unpalatable to audiences.

5. Bleach has a shelf life, with effectiveness decreasing after just six months and eventually degrading into saltwater.

6 Japan’s Secret Death Sentences

Japan's Secret Death Sentences

Prisoners in Japan who are sentenced to death only find out on the morning of their execution. Following the execution, the prisoner’s family, legal representatives, and the general public receive notification.

7. The original aluminum apex of the Washington Monument was the largest piece of aluminum in the world, measuring just 5.6 inches (14 cm) by 8.9 inches (23 cm) because, at the time (1884), aluminum was as rare and valuable as silver.

8. Pablo Picasso, for a time, carried a Browning pistol loaded with blanks. He would fire it at people he found boring or anyone who insulted the Post-Impressionist painter, Paul Cézanne.

9. In 2016, the nation of Iceland sued a British supermarket chain, Iceland Foods, to have all its trademarks invalidated and won.

10. When pitching Bratz dolls for retailers to sell, they were only interested in purchasing the white, blonde, blue-eyed doll (Cloe). The CEO of MGA Ent. rejected the offer unless they purchased all four dolls. The dolls grossed $2 billion in sales in their first five years on the market.

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11 Live Ammo Training for WWII

Live Ammo Training for WWII

In World War II, British commandos were trained to instinctively take cover by experiencing live ammunition being fired 3 to 5 feet from them if they needlessly exposed themselves while maneuvering.

12. According to the regulations of Formula 1, each team is permitted to only use a maximum of 25 teraflops of double precision (64-bit) computing power for simulating the aerodynamics of their cars.

13. Deep Lake is a body of water in Antarctica with a salinity 10 times higher than the oceans, and therefore it never freezes, even in winter. Conditions in the lake are so hostile that almost no life can survive there.

14. John F. Kennedy didn’t invite Sammy Davis Jr. to his 1961 inauguration because Sammy had married a white woman. JFK was concerned that the presence of an interracial couple would upset southerners. In solidarity with Sammy, Dean Martin, angered by this news, refused to attend the inauguration.

15. There are more than 300 types of headaches, but only about 10% of headaches have a known cause. Brain tissue and the skull are never responsible since they lack nerves that register pain.

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16 Wallace’s Segregationism Reversal

Wallace's Segregationism Reversal

Despite famously campaigning in the 1970s on “segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever,” Alabama Governor George Wallace later renounced segregationism, publicly apologized to the black community, and appointed record numbers of African Americans to state positions and his cabinet.

17. Some members of the Sama-Bajau ethnic group in Southeast Asia intentionally rupture their eardrums at a young age to enhance their ability to dive and hunt at sea. This allows them to dive for extended periods between varying depths without experiencing pain from water pressure changes.

18. While US President McKinley was shot in Buffalo, the city’s premier surgeon, Roswell Park, was performing surgery on someone else in Niagara Falls. When they informed him of the need in Buffalo, he initially refused to leave, even for the President of the United States. He agreed to go only after they informed him of the identity of the person who had been shot.

19. In 2017, Visa offered up to 50 small food and restaurant vendors $10,000 each if they agreed to stop accepting cash.

20. The AK-47 is so iconic that it appears on the flags and coats of arms of many countries, including Mozambique, Zimbabwe, East Timor, etc.

15 Most Controversial & Costly Blunders in History

21 Historical Christmas Light Rentals

Historical Christmas Light Rentals

In the early 1900s, people rented Christmas lights because they were too expensive to buy. An electrically lit tree was a status symbol back then.

22. An inmate named Charles Justice was released early on parole for designing improvements to the electric chair, using metal instead of leather for the wrist restraints. Months later, he was convicted of murder and sentenced to death by the same chair he had improved.

23. Originally, people used lignum vitae, a hard wood, to make propeller shaft bearings for ships and submarines.

24. In 1964, when Kia transitioned from making bicycles to cars, they changed their logo. The Kia logo, for 22 years, looked like an upside-down “Q.”

25. Stylitism was a trend among early Christian monks who practiced asceticism by living atop a pillar. One stylite stayed atop his pillar for 54 years without ever coming down.

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