Random #376 – 50 Unexpected Facts to Ignite Your Curiosity

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26CIA's Legal Limits on Information

CIA's Legal Limits on Information

The law prohibits the CIA from collecting information on the U.S. government, U.S. citizens, resident aliens, legal immigrants, and U.S. corporations, regardless of their location.

27. In 2019, China experienced a severe pork shortage due to the African swine fever outbreak. As a result, some farmers bred giant pigs that weighed as much as an average adult male polar bear, or 1,100 pounds. These giant pigs were worth more than $1,400 each.

28. The Woodstock 1999 festival was so ill-prepared for the crowd size that portable toilets overflowed, and there was no shade from the heat. Unaware of the waste leaking from toilets, attendees played in the mud to cool off, resulting in many cases of trench mouth and trench foot.

29. Viewers can disable closed captions, but open captions are permanently displayed. Open captions are burned into the video, while closed captions can be toggled on or off.

30. Shoe Fitting Fluoroscope or "X-Ray Shoe Fitter" existed in shoe stores up until the 1970s, which allowed customers (mostly children) to look through a viewer at a live X-ray of their feet to see the bones of their toes and how they lined up with the stitching of the shoe's sole.

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31CIA's Aswang Rumors in 1950s

CIA's Aswang Rumors in 1950s

During the 1950s, while fighting the Huks, a communist guerrilla movement in the Philippines, the CIA spread rumors that aswangs, or 'vampires', would attack evil men. As part of psychological warfare, they punctured holes in a dead body and drained it of blood for others to find.

32. During WWII, while arranging prisoner exchanges, the US government discovered that less than 10% of the individuals on Japan's list desired repatriation. It then forged an agreement with 15 Latin American countries to ship their ethnic Japanese to the USA to expand its hostage pool.

33. Sigmund Rascher, a scientist who performed inhumane medical experiments at Dachau, was himself imprisoned and executed by the Nazis at Dachau after it was revealed that he and his wife were committing fraud by kidnapping (German) babies.

34. As of right now, the identity of the host of the trivia game show Inquizition is still unknown due to stipulations in his contract.

35. A Saudi billionaire named Walid Juffali once bought diplomatic immunity from the government of St. Lucia so he could divorce his wife (Christina Estrada) without paying alimony.

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36Plumber's Post-Thanksgiving Woes

Plumber's Post-Thanksgiving Woes

Plumbers in America refer to the day after Thanksgiving as "brown Friday" due to the clogging of pipes, drains, and toilets.

37. During the filming of the original Star Wars, R2-D2 often functioned poorly, leading, among other things, to an accidental visit to the set of "Jesus of Nazareth."

38. The Irish War of Independence received about three times more money in donations from Irish Americans than the amount raised by the people of Ireland through the "National Loan" program established by the new national government to finance the rebellion.

39. Blur's signature rock song, Song 2, that goes "WOOHOO," is exactly 2 minutes and 2 seconds long and also has 2 verses and 2 choruses. The band also decided to keep the song's name as its place in the tracklist rather than naming it something else.

40. Atheist Charles Moore, known as "Kentucky's Most Hated Man," faced imprisonment in the late 1800s for his outspoken opposition to religion and the Bible, as well as for mailing obscene literature about "Free Love," a social movement that accepts all forms of love.

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41Zhukov's Tank Innovations in WWII

Zhukov's Tank Innovations in WWII

During World War 2, Soviet General Georgy Zhukov oversaw innovations on the Mongolian front, including replacing gasoline engines in tanks with diesel. These developments helped perfect the T-34 tank, which is now considered the war's most outstanding all-purpose tank.

42. Sierra Mixe corn is a crop that can grow in nitrogen-depleted soil due to its aerial roots secreting mucus to host symbiotic bacteria, which fertilizes the plant.

43. Donald Sutherland was so determined to play President Snow in the 'Hunger Games' movie that he wrote a lengthy letter to the film's director detailing his thoughts on the character's personality and role.

44. Leona Helmsley, dubbed "The Queen of Mean," came from an immigrant family and, in her late 40s, became a real estate mogul, going from a new millionaire to a billionaire in the next two decades. Known for being abusive, she left $5 billion to dog charities and more to her dogs than her kids.

45. The UK is the only country to have successfully developed and then abandoned the capability to launch satellites into space. The Black Arrow rocket launched the Prospero satellite into orbit from Australia in October 1971. Costs led to the cancellation of the project in the same year.

46Cyber Monday's Dial-Up Era Origins

Cyber Monday's Dial-Up Era Origins

The term "Cyber Monday" dates back to the early 2000s and refers to a time when most people still had dial-up internet at home. They would use their employers' high-speed internet connections to shop online upon returning to work after the Thanksgiving break.

47. Eddie Rickenbacker, the World War I Ace of Aces pilot, survived being stranded at sea for 24 days by eating a seagull that landed on his head.

48. The phrase "getting sent up the river" originates from Sing Sing Prison, which is situated 30 miles up the Hudson River from New York City.

49. The galaxy "MCG+01-02-015" is one of the loneliest galaxies ever spotted. There are no other galaxies near it within a 100 million-light-year radius.

50. Due to the highly generous and egalitarian nature of their society, the Penan people in Malaysia do not have a word for 'thank you' as help is assumed and does not require an expression of gratitude.

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