Random #377 – 50 Uncommon Facts That Will Amaze You

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1 Death Row Pizza Compassion

Death Row Pizza Compassion

Philip Workman, an inmate on death row, requested that his last meal be a pizza for any homeless person located nearby. Prison officials refused, declaring they don’t donate to charity. The public decided to donate pizzas to homeless shelters themselves, in his name, after his execution.


2. In every U.S. state, whoever presses the button on the slot machine wins the wager. That’s why, in 2017, a man who had his female friend push the slot machine button for good luck did not win anything, but she won $100,000.


3. When a newly discovered sponge-like fungus was named after SpongeBob SquarePants in 2011, a mycological research journal initially rejected the name for being “too frivolous.” When challenged, the scientists stood behind their discovery, saying, “We’ll name it whatever we like.”


4. Kenny Rogers was once singing at a private event for a hedge fund manager and was asked to repeat ‘The Gambler’ over and over, being offered additional pay per song. After a dozen times and having earned $4 million, he refused to sing.


5. While filming the scene in the 1983 movie “A Christmas Story” where Ralphie is dressed as a sheriff, a prop man gave actor Peter Billingsley real Red Man chewing tobacco. Peter, who was 12 years old, didn’t know the difference and ingested it. Billingsley’s recovery forced production to be shut down.


6 Bob Jones University Policies

Bob Jones University Policies

Bob Jones University is a Christian university located in South Carolina where students are only allowed to watch G-rated movies and rock music is banned. It also didn’t allow blacks to attend until 1971. From ’71 to ’76, the only blacks that were allowed were married couples. In ’82, they lost a Supreme Court case and had to pay back taxes from ’71. Interracial dating wasn’t allowed at the university until 2000.


7. Child prodigy Adragon De Mello’s father planned for his son to get a Ph.D. in physics by age 12, win the Nobel Prize by age 16, and then become a Senator, a President, the head of a world government, and ultimately the chairman of an “intergalactic government.” He indeed did become the youngest college graduate in US history at age 11, but later went back to junior high school and, at 27, was working at Home Depot.


8. According to a 2019 survey of 4500+ Americans, the average age at which children stop believing in Santa Claus is 8.4 years old. The oldest average comes from the state of Mississippi, at 10.2 years old.


9. To join the EU, Austria had to lift its blanket ban on members of the Habsburg family entering Austria because it was a violation of human rights.


10. During a 1972 John Lennon/Chuck Berry jam session, the sound engineers muted Yoko’s mic.


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11 Deadly Sydney Spider Venom

Deadly Sydney Spider Venom

In an ‘unfortunate evolutionary coincidence,’ the ?-hexatoxins in Sydney Funnel-web spider venom are exceptionally dangerous to humans. A bite can kill a human in as little as 15 minutes.


12. Richard Phillips survived the longest wrongful prison sentence in American history by writing poetry and painting with watercolors. He also had the opportunity to kill the man who helped put him away, but he chose not to. He’s due to be paid $1.5 million for being wrongfully convicted (as of December 2023).


13. Canton Avenue in Pittsburgh, PA, is the steepest officially recorded street in the United States, boasting a 37% grade on its hill.


14. The Sweatbox was a documentary about the making of The Emperor’s New Groove. It was produced by Sting’s wife and was never released by Disney due to the unprecedented access the documentary had to their creative process, which was uncharacteristically rushed and improvised for this project.


15. During the process of becoming a US state in 1890, Wyoming demanded the right for women to vote. The US Congress denied this request. The state replied by saying that they’d “remain out of the Union one hundred years rather than come in without the women.”


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16 Tupac’s Final Song Choice

Tupac's Final Song Choice

Vincent by Don McLean was Tupac’s favorite song, and his girlfriend played it as he was dying, so it would be the last thing he heard.


17. Malignant hyperthermia is a deadly reaction (temperature as high as 109°F) to general anesthesia. Malignant hyperthermia is an inherited condition that runs in families. It’s the reason anesthesiologists always ask you if anyone in the family has had a fatal reaction to anesthesia.


18. Whiplash was originally an 18-minute short film that received acclaim at the Sundance Film Festival, drawing investors to fund the full-length film, which cost $3.3 million to make and grossed $49 million at the box office.


19. When Ottoman envoys, citing a religious custom, declined to remove their turbans when meeting with Vlad (Dracula) the Impaler, Vlad saluted their devotion and decided to strengthen their custom by having three spikes driven through each of their heads, pinning the turbans in place forever.


20. A B29 weather reconnaissance plane called Straight Flush flew over the city of Hiroshima before the atomic bomb attack to determine if conditions were favorable. Its pilot, Claude Eatherly, later expressed remorse, received psychiatric hospitalization, and engaged in anti-nuclear activism.


15 Most Controversial & Costly Blunders in History


21 Princess Diana’s Unfinished Film

Princess Diana's Unfinished Film

Following the success of the ’90s hit film “The Bodyguard,” Kevin Costner contacted his longtime friend Princess Diana to star in a sequel. She agreed. The first draft arrived the day before her death, in 1997. After her death in 1997, they scrapped the film.


22. The drawing of the bear on Alaska’s license plates was appropriated from artist Douglas Allen without his permission. The plates were first released in 1976, but Allen didn’t even know until 2015. Allen had never been to Alaska. He had sketched the bear at the Bronx Zoo.


23. The person who published the first map with the word America later tried to change the continent’s name to Parrotland.


24. In 2013, astronaut Chris Hadfield took a picture of Berlin at night from the International Space Station, which showed the division between the former east and west through its streetlights. East Berlin looks orange due to sodium vapor lamps, while West Berlin looks white due to fluorescent lamps.


25. Nintendo copied LEGO in the ’60s and outsold them for a few years in Japan. Their N&B Block series was very similar to LEGO and way more popular because it had more round shapes. Nintendo stopped the N&B Block series in the early ’70s, most likely due to legal pressure from LEGO.


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