Random #378 – 50 Facts to Amaze and Astonish

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1 Dr. Benjamin Spock’s Parenting Revolution

Dr. Benjamin Spock's Parenting Revolution

Dr. Benjamin Spock, a pediatrician, authored the 1946 best-selling book “Baby and Child Care,” which remains one of the most successful books of the twentieth century. His unconventional advice at the time, advocating for parents to show affection to their children and view them as individuals, revolutionized parenting approaches.


2. In 1650, a woman named Anne Greene faced accusations of infanticide and was hanged, despite evidence indicating she had miscarried. Following her execution, her body was transported to Oxford for dissection, where a faint pulse was discovered. After various treatments, including a smoke enema, she was revived and later pardoned, with the belief that God had intervened.


3. General Motor’s Pontiac Aztek faced universal dislike from focus groups, with one respondent bluntly stating, “I wouldn’t take it as a gift.” Despite the negative reception, GM persisted in advancing the Aztek’s design.


4. In the 1940s, future president Lyndon B. Johnson narrowly escaped being beaten with a tire iron when attempting to deceive African Americans into opening a trunk full of snakes.


5. During the 1950s and 1960s, car manufacturers developed a turbine engine capable of running on any type of fuel without modification. As a demonstration, the car was driven to Mexico, powered by tequila, and to France, powered by Chanel No. 5.


6 Machiavelli’s Diplomatic History Approach

Machiavelli's Diplomatic History Approach

When tasked with writing the history of Florence by the Pope, Machiavelli faced the challenge of presenting unpleasant truths about the Pope’s family (the Medici). To navigate this delicate situation, he included all the negatives about the family as words spoken by their enemies, avoiding direct criticism.


7. In Ethiopia, monkeys have successfully “domesticated” wild wolves by assisting them in hunting small rodents. The wolves now peacefully coexist with monkeys, including infants, without displaying aggression, preferring smaller and more challenging prey.


8. In 2019, the US private security/detective agency Pinkerton sued Rockstar Games and Take-Two Interactive for using Pinkerton’s trademark and portraying its agents as antagonists in Red Dead Redemption 2. Take-Two counter-sued, citing fair use as their defense.


9. The best-selling single-model-year vehicle in American history is the 1965 Chevrolet Impala, with a record-breaking 1,074,925 units sold. Among these, 200,000 vehicles included the SS package, contributing to the Impala’s unparalleled success.


10. Malcolm Caldwell, a Scottish academic, expressed such strong support for the Khmer Rouge that he traveled to Cambodia to meet Pol Pot, resulting in his untimely murder.


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11 Ichiro Suzuki’s Canine Influence

Ichiro Suzuki's Canine Influence

Legendary baseball star Ichiro Suzuki once refused to disclose his dog’s name to the media, stating that he “didn’t have the dog’s permission.” He also attributed his decision to stay with his longtime team, the Seattle Mariners, to his dog’s influence.


12. Byzantine Emperor Justinian II (685-695 and 70-711) faced overthrow in a rebellion, during which his nose was severed to prevent him from reclaiming power. However, in 705, he made a triumphant return with a prosthetic golden nose and sought revenge against those who had ousted him.


13. Mao Zedong gave his countrymen a box of mangoes that Pakistan had given him. This led to the formation of a cult in China around this unfamiliar fruit. Replicas of mangoes were created and publicly displayed. One man, unimpressed by the fruit’s appearance, was paraded around his town and then publicly executed.


14. Rammstein once performed a concert in Hamburg, Germany, causing the physics department of the local university to detect vibrations on their seismograph. While the sound was not registered, the ground literally shook.


15. ‘The Campaign for North Africa’ is a board game that was published in 1978. It is estimated to take 62 days to complete. The game features 1,600 counters, and its meticulous detail extends to Italian troops needing additional water supplies to boil pasta.


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16 Luna 1: The Missed Moon

Luna 1: The Missed Moon

The Soviet spacecraft Luna 1, which was intended to be the first craft to land on the moon, missed its target by nearly 6,000 km. Instead, it became the first spacecraft to enter orbit around the sun between the orbits of Earth and Mars.


17. In 1923, the United States Post Office Department mandated that every household have a mailbox or letter slot for mail delivery. Before this regulation, letter carriers would knock on doors and wait for residents to answer.


18. In 1965, Air India commissioned Salvador Dali to design an ashtray, with Dali requesting an elephant as his fee. The airline transported a two-year-old elephant from Bangalore to Geneva. When Dali lost interest, the elephant was relocated to the Barcelona Zoo in 1971.


19. A Banyan tree in northwestern Pakistan, which was put in chains by a drunk British army officer after he placed it “under arrest” during Britain’s oppressive colonial rule over India, continues to bear the weight of its metal bearings despite a lapse of around 120 years.


20. When securing the movie rights for ”The Polar Express” (1985), one stipulation was that the resulting film could not be animated. To preserve his vision, Robert Zemeckis opted for motion capture technology during the movie’s production.


15 Most Controversial & Costly Blunders in History


21 Bathroom Choking Tragedies

Bathroom Choking Tragedies

Many choking incidents occur in bathrooms. It turns out that individuals who start choking often feel embarrassed and seek privacy in the bathroom, only to tragically end up alone, often next to a toilet.


22. Japan is home to several “Nose Tombs,” containing tens of thousands of severed noses from Korea.


23. The psoas minor is a muscle found in approximately 40% of people. It extends from the back of the midspine to the front of the hips. While everyone possesses a psoas muscle, the minor muscle serves as a smaller counterpart, gently cradling the main muscle. Its role may include contributing to movements involving bending and straightening at the hips.


24. Virtually no commercial planes fly over Tibet. One reason is that, in the event of depressurization or engine failure, planes cannot safely descend to 10,000 feet due to the Tibetan Plateau’s average elevation of 14,370 feet.


25. Since the construction of the Oval Office in 1909, a total of six different desks have been used by 20 presidents. The Resolute desk was used by 8 presidents, the Theodore Roosevelt desk by 6, the Hoover desk by 2, the Wilson desk by 2, the C&O desk by 1, and the Johnson desk by 1.


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