Random #378 – 50 Facts to Amaze and Astonish

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26RAF's Marshmallow Ban

RAF's Marshmallow Ban

The Royal Air Force has banned marshmallows due to their potential to explode.

27. Weezer's "Buddy Holly" music video was included on the Windows 95 installation CD without the band's prior permission.

28. Pope John Paul II had a fondness for Doc Martens boots and generously gifted 100 pairs to the Swiss Guards in the Vatican.

29. Some companies use lead-based dyes to enhance the appeal of color-dependent products, such as spices like chili powder, turmeric, and cumin. In a disturbing turn of events, some businesses add melamine to baby formula because it is high in nitrogen, a substance that scientists measure to determine protein content.

30. The Neo Geo holds the record as the most expensive home video game console ever made, selling for $650 in 1990, equivalent to $1,566.59 today. Originally intended as a rental console, it was released for retail due to high demand.

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31The "Blue Banana" Industrial Backbone


The "Blue Banana" is a geographical region stretching in a banana-like shape from Northern Italy across western Germany and the Low Countries into England's Liverpool region. Some believe this area constitutes the industrial and economic "backbone" of Europe, both presently and historically.

32. In July 2014, upon learning about declining honeybee populations, Morgan Freeman transformed his 124-acre ranch into a bee sanctuary.

33. In 2000, the LA Zoo faced challenges containing two gorillas, Evelyn and Jim, both skilled escapists. Evelyn once used a vine to swing across a 12-foot-wide moat, spending 90 minutes observing giraffes and elephants. On a previous occasion, she swatted a person's behind. Jim once cleared a 12-foot wall with a single jump.

34. Tolkien modified a section of "The Hobbit" while working on "The Lord of the Rings." He changed the part about Gollum betting the ring in a question game and parting ways amicably to Gollum becoming enraged over losing the ring. This alteration reflected the evolving concept that the ring in "The Lord of the Rings" was designed to corrupt its user with greed.

35. Robert Ballard, renowned for discovering the wreck of the Titanic, also located the Battleship Bismarck, the aircraft carrier Yorktown, and John F. Kennedy's PT-109. However, his attempt to find Amelia Earhart's plane was unsuccessful.

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36Pilot Hans Lutz's Tragic Legacy

Pilot Hans Lutz's Tragic Legacy

Pilot Hans Lutz retained his job due to a shortage, despite nearly landing in the wrong country and retracting a plane's landing gear before takeoff. Unfortunately, this decision led to a fatal crash when he attempted to land without clear visibility, resulting in the deaths of 23 people, including himself.

37. When Hendrik Verwoerd, the 6th Prime Minister of South Africa, was assassinated in 1966, a bloodstain persisted on the Parliament carpet for 38 years, finally being removed in 2004.

38. There is a specialized airline exclusively for horses, affectionately nicknamed "Air Horse One."

39. Swiss physicist Walter Jaeger accidentally created the smoke detector in the 1930s. While attempting to create a sensor for identifying poison gas, Jaeger's device instead registered his cigarette smoke.

40. The captive crews of the USS Pueblo secretly communicated defiance to their North Korean captors by displaying the middle finger in photos, disguising it as a Hawaiian gesture for "good luck."

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41Ximen Bao's Sacrificial Canal

Ximen Bao's Sacrificial Canal

In 400 BCE, Ximen Bao, an ancient Chinese hydraulic engineer and philosopher, discovered county elders terrorizing their subjects, demanding a maiden sacrifice to appease a river god. In response, he orchestrated the "sacrifice" of the elders and constructed a canal system to control flooding for the county.

42. Open Skies is an international treaty signed by 34 nations, allowing member states to conduct unarmed surveillance flights over any part of each other's territory.

43. From 1976 to 1987, there were no red M&M candies. The Mars Company, reacting to concerns about Red Dye No. 2, identified as a potential health risk by federal regulations in 1976, temporarily eliminated red food coloring from their products.

44. Laurence Fishburne, credited as "Larry Fishburne" in his earlier movies, including Boyz n the Hood, adopted the name "Laurence" in 1993.

45. The first Mary Poppins book originally included a chapter where Mary and the children traveled around the world and encountered racially stereotypical characters. This chapter underwent revisions in 1967 to reduce offensiveness and in 1980, transforming the characters into talking animals instead of humans.

46Final Fantasy: The Pioneering Animation

Final Fantasy: The Pioneering Animation

The first photorealistic computer-animated feature film was Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (2001), which Hironobu Sakaguchi, the creator of the Final Fantasy franchise, directed. Its production required 960 workstations to render the film's 141,964 frames.

47. The Honda Super Cub holds the title of the most produced motor vehicle in history. Since its introduction in 1958, production has surpassed 60 million in 2008, 87 million in 2014, and 100 million in 2017.

48. Under the right conditions, a lake can freeze with clear ice, allowing visibility to the bottom. Slow freezing forms larger, clearer crystals. Rapid freezing, however, creates minute cracks in the stressed ice, giving it a clouded appearance.

49. Around 1226, a Vietnamese prince fled Vietnam with numerous servants and settled in Korea. King Kojong of the Goryeo Dynasty welcomed him, and today, approximately 600 households in South Korea trace their ancestry to him.

50. Louis Bonaparte, the puppet king of Holland and brother of Napoleon I, who was also the father of Napoleon III, faced difficulty deciding on his capital city. He temporarily evicted a wealthy merchant to live in his home, only to move out after seven weeks.

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