Random #379 – 50 Intriguing and Random Tidbits

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1 Anonymous vs. Mexican Cartel

Anonymous vs. Mexican Cartel

In 2011, the notorious hacker group Anonymous tried to hack a Mexican cartel and expose information about individuals collaborating with the cartel. However, they were forced to retreat when the cartel employed counter-hackers to hunt them down.


2. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia holds the record as the wordiest show on TV, with 176.2 words per minute. This makes the Rob McElhenney-created FX sitcom the most challenging series to follow, especially when watching with subtitles.


3. There are only three one-letter .com domains in existence: q.com, x.com, and z.com. Registered before 1992 and grandfathered in, these domains were exempt from ICANN’s ban on corporations owning any of the other 23 single-letter domains.


4. During the years Gina DeJesus was kidnapped and held captive by her abductor, Ariel Castro, in his house, her father unwittingly engaged with Castro, even sharing beers and conversations in the garden. He remained oblivious to the fact that his daughter was imprisoned just feet away.


5. Abigail Adams Smith, the daughter of the second President of the United States, John Adams, endured breast cancer surgery in the 19th century. The procedure involved the use of a fork and a wooden razor, with Abigail strapped in a chair and no anesthesia administered.


6 Immelt’s Empty Jet Strategy

Immelt's Empty Jet Strategy

During Jeff Immelt’s tenure as General Electric’s CEO, an empty private jet always followed his own private jet in case of delays with his primary jet.


7. Americans did not establish a regular tooth-brushing habit until after WWII. It was during this time that American GIs were mandated to incorporate regular teeth-brushing into their routines, and they subsequently carried this practice back home with them.


8. Actor Stephen Baldwin bears a tattoo of the initials “HM” for Hannah Montana, a result of a pact with Miley Cyrus. Despite anticipating a cameo on the show in exchange for the tattoo, he was never given the opportunity, and he has since expressed regret over getting the tattoo.


9. Goodhart’s law states, “When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure” due to people manipulating the outcome.


10. After observing a decline in the population of the Christmas Island pipistrelle, a vesper bat species exclusive to Christmas Island in Australia, the Australian government authorized the capture and breeding of wild specimens. In August 2009, scientists, using echolocation, discovered only one instance of the bat after four weeks. Unfortunately, it fell silent later that same month.


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11 FDR’s ‘Four Policemen’ Proposal

FDR's 'Four Policemen' Proposal

In 1942, Franklin D. Roosevelt introduced the idea of the ‘Four Policemen,’ outlining a plan in which the US, UK, Soviet Union, and China would individually manage and supervise their respective spheres of influence. Nations beyond this quartet were to undergo disarmament, with exclusive permission granted to the Four Policemen to possess weapons more powerful than rifles.


12. Marlon Brando, who portrayed a human in the movie “The Island of Dr. Moreau,” insisted on a scene where he would remove his hat at the end of the movie, revealing he was a dolphin all along. However, the director refused to comply with this demand.


13. During World War 2, Lyndon B. Johnson had his seat taken by Lt. Col. Francis R. Stevens on the B-17 Flying Fortress (Wabash Cannonball) after a bathroom break. Unfortunately, the Japanese would shoot down the plane, tragically killing everyone on board.


14. Narcissistic athletes tend to perform better in high-stakes, highly competitive situations but fare worse in low-stakes situations. Conversely, non-narcissistic athletes perform worse in high-stakes situations.


15. In 17th-century England, the controversial practice of docking a dog’s tail (i.e., amputation) signified that the dog was a “working dog” exempt from a luxury tax. Many owners chose to dock their dogs’ tails to avoid the tax.


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16 Catholic Church Indulgences

Catholic Church Indulgences

In the Middle Ages, the Catholic Church sold indulgences to absolve sins or crimes that had been committed or were to be committed.


17. Some of St. Nicholas/Santa Claus’s bones were gifted to a New York City church by Nicholas II, the last tsar of Russia. Unfortunately, both the church and the bones were destroyed during the events of 9/11.


18. In 2019, Colorado passed a law known as the Lemonade Stand law, allowing kids under 18 to operate a temporary business without a license for no more than 84 days in a calendar year.


19. In World War I, 19 Choctaw Native Americans were deployed on the front lines and in command posts because their language was unknown to the Germans who were listening in.


20. Right after WTC 1 was hit on 9/11, there was no evacuation order for WTC 2, and occupants were instructed to stay put. Only some offices chose to defy this order. Only when a plane also struck WTC 2 did the protocol change.


15 Most Controversial & Costly Blunders in History


21 Oprah’s Beef Controversy

Oprah's Beef Controversy

In 1997, Oprah Winfrey faced a lawsuit for allegedly ‘disparaging beef’ following an outbreak of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (mad cow disease in humans) in Great Britain, which led her to abstain from consuming burgers.


22. The revival of some extinct animals is possible. In 2016, ecologists from UCSB recommended species for resurrection to have the most positive impact on Earth’s ecosystems. The chosen species included the Christmas Island pipistrelle bat, Reunion giant tortoise, and Lesser stick-nest rat.


23. There has been an annual income requirement of 2000 pesos to become president of Argentina since 1853. However, due to a lack of adjustment for inflation, it is equivalent to $2.50 today instead of the original 3.3 kg of gold ($220,000).


24. The sedentary lifestyle of barnacles poses challenges for sexual reproduction since they cannot leave their shells to mate. To compensate, they evolved to have the largest penis-to-body size ratio in the animal kingdom, reaching up to eight times their body length.


25. In 1961, LEGO established its own airport and airline to facilitate global travel for its employees. Today, the airport is Denmark’s second-largest and is roughly the size of Anchorage Airport, Alaska.


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