Random #382 – 50 Awesome Facts to Spark Your Curiosity

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1 Wrigley’s Soap-Gum Switcheroo Success

Wrigley's Soap-Gum Switcheroo Success

William Wrigley initially offered free baking powder as a gift with his soap, but the powder turned out to be more popular. He then switched to selling the powder and added sticks of gum as a gift. The gum became incredibly popular, forcing him to switch yet again, and his company went on to become the world’s leading gum company.

2. Chris Paul challenged Michael Jordan to a shooting drill while he was attending his Flight School basketball camp in 2016. If Jordan missed three shots, the campers would all receive free Air Jordans. Jordan accepted and made every shot.

3. Type O Negative’s title song, “Bloody Kisses,” about a woman who committed suicide, is a veiled tribute to Peter Steele’s 17-year-old cat Venus. “No one wants to hear about a guy who’s 6′ 8″ with long black hair and fangs crying about his f**kin’ cat, so I had to make it extremely metaphoric.”

4. There is an excerpt from John Adams’ diary where he describes the time he had to share a tiny bed with Benjamin Franklin, and instead of sleeping, they had an argument about whether to keep the windows open or closed. Franklin eventually won the argument when Adams got too tired and fell asleep.

5. Chinese students must pass a skipping rope/jump rope test as part of high school assessments, and their parents pay tutors to improve their skipping skills.

6 Haribo’s Sugar-Free Gummy Debacle

Haribo's Sugar-Free Gummy Debacle

Due to very poor consumer reviews and negative media attention in 2014, Haribo discontinued sugar-free gummy bears. The gummy bears contained maltitol, a sugar alcohol that is not fully digestible and ferments in the gut. It can cause increased flatulence, loose stools, and diarrhea.

7. The sales of Sunny Delight (an orange drink) declined in the UK after one of its commercials showing a snowman turning orange was released at about the same time as news reports of a four-year-old girl’s skin turning orange due to drinking 1.5 liters a day of the product, which contained beta-carotene.

8. Former NBA star Dwight Howard ate 5,500 calories in candy every day for a decade. Howard was consuming the amount of sugar equivalent to 24 chocolate bars every day.

9. The Keroman Base in Lorient, France, was among the last World War II strongholds to surrender because it was so heavily fortified that not even bombing would destroy it. In the Battle of the Atlantic, allies chose to bomb the surroundings instead to reduce its effectiveness. It could harbor 30 U-boats.

10. In 1920s Paris, Irish novelist James Joyce would get drunk, start fights, and then hide behind Ernest Hemingway for protection, screaming, “Deal with him, Hemingway!”

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11 Titan’s Hydrocarbons Surpass Earth’s

Titan's Hydrocarbons Surpass Earth's

The surface organics of Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, surpass Earth’s oil reserves. It has hundreds of times more liquid hydrocarbons than all the known oil and natural gas reserves on Earth, according to Cassini data.

12. The Japanese founder of McDonald’s Japan authored “The Jewish Way of Doing Business.” The book was an immediate success and went on to sell over a million copies.

13. DC Comics enraged “Fables” creator Bill Willingham so much that in 2023 he made the comic public domain and encouraged its use by creators, effectively undermining the publisher’s efforts to control the property. DC had published “Fables” for 20 years, but Willingham retained copyright.

14. Michael Bay was originally hired to direct Saving Private Ryan but left because he couldn’t figure out how to approach the film.

15. Hilda Yolanda Mayol, a woman who survived the 9/11 attacks, boarded AA Flight 587 out of John F. Kennedy International Airport two months later. Five minutes after takeoff, the plane crashed, and all 260 occupants perished. It was the second deadliest aviation incident in US history.

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16 Danny Trejo’s Muppets Heartbreak

Danny Trejo's Muppets Heartbreak

While Danny Trejo was filming “The Muppets: Most Wanted!” his mother passed. The cast all offered their sympathy, but he shrugged it off because of his ‘tough guy’ persona. It wasn’t until Steve Whitmire apologized in character as Kermit the Frog that Trejo broke down crying.

17. The Norden Bombsight, used by US bomber aircraft in World War II, cost $1.1 billion to research and produce, about half as much as the Manhattan Project and over a quarter of the cost of all B-17 bombers manufactured. While it was successfully precise in state-side testing, it was far less accurate in combat.

18. In the Mossdale Caverns tragedy, a party of ten went into it, and four of them left after three hours. When one of the four returned and found the entrance flooded, she alerted rescuers, but the water made entry impossible, resulting in the discovery of five bodies the next day, and the sixth was found the day after.

19. On January 12, 1928, Ruth Snyder received the death penalty by electric chair. She was secretly photographed mid-execution, which became the first photo of an execution by the electric chair printed in the media.

20. Persons over the age of 12 shouldn’t use WHAM-O’s Slip ‘N Slide. There have been rare instances (and lawsuits) of adults breaking their necks while using it, and in 1993, the U.S. CPSC warned that the slide might cause permanent spinal cord injury to teens and adults.

15 Most Controversial & Costly Blunders in History

21 Andrew Jackson’s Niece as First Lady

Andrew Jackson's Niece as First Lady

Andrew Jackson gave his 21-year-old niece the role of First Lady when his wife died, and she was praised for the food and alcohol she served during her tenure.

22. After World War II, Hungary’s inflation was so severe that the government stopped collecting taxes because even a single day’s delay in collecting would cause the value of the currency to disappear.

23. In preparation for his role in the movie Hunger (2008), Michael Fassbender went on a special diet of less than 900 calories a day for ten weeks. After meeting with a nutritionist, he settled on a diet of berries, nuts, and sardines and underwent periodic medical checks.

24. Jennifer Connelly had one of her fingers partially bitten off by a chimpanzee during the filming of Darío Argento’s 1985 film “Phenomena.”

25. Ruby Red grapefruit, among other modern foods, was the result of irradiating the seeds in the “gamma gardens” of the 1950s, an effort to show peaceful uses for fission energy.

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