Random #382 – 50 Awesome Facts to Spark Your Curiosity

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26 Native Americans’ Caffeinated Ritual

Native Americans' Caffeinated Ritual

Ancient Native Americans consumed a highly caffeinated ceremonial beverage of roasted holly leaves called cacina, or black drink. Conquistadores who consumed the drink daily provide some of the earliest written accounts of caffeine addiction.


27. Employees at General Motor’s Fremont Assembly plant were considered excessively unruly in the 1980s and often left empty glass bottles inside the doors of unfinished cars to annoy future owners.


28. Until the 1990s, the entire US supply of botulism antitoxin was developed from a single horse, named First Flight.


29. Not all species die of old age. Some animals, such as hydra, planarian flatworms, and certain sponges, corals, and jellyfish, exhibit potential immortality.


30. In 1915, the USS Eastland cruise ship was retrofitted with additional lifeboats due to new regulations following the Titanic disaster. The additional top-heavy weight caused it to sink before it left port, killing 844 passengers.


31 Teena Marie’s Hotel Room Tragedy

Teena Marie's Hotel Room Tragedy

Singer Teena Marie suffered a serious blow to the head while sleeping, from a large frame in a hotel room that might have contributed to her death.


32. Alice Kober, who helped decipher an ancient script known as Linear B, meticulously recorded her research in a collection of 180,000 index cards over 20 years. The script was deciphered in 1952, shortly after her death. It remains the only Bronze Age Aegean script that is readable now.


33. The Rambo lunchbox by Thermos in 1985 marked the end of the metal lunchbox era. Due to cost savings and a complaint from a group of mothers in Florida that children were using metal lunchboxes as weapons, manufacturers switched to making lunchboxes out of plastic.


34. Kenyan scientist Hope Mwanake uses throw-away plastics to build homes in Kenya. She apparently makes roof tiles and other construction materials from plastic and glass waste in Kenya. After realizing that locals were throwing away plastic buckets and bottles, she had this idea.


35. Babe Ruth, at the age of 40, hit his 714th and final home run over 500 feet, clearing Pittsburgh’s Forbes Field’s triple deck and bouncing off a nearby resident’s roof.


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36 Thanksgiving Pie and Identity Politics

Thanksgiving Pie and Identity Politics

Pumpkin pie and Thanksgiving were a matter of mid-19th-century identity politics. When Abraham Lincoln declared a day of Thanksgiving on the last Thursday of November in 1863, many Southern families refused Thanksgiving and especially pumpkin pie as cultural artifacts of the Yankees.


37. The Old London Bridge was crowded with houses and shops, some of them reaching up to six stories in height.


38. McDonald’s was fined $4 million in 1999 for not reporting 400+ injuries to children using Big Mac Climber jungle gyms, where children climbed up a tube from the ground and played between two giant metal hamburger buns. The last Big Mac Climbers were removed from McDonald’s playgrounds in 1997.


39. Boeing used depleted uranium plates as counterweights in its 747 airplanes and some helicopters. While relatively safe, some of these plates have been lost. They stopped using it completely in 1981.


40. Mauritania’s Moor population historically views female obesity as a status symbol, and higher-income girls are fattened with milk to make them more desirable to potential suitors.


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41 LEGO’s Kiddicraft Inspiration Story

LEGO's Kiddicraft Inspiration Story

The British company Kiddicraft produced a building toy in 1947 that served as the inspiration for the first LEGO building blocks. LEGO started selling their redesigned version in 1949. In the late ’50s, LEGO contacted Kiddicraft to ask if they objected to LEGO bricks. They did not, and they wished LEGO good luck with them.


42. Albuquerque’s Minor League Baseball team is called the Isotopes and is named so due to the Simpsons episode where the Springfield Isotopes had a secret plan to move to Albuquerque.


43. Confectioner’s glaze, a common glaze on candy, is made from shellac, which is a secretion secreted by lac insects.


44. Project Steve, a list of scientists with the first name Steven or Stephen who support evolution, has had 1400 signatures since 2003. It was made in response to a 2001 petition, “A Scientific Dissent from Darwinism,” collecting the signatures of 700 scientists critical of evolution.


45. Even though Jim Delligatti is often regarded as the creator of the Big Mac, he admitted that he didn’t invent the Big Mac but merely copied the “double deck hamburger” marketed by the Big Boy hamburger chain since the 1940s. The actual Big Mac was created to compete with the Big Boy.


15 Most Controversial & Costly Blunders in History


46 Franken Berry Cereal’s Pink Predicament

Franken Berry Cereal's Pink Predicament

Franken Berry Cereal caused a boy to be hospitalized for days due to the dye causing pink poop, which led to worries about rectal bleeding.


47. Shotgun houses are narrow rectangular houses about 12 feet wide that were popular in the Southern United States from the end of the American Civil War through the 1920s.


48. Oilbirds (Guácharos) are cave-dwelling nocturnal fruiteaters that breed and roost in large colonies in lightless South American caves. They echolocate, use whiskers to sense surfaces, and have eyes with the highest light-gathering capacity of any bird. Their chicks are rich in fat.


49. In earlier space toilets, including the Shuttle, wastewater was vented into space. A robotic arm had to remove a buildup of frozen excrement outside the orbiter during Discovery’s first flight.


50. Tour de France cyclists can consume up to 8000 calories per day, averaging around 5000 daily. Throughout the three weeks, 21 stages, and 3,351km, the 176 cyclists who participate burn a combined 25 million calories.


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