Random #384 – 50 Random Facts for the Inquisitive Mind

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26Disney's Cancelled Star Wars Series

Disney's Cancelled Star Wars Series

Disney's acquisition of Lucasfilm led to the cancellation of an upcoming animated Star Wars series featuring Weird Al Yankovic, among others, despite having produced 39 episodes spanning two seasons.

27. In 1957, singer Little Richard enrolled at Oakwood College for ministry studies and urged students not to listen to his "devil" music, offering to repurchase his records at a higher price to burn them in a bonfire.

28. Neil Armstrong's historic moonwalk was captured using a specially designed upside-down camera worth $2.3 million. Westinghouse created this unique model for Apollo 11, allowing Armstrong to deploy it with a handle near the ladder as he descended onto the lunar surface, with NASA later inverting the image for television broadcast.

29. The common degu demonstrates tool use and spontaneous stacking of objects by size, marking the first instance of such behavior recorded in animals other than apes and birds.

30. A complete replica of the Sistine Chapel ceiling exists in a small Sussex town, meticulously hand-painted by a sign painter with no formal art training.

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31Earth's Core Formation

Earth's Core Formation

Deep within the Earth's core lie two colossal formations known as "large low-velocity provinces," believed to be remnants of an ancient planet that collided with Earth billions of years ago.

32. China has a unique theme park, "The Kingdom of the Little People," managed entirely by individuals with dwarfism. Established in 2009, it aimed to provide a supportive work environment for those marginalized by superstitions in Chinese society.

33. A man named Gerald Barnbaum impersonated a doctor for over two decades, causing the death of at least one patient due to his lack of medical credentials. Operating under various aliases in multiple medical facilities, including San Francisco, he earned over $400,000 by 1991, even conducting checkups on FBI agents.

34. Edward Bernays, renowned as the "father of public relations" and the nephew of Sigmund Freud, revolutionized marketing by enticing women into the tobacco market, branding cigarettes as symbols of feminist empowerment, and giving them the nickname "Torches of Freedom." He died in 1995 at the age of 103.

35. Nokia's endeavor to enter the video game market with the unconventional taco-shaped N-Gage phone, featuring popular titles like Sonic and Elder Scrolls, resulted in widespread mockery and failure. Despite the device's impressive game lineup, its awkward design and impractical cartridge insertion, coupled with internet ridicule, led to its eventual demise.

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36Last Great Auk Tragedy

Last Great Auk Tragedy

Eldey Island harbored the last remaining population of great auks, which were very sought after by museums for preservation. The species met its tragic end in 1844 when the last pair was strangled and the final egg was destroyed during the struggle for collection.

37. The 2017 Japanese zombie comedy "One Cut of the Dead," filmed as a single continuous shot, achieved remarkable box office success, grossing over a thousand times its modest $25,000 budget and raking in more than $57 million.

38. In 1860, an Italian general named Garibaldi orchestrated the unification of Italy with a mere 1,000 volunteers. He was outnumbered 90 to 1 and commanded only a few stolen tugboats. His daring landing in Sicily incited rebellion, ultimately toppling the state of Two Sicilies in under two years.

39. In 1858, Governor James Douglas of the Colony of Vancouver Island invited the black community from San Francisco to settle, offering them equal rights upon becoming British subjects.

40. Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID), a condition primarily observed in children, is characterized by food sensitivity and a persistent reluctance to eat certain foods. Children with ARFID often engage in continuous experimentation to determine their food preferences. Cognitive-behavioral therapy stands out as a prominent treatment modality for this disorder.

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41NASA Astronaut Appearance Requests

NASA Astronaut Appearance Requests

NASA annually receives nearly 1,000 requests for astronaut appearances, prompting the establishment of a dedicated Astronaut Appearances Office in Houston, Texas. However, due to federal regulations prohibiting astronauts from accepting gifts exceeding $20 in value, they are unable to accept honoraria.

42. Arthur Wermuth, a U.S. Army captain from South Dakota, served with the 57th Infantry (Philippine Scouts), undertaking numerous guerrilla missions against the Japanese, often alongside his comrade Sergeant "Jock" Crispin Jacob. His daring exploits earned him the moniker "Ghost of Bataan."

43. Due to the absence of the letters J and U in ancient Latin, Julius Caesar's name would have been rendered as either "GAIVS IVLIVS CAESAR" or "GAIVS IVLIVS CAIVS." The conventional abbreviation was "C. IVLIVS CÆSAR," reflecting the older spelling.

44. The Schultüte, translating to "school cone" in English, is a large, elaborately decorated cone filled with toys, chocolates, sweets, school supplies, and other treats. German children receive these cones from their parents or grandparents on their first day of first grade.

45. The Lodge-Philbin Act, enacted in 1950, permitted the recruitment of foreign nationals into a military force under the command of the U.S. Armed Forces. Those who served five years with an honorable discharge were guaranteed U.S. citizenship.

46Hydrogen Ferry Innovation

Hydrogen Ferry Innovation

Sea Change, the world's first hydrogen fuel cell commercial ferry, debuted in August 2021, initially serving the Bay area of San Francisco, CA, US. Spanning 75 feet and accommodating 70 passengers, it emits only water after burning fuel.

47. Mallet's Mortar, a colossal cannon constructed by the UK in 1857, utilized cannonballs weighing over 2,000 pounds and boasted the ability to launch these massive projectiles a distance of 1.5 miles.

48. In 1778, the United States flag received formal recognition from a foreign naval vessel for the first time when French Admiral Toussaint-Guillaume Picquet de la Motte saluted the USS Ranger, commanded by John Paul Jones, with a nine-gun salute.

49. Between 1961 and 1993, six out of the seven U.S. presidents served as navy veterans.

50. The relationship between Léon and Mathilda in "Leon: The Professional" (1994) drew inspiration from director Luc Besson's own experiences with a 12-year-old girl, whom he later married.

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