Random #389 – 50 Lesser Known Interesting Facts

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1Skydiving Tragedy Unraveled

Skydiving Tragedy Unraveled

In 2015, the parachute of an Englishwoman named Victoria Cilliers failed to deploy while skydiving, leaving her with life-threatening injuries. Days earlier, she had survived a mysterious gas leak at her house. Both incidents were later revealed to be intentional murder plots orchestrated by her husband for her insurance money.

2. In 2020, five Lithuanian soldiers went missing during a graduation exam. Believing that the exercise was still ongoing, they successfully evaded all attempts to locate them. A military spokesman praised their "exemplary" performance.

3. In 2013, a man attempted to dribble a football from Seattle to Brazil to promote a charity. Tragically, a truck ran over and killed him just 250 miles into his 10,000-mile journey.

4. Actor Robin Williams was known for trash-talking teenagers on Call of Duty online and famously referred to the series as "cyber cocaine."

5. While shooting Empire of the Sun, Ben Stiller created the premise for Tropic Thunder. He wanted to make a film based on the actors he knew, who became "self-important" and appeared to believe they had been part of a real military unit after taking part in boot camps to prepare for war film roles.

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6Hank Aaron's Home Run Drama

Hank Aaron's Home Run Drama

Groundskeeper Richard Arndt caught Hank Aaron's 755th home run ball in 1976 and tried to return it to Aaron, but the Brewers informed him he was unavailable. Subsequently, the Brewers fired Arndt for allegedly stealing team property (the ball) and deducted $5 from his final paycheck. In 1999, he sold the ball at auction for $625,000.

7. In 1978, a Chinese destroyer sank after an officer broke up with his girlfriend. The girlfriend committed suicide, leading to the officer's discharge. In retaliation, he detonated the ship's depth charges while at port, resulting in the deaths of 134 sailors.

8. The executioner at the Nuremberg Trials lied to the US military about his prior experience. He botched several hangings before Nuremberg. The Nuremberg criminals had their faces battered against the too-small trapdoor, and they were hung from short ropes, causing many to take over 10 minutes to die.

9. In 2005, Helios 522 became a "Ghost Plane" when the cabin failed to pressurize, causing all but one person on board to pass out from hypoxia. The aircraft circled in a holding pattern for hours under autopilot before flight attendant Andreas Prodromou took control. Despite his efforts, the plane ultimately crashed into a rural hillside. All 121 passengers aboard the plane died.

10. John von Neumann contributed significantly to various fields, including working on the first atomic bomb and computer, formulating quantum mechanics, describing genetic self-replication before the discovery of DNA, and founding game theory. He has often been called the smartest man ever.

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11Osama bin Laden's Family Tragedies

Osama bin Laden's Family Tragedies

Osama bin Laden's billionaire father died in a plane crash in 1967 due to a misjudged landing. His half-brother died in Texas in 1988 after piloting his own aircraft into power lines. In 2015, his half-sister and stepmother also died in a plane crash in Hampshire, England.

12. When "New Coke" was released, Pepsi gave their employees the day off and ran full-page newspaper ads to declare victory in the cola wars.

13. Napoleon, despite being constantly engaged in warfare for two decades, exhibited next to no signs of PTSD.

14. GPS, despite being free for global use, costs around $2 million a day to operate and maintain. This budget covers satellite launches and system upkeep, funded through American tax revenue.

15. Stalin, towards the end of his life, routinely forced the Politburo to get incredibly drunk. His mandatory dinners featured forced drinking games, such as guessing the temperature and taking a shot of vodka for each degree off.

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16First Transplanted Penis Reversed

First Transplanted Penis Reversed

The world's first transplanted penis was reversed two weeks later because the recipient and his wife had such a "severe psychological problem" with it.

17. If you tune your radio to 91.9 FM for one city block in Montclair, New Jersey, you can hear a looped recording of "I'll Make Love to You" by Boyz II Men, which has been broadcasting for at least 13 years straight.

18. In 1985, an Army supply clerk at Fort Carson, Colorado, accidentally ordered a $28,000 anchor instead of a $6 lamp due to mistyping the requisition number. Nobody in the supply chain asked why a mechanized unit needed a 10-ton anchor until it arrived.

19. In 1996, a man named Göran Kropp from Sweden rode his bicycle to Nepal, climbed Mount Everest alone without Sherpas or bottled oxygen, then cycled back to Sweden again.

20. There was a famous Japanese game show in which diehard baseball fan contestants were locked individually in small rooms for an entire baseball season: if their favorite team won each night, they got dinner for the evening; if their team lost, the lights would be turned out until the next win.

21Obelisk's Pigeon Hunting Techniques

Obelisk's Pigeon Hunting Techniques

A Queen's Guard horse named Obelisk used to lure pigeons by dropping oats from his mouth. When they approached, he would stomp them to death. They eventually took him for additional "psychological training."

22. In 1964, 17-year-old Randy Gardner set the world record for sleep deprivation by staying awake for 11 days and 25 minutes, providing valuable insights into the effects of extreme sleep loss on the human mind and body.

23. James Cameron offered Matt Damon 10% of the box office earnings from "Avatar," which would have earned the actor over $250 million.

24. Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell, an astrophysicist who discovered pulsars in 1972, had her boss not only take credit for the discovery but also win a Nobel Prize for it.

25. Lady Gaga made history in 2019 as the first woman to win an Oscar, Grammy, BAFTA, and Golden Globe in a single year for her performance in A Star is Born.

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