Random #391 – A Collection of 50 Fascinating Facts

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1 Unilateral Divorce & Female Suicide

Unilateral Divorce & Female Suicide

In the USA, states that passed laws allowing a married person to seek a divorce without their spouse’s consent saw a 20 percent decline in female suicide rates. Researchers also saw a decline in domestic violence for both men and women following the adoption of unilateral divorce.

2. In 2023, a Nebraska woman discovered a gasoline pump glitch that allowed her to pump a total of 7,400 gallons of gasoline worth about $28,000 for free over six to seven months. She accessed the demo mode by swiping her rewards card twice at the pump machine.

3. Early American colonists once “stood staring in disbelief at the quantities of fish.” One man wrote, “There was as great a supply of herring as there is water. In a word, it is unbelievable, indeed, indescribable, as also incomprehensible, what quantity is found there. One must behold oneself.”

4. When the Nazis threatened to execute Archbishop Damaskinos of Greece for speaking against the deportations of Greek Jews, he replied, “According to the traditions of the Greek Orthodox Church, our leaders are hanged, not shot. Please respect our traditions.”

5. The Inughuit (also known as Polar Eskimos) lived in such extreme isolation before Europeans contacted them in 1818 that they were unaware of the existence of other humans, including other Inuits. Due to their isolation, they had lost various technologies, such as boats, bows, and arrows.

6 Unabomber’s FBI Essay

Unabomber's FBI Essay

The FBI caught the Unabomber, Ted Kaczynski, because he sent a 35,000-word essay explaining his motives and views, which helped identify him. Before that, he had operated for 17 years, but the FBI had very few leads to his identity.

7. In 1998, many fans bought tickets to the movie “Meet Joe Black” only to walk out after watching the new Star Wars trailer for “The Phantom Menace.”

8. Actress Chloe Bennet changed her name from Chloe Wang to avoid being cast solely as an ethnic Asian American. Her father’s first name is Bennet.

9. The 85-year-old Harvard Study of Adult Development, the longest longitudinal study in history, found that people who did more chores during childhood often had more professional success and happiness later in life.

10. A large portion of East Asians possess a gene (ABCC11) that not only causes them to have dry earwax but also reduces or eliminates body odor.

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11 Gender Differences in Food

Gender Differences in Food

A study on gender and food identified significant statistical differences. Men strongly preferred meat, while women preferred vegetables, chocolate, and whole grains. Men felt hungry before dinner, while women felt hungry in the morning and were more likely to snack throughout the day. Men also ate faster.

12. After the press reported that goalkeeper Andy Goram had a mild form of schizophrenia, his own fans greeted him with the chant “Two Andy Gorams, there’s only two Andy Gorams.”

13. The phrase “Give us today our daily bread,” from the Lord’s Prayer in the Christian Bible, is a mistranslation. The word translated as “daily” is “epiousion” in the original Greek. Scholars disagree on what this enigmatic word means exactly, but a direct translation would be something like “supersubstantial.”

14. Irish is an “endangered language,” with fewer than 80,000 native speakers left.

15. Ball lightning consists of luminescent, spherical objects that can appear and last for over a minute before disappearing either quietly or with an explosion, often leaving behind the smell of sulfur. There is no definitive explanation for this natural phenomenon.

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16 Giovanni Villani’s Chronicle

Giovanni Villani's Chronicle

Giovanni Villani’s chronicle, which documents Italy’s history from ancient times until the contemporary 14th century, ominously ends mid-sentence, as the author was describing the effects of the Black Death. The author himself also died of the plague.

17. The White House employs a chief calligrapher. This job includes writing invitations to dinners, greetings, and proclamations, and the position earns $104,200 a year.

18. Skin cancer is 20 times more common in white people than in black people.

19. During Elmer Fisher’s 1920 trial for illegal alcohol ownership, the jury took one of the bottles submitted as evidence when they deliberated to make sure that it was whiskey. After some time, the jury asked for a second bottle. A short time later, it found Fisher not guilty.

20. Residents of Father Damien’s birth town were upset when Pope Francis announced his visit to Belgium in 2023 because, 30 years earlier, Pope John-Paul II had promised to visit them but had canceled at the last minute after breaking his femur in the papal bathtub.

15 Most Controversial & Costly Blunders in History

21 Michelle Trachtenberg’s “Twilight” Role

Michelle Trachtenberg's

Actress Michelle Trachtenberg was supposed to play Bella Swan in “Twilight,” but she turned it down because she “had already done the vampire thing.” She portrayed Buffy The Vampire Slayer’s little sister.

22. The blanket octopus has the largest size discrepancy between the sexes of any animal. Females can grow over six feet, while males average about one inch.

23. The Overcoat is an animated film that has been in production since 1981 (as of June 2024). Director Yuri Norstein refuses any extra assistance or use of a computer for his animation.

24. Male dolphins sometimes kill the baby dolphins of another father so that the female will be available to mate with them.

25. Josef Mengele, known as the “Angel of Death” for his horrific experiments on prisoners at Auschwitz during World War II, lived out the rest of his natural life in Argentina, Paraguay, and Brazil. He operated under the names José Mengele and, later, Wolfgang Gerhard.

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