Random Fact Sheet #105 – 40 Random Facts That Will Keep You Guessing

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26Wooden ladders

Wooden ladders

Many fire departments, including the San Francisco and Florida, still prefer wooden ladders because they are non-conductors of electricity, the best natural insulator against heat, and only burn on the outside while the center of wood remains solid and strong.

27. In 2013, a man named Malcolm Myatt had a stroke that made him lose the ability to feel sad.

28. A woman named Clara Brown was born as a slave in Virginia, who after receiving her freedom went on to start a laundry business, became the owner of mines in Colorado during the gold rush, and even traveled to Kansas to help the freed slaves build communities.

29. During the 2013 elections in the Maldives, a coconut was detained on the suspicion of 'vote-rigging' through the use of black magic. A magician was called in and established that the coconut was innocent.

30. There is a theme park named Diggerland Construction Theme Park in West Berlin, New Jersey where you can operate real heavy machinery for fun.

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31Left and right

Left and right

Guugu Yimithirr is an aboriginal language that doesn’t have words for egocentric/relative directions like “left and right.” Rather, its speakers are trained to keep track of pure cardinal directions. For example, they say “north leg” when referring to the left leg of an eastward facing person.

32. Some 9th-century Scottish nuns literally cut off their noses and upper lips in order to make themselves too grotesque for invading Viking pirates to plunder (rape) them.

33. 65% of Brits admitted to falsely claiming to have read a classic book in order to impress someone, with “Nineteen eighty-four” by George Orwell being the most popular with 42% of respondents having lied about reading it.

34. In 2005, a company named SeaCode wanted to anchor a cruise ship three miles off the coast of Los Angeles, and fill it with up to 600 foreign programmers. The idea was to eliminate visa restrictions and avoid U.S. labor laws.

35. Bernard Vonnegut won an Ig Nobel prize for determining that the ability of a tornado to pluck the feathers from a chicken is not a good method of estimating its wind speed.

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36William Donovan

William Donovan

William Donovan was the only person to have received all four of the United States' highest awards: The Medal of Honor, the Distinguished Service Cross, the Distinguished Service Medal, and the National Security Medal. Donovan was also awarded the Silver Star and three Purple Hearts.

37. Soviet composer Sergei Prokofiev died the same day as Stalin in 1953. Millions attended Stalin's funeral, but only 40 attended for Prokofiev's. A musical periodical noted his death on page 116, with pages 1 to 115 devoted to Stalin. Flowers were so scarce in Moscow that Prokofiev's family used cuttings from houseplants.

38. Nigeria's population is expected to not only surpass the US' population by the end of 2050 but to also to become the third most populous country by the end of the century.

39. In 1962, Marilyn Monroe left most of her estate to her acting coach Lee Strasberg. When Strasberg died in 1982, his wife Anna, who had never known Monroe, inherited her estate. In 1999, she auctioned off Monroe's personal belongings for $14 million.

40. The shortest run for a TV series was 11 minutes. In 1969, a sketch show called “Turn-On”, by the creator of Laugh-In was deemed so risqué that during the 1st commercial break of the 1st episode, the network announced that it would no longer play the show and instead aired organ music over a black screen.

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