Random Fact Sheet #109 – 45 Facts That Will Make You See The World In A New Light

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1Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines

In 2011, a Southwest Airlines pilot at Los Angeles International Airport held his plane for 12 minutes, to allow a man to see his dying 2-year-old grandson for one last time.

2. In 1997, Bill Gates invested $150 million in Apple to save it from going bankrupt.

3. Even though the half-life of LSD is only about 30 minutes, its hallucinogenic effects can last up to 18 hours because the molecule gets stuck at an angle within the brain's serotonin receptor and cannot dislodge itself.

4. German and Russian troops had to call a temporary truce in modern Lithuania/Belarus during World War 1 because wolves kept trying to eat them. “Poison, rifle fire, hand grenades and even machine guns were tried to no avail.” Wolves even attacked them in the trenches, making effective battle impossible.

5. Some species of bamboo flower only once in decades, and do so simultaneously across the entire planet, regardless of location or climate. This happens every 40-80 years and it is seen as a curse in East Asia because it is immediately followed by a rat infestation and the spread of famine.

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The Italian version of the idiom, "You can't have your cake and eat it too" is "You want your barrel full of wine and your wife drunk."

7. In 1999, the University of Chicago's annual scavenger hunt included the impossible task of building a working nuclear reactor and one team was able to gather some spare junk from their physics lab and dorm rooms and built a plutonium-producing reactor.

8. When Neil Armstrong first walked on the moon, he carried with him the fabric and wood pieces from the Wright brothers' first airplane.

9. Oreo filling contains no dairy products. Therefore FDA doesn’t allow it to be called ‘cream.’ They were therefore named ‘creme’ instead.

10. During the Vietnam War there were several instances of US troops deliberately killing their fellow solider or their superior officer by tossing a grenade into their tent. This was known as “Fragging”. There were nearly 900 known and suspected fragging cases in Vietnam between 1969 and 1972.

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No Y chromosome genes from neanderthals exist, suggesting that all human-neanderthal hybrids were female. The leading theory is that the Y Neanderthal chromosome triggered immune responses, causing miscarriages.

12. If you are bilingual, you experience the “tip-of-the-tongue” phenomenon more often, basically because your brain has more words in it to keep track of.

13. The MyPillow guy named Mike Lindell was such a severe crack addict while he was first starting his company, that his dealer told other dealers not to sell him any more drugs until he got some sleep.

14. Typhoid Mary was the first asymptomatic carrier of typhoid. In her job as a cook, she infected 51 people. She was forcibly isolated for 3 years; being released on the promise that she shouldn’t return to cooking. She did return, was caught and confined for the remainder of her life (23 years).

15. In the 13th century, when cardinals failed to elect a Pope for 2 years, a hermit warned them of divine vengeance. Cardinals elected him as Pope Celestine V. He refused and tried to flee. After being persuaded, he wrote two decrees: one for fixing the papal elections and the other for allowing him to resign. He then resigned.

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16CGI dinosaur

CGI dinosaur

Despite being considered a watershed moment in terms of computer effects in film, there is only 6 minutes of CGI dinosaur screentime in "Jurassic Park" which is less than 5% of the movie's runtime.

17. The founder of the Smithsonian, James Smithson, was a British scientist who willed his fortune to his nephew and in the event his nephew died with no heirs, willed his fortune to the US government for funding an “Establishment for the increase and diffusion of knowledge among men.” He had never visited the United States in his life.

18. Jordan Peele quit acting after he was asked to play the poop emoji in "The Emoji Movie".

19. The size of a lion’s mane is tied to hormone production and fertility, and a larger, thicker mane will attract more females. If a lion is castrated, its mane will fall out.

20. People with depression are more likely to use absolutist words such as “always”, “never”, “completely.”

21Caesar salad

Caesar salad

The Caesar salad is named after the Italian restaurateur Caesar Cardini, who first created the salad in his restaurant in Tijuana, Mexico.

22. In ‘The Real Ghostbusters’ cartoon series, the season 1 episode “Take Two” has the Ghostbusters flying to Hollywood to visit the set of a movie based on their adventures. At the end of the episode, it is revealed to be the 1984 live action film, implying the cartoon to be real and the movie to be fake.

23. The rumbling sound you hear when closing your eyes tightly is caused by the tensor tympani muscle contracting.

24. In 2017, the FDA banned a bakery from listing 'love' as an ingredient on its granola.

25. The oldest living terrestrial animal is a 186-year old (in 2018) giant tortoise called Jonathan. He has been mating with a female giant tortoise called Frederica since 1991, who was discovered to be a male in 2017.

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