Random Fact Sheet #115 – 35 Facts That Will Take You On A Journey of Discovery

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1Adrien Brody

Adrien Brody

American actor Adrien Brody, in order to star as Wladyslaw Szpilman in 'The Pianist', withdrew for months, gave up his apartment and his car, broke up with his then-girlfriend, learned how to play Chopin on the piano, and lost 29 pounds. The movie earned him the Academy Award for Best Actor at the age of 29.

2. American actress Bea Arthur from the TV Show “Golden Girls” was a Marine truck driver during World War 2, serving in Marine Corps and Navy air stations in Virginia and North Carolina. She reached the rank of Staff Sergeant.

3. In ancient Ireland, sucking a king’s nipples was a gesture of submission. Failed kings would have their nipples brutally cut to dethrone them and make them incapable of holding kingship.

4. The slow-motion footage of the forest chase scene in “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows” was produced by Gavin Free, who is behind the popular YouTube series “The Slow Mo Guys.”

5. You would need 76 work days to read all the privacy policies you agree to each year.

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6Bluefin tuna

Bluefin tuna

Since 2011, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has required the use of thinner and weaker hooks for the recreational fishing of Bluefin tuna in Gulf of Mexico. The new hooks straighten to release large bluefin tuna before they die of exhaustion on the line, which has resulted in 75% less dead and discarded bluefins in the Gulf of Mexico.

7. The guy behind the infamous “Tipping Fedora” internet meme is American actor Jerry Messing. Before his internet stardom, he was the child actor who played Pugsley in ‘Addams Family Reunion’ as well as 'Gordon Crisp', the smelly kid in ‘Freaks and Geeks.’

8. Sensimilla is a female cannabis plant that has been prevented from being fertilized and thus grows without seeds. This plant produces flowers with a higher Tetrahydrocannabinol content since it is no longer putting energy into producing seeds.

9. Prince hated comparisons to Jimi Hendrix saying the only thing they had in common was being black.

10. During World War 2, Winston Churchill sometimes wandered off somewhere in London and had conversations with people to find out what they were thinking about the state of the war.

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11Venus clockwork rover

Venus clockwork rover

NASA is developing a clockwork rover that uses no electricity to survive the harsh climate of Venus. It is going to be powered by wind turbine, springs, and gears and will transmit data via a Morse code shutter.

12. After Pearl Harbor was attacked, a Boeing 314 Clipper which was in New Zealand at the time, was told by Pan Am to return to San Francisco by flying westwards. The total flight time was 209 hours and the plane covered 31,500 miles becoming the first commercial airliner to fly around the world.

13. Robert Hohman, the CEO and co-founder of Glassdoor, quit his Hotwire job to do nothing but play World of Warcraft for a year and only founded the company after hitting the maximum level in the game.

14. In May 2006, over 300 Portuguese school children received medical attention for an illness which caused rashes and shortness of breath. The illness was later cited as being a case of mass hysteria caused by an episode of a soap opera which dealt with a deadly virus outbreak in a school.

15. Donkeys can be used to guard livestock from coyotes and wolves. They instinctively attack, by biting and kicking and if they get the chance they will even kill.

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16Olive tree of Vouves

Olive tree of Vouves

Branches from a 3000 year old, still living, Greek olive tree (Olive tree of Vouves) were used to weave victors' wreaths for the winners of the 2004 Athens Olympics and the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

17. New-born human infants can differentiate between genders, showing a clear preference for females. They're especially attracted to their own mother's face. They're also better at adults when recognizing features on a monkey's face.

18. The United Kingdom has invested in the world's biggest stockpile of plutonium (well over 100 tonnes) that could either provide us with thousands of years of unlimited energy or become a massive financial and environmental white elephant as nobody can agree on what to do with it.

19. Following the suicide of the famous Korean actress Choi Jin-sil, the frequency of suicides in Korea increased by 162.2% for 3 weeks confirming the “Werther effect,” according to which a suicide can trigger others who are on the edge to also commit suicide.

20. Snake oil was introduced to the US by Chinese laborers who helped build the Transcontinental Railroad. Derived from the Chinese water snake, snake oil was rich in the omega-3 acids that helped reduce inflammation and was quite effective, especially when used to treat arthritis and bursitis.

21Charles Darwin

Charles Darwin

Charles Darwin ate many exotic animals he discovered including the Galapagos turtle.

22. In 2013, a Tennessee magistrate judge ordered a woman to change her son’s name from "Messiah" to Martin DeShawn McCullough because “The word Messiah is a title that has only been earned by one person, and that one person is Jesus Christ.”

23. Crows use cars to crack open nuts. To avoid being run over, they drop their nuts at pedestrian crossing.

24. U2 rock band has performed only one show without the full band; Adam Clayton got so drunk the night before a show in Sydney that he couldn't go on stage and was replaced by one of the band's technicians. Clayton felt so bad he missed the show that he quit drinking. U2 rock band has performed only one show without the full band. Adam Clayton got so drunk the night before a show in Sydney that he couldn't go on stage and was replaced by one of the band's technicians. Clayton felt so bad he missed the show that he quit drinking.

25. Veterinary doctors have a high suicide rate and experience psychological distress at a rate nearly double that of the general public.

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