Random Fact Sheet #128 – 45 Must-Know Facts

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1Big Blue

Big Blue

Used Crayola crayons that are too small to grasp or too flat to draw with are named “Leftolas”. In 2003, the company asked kids around the country to send in blue “Leftolas”. Crayola received the equivalent of 123,000 crayons. They used it to create Big Blue, a 1,500lb crayon that’s 15 feet long.

2. Americans in Germany frequently get into trouble because they mow their lawns on Sundays and holidays, which is a punishable offense in Germany. German law forbids making excessive noise on Sundays and holidays, as well as from 10 PM to 7 AM on weekdays.

3. Ridley Scott tried to make Gladiator (2000) an authentic representation of Ancient Rome. An early script had Maximus doing a product endorsement for olive oil, which was historically accurate for famous gladiators to do, but the detail was left out in later scripts for being too unbelievable.

4. Andy Buckley, the actor who played David Wallace on ‘The Office’ was actually a full-time wealth-management adviser at the time, and considered acting on the TV show a hobby. He said “this is what I do instead of playing golf.”

5. Raphael was the one who was first chosen to paint the Sistine Chapel. He was jealous of Michelangelo's fame, so he convinced the Pope to hire Michelangelo instead, hoping to prove that Michelangelo was just a sculptor and could not paint that well.

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6Mock medieval war

Mock medieval war

Every year in Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania, there's a two-week long mock medieval war that draws so many participants, it has its own mayor and post office for the weeks it is active.

7. In 2007, while crossing a street, a Michigan man in a wheelchair was hit by the front of a semitrailer. He was not injured but the wheelchair’s handles got lodged into the semitrailer’s grill and he was taken on a wild 50 mph highway ride.

8. Snails’ teeth are the strongest natural material on the Earth. They can withstand pressures high enough to turn carbon into diamond.

9. The hallucinogen found in "magic mushrooms" triggers brain activity patterns that are similar to those seen when someone is dreaming.

10. Male elephants experience a condition called "musth" in which their testosterone levels can get up to 60 times higher than normal. Elephants become so violent during musth that scientists struggle to study the condition, leaving its cause largely a matter of speculation.

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11Coffee and Sugar

Coffee and Sugar

In 1777, during a shortage of coffee and sugar in Boston, a crowd of over 100 angry women marched to a wealthy merchant’s warehouse, demanded the keys, and grabbed him by the neck when he refused. They opened the doors, loaded up carts with coffee, and left.

12. A 'bad' Bean Boozle flavor is made by super-heating the actual disgusting item, putting it through a "gas chromatograph," isolating the chemical makeup and converting it into "flavor markers" for the jelly bean.

13. BMW used prisoners from concentration camps like Dachau to build their cars and plane engines during the World War 2. By the end of the war, almost 50% of the 50,000-person workforce at BMW consisted of prisoners from concentration camps.

14. "Canuck the Crow" is an infamous bird in Vancouver, Canada. It has been photographed stealing a knife from a crime scene, breaking into McDonalds, chasing a mailman. It is still being tracked and swooping people to this day (as of June 2018).

15. Skipping breakfast does not lead to weight gain, health issues or underperformance.

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16Project Thor

Project Thor

Project Thor explored using large projectiles from 1,000+ miles above the Earth. The “rods from Gods” would be a bundle of telephone-pole-sized tungsten rods, which when dropped from orbit could reach up to 10 times the speed of sound. The explosion it could create would be on par with a nuke, but without any nuclear fallout.

17. Tylenol, Acetaminophen, and Paracetamol are the same drug and are just various abbreviations of the drug’s full name para-acetylaminophenol (para-aceTYLaminophENOL, para-ACETylAMINOPHENol, and PARA-aCETylAMinophenOL).

18. "The Office" production crew was ready to film "The Dinner Party" when the 2008 Writer's Guild of America strike occurred. Any complete script was allowed to be filmed, however, Steve Carell was also a member of the WGA and refused to cross the picket line out of support for the writers.

19. In 1938 when British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain returned from visiting Hitler promising “peace for our time”, a crowd of 5,000 supporters at the airport was eclipsed by 15,000 protestors in the streets of London, but this wasn't reported due to Chamberlain’s manipulation of BBC.

20. A pod of killer whales used to hunt with Indigenous Australians. The pod would lead another whale into a bay then whistle to the hunters. After they had killed the whale, the pod would get the tongue and lips before the hunters took the rest.

21Grover Cleveland

Grover Cleveland

Grover Cleveland was the only US president to serve two non-consecutive terms, but he won the popular vote in all three elections in which he ran.

22. The computer program that created the THX "Deep Note" (before a movie screening) was coded to be random. The audio you hear was recorded one time and can never be recreated exactly by that computer again.

23. Harriet Beecher Stowe, the author of Uncle Tom's Cabin, rewrote her novel word for word when she had dementia in her later years, unaware she had already written her most influential work.

24. In 2016, London cab drivers protested Uber by bringing gridlock across central London. This adversely affected their cause as this led to nearly 1000% increase in Uber app installations and a stark decrease in black cabs usage, which hastened their decline.

25. The Bone Wars was a spectacularly dirty, competitive period of fossil hunting, marked by a bitter, destructive rivalry between 2 collectors (Othniel Charles Marsh and Edward Drinker Cope) who used nefarious means to outdo each other including spying, bribery, and theft. Both were financially and socially ruined by their attempts to disgrace the other.

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