Random Fact Sheet #141 – 35 Factoids You Need to Know

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1Bill Johnson

Bill Johnson

The highest paid official of the United States government is Bill Johnson, the chief executive officer of the federally owned power and utilities company, the Tennessee Valley Authority. His annual salary is $5.9 million.

2. The most accurate simulation of the human brain ever has been achieved, but a single second’s worth of brain activity took one of the world’s largest supercomputers 40 minutes to calculate.

3. The theory of “monster under the bed” is probably an evolutionary leftover from our hunter/gatherer days. Children would fear bedtime because of the threat of wild animals.

4. On his travels through the Arctic, naturalist George Steller described a mysterious creature known as the Danish Sea Ape. While this has since perplexed scientists, evidence indicates that he was not describing an animal, but rather subtly mocking the ship's Danish captain, who he despised.

5. American actor Robert Redford badly wanted the lead role in 1967's, 'The Graduate,' but was rejected by director Mike Nicholls because he didn't think Redford could play a loser. 'Let's put it this way," Nicholls reportedly said, "Have you ever struck out with a girl?" "What do you mean?" asked Redford.

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We evolved to like spices because they have antimicrobial properties, thus, reducing food poisoning, especially in hot climates.

7. Two rats will stop playing with each other if the bigger one doesn’t let the smaller one win at least 30% of the time.

8. There was a Canadian ad campaign for "Diamond Shreddies", which were just the original square Shreddies, rotated 45°.

9. When drivers began using radar detectors, police forces began purchasing radar detector detectors, which led to radar detector manufacturers adding radar detector detector detector circuits to their devices.

10. A man named Maxcy Filer took the California State Bar Exam 48 times before he finally passed and transitioned from being his son's law clerk to his son's law partner.

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11Project Grizzly

Project Grizzly

Project Grizzly is a documentary about a Canadian man who, inspired by Robocop and a bear encounter, determined to make bear-proof body armor. In it, he's been beaten with 2X4s, thrown off a cliff, and slammed into by a truck at 50km/hr. It's one of Quentin Tarantino's favorite documentaries.

12. Infamous Ugandan dictator Idi Amin, among other atrocities, was accused of cannibalism. When he was asked about the rumors he replied ''I don't like human flesh. It's too salty for me.''

13. The Roman Catholic Church stated in 1950 that there is no intrinsic conflict between Christianity and Darwin’s Theory of Evolution.

14. Conrad Veidt, the man who played the villain in Casablanca, gave up a career as one of the highest-paid actors in Germany in 1933. When forced to declare his race for the government he wrote “Juden” despite not being Jewish, because his wife was and he wouldn't renounce her.

15. In 1992, Sega orchestrated the world's first global launch of a video game, Sonic the Hedgehog 2. They chose a Tuesday and dubbed the event "Sonic 2sday". At the time, new games would release at different stores on different days. Thanks to Sega, Tuesday is now the industry standard.

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16Cone Snail

Cone Snail

The cone snail is considered one of the most venomous animals on earth. Their specialized teeth work like a hypodermic needle and harpoon to skewer and can even pierce a wetsuit. The venom is being used to create a painkiller that is 1000 times more powerful than morphine and less addictive.

17. Israeli magician Uri Geller believes Nintendo 'stole his identity' for the Pokemon Kadabra, and no agreement has yet been reached between the two parties. As a result, there has not been a Kadabra card released in the Trading Card Game since 2003.

18. A man named Sven Sachsalber has looked for and found a single needle hidden in a haystack. Done by hand, it took him 18 hours to complete this task at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris.

19. PowerPoint Karaoke is an improvisational activity in which a participant must deliver a presentation based on a set of slides that they have never seen before.

20. The owner of a DC bar, Kamal Jahanbein, shuts his business down for one month each year to go build schools in impoverished villages and has been doing it since 1994.

21Noah Webster

Noah Webster

American English spellings like "color" and "center" were first published by Noah Webster as an effort to simplify what he thought were unnecessarily complex spelling rules.

22. Peaches and nectarines are the same fruit. Nectarines simply have a recessive allele for smooth skin.

23. In the movie ‘Love Actually,’ Olivia Olson’s voice sounded so good when she sang “All I Want for Christmas Is You” that the director made her train her voice to sound more “believable” so people didn't think she was just lip syncing over Mariah Carey’s original track.

24. In 1917, Ernie Shore threw a "perfect game", with 27 outs without allowing a baserunner. However, he is only credited with a combined no-hitter because he pitched in relief of the starter, Babe Ruth, who was ejected for punching the umpire after walking the first batter of the game.

25. In 1959, Jewish-American judo expert Rena Kanokogi disguised herself as a man, entered a men's judo competition and won first place. Her medal was taken away after her victory when she admitted to being female, but it was awarded back to her in 2009.

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