Random Fact Sheet #144 – 45 Tidbits of Knowledge That Will Captivate You

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26Iron on Patches

Iron on Patches

Before virtual game achievements, Activision used to send physical iron on patches to players who mailed in photographs of their high scores.

27. If you stretched the DNA in one cell all the way out, it would be about 2m long and all the DNA in all your cells put together would be about twice the diameter of the Solar System.

28. Almost all the spiders you see in your home during the winter were actually born in your home.

29. Joe Dimaggio won 9 World Series rings despite taking 3 years off in his prime due to World War 2.

30. The Finnish island of Aaland threatened to leave the EU if they were not permitted to continue to use and sell a tobacco product called ‘Snus.’ Snus is considered a major source of income for the island and part of their national heritage.

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31Tyrian purple

Tyrian purple

Tyrian purple used to be worth its weight in gold, and it took 250,000 snails to make one ounce of dye.

32. In 2005, a barber sold Neil Armstrong's hair for $3000, which he got after giving him a haircut. Neil Armstrong threatened legal action. Currently, his hair is being sold at £399 for each half inch strand.

33. London has a real-life vigilante called "The Shadow."

34. In 16th and 17th Century Denmark, merchant ship captains had to pay a toll based on the value of the goods on the ship. The value was declared by the captain. The Danish authorities could take the value based toll (1-2%) or opt to buy the cargo for the declared value.

35. Writer Alan Ball was inspired to write a story about the hardship of living an authentic, happy life in the age of superficiality after he watched a plastic bag blowing in the wind outside the World Trade Center for 10 minutes. That story was American Beauty and he won an Oscar in 2000.

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Adopting puppies of the same litter is frowned upon because the puppies refuse to bond with the humans. It is known as littermate syndrome.

37. The single oldest complete piece of music is actually from 1400 B.C. It's known as “Hurrian Hymn No. 6”. An example of its rendition can be heard, though it is only one of at least five “rival decipherments of the notation, each yielding entirely different results.”

38. The story of FedEx's founder, Frederick Smith, submitting his business plan as a term paper and receiving a failing grade with an admonition that it would never work, is a myth. He dimly remembers he got about a C, mostly because "it wasn't a well-thought-out paper."

39. The word "sophomore" means "wise fool" in Greek, describing the tendency of adolescents to behave so irrationally despite thinking rationally sometimes.

40. When Banksy storyboarded that infamous Simpson's Asian sweatshop couch gag, it was outsourced to a South Korean studio (like all other animation on the show). The animators were not amused.

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41Bobby Sands

Bobby Sands

The Irish Hunger Strike in 1981 led to prisoner Bobby Sands being elected Member of Parliament during the strike. It gained media interest from around the world. The strike ended after ten prisoners had starved themselves to death including Sands. His funeral was attended by 100,000 people.

42. “Miranda Rights” were named after Ernesto Miranda who wasn’t read his rights prior to confessing to a crime. Years later Ernesto was stabbed to death but when a suspect was arrested, unlike Miranda, he exercised his right to remain silent. With no evidence against him, he was released.

43. When an informer told the Roman emperor Julian that a man possessed a purple robe (which was treason and punishable by death, purple being the royal color), Julian dealt with the offender by sending him a pair of purple slippers to complete the outfit.

44. Smart Aleck was a real person. Alec Hoag was a pimp who stole from customers of his prostitute wife, while they were “distracted” with her. He was caught but bribed police to stay free. He became so successful that he felt he didn't have to bribe police anymore, at which point he was arrested.

45. The filling in between KitKat wafers is made from rejected and recycled KitKats.

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