Random Fact Sheet #147 – 30 Quirky Nuggets of Information

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1Tingler film

Tingler film

During screenings of the 1959 film ‘The Tingler’, a film about a creature that gets inside a person’s spine, causing them to feel a tingling which can only be stopped by screaming, buzzers were placed in random seats that caused the audience to feel tingling during the film.

2. The majority of Amtrak's delays are due to freight railroads giving priority to their own trains over passenger trains. Even though this is explicitly against the law, only 1 violator has ever been charged by the Department of Justice in the entire 47-year history of Amtrak.

3. In 1990, a Floridian woman named Sheila Keen Warren opened her door to a clown and was shot. In 2014, a hair was found in the evidence. After a DNA test, the clown was found in Tennessee running a restaurant with the wife's husband. Apparently having an affair months before the murder, they were now married.

4. Mars (the owner of M&M’s) rejected a product placement deal in ‘E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial’, but Reese’s Pieces owned by Hershey’s took up on the offer and their sales shot up by 65% in the first two weeks after the movie hit the theaters.

5. The last person to be executed for blasphemy in Scotland was a 20-year-old man named Thomas Aikenhead who called theology "a rhapsody of ill-invented nonsense", and the Old Testaments "Ezra's fables", and that Christ "learned magic in Egypt, then performed pranks which were called miracles."

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6James Doohan

James Doohan

Because the character of Montgomery Scott in Star Trek inspired so many students to pursue careers in engineering, the Milwaukee School of Engineering presented James Doohan with an honorary degree in engineering.

7. It is a myth that you should fully discharge your cell phone/laptop batteries before charging - it's a holdover from the Ni-Cad chemistry era and its "memory effect", but lithium-ion batteries are at their healthiest when you use very little and charge very often.

8. In 2017, paleontologists found a 99-million-year-old tick entombed in amber and grasping the feather of a dinosaur.

9. In 1969, scientists tested The Ben Franklin Effect and found that, yes, asking people favors (when used strategically) is a tool to get them to like you more.

10. Kal Penn, the comedian that played “Kumar” in the “Harold and Kumar” movies became the Associate Director in the White House Office of Public Engagement in 2009.

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11Geoffrey Tandy

Geoffrey Tandy

Geoffrey Tandy, a cryptogamist (algae specialist) who was mistakenly hired by Bletchley Park, significantly contributed to breaking the Enigma cipher, utilizing his expertise to preserve otherwise unsalvageable codebooks from a torpedoed U-boat.

12. Due to alcohol's faster evaporation rate, the famous Drinking Bird Toy will eagerly drink whiskey twice as fast as water.

13. Saint Nicholas, the basis for Santa Claus, was the patron saint of prostitutes, sailors, and repentant thieves, among other things.

14. American actress Cher donated 180,000 bottles of water to Flint residents after their water was discovered unsafe due to lead contamination.

15. The phrase "And I would have gotten away with it too if it weren't for you meddling kids!" Was never said throughout the entire original run of Scooby Doo. Also, the phrase "Meddling kids" was only used 3 times.

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16Button-up shirt

Button-up shirt

A button-up shirt refers to any shirt that buttons up the front. A button-down shirt refers to the collar of a button-up shirt. If the collar can be fastened to the shirt via buttons, then it’s a button-down shirt.

17. J. K. Rowling wrote a short 800-word prequel to Harry Potter for a charity auction in 2008. 13 authors were asked to write an original work for the auction, and Rowling's piece sold for more than all the other writer's works combined at 25,000 pounds alone.

18. The Two Towers musical score wasn't even nominated for an Academy Award because of a rule prohibiting scores to sequels that re-uses themes from the previous film, a rule that was then specifically changed to allow Return of the King to be nominated (and win).

19. Prolonged exposure to felt containing high levels of mercury would cause mental dysfunction in 18th-century hat makers, ushering in the phrase "As mad as a hatter."

20. In 1921, White Castle changed the Nation's perception of beef from "low-grade meat likely to be richer with E-coli than nutrients" by creating a logistics system having fresh beef delivered twice a day and on display in the front of their shops, as well as inventing the hamburger bun.

21Bertha Benz

Bertha Benz

Bertha Benz became the first person to drive the car over more than a short distance when she took her husband's new invention without his knowledge and drove up to her mother's house to prove that the invention will be successful once it's shown to be useful.

22. 300 million years ago insects could get really big. Millipedes and centipedes could get larger than humans, dragonflies as big as eagles, the beatles were the size of a large dog. The leading theory is that ancient bugs got big because they benefited from a surplus of oxygen in Earth's atmosphere.

23. In 2000, author J.K. Rowling gave her father (Peter Rowling) the first edition of 'Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire' for Father's Day and signed it: "Lots of love from your first born." Three years later, he sold it for £27,500.

24. There are so many water-filled caves under Florida that divers can swim between sinkhole-created lakes, under highways, businesses, schools, and houses.

25. Both Martin Luther King Jr. and Mohandas Gandhi tried to kill themselves during adolescence and both suffered severe bouts of depression later in life.

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