Random Fact Sheet #182 – Get Your Brain Working With These 45 Facts

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1Cigarette butts

Cigarette butts

Cigarette butts are environmentally toxic and the most littered item in the world.

2. Physicist Nikola Tesla once paid an overdue hotel bill with a box containing a working model of his ‘death beam‘, warning employees never to open it because of the danger. They hid the box and when it was discovered years later and opened, it was found to contain old (harmless) electrical parts.

3. The food in Alcatraz Prison was so good that the guards and prison staff ate the same exact meals as the prisoners. This was because the warden believed most trouble in prison is caused by bad food.

4. Paul McCartney, as a vegetarian and animal rights activist, only agreed to appear on The Simpsons if Lisa's decision to become a vegetarian in that episode was made permanent. He is literally the only reason Lisa is still a vegetarian.

5. Christopher Walken is one of only two actors (the other being Alec Baldwin) to have a standing offer from Lorne Michaels to host Saturday Night Live whenever his schedule permits. Thus far he has hosted the show 7 times, his most famous appearance is the "More Cowbell!" sketch.

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6Scrubs show

Scrubs show

The Scrubs show has one of the most accurate portrayals of the actual way a hospital runs and all of its medical cases are taken from real-life medical cases.

7. In 1972, Neil Armstrong visited the town of Langholm, Scotland, in which he was read a 400-year-old law declaring any Armstrong caught in the town should be hanged.

8. Jules Verne's shelved 1863 novel "Paris in the Twentieth Century" predicted gas-powered cars, fax machines, electric street lighting, maglev trains, the record industry, the internet. His publisher deemed it pessimistic and lackluster. It was discovered in 1989 and published 5 years later.

9. Patrick Stewart hated having pet fish in Picard's ready room on Star Trek: The Next Generation, considering it an affront to a show that valued the dignity of different species.

10. During Prohibition in the US, it was illegal to buy or sell alcohol, but it was not illegal to drink it. Some wealthy people bought out entire liquor stores before it passed to ensure they still had alcohol to drink.

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X% of Y is the same as Y% of X, so for example, 32% of 50 is the same as 50% of 32, which is 16.

12. Former NBA player and devout Mormon, Shawn Bradley, was once fined $10,000 for not going to a mandatory team meeting at a strip club.

13. In 1981, a man named Roger Fischer had an idea for a volunteer to have ICBM launch codes put in their chest cavity. In the event of an emergency, the volunteer would carry a knife to be killed with. It was meant to force the personal killing of one man to start the impersonal killing of millions.

14. American chemist Alexander Shulgin, the man who rediscovered MDMA and "the godfather of psychedelics", had a license from the DEA to produce any schedule 1 substance. He managed to discover over 200 psychoactive compounds before the license was revoked.

15. In 2015, Prince voiced his dislike of record labels saying "Record contracts are just like — I'm gonna say the word – slavery." He concluded "I would tell any young artist ... don't sign." At the time he advocated seeing artists paid directly from streaming services, cutting out middlemen.

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16Red beards

Red beards

Some non-redheaded men have red beards because they have one copy of the MC1R gene. Two copies would make them fully redheads. 

17. The bezel on a dive watch only turns counterclockwise so that if the bezel is bumped accidentally during a dive it will only move in one direction, subtracting time from the dive and prompting the diver to surface early rather than staying under for too long.

18. Stingray injuries are almost never fatal. When Steve Irwin died from a stingray attack in 2006, it was only the second recorded stingray-related death in Australia since 1945.

19. There is an FAA regulation called the 'Sterile Cockpit Rule', requiring flight crews to only discuss topics pertinent to the safety and operation of the flight below 10,000 feet.

20. A pro hockey player named John Scott got voted by the people (as a joke) to be the captain of the All-Star team. NHL didn't want him to play, so he got sent to the Minor Leagues. There wasn't a rule against a minor leaguer playing in it though, so he played, scored twice and won MVP.

21Ron Stallworth

Ron Stallworth

Ron Stallworth, the man who infiltrated the ranks of the KKK and the center of the movie BlacKkKlansman, was a cheerleader, served in the Student Council, served on the Student Advisory Board to the EPISD Board, and was voted most popular in his Senior year at Austin High School.

22. The Statue of Liberty was originally a dull copper color, but after 20 years it oxidized and was covered in green patina. Congress wanted to paint away the corrosion, but the Army Corps of Engineers concluded it "softened the outlines of the Statue and made it beautiful."

23. Before Paris was liberated from the Nazis, Hitler ordered military governor Dietrich von Choltitz to demolish the Eiffel Tower and other major landmarks. He refused this direct order, and surrendered to the Allies instead, saving the tower.

24. An elephant's memory is so good that it not only recognizes all the members of its own clan but even other creatures who leave a strong impression on them. A pair of elephants who had performed in a circus together were able to recognize each other when they met again after 20 years.

25. When a man named Mike Merrill considered getting a vasectomy or moving in with his girlfriend, the choice wasn't his to make. It was instead left up to 805 people who'd purchased his life. Merrill, a private citizen, sold 11,823 shares of his life to complete strangers who now control his decisions.

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