Random Fact Sheet #184 – A Celebration of Curiosity: 35 Facts

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The number of men working in a lighthouse in the UK was increased from 2 to 3 following an 1801 incident. One person died so the other placed him outside, but he was then driven mad by the wind causing his dead colleague’s arm to appear to beckon him.

2. General George Thomas was arguably better than both Robert E Lee and Ulysses S Grant. He never lost a battle and once completely destroyed a Confederate army, earning him the nickname "sledgehammer". History has forgotten because he was too modest and always downplayed his own accomplishments.

3. When humidity is at 100% it means the air cannot hold any more water vapor. The result is sweat cannot evaporate into the air causing the temperature to feel hotter.

4. Louis Zamperini was an Olympic athlete, and a bombardier in the US Air Corps. He survived two crash landings, was afloat on a raft for 47 days in the ocean, survived 'Execution Island' in Japan, and was horribly abused in a POW Camp. Louis lived for 97 years and died in 2014.

5. American actor Tom Hanks has been gifting the White House press corps with new coffee machines since 2004 after visiting and finding an old decrepit Mr. Coffee machine serving really bad coffee.

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6Anton Chigurh

Anton Chigurh

To determine which movie characters best embodied psychopathic traits, forensic psychiatrist Samuel Leistedt and ten colleagues watched 400 movies over 3 years. Their winner was Anton Chigurh from "No Country for Old Men."

7. The Trollface meme creator copyrighted the said meme in 2010. As of 2015, he has already earned a little over $100,000 in licensing fees, settlements, and other payouts.

8. In December 1999, a schizophrenic man named Michael Abram broke into George Harrison’s home and stabbed him over 40 times. His wife incapacitated the man and George was hospitalized. His official statement following the attack was “He wasn't a burglar, and he certainly wasn't auditioning for the Traveling Wilburys.”

9. Basenji dogs are contenders for the title of oldest dog breed. From Africa, Basenjis are depicted in ancient Egyptian artifacts. Basenjis are “barkless,” fastidious and will groom themselves like cats.

10. The Pearl Harbor memorial development had slowed to a halt due to fund shortage, but was saved Elvis Presley who jumped in and contributed $50,000 through his “Aloha from Hawaii” benefit concert in 1961.

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A "macaroni", as mentioned in Yankee Doodle, refers to a 1700s trend wherein some men would dress up in ridiculously over the top clothing and speak in a gender-ambiguous manner. The name came from young men who had toured Italy referring to fashionable things as "very macaroni."

12. San Francisco’s LGBT culture was rooted in the gold rush when the city’s population was 95% men. The unbalanced gender ratio made things such as cross-dressing and same-sex dancing commonplace.

13. A German diplomat named Georg Ferdinand Duckwitz served as an attache for Nazi Germany in occupied Denmark. He tipped off the Danes about the Germans' plan to deport the Jewish population in 1943 and arranged for their reception in Sweden, rescuing over 95% of Denmark's Jewish population.

14. A coal stoker named Arthur John Priest survived the sinking of five ships, including the Titanic, earning the nickname "The Unsinkable Stoker."

15. Brown University named their porta-potties the "E. Gordon Gee Lavatory Complex" after the former president Gordon Gee cut funding to the arts programs.

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16Daily Mirror and Daily Mail

Daily Mirror and Daily Mail

The Daily Mirror and Daily Mail vehemently supported Hitler and discouraged allowing Jews fleeing Europe into the UK.

17. Bathroom hand dryers suck fecal bacteria from the room and spray it directly on your hands.

18. The great-grandson of Aztec Emperor Moctezuma II became a knight. His family worked their way up the political ladder to become a duke. Today the Duke of Moctezuma is still a Spanish noble family with palaces and properties in Spain.

19. Sister Rosetta Tharpe is knowns as the “the Godmother of Rock and Roll.” Tharpe was a pioneer in her guitar technique; among the first popular recording artists to use heavy distortion on her electric guitar and her technique had a profound influence on Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Keith Richards.

20. The New York Times researched and published biographies for every victim of 9/11 they could find.



The dog who played Wishbone on the hit 1990s kids show of the same name was called "Soccer" and he was a veteran TV commercial star before he appeared in the series. He lived from 1988-2001 and is buried on the Texas ranch where the show was filmed.

22. Sebastião Ribeiro Salgado and his wife Lélia Deluiz Wanick Salgado in 20 years planted 2.7 million trees to afforest part of The Atlantic Forest. This resulted in 1,500 acres of rainforest being recovered with 293 of plants, 15 reptiles, 172 birds, 15 amphibians and 33 mammal species having returned.

23. While Simon Pegg was in rehab for alcoholism, the tabloids would ring up pretending to be his mother, to get a story off the clinic.

24. Charondas, a Greek lawgiver from Sicily issued a law that anyone who brought weapons into the Assembly must be put to death. One day, he arrived at the Assembly after hunting in the countryside with a knife still attached to his belt. In order to uphold his own law, he committed suicide.

25. As a white belt, Paul Walker told his Brazilian jiu-jitsu coach that he would get his black belt “even if he needed to get it in his coffin.” Shortly after Walker's death, that same coach awarded Walker his black belt and told his father he could put it in his coffin.

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