Random Fact Sheet #204 – 35 Eye-Opening & Unexpected Facts

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1Catholic Church

Catholic Church

The Catholic Church has a zero-tolerance policy on revealing confessions. If a Catholic priest reveals anything someone confessed to him, he is automatically excommunicated and can only be forgiven by the Pope.

2. Queen Elizabeth stopped breeding corgis in 2015. She doesn’t want to leave any young dogs behind when she dies.

3. "The War of the Worlds" plot arose from H.G. Wells wondering "if Martians did to Britain what the British had done to the [indigenous] Tasmanians?", which most modern scholars characterize as a genocide.

4. While touring in Australia, Frank Sinatra insulted the media, especially female media. The stagehands union refused to work his show until he apologized. Sinatra threatened to cancel his shows. The transport union refused to prepare his airplane for departure.

5. Cambodian dictator Pol Pot killed people who were wearing glasses or if they spoke a foreign language, just because he thought they were smart.

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6Adolf Hitler

Adolf Hitler

Adolf Hitler was Walt Disney' biggest fan. He thought Snow White was the best movie ever made and would draw characters near perfectly. The director of a war museum in northern Norway said he found the drawings hidden in a painting signed "A. Hitler" that he bought at an auction in Germany.

7. The Bank of Canada once had to urge Canadian citizens to stop “Spocking” their five dollar bills.

8. SUVs, with their higher front-end profile, are at least twice as likely as other cars to kill pedestrians. Higher SUV sales have led to a huge increase in pedestrian fatalities in the US during the past decade.

9. At the age of 89, philosopher Bertrand Russell was jailed for "breach of peace" for anti-nuclear demonstration. They offered to exempt him from jail if he pledged himself to "good behavior", to which Russell replied: "No, I won't."

10. The capacity to lie has also been claimed to be possessed by non-humans in language studies with great apes. In one instance, gorilla Koko, when asked who tore a sink from the wall, pointed to one of her handlers and then laughed.

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11Dr. Gisella Perl

Dr. Gisella Perl

Dr. Gisella Perl was an inmate and female doctor at Auschwitz. She was instructed to tell Joseph Mengele of any pregnant women so that he could experiment on them. Instead, she tried to save as many lives as possible by terminating pregnancies, and doing late stage births, without any drugs.

12. The term ‘antisocial’ is very commonly misused and actually means to be violently against society and the rules imposed upon it, whereas the term for just being shut off/introverted is ‘asocial’.

13. David “Carbine” Williams, who helped invent the M1 Carbine, was a convicted murderer and created innovative gun ideas while in jail. He was convicted of the shooting of a sheriff who busted his illegal moonshine still. He was released after his family argued his inventions could help America.

14. When Billie Holiday would perform “Strange Fruit” at gigs, the club owner would order the waiters to stop serving, and the room would be in complete darkness except for a single spotlight on her face. It would close her act and there would be no encore.

15. FDR's White House housekeeper, Henrietta Nesbitt, was a legendarily awful cook. “Of course Henrietta did not personally do the cooking,” wrote a former WH maid, “but she stood over the cooks, making sure that each dish was overcooked or undercooked or ruined one way or another.”

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16Straw Hat Riot

Straw Hat Riot

In 1922, there were a series of riots in New York over whether it was acceptable to wear a straw hat after 15 September.

17. Brian was a mentally ill Bonobo who was prescribed Paxil to help with his anxiety, but he was taken off of it a few years later after he started sharing it amongst the other apes.

18. Obesity is a rising problem for horses, just like for humans, partly due to a tendency for an owner with a horse of perfectly acceptable body condition to be criticized and accused of not feeding enough.

19. Crystal radio is a radio receiver that is made with simple parts and needs no external power source. All it needs is a radio signal to produce sound.

20. The Sega Master System and Genesis are still produced under license and being sold in Brazil, where they routinely outsell modern game consoles. This is due to high tariffs making imported consoles very expensive. Almost half of all Sega Master Systems ever sold were sold in Brazil.

21Alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer’s disease

In April of 2018, scientists at the Gladstone Institutes in California completely erased Alzheimer’s disease damage in human cells by changing the structure of one protein.

22. Queen Elizabeth II was a big fan of the Nintendo Wii. She saw her grandson playing and joined in. She was apparently a 'natural' at Wii Bowling.

23. In Finland, there is an old measurement unit called "poronkusema" which can be translated to “reindeer’s piss.” It describes the distance a reindeer can travel without having to stop to pee which is around 7 - 7.5km. Also, reindeers can't walk and pee at the same time.

24. Greek Fire was an incendiary weapon developed by the Byzantines in the 7th century, it was deployed on ships, and in handheld tubes, operating similar to a flamethrower. Water didn’t extinguish it. Its precise chemical composition is still unknown.

25. Major orange juice producers add chemical fragrances called "flavor packs" to their juice to provide the signature taste of their brand because orange juice loses its flavor during pasteurization and de-oxygenation.

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