Random Fact Sheet #208 – 35 Fascinating Facts That Will Leave You Wanting More

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Prior to production of Valkyrie (2008), the German Defense Ministry said that filming would not be allowed at the country's military sites, only because Tom Cruise is a member of Scientology, which is viewed as a dangerous cult by the German authorities.

2. Barely a year after the 1969 moon landing, the American public had completely lost interest in space exploration to such an extent that 90% of people surveyed could not remember Neil Armstrong's name.

3. A Calvin and Hobbes comic from 1992 referred to the start of the universe as the Horrendous Space Kablooie, saying that "The Big Bang" was too boring. The term Horrendous Space Kablooie (or HSK) has since become popular among scientists and has been used in books and university courses.

4. Moscow mules were created by a guy that couldn’t sell his vodka, another that couldn’t sell his ginger beer and a lady that had too many copper mugs.

5. During the Middle Ages, members of guilds were referred to as “masters.” Artisans who wanted to join a guild were required to prepare a “master piece” to be judged for qualification. If the masters approved of the piece, that artisan would be accepted into the guild.

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6Eric Clapton

Eric Clapton

In 1966, a relatively unknown young American musician asked to get on stage with Cream and the guitar God Eric Clapton. He played the song Killing Floor, which Clapton had always said was too difficult to play live. That man was Jimi Hendrix and that became known as "The day Hendrix killed God."

7. The mugger crocodile has been observed balancing sticks on its head to lure in birds searching for sticks for their nests. This is the first known example of tool use in a reptile.

8. Immediately after landing on the moon, the Apollo 11 crew was supposed to sleep for 5 hours. They didn't, because they figured they wouldn't be able to.

9. Robin Williams once protested saying, “It’s my voice! You can’t stop me” against Disney when they tried to prevent him from voice acting in Ferngully: The Last Rainforest.

10. Tombili was a cat from Turkey that was well known for her friendliness, her unique way of reclining against steps and her chubby figure. When she passed away in 2016, the city of Istanbul honored her with a statue of her.

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Humans hear anywhere from 20 to 100 times faster than they see so that everything that they perceive with their ears is coloring every other perception they have and every conscious thought they have. The sound gets in so fast that it modifies all the other input and sets the stage for it.

12. In 1536, French explorer Jacques Cartier and his crew were cured of scurvy by drinking tea of pine needles and by eating bark given to them by the Iroquois after the crew suffered months of nutritional deprivation at sea. Pine needles have approximately 3 to 5 times more vitamin C than an orange.

13. The space shuttle Atlantis flew 135 missions with a flight computer that had less than 1% of the computing power of an Xbox 360.

14. Scientists have discovered a unique organism that they have named hemimastix kukwesjijk which is not a plant, animal, fungus, or a protozoa. It constitutes an entirely new Kingdom, a new branch on the tree of life.

15. The Guatemalan government carried out a genocide in the 1980s known as the Silent Holocaust against the Mayan people. Throughout it, the US government under Ronald Reagan gave Guatemala military aid, helping the genocidaires commit their atrocities.

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16Emil Maurice

Emil Maurice

Adolf Hitler's personal chauffeur and close confidant, Emil Maurice, was Jewish. He was also one of the founding members of the SS. After uncovering of his Jewish heritage, Hitler declared that he was an 'honorary Aryan' and prevented him from being expelled from the SS by Himmler.

17. The last roll of Kodak Kodachrome film was given to National Geographic photographer Steve McCurry who used it to capture 36 original images including one of a nomadic tribe in India whose nomadic ways were coming to an end.

18. The summit of Mount Everest is made of marine limestone which means the highest point on earth was once at the bottom of the sea.

19. The largest empire ever to exist based on the percentage of the world population was the Achaemenid Empire originating from Iran, which contained 44% of the global population in 480 B.C.

20. When French explorers thought they were the first Europeans to ever reach some historical Afghan caves in the 1930s, they were surprised to find a text inscribed on the wall saying: "if any fool this high samootch explore, Know Charles Masson has been here before."

21Prison restaurants

Prison restaurants

In the United Kingdom, several Prisons have restaurants that are fully run by inmates at the prison, including chefs and waiters. These restaurants are also open to the public and rank highly on Tripadvisor.

22. Blue M&Ms didn't exist until 1995 when a poll was held to replace the tan shade of M&M that was deemed redundant in addition to the brown M&M. Of pink, blue, and purple, blue won.

23. Frank Willis, a security guard in 1972. While on duty, he noticed the tape on a basement door lock. Thinking a worker had left it there accidentally, he removed it. Willis later found tape again in the same place. He called the police, saying he believed there had been a break-in at Watergate.

24. Ama are female Japanese pearl divers that start diving at the age of 12-13, and are well active into their 70s. They endure freezing conditions and great pressure from deep-sea depths to get pearls. They have a unique technique in which they release air in a long whistle as they resurface.

25. The drink mix Tang wasn't created by or for NASA. It was introduced in 1957 but sold poorly until the U.S. space agency used it for John Glenn's 1962 Mercury mission. Tang was then marketed as what the astronauts drank, but Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin later said, "Tang sucks."

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