Random Fact Sheet #217 – From Strange to the Spectacular: 45 Facts

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1Orange juice

Orange juice

Drinking orange juice after brushing your teeth tastes bad because of a foaming ingredient in toothpaste which blocks your ability to taste sweetness, and you are left with the pure acidity and bitterness of the fruit.

2. Jules Verne wrote a novel named ‘Paris in the Twentieth Century’ in 1863 which predicted gas-powered cars, fax machines, wind power, missiles, electric street lighting, maglev trains, the record industry, the internet, and feminism. It was lost for over 100 years after his publisher deemed it too unbelievable to publish.

3. For years Chrysler advertised their luxury cars as containing 'Corinthian leather' with Ricardo Montalbán as the spokesman. On Late Night with David Letterman, Montalbán playfully admitted that the term meant nothing. The leather was actually sourced from New Jersey.

4. A Soviet teenager named Zinaida Portnova killed over 100 Nazis by poisoning them. She is said to have shot the Nazi investigator who captured her.

5. Hummingbirds are only found in the Americas (and not in the rest of the world), but the oldest known hummingbird was actually a fossil collected in Germany.

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6Bill Gates

Bill Gates

Bill Gates predicts that the growth of instructional software will replace textbooks. However, in a 2018 survey of college students, the trade publication Library Journal found that 75% say that reading print books is easier than e-books.

7. A US Navy officer named John Anthony Walker reported secrets to the Soviet Union for 18 years. He got his son involved, and even tried to involve his daughter. He was finally exposed when his ex-wife reported him. When asked about his spying, he said: "KMart has better security than the Navy."

8. When South Australia voted to give women the vote, the bill was amended by the opposition to also give women the right to run for parliament. They thought this was too preposterous to pass, but it did and it was the first place in the world to do so.

9. Tabasco Sauce is fermented for three years in used Jack Daniel's Whiskey barrels before bottling.

10. Jason Statham almost drowned during the filming of The Expendables 3 when a truck's brakes failed and it plunged into the Black Sea but survived thanks to being an Olympic-class diver.

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11Lucy Ann Johnson

Lucy Ann Johnson

A woman named Lucy Ann Johnson disappeared in September 1961. Her husband reported her missing in 1965, and he was suspected of her murder. In 2013, Johnson was found alive. She said that she had left because her husband had been abusive.

12. Bats are one of just a few species, besides humans, that communicates directly to individual bats, instead of just making broad communication sounds.

13. A delivery truck driver named Steve Flaig was adopted as a child. At the age of 18, he decided to look for his birth mother. Four years later he succeeded and discovered that they were colleagues working in the same store.

14. A British Royal Marine named Matthew Croucher threw himself onto a grenade to save the lives of his comrades. His body armor and backpack shielded him from the blast. He was left with just a nosebleed and a headache.

15. Jimmy Carter became cancer-free after months of treatment for deadly cancer that spread to his brain. His doctor said, "He's a physically and mentally active individual who's in the best health possible for someone in his age group..."

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16Jack Trice

Jack Trice

Jack Trice was the first African-American athlete for Iowa State College and second black college football player. Before his first game, he wrote about how proud he was to have the opportunity. He was intentionally targeted throughout the game, breaking his collarbone and causing internal bleeding, which in turn caused his death.

17. During the American Civil War, Winston County, Alabama attempted to cede from the Confederacy and become a free republic as the lack of any plantations and resulting rarity of slaveholders in the region gave the locals little reason to sympathize with the rebel cause.

18. On Fleetwood Mac's 1971 tour, Jeremy Spencer, one of their guitarists left to "get a magazine" and never came back. When he was found a few days later, he had joined a cult and quit the band.

19. Ivan the Terrible of Russia, the Grand Prince of Moscow had a bodyguard corps (Oprichnik) that wore black clothing and rode black horses. They also had a severed dog's head attached to their saddles, using them to “sniff out” treason. Due to the lack of taxidermy, a constant supply of fresh heads was needed.

20. In the cartoon series The Jetsons, George Jetson's workweek consists of an hour a day, two days a week.

21Weston Cage

Weston Cage

Nicholas Cage has a goth son named Weston Cage who sang in a Black Metal band and invented a genre called "Ghost Metal" in which he incorporates ancient instruments, like the Bouzouki, to invoke a "ghostly feeling."

22. American minister Malcolm X said that white people could not join his black nationalist Organization of Afro-American Unity, but "if John Brown were still alive, we might accept him." Brown was a famous abolitionist convicted and hanged for treason after attempting to lead a slave rebellion in 1859.

23. The Vatican has a single pharmacy. The Vatican claims it is the busiest pharmacy in the world with 2,000 daily visitors. Due to complicated Italian laws, the pharmacy has medicines available years before Italian pharmacies. People often visit this pharmacy to buy them.

24. After submitting six names in order to get a post office and having all six rejected, citizens responded by stating, "Let the post office be nameless and be damned!" The government accepted this suggestion and the town of Nameless, Texas was born.

25. The Jacuzzi was invented by Candido Jacuzzi to provide pain relief for his 15-month-old son named Kenny Jacuzzi, who was born with rheumatoid arthritis.

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