Random Fact Sheet #228 – Ready for a Brain Workout? 35 Facts

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1Tracking Seagulls

Tracking Seagulls

For months, scientists in France could not figure out why seagulls they were tracking were traveling far inland, away from their breeding colony. Eventually, they traced the seagulls’ path and discovered they were visiting a chip factory.

2. The reason that pubs in England have such weird names goes back to medieval times, when most people were illiterate, but could recognize symbols. This is why they have names like Boot and Castle, or Fox and Hound.

3. The FBI investigated the song “Louie Louie” because people thought the lyrics were dirty. After three months, FBI abandoned the investigation because it couldn’t make out the words.

4. Sogen Kato was believed to be the oldest man in Tokyo at the age of 111 until it was discovered that he died at 79 and the family lied about it to keep receiving his pension.

5. The reason large cuts of meat like port and brisket “stall” (stay at the same temperature, sometimes for hours) while being smoked is because they are “sweating” and water evaporation is cooling them as fast as heat is being added.

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Some users of the antidepressant clomipramine have an unexpected side effect of spontaneous orgasms after yawning.

7. After the scene where Margot Robbie has sex with Leonardo DiCaprio on a pile of money in ‘Wolf of Wall Street’, Robbie ended the scene with her back covered in paper cuts from the fake money they used.

8. The rendering of the Death Star plans in the original Star Wars was created by two students using computers at JPL. The writers and staff planned to thank JPL in the credits until one programmer pointed out that JPL didn’t even know their computers had been used.

9. The Philippines has its own version of apple pie made from coconuts and condensed milk. Buko pie is believed to be invented by Soledad Pahud. She discovered apple pie while working as a maid in the United States. When she returned to the Philippines, the lack of apples led to her create a coconut-based recipe.

10. A World War 2 Japanese soldier named Ishinosuke Uwano, who had been missing since 1958 was found alive in Ukraine at the age of 83. He was declared dead in 2000 in Japan. He hadn't visited Japan in 60 years and had to enter the country on a Ukrainian passport in 2006.

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11Battle of Blair Mountain

Battle of Blair Mountain

A group of striking coal workers in West Virginia had leftover World War 1 chemical bombs dropped on them by the US government during the 1921 Battle of Blair Mountain, the largest labor uprising in American history.

12. If you’re an American needing to find an embassy in Austria, you can go to any McDonald’s in the country and they will provide you a phone number and even a phone if you need it in order to contact the embassy.

13. Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman are separated but not divorced due to how close they still are.

14. Only 9% of all plastic waste ever produced has been recycled.

15. While most air traffic communications around the world use the NATO phonetic alphabet (alpha, bravo, charlie, delta, etc.), Atlanta doesn’t. Taxiways, Gates, and others including a ‘D’ are referred to as ‘Dixie’, so as not to cause confusion with Delta Air Lines. Atlanta is Delta’s hub.

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The word “Apple” didn’t always refer to the specific fruit. As late as the 17th century the word was used for all fruits that weren’t berries.

17. On May 19, 1983, Diane Downs shot her three children and drove them at 5-7 mph to the hospital. Her 7-year-old daughter was already dead, her other 2 children were in critical condition. She’d also shot herself in the forearm. She claimed she’d been carjacked. She was sentenced to life plus 50 years.

18. The parliament of Iceland, the Althing, is the oldest surviving parliament in the world, having been founded in 930.

19. Saudi Arabia’s royal family’s net worth of $1.4 trillion makes the family roughly 16 times as wealthy the British royal family, which has a net worth of $88 billion.

20. The Parthian shot was an ancient military tactic where archers on horses would feign retreat and then turn their bodies while at full gallop to shoot at the pursuing enemy. It required great skill to master. Without a stirrup, the rider relied solely on pressure from his legs to guide his horse.

21Matvey Kuzmin

Matvey Kuzmin

Matvey Kuzmin a.k.a the 'Lone Wolf' was the oldest person to be awarded Hero of the Soviet Union. During World War 2, a Nazi battalion paid a Russian peasant named Matvey Kuzmin to lead them to the rear of Russian defenses. Instead, he led the battalion directly into an ambush. Realizing his betrayal, the Nazis killed him. He was 83.

22. World’s oldest mouse, Yoda, reached the age of 4 years in a pathogen-free environment at the University of Michigan, living with his cage mate Princess Leia. His lab director said, “100-year-old people are much more common than 4-year-old mice.”

23. Microsoft Flight Simulator is the longest-running software product line for Microsoft at 37 years old, predating Windows by three years.

24. Viggo Mortensen was offered the role of Aragorn in Peter Jackson's Hobbit film trilogy, but he turned it down since Aragorn never appeared in Tolkien’s Hobbit.

25. Reindeer meat is actually some of the healthiest meat out there. It contains way less fat than beef, and Norwegians are known to eat smoked reindeer, grilled reindeer, reindeer pizza and reindeer tartare.

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