Random Fact Sheet #236 – 30 Facts to Challenge Your Knowledge

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Jesus was often depicted performing his miracles with a magic wand in early Christian art.

2. When legendary artist Salvador Dali went to the screening of a new surrealist art film in 1936 he became enraged and knocked over the projector half through claiming the filmmaker had stolen the idea for the film from Dali’s mind. He yelled: “He stole it from my subconscious!”

3. Marlon Wayans was cast as Robin in Batman Returns. Producers decided that, with The Penguin and Catwoman, the movie was too crowded and decided to cut out Robin. Despite not getting to actually play the role, Wayans was still paid $100,000 and receives royalty checks up to this very day. 

4. During a 2011 census for the Czech Republic, 11,000 people listed their religion as "Knights of the Jedi."

5. In 2002, a Marvel comics writer based an alternate version of Nick Fury on Samuel L Jackson, using his image without permission. Jackson discovered this and nearly took legal action. Marvel offered to cast him as Fury if the character was ever in a movie. Jackson took the deal.

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6Jet Li

Jet Li

Jet Li was a Chinese citizen until 2003, United States citizen from 2003 to 2009, and has been a naturalized Singaporean citizen since 2009. He is said to have chosen Singapore for its education system for his two younger daughters.

7. In 2018, Simon Shelton, the actor that played the Teletubby, Tinky Winky, died alone on a street in Liverpool from alcoholism at the age of 52.

8. The US government created a raisin cartel that was run by raisin companies, which increased prices by limiting the supply and forced farmers to hand over their crops without paying them. The cartel lasted 66 years until the Supreme Court broke it up in 2015.

9. Michael Jackson composed songs despite not playing any instruments. He would build each element of a track with his voice, so pitch-perfect that studio musicians could match chords to his singing.

10. A man named Jacob French walked across Australia, from Perth to Sydney, dressed in a Stormtrooper costume to raise money for a charity that helps cheer up hospitalized children. Over 9 months he traveled 3000 miles (5000km), lost over 26lbs (12kg), went through 7 pairs of shoes, and raised more than $100,000.

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11Raphael Samuel

Raphael Samuel

A 27-year old man named Raphael Samuel from India attempted to sue his parents for giving birth to him without his consent. He claims it is wrong to bring a child into the world because they have to put up with lifelong suffering.

12. Mozart sold the most CDs in 2016, beating out Adele, Drake, and Beyoncé, even though all of those artists had Grammy-winning hits that year.

13. An Australian World War 1 general named John Monash was so good at organizing battles and overseeing the wellbeing of his troops, that during the Battle of Hamel in 1918, he managed to arrange the delivery of hot meals to troops, even up to the front line.

14. Walt Disney took out multiple loans to finance Snow White, even mortgaging his own house to pay for it. At the time, insiders in the film industry thought the film would bomb and called it “Disney’s Folly”. Even Walt’s wife, Lillian, thought it would bomb.

15. When US-born giant panda twins arrived in China, they struggled with local food and language. Mei Lun & Mei Huan were confused by "have you eaten up" in Chinese but responded to English "come here". They preferred "Western fast food" biscuits instead of local "wowotou" (steamed cornbread).

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16Boys trip

Boys trip

In 1965, 6 boys from Tonga skipped school and 'borrowed' a boat. After a storm and 8 days adrift, they survived alone on a small rocky island for 15 months. They stayed friends and worked together to survive and stay fit. After their rescue, they were jailed (shortly) for stealing the boat.

17. Edward Jenner discovered vaccination by injecting pus from a milkmaid's cowpox sore into an eight-year-old boy and then attempting to infect him with smallpox six weeks later. The boy did not develop smallpox, indicating that the earlier exposure to cowpox protected him from infection.

18. During the winter of 1944 during World War 2, a Finnish soldier named Aimo Koivunen overdosed on methamphetamine, got injured by a land mine, survived for a week in a ditch by eating pine cones, skied 250 miles and was found weighing 94lb with a heart rate of 200bpm. Then he went on to live for another 45 years.

19. In 1925, the Irish Republican Army (IRA) sent a delegation to the USSR to ask for weapons. The Soviet delegation asked the IRA how many bishops they had killed. When the Irish said they hadn't killed any, the Soviets replied: "Ah, you people are not serious at all."

20. The term "goose" is properly used for a female bird, while "gander" refers specifically to a male. Young birds before fledging are called goslings. A group on the ground is a gaggle; when in flight, they are called a skein, a team, or a wedge; when flying close together, they are called a plump.

21Feltham Young Offenders' Institution

Feltham Young Offenders' Institution

A prison named Feltham Young Offenders' Institution in the UK had to change every lock because a news program showed keys on live TV.

22. Boomerangs used for hunting are not designed for a curved return flight, but to fly straight and hit their target. Returning boomerangs are at most used to frighten birds into movement.

23. On a visit to the US, Russian President Boris Yeltsin was found on two occasions smashed on Pennsylvania Avenue by SS Agents, wearing only his underwear as he yelled for a taxi so he could get a pizza.

24. Häagen-Dazs was created in the 1960s by an American couple living in the Bronx. They used a Danish-sounding name because it conveyed an "aura of the old-world traditions and craftsmanship" and added an umlaut even though that punctuation doesn't exist in the Danish language to make it stand out.

25. Mad Max: Fury Road had filming moved from the Broken Hill region of NSW to Namibia after unusual rainfall caused the desert landscape to bloom with wildflowers.

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