Random Fact Sheet #271 – 45 of the Most Obscure and Intriguing Facts

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1Anne Parrish

Anne Parrish

American novelist Anne Parrish was once browsing old books in Paris when she discovered a book that she loved as a child in New York. She showed it to her husband. He opened the book and discovered that was, in fact, her childhood copy of the book with her address and name on the inside cover.

2. The United States gave cherry tree cuttings back to Japan in 1952 because the parent stock was struggling from neglect during World War 2.

3. Michael Jordan said the biggest benefit of playing on the Olympic 1992 Dream Team was that he learned more about his teammates' weaknesses. He later defeated Barkley, Malone, and Stockton in three NBA finals.

4. Ray Burton, who was the father of Cliff Burton, used Cliff's royalties for the first 3 Metallica albums to fund scholarships at Castro Valley High School. Ray wanted to keep his son's name alive by putting kids through college with his son's royalties for 30 years.

5. Linguistic philosopher J. L. Austin once made the claim that there is no language in which a double positive implies a negative during a lecture. To which someone responded, "Yeah, yeah."

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When the film "Yesterday" (about a world where the Beatles only existed in one musician's memory) was released, Paul McCartney and his wife crept into a theater, with Paul disguising himself with a hat and sunglasses, and watched it from the back row, trying not to laugh when he was mentioned.

7. Feral chickens began terrorizing an island in the UK in 2019. A few escaped chickens multiplied exponentially due to lack of predators, and 100-bird gangs began attacking joggers, destroying yards, blocking traffic, and waking residents at 4 am with their deafening crowing.

8. The city of Reykjavík, Iceland, uses hot water to maintain the temperature of a section of its downtown pond so that the birds living there always have a corner to swim in, even in winter.

9. Alberta Jones was a pioneering black female attorney and a civil rights icon. She rose to national recognition as the legal representation for Cassius Clay's first professional fighting contract. In 1965, Ms. Jones was assassinated at the age of 34, and the crime remains unsolved today.

10. An attempted assassination of Bob Marley occurred on Dec. 3, 1976, when seven armed men raided his house two days before a concert to quell violence. His wife was shot in the head in her car in the driveway. The gunmen shot Marley in the chest and arm. Astonishingly, there were no fatalities.

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11The Iron Giant

The Iron Giant

The 1999 film "The Iron Giant" is based on a 1968 science fiction novel by poet Ted Hughes, written to comfort his children after the suicide of their mother, fellow poet, and his wife Sylvia Plath.

12. The Nightman Cometh episode of "It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia" was performed in front of an audience of background actors who weren't informed of what they were watching. "The audience didn't have any context, so I remember a lot of confused faces as we were performing," said Rob McElhenney

13. Pontiac's Rebellion was a Native American uprising against the British just after the close of the French and Indian Wars at Fort Michilimackinac. Native Americans played Lacrosse outside of the fort, and the British came outside to watch the games. Once the natives thought that enough soldiers were outside, they grabbed weapons and rushed the fort, killing every British soldier they saw.

14. Peter Tabichi is a science teacher from rural Kenya who has donated 80% of his salary to help poorer students, was crowned the world's best teacher of 2019, and was awarded with $1 million prizes, beating 10000 other nominees from 179 countries.

15. The biggest warning siren ever was made by Chrysler and powered by a V8 Hemi engine. It was 12 feet long, weighed 3 tons, was heard in a 2000 square mile area, condensed fog into rain, and sometimes knocked birds out of the sky.

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16Galehead Hut

Galehead Hut

Construction on the remote Galehead Hut in the White Mountains was once halted because the design was found to not be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The mountaintop hut, accessible only via a rugged hiking trail with 2,200' of vertical ascent, now features a wheelchair ramp.

17. In 2019, a British woman named Elizabeth Hoad married her dog Logan. She explained that after four failed engagements, 220 dates, and a range of unsatisfactory experiences in the search for love, she had given up on the male of her species - whereas with her dog, she felt that he had saved her and she had saved him

18. Los Angeles had the largest urban farm in the US until it was torn down for warehouse development. The farm had been established by the L.A. Regional Food Bank.

19. Around 25% of the world's population is infected with the bacteria that causes Tuberculosis, but around 90-95% of infections are asymptomatic.

20. Redwoods, despite their incredible height, have shallow root systems. Their stability is due to the roots extending over 100 feet from the base and that they intertwine with roots of other redwoods.

21Orchestral Conductors

Orchestral Conductors

Orchestral Conductors used to keep time by pounding on the ground with a large staff until the composer Jean-Baptiste Lully stabbed himself in the foot, refused treatment, got gangrene, and died. This eventually led to conductors using their hands or a baton to conduct music.

22. Monty Python once produced a vinyl record with 2 parallel concentric tracks with different programs so you couldn’t control which program you heard when you dropped the needle.

23. Rice Christian is an actual term. Rice Christian is a stereotype term used to describe someone who has formally declared himself/herself a Christian for material benefits rather than for religious reasons.

24. The Vehicle Assembly Building at NASA's Kennedy Space Center has the world's largest doors. Each door is 139 meters (456 feet) high, and it takes 45 minutes to open them.

25. In his treatise on oceans, Aristotle wrote that many processes on Earth occurred "in periods of time which are so immense compared with the length of our life" that we can't observe them, and that "before their course can be recorded from beginning to end whole nations perish and are destroyed."


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