Random Fact Sheet #272 – 35 Surprising Little Facts About the World Around Us

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1Dolph Lundgren

Dolph Lundgren

Before playing Drago in Rocky IV, Dolph Lundgren earned a master’s degree in chemical engineering and won a Fulbright Scholarship to MIT.

2. The first public call made from an iPhone was made by Steve Jobs. He called a Starbucks and ordered 4,000 lattes; then said ‘just kidding’ and hung up.

3. The “color bars” we see used on TVs are called SMPTE bars. These bars, which were created in 1951 and became widespread in 1978 were used to calibrate color and audio levels for taped recordings.

4. About 2 million Americans can trace their lineage to a Mayflower passenger who fell overboard and survived by grabbing a trailing rope.

5. Spanish porn star Nacho Vidal was born into a very wealthy family. However, most of the family's wealth was lost on Black Monday, the stock market crash of 1987. In 2005, using his porn star income, Vidal bought back the mansion his family used to own.

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6First Cellphone Call

First Cellphone Call

The first-ever Cell Phone call was in 1973 and it was made by a Motorola researcher. He called his rival at Bell Labs who had also been working on creating a working cell phone.

7. The Black Tom explosion was one of the largest artificial non-nuclear explosions to have ever occurred. German agents set off an explosion in New York Harbor on July 30, 1916, that killed four people, destroyed $20,000,000 worth of military goods and damaged the Statue of Liberty.

8. Comedian Steve Allen once got into a minor car accident when another driver backed into him. Allen joked, “What some people will do to get my autograph” and went about his day, taking a nap at his son’s home. Allen never woke up because the accident had broken his ribs and pierced blood vessels.

9. Peter Jackson shot “The Hobbit” in such a high frame rate, some people experienced nausea watching it in movie theaters.

10. In 2004, a tennis fan went into a coma. 11 years later, he woke up and was shocked to learn that Roger Federer was still among the best in the world.

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11Breaking Bad House

Breaking Bad House

The people who own the house Breaking Bad was filmed in had to construct 6 feet wrought iron fence to stop people from constantly throwing pizzas on their garage roof.

12. There’s a 460 square miles area in France called the ‘Zone Rouge’ containing so much human and animal remains and millions of items of unexploded classic and chemical ordnance from World War 1 that it’s been legally defined as Impossible to clean and human life impossible.

13. In 1997 the first Astronaut voted from space. Since then every American Astronaut votes from Space as an absentee voter for the state of Texas (where the Johnson Space Center is located), where they list their address as “low-Earth orbit.”

14. In 1965 the future Canadian Prime Minister John Turner was vacationing in Barbados when he noticed someone struggling in rough surf at the beach. Being a strong swimmer, he instinctively entered the water and unknowingly saved the life of former Canadian PM John Diefenbaker.

15. Malariotherapy is the act of intentionally inflicting a person with malaria as a way of curing them of syphilis. Malaria caused fevers which killed off the syphilis bacteria. After a few bouts of high fever, the bacteria would be eradicated and malaria treated with quinine.

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Bagpipes were the only musical instrument deemed a weapon of war by the courts because it inspired troops to battle and instilled terror into the enemy.

17. According to a study out of the London School of Economics and Political Science, watching shows like “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” can make you less sympathetic to the plight of the poor.

18. High doses of ketamine can temporarily switch off the brain. This pause in brain activity may correspond to what ketamine abusers describe as the ‘K-hole’ - a state of oblivion likened to a near-death experience, which is followed by a feeling of great serenity.

19. For two decades, 10 percent of all the electricity consumed in the United States came from thousands of decommissioned Russian nuclear warheads.

20. In 1978 eccentric millionaire Dick Smith made world news by towing an enormous iceberg into Sydney Harbor, offering to cut it into ice cubes, or “dicksicles”. This was actually an elaborate April Fools’ Day prank and the “iceberg” was actually made of shaving cream.

21Oldest Hominid Footprints

Oldest Hominid Footprints

The oldest known hominid footprints discovered outside of Africa were in Norfolk, England. They are estimated to be 800,000 years old.

22. The rights to the film Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory was bought from author Roald Dahl and financed by the Quaker Oats Company as a vehicle to introduce its new “Wonka Bars” but the candy didn’t arrive on shelves until years after the film’s release due to factory production problems.

23. Shirley Temple disliked her namesake drink, as she disliked the idea of cocktails for children. She also found most varieties to be “too sweet” for her tastes. She also sued companies seeking to mass-produce the drink, claiming it diluted her commercial value and invaded her privacy.

24. On average, most healthy individuals release 14-23 farts per day.

25. More than half of all mushrooms consumed in the US are grown in Kennett Square, a small town in Pennsylvania.

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