Random Fact Sheet #291 – Unraveling the Enigma: 40 Eclectic Facts

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1Thomas Aikenhead

Thomas Aikenhead

In 1697, a 20-year-old Scottish student named Thomas Aikenhead became the last person to be executed in Great Britain on a charge of blasphemy. He was accused of referring to theology as “ill-invented nonsense” while conversing with friends at the University of Edinburgh.

2. Red Rocks Amphitheatre was removed from consideration for the award for the best outdoor venue in the world because it kept winning over and over (11 times). The award is now known as the Red Rocks Award.

3. The idea that caffeinated coffee and tea dehydrate you is misunderstood. It is true that caffeine can be a weak diuretic - (stimulates urination) - but the loss is negated by the water in the drink itself. You are ingesting more fluids than urinating when drinking a cup of caffeinated coffee or tea.

4. The Life expectancy number we know for the middelages includes infant mortality, so 13th-century English nobles had a 30-year life expectancy at birth, but when they reached the age of 21, they would normally have an expectancy of 64.

5. Years after her death, an archive of Marilyn Monroe’s poems, letters, notes, recipes, and diary entries surfaced. The archive included Monroe admitting that her first marriage, at the age of 16, was to keep her out of the orphanage when her caretaker was in the psychiatric hospital.

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6Judit Polgár

Judit Polgár

Former World Chess Champion G. Kasparov described Hungarian female chess player Judit Polgár as a "circus puppet" and said that women chess players should stick to having children. Later in September 2002, in the Russia versus the Rest of the World Match, Polgár defeated Garry Kasparov.

7. Buddy Holly asked his wife (María Elena Holly) out on their first meeting and proposed to her on the second. His manager disapproved of the relationship saying it would upset his female fans, so during his tours she was presented as his secretary.

8. Five completely separate groups of crustaceans independently evolved into what we commonly refer to as "crabs." This phenomenon is called "carcinization."

9. Simone Segouin was a French Resistance fighter in World War 2 who was only 18 when Germany invaded. She took part in large-scale missions, such as capturing German troops, derailing trains, and other acts of sabotage.

10. Ants sleep by taking about 250 one minute naps throughout their day. It totals just under 5 hours of sleep. This allows for 80% of their colony to be awake, working, and prepared at any given moment.

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11No friends

No friends

Harvard research showed that having no friends is as deadly as smoking. Researchers have discovered a link between loneliness and the levels of blood-protein which can cause heart attacks and strokes.

12. Stan Lee created The X-men as 'mutants' because he didn't want to explain how they got their powers. They were born with their powers.

13. Johnny Cash's brother, Jack Cash (Left), died when he was 14 after getting mangled by a table saw after cutting wood. Johnny, who admired his brother a lot, was heartbroken. According to his sister, Johnny helped dig Jack's grave.

14. Saudi Arabia once accidentally printed thousands of textbooks containing an image of Yoda sitting next to King Faisal while he signed the 1945 UN charter.

15. Larger crocodiles can go for over a year without eating a meal. In extreme situations, crocodiles appear to be able to shut down and live off their own tissue for a long period of time.

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16Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo

Growing up as a hungry child, Cristiano Ronaldo would knock on the door of a McDonald's asking if they had any burgers. A lady called Edna and two other women would then help him by giving him something to eat.

17. Stanford researchers have shown that mealworms can safely consume various types of plastics including toxic additive-containing plastic such as polystyrene with no ill effects. The worms can then be used as a safe, protein-rich feed supplement.

18. Nazis left behind so many of their Karabiner 98k rifles at the end of World War 2 that they ended up being used for the rest of the 20th century all over the world, and some were even used in Iraq after the 2003 invasion. Somewhere out there, an 80-year-old Nazi rifle is still used in warfare.

19. Popcorn, being relatively inexpensive, became popular during the Great Depression. It became a source of income for many struggling farmers, including the Redenbacher family. In fact, when sugar was rationed during World War 2, Americans ate three times as much popcorn as they had before.

20. The Latin name of a ferret is Mustelidae putorius furo, which translates to “stinky mouse thief.”

21Shel Silverstein

Shel Silverstein

Famed children’s author and cartoonist Shel Silverstein was also a successful country music songwriter. Among his credits was Johnny Cash’s “A Boy Named Sue,” which went on to win the Grammy for Best Country Song.

22. The tumbleweed, an icon of the American West, is an invasive species that was imported in contaminated flaxseed from Russia, where they are a native species.

23. David Dunbar Buick was a plumber who invented the process for adhering enamel to cast iron, clearing the way for cast iron bathtubs in homes. He would later start the Buick Motor Company

24. The world’s rarest autograph belongs to William Shakespeare’s, of which only six are known to exist on 4 documents, all of which are currently in museums.

25. Pronoia is the opposite of paranoia. A paranoid person thinks everyone is conspiring against him or her, whereas a pronoid person thinks everything is secretly conspiring to help him or her.

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