Random Fact Sheet #303 – Unveiling the Unknown: 45 Captivating Random Facts

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26William Shatner

William Shatner

William Shatner played a prank on the set of the Twilight Zone while shooting the Nightmare at 20,000 Feet episode. Shatner staged a fake fight on the plane and had a dummy fall off the wing to the concrete below. Richard Donner, the episode's director, thought Shatner had died.

27. Michael Jackson was terrified of a real-life fan, who inspired his song, Billie Jean after she sent him a letter with a weapon and instructions to kill himself. He kept her photograph to memorize her face, “in case she ever turns up someplace.”

28. When a chimpanzee that learns an effective method to crack nuts open is placed into a new group that uses a less effective strategy, it will eventually stop using the superior method just to blend in with the rest of the chimps.

29. Christian radio host Harold Camping predicted the world would end on May 21, 2011. Followers gave up their jobs, sold their homes, and stopped investing in their children's college funds. On May 22, his office had a paper note in the window stating, "This office is closed. Sorry, we missed you!"

30. Johann Struensee was the royal physician to mentally ill King Christian VII of Denmark. He rose to seize power for over a year in the 18th century Denmark. He then managed to abolish slavery, abolish censorship of the press, and have an affair with the Queen before being ousted and executed in 1772.

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31Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson paid James Callender to smear John Adams in the election of 1800. Callender accused President Adams of having a “hideous hermaphroditical character” and he was jailed for the smears under the Sedition Act. Once Jefferson took office in 1801, he pardoned Callender.

32. Pablo Picasso carried a revolver loaded with blanks, which he would fire at whoever asked him what his work “meant.”

33. Lafayette was a French aristocrat who is proclaimed to be “The Hero of Two Worlds.” He fought as a general for America during the American Revolution. He then went to France and fought as a General for the People in the French Revolution.

34. A study conducted in 195 countries, over a 26-year period, concluded that there is no safe level of alcohol consumption. The researchers admitted that moderate drinking may protect against heart disease, but found that the risk of cancer and other diseases outweighs these protections.

35. Even though American painter Edward Bannister won 1st prize for painting at the 1876 Philadelphia centennial international exhibition, after discovering Bannister's identity, the judge wanted to rescind his award because he was black. However, this wasn't possible due to protests from the other competitors.

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36Egg Yolks

Egg Yolks

A study from the University of Connecticut found that cholesterol in egg yolks does not raise the LDL cholesterol particles that are associated with the development of cardiovascular disease.

37. Over 8,000 pieces of music were secretly created in Nazi concentration camps; including symphonies, operas, and songs scribbled on everything from food wrappings to potato sacks. One prisoner composed an entire symphony on toilet paper using the charcoal given to him as dysentery medicine.

38. In 1967, hippies attempted a ritual to levitate the Pentagon in the air to end the Vietnam War.

39. In 1967, the magazine 'Berkeley Barb' published an article on how to extract psychoactive substances from banana peels. People didn't realize it was a hoax and began smoking banana peels to try to get high off banana joints.

40. The United Kingdom hasn't really required people to pay for bail since 1898. This was to help reduce the number of people remanded in custody simply because they were poor. Nowadays, bail is automatically given unless said person has a risk of absconding or is a risk to the public.

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41Changcheng 361

Changcheng 361

Changcheng 361 was a Chinese submarine that disappeared in 2003 while being submerged. She was later found when fishermen spotted a periscope above the surface. An engine failure had suffocated the entire crew and the ghost submarine had spent 10 days drifting aimlessly below the waves.

42. Michael Collins had spinal fusion surgery in 1968 and was removed from the crew of Apollo 8. It caused a rotation in astronaut assignments that landed him into a prime position on the historic Apollo 11 moon landing.

43. Adidas bought the iconic three-stripe design from Finnish sportswear company Karhu for two bottles of whiskey and the equivalent of 1600 euros.

44. In July 2020, marine biologists studying the seafloor in the South Pacific Gyre ("the deadest spot in the ocean") discovered aerobic microorganisms in "quasi-suspended animation." At 101.5 million years old, they are the longest-living life forms ever found.

45. Pinball was banned in most major cities from the early 1940s to the mid-1970s because it was considered a game of chance and therefore gambling.

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