Random Fact Sheet #323 – Joy of Serendipity: 30 Facts That Will Fill You with Wonder

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1Mega Man Movie

Mega Man Movie

Disney had planned on making films based on the video games “Mega Man” and “The Sims,” but canceled those plans after Assassin’s Creed flopped at the box office.

2. Despite the common theory that “New Coke” was a marketing ploy, the main reason for its launch was it consistently beat Pepsi and Coca-Cola Classic in blind taste tests. It performed so well that one bottling company even threatened to sue Coca-Cola if they didn’t launch the new product.

3. A hurricane caused Tim Duncan to take up basketball. He grew up in the US Virgin Islands and trained to be an Olympic swimmer like his big sister until Hurricane Hugo destroyed the island's only Olympic pool. He was too afraid of sharks to swim in the ocean, so he tried basketball instead.

4. Al Qaeda/Osama Bin Laden considered a plot to destabilize America by kidnapping and assassinating Russell Crowe.

5. Michigan ranks number one as the state with the highest percentage of water (41.5% of its total area). Sources of water are so abundant there that no one in the state is ever more than 6 miles from a body of water.

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6Exclamation points

Exclamation points

Women tend to use more exclamation points then men to appear more friendly even in professional settings (i.e., business emails).

7. For over 300 years Europeans could not grow vanilla seeds since bringing them from South America. In 1836, it was finally discovered that a bee from Mexico was the only capable pollinator of the vanilla orchid.

8. There is a Korean folktale about the common cold's origin. It is about a male ghost with two genitals who releases himself into people's nostrils after he can't find a bride.

9. The US government deported hundreds of anarchists and communists in 1919, fearing a repeat of the Russian revolution.

10. If you could accelerate continually at just 1g you could travel to the other side of the known universe within your lifetime.

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11Australian Spider Deaths

Australian Spider Deaths

Despite Australia being known for deadly venomous variants of spiders such as the Funnelweb and Redback; nobody has died from a spider bite in the entire country since 1981; largely thanks to antivenoms.

12. Tchaikovsky and his patron shared over 1,200 letters, but only met once by accident. When he wrote her to apologize, she responded that there was nothing to apologize for, and invited him to visit her home to see her new paintings, but at a time when she would be away.

13. Austrian scientist Herman Francis Mark was the son of a Jew, so he chose to flee Austria in 1938. He clandestinely bought platinum wire, worth roughly $50,000, which he bent into coat hangers while his wife knitted covers so that the hangers were able to be taken out of the country.

14. When Nichelle Nichols read for the part of a communications officer in 'Star Trek', she had a copy of Robert Ruark's 'Uhuru' with her. 'Uhuru' is Swahili for 'freedom', and when Gene Roddenberry heard what the word meant, he changed the character's name to 'Uhura.'

15. After being ejected from a game, NY Mets manager Bobby Valentine disguised himself with sunglasses and a fake mustache, and made his way back to the dugout. The game's TV announcers spotted him, and MLB fined him for it.

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16Tyrannosaurus Rex

Tyrannosaurus Rex

A teenage Tyrannosaurus Rex would go through a growth spurt where it gained 35-45 pounds a week.

17. Watching a fire can lower your blood pressure.

18. Sabbath Mode is an option for some ovens and kitchen appliances. It exists to allow for use of the appliance while still observing restrictions on certain activities during the Jewish Sabbath and holidays that might otherwise be violated by operating the appliance in its usual manner.

19. Reindeer is the only mammal that can change its eye color to adjust the amount of light that enters its eyes in different seasons. They have golden eyes in summer and blue in winter.

20. The Far Side was so significant in the 80s that when a cartoon was printed which was hard to understand, creator Gary Larsson felt the need to issue a press release expressing his regret and explaining the joke.

21Café de la Rotonde

Café de la Rotonde

The owner of the Café de la Rotonde in Paris would allow starving artists to pay for their drinks with a painting or drawing. In the 1900s the walls of the cafe would have been casually adorned with works that are now considered priceless.

22. Less than half the claims made on The Dr. Oz Show were backed by "some" evidence, and that fell to a third when the threshold was raised to "believable" evidence.

23. The man who took the first up-close photo of a snowflake, Wilson A. Bentley in 1885, also started the concept "No two snowflakes are alike". In his lifetime, he took over 5000 photos of snowflakes.

24. Angostura bitters have a label that doesn't fit because two brothers in 1870 redesigned the bottle and label but did not consult one another. They entered a contest but did not win. One of the judges convinced them to keep it as "signature labeling."

25. In 1993, the Barbie Liberation Organization switched the voice boxes on talking G.I. Joes and Barbie dolls causing the barbies to say phrases like "vengeance is mine" and G.I. Joes to say "The beach is the place for summer." 300 to 500 dolls were modified.

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