Random Fact Sheet #36 – 35 Must-Know Facts for Trivia Buffs

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One of the oldest statues in Bern, Switzerland is of a guy eating babies, and nobody really knows why it's there.

2. Knowing he was the slowest competitor, Australian speed skater Steven Bradbury won gold at the 2002 Winter Olympics by cruising behind and simply avoiding group crashes in both the semifinal and final.

3. An explorer once found a compound, Calanolide A, in certain trees in the Malaysian rainforest. Researchers found out that it has anti-HIV properties, but they couldn’t find another sample for nine years as almost all the tree of that species had been cut down for firewood and building material.

4. While filming the movie Buried, Ryan Reynolds' acting was so good that on several occasions, the crew thought he was really in distress and losing consciousness so they rushed to remove the lid of the coffin to help him.

5. An '&' between two writers for a movie (e.g. "Quentin Tarantino & Woody Allen") means the writers worked together on the script as a team, while an 'and' ("Quentin Tarantino and Woody Allen") means they worked on the same script independently.

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6Rory MacDonald

Rory MacDonald

A UFC fan happened to get fighter Rory MacDonald's old cell phone number and was selecting Rory's walk out music via text messages without Rory or the UFC finding out for years.

7. In Japan, '39' is common text speak for 'thank you', due to how 3 (san) and 9 (kyu) sound when spoken out loud.

8. Banana candy doesn't taste like a banana because the flavoring was invented while an old species of banana was popular, the Gros Michel, which tastes different to the currently popular banana, the Cavendish. Panama disease wiped out the Gros Michel but the artificial flavor never changed.

9. Musician and peace advocate John Lennon often beat his girlfriends and wives, almost killed a man for calling him gay. He was emotionally abusive towards his son and mocked disabled people.

10. Gaming computers heat a room just as efficiently as a space heater does.

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11Kathryn Beaumont

Kathryn Beaumont

Kathryn Beaumont was 13-15 years old when she voiced Alice and Wendy in the original 1950s animated Disney films Alice in Wonderland (1951) and Peter Pan (1953). She returned 50 years later to voice the same characters in 2002 for Kingdom Hearts at the age of 64.

12. Halle Berry was the first woman to collect her Worst Actress award in person at the Razzie Awards, saying "I want to thank Warner Bros. for casting me in this piece-of-sh*t, god-awful movie."

13. Microwaves are "non-ionising" radiation, meaning they are too low-energy to damage DNA. So your microwave could give you a nasty burn (enough to kill you, even), but only in the same manner as your oven.

14. It's A Wonderful Life movie was a box office flop that caused the sale of its production company. It only became popular after the copyright holders forgot to file for a renewal and TV stations could play it all day and night without paying for it.

15. Asians are more likely to die from heart failure on the 4th of the month than they are any other day of the month (7.3% death rate above expected), due to increased stress from Tetraphobia (their cultural fear of the number 4). This has been termed the Baskerville effect.

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16Shelly's Leg

Shelly's Leg

Seattle's first openly-gay bar, Shelly's Leg, was founded using settlement money after Shelly, a dancer, lost her leg in a glitter cannon accident at a Bastille Day parade.

17. When Barry Allen "died" in the DC Comics, Marvel introduced an amnesiac speedster with blonde hair and red suit who can't remember his name but knows it sounds like "Buried Alien". He was named the "fastest man alive" in his first appearance.

18. The final total solar eclipse will be in 600 million years time, as the moon will be around 30,400 km further from the Earth while the sun's diameter will be around 5% larger.

19. Idaho got its name because some guy George M. Willing proposed the name to Congress, claiming that it was Shoshone Indian for "Gem of the Mountain," when it was really just a word he made up.

20. In order to charge more for cinnamon Arab traders claimed that the sticks were used by deadly birds to build their nest. The only way to get it was to trick the bird into trying to fill its nest with heavy pieces of meat. The nest would fall and the cinnamon would be taken before the birds attacked.

21Soroban Abacus

Soroban Abacus

There are classes in Japan that teach kids how to use the Soroban Abacus to develop faster skills in arithmetic. After a few years they no longer even need to use a real abacus to perform fast mental calculations since they can already visualize an image of it.

22. Early coffee shops in England were frequented by students, philosophers, and other intellectuals who engaged in a reasoned debate on the latest issues of the day. The shops charged a penny for admission and were dubbed 'Penny Universities' for the alternative form of education they offered.

23. In 1985, Switzerland accidentally bombed Liechtenstein during a drill. In 1992, they accidentally 'invaded' their neighbor while setting up an observation post. In 2007, Swiss soldiers lost their way and crossed the border. A spokesman of Liechtenstein simply said, "No problem, these things happen".

24. The IRS uses 56-year-old software to receive taxpayer data and dispense refunds.

25. Cob in "cobweb" is actually an old and forgotten English word for "spiders".



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