Random Fact Sheet #48 – 30 Facts That Will Make You Smarter (At Least a Little Bit)

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1Tennis balls

Tennis balls

Tennis balls were traditionally black or white. They were changed to yellow in 1972 after research showed they were more visible on television.

2. From 1933 until 1977 there was a Presidential Yacht, but it was sold off by Jimmy Carter, and today raccoons live in it.

3. Some churches are using signal jammers to make the congregation stop using their mobile phones.

4. Samuel Morse invented the telegraph after he received a letter of his wife's failing health and after she'd died.

5. In 1973, IBM offered its UPC barcode proposal to the grocery industry for free. The industry accepted a very close standard to their proposal. However, IBM also made the first technology capable of reading the barcodes and made tons of money selling the equipment to grocery stores.

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6Thalidomide tragedy

Thalidomide tragedy

The United States avoided the thalidomide tragedy because FDA inspector Frances Kelsey blocked its approval based on lack of safety data despite pressure from her FDA supervisors and the pharmaceutical company. Meanwhile, 10,000 thalidomide babies were born in Europe, Australia, and Japan

7. Joseph Pujol was a professional farter and highest paid performer at the Moulin Rouge. For his grand finale, he would play "La Marseillaise" through his anus and then blow out candles from yards away. Corseted women in the audience were known to pass out from laughter.

8. The city of Lexington Kentucky holds a Halloween parade every year in which citizens can sign up to dress as zombies and dance to Thriller behind a Micheal Jackson impersonator. The event has gotten so popular there are now six Micheal Jacksons throughout the city.

9. Taylor Mitchell was a 19-year old Canadian Country Folk singer who was killed by coyotes while hiking in 2009. She is the only known adult ever killed by coyotes, and her death shocked wildlife experts and forced them to reassess the threat that coyotes pose to people.

10. McDonalds Szechuan dipping sauce wasn't Szechuan at all, as the Szechuan peppercorn was banned in the US at the time of the original promotion.

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The Vikings were the first Europeans in North America landing in modern-day Newfoundland in Canada, beating Christopher Columbus by 500 years.

12. Russia has “closed cities”, cities that have restrictions on visitors and are sometimes omitted from maps.

13. The Simpsons' episode guest starring Lady Gaga is the lowest rated episode in the show's history.

14. Soviet leader Konstantin Chernenko started smoking at the age of 9. He died after only 13 months in office, the third Soviet leader to die during Reagan's presidency. When informed, Reagan remarked, "How am I supposed to get anyplace with the Russians if they keep dying on me?"

15. Narcotizing Dysfunction is a theory where you obsessively follow the news until it tricks your brain that you are doing something about it when in reality you are doing sh*t.

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16Don't Mess With Texas

Don't Mess With Texas

"Don't Mess With Texas" originated as an anti-litter slogan in the '80s.

17. Richard Garfield, the creator of magic the gathering (first modern collectible card game) is the great-great-grandson of U.S. President James A. Garfield, and his great-uncle invented the paper clip.

18. After the assassination of Julius Caesar, a large comet hit the Earth's atmosphere. It was seen in Rome and China and may have been brightest daylight comet in recorded history. It led to Caesar being deified, an Imperial Cult, and the building of the 'Temple of the Comet Star'.

19. The Allman Brothers Band funded Jimmy Carter $800,000 to his nearly broke presidential campaign. Without the donations he likely would not have won.

20. Massive concrete acoustic mirrors, or “listening ears,” were built in England between the world wars to monitor the skies for the telltale sounds of airborne invasion.

21Harlon Block

Harlon Block

Harlon Block was a marine who raised the flag on Iwo Jima but then died soon after. He was misidentified in the famous picture for 2 years but his mother knew it was him. Looking at the photo she exclaimed “I’ve changed so many diapers on that boy’s butt, I know it’s my boy".

22. The oldest company (Kongō-Gumi) in the world was a Buddhist Temple builder that had been in business continually for 1,428 years before succumbing to financial difficulties in 2006.

23. There is no such character as the "Mad Hatter" in Alice In Wonderland, only "The Hatter". He had a mad tea party and the two concepts merged.

24. Whales' closest living relatives are the hippopotamuses.

25. In 1994, a Boy Scout named David Charles Hahn attempted to make a neutron gun and in the process created a massive irradiation incident in his neighborbood and also irradiated himself. He was arrested. Authorities declared the his shed as a hazardous materials site and sealed it. Crews from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency led a Superfund cleanup in 2005 that included dismantling the shed and shipping its remains to be buried at a low-level radioactive waste site in Utah.



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