Random Fact Sheet #57 – 40 Facts to Satisfy Your Curiosity

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1Buildings in Manhattan

Buildings in Manhattan

40% of the buildings in Manhattan could not be built today. If made today, the buildings would be shorter and less dense due to the zoning code.


2. Diehard Star Trek fans ranked Galaxy Quest as the 7th best Star Trek film.


3. We call letters "uppercase" and "lowercase" because the original printing presses kept letter blocks in literal cases; since small letters were used more often, they kept them in the bottom case for easy access; thus, lowercase (and uppercase) were born.


4. The Molotov cocktail was named in reference to Soviet minister Vyacheslav Molotov, who claimed on state radio that the bombing of Finland was a humanitarian mission to provide food aid to starving Finns. The Finns jokingly dubbed the incendiary device as a drink to go with the food.


5. The reason fighter pilots usually don't pass out under intense G-forces is because of their G-suit. Under intense force, the suit squeezes the legs extremely hard to prevent as much blood as possible from leaving the head, allowing some pilots to go up to 9 G's without passing out.


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6Medal for Long Marital Life

Medal for Long Marital Life

The Polish medal for couples who have made it to 50 years of marriage has a higher rank than the medal for deployment to Afghanistan.


7. The US Treasury planned to replace Alexander Hamilton's face on the $10 bill with a notable woman (Harriet Tubman) from US history but decided to instead change Jackson's face on the $20 bill, almost entirely due to the popularity of "Hamilton".


8. A seed (Methuselah) from the previously extinct Judean date palm was revived and managed to sprout after nearly 2,000 years.


9. The dogs that were used to patrol the Berlin Wall were adopted out after it came down, and when walking where it once stood would "move as if tethered to an unseen leash, with absolute certainty, following the old border along its zigzags through the city".


10. The golden circle on the flag of Portugal represents an armillary sphere, a nautical device used by Portuguese sailors exploring unknown seas during the 'Age of Discoveries'.


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11Swim test

Swim test

In order for MIT students to graduate, they must pass a swim test as it's deemed "a self-survival skill."


12. In 1984, Ronald Reagan sent the Soviet Army on high alert after saying "We begin bombing in five minutes" as a joke while doing a sound check.


13. Levi's stopped using the rivet at the bottom of the fly because when people would crouch in front of campfires the rivet would conduct the heat from the fire and burn their crotch.


14. Video game voice actors aren't always told which game they're working on.


15. When Charles Manson (Cult leader) was a child, his mom sold him for a pitcher of beer to a woman who wanted to have children.


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16Vicki Walker

Vicki Walker

In 2009, an office worker named Vicki Walker was fired for writing emails in ALL CAPS.


17. In the book Forrest Gump, Forrest was 6 foot 5 inch, and cursed a lot, had a low IQ and normal legs as a kid, he became an astronaut where he finds an ape named Sue, they crash in the jungles and are captured by cannibals, Forrest farms shrimp in shallow pools and travel the world with Lt. Dan and Sue.


18. Mahatma is a Sanskrit honorific, like "Saint", and not the first name of "Mohandas" Gandhi.


19. The Green children of Woolpit are a boy and a girl with green skin who appeared in the town of Woolpit, England in the 12th century. They spoke in an unknown language and only ate raw beans.


20. In 2003, during a case involving stolen lunar samples, a federal court set the value of the moon rocks at $50,800 per gram based on how much it cost the U.S. government to retrieve the samples between 1969 and 1972.


21Depression

Depression

Those who have been looking for work for half a year or more are more than 3 times as likely to be suffering from depression as those with jobs.


22. The members of the 1980s pop/rock band Toto were prolific session musicians. Their work includes Michael Jackson's 'Thriller'. Collectively, the members have been recorded on over 5,000 albums, selling over 500,000,000 albums.


23. Irish avant-garde playwright Samuel Beckett used to drive a young Andre the Giant to school because he was too large for the bus.


24. In Oceans 11, Rusty (Brad Pitt) was eating in every scene he was in. This was Brad Pitt's idea.


25. Bill Gates (Net Worth $90 Billion) has donated roughly $50 Billion in his lifetime. And plans to give away most of his money to charity after death.

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