Random Fact Sheet #58 – 40 Fascinating Facts: A Treasure Trove of Trivia

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1Richard Branson

Richard Branson

Sir Richard Branson (English business magnate) dislikes the formality of neck ties so much that he often carries around a pair of scissors with him, ready to cut the ties off of unsuspecting tie wearers. He even has a cushion that he keeps at his home on Necker Island made up from the ties of some of his victims.


2. Aeschylus, the ancient Greek tragedian, was supposedly prophesied to die from a falling object, and therefore stayed outdoors. He was killed when an eagle dropped a tortoise on him, mistaking his bald head for a rock.


3. During Charles Manson's trial, the judge began carrying a revolver under his robe after Manson charged at him with a pencil.


4. The ADE 651 is an inert rod of metal with a plastic hinge that was sold as a bomb detector. It was used by the militaries of Iraq, Afghanistan, and more than a dozen other countries for years before anyone noticed that it did nothing at all.


5. Most Americans aren't aware of blackcurrant flavor (one of the most popular soft drink and confection flavors in the world) due to a ban on the plant in the 1900s because of its role in spreading disease among white pines, a principle industry of the growing American republic.


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6Wayne Gretzky

Wayne Gretzky

Wayne Gretzky was so dominant in Fantasy Hockey, that many leagues split his stats into two players: Gretzky (Goals) and Gretzky (Assists).


7. Nintendo sued Galoob (Toy company) to prevent the release of its NES cheating device, the Game Genie; a legal battle followed. But for the Sega Genesis version, Sega not only allowed its release but officially licensed it.


8. The word "dashboard" originated as a barrier of wood or leather fixed at the front of a horse-drawn carriage or sleigh to protect the driver from mud or other debris "dashed up" (thrown up) by the horses' hooves.


9. Because Germany dubs Hollywood movies to their native language, for every Hollywood movie-star there is an equivalent German voice actor who is used again and again in the same films as their counterpart.


10. Carrie Fisher used gaffer's tape to hold down her breasts because George Lucas 'didn't want her looking too aggressively feminine'. Carrie Fisher joked about it saying: 'No breasts bounce in space, no jiggling in the Empire'.


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11Pineapples

Pineapples

Adding salt on pineapples makes it sweeter. The salt reacts with the acids of the fruit, thus converting into a neutral compound and losing the sour taste. Because of this, the pineapple then becomes sweeter.


12. The human eye is capable of seeing some ultra-violet light but it is filtered out by the lenses in our eye. Painter Claude Monet had that lens removed due to cataracts and may have been able to see ultra-violet in his right eye.


13. The stormtrooper who hit his head on the door in the original Star Wars was also the stormtrooper who got mind tricked with “these are not the droids you’re looking for”. His name is Wanten.


14. The Simpsons in its early seasons was controversial, with parents and conservatives criticizing Bart Simpson as a poor role model for American children. First Lady Barbara Bush thought it was "the dumbest thing [she] had ever seen", in which Marge Simpson wrote a letter to her in response.


15. Because of the austerity measures following the war, Queen Elizabeth had to use clothing ration coupons to pay for her wedding dress. She was given hundreds of clothing coupons by brides-to-be to help her, but she had to return the coupon gifts as it was illegal to transfer them.


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16Grape bricks

Grape bricks

During Prohibition, Grape bricks/juice came with warnings on how "not" to make wine so people could make their own wine.


17. Early humans hunted animals by chasing them to exhaustion. "Persistence hunting" takes advantage of humans' two legs and ability to sweat, which makes us stronger distance runners than prey.


18. In 2008, Dmitry Agarkov changed a credit card (Tinkoff Credit Systems) agreement to his benefit and the bank signed it. When in 2010 the bank wanted him to pay late fees, he sued it, as according to the changed deal, it owed him money 24 million rubles ($727,000). It all ended with an out-of-court settlement.


19. 6 masterpieces for solo piano were discovered with great excitement and confirmed by the leading experts to be genuine works by Joseph Haydn. They were later proved not to be by him, and are now largely ignored; despite them being genuinely original music which had the aficionados enthralled.


20. The NHS in the UK had only one man registered as a rectal teaching assistant, offering his anus to be examined by trainee doctors. He has lost his job to a robot anus.


21King Gustav III

King Gustav III

King Gustav III of Sweden commuted the death sentences of a set of twins to life imprisonment if one drank 3 pots of coffee and the other drank 3 pots of tea to test the effects of the newly introduced coffee.


22. The Unfinished Portrait is a forever incomplete painting of Franklin D. Roosevelt. It captured his last waking moments before he collapsed from a sudden stroke. He never regained consciousness and died later that day.


23. Peter Weller, the actor most famous for playing RoboCop earned Ph.D. in Art History, writing a dissertation on the Italian Renaissance in 2014.


24. Ferdinand Waldo Demara nicknamed as "The Great Imposter" successfully impersonated a career as a ship's doctor, a civil engineer, a sheriff's deputy, an assistant prison warden, a doctor of applied psychology, a hospital orderly, a lawyer, a child-care expert, a monk, an editor, a cancer researcher, and a teacher.


25. The Italian painter Raphael was often accompanied by fifty scholars daily. When Michangelo greeted him one day, he said "You walk surrounded by an entourage like a general," and Raphael responded, "And you, you walk alone like an executioner."

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