Random Fact Sheet #83 – 30 Facts That Will Have You Rethinking Everything

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1Mountain Meadows Massacre

Mountain Meadows Massacre

In 1857, Mormon militia members ambushed a wagon train in Utah which was heading to California. They killed 120 people after offering safety from the siege, leaving only a few young children alive.


2. A man named Robert McGee survived scalping at the age of 14. He lived the rest of his life with most of his skull exposed.


3. The iconic font for "Star Wars" was derived from Helvetica Black because designer Suzy Rice thought that it was the most Fascist typeface she could think of.


4. Venona Project revealed that there was not a single agency of the American Government that Soviet espionage had not thoroughly infiltrated, and stole secrets concerned with national security.


5. Emperor Hirohito (Showa), the Emperor of World War 2 Japan, was the only “axis power” leader to not have died during the war. He only just died in 1989.


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6Delhi pollution

Delhi pollution

Breathing in Delhi air is equivalent to smoking 44 cigarettes a day.


7. The smell of infants triggers a physiological response in mothers similar to that experienced by hungry people presented with a delicious meal. This is the reason behind the urge to nibble newborn babies.


8. Sakae Menda is the first Japanese man ever released from death row. After three weeks of starvation, thirst, and beatings during interrogation in order to force out a confession, he spent 34 years in jail for a crime he did not commit.


9. Israel merged the front half of a damaged rare 2 seat F-15 with the back half of an obsolete retired single seat F15. When they asked Boeing for advice Boeing never responded thinking the Israeli Air Force was joking.


10. The infamous car decal of Calvin peeing on the Ford logo wasn’t sanctioned by the “Calvin and Hobbes” syndicate and when asked about it, Bill Watterson said, “he clearly miscalculated how popular it would be to show Calvin urinating on a Ford logo.”


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11Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

The 1971 film "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" was funded by Quaker Oats to coincide with the launch of their new line of Wonka candy. It wasn't until years later that they sold the candy line to Nestle and the movie rights to Warner Bros.


12. DEFCON 5 is actually the lowest level of nuclear alert, and DEFCON 1 means imminent nuclear war.


13. John Nash, the Nobel Prize-winning mathematician, and subject of the film A Beautiful Mind, earned a Ph.D. thesis in 1950 with a 26-page dissertation. It had 2 citations, one being an article that Nash had written.


14. Rob McElhenney (Mac from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia) intentionally got fatter as the show progressed as a way of fighting the trend of actors on TV shows getting more attractive over time.


15. Buddy Holly's wife, Maria Elena, did not attend his funeral and has never visited his grave site. She blames herself for his passing and said that had she gone on tour with him (she stayed home as she was pregnant), Buddy would never have gotten into that airplane.


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16Carl Tanzler

Carl Tanzler

A 54-year-old German x-ray technician named Carl Tanzler fell in love with a dying 20-year-old Tuberculosis patient named Maria Elena Milagro de Hoyos. After she died, he exhumed her body and began a romantic relationship with her corpse. He kept the corpse in his broken “airship” while he tried bringing her back from the dead.


17. Despite China spanning five different time zones, the entire country uses the same time: Beijing Time (UTC+8:00). This causes sunrise to come as late as 9 am, during winter, and sunset to come as late as 9 pm, during summer, in certain parts of China.


18. If you're allergic to bananas you're likely to be allergic to latex (and vice versa) as they contain similar proteins.


19. The telemarketing trick that makes it seem like a telemarketer is calling from a local number is called "neighbor spoofing".


20. Magpies passed the mirror test showing that they are capable of self-awareness, the first non-mammal to do so.


21George A. Romero

George A. Romero

Legendary horror director George A. Romero (Night of the Living Dead) got his first job in Mr. Roger's Neighborhood. "I still joke that 'Mr. Rogers Gets a Tonsillectomy' is the scariest film I’ve ever made. What I really mean is that I was scared sh*tless while I was trying to pull it off."


22. The word armadillo is Spanish for "little armored one".


23. Saying "Roger" at the end of radio conversation (to signify "r" for "received") dates back to Morse code days.


24. The classic rock band Boston secretly recorded their debut album in Tom Scholz' basement, while they pulled off an elaborate ruse to make the record label think they were actually recording it in a state-of-the-art west coast studio.


25. After the events of the Star Wars prequels, Jar Jar Binks becomes a street performer where he was scorned by adults but beloved by the children who came to watch his antics.

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