Random Fact Sheet #97 – 40 Facts That Might Interest You

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1Road damage

Road damage

Road damage mostly results from trucks and buses. The damage a vehicle causes is proportional to the axle load raised to the fourth power, so doubling the weight an axle carries actually causes 16 times as much damage.

2. The fake cocaine actors snort on film is vitamin B powder, a common cutting agent for real cocaine.

3. Chicago has a large pack of coyotes that patrol the city, hunting rats.

4. A doctor named Robert Liston once performed a surgery with 300% mortality rate. In 1846, during an amputation, Dr. Robert Liston accidentally cut his assistant's fingers off and later slashed an observer's coat. The observer, thinking he'd been stabbed, dropped dead of shock, and the patient and assistant died afterward of infected wounds.

5. In 2014, English drummer Phil Collins donated the world's largest private collection of Alamo artifacts to the state of Texas. It included a fringed leather pouch and a gun used by Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie's legendary knife.

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6Bill Curbishley

Bill Curbishley

The London 2012 Summer Olympic Committee contacted 'The Who' manager Bill Curbishley about Keith Moon performing at the games, 34 years after his death. Curbishley said "I emailed back saying Keith now resides in Golders Green crematorium, having lived up to the line 'I hope I die before I get old'.

7. Dolly Parton's "Jolene" is about a red-headed clerk who had a crush on her husband, but the song is named after one of her fans. Dolly told her, "That is pretty. That sounds like a song. I'm going to write a song about that."

8. SETI scientists believe that the chances for finding intelligent extraterrestrial life is far greater than initially expected since Earth developed two intelligent species, i.e., humans and dolphins.

9. The first two women to climb the Mount Matterhorn in Europe did so in skirts and the third woman, Annie Smith Peck, was nearly arrested as she was the first to do so in pants.

10. A man named Arturo Alva Moreno worked at the restaurant at the top of World Trade Center. After 9/11, they never saw him again and presumed he died in the towers. In 2003, the government removed his name from the 9/11 memorial. He might have used the tragedy to start a new life without telling his family.

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Mozart had a pet starling, which he bought after hearing it sing an excerpt from one of his pieces. After the starling died, Mozart wrote a humorous poem, which he read at its elaborate funeral.

12. One of America's first patent trolls was George Selden, who was granted a U.S. patent for an automobile in 1895. He proceeded to sue anyone else who attempted to produce one, while never manufacturing a car himself.

13. The US Army does not keep any record of "confirmed kills". Servicemen routinely report successful hits to their superiors and personally keep track.

14. Joseph Pilates was a German working in England when World War 1 broke out. While interned in a prison camp, he developed a method of exercise prisoners could perform in confined space using just their own body weight. He named it Pilates. It worked well and was a hit, and he eventually moved to US in 1926.

15. Oxford University Professor Sir Andrew Wiles was awarded the Abel Prize and $700,000 in 2016 for solving a 358-year-old math problem known as “Fermat’s Last Theorem.” Fermat himself claimed to have found proof for the theorem, but the margins of his notes weren’t wide enough to contain it.

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16Hysteria album

Hysteria album

The production of Def Leppard's album "Hysteria" was so expensive that guitarist Phil Collen estimated they needed to sell around 5 million copies to break even. They ended up selling 25 million.

17. Food Allergies are now 2-3 times higher compared to 1997. We have also seen diagnosed anaphylactic (life-threatening) food reactions rise 377% from 2007 to 2016. As of 2011, one out of 13 kids has a food allergy. To this day, scientists are still dumbfounded over this epidemic.

18. The Aquatic Ape Theory suggests that early hominids lived in water part of the time, which might account for our hairless bodies (streamlined for swimming), our upright two-legged walking (making wading easier) and our layers of subcutaneous fat, which made us better insulated in water (similar to whale blubber).

19. In the 1930s Soviet Union attempted to domesticate wild moose. They believed that moose might fare better in deep snow than horse cavalry so they began a breeding program. Though they never became cavalry animals, one of the breeding facilities, Kostroma Moose Farm, is still up and running.

20. Before fame, Bruce Springsteen acquired his nickname "The Boss" because he took on the task of collecting the band's nightly pay from their club gigs and distributing it amongst his bandmates. Springsteen is not fond of this nickname, due to his dislike of bosses, but has tacitly accepted it.



In the 1850s, baseball had different rules in Massachusetts than it did in New York. Under the Massachusetts rules, you could throw the ball at a runner, and if you hit them, they were out.

22. Contrary to popular belief, canes aren't meant to be used on the same side as your injury. While it seems logical to want to support the injured leg, you are actually meant to walk with the cane opposite your bad leg so as to lean your weight away from the injury, rather than against the bad leg.

23. Orko from He-Man and the Masters of the Universe was originally named "Gorpo". The company behind the cartoon, Filmation, wanted to cut corners so they changed his name to "Orko" so that they could flip and reuse his animation cells more efficiently. Originally, he had a big "G" on him that couldn't be reversed like an "O".

24. The Caterpillar Club consists solely of people who have jumped out of a failing airplane and survived by deploying their parachute. The club was founded by Leslie Irvin, who survived ejecting out of his plane in 1919. Every member is sent a gold caterpillar pin with amethyst eyes.

25. NASA considered using motorcycles on the moon as a simpler alternative to the Lunar Rover.

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