Random Facts Sheet #351 – 40 Fact Files: A Compilation of Intriguing Trivia

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1Saran Wrap Formula Change

Saran Wrap Formula Change

When it became clear that the polyvinylidene chloride, which made the saran wrap cling, was also harmful to the environment, SC Johnson made the unusual decision to phase out the substance willingly.

2. When musician Nat King Cole moved into a posh Los Angeles area, the HOA warned him they didn't want any "undesirables" living there. "Neither do I," Cole chimed in. "And if I see anybody undesirable coming in here, I’ll be the first to complain."

3. In 1975, passengers aboard an aircraft operated by Japan Air Lines were served an on-board lunch that was infected with germs. One flight attendant and 195 passengers became ill as a result. About 144 of them needed to be hospitalized, and 30 of them were considered critical. The manager of JAL's catering service took his own life after the events, and he was the only fatal victim related to this incident.

4. If a house sparrow can't find a mate, it may "help" a couple in the hopes of being chosen as a replacement mate in case one of them dies.

5. In his 2005 open letter, "A Modest Video Game Proposal," anti-game activist Jack Thompson promised to donate $10,000 to charity if someone created a game in which players could assassinate video game producers. He was completely unaware that Postal 2 had done this two years prior.

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6Disgrace of Gijón

Disgrace of Gijón

In 1982, a match between West Germany and Austria earned the moniker "Disgrace of Gijón" because Austria threw their FIFA match to keep Algeria out of the following round. It was so shameful that the German TV commentator refused to talk about the game at one point, the Austrian TV commentator urged viewers to change channels, and the Spanish daily reported the game in their Crimes Section. Following this debacle, the final round of FIFA World Cup Group Stage matches are played concurrently to discourage match-fixing.

7. Military social aides are employed by the White House, and their duties range from escorting dignitaries to making small talk with visitors who are dancing alone or providing a companion during social events. The President of the United States has three social assistants assigned to him whenever he receives guests: the "whispering aide," who whispers the guest's name to the President; the "introducing aide," who formally introduces the guest to the President; and the "pulling off aide," who politely asks the guest to leave after the President indicates that the conversation is over.

8. Following the 9/11 attacks, radio stations were given a blacklist of 164 songs they were not allowed to play.

9. Despite the plant burning down in 1995, Malden Mills CEO Aaron Feuerstein opted to continue paying his 3,000 employees their full wages during the reconstruction process. This resulted in Feuerstein losing $25,000,000, his job as CEO, and his filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in November of 2001. In 2007, Malden Mills declared bankruptcy once more and ceased operations.

10. Pele's Hair is the local name for the strands of hair-like glass that some Hawaiian volcanoes produce. Even with gloves, it is insidiously sharp and difficult to handle.

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11Photo-Taking Impairment Effect

Photo-Taking Impairment Effect

Your brain outsources memory when you take pictures instead of seeing the scene directly, which makes you remember less information than you would otherwise. It's called the photo-taking impairment effect.

12. Milne suffered from acute PTSD after serving in World War I, and the sounds of flying bees and exploding balloons brought back painful memories of gunfire and explosions. He wrote the Winnie the Pooh stories as a lighthearted diversion and a way to convey the difficulties of war to his child.

13. In order for the Apollo lander to take off without incident, the astronauts had to abandon some of their belongings on the moon. Among these were 96 bags of poop, urine, and vomit, as well as golf balls, cameras, boots, and a telescope, among other objects.

14. Rather than enrolling students or giving out degrees, the London-based Gresham College presents more than 140 open lectures each year for the general public. Online access has been provided to all of their lectures since 2001.

15. The hip-hop duo Fab Morvan and Rob Pilatus from Milli Vanilli, along with the original vocalists, were duped by their record producer, and they were the ones who exposed the lip-sync controversy to the media in 1990. The original vocalists were furious that they weren't the stars, and Rob and Fab were upset that they wouldn't let them perform.

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16Philo Farnsworth

Philo Farnsworth

Philo Farnsworth, the inventor of the television, was a 15-year-old farm boy when he got the idea for scanning an image in rows from the back and forth motion of plowing a field.

17. The ancient Romans enjoyed visiting new places as much as anyone nowadays. The Romans' favorite attraction was the Pyramids of Giza, and local tour guides lied to them in order to entice them and make money from them.

18. The Gimbel's manager in the film "Elf" wears a "Wanda" name tag because Wanda Sykes was originally cast in the role.

19. People in numerous New Guinean villages traditionally ate the corpses of the recently deceased to prevent worms from devouring their loved ones' remains. As a gesture of love and mourning, they removed the brain, mashed it with ferns, steamed it in bamboo tubes, and consumed them. They ate everything else except the gall bladders. This practice caused brain-wasting disorders such as Kuru to spread through generations. Because Kuru has such a lengthy incubation time, instances continued to be documented even after this practice was discontinued in 1960.

20. In addition to the costs of non-included services like meals and transportation, Bhutan taxes tourists $200 per night. The government uses the money from this Sustainable Development Fee to make tourism less harmful to the environment, build greener infrastructure, and train people who work in tourism.

21Tidong Tribe Marriage Belief

Tidong Tribe Marriage Belief

The Tidong tribe of Indonesia believes that if a newlywed couple holds in their poop for three straight days, their marriage is less likely to fail.

22. Maple wood is used exclusively for sports flooring due to its great shock resistance. This property allows the floor to bounce back in response to foot activity, protecting the athletes' joints and reducing fatigue. The ball's bounce is enhanced by the wood's shock-absorbing properties.

23. S. President Rutherford B. Hayes made history by making the first phone call as head of state. Hayes received a call from Bell in 1877 when he was at a clambake in Rhode Island. When Bell finished, Hayes remarked, "Please talk a bit more slowly."

24. We know more about the surface of Mars than we do about Earth since nearly 80% of the ocean has never been mapped, explored, or even seen by humans.

25. The Yellowstone Caldera is a huge supervolcano located in the United States. If it erupts again, it won't destroy mankind, but it may trigger a new ice age by drastically changing weather and climate patterns.

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