Random Facts Sheet #353 – Fact Vault: 45 Unlocking Secrets of Random Information

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1King Tut's Small Tomb

King Tut's Small Tomb

King Tut's tomb was unusually small, most likely because Tut's intended tomb was used by Tut's successor for his own burial. King Tut became famous in the modern age as a result of his small tomb, which allowed it to be forgotten and protected from thefts.

2. The stealing of baby Jesus from public nativity scenes is a common occurrence. To prevent theft, some churches had to chain their baby Jesus, while others equipped their baby Jesus with GPS.

3. It was widely held in the Middle Ages that ringing church bells during thunderstorms would deflect lightning from striking nearby buildings. After more than a hundred bell ringers were struck by lightning and killed, the practice was discontinued.

4. In 1656, the troops of the City of London were given orders to search the streets and seize any Christmas food they found being prepared. They thought Christmas was a pointless celebration that undermined Christian values.

5. An Amish computer does exist. It lacks media players, a web browser, and other entertainment options. The product is aimed at Amish farmers who are in need of a solution to handle their increasingly complex businesses.

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6Senegal's Christmas Celebration

Senegal's Christmas Celebration

Senegal, a country in west Africa with a population that is 95% Muslim, has a long history of Muslims and Christians embracing one another's holidays. Therefore, Christmas is widely celebrated there despite the country's majority Muslim population.

7. Meals Ready-to-Eat (MREs) have a shelf life of 20 years, but they can still be eaten if the packaging is unopened and they are stored in a cold, dry place.

8. Before the Revolutionary War, British soldiers would sing "Yankee Doodle" as a way to make fun of American troops, portraying them as ignorant rural simpletons who would think that a feather in their caps made them "Macaroni" (i.e. cool). The song, however, was later adopted as a defiance anthem by Americans.

9. In the 1960s, futurists projected a shorter work week, and a Senate Committee predicted that the standard work week would be reduced to 14 hours by the year 2000. They used the television show "The Jetsons" as an example.

10. Batdorj-in Baasanjab, who played Genghis Khan in a 2004 miniseries, is a direct descendent of Genghis Khan's son Chagatai.

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11Typewriter to Prevent Leaks

Typewriter to Prevent Leaks

Computer security was such a problem for the Kremlin that they had to resort to buying typewriters in 2013 to stop leaks.

12. In the original "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" special, Boris Karloff, a horror actor best known for his roles as Frankenstein's monster and the Mummy in Universal monster movies, voiced both the Grinch and the narrator.

13. A London resident known as "The Mole Man of Hackney" spent 40 years excavating tunnels up to 18 meters long and below the water table beneath his home.

14. Steinert Hall, an abandoned music hall dating back 120 years in the heart of Boston, Massachusetts, can be found 40 feet below ground level, snaking its way under the foundation of a piano shop.

15. Clare of Assisi, who passed away in 1253, is revered as the patron saint of television. As the story goes, God showed her a video of Mass on her bedroom wall when she was too ill to leave her bed and go to church.

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16Sigmund Freud

Sigmund Freud

After the Gestapo interrogated his daughter Anna for over 12 hours, Sigmund Freud decided to leave Austria. With 31,000 Reichsmarks, he was able to secure a safe exit from Austria in time during the Nazi occupation of that country in 1938.

17. The International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled in 1986 that the United States' actions in Nicaragua, which included the placement of mines in the country's ports, were illegal. After not taking part in the proceedings at first, the United States finally decided to take back its consent to the court's compulsory jurisdiction, which it had given 40 years earlier.

18. Emperor Norton was the first and only emperor of the United States. He was a successful businessman in San Francisco who declared himself Emperor of the United States in 1859 after losing his fortune. The people of San Francisco largely enjoyed his presence, accepted his currency, and paid him a "tax" to cover his rent.

19. While writing "A Christmas Carol," Charles Dickens "took night-time walks of 15 to 20 miles (24 to 32 km) around London" to flesh out the story in his head.

20. When Peter Zhu's parents learned that he was brain dead at the age of 21, they sought permission to have his sperm extracted to ensure male offspring for the family. Despite bioethicists' claims that a spouse never made the request, the Supreme Court agreed with them.

21Bessie Smith’s Grave

Bessie Smith’s Grave

A headstone for blues singer Bessie Smith wasn't placed on her grave until 1970, despite the fact that hundreds of people attended her burial. This was because her husband refused to pay for one and instead kept the money when her friends attempted to purchase one for her.

22. During World War II, British soldiers wrote a song called "Hitler Has Only Got One Ball" as a diss track against Nazi commanders. All Allied troops soon adopted and began singing the song.

23. About 55 million years ago, the North Pole resembled modern-day Miami. Temperatures hovered around 74 degrees Fahrenheit, and palm trees and alligators were abundant.

24. Persian limes, the fruit often known as "limes" in the United States and Europe, are actually a cross between lemons and real limes, a type of fruit we now refer to as "Key limes."

25. In 1390, the cookbook "The Forme of Cury" published the first known recipe for macaroni and cheese. It was made with hand-cut pasta that was made fresh and put between layers of melted butter and grated cheese.

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