1Pickles at Movie Theatres
Many Texans are surprised to learn that no one else eats pickles at the movies.
2. Actor John Candy was paid $414 for his cameo in Home Alone. This was a lower fee than what was paid to the pizza delivery guy. He did it as a favor to the director and improvised all of his dialogue.
3. The sole instance of Halloween candy that was actually poisoned was in 1974, when Ronald O'Bryan gave his son Timothy pixie sticks that were laced with cyanide, killing him so he could get the insurance money.
4. In 1941, the USS New York opened fire on an object, believing it to be a Japanese aircraft. Fire commenced until a navigator realized they were shooting at Venus.
5. Hysterical strength is a display of extreme physical strength by humans beyond what is believed to be normal. Examples include a woman who saved several children by fighting a polar bear and a woman who lifted a car high enough to save a person.
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The French military has a long history of setting up brothels for its soldiers, especially during the Algerian and Vietnamese conflicts, both at bases and close to the front lines. The last brothel at a French base closed down in 2003.
7. Bountygate was a scandal in the NFL during the 2011 season that involved New Orleans Saints players gambling over the severity of injuries they could inflict on the opposing team's players. The result was that the head coach was suspended for a season as he was found to have condoned the behavior.
8. New Mexico is older than regular Mexico by over 250 years. It was not named after the country, but in fact both take their names from the ancient Valley of Mexico, which was the heart of the Aztec civilization.
9. In England, there are "wavy" brick fences. This shape uses fewer bricks than a straight wall. The waves' arch support allows the wavy wall to stand strong, while a straight wall requires at least two layers of bricks to do the same.
10. In the Middle Ages, seniors could buy a place to live at a monastery for the rest of their lives, complete with food, shelter, and clothing.
11Willie O'Ree Played As Blind
Willie O'Ree, the first black man to play in the NHL, was blind in one eye. He had a ricocheting puck hit him in the face when he was 18 years old, and he kept it a secret for the entire 21 years of his playing career.
12. In 1575, Don Quixote author Miguel de Cervantes and his brother Rodrigo were captured and enslaved by Barbary pirates. After two years, his family could only afford one ransom, so Rodrigo was freed. Cervantes was freed three years later after a religious charity paid his ransom.
13. Queen Elizabeth I required 600 horse carts to carry everything she needed for her summer excursions to the countryside. She'd stay with the local nobles, but if their castle was too small, the nobility would get kicked out to make room for her. Of course, no Noble could refuse her or demand payment for her stay.
14. Many formulas exist to calculate wind chill. The current one that is extensively used was only implemented in 2001. It is calculated for a bare face facing the wind while walking into it at 5.0 km/h, or 3.1 mph. It converts the officially measured wind speed to the wind speed at face height, assuming the person is in an open field.
15. Pekin, Illinois, was named under the mistaken belief that the city is located on the opposite side of the globe from Beijing, China. It was later found out that it was actually located on the opposite side of the Indian Ocean.
The feeling of falling while you're asleep happens because your muscles become very relaxed and enter a temporary state of paralysis. The brain thinks that you are falling, so it sends signals to your muscles to make you jump up, which wakes you up.
17. In 1887, inventor Elisha Gray, who lost the patent for the telephone to Alexander Graham Bell, invented the first fax machine, using telegraph lines to transmit handwriting and documents.
18. Newborn babies are partially blind because they can only see the world in black and white with shades of gray, and more than that, they can only see objects that are 8 to 12 inches away from their faces.
19. The familiar music played during Final Jeopardy is called "Think." It was written in 1963 by Merv Griffin, creator of Jeopardy, to help his then 5-year-old son Tony fall asleep. Since its first use in the show in 1964, the song has earned the Griffin estate over $100 million in royalties.
20. Uwe Hohn is the only person in history to have thrown the javelin more than 100 meters. His world record of 104.8 meters was declared an "Eternal World Record" as it will likely never be broken due to the IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations) redesigning the javelin in 1986 and resetting the world record to coincide with the change.
Phosphate mining has harmed the Pacific island nation of Nauru so much that Australia offered to repopulate the entire country on Curtis Island near the Australian coast in 1964. Nauru turned down the offer because it did not want to join Australia and lose its independence.
22. During World War 2, when the Nazis controlled Scandinavia, they set up maternity centers to harvest babies with "Aryan" traits from the north and send them south to "correct" the genes of the German people.
23. Pythagoras, who invented the Pythagoras Theorem, was a cult leader who claimed he could speak with animals, time travel, and had an extreme hatred for Fava Beans. He believed you should never eat fava beans because they give you gas, and expelling gas took away the "breath of life." At the same time, he claimed fava beans contained human souls. He fought against their consumption or destruction. One account of his death claims that he would not enter a bean field to escape pursuers, so they killed him.
24. Edward Leedskalnin was a man with a fourth-grade education who solely built the Coral Castle in Florida with over 1,100 tons of coral rock in 1920, using only hand tools. When asked how, his reply was that he understood the laws of weight and leverage. Today, it is a museum open to the public.
25. When Star Wars was first being made in 1977, the long title crawl at the start of the film, describing the lore ahead of the action, was actually a 6 ft. long piece of black paper with yellow text, and the camera was then rolled over the paper to make it appear as if the text was moving.