Random Revelations: Article #105- 33 Fascinating and Peculiar Random Facts

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1Mt. Townsend and Mt. Kosciuszko

Mt. Townsend and Mt. Kosciuszko

Mount Kosciuszko was thought to be the highest mountain in Australia until Mount Townsend was found to be slightly taller. Rather than re-educating the public that Townsend was the new highest mountain, the New South Wales Lands Department simply switched their names.


2. In 1865, the dictator of Paraguay, Francisco Solano Lopez, plunged his country into an ill-advised war with Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay. In just 5 years, Paraguay lost over half its population, including up to 90% of its men. It was arguably the worst military defeat ever suffered by a modern nation-state.


3. Natural history museums use teams of flesh-eating beetles to clean the flesh off from the specimens.


4. There is a certain temperature and humidity at which a human can't cool down, and we will die from the heat of our own metabolism. A sustained wet-bulb temperature (i.e. temperature at 100% relative humidity) exceeding 35 °C (95 °F) is likely to be fatal even to fit and healthy people, unclothed in the shade next to a fan; at this temperature our bodies switch from shedding heat to the environment, to gaining heat from it. Thus 35 °C is the threshold beyond which the body is no longer able to adequately cool itself.


5. Jack Black's mom, Judith Love Cohen, was a famous satellite engineer who worked on the Minuteman Missile and Hubble Space Telescope project.


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6Low IQ

Low IQ

'Moron', 'Idiot', and 'Imbecile' were once valid Psychology terms for people with low IQ. When these terms entered vernacular usage as insults, they were disused in favor of 'Mental Retardation' which in turn was disused in favor of 'Intellectual Disability'.


7. Anthony Perkins (Norman Bates in "Psycho"), discovered he was HIV positive after reading an article by the National Enquirer, which claimed that he was HIV positive. It is suspected that someone illegally obtained his blood samples and had them tested for the virus, leaking the news to the tabloids.


8. The experimental T-13 grenade of World War 2 was designed similar to the size, weight, and shape of a baseball, thus making it easy for young American men to properly throw the grenade with both accuracy and distance.


9. A study discovered that when Christian students were reminded of the “religion and science don’t mix” stereotype, their intuitive reasoning dropped while Christian students who weren't reminded of that stereotype performed as well as the non-Christians.


10. In Japan, letting a sumo wrestler make your baby cry is considered good luck.


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11Napoleon Bonaparte

Napoleon Bonaparte

Napoleon Bonaparte struggled to learn English, and some of his attempts were saved. One such attempt read, “Since sixt week j learn the Englich and j do not any progress.”


12. Many fire departments, including the San Francisco and Florida, still prefer wooden ladders because they are non-conductors of electricity, the best natural insulator against heat, and only burn on the outside while the center of wood remains solid and strong.


13. In 2013, a man named Malcolm Myatt had a stroke that made him lose the ability to feel sad.


14. A woman named Clara Brown was born as a slave in Virginia, who after receiving her freedom went on to start a laundry business, became the owner of mines in Colorado during the gold rush, and even traveled to Kansas to help the freed slaves build communities.


15. During the 2013 elections in the Maldives, a coconut was detained on the suspicion of 'vote-rigging' through the use of black magic. A magician was called in and established that the coconut was innocent.


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16Diggerland Construction Theme Park

Diggerland Construction Theme Park

There is a theme park named Diggerland Construction Theme Park in West Berlin, New Jersey where you can operate real heavy machinery for fun.


17. Guugu Yimithirr is an aboriginal language that doesn’t have words for egocentric/relative directions like “left and right.” Rather, its speakers are trained to keep track of pure cardinal directions. For example, they say “north leg” when referring to the left leg of an eastward facing person.


18. Some 9th-century Scottish nuns literally cut off their noses and upper lips in order to make themselves too grotesque for invading Viking pirates to plunder (rape) them.


19. 65% of Brits admitted to falsely claiming to have read a classic book in order to impress someone, with “Nineteen eighty-four” by George Orwell being the most popular with 42% of respondents having lied about reading it.


20. In 2005, a company named SeaCode wanted to anchor a cruise ship three miles off the coast of Los Angeles, and fill it with up to 600 foreign programmers. The idea was to eliminate visa restrictions and avoid U.S. labor laws.


21Bernard Vonnegut

Bernard Vonnegut

Bernard Vonnegut won an Ig Nobel prize for determining that the ability of a tornado to pluck the feathers from a chicken is not a good method of estimating its wind speed.


22. William Donovan was the only person to have received all four of the United States' highest awards: The Medal of Honor, the Distinguished Service Cross, the Distinguished Service Medal, and the National Security Medal. Donovan was also awarded the Silver Star and three Purple Hearts.


23. Soviet composer Sergei Prokofiev died the same day as Stalin in 1953. Millions attended Stalin's funeral, but only 40 attended for Prokofiev's. A musical periodical noted his death on page 116, with pages 1 to 115 devoted to Stalin. Flowers were so scarce in Moscow that Prokofiev's family used cuttings from houseplants.


24. Nigeria's population is expected to not only surpass the US' population by the end of 2050 but to also to become the third most populous country by the end of the century.


25. In 1962, Marilyn Monroe left most of her estate to her acting coach Lee Strasberg. When Strasberg died in 1982, his wife Anna, who had never known Monroe, inherited her estate. In 1999, she auctioned off Monroe's personal belongings for $14 million.

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