Random Revelations: Article #126- 36 Quirkily Intriguing and Surprising Random Facts

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1Pun understanding

Pun understanding

To understand a pun, the brain's left and right hemispheres have to work together due to the unique structure of the joke.

2. Bette Graham became a typist to support herself and her son Michael in 1951. She was a poor typist and invented a white tempera paint to cover her mistakes. This led to her business Liquid Paper Co. which she sold 25 years later for $48 million. Michael went on to become a member of The Monkees.

3. Blueberries and raspberries have the same pigment compounds, anthocyanins. Blueberries are blue because they are less acidic. If you add an acid like vinegar to crushed blueberries, they will turn red. Adding a base like baking soda will return them to blue.

4. A medical examiner named Judy Melinek identified hundreds of bodies from the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks, many of which were merely scraps of flesh or pieces of the limb. She was called in mid-August 2002 because they had found a foot bone on top of another skyscraper 1/5 mile away.

5. When 5 experts were given fingerprints that, unbeknownst to them, they had deemed a “match” earlier in their career, and told that these were from a suspect of the Madrid train bombings, 4 of the 5 experts now said that they didn't match, suggesting their judgment is affected by the context.

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In 2009, a drunk New Zealander lost a poker bet and had his name changed to "Full Metal Havok More Sexy N Intelligent Than Spock And All The Superheroes Combined With Frostnova". He found out that it was accepted 5 years later after receiving a confirmation letter.

7. Semantic satiation (also semantic saturation) is a psychological phenomenon in which repetition causes a word or phrase to temporarily lose meaning for the listener, who then perceives the speech as repeated meaningless sounds.

8. Oranges are sold in bright red net bags because the color of the net deepens the perceived color of the fruits. This is called Munker's illusion.

9. The Sand Octopus lacks color changing organs (chromatophores) so they shoot jets of water to create quicksand and then blast almost a foot into the ground. They then secrete mucus to reinforce the walls of their predator proof bunker and use one arm to create a ventilation “chimney.”

10. Oxygen masks in airplanes aren't connected to an oxygen tank. Instead, they use a chemical reaction to generate it on the spot.

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11Slim Pickens

Slim Pickens

When cowboy/actor Slim Pickens (Blazing Saddles/Dr. Strangelove) joined the military during World War 2 he stated his profession as “rodeo”. The recruiter heard “radio” and therefore Slim spent the entire war as a radio operator.

12. American animated comedy film 'The Brave Little Toaster', nearly took home the top award at the 1988 Sundance Film Festival, but the judges were afraid that the festival would lose respect by picking a cartoon.

13. Dogs that served with the US Army in Afghanistan from 2010 - 2014 were poorly treated upon discharge, some were left in kennels for many months and not cared for, while others remain unaccounted. Several soldiers later searched for and rescued their ex-partners.

14. The day after Memorial Day starts the "100 Deadliest Days" for teen drivers, where fatal accidents involving teen drivers increase by 15% compared to the rest of the year.

15. An ant mega-colony exists across 3 continents and is thought to contain billions of ants, all of which recognize each other to be from the same colony. The largest part of the colony is in Europe and is thought to spread 6,000km (3,700 miles) along the Mediterranean coast.

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Retta, Parks and Recreation's Donna Meagle, is the niece of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Liberia's first female President and a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.

17. Rock band Van Halen included "a bowl of M&M candies, with absolutely all the brown ones removed" as an indicator whether the concert promoter had actually read the band's complicated contract. It served as a quick check to ensure the safety of all equipment.

18. In 2016, Kanye West was busted pirating editing software from torrent site Pirate Bay.

19. Helicopters are used in cherry farming to dry cherries after it rains so that they don’t soak in too much water and explode.

20. In 2008, a 12-year-old boy in Florida was arrested for excessive farting in school.

21Joel Silver

Joel Silver

Joel Silver, the producer for some of the greatest action franchises of all time (Die Hard, Lethal Weapon, The Matrix, etc), also was one of the three college kids who created Ultimate Frisbee.

22. In 2015, a 90-year-old woman named Norma Bauerschmidt was diagnosed with cancer. Instead of starting treatment, she, her son, daughter-in-law, and dog, went on a year-long road trip around the US, traveling 13,000 miles around 32 states.

23. The College of the Ozarks doesn't charge tuition. Instead, students work on campus at least 15 hours a week (and have two 40-hour work weeks.)

24. Stroke victims with partial facial paralysis can lose the ability to voluntarily smile on half their face, but can still fully smile when laughing at a joke.

25. Serial killer Harvey Glatman presented himself as a photographer for pulp fiction magazines to find his victims and take photos of them tied before they even knew that they were kidnapped.

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