Random Revelations: Article #147- 45 Quirky True Facts That Will Surprise You

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1Los Angeles library

Los Angeles library

Libraries in Los Angeles have done away with late fees for anyone under 21 and are instead allowing students to “read away” their fines in the library. This measure has been a success, with hundreds of children coming in per week to do so.


2. Elmo from Sesame Street is the only puppet or non-human to testify before Congress in 2002, advocating for increased funding for music programs.


3. The historical inaccuracies in the movie U-571 caused so much controversy that it ended up being condemned in the British Parliament. Americans did not capture the Enigma machine. The code had been broken years before they entered the war.


4. The US Air Force seriously considered and researched nuking the moon as a show of force after Russia launched Sputnik, but scrapped it at the last minute as they felt landing on it would be better received by the public.


5. The brain goes into an "incubation period" for ideas when we are in a relaxed state, like when showering. This allows the subconscious mind to bring the solutions and ideas it has been working on to your conscious state, and in turn, give you interesting/brilliant thoughts.


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6YInMn Blue

YInMn Blue

The bluest blue (YInMn Blue) was accidentally discovered when a researcher received a grant to explore novel materials for electronics applications and tried to heat together oxides of manganese, yttrium, and indium at 2000ºF.


7. King Charles II used to tease his mistress for sleeping late. It is reported that he offered her "all the land she could ride around before breakfast". The next morning he found her already sitting for breakfast after encircling an area currently known as Bestwood Park.


8. About 676 human skulls have been unearthed under the Metropolitan Cathedral of Mexico City. These were the first evidence found that the Aztecs sacrificed women and children that they captured from other nations. As of 2017, the bottom of the pile of skulls still hasn't been reached by excavations.


9. Studies have found that the more expensive a wedding is, the shorter it is likely to last.


10. Celine Dion wanted no part in singing the hit Titanic song "My Heart Will Go On" and only did so after her manager/husband convinced her that it would benefit her career. Her song went on to win the Grammy Award for Record of the Year.


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11Bisbee deportation

Bisbee deportation

In 1917, 1300 miners went on strike in Bisbee, Arizona over unsafe working conditions, low pay, and long hours. The mining company hired 2,000 men and loaded the strikers at gunpoint into cattle cars for a 16-hour trip through the desert without food or water and left them in New Mexico.


12. Sweden's early history is largely unknown because there are no written documents from Sweden before the 12th century. On its formation, a Swedish history book simply states: "How and when the Swedish kingdom appeared is not known."


13. During screenings of the 1959 film ‘The Tingler’, a film about a creature that gets inside a person’s spine, causing them to feel a tingling which can only be stopped by screaming, buzzers were placed in random seats that caused the audience to feel tingling during the film.


14. The majority of Amtrak's delays are due to freight railroads giving priority to their own trains over passenger trains. Even though this is explicitly against the law, only 1 violator has ever been charged by the Department of Justice in the entire 47-year history of Amtrak.


15. In 1990, a Floridian woman named Sheila Keen Warren opened her door to a clown and was shot. In 2014, a hair was found in the evidence. After a DNA test, the clown was found in Tennessee running a restaurant with the wife's husband. Apparently having an affair months before the murder, they were now married.


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16ET: The Extra-Terrestrial

ET: The Extra-Terrestrial

Mars (the owner of M&M’s) rejected a product placement deal in ‘E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial’, but Reese’s Pieces owned by Hershey’s took up on the offer and their sales shot up by 65% in the first two weeks after the movie hit the theaters.


17. The last person to be executed for blasphemy in Scotland was a 20-year-old man named Thomas Aikenhead who called theology "a rhapsody of ill-invented nonsense", and the Old Testaments "Ezra's fables", and that Christ "learned magic in Egypt, then performed pranks which were called miracles."


18. Because the character of Montgomery Scott in Star Trek inspired so many students to pursue careers in engineering, the Milwaukee School of Engineering presented James Doohan with an honorary degree in engineering.


19. It is a myth that you should fully discharge your cell phone/laptop batteries before charging - it's a holdover from the Ni-Cad chemistry era and its "memory effect", but lithium-ion batteries are at their healthiest when you use very little and charge very often.


20. In 2017, paleontologists found a 99-million-year-old tick entombed in amber and grasping the feather of a dinosaur.


21Ben Franklin Effect

Ben Franklin Effect

In 1969, scientists tested The Ben Franklin Effect and found that, yes, asking people favors (when used strategically) is a tool to get them to like you more.


22. Kal Penn, the comedian that played “Kumar” in the “Harold and Kumar” movies became the Associate Director in the White House Office of Public Engagement in 2009.


23. Geoffrey Tandy, a cryptogamist (algae specialist) who was mistakenly hired by Bletchley Park, significantly contributed to breaking the Enigma cipher, utilizing his expertise to preserve otherwise unsalvageable codebooks from a torpedoed U-boat.


24. Due to alcohol's faster evaporation rate, the famous Drinking Bird Toy will eagerly drink whiskey twice as fast as water.


25. Saint Nicholas, the basis for Santa Claus, was the patron saint of prostitutes, sailors, and repentant thieves, among other things.

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