Random Revelations: Article #161- 30 True and Strikingly Fascinating Random Facts

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1Jimmy Carter

Jimmy Carter

In 1974, Jimmy Carter gave an alumni speech at the University of Georgia Law School. Instead of honoring the alumni, he delivered a speech attacking the injustice in the judicial system so mercilessly that Hunter S. Thompson later named him as one of the three meanest people on Earth.


2. Heartbreak can cause severe physical pain and nausea. This is believed to be part of the survival instinct. The "social-attachment system" uses the "pain system" to encourage humans to maintain their close social relationships by causing pain when those relationships are lost.


3. During the development of arcade game Space Harrier, the president of SEGA insisted that if the graphics were done, a game was ready for release. To properly finish the game, the lead designer rigged a secret switch to the bottom of his desk that would mess up the colors whenever giving a demonstration.


4. Due to the explosive popularity following the release of Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope, the cast was thrust into stardom so quickly that when Harrison Ford went to a record store to buy an album one day, enthusiastic fans tore half his shirt off.


5. During the 2015 active shooter incident at the Navy facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Staff Sergeant David Wyatt, one of four slain Marines, directed his junior troops to clear a nearby neighborhood park that was packed with children. They rounded up all of the children and hunkered down in a building nearby.


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6Cat o' Nine Tails

Cat o' Nine Tails

In the shanty "Drunken Sailer," one response to "What shall we do with the drunken sailor?" is "Put him in the bed with the captain's daughter." The Captain's Daughter is another name for the Cat o' Nine Tails, a multi-tailed whip.


7. Jingle Bells is actually a Thanksgiving song, written about sleigh racing.


8. In English, a ‘French Exit’ is to sneak out of a party without telling anyone. In French, it’s known as ‘partir à l’anglaise’—to leave the English way.


9. NBC refused to produce a Seinfeld episode wherein the script—George Costanza got in trouble for saying he’s never seen a black person ever order a salad.


10. A shogun of Japan named Tsunayoshi Tokugawa loved dogs so much that he set laws for dogs in place such as making it a capital crime for harming a dog and saved over 50,000 dogs from the streets, placing them in kennels begrudgingly funded by citizens of the capital city of Edo.


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11Ninjas

Ninjas

Ninjas didn't wear black masks. The mask associated with ninjas is actually an amalgamation of how a thief dressed in Japan. Ninjas also didn't use shuriken (throwing stars). These were used by Samurai swordsmen.


12. Norse explorer Erik The Red who discovered Greenland, called it Greenland in spite of its ice cover, because people would be attracted to go there if it had a favorable name, and used it as a trick to lure settlers to Greenland.


13. British writer Virginia Woolf killed herself by filling her pockets with rocks and walking into the River Ouse.


14. In 2017, Harvard scientists managed to store a GIF animation of a galloping horse in the DNA of bacteria.


15. Dave the Slave was a 19th-century potter who would inscribe his wares with original poetry. It is believed that he made over 40,000 pieces in his lifetime.


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16Netherlands

Netherlands

Despite being a tiny country with a large population density, the Netherlands is the world's second largest agricultural exporter. 


17. Since 1951 in Israel it is required by the law that every new building will have a security room that can withstand blast and shrapnel from conventional weapons, and offer protection against chemical and biological weapons.


18. Upper Peninsula of Michigan (UP) is the only region in the US where Finnish Americans make up a plurality of the population. Even the local English dialect is influenced by Finnish. 


19. American supermarket chain Piggly Wiggly was the first true self-service grocery store. Before their founding on September 6, 1916, grocery stores did not allow their customers to gather their own goods. Instead, a customer would give a list of items to a clerk, who would then go through the store, gathering them.


20. A viewer of "America's Most Wanted" called to report that he'd seen the kidnapped girl named Monica Judith Bonilla who was featured. The authorities investigated and found that while she wasn't the girl featured, she had indeed been kidnapped years ago. She was then reunited with her mother Rosemary Levi.


21Eland

Eland

The milk of the Domesticated Eland (large African antelope) can last 80 times longer than cow's milk, and Elands need much less water.


22. The cult that inspired “drink the Kool-Aid” didn’t actually drink Kool-Aid. They drank Flavor-Aid. The phrase “drinking the Kool-Aid” refers to the 1978 Jonestown massacre, in which more than 900 people committed mass suicide by drinking a flavored drink mixed with Valium.


23. American writer Isaac Asimov died of AIDS. He contracted HIV during a blood transfusion but it was kept secret until after a decade of his passing in the early '90s because of the hostility of the general public to the disease.


24. On 12th April 1945, for their last performance before the end of WW2, the Berlin Philharmonic performed Wagner's 'Götterdämmerung' - Twilight of the Gods - while the Hitler Youth distributed cyanide pills to the audience so that they could kill themselves.


25. Australian racing driver Sir Jack Brabham finished the 1959 Formula One race on foot when his car ran out of fuel with 500 yards to go. He pushed the car the rest of the way to clinch the title.

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