Random Revelations: Article #166- 35 Unbelievably Fascinating Random Facts That Wow

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1Lulu the kangaroo

Lulu the kangaroo

Lulu the kangaroo was rescued as a joey and hand-reared by an Australian farmer and his family. When a branch knocked the farmer unconscious, Lulu stayed with him and 'barked' until the man's family came, likely saving his life.


2. After betraying their mission and informing the FBI about Nazi agents on U.S. soil, the two men who saved America from Nazi infiltration were greeted with life imprisonment, the threat of execution, and deportation.


3. A "dash" is 1/8 of a teaspoon, a "pinch" is 1/16 of a teaspoon, and a "smidgen" is 1/32 of a teaspoon.


4. Before the Protestant Reformation, Martin Luther confessed for hours at a time. Annoyed, the priest told him "If you're going to confess so much, why don't you go do something worth confessing? Kill your mother or father! Commit adultery! Quit coming in here with such flummery and fake sins."


5. The last native Prince of Wales (Owain Glynd┼Ár) disappeared at the end of his rebellion in 1412 and managed to remain hidden despite a large bounty and an eventual pardon. His fate and location have remained a closely guarded family secret for over 600 years.


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6Gerhard Domagk

Gerhard Domagk

A German scientist named Gerhard Domagk, developed the antibacterial agent Prontosil, a sulfonamide. He used this agent to treat his own daughter, preventing her from an arm amputation. He won the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1939.


7. Seth Rogen paid the bills and was the main wage earner of the family by the age of 16.


8. Author Ian McEwan helped his son write his A-level essay about one of his own novels, Enduring Love. The teacher disagreed with his interpretation.


9. Andre Geim won the satirical Ig Nobel Prize in 2000 for his work on using magnetism to levitate a frog. About 10 years later, his experiments regarding graphene won him the 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics. This makes him the only ever recipient of both the Ig Nobel and Nobel Prizes.


10. There is a German word "Bulimielernen" [= bulimia learning]. It describes the brainless activity of having to learn a lot of useless stuff in a short time, and "puking" the knowledge into an exam, so it is gone afterward.


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11John Howard Griffin

John Howard Griffin

In the 1950s, a Texas white man named John Howard Griffin went through extensive physical changes to become a black man and traveled for 6 weeks on buses through the segregated south. After publishing his experiences, hostility and threats forced him to move to Mexico.


12. The Hercules beetle, despite weighing only 100 grams, can lift 8 kilograms, making it one of the proportionally strongest animals in the world.


13. In 1984, five Argentinians crossed the Atlantic. The boat was a raft of 13.6 meters long by 5.8 meters wide, built of logs, rudderless and with only one sail. The aim was to prove that 3500 years before Christopher Columbus, African sailors may have accidentally reached the shores of America.


14. When the leading emergency asthma medication Albuterol's patent expired, the patent-holding pharmaceutical companies lobbied to have their own inhalers banned based on environmental issues, allowing them to file a new patent, and continue to monopolize the market.


15. Allie Brosh's (of Hyperbole and a Half) comic on depression is considered "one of the best contemporary portraits of the condition" by psychologists.


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16David Nutt

David Nutt

The British government's advisor (David Nutt) on illegal drugs was fired in 2009 after arguing that ecstasy and LSD were less dangerous than alcohol and tobacco.


17. In the fall-out with Don King, Mike Tyson discovered a fan-club that had been hidden from him for years. Among the fan letters was one from a boy dying of cancer, asking for a phone call. Mike called immediately but was a year too late. He broke down and cried.


18. Professional bowling involves different, specific oil patterns on the lanes that the bowler must figure out, as it affects the performance of the ball, adding an unperceivable level of difficulty to the sport.


19. The first British spy known as 007 was Dr. John Dee, in 1560. Queen Elizabeth called him "my eyes".


20. Tom Hanks and Tim Allen admitted to weeping after watching the montage featuring Jessie's abandonment in Toy Story 2.


21Robert Grosseteste

Robert Grosseteste

A Catholic bishop named Robert Grosseteste described the birth of the Universe in an explosion and the crystallization of matter to form stars and planets in a set of nested spheres around Earth in 1225 A.D., about 4 centuries before Newton proposed gravity and 7 centuries before the Big Bang theory.


22. Harvard earns enough money on interest from its endowment that it could offer free tuition to all students and still make the profit on the interest.


23. In the late 1980s, Iraq began building the largest artillery piece (Big Babylon) in history, a gun that could have put satellites into orbit and conceivably hit any spot on the planet. However, the mysterious assassination of its Canadian designer and the first Gulf War ended the project.


24. In 5 years, a Pakistan squash player named Jahangir Khan played 555 consecutive squash matches, maintaining an unbeaten run the entire time. During this winning streak, he won the International Squash Players Association Championship, without losing a single point.


25. Leonardo da Vinci may have written backward, not for secrecy, but because he was left-handed and it was easier for him to do so.

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