Random Revelations: Article #37 – 47 Amazing Random Facts

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1Oneida Limited company

Oneida Limited company

The giant silverware company Oneida Limited started out as a 19th-century free love commune. Both older men and women were chosen to be sexual mentors to adolescent members of the opposite sex. And they also made silverware.

2. In an effort to reduce the high number of suicides on South Korea's Mapo Bridge, it was unofficially renamed the Bridge of Life. It was decorated with positive affirmations and even sympathetic sculptures. Suicides increased sixfold the following year.

3. When a whale dies in colder waters, its body sinks to the ocean floor creating a complex localized ecosystem for years called a whale fall.

4. Eclipses are of extreme importance to historians, as they are one of the only ways to precisely date many historical events, thus allowing the timing of events around the eclipse to also be determined.

5. In 1958, two pilots named Robert Timm and John Cook flew an aircraft for more than two months without landing, refueling by matching speed with a truck driving down a road. Their record has not been broken.

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6James Cameron

James Cameron

In 1981, a 27-year-old James Cameron was working as a director on Pirhana II, when he was fired for failing to get a close-up of the lead actress. He then got food poisoning and during his illness had a nightmare about a robot sent from the future to kill him - the idea for The Terminator.

7. The German word for "turkey" literally translates to "threatening chicken." Porcupines are "spike pigs," raccoons are "wash bears," and platypuses are "beak animals."

8. 0.7 % of the world’s population is estimated to be drunk at any given time (roughly 52 million people).

9. The Aztecs followed Spaniards around with incense burners when they came to the Americas. The Spaniards believed this to be a divine honor, however, it was actually a necessity due to the wide gap in hygiene between the two peoples. The Aztec found their stench unbearable.

10. Troy Leon Gregg, a death row inmate in Georgia, escaped the night before his execution only to be killed in a bar fight that very same night.

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11Trevor Richards

Trevor Richards

Trevor Richards, a 16-year-old South African immigrant, got suspended from his Omaha, Nebraska school when he nominated himself for a "Distinguished African-American Student of the Year" prize. He was the only pupil in this school to have ever lived in Africa.

12. In 1945, Hitler created the Nero Decree (destruction of German infrastructure), and ordered German General Dietrich von Choltitz to destroy Parisian landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower. He didn't.

13. There are enough diamonds in existence to give everyone on the planet a cupful.

14. The original Obi-Wan Kenobi cloak, worn by Alec Guinness in ‘Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope', was misplaced after filming and discovered 30 years later in at a costume shop in London having been rented out for fancy dress parties.

15. Breast milk saved 16 people lost at sea. 2 days after their food ran out a woman told her sister to try her milk. She felt better and offered it to everyone else. The 8 men and 7 women took turns sucking her breasts and were able to survive for 7 more days until currents pushed the boat to shore.

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Humans and mushrooms share a common ancestor from 1150 million years ago, and we are closer to them than to bananas - which we share a common ancestor with from 1624 million years ago.

17. The morning after Muhammad Ali lost in a fight against Larry Holmes, a 14-year-old Mike Tyson promised him that when he "got big" he would take down Larry Holmes for him. 6 years later, Tyson fought against Larry Holmes and won.

18. The city of London is still paying rent of a sharp axe, a billhook, 6 horseshoes, and 61 nails to the Queen on a property leased in 1211.

19. Portobello, cremini and button mushrooms are all the same type of mushroom, but at different stages of maturity.

20. After a ticker-tape parade to celebrate his Olympic medals, Jesse Owens was not permitted to enter through the main doors of the Waldorf Astoria and instead forced to travel up to the event in a freight elevator to reach the reception honoring him.

21Betty Ford

Betty Ford

First Lady Betty Ford was a supporter of the equal rights amendment (ERA), publicly pro-choice, and a breast cancer survivor who raised awareness about breast cancer as well as alcohol addiction as a result of her own struggle with both conditions.

22. Bird's nest custody is a specific form of joint custody in which, rather than having the children go from one parent's house to the other parent's house, the parents move in and out of the house that the children constantly reside in.

23. There is a severe shortage of 'spitter apples' which are preferred for making ciders because during prohibition the FBI went around chopping down huge swaths of orchards, effectively erasing much of the nation's stock of spitter apple trees that initially take 20-30 years to grow.

24. The phajaan process used to train elephants for tourism. They're routinely beaten with whips, sticks, and hooks, kept in cramped cages with feet tied together and pierced with a long bullhook to remove any sense of wild in them.

25. Studio directors knew to film John Wayne's scenes before noon because by the afternoon he was a 'real mean drunk'.

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