Random Revelations: Article #52- 31 Riveting Random Facts

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1Arcology

Arcology

Toronto has an underground arcology, a network of underground tunnels where it possible to live without needing to venture outside


2. Sea silk is a highly prized unique material made from Mediterranean clams. The only person (Chiara Vigo) who knows the ancient craft is an elderly Italian woman.


3. Wimbledon employs a bird of prey, Rufus the Hawk, to keep pigeons away from the tennis courts.


4. Carlos Santana took LSD before performing at Woodstock. This performance launched his career into stardom.


5. Vincent Price was originally cast as Santa Clause in "The Nightmare Before Christmas," but before he recorded his lines his wife had passed away, and the director felt that Price's sadness could be heard in the lines and deemed them unusable.


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6Wally Conron

Wally Conron

The inventor of the labradoodle named Wally Conron deeply regrets his actions due to a lot of unhealthy and abandoned dogs.


7. In 2010, the city of Belleville, Illinois, banned trick-or-treating for kids over 12. Teens can face fines from $100 to $1,000 for going door-to-door.


8. The creation of public drinking fountains in the US was supported by the Temperance Movement to stop people from drinking alcohol.


9. Dorian Leigh was one of the first supermodels. She was a mechanical engineer who designed airplane wings during World War 2.


10. The shrine buildings at Ise, Shinto’s holiest site, are torn down & rebuilt every 20 years in line with the belief in the impermanence of all things & as a way to pass building techniques across generations. The buildings have existed for ~1300yrs; the 63rd rebuilding occurs in 2033.


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11Big Ben

Big Ben

Radio waves travel faster than sound waves. If you stand at the base of Big Ben you can hear the chime on the radio before you hear it in real life.


12. The term "Crosshair" comes from when the military used actual hair in optics during World War 2. Mary Babnik Brown was the first woman to have her hair used for military aircraft bombsights because she had never chemically treated or heated her hair with a curling iron.


13. There is a guy named Thomas Thwaites who made an entire electric toaster from raw materials by mining and refining steel, nickel, copper, mica, and making plastic after being inspired by a Hitchhiker's Guide's quote.


14. Iceland as a country smokes the most cannabis per capita than anywhere else, with 20% of the population considering themselves regular smokers.


15. The AI that beat the world's best DOTA (Defense of the Ancients) player (Danil "Dendi" Ishutin) did so only because it was a 1v1, which forced the player to use the same hero it was using. It also had access to DOTA's API, and ended up losing multiple times after players switched strategy.


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16NBA Jam game

NBA Jam game

The popular arcade game NBA Jam was thought to be haunted. During demo mode, the machines would randomly shout "Petrovic", the name of an NBA player (Dražen Petrović) who died in a car accident shortly after the game finished production.


17. On Valentine's day in Japan, women give their male co-workers chocolate. Unpopular co-workers receive cheap giri-choko("ultra-obligatory" chocolate) while others receive honmei-choko ("true feeling chocolate").


18. The Goldwater Rule is a rule that prohibits psychiatrists from giving professional opinions about public figures whom they have not examined in person.


19. During the American Revolution, "Columbia" was used to describe all of America; that is why the capital of the USA is called Washington, District of Columbia.


20. Trey Parker and Matt Stone wrote a song called "Motherf*cker" for their 1999 South Park movie debut, but the MPAA threatened them with an NC-17 rating. They circumvented the threat by changing the song to "Uncle F*cka".


21Police dogs

Police dogs

German police dogs get a monthly pension after their retirement.


22. Australia was once home to a flightless bird known as the Demon-Duck of Doom.


23. Before becoming President of Nauru, Marcus Stephen was at one time his country's only weightlifter but went on to win 7 gold and 5 silver medals at the Commonwealth Games (Olympics style event held for former British colonies).


24. Nero's Golden Palace was rediscovered during the Renaissance, when a young man tripped, fell down a hole, and found himself in the cavernous, subterranean rooms of Nero’s palace.


25. A Japanese word, "Bushusuru," was coined after George H.W. Bush publicly vomited on the Prime Minister of Japan (Kiichi Miyazawa) during a formal state dinner. The word literally means "to do the 'Bush' thing, or to vomit in public."

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