Random Revelations: Article #79- 40 Astounding Random Facts

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The voices schizophrenics hear are actually their own subvocal speech. This is why it's so common for schizophrenics to believe their minds are being read.

2. Dying stars cause space to smell like "hot metal, diesel fumes, and barbecue." Astronauts have also compared the smell of the moon to "spent gunpowder."

3. Three physicists flew around the world twice in 1971 with synced atomic clocks to test out the time dilation theory. Upon meeting up, they found that all 3 of the clocks disagreed with each other.

4. The Arctic comes from the Greek word "Arktos," which means bear, so the Arctic is the land of the bears, and Antarctica is the land without bears.

5. Cardinal birds are romantic. They mate for life, travel together, sing before nesting, and during courtship, the male feeds seed to the female beak-to-beak.

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6War of The Worlds

War of The Worlds

The story of mass panic in New York caused by the radio broadcast of 'The War of The Worlds' in 1938 is largely false and was caused by the newspaper industry sensationalizing the story, seeing it as an opportunity to attack the radio as being an untrustworthy source of news.

7. UK prop designer Andrew Ainsworth, who made the original Stormtrooper helmets, was sued by Lucasfilm for $20m for making and selling replicas. They argued he did not hold the intellectual property rights, a point upheld by a US court. After spending £700,000 defending himself, Ainsworth won.

8. Steve Jobs refused to have his cancer treated even though it was a curable kind of pancreatic cancer and instead he tried out alternative medicine and diets which worsened his condition.

9. A guy once tested Major League Baseball's copyright disclaimer by asking for "express written consent" to show an old playoff game at a party. MLB Headquarters responded with a letter granting him permission.

10. There's very little proof that vitamin C actually has any effect on preventing or treating the common cold, although after reviewing 60 years of clinical research it was found that when taken daily, vitamin C very slightly shortens cold duration, by 8% in adults and 14% in children.

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11April 11, 1954

April 11, 1954

April 11, 1954, is considered the most boring day in history with no significant births or deaths occurring on that day.

12. In 2004, Juan, an Andean spectacled bear in Berlin zoo attempted to escape. He paddled across a moat using a log as a raft, scaled a wall and then finally appeared to commandeer a bicycle before being shot with a tranquilizer gun.

13. Phenylephrine, the drug commonly found in many cold and flu medications as a replacement for pseudoephedrine, is no better than a placebo in helping sinus congestion.

14. Heavy metal band Black Sabbath started as a blues band called Earth, but changed their name after seeing the Boris Karloff horror film "Black Sabbath". They liked "that people paid money to be frightened".

15. The current CEO of Toyota, Akio Toyoda, is the great-grandson of Sakichi Toyoda, who is known as the father of the Japanese Industrial Revolution thanks to his invention of the power loom that implemented the principle of Jidoka, meaning the machine stops itself when a problem occurs.

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16Ronnie Van Zant

Ronnie Van Zant

Ronnie Van Zant, the former Lead singer of Lynyrd Skynyrd once told his father "Daddy, I'll never be 30 years old". He died in a plane crash four months before his 30th birthday.

17. Henry Ford's wife Clara drove an electric car and refused to drive the Ford Model T.

18. Pope Leo XIII outlined the rights of workers to a fair wage, safe working conditions, and the formation of labor unions while affirming the rights of property and free enterprise, opposing both Atheistic Marxism and laissez-faire capitalism.

19. Qian Xuesen was a Chinese aerospace engineer who was a founding member of Jet Propulsion Laboratory. When he was stripped of his security clearances during the Red Scare despite protests by his colleagues, he moved back to China where he became well known as the "Father of Chinese Rocketry".

20. The Nintendo's classic arcade game "Donkey Kong" (1981) is so hard that in 2007, only 2 people were known to have completed it. Today, that number is still under 100.

21Mars Spirit Rover

Mars Spirit Rover

When the Mars 'Spirit' Rover needed a reboot, scientists arranged for the rover to awake to the song "Where Is My Mind?" by the Pixies, in honor of its new software.

22. In 8 million years, the two LAGEOS satellites' orbits will decay, and they will re-enter Earth's atmosphere, carrying with them a message to any far future descendants of humanity, and a map of the continents as they are expected to appear then.

23. In the 1990s, USAF developed MARAUDER, a plasma toroid rail gun that theoretically could fire plasma projectiles at 10,000 km/s which is equal to 3% the speed of light. In the mid-1990s results were classified due to its success.

24. The average $1 bill has been contaminated with vaginal bacteria, microbes from mouths, DNA from pets and viruses and drugs.

25. Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails once released an entirely free album under a Creative Commons license with the message "this one's on me".

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