Random Revelations: Article #86- 33 Remarkably Surprising Random Facts

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1Olivia de Havilland

Olivia de Havilland

Olivia de Havilland, an actress who starred in Gone With The Wind dated Howard Hughes. She is still alive at the age of 101.


2. Compersion is the secondhand rush of happiness you feel when seeing somebody else do well.


3. The human eye is different from most animals in that we have a large sclera, the white part of the eye. It's theorized that we evolved this feature so that we could silently communicate where we are looking.


4. The "Tree That Owns Itself" is a white oak tree in Athens, Georgia, that has legal ownership of itself and of all land within eight feet (2.4 m) of its base.


5. The Australian funnel-web spider's venom is extremely toxic to primates but mostly harmless to many other animals. There are no primates in Australia, apart from humans.


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6Groundhog Day

Groundhog Day

The number of days Phil (Bill Murray's character) repeated Groundhog Day in the movie was 38, but in actual time it was calculated to be 8 years, 8 months and 16 days.


7. By the mid-70's, disco and the Bee Gees were both declining in popularity. "Stayin' Alive" helped both stay alive.


8. A group of up to 30 bears surrounded and attacked a remote Russian platinum mine in 2008, killing two security guards and trapping 400 people there.


9. Private Sean Benton was one of four young Army recruits to die at Deepcut Barracks between 1995-2002. He died of five gunshot wounds to the chest. His death was ruled a suicide.


10. In 2012, Panera Bread tried to stop a Qdoba Mexican Grill from opening nearby by trying to argue that a 'burrito is a sandwich' and thus breaking the lease agreement restricting rent from another 'sandwich shop'.


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11Letters Of Last Resort

Letters Of Last Resort

In the event of Britain being destroyed and her government wiped out, there is a safe on four nuclear-equipped submarines that contain the Prime Minister's ‘Letters Of Last Resort’. Nobody except the Prime Minister knows what it says.


12. During the 2012 London Olympic, NBC aired a promo for the Today Show congratulating Missy Franklin on winning the gold medal in the 100-meter backstroke. They aired this promo minutes before the network aired the time-delayed footage of the event.


13. Nancy Sinatra was asked by songwriter Lee Hazlewood to sing one of her songs as if she were "a sixteen-year-old girl who f*cks truck drivers". She promptly went on to reach #1 in the US, the UK, Australia, and Canada for "These Boots Are Made For Walkin'."


14. Cats are obligate carnivores. They must eat meat to get all of their nutrition.


15. Canada has a strategic maple syrup reserve to ensure global supply in case of emergency.


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16SpaceX

SpaceX

SpaceX considers a rocket explosion to actually be a "rapid unscheduled disassembly".


17. Back pain is the single leading cause of disability worldwide. In the US, back pain costs over $50 billion in missed work days, per years.


18. Adolescents who smoke marijuana as early as 14 do worse by 20 on some cognitive tests and drop out of school at a higher rate than non-smokers. But if they hold off until age 17, they are less at risk and performed equally well as adolescents who did not use cannabis.


19. In 2010, a group of hackers hacked the 2010 School Board e-voting system in Washington, D.C. and got Bender (from Futurama) elected.


20. Before his death, Fidel Castro's last wish was to avoid being a "personality cult". Because of this, Cuba prohibits the use of Castro's name in the names of "institutions, parks, streets and other public places, as well as any honorary titles or medals."


21Goats

Goats

California fire departments use hundreds of goats to help clear acres of dry grass and other vegetation that would otherwise act as highly flammable fuel for California's notorious wildfires.


22. Humans are not the only primate that curse. Chimps do it too. In project Washoe, chimps being taught sign language internalized taboos around the toilet, with the sign “dirty” representing something shameful. They started using that sign as an admonition or to express anger, like a swear word.


23. Beethoven hated giving piano lessons unless they were for exceptionally talented students or attractive young women of whatever talent.


24. Jodi Benson, the voice of Ariel in the Little Mermaid, also provides the voice of Barbie in Toy Story and was named a Disney Legend for her contributions to Disney.


25. A wild western gorilla in the remote Congolese forest was observed using a stick to test water depth before crossing a pool of water and then used the same stick as a walking stick whilst crossing the pool. Another gorilla was observed using a tree trunk as a bridge to cross a deep swamp.

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