Random Revelations: Article #87- 34 Unconventional and Unexpected Random Facts

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1Steal This Book

Steal This Book

"Steal This Book" is an instruction manual by Abbie Hoffman on, among other things, shoplifting, fare evasion, and protesting. 30 publishers refused to print it, and many bookstores refused to sell it because people were shoplifting the book, as the title suggested.

2. In 1962, the United States accidentally destroyed Britain's first satellite (Ariel 1) after detonating a nuclear bomb (Starfish Prime) in orbit.

3. In a baby’s first year, parents lose around 350 hours of sleep at night.

4. James Buchanan was America's first (and only) bachelor President. His niece, Harriet, acted as First Lady.

5. Dr. William Moon was a one-eyed man who developed his own reading system for the blind in the 1840s after finding other methods unreliable. He called his method “Moon Code” and based it off of simplified Roman letters, which allowed almost anyone to learn it extremely quickly.

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There's a Native American lake named Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg. It means "you fish on your side, I fish on my side, and no one fishes in the middle." Located in the town of Webster, Massachusetts, it is known more commonly as Lake Chaubunagungamaug or Webster Lake.

7. Marcel Tyberg was a Viennese composer who, because of his 1/16th Jewish heritage, was killed at Auschwitz in 1944. Before his capture, he entrusted his scores to a close friend. The scores ended up in the US but were untouched for decades. Within the last 10 years, his music has been rediscovered.

8. As many as 1 million Vietnamese people are disabled or have health problems as a result of U.S. use of Agent Orange in the Vietnam War. Nearly 20 million gallons of various herbicides and defoliants were sprayed over Vietnam between 1962 and 1971 by the U.S. military.

9. Many elevators in Denmark country have a button labeled 'I fart', which translates as 'In motion'. When Queen Elizabeth II visited in 1960, strips of tape were used to cover these buttons in any elevators she used.

10. Candy Crush Saga had a daily revenue of $633,000 from the United States section of the iOS App Store alone back in 2013.

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11Zvika Greengold

Zvika Greengold

A 21-year-old named Lieutenant Zvika Greengold is an Israeli tank officer who fought in the Yom Kippur War for 30 hours straight, destroyed up to 60 enemy tanks (swapping his own every time he sustained damage) and fooled the Syrians into believing they were facing a company-sized force.

12. Harry Glicken's was devastated when his mentor David Johnson died during the eruption of Mount St Helens in 1980. Glicken met the same fate 11 year's later during the eruption of Mount Unzen in Japan. Glicken and Johnson are the only American volcanologists to have died in volcanic eruptions.

13. Deinosuchus was a massive ancestor of the crocodile, measuring around 10 to 12 meters long. By studying teeth marks on other fossils, paleontologists have concluded the Deinosuchus killed and ate some of the most fearsome dinosaurs of its era, including the T-Rex.

14. Pangea was not the first supercontinent. That honor goes to the billion-year-old landmass known as Rodinia. The continents since then have routinely split apart and come back together in a process known as the supercontinent cycle.

15. Psychologists recognize "the need for drama" (NFD) as a personality trait. High NFD individuals agree with statements like, "Sometimes it’s fun to get people riled up”.

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Panthers are not a species. Panther is just the name given to any melanistic (dark or black) big cat e.g. black jaguars.

17. Walt Disney had a secret apartment built in Disneyland so that he could watch the crowds in his theme park.

18. In the 1970s, city officials in Times Beach, Missouri, sprayed waste oil over unpaved roads to alleviate a dust problem, but the oil contained dioxin, a carcinogenic compound of Agent Orange, ultimately forcing the town to be abandoned.

19. In 2006, Katie Melua gave a concert at 303 meters below sea level in one of the legs of the "Troll A" oil rig, earning a Guinness record for "deepest underwater concert".

20. One of the greatest boxers of all time was a man of 5'7" in height called Sam Langford who other greats like Jack Dempsey refused to fight because of his power. He fought until the age of 43, at which point he was almost completely blind.

21Korean Air Flight 858

Korean Air Flight 858

The last time the Olympics were in Korea (1988), North Korean agents tried to derail the games by blowing a passenger plane (Korean Air Flight 858) and killing 115 people.

22. NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander has detected snow falling from Martian clouds.

23. The original title of the first “Star Wars” film was “Adventures of Luke Starkiller, as taken from the Journal of the Whills, Saga I: The Star Wars”.

24. Madrid has the oldest running restaurant in the world named Sobrino de Botín which hasn't closed its doors once since its founding in 1725.

25. There is a hotel named Palacio de Sal in Bolivia made completely out of salt and licking the walls is strictly forbidden.

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