Random Revelations: Article #89- 38 Mesmerizing and Outlandish Random Facts

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1René Carmille

René Carmille

René Carmille was a punched-card computer expert and French double agent who is believed to have saved thousands of lives by sabotaging Nazi efforts to identify Jewish citizens. He eventually was found out, withstood torture, and sent to a concentration camp where he died in January of 1945.

2. Starbucks drains over 23.4 million litres of water down the drains of 10,000 outlets worldwide due to a policy of keeping a tap running non-stop. It is enough daily water for the entire 2 million population of Namibia in Africa.

3. After the false rumors that mixing Pop Rocks (Candy) with soda could cause death, General Foods sent letters to school principals, created open letters to parents, took out advertisements in major publications, and sent the inventor on the road to explain Pop Rocks are not dangerous.

4. M*A*S*H aired on BBC2 in the UK without a laugh track, as the creators of the show intended it to be seen, while CBS studio executives would not air the show in the US without one. Series creator Larry Gelbart later said: "I always thought it cheapened the show. The network got their way."

5. If you are ordering and paying for extra ingredients at a U.S. restaurant, you are paying on the average a 426% markup for extra sour cream, 417% for cheese on a burger, and 525% for any ingredients on a pizza. An unidentified pizza chain has a 636% mark up for meat in their "meat-laden" pizza.

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Marvel's near-collapse led to its dominance. In the 90’s they desperately sold film rights of their characters for operating capital. A few hits (Blade and X-Men) led studios to consider that comic movies are viable. Failure by most caused many of the rights to return to Marvel, who created Marvel Studios.

7. In 2009, a New Zealand couple disappeared after £3.9 million ($6 million) was accidentally credited to their bank account.

8. Back when the New York subways used tokens, criminals would jam the slot and then suck out the token with their mouths. To discourage this, subway workers would put hot chili powder in the slots.

9. A low sense of control is highly associated with anxiety, depression, and virtually all mental health problems. Researchers have found that a low sense of control is one of the most stressful things that people can experience.

10. Following the 2010 Olympics, a sled dog tour company based out of Whistler (British Columbia, Canada) sought a veterinarian to euthanize 56 dogs because of a downturn in business. When the vet refused to kill healthy animals, an employee named Robert Fawcett shot them “execution-style” or slit their throats.

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Modern studies do not show any association between saturated fat and a higher risk of death for any reason (cardiovascular disease, heart attack, stroke, etc.) but they do show up to a 34% increase in death associated with unsaturated industrial plant oil-based fats such as margarine.

12. When teens are taught that people have the potential to change their socially relevant traits over time, they tend to cope better with social stress and end up earning better grades in school.

13. New Zealand adventurer Chloe Phillips-Harris was denied access to Kazakhstan in 2016 under the guise that New Zealand did not exist because the map in the detention room did not include it.

14. There is a mysterious "hum" in parts of the world that only certain members of the population can hear.

15. Skyscrapers are designed to last at least 500 years on average and are engineered to withstand catastrophic weather events occurring once every 50 years.

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16Operation Golden Flow

Operation Golden Flow

Because in 1971, 15% of American soldiers in Vietnam were heroin addicts, the government started operation Golden Flow which required soldiers to pass a drug test in order to return home.

17. Theodore Roosevelt was shot before a speech in Milwaukee and refused to have medical treatment until he delivered his 90-minute speech, in which he showed off the bullet wound to the crowd.

18. German long jumper "Luz" Long gave Jesse Owens advice allowing him to win gold at 1936 Berlin Olympics. Long won silver. During the war, Long asked Jesse to tell his son "what times were like when we were not at war... how things can be between men on this earth", before being killed in 1943.

19. The Flag that Apollo 11 astronauts planted on the moon was bought for $5.50 at Sears.

20. On July 17, 1955, within a week of Disneyland opening, operator error resulted in the caboose of the Disneyland Railroad crashing and derailing. During the ensuing commotion, the brakeman at fault "quietly left the scene of the accident, exited the park, and was not seen again".

21US Postal service

US Postal service

The US Postal Service banned the mailing of people in 1914 after a 4-year-old was sent by her parents across the state of Idaho for 53¢.

22. In one variation of the Milgram experiment, subjects were directed to shock a "cute, fluffy puppy" instead of a human. Only half of the male subjects and all of the female subjects obeyed the orders.

23. Kevin Peter Hall, the actor who played the Predator (1987), was involved in a near-fatal car accident in 1990. While receiving a blood transfusion at the hospital, he contracted AIDS and died less than a year later.

24. A cattle farmer, while clearing land on his Texas ranch, wrote his name (LUECKE) in letters that were 1 kilometer in length, producing the world’s largest signature. It lies on major flight paths into Houston and NASA uses it to evaluate satellite imagery.

25. The painting of George Washington used for the dollar bill was never finished.

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