Random Fact Sheet #146 – Get Your Brain Buzzing With these 40 Facts

1Terry Pratchett

Terry Pratchett

English author Terry Pratchett was a Skyrim and Oblivion modder.

2. The Devil’s Cigar is a fungus that strangely only exists in a small area of Texas and Japan, separated by 11,000 km. They have been separated across the continents for at least 19 million years. The fungus looks like a cigar, hisses, releases clouds resembling smoke and then splits open into a something resembling a flower.

3. The letters Q, W, and X were illegal in Turkey for 85 years until 2013 because the letters were associated with the Kurdish language. Enforcement wasn't that strict for Western companies (like Xerox), but in 2005 a group of Kurds was fined 100 lira for holding up signs with the letters.

4. After Prussia had its army limited to 42,000 men, King of Prussia enrolled the permitted number of men for one year, then dismissed that group, and enrolled another of the same size, and so on. Thus, in the course of ten years, he was able to gather an army of 420,000 men who had at least one year of military training.

5. A study shows that smokers have been found to be more successful at quitting smoking when they go "cold turkey" (sudden abstinence), as opposed to gradually cutting back.

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A study examined the brains of nuns who engaged in “centering prayer,” which is meant to create a feeling of oneness with God. The nuns’ brain scans showed similarities to people who use drugs like psilocybin mushrooms.

7. There was a decade-long conflict, lasting from 1931 to 1939, in Harlan County, Kentucky, to unionize the coal mines. It resulted in many deaths, several bombings, and three separate instances of intervention from the National Guard.

8. The Late Bronze Age Collapse was a dark-age transition period which was seen throughout the world. During this phase, incredibly rich, powerful, advanced civilizations, who were dependent on complex trade and agriculture, vanished in the span of a human lifetime and transformed into small isolated village cultures.

9. Students at Oberlin College can rent original paintings by Picasso, Monet, and Dalí (among others) to hang in their dorm rooms for $5 per semester.

10. India is the largest producer of mangoes, it accounts for less than 1% of the international mango trade; India consumes most of its own production.