Random Facts Sheet #352 – Factopia Chronicles: 45 Tales of Surprising Knowledge

1Tommy Manville's Marriages

Tommy Manville's Marriages

Tommy Manville, an heir to the Johns-Manville fortune, was promised $250,000 "when he married," under the provisions of the family trust. He then proceeded to wed a total of 13 times, each time giving his new wife a share of his wealth before immediately divorcing her.

2. Snuffleupagus is a character from "Sesame Street." At first, he was just Big Bird's imaginary friend, but it was later decided that he should be made real so that children would be more likely to talk about being abused.

3. Within its first year of release, Pac-Man earned $1 billion in quarters. In 1982, it made $6 billion in quarters, which was more than what was spent that year in Las Vegas casinos and US movie theaters combined.

4. "The Campaign for North Africa" has been called the world's longest board game because it is estimated to take about 1,500 hours to finish.

5. Excess calcium in dog meals throughout the 1970s and 1980s was linked to the white, dry dog feces that appeared on lawns during that time period. Since then, using commercial bone meal in dog food recipes has become increasingly rare.

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6Dogs vs Wolves Expressiveness

Dogs vs Wolves Expressiveness

Dogs have much more expressive faces than wolves. Dogs, in contrast to wolves, actively seek out human interaction and have far greater control over the movement of their eyebrows. Looking into a dog's eyes has the same effect as looking at a child.

7. In 1996, a couple named their son "Brfxxccxxmnpcccclllmmnprxvclmnckssqlbb1116," claiming it was pronounced "Albin." They did this in response to a $740 fine for failing to register his name by his fifth birthday.

8. Van Gogh's painting "Café Terrace at Night" can be dated to within a day or two of when Van Gogh finished it because of how accurately he painted the stars.

9. Enrico Fermi accidentally split an atom for the first time in 1934. Instead of just striking uranium with neutrons, he was hoping to produce entirely new elements. In 1938, however, experts independently confirmed Fermi's findings.

10. In 1958, when Jewish comedian Groucho Marx was on tour in Germany, he climbed a pile of rubble that marked the spot where Adolf Hitler was killed and danced the Charleston for two minutes.