Random #284 – 50 Fascinating Random Facts

1James Earl Jones

James Earl Jones

James Earl Jones decided to go uncredited for his role of voicing Darth Vader because he considered David Prowse’s performance inside the Vader costume to be the more defining of the two performances.

2. Firefighters that responded to the 2019 fire at Notre Dame knew which works of art to rescue and in which order following a protocol developed for such a disaster.

3. Curry was introduced to Japan by the British. The British brought curry from India back to Britain and introduced it to Japan after it ended its policy of self-isolation. Curry in Japan is categorized as a Western dish.

4. English cricket great Denis Compton was renowned for his absent-mindedness. He once arrived at a match without his kitbag, so he used an antique bat from the stadium's museum; and during a major celebration in honor of his 70th birthday, his mother rang, telling him that he was only 69.

5. One reason Lyndon B. Johnson did not run for re-election was because a study he commissioned had predicted he would die at the age of 64 and thus may not make it through a 2nd term. True enough, he would die on 22 January 1973 at 64, 2 days after what would have been the end of his 2nd term.

6Taco Bell

Taco Bell

Taco Bell has failed twice to expand its operations to Mexico. In 1992, Mexican customers found their tacos too expensive, and in 2010 their expansion restaurant closed because customers were unfamiliar with the menu items.

7. In 1915, a pilot planned a stunt to drop a baseball into an MLB coach’s glove (Wilbert Robinson) from a plane during a flyover. As a prank she dropped a grapefruit instead; it exploded in the coach’s glove and covered him in red pulp, and he was convinced he was seriously injured and bleeding to death.

8. During the last few months before his death jazz legend John Coltrane would take the sax out of his mouth during performances and start beating his chest, chanting, yodeling, and screaming because Coltrane felt even his sax couldn’t truly express what he wanted to say.

9. Spaceballs creator Mel Brooks made a deal with George Lucas, that allowed him to spoof Star Wars in exchange for not selling any merchandise related to the film. The action figures Rick Moranis is seen playing within the movie are the only official Spaceballs merchandise ever made.

10. To train new operatives during the Cold War, the Soviets built fully functional replicas of American towns. Their residents consisted of retired deep cover operatives who taught the trainees everything they needed to know about blending into American life.

11Danny DeVito

Danny DeVito

Danny DeVito played a huge part in getting Pulp Fiction made, including shopping the script around to dozens of studios after Tristar passed on it for being "too violent."

12. Michelangelo hid under the Medici Chapel in Florence for 3 months during a period of political turmoil, occupying his time by sketching on the walls with charcoal. His whereabouts were a secret for almost 500 years until the museum director stumbled upon the drawings in 1976.

13. Theodore Roosevelt's youngest son Quentin Roosevelt I was a pilot in World War 1 and was killed in France during combat. He is the only child of a US President to die in combat.

14. An Elmo cameo was written for the 2011 Muppets film but was stopped by Children's TV Workshop lawyers. Ironically, the scene featured the Muppets attempting to recruit Elmo but getting stopped by his lawyers.

15. In the 17th century, weavers in Nimes, France, accidentally made denim while trying to replicate the process of producing another popular fabric called serge. They called the new material “serge de Nimes” meaning literally “serge from Nimes.” Over time, merchants shortened the name to “denim.”

16Moon landing

Moon landing

Landing humans on the Moon required the most sudden burst of technological creativity and the largest commitment of resources ever made by any nation in peacetime. At its peak, the Apollo program employed 400,000 people and required the support of over 20,000 industrial firms and universities.

17. In 1995, an inmаte named Robert L. Brock sued himself for $5 million, saying that he was drunk at the time of the crіme, which caused him to violate his religious beliefs and civil rights by getting arrеsted. He reasoned that as a ward of the state, and unable to work, the state should pay him the money on his account.

18. There is a demon named Tutivillus found in Catholic lore that collects all the mispronounced words said by priests and puts them in a sack. That sack is later carried by the offending priests in hell.

19. Strings and cables moving randomly will spontaneously knot themselves with a probability reaching 100%.

20. After Stephen Hillenburg, the creator of SpongeBob Squarepants graduated high school he worked as a fry cook during summers at a restaurant in Islesford, Maine known as Islesford Dock Restaurant. The restaurant would later be the inspiration for the Krusty Krab in the show.

21Arnold Schwarzenegger

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Austria does not usually allow dual citizenship but they made a special exception for Arnold Schwarzenegger in 1983 when he became a U.S. citizen.

22. Professional basketball player Marvin Barnes once refused to board a plane from Louisville to St. Louis. Because the flight was scheduled to arrive (Central Time) before its departure time (Eastern Time), Barnes famously said, "I ain't getting in no damn time machine." He rented a car instead.

23. Dragonflies are older than dinosaurs and used to have a wingspan of 2.5 feet.

24. The show VeggieTales focused on retelling Old Testament Bible stories because the creator's mom did not want to see Jesus as a vegetable.

25. Boxing trainer Cus D'Amato was criticized for being a proponent for the peek-a-boo style of boxing; it was believed that an efficient attack could not be launched from it. He coached Mike Tyson later in his career in this exact style, who would become the youngest world heavyweight titleholder.