Random Fact Sheet #231 – A Fact a Day Keeps Boredom Away: 35 Facts


Rabbit of Caerbannog

Rabbit of Caerbannog

The Notre-Dame cathedral features a carving of a knight fleeing from a rabbit, symbolizing cowardice. This carving inspired the Rabbit of Caerbannog scene in Month Python and the Holy Grail.

27. Richard the Lionheart knighted his cook after one particularly memorable feast. Richard made him ‘lord of the fief of the kitchen of the counts of Poitou’. In those days of little hygiene, the cook was an important member of a noble household because his mistakes could kill his employer.

28. Pirates were considered “Hostis humani generis” (the enemy of all mankind) and it was the universal right and duty of all nations to capture any pirates they encountered and execute them if found guilty. Even in modern days, piracy is considered a special crime of universal jurisdiction.

29. A German nurse named Niels Högel was sentenced to life in prison without eligibility for parole after he murdered more than 85 patients because he wanted to show off his resuscitation skills and be the hero who saves them on the hospital bed.

30. A man named Meredith Eberhart retired at the age of 61 and became a perpetual hiker. Over 15 years he walked over 34,000 miles (55,000 KM). He became the first known person to hike the entire Appalachian Range in North America, from Newfoundland to the Keys and more and more.

31Keith Richards

Keith Richards

During a 1973 Rolling Stones tour of Australia, Keith Richards lived with a single mother and her son for a week, taking care of the baby while the mother was at work. He recently said that “there’s somebody in a suburb in Melbourne who doesn’t even know I wiped his ass.”

32. Black and white stripes deter insects. Japanese scientists hypothesized that zebras’ stripes deter insects, so they painted black and white stripes on cows. Striped cows had about 50% fewer biting flies land on them than unpainted cows.

33. John Woods was an army private who lied his way into becoming the Army’s hangman and an officer. He carried out 60-70 executions in two years, several of which he bungled by building the gallows too short, including all ten of the Nuremberg Executions of the Nazi high command.

34. In 1992 German politician Vera Lengsfeld divorced her second husband after finding out he had been an informant for the Stasi and had spied on her for most of their marriage.

35. The human brain is estimated to compute at roughly 1 exaFLOP (10^18 operations) per second. The world’s currently largest supercomputer operates at 0.2 exaFLOP per second and consumes 13 Megawatts. Our brain uses 20 watts.