50 Random Facts List #80


1Keanu Reeves

Keanu Reeves

When River Phoenix's agents wouldn't let him see the screenplay for 'My Own Private Idaho', Keanu Reeves rode his motorcycle from Canada to River's home in Florida to hand deliver it himself.

2. In 2002, Kim Jong-il agreed to let Japanese abductees visit Japan. A few weeks later, the Japanese Government "restricted" the abductees from returning to North Korea.

3. In order to dissuade Germans from invading, Julius Caesar built a bridge into their territory, marched his armies across, returned, then destroyed the bridge. The Germans got the message and never invaded.

4. Dave's Killer Bread was co-founded by Dave Dahl, who spent 15 years in prison before launching the business with his brother. The company now employs over 100 ex-convicts (about 33% of staff) and sold in 2015 for $275 million.

5. There is a grove of trees that spell out "STUDEBAKER" when viewed from the air in Indiana. This grove of trees outlasted the now-defunct automobile company.

6Byzantine Empire

Byzantine Empire

There are still people speaking Greek dialects in south Italy, a remnant from the Byzantine Empire.

7. For the brutal Omaha Beach scene in ‘Saving Private Ryan,’ Spielberg hired several dozen army amputees with prosthetic limbs so that he could have their arms and legs blown off in a more realistic fashion. More than $11 million was spent and 1,000 extras used for the infamous scene.

8. Roger Waters from Pink Floyd wrote 'Comfortably Numb' after getting sick at a show in Philadelphia and receiving a mystery shot from a doctor.

9. In the early 1990s, Willie Nelson had nearly all of his property confiscated and sold by the IRS, for payment of back taxes and fines. His famous guitar, named Trigger, was only saved from sale because his daughter smuggled it out of his Texas home and took it to Hawaii.

10. The United States, Canada, and New Zealand are the only 3 countries in the world that allow prescription drugs to be directly advertised to the general public.

11Franklin Pierce

Franklin Pierce

President Franklin Pierce didn't swear his oath of office on a Bible. Weeks after his election, Pierce was involved in a train accident, in which he witnessed his son die before his eyes. He didn’t take the oath on a Bible because he believed his son’s death was God’s judgment for his campaigning.

12. Asian elephants are more closely related to Wooly Mammoths than they are to African Elephants.

13. The New Zealand badminton team were called the "Black Cocks". The International Badminton Federation (IBF) found the name hard to swallow and made them change it.

14. A skinny person can actually eat more food than an obese person. While it runs counter to logic, obese people have more fat in their midsection and around their organs. A skinny person lacks this which allows their stomachs to expand further. This is why many competitive eaters are so skinny.

15. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King is the only fantasy film in history to have ever won the Best Picture Oscar and holds the distinction of sweeping the highest number of nominations, with 11 out of 11 wins.

16Cadbury creme eggs

Cadbury creme eggs

Cadbury creme eggs are just filled with melted fondant.

17. The Chevy Nova actually sold well in Latin countries and poor sales stories due to the "No Va"/"No Go" translation is just an urban myth.

18. The USS Constitution is a wooden frigate which was first launched in 1797 and is still active for ceremonial and educational purposes. It is the only active ship in the U.S. Navy fleet to have sunk an enemy vessel in combat.

19. Van Morrison purposefully recorded a whole album with really low effort songs to get out of a contract in the 60s, including gems like "Want A Danish?" and "Ring Worm".

20. Cyrano de Bergerac in the 1600s wrote about using rocket power to get to the Moon and talking earrings (headphones) used to educate children.

21Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King, Jr., was actually born Michael King, Jr. His father, also a minister, changed his and his son's name to Martin Luther when he was five, after the famed Church Reformer.

22. The Ivory-Billed Woodpecker has been believed to be extinct since the early 1900's. In 1932, however, in an attempt to refute these claims, a Louisiana state legislator, and an attorney shot and killed one of the last of the birds and brought the remains to their local wildlife office.

23. King Herod of Judea (73/74 B.C.E. – 4 B.C.E.) desired a certain maiden and she killed herself to avoid marrying him. He later went on to preserve her body in honey for 7 years amid rumors of necrophilia.

24. When Thomas Bopp discovered the Comet Hale-Boop through a friend's telescope in 1995, he notified officials via telegram. The director later laughed and stated, "Nobody sends telegrams anymore, by the time that telegram got here, Alan Hale had already e-mailed us three times with updated coordinates."

25. In 1942, a ghost blimp floated into Daly City, California with all parachutes and working equipment on board, but had no sign of the crew.