Random #380 – 50 Remarkable Random Facts

1Citroën's Wartime Sabotage Tactics

Citroën's Wartime Sabotage Tactics

French automaker Citroën sabotaged wartime Nazi truck production by moving the notch on the oil dipstick down. The engines would not have the correct amount of oil and would prematurely fail.

2. The University of Pittsburgh identified a gene mutation that causes Short Sleeper Syndrome in 2014. Those affected can function normally with less than 6 hours of sleep and never need to "recover" from lack of sleep, unlike people who purposefully limit their sleep. The mutation was tested on mice and proved effective.

3. During the first moon landing, according to the schedule, the astronauts were supposed to sleep for a few hours first, keeping the entire world waiting. However, they couldn't sleep and asked to go ahead of schedule and leave the lander early.

4. Dennis Fitch, a pilot who studied the crash of Japan Flight 123 to determine if he could have flown the doomed aircraft, later found himself as a passenger on a plane that also lost hydraulic power. Fitch offered assistance to the pilots, who miraculously managed to crash land, saving more than 100 passengers.

5. The USA doesn't use A4 or other A-series paper sizes but instead has its own standards: "letter," "legal," and "tabloid."

6President Garfield's Reluctance

President Garfield's Reluctance

The 20th US president, James Garfield, didn't want to be a candidate. When he received his first vote, he challenged it, stating that without his consent, he should not be receiving votes. However, he was dismissed. After winning the nomination, Garfield looked "pale as death." He was assassinated a year later.

7. Although submarines constituted only about 2% of the US Navy in World War II, the group destroyed over 30% of the Japanese Navy, including 8 aircraft carriers and 11 cruisers. It also crippled over 60% of the Japanese merchant fleet, greatly impairing Japan's ability to supply its military and war effort.

8. In 2006, Ben & Jerry's had to apologize to their Irish consumers after coincidentally naming an ice cream flavor after a brutal paramilitary group.

9. In 2019, Toronto firefighter Danny Flippidis mysteriously disappeared on a skiing trip in New York. Six days later, he resurfaced 3000 miles away in Sacramento, California, with no memory of how he got there. He was wearing the same exact gear when he disappeared and had no ID except a credit card.

10. After Vancouver hosted the 2010 Olympics, its Olympic Village became a ghost town to the extent that a sales campaign discounted remaining units by up to 50% in 2011. The developer fell short on its loan payments because of poor sales.

11Pine Mouth Metallic Taste

Pine Mouth Metallic Taste

Pine mouth, a potential consequence of eating pine nuts, can give you a metallic taste in your mouth that may last for weeks.

12. Supercomputers possess the ability to solve every chess ending with seven pieces or fewer remaining, irrespective of the position, composition of the remaining pieces, or potential moves. This information, known as the endgame tablebase, currently spans 18.4 terabytes in size.

13. Rabbit starvation occurs when the body takes in excessive protein without sufficient fat or carbohydrates. Consuming large amounts can elevate ammonia levels in the blood, posing a risk to the body. Protein poisoning can be fatal due to these increased levels.

14. Shiniuzhai, a convenience store hanging on a cliff in Hunan, has been nicknamed the "most inconvenient convenience store" in China.

15. Australia's first government-backed pill and drug testing service, after its first month of operation, discovered that all the cocaine tested had purity levels below 27%, with 40% of the samples containing zero cocaine.

16Boss Key in Early PC Games

Boss Key in Early PC Games

The "Boss key" was a fairly common feature in early PC games designed to make it appear to superiors and coworkers that employees were working when, in reality, they were playing video games.

17. The Inuit from Greenland traveled to Scotland via kayak. The first recorded instance was in 1682, but it's possible that Inuit had made the trip hundreds of years prior. One of their kayaks is even preserved in Aberdeen, Scotland.

18. In 2007, a player entered a Yu-Gi-Oh card tournament with a 2222-card deck to highlight the need for a deck card limit. The rule was subsequently changed to set a limit of 60 cards per deck.

19. Farm-raised salmon are not naturally "salmon" colored. They are gray and are given astaxanthin to make their flesh closer in color to wild salmon, making it more appealing to consumers.

20. Galileo Galilei dismissed the notion that the moon influences the tides as "childish" and "occult." Instead, he argued that tides result from the sloshing motion of the earth.

21China's Esperanto Speakers Decline

China's Esperanto Speakers Decline

At one point in the 1980s, China had an estimated 400,000 Esperanto speakers, and the language was taught at several universities. Now, only one Chinese college Esperanto program remains.

22. While filming "Firstborn" (1984), 12-year-old Corey Haim complimented the acting performance of 41-year-old Peter Weller. In response, Weller threw Haim up against a wall and demanded that Haim never speak to him after a take. Haim later admitted that the experience left him terrified.

23. The most expensive single scene shot in the entire run of "The Office" was Jim and Pam's proposal scene, costing $250,000 and lasting 52 seconds. The gas station set was built in about nine days in a parking lot, featuring a four-lane racetrack around it with 35 precision drivers.

24. JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) tests astronaut candidates by making them fold a thousand origami cranes. This helps determine how the person deals with boring, repetitive tasks and time constraints.

25. Gasoline is produced differently in summer and winter, which is why gas prices drop so steeply during the winter months.