Random Fact Sheet #312 – Facts Galore: 35 Remarkable Random Trivia

26Human Carbon Dating

Human Carbon Dating

Carbon dating data for human bones can be thrown off by hundreds of years if the deceased ate a lot of seafood, because the carbon in fish could have been generated hundreds of years ago and then recycled among the fish and plants (and other food) before being caught and eaten by a human.

27. Many whiskeys in the saloons of the Old West contained added Strychnine, a lethal poison. Diluted Strychnine was thought to have curative effects, a belief reinforced by the fact that in many towns the poisoned whiskey was still safer to drink than the locally available water.

28. Under ‘General Order 11,’ general Ulysses S. Grant expelled Jewish people from 3 states under his control out of a belief that they were responsible for corruption and smuggling in the region. Shortly after this order was issued, it was countermanded by Abraham Lincoln.

29. Kurt Cobain's guttural and slurred voice contributed to the early resistance from radio stations towards adding Nirvana’s most famous song: “Smells like teen spirit” to their playlists as it was hard to understand what Cobain was singing.

30. Mathematician John Edmund Kerrich passed his time in Nazi captivity by flipping a coin 10,000 times. The total percentage of heads and tails flips varied wildly at first but gradually converged around 50/50, providing a demonstration of the Law of Large Numbers.

31Push Bar Doors

Push Bar Doors

The push bar on commercial doors is called a “crash bar” and was invented to prevent crowd crushes after 183 children died in a theater stampede due to a locked door.

32. Outside the ring, Muhammad Ali attained success as a spoken word artist, where he received two Grammy nominations. He also featured as an actor and writer, releasing two autobiographies. Ali retired from boxing in 1981 and focused on religion, philanthropy, and activism.

33. The Blair Mountain Revolt was the largest armed uprising in the US post-Civil War. Thousands of workers upset at company town policies and poor conditions in the mines, staged a mass strike in West Virginia, leading to the President ordering the army and air force in. The ensuing bloody conflict between the civilians and the military ended with 133 people dead and over 900 jailed.

34. Blenda is a heroine of Swedish legend, who led village women in an attack against Danish men. The women invited the men to a banquet and after the men fell asleep, they killed each and every one of them. King Alle then granted Swedish women new rights including equal inheritance.

35. Australian “Firehawks” intentionally spread wildfires by dropping flaming sticks in unburned areas in order to flush out their prey.