Random Fact Sheet #324 – Mind-Boggling Miscellany: 40 Facts That Will Blow Your Mind


26Dolly Parton's 9 to 5

Dolly Parton's 9 to 5

Dolly Parton recorded “9 to 5” using her acrylic nails as an instrument.

27. Brainf*ck is an esoteric programming language whose compiler uses only 240 bytes of memory making it around 11,000 times smaller than the C++ compiler.

28. The Darien Scheme of 1698 was Scotland’s sole attempt at colonization. The effort failed but cost £400,000 (£71,000,000 inflation-adjusted), which is about 20% of the nation’s capital. It crippled Scotland’s economy and was a major factor in its Act of Union with England in 1707, thus forming the United Kingdom.

29. In Singapore, all newly developed public housing estates (HDB) must have a green plot ratio of 4.5. That means the total "leaf area" of plants and trees must cover at least 4.5 times the area of the development site itself.

30. Allen Gant Sr., the inventor of pantyhose was inspired when his pregnant wife told him she didn't want to travel due to not being able to comfortably wear stockings and a garter belt. He decided that sewing stockings onto panties would help with this. In 1959, his product was in stores.

31Charles Oliveira

Charles Oliveira

UFC Champion Charles Oliveira, who was born in a poor family in a favela in Brazil, was diagnosed with a disease at the age of 7 due to which he was told he would never walk again. His mother responded, “we don’t accept that.” His mom then sold snacks and discarded cardboard on the streets to help fund his training.

32. The Beatles don't actually spell out "HELP!" in semaphore on their album cover for "Help !", instead just random letters that looked better together.

33. In 1915, during World War 1, when the Belgian and German trenches were a mere 45 meters (150 feet) apart, there was a “Battle of the Words”, where each side threw insults at each other all day and night. It eventually became so annoying that the Belgian commander forbade his men from talking to the Germans.

34. Researchers have found that the brain’s frontal cortex not only controls vision; it leaves out things in plain sight. Although the eye's vision appears like a camera, in actuality, it is actively constructing a visual scene and making decisions about it.

35. The reason the graphite core in pencils is called "pencil lead" traces back to a graphite deposit discovered in Seathwaite, Cumbria, England, in the 1500s being misidentified as a form of lead. That deposit gave England a monopoly on the production of pencils until the late 1600s.

36Mariah Carey's Career

Mariah Carey's Career

Early in her career, Mariah Carey was a backup singer for Brenda K. Starr who sang the 1988 hit, “I Still Believe.” In 1999, Carey released a cover of this song to thank Starr for helping her career and because it was the first song she sang as a pro.

37. IBM once required employees to sing praises of its president and company from the official IBM Songbook.

38. Barry Larkin, who was against the Olympic torch relay for its Nazi origins, pulled a hoax of running with a fake torch made of pudding cans, underwear, and wooden chair legs at the torch relay for the 1956 Melbourne Olympics (in Australia).

39. The Japanese punch perm became a popular hairstyle in Japan from the 1970s to the 1990s. It was popular with the yakuza which contributed to its decline in general popularity. The inventor was inspired by the African-American hairstyles and created a special curling iron for this style.

40. Cows can walk downstairs, contrary to popular belief, but only if they have to. They avoid the situation as much as possible because they are not prepared by evolution for such steep slopes and foreign leg movements.