Random Facts Sheet #349 – 45 Curious Curiosities: A Collection of Random Facts 2



Before the invention of "hot water bottles," people used other people or animals to keep themselves warm. Families and visitors used to all sleep in the same bed. People also snuggled up against barn animals like cows and pigs, while lap dogs were popular with the wealthy. Many who didn't have animals kept a heated brick under their blanket at the foot of the bed during winters.

27. Ian Anderson who is the frontman for the rock band Jethro Tull, picked up flute after he realized he would never be "as good as Eric Clapton" on the electric guitar. He then improvised a blues rock flute playing technique and recorded Tull's debut album in just a few months.

28. Gardiners Island in New York is the second largest private island in the USA. It has been owned by the same family since 1639. Located at the east end of Long Island, it's spread over 5 square miles and has 1,000 acres each of old-growth forest and meadows. Captain William Kidd buried his treasure there and first lady Julia Gardiner Tyler was also born there.

29. While filming "The Other Side Of The Wind" in 1970, director Orson Welles couldn't afford to pay his cinematographer Gary Graver for his work. Welles instead gave Graver his Oscar statuette that he had won for Best Original Screenplay for "Citizen Kane" in 1941.

30. The Australian Parliament can't legally operate without a ceremonial mace, representing the monarch's authority, being present. In 1914 a member of parliament hid the mace and it was not found for two hours, and police were called in as it was assumed to have been stolen.



Mewing is a form of "orthotropic" where you can supposedly change the shape of your jawline by the placement of your tongue in your mouth. John Mew coined the idea and was recently stripped of his dental license.

32. In the early 1900s, a man named Martin Couney created "Infantoriums", where people would pay 5 cents to view premature babies housed in incubators. Despite the ethics of the time, premature babies were neglected and 4 out of 5 of them died in hospitals. Couney is credited with saving the lives of 6,500 babies.

33. After the Danish king, Christian II was coronated in 1520, the aristocracy demanded economic compensation. The trials that ensued became known as the 'Stockholm Bloodbath.' Nearly 100 aristocrats were killed, with blood running in the streets from all the beheadings.

34. For the Voyager space program, engineers computed 10,000 potential trajectories. This was done not only to optimize the journey but to also avoid having Voyager reach a planet around Christmas or Thanksgiving.

35. The first ever residential telephone line was installed in 1877, connecting the house of Charles Williams, Jr. in Massachusetts to his office. Williams was given telephone numbers 1 & 2.

36Space Shuttle Enterprise's Computer

Space Shuttle Enterprise's Computer

Space Shuttle Enterprise's "Computer 2" failed on its first flight test because of bad soldering. The remaining three computers however continued to operate properly, showcasing the importance of redundancy for space missions.

37. For decades, the 'Moment Magnitude Scale' has been the authoritative scale used to measure large earthquakes. Despite the persistence of the name, the Richter Scale has not been used since the MMS was developed in the 1970s.

38. The earliest existing record of a telescope was a 1608 patent submitted to the government in the Netherlands by Middelburg spectacle maker Hans Lipperhey. The actual inventor is unknown but the word of it spread through Europe. Galileo heard about it and, in 1609, built his own version.

39. The SS Wien a.k.a. SS Po a hospital ship that served in both World Wars and was sunk in both wars. SS Wien was originally in Austrian service and was sunk in 1918 by Italian frogmen. It was raised in 1921, purchased by Italy, and served with them until 1941 when it was sunk once more by a British aircraft.

40. The Island of Crete was briefly an Islamic Emirate between the 8th and 9th centuries, called the Emirate of Crete. It was formed by Andalusian exiles (Spanish Muslims). The emirate was known for its pirate activities until it was conquered by the Byzantine empire.

41Hanunoo Script

Hanunoo Script

When writing in the Hanunó'o script, used for an indigenous language in the Philippines, right-handed and left-handed people often write texts that are mirror images of each other, both in letter orientation and writing direction.

42. In 1984, the band 'Yes' made 18 different versions of the music video for their song "Leave It," which were played in a marathon on MTV.

43. The green flash is an optical phenomenon that occurs during sunset or sunrise when conditions are favorable. The color green is visible only for a few seconds and it occurs when two optical phenomena, a mirage and the dispersion of sunlight, combine.

44. Diving too deep in water increases the nitrogen concentration in your blood and will make you feel drunk and confused. Adding Helium to a SCUBA tank will reduce this because, unlike nitrogen, helium does not have a narcotic effect.

45. Foxes close to each other make a sound similar to chickens clucking.

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