Social Question

sakura's avatar

Do you have any fascinating facts?

Asked by sakura (8260points) January 18th, 2011

Do you know any facts or interesting bits of information that may not be well known to lots of people?
For example…

Did you know that George W Bush and Hugh Hefner are cousins?

President George W. Bush was once a cheerleader!

Sheep can recognize each other from pictures

It is illegal NOT to smile in Pocatello, Idaho!

More monopoly money is printed is printed in one year than real money printed throughout the world!

The first product that Sony came out with was a rice cooker.

Girls have more taste buds than boys!

A peanut is not actually a nut. It’s a legume

(Thanks Real Radio)

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66 Answers

Brian1946's avatar

Pure distilled water won’t conduct electricity.
It’s the impurities that a lot of water contains that actually do the conducting.

Arbornaut's avatar

There are ants that live in a species of acacia in africa and manage to successfully defend the tree from attacks by elephants! I reckon thats cool as.

YARNLADY's avatar

20,000 People starve to death every single day of the year.

Coloma's avatar

Every time you urinate a small amount of urine is secreted into your mouth via your salivary glands.

Adagio's avatar

NZ was the first Western democracy to give women the vote (1893)

josie's avatar

12 newborns will be given to the wrong parents daily.
A jellyfish is 95 percent water.
Most dust particles in your house are made from dead skin.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@Coloma Thank you for sharing!

absalom's avatar

Helen Keller was a socialist.

incendiary_dan's avatar

Humans have only practiced monocrop agriculture for a small percentage of our history on the planet. We’re taught that this “revolution” was a good thing, and feeds more people than hunting and gathering (and gardening), yet non-agricultural peoples rarely experience starvation, and historically experience much higher standards of health and living. In general, agricultural production also creates less food per acre, not to mention that it is less nutrient dense food. So why do we keep doing it? (that’s rhetorical, since I have a pretty good understanding of why)

coffeenut's avatar

“Pokemon”, an anime program geared towards youngsters on Japanese television, induced seizures in at least 750 children throughout Japan. The offending scene was a “vaccine bomb” followed by red flashing in the eyes of a rat being. Of those affected, 200 were still in the hospital with quasi-epileptic seizures a full day after the broadcast.

poisonedantidote's avatar

The universe ia a kind of grey color. The earth has 5 moons. An estimated 7 people die each year in umbrella related accidents.

Cruiser's avatar

@lucillelucillelucille actually likes meatloaf! FACT! ;)

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I can kick @Cruiser‘s ass. FACT!

Coloma's avatar

@worriedguy

My pleasure.
I just learned that myself a few weeks ago reading an odd trivia book. lol

SuperMouse's avatar

Sophia Coppola wasn’t just in the Godfather Part III, she is actually in all three movies.
Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood, was also a big supporter of eugenics.
Henry Ford was a raging anti-Semite.
Mick Jagger sings back-up vocals on You’re So Vain by Carly Simon
Christopher Walken has an Oscar for best supporting actor (I don’t want to share the movie, see if you can guess!)

Dutchess_III's avatar

Benefull dog food gives my dog flatulance and that’s a FACT!

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Indian children as young as 4–5 years old can put a full 58 facets on gemstones using a hand crank polishing wheel.

KatawaGrey's avatar

Vibrators were originally medical instruments.

Wrigley originally made laundry detergent and included a stick of gum in it. People would only buy the detergent for the gum so he just cut out the middle-man.

The safety pin was invented to settle a debt.

Thomas Edison was among the first to make actual movies.

poisonedantidote's avatar

@anartist Yea, 5 moons. sure, there is some debate regarding if they are moons or not, but they are all often reffered to as moons.

The objects im talking about are known as: The moon, Cruithne, 2000PH5, 2000WN10, 2002AA29.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I didn’t think I had anything to add…until I watched NOVA just now. The subject was the early years of the original Star Trek (the 60’s…which I remember BTW.) Apparently the hippie-color and irreverence of the original Batman series of the 60’s (Which I remember too…“Holy Fluther, Batman!!!”) had a strong influence on the newly evolving Star Trek series. The message was, apparently, color it up (color TV was fairly new), jazz it up, and don’t take yourself so seriously. Adopting that ideal went a long way toward the success of the series. Star Trek was also in competition with “Lost In Space” (which I remember too.) Fascinating. They all influenced Gene Roddenberry’s idea….

KatawaGrey's avatar

@Dutchess_III: The very first American TV inter-racial kiss took place on Star Trek, except it wasn’t a kiss at all. They positioned the camera to look as if William Shatner and Nichelle Nichols were kissing but their lips never actually touched.

Joker94's avatar

If you take the Beatles album Rubber Soul, turn it upside down, and look at it’s reflection in the mirror, the words appear to say “ROAD ABBEY”.
Mickey Mouse was not Walt Disney’s breakout cartoon, it was originally a character named Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. But due to some legal issues, when Walt left to start his own company, he didn’t own the rights to Oswald, thus Mickey was born.
23,945,000 Russians died in World War 2 (Soldiers, citizens, etc. included.)

Dutchess_III's avatar

That was another thing they touched on @KatawaGrey,...that apparently, Nichelle Nichols was a major milestone in a TV show just because she was black. She said that MLK actually went out of his way to meet her….wow. Kudos to my parents that I had no idea until tonight that was “different” or unusual….well, things they was a-changing pretty quick then.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Every three days a human stomach gets a new lining

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Dutchess_III HCL burns through it (hydrochloric acid.)

Dutchess_III's avatar

Oh…that reminds me of a cool fact. H2O is water. If you simply replace one little atom, the Oxygen atom with Chloride, you get HCl, Hydrogen Chloride, which is highly corrosive. BUT, if you take HCl and replace the Hydrogen atom with Sodium you get NaCl—salt. I think nature is just amazing that way. (I haven’t googled anything yet, guys! I NOVA’d, yes, but not Googled…)

Brian1946's avatar

@SuperMouse

“Christopher Walken has an Oscar for best supporting actor (I don’t want to share the movie, see if you can guess!)”

Without looking at the IMDb, I’ll guess “The Deer Hunter”.

Adagio's avatar

NZ has more bookshops per head of population than any other country even I didn’t know that until today.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Edit..I just realized H2O has two Hydrogen atoms. You have to take one of those out for HCL, which is part of the HUGE difference. I still think it’s amazin’

Is NZ New Zeland?

@Brian1946 Hint?

Brian1946's avatar

@Dutchess_III

”@Brian1946 Hint?”

Hint for what?
If you’re asking about the Christopher Walken question, I already gave a very informative hint. ;-p.

Coloma's avatar

Jesus mercy, 24,000,00 Russians killed in WWll. Terrible, terrible, mind boggling terrible.

Coloma's avatar

Cats can see shades of blue, green, yellow and purple.
Reds, Browns and oranges are perceived as shades of gray. No wonder my cats like my green, blue and yellow bedroom the best.

Joker94's avatar

@Coloma My jaw dropped when I finally found out that was truet. I didn’t even believe it when I was first told

Coloma's avatar

@Joker94

I just learned it too a few months ago.

Adagio's avatar

@Dutchess_lll NZ = New Zealand yes yes yes

Austinlad's avatar

I know a tons of movie trivia.
—George Raft turned down the role of “Rick” in “Casablanca (Bogart got it)
—Bela Lugosi, who couldn’t speak English at the time, had to learn his lines phonically for “Dracula”
—Joan Crawford, who looked so tall onscreen, was barely 5 feet
—Manly John Wayne was born with the not-so-manly Marion Michael Morrison
—Bogart’s lisp was the result of a split lip
—Frank Sinatra hated to do more than one take. And when he found out all the scenes in “Carousel” had to be shot twice—once for wide-screen and once for the then-normal ratio—he walked off the picture.
—I could go on and on.

Adagio's avatar

@Austinlad I could go on and on… why don’t you : ^)... when you say split lip do you mean cleft palette? You might be interested in looking at this trailer for a documentary called Smile Pinki

KatawaGrey's avatar

@Austinlad: Fabulous facts! Here are a few more to round out your movie trivia. :)

- Will Smith was originally slated to play Neo in The Matrix but thought the movie would make no money.

- Stuart Townsend was originally slated to play Aragorn in the Lord of the Rings but he backed out a few days before shooting was to begin so they called in the alternate: Viggo Mortensen.

- The character of Captain Jack Sparrow was created for and named after Hugh Jackman who also backed out of this picture.

Qingu's avatar

I have too many.

• Iguanas have two penises. And their pee is a powdery paste.

• Electric cars were invented around the same time internal combustion cars were, and accounted for like a third of car sales in 1900.

• You are more closely related to a starfish than you are to insects or octopuses.

• It is nearly certain that at least one molecule of water you drank today was once drank by Isaac Newton, Jesus Christ, and/or any historical figure you like.

• The Great Red Spot on Jupiter is at least 300 years old, eats other storms to gain their energy, and is three times as large as Earth.

• The atmospheres of Jupiter and Saturn transition smoothly from gas to liquid. Further down, the liquid is compressed into liquid metal.

• The 2010 iPhone 4 is about twice as powerful as the 2000 iMac, which weighed like 30 pounds.

• A perfectly deterministic mathematical function can eventually output random chaos.

• e^πi + 1 = 0

• There are just as many even numbers as there are whole numbers. There are just as many whole numbers as there are integers and fractions. However, there are more real numbers than integers. Both integers and real numbers are “infinite,” but the infinity of real numbers is greater than the infinity of integers.

• Graphene, the 1-atom thick sheet of carbon that recently got some people a Nobel prize, is almost completely transparent, is the thinnest material known to man, but is so strong that a graphene hammock could hold up a cat.

• You have basically the same number of hairs on your body as a chimpanzee.

• Weird kinds of lightning exist high above storm clouds. They include blue jets, giant jellyfish-like orange-red sprites, and spread out pulses called elves.

• Siphonophores are jellyfish that are both one and many. The animals clone themselves, and the clones take on different shapes and then come together to form a single, giant, colonial body, much like how your body is made of individual cells. The longest animal recorded is a siphonophore that looks like a snakelike chain of jellyfish.

• You can put a sponge through a fine-mesh strainer and the individual cells will come back together to form a whole sponge again.

• Italians never cooked with tomatoes before the 1500’s. Tomatoes only grew in the “new world.” Likewise, the Irish never cooked with potatoes before then.

• Nobody knows who wrote the four gospels. The earliest manuscripts are unsigned and undated. Assigning their authorship to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John is a later church tradition.

• The Babylonian cult of Sin practiced “shabatu” days, roughly 4 times a month, that were considered so astrologically potent that you weren’t supposed to work or do anything productive. Sin, the Babylonian moon god, is cognate of “Mount Sinai.”

• The moon came into being when another, smaller planet smashed into Earth during the early days of the Solar System. The impact popped out a “bubble” on the other side, which became the moon.

• The passage of time appears to be a side effect (or epiphenomenon) of a wide-scale increase in entropy.

• Nobody knows how turbulence works. It’s one of the great mysteries in physics and math.

• Orbiting astronauts are pulled by Earth’s gravity almost as much as you are. Thus, they are not in “zero gravity,” they are in constant free-fall.

• Cats have extra eyelids.

• They also have barbs on their penises (to bring it full circle).

Brian1946's avatar

@Qingu

“You can put a sponge through a fine-mesh strainer and the individual cells will come back together to form a whole sponge again.”

Wouldn’t that have to be a living sponge, and not e.g., the one that I’ve been using to wash my dishes?

jerv's avatar

I have a head full of them, but I am too tired to pick just a few and then type them out here right now :p

faye's avatar

I love this question. Hippopotamus sweat is red-colored, you can’t lick your elbow, duck quacks don’t echo and pigs have half hour orgasms. @Coloma no way in my mouth!

faye's avatar

@absalom I tried to google that symbol with no luck so please tell me! I did learn other interesting things!

absalom's avatar

@faye – It’s just a smiley face that links to an elbow-licking video!

Also, duck quacks do echo, now that I look at that other one, although it’s harder for humans to hear. (See here.) Apologies for pedantry.

faye's avatar

@absalom you go ahead, my stuff is from emails and the hippo one from NCIS show!! Love the video! Hippos do. And I do not pee in my mouth!

meiosis's avatar

Heroin was originally a trademark of the Bayer corporation.

All freshwater eels are born in the Sargasso Sea

The USA are the reigning Olympic Rugby Union Champions

OpryLeigh's avatar

Whoopi Goldberg’s real name is Caryn Elaine Johnson. Her nickname, Whoopi, is due to childhood flatulence (whoopi cushion).

Coloma's avatar

@meiosis

Yes! I saw an old ad once from the 1880’s or thereabouts for “Bayers heroin drops for infants.”
Truth is, there were tons of opiate addicted peeps back then with all the ‘elixers’ made from opiates.

sakura's avatar

WOW!! I post a question late at night, can’t access fluther till late the next night and it’s been an answer fest!!! Thanks guys, I knew you were a brainy bunch but how awsome :) I want to know how @Qingu knows that iguanas pee tastes powdery and ewww to @Coloma pee in my mouth!!! disgusting!
THANKS again guys for the VERY fascinating facts LURVE to you all!!

I hope there are plenty more to come :)

Joker94's avatar

-Pacman was originally supposed to be called Puckman. This was not because he was puck shaped, but for the japanese phrase paku-paku which means to flap ones gums. They scrapped the idea and went with Pacman because “Puck” could easily be changed into a different word if vandalized.
-Mario (of the Super Mario Bros.) made his first appearance as the player character in the original Donkey Kong, then known as Jump Man.
-The Flintstones was the first TV show to depict a married couple sleeping in the same bed.
-If you play the ELO song Fire on High backwards at a certain spot, a voice can be heard saying “The music is reversible but time is not. Turn back. Turn back. Turn back.”
-The Pink Floyd album “Division Bell” had a puzzle/treasure hunt nicknamed the Publius Enigma included with it that has gone unsolved to this day.
The creepy-ass similarities between certain events in the lives of JFK and Abraham Lincoln

Austinlad's avatar

By popular demand (at least from @Adagio) a few more movie trivia nuggets:
— Actors Van Heflin and Alan Ladd, who co-starred in “Shane,” were both very short. But Ladd was so much shorter than Heflin that in the scene when the two men are struggling to chop out a huge stump, a trench had to be dug around it so Heflin could stand a little lower than Ladd.
— When Orson Wells directed “Citizen Kane” he was 25 and totally ignorant about movie-making. One of the ways he prepared was to watch director John Ford westerns over and over. He was also the first director in movie history to ask for and get TOTAL CONTROL over every aspect of his film, including casting and editing (due to his reputation, much of it self-proclaimed, as a New York director and actor). But when the film fared poorly at the box office, that control was never given to him again.
—Director Alfred Hitchcock was so miffed at his star in “The Birds” for refusing to sleep with him, that as punishment he continued to reshoot the attic scene with birds attacking her an inordinate number of times, causing her arms and faceto be badly cut. Tippi Hedrin, herself, says it’s true.
—Elizabeth Taylor was the first film star to demand and get one million dollars to star in “Cleopatra”—an amazing sum in 1963. She is credited (or blamed, depending on your viewpoint) for starting the trend of giving actors monster salaries
—Ever notice how darkly lit and partially hidden Marlon Brando is in his scenes in “Apocalypse Now”? It’s because he was grotesquely fat when he showed up on the set. He was paid a million dollars, essentially for only a few days’ work. That movie was cursed in other ways. Martin Sheen almost died from a heart attack, and Dennis Hopper was stoned in every scene.

mattbrowne's avatar

All human beings suffer from inattentional blindness. More than 99.99% of what enters our eyes, ears, nose, skin, even the retrieval of old memories go unnoticed. Our consciousness can only handle 50–100 bits per second.

meiosis's avatar

Placebo ‘painkillers’ with brand names printed on them work better than unbranded placebos.

Unicorns are mentioned several times in the King James Bible.

For every £1 spent by the UK’s National Health Service on men, £8 is spent on women.

The fax machine was invented over 30 years before the telephone.

Qingu's avatar

Ahem. I didn’t say iguana pee tastes powdery, I said it is powdery.

sakura's avatar

Oops ;) read it as powder taste

Dutchess_III's avatar

@meiosis Now, how could the fax machine be invented 30 years before the telephone??

Qingu's avatar

Telegraph?

Dutchess_III's avatar

I wouldn’t think so @Qingu…that would be quite misleading….I think.

Qingu's avatar

Well, here’s what I found: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pantelegraph

If you think about it, it’s not that surprising that people figured out how to send images encoded in electric currents before they figured out sound.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well I’ll be, @Qingu! Thanks so much for sharing that! :)

Oh! OK, when twister was shot, Steven Spielburg tapped a guy from a small down just down the road from us, about 10 miles, to be in charge of all the cars…the modifying and whatever else needed to be done. So any scene you see that involves the cars or the van (which is most of them) that guy from up the road can take credit for it.
We stopped into his tiny, nondescript shop one day, and boy will he talk! He told us lots of fascinating stuff like, there was a van that Spielburg insisted had to be used, but he insisted that it have a sliding panel door. However, the make and model of the van he insisted on using didn’t COME with a sliding panel door. Our guy explained that to him, and he said that Speilburg said, “Did you hear me? I said it will have a sliding panel door!” And so the guy modified it.
One of the more interesting things was that they got dirt patterns on the trucks, but were faced with the problem of making sure the dirt patterns didn’t change over the weeks of shooting. So they sprayed wax over the cars when they had them dirty like they wanted them. He said you could take them through a car wash and they’d come out looking just right and dirty!
There was a lot more, and it was really interesting!

Austinlad's avatar

During the chariot scene in “Ben Hur,” a small red car can be seen
in the distance. And Heston’s wearing a watch.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I just learned this in our local paper. Kansas’ 150th birthday is today, so they’re talking about Kansas history. Kansas was a really pivotal state in the debate over slavery. They decided to leave it up to each state whether to allow slavery or not….well, Kansas said No. Very nice, huh. Yeah. With one caveat….they didn’t want to allow any blacks to even come IN the state!! (Dumbasses!)

Dutchess_III's avatar

This has been bugging me! Would it be like on the border signs: “Welcome To Kansas! Blacks move to the back of the state.”

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