Facts of the Day – December 11, 2014

Facts of the Day – that in 2010 George Lucas said “I am dedicating the majority of my wealth to improving education. It is the key to the survival of the human race.” Two years later, Lucas sold Lucasfilm Ltd. to Disney for 4.05 billion dollars and donated the proceeds to a charity that focuses on education.

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Facts of the Day –  that a German art student illuminated and bound the entire Silmarillion by hand like a 21st-century monastic scribe as his final project.

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Facts of the Day -that the seam on a scrotum is from the fusing together of the proto-vagina in the womb

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Facts of the Day -that chickens have a three digit hand and a tail while in embryo and genes trigger their re-absorption. Scientists are trying to isolate and deactivate these to create a chickenosaurus.

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Facts of the Day -Roasted Nuts” was the paper headline for when a mental hospital caught on fire.

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Facts of the Day -Mobile users in poor countries can access Wikipedia articles without data charges thanks to ‘Wikipedia Zero’. It’s currently operating in 34 countries.

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Facts of the Day -The Pennsylvania Dutch aren’t actually Dutch, they are German. Upon arrival, they were saying “Deutsch” which is German for, well, German. Germany in the their native language is “Deutschland.” English speaking Americans just assumed they were saying “Dutch.”

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Facts of the Day -that in 1894, the London Times predicted that London would be under nine feet of horse manure by 1950

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Facts of the Day – a man tied 45 weather balloons to a lawn chair and packed a gun to shoot himself down. Instead of raising the planned 100 feet he shot up 16,000

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Facts of the Day -oranges are dyed orange when the weather is not cold enough to produce the characteristic skin color.

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Facts of the Day -that “The Final Countdown” was never intended as a hit, but was intended to be used as an opening for their concerts.

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Facts of the Day -that Vin Diesel has been playing Dungeons and Dragons for over 20 years

Facts of the Day –  that if Microsoft had kept the $150 million investment they made in Apple in 1997, it would be worth $21.9 billion today

Steve Jobs, Bill Gates

Facts of the Day – the reason Yukon Cornelius sniffs and licks his pickax in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is because he is searching for peppermint to mine. It the original version he discovers a mine near Santa’s Workshop.

Facts of the Day -ancient Roman concrete is 10 times weaker than modern concrete. The reason structures such as the Colosseum (~70 AD) and the Pantheon (~14 AD) are still standing was the inclusion of a specific volcanic ash in the mixture.

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Facts of the Day -Neso (moon of Neptune) is the farthest moon from its planet in the Solar System. It takes 26 Earth years to orbit Neptune planet once and it is as far away from the planet as the Earth is to Venus.

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Facts of the Day – that Herman Melville’s “Moby Dick” was inspired by a real life aggressive sperm whale called Mocha Dick, a 70-foot long white whale covered in barnacles that possibly survived 100 skirmishes with whalers

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Facts of the Day -there was a fake French reality show in the style of the Milgram experiment, which made real and unwitting contestants shock someone on TV. 80% of them kept shocking the person (who was just an actor), even after he cried out for them to stop. 60% shocked him till he appeared to die.

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Facts of the Day -the RMS Lusitania carried undeclared war munitions as cargo. It was also originally designed to be converted to a warship by the British government

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Facts of the Day -that Robert Morris, “Financier of the American Revolution” and signer of Declaration of Independence, went bankrupt speculating on land and spent 3 years in debtors prison. In 1801 Congress bailed him out.

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Facts of the Day -A Fantastic Four film was made on a low budget in 1994 and never released, allegedly just so the studio wouldn’t lose the rights to the Fantastic Four

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Facts of the Day -The USA owns a 0.012 square km island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean called Kingman Reef

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Facts of the Day -there is an airport in Spain, opened in 2011, that has never been used. Costing 150 million euro’s, it is now a symbol of wasteful spending.

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Facts of the Day -Boston Corbett, the army soldier who killed Lincoln’s assassin John Wilkes Booth, castrated himself with a pair of scissors in order to avoid sexual temptation and remain holy. He then ate a meal and went to a prayer meeting before he sought medical treatment.

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Facts of the Day -there is a lake in the US named Lake Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg

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Facts of the Day -a lot of the popular Christmas songs were originally written by Jews, including Rudolph, Santa Baby, and White Christmas

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Facts of the Day -the word ‘ambidextrous’ actually means “right-handed on both sides”

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Facts of the Day -Only about 500,000 of the estimated 80 million unexploded cluster bombs have been found and cleared in Vietnam.

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