2. Percy Spencer’s father died when he was just a baby, his mother subsequently abandoned him. He never finished grade school and was put to work at a mill when he was only 12. That didn’t stop him from receiving hundreds of patents including the one for the microwave. He figured that one out by accident when he walked by a radar tube and felt a candy bar melt in his pocket.
3. Another boy who had to drop out of school at age twelve was Al Capone (i.e. Scarface), who became a very successful “used furniture dealer”, or at least according to what he had printed on his business cards.
4. Almost all of the clocks in the movie Pulp Fiction are stuck on the time 4:20.
5. Would you be freaked out if your baby was born with a set of fully formed teeth? If so, you’ve got something in common with Betsy Ross’ mother who thought it odd when little Betsy arrived with developed chompers. Perhaps the soon-to-be famous seamstress (who was actually an upholsterer by trade) knew she’d have to grow up quickly, as she lived a very tumultuous and tragic life. Her first two husbands died at war, while her third was disabled by war injuries leaving Betsy to care for him until he died, leaving her thrice widowed. Her first child died, and most of her subsequent children died in infancy as well. Betsy eventually went blind. No one could ever accuse Betsy of being a quitter though. In spite of all her years of trouble, Betsy continued to run a prosperous upholstery and flag-making business for most of her life.
6. Donald Duck's middle name is Fauntleroy. While it’s not commonly known how Donald feels about his middle name, he’d probably sum it up with either “Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy!" or "Aw, phooey!” Which are two of his few sayings that are actually intelligible.
7. The names of the continents (Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Antarctica, Europe, and Australia) all end with the same letter with which they start. Of course in order for this random fact to stand you have to leave out the North/South differentiation of the Americas.
8. The popular name Wendy was made up for the book "Peter Pan". There was never a recorded Wendy before, although some say it could have been used prior as a nickname for Gwendolyn.
9.A polar bear, also known as the white bear, is not actually white. A polar bear's skin is black. Its individual fur strands are in fact clear. Polar bears only look white because of an optical illusion, similar to the way clouds made of clear water appear to be white.
10. Batteries were supposedly invented around 200 years ago, so scientists and historians can’t explain why a 2,000 year-old battery was found in ancient ruins near Baghdad. The curiosity, known as the “Baghdad Battery”, was found in the ruins of a Parthian village and is dated at between 248 B.C. and 226 A.D. The battery consists of a 5-1/2-inch high clay vessel with a copper cylinder inside held in place by asphalt, and inside of that is an oxidized iron rod. Experts who examined it discovered that if you put vinegar or any other acid or alkaline liquid inside the vessel it produces up to 2 volts of electricity. If connected, these primitive batteries had the potential of creating a much greater charge. The relic, along with others found, have been authenticated. The only controversy is what the device was used for. Theories range from electroplating gold, to acupuncture, but no one really knows. If the device was indeed used as a type of battery, the real question is how was the technology lost, and not rediscovered for another 1,800 years?
TrackBack URL for this entry:
Listed below are links to weblogs that reference 10 Random & Obscure Facts: June 1: