When quirky theatrical producer David Merrick got bad reviews for his 1961 musical, he found 7 random denizens of New York with names identical to those of 7 top theatre critics. He asked the civilians to talk ecstatically of the musical, then published an ad with their praises and names. masterworksbroadway.com/a…
Gremlins were invented by the RAF as mythical creatures who break airplanes, as way to explain random mechanical failures in reports; an "investigation" was even conducted to make sure Gremlins didn't have nazi sympathies historynet.com/gremlins.h…
Only 10% of wine 'experts' can consistently rate the wine from the same bottle in the same way, and they aren't consistent the next year. After analysing results across wine competitions in california, medals were found to be distributed at random. theguardian.com/lifeandst…
The famous Birkin bag was created following the random encounter of actress Jane Birkin and HermΓ¨s creator Dumas on a plane : she complained about the impracticality of her daily bag without knowing who he was and he then made her a brand new black leather bag that became a fashion symbol en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jan…
It's possible to buy random, assorted books "by the foot", for the sake of filling up and decorating otherwise empty bookshelves and libraries, a service typically used by filmmakers and decorators, but also rich people on occasion. theparisreview.org/blog/2…
Looney Tunes voice actor Mel Blanc used to talk to random people on a CB radio (truckers radio). He would often use the nickname β€œBugs” or β€œDaffy” and would talk in said voices accordingly. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cit…
Morphogenesis, the math behind for example a giraffes spots or a zebras stripes. This theory coined by Turing found that these apparently random patterns have a mathematic order. bbcearth.com/blog/?articl…
In 2014 the CDC once found a smallpox sample that they had lost and didn’t even know it. It was just laying around in some random storeroom. npr.org/2014/07/08/329884…
There is a guy who has been offering $200 to anyone who can tell him about this entirely random picture he found on the web in 2002 redpaperclip.com/whoareth…
Queen Victoria gave a random woman Β£3 for having triplets newspapers.com/image/3945…
β€œNatural" Boner Pills (Male Enhancements) such as you find at gas stations are completely unregulated. The β€œbrands” are just generic packaging with pills filled with random Chinese bulk powders by anonymous local people β€œdistributing” to the stores. youtu.be/3WooOIPcRI0
The 2000 one-hit wunder Butterfly (Crazy Town), that sounded strangely like the 1999 Red Hot Chili Peppers' hits, is based on a random 1989 sample from - the Red Hot Chili Peppers. youtube.com/watch?v=3mjZ6…
Famed Chess player Bobby Fischer is such an anti-semite that he once journaled "it’s ... time for vigilante killings of Jews – random killings of Jews." He even drafted a letter to Osama Bin Laden sharing his hatred and is a vehement holocaust denier. chesshistory.com/winter/w…
Fire will burn in a spherical shape In microgravity environments, like space, because without gravity oxygen diffuses with random oxygen molecules drifting into the fire. Absent the upward flow of hot air, fires in microgravity will stay spherical and small science.nasa.gov/science-…
Punxsutawney Phil's accuracy at picking an early spring is lower than random chance. The National Centers for Environmental Information estimate his accuracy at 40%. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gro…
Flipping a coin is not random. It is deterministic, and if we knew all variables at the start, we could easily predict how it will land. youtube.com/watch?v=AYnJv…
There is a town in Wisconsin called Random Lake. It contains a lake called Random Lake. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ran…
Today I learned about an engineering principle called the "Bathtub Curve". It suggests all products have 3 phases of reliability: An early high failure rate that decreases as defects are removed, a period showing intrinsic (random) failure rate, and then an increase in failures as wearout occurs. sciencedirect.com/topics/…
Conan O'Brien won a charity auction for a walk-on cameo role of How I Met Your Mother... he plays a random dude in the background at the bar huffpost.com/entry/conan-…
Radio and TV stations don't have random letters assigned. The K prefix is for stations west of the Mississippi River, and the W prefix is for stations east of the Mississippi River. Military stations use the prefix N. mentalfloss.com/article/2…
An 18th century American businessman published a book in which he ranted about politicians, the clergy, and his wife. It had no punctuation and had random capitalization. In the 2nd edition, he added an extra page with 13 lines of punctuation marks, stating that readers could put them anywhere. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tim…
The song Hook by the Blues Traveler is literally about nothing. The lyrics state that the words have no meaning and are completely random but the inflection and music bed is all that matters. It is a stab at producers wanting catchy $$$ making songs and in turn, became one. music.avclub.com/why-hook…
In 1989 A Soviet Pilot Abandoned His Plane Due To A System Failure Only To Have It Fly 900KM Unassisted And Kill Some Poor Random 18 Year Old Sap Sitting In His House In Kortrijk. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/198…
The clementine is a random cross between mandarin oranges and sweet oranges discovered at an orphanage in Algeria. Father Marie-Clement Rodiers found the new fruit growing in his orphanage’s garden in the late 19th century. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cle…
Astronauts often see random flashes of light in space, even through closed eyes - this is caused by cosmic rays passing through their eyes or optical nerves. Scientists think the light is either generated by Cherenkov radiation or by the ray being powerful enough to activate the optical nerve. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cos…
The opening track to Slipknot’s album β€œIowa” titled β€œ515” wasn’t just random screaming. Sid Wilson was having an emotional breakdown in the studio because he wasn’t able to make it home to tell his grandfather goodbye before he died. revolvermag.com/music/sli…
A DC restaurateur received constant harassing phone calls for years, where a child's voice would threaten his family & friends' lives. His employee's son was attacked by random men & his home vandalized w/ threats. The FBI traced the calls to random phone booths all over DC latimes.com/archives/la-x…
Super Sentai (The Show Power Rangers Uses Footage From) Had A Season End With A Ranger Being Killed By A Random Mugger. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ch%…
Today I learned about an Indian art called Shatavadhana, where a person has to remember and answer questions on a stage from 100 people simultaneously while dealing with distractions in a round robin manner. The tasks vary from making up a poem spontaneously to keeping a count of a bell ringing at random. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ava…
When a random raccoon died in Toronto, people started paying their respects to it and build a small memorial with flowers and candles, even a picture, until the city took away the raccoon corpse. boredpanda.com/dead-racco…
The D.C. Sniper attacks of 2002 were carried out as an attempt for John Allen Muhammad to kill his ex-wife and make authorities believe it was part of a series of random shootings. npr.org/templates/story/s…
Today I learned of the Berners Street hoax: In 1809, Theodore Hook bet his friend that he could make a random house the most famous house in London within a week. He did so by ordering chimney sweeps, piano deliveries, and priests to the address. The ensuing chaos brought London to a standstill. wikipedia.org/wiki/Berner…
Fred Fuchs wasn't some random guy who worked on the Bram Stoker's Dracula video game that was made fun of regularly by James Rolfe's character Angry Video Game Nerd, but is actually a television and film producer who helped make the movie as well as Godfather Part III, among other films. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fre…
Today I learned of Pareidolia, the tendency of people to see faces, animals or objects in random data, such as clouds. The Rorschach test attempts to use this phenomenon to gain insight into a person's mental state. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Par…
Alternative rock band Radiohead created companies with ludicrous names such as "Random Rubbish LTD" and "LLLP LLP" to deal with music income. theguardian.com/music/201…
Joseph Son, known for his role as Random Task in "Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery," received an additional 27 year sentence in prison for beating his cell mate to death. He was already serving a life sentence for torturing a woman, among other charges. bakersfield.com/news/aust…
A stolen Degas painting worth 800,000 euros was found inside of a suitcase in a bus near Paris, during a random search by customs officials. It had been stolen in 2009. None of the passengers admitted to owning it and nobody was arrested. bbc.co.uk/news/world-euro…
During the Irish Potato Famine, the poor were hired for useless construction projects called 'famine follies' in order to provide them with work that would not take existing work away from other workers. These included roads in the middle of nowhere, between two seemingly random points. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fol…
Even though a chess grandmaster can perfectly rearrange a midgame chessboard after seeing it for only 3 seconds, they can't do the same when the pieces are placed at random. They rely on a process called "chunking" (pattern recognition) vs common perception that they have photographic memories. digitalcollections.librar…
Being selected to β€œcome on down” on the Price is Right, is not a random selection. It is actually a vetting process by producers to make sure you are good looking enough for T.V. nypost.com/2013/05/03/mee…
Jenga blocks have random, small imperfections to make the game more challenging. As of 2017, 4.3 billion blocks have been made en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jen…
Ed Sheeran never sells front row seats in order to see the real fans right in front of him. He gives them away to random fans outside so the front row isn't always just wealthy people. news.com.au/entertainment…
CRT screens were used as a form of random access memory in early computers. A grid of dots was used to represent the RAM on the screen and the static created by the dot was read by a thin sheet of metal set in front of the screen. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wil…
Glenn Danzig (frontman for the bands Danzig and Misfts) is a poor homeowner. He tried selling his former house in Los Feliz for $1.2M as is, but it never sold. The outside was in serious disrepair, and the inside was littered with an assortment of toys, cereals, and other random things. consequenceofsound.net/20…
Ingesting random non-nutritious objects is a known disorder. studied and documented. nationaleatingdisorders.o…
Scientists don't agree why humans have dreams during sleep. Sigmund Freud postulated that dreams are repressed frustrations relegated to the subconscious, while two 20/21st Century scientists believe that they are the the brain's attempt to make sense of random neurons firing during sleep. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sle…
Dogs’ facial expressions are not just random face movements. These facial expressions are actually tools to communicate with their owners. According to the study, the researchers inched toward the conclusion that dogs are smiling at us. fatherly.com/health-scien…
'Infinite Monkey Theorem' was tested using real monkeys. Monkeys typed nothing but pages consisting mainly of the letter 'S.' The lead male began typing by bashing the keyboard with a stone while other monkeys urinated and defecated on it. They concluded that monkeys are not "random generators" en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inf…
The famous fake-nose-and-mustache glasses aren't just a random choice of things to disguise your face with, it depicts the face of actor and comedian Groucho Marx, whose mustache and eyebrows weren't real either. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gro…
Before Monty Python settled on "Flying Circus", other ideas included "Owl Stretching Time" and "The Toad Elevating Moment". At one point, Michael Palin had the idea to name it after a random woman from the newspaper, thinking it would be funny for her to find out she had her own TV show. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mon…
Today I learned of Precordial catch syndrome, a condition where you get random harmless stabbing pains in the chest en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pre…
Ancient Sumeria elected 'Substitute Kings' during eclipses to protect the king from a prophecy of death. Once a real king, 'Erra-imitti' suddenly died while eating hot porridge and his substitute, 'Enlil-bani' formerly a random gardener, stayed king for 24 years. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enl…
In a group of 23 random people there is a 50% probability that a pair of the individuals share a birthday - despite there being 365 separate days each person can be born. This is referred to as the birthday paradox. With a group of just 70 people, this probability goes up to 99.9%! en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bir…
The ancient civilization of Assur would choose a random citizen every year by lot to administer the Kingdom. In return for that person's service the year was subsequently named after them instead of being referred to by a number. jstor.org/stable/25651212…
Today I learned about Chess960 or Fischer random chess, where the primary pieces are shuffled at random, while preserving bishops on either color and the right to castle. This variant was introduced to prevent predictability of outcome and resulted in 960 possible starting positions, hence the name. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fis…
The Collyer brothers, Homer and Langley, filled their house with over 100 tons of random objects. Langley constructed a maze of tunnels, complete with deadly booby traps, to protect his brother, who never left his room. Langley was killed by his own traps, and Homer starved to death. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Col…
, the name Isabella, along with it's immediate cognates Isabelle, and Isabel are actually cognates of the common and highly famous feminine name Elizabeth. This also tells us that hypocoristic names such as Izzy and Lizzy aren't just random rhymes. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eli…
The original premise (and artifact title) of Aqua Teen Hunger force, involving the characters solving crime for money, was added because Cartoon Network executives "didn't want to air a show about food just going around and doing random things" en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aqu…
"Humourous" videos showing cats spooked by cucumbers are caused because they are hypersensitive to their surroundings, so the sudden appearance of a random object has them on defence as cucumbers look snake-like. sciencefocus.com/nature/w…
When Naoto Ohshima was put in charge of designing a new mascot for Sega, he traveled to New York City, where he showed a number of his characters to random people in Central Park. The most popular one was a character called "Mr. Needlemouse", who would later be renamed Sonic the Hedgehog. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Son…
- The reason why the very long and straight roads in the U.S have random curves/ zigzags is to correct itself against the curvature of the earth. kottke.org/18/01/us-road-…
The same winning lottery jackpot numbers (4, 15, 23, 24, 35 and 42) were drawn in two consecutive draws in Bulgaria, leading to accusations of fixing, but it was deemed completely random news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/82598…
Computers can only generate 'true random' numbers by measuring unpredictable real-world physical phenomenon such as radioactive-decay or noise, whilst many generate 'psuedo-random' numbers which are not truly random and are produced using mathematical algorithms based on an initial value. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ran…
Today I learned of Hermann Ebbinghaus, a German psychologist known for his research on memory. He created thousands of three-letter "nonsense syllables" such as PIQ or LUF. He would then select some at random, write them down, and attempt to recall them. One set took over 15,000 repetitions to remember. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Her…
Today I learned about the early history of American souvenir shops. Prior to specialized gift shops, visitors often removed random aritifacts as mementos leading to decay. In an effort to combat this activity, George Washington's MT Vernon estate began making items for sale from select trees on site. pgavdestinations.com/2016…
Billy Joel never sells front row seats in order to see the real fans right in front of him. He gives them away to random people in the cheap seats so that front row isn't always just wealthy people. billboard.com/articles/ne…
It is common to have a random toilet in the middle of your basement in Pittsburgh today.com/home/what-heck-…
During screenings of the 1959 film The Tingler, - a film about a creature a creature that gets inside a person’s spine, causing them to feel a tingling which can only be stopped by screaming - buzzers were placed in random seats that caused the audience to feel tingling during the film. nerdist.com/schlock-awe-t…
Cloudflare uses a wall of lava lamps to generate truly random encryption keys for their networks. Every detail about photos of the lava lamps are turned into completely unique and unpredictable strings of characters blog.cloudflare.com/rando…
Pinball machines were officially banned in New York City from 1942 to 1976. Moral crusaders opposed the game because of its association with illegal gambling; before flippers were added to the game in 1947, balls bounced off pins before dropping into random holes on the table. atlasobscura.com/articles…
Today I learned about Mike Larson. A guy that in the 80s went to a game show, cracked their random system and won 3 times more than anyone has ever won on a game show. youtu.be/DnMlSVS9hb4
Ikea's product names aren't random. Each category has a specific type of name in the same grouping and all are real places or words. This started because the founder could remember names better than product numbers. stickybranding.com/how-ik…
"Shuffle" may or may not actually randomize a playlist, depending on the service used. Even if it does, though, it won't feel like it's random. independent.co.uk/life-st…
The law of General Average allows shippers to jettison random goods off a ship in an emergency and that legally, everyone shipping goods on the same ship must share in the cost of the loss equally. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gen…
In 1897, Chinese revolutionary Sun Wen narrowly escaped after failing to overthrow the Qing emperor. He tried to check into a Tokyo hotel without revealing his real name, so he recalled a random nameplate. This alias, Zhongshan, ended up as his official name, now memorialzed everywhere in China theworldofchinese.com/201…
Today I learned every year hundreds of Great White Sharks migrate to a random area in the mid-Pacific ocean and loiter around, no one knowing why. This area has been coined as the "White Shark Cafe'". en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whi…
In 1997 supercomputer Deep Blue made a completely counter-intuitive move against chess player Garry Kasparov that got into his head and may have caused him to lose the match; It was later revealed that a bug caused the computer to make the move at random wired.com/2012/09/deep-bl…
Since the US Senators' terms are staggered, the first Senators were divided into three groups arbitrarily and the "head" of each class chose a random slip of paper from a box indicating when that class' term would end. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cla…
If you play two chess engines against each other, one with a tree search with each position getting a random evaluation, and one that just chooses a random move, the one with the tree search will win more. This is because it has more chance to choose moves with greater mobility. stmintz.com/ccc/index.php…
When dogs get the "Zoomies", it's known as Frenetic Random Activity Periods, or FRAPS, which is pent up energy. pawculture.com/tips-advic…
Dreams are caused by the random firing of neurons in the cerebral cortex during the REM period. The forebrain then creates a story in an attempt to reconcile and make sense of the nonsensical sensory information presented to it. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sle…
The computer program that created the THX "Deep Note" (before a movie screening) was coded to be random. The audio you hear was recorded one time and can never be recreated exactly by that computer again. 20k.org/episodes/thxdeepn…
Today I learned of Tsujigiri or 'crossroad killing' the practice whereby a Samurai would test the sharpness of a new katana by attacking a random passerby. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tsu…
The shopping cart at your grocery store has more germs and bacteria on the handle than what you will find in the public restroom. A study of 85 random shopping carts conducted by Dr. Charles P. Gerba found that 50 percent carried E. coli, while 72 percent contained coliform bacteria. foxnews.com/lifestyle/how…
Male spiders give female spiders gifts of prey wrapped in silk to increase mating success. Wrapping the gift in silk prevents the female from stealing it without copulating and sometimes conceals that the gift is just random trash. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nup…
According to a theory called the Anthropic Principle, the Universe is mathematically attuned to support the emergence of complex life. The theory was first proposed in 1973, on the 500th anniversary of Copernicus’ birthday, and directly challenges the long held belief in a random cosmos. phys.org/news/2015-01-evi…
Today I learned of Toynbee tiles. These tiles are linoleum based imprints in random streets across the world, found in 24 major cities. They are roughly the size of a license plate, and most of them are located in Philadelphia. The person responsible for them has never been caught. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toy…
In 2002 Microsoft forgot to pay to renew one of their domains and a random guy paid the bill so he could check his hotmail. cnet.com/news/good-samari…
The First Computer With Random Access Memory Was Built By The Manhattan Project In Order To Calculate The First Hydrogen Bomb's Specifications atomicheritage.org/histor…
Scarlett Johansson really approached random men while filming Under the Skin (2013), asking them "Are you single? What are you doing tonight?" and offering them a lift. None of them were actors and some of the footage ended up in the film. io9.gizmodo.com/scarlett-…
Legendary UK music duo Artful Dodger lost the rights to their stage name, and two random DJ's have been touring under that name for the last 10 years without having anything to do with the music they're remembered for. theguardian.com/music/201…
Shuffles music playlists aren’t truly random because it would feel less random to humans. independent.co.uk/life-st…
Apophenia is the tendency to mistakenly perceive connections and meaning between unrelated things. This includes pareidolia (seeing a face within an inanimate object) and the Gambler's fallacy (seeing patterns in random numbers that appear in lotteries, card games, or roulette wheels). en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apo…
In 1815, when Napoleon Bonaparte was thrown overboard due to rough seas, a random fisherman's Newfoundland dog jumped into the water from the fisherman's boat and kept Napoleon afloat until he could reach safety. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New…
Today I learned about Spontaneous Glass Breakage, where a piece of tempered glass may shatter at random, due to defects in the glass when manufactured or installed. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spo…
Albrecht II of Bayreuth, a famously cruel ruler once picked a random man from a crowd and ordered him to perform an execution. Due to the severe social stigma attached to executioners he couldn't return to his job as a woodcutter,he was condemned to carry on as an executioner and so was his son en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fra…
During one of Jay Leno's "Jaywalking" segments, he asked random people on the street to name one of the Ten Commandments. The most popular response given was "God helps those who help themselves" (which is not in the Bible). en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God…
When The Simpsons portrayed Mr Burns as a Casino owner slowly losing his mind, they did not just include random "crazy" behaviours. They were all based off a real person, business magnate Howard Hughes. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/How…
Of Filibustering, where wealthy U.S. citizens in the 1800's would form a private military and march into Latin America to take over random cities or countries. One US citizen born in Nashville, Tennessee did this and became President of Nicaragua from 1856 to 1857 en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fil…
Shakuntala Devi aka "the Human Computer" was able to Multiply 2 13 digit #s, picked at random. She answered correctly, 18,947,668,177,995,426,462,773,730 in 28 seconds en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sha…

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