Random Facts Dump

I keep a text file on my desktop with random facts I pull from the Internet. I always figure I’ll use them later on this site. They’ve been building up for a while now, so let me go ahead and dump them here:

– The 2006 independent film Zyzzyx Road is the lowest grossing American film of all time. Starring Leo Grillo, Katherine Heigl and Tom Sizemore, it officially earned $30 at the box office. In reality it actually only earned $20, because Grillo refunded the $5 ticket price to makeup artist Sheila Moore and a friend.

– In the 1984 presidential election, Ronald Reagan won every state except Minnesota… and he only lost that state (Walter Mondale’s home) by 3,761 votes!

– The British band Madness’ first 20 singles all made the Top 20 in the UK charts. In fact, from 1980 to 1986, there was a Madness single in the British charts in 214 out of 312 possible weeks. That’s staggering.

– Songwriting credits for Bob Marley’s “No Woman, No Cry” were credited to “Vincent Ford”, a longtime friend of Marley’s and the owner of a soup kitchen. Marley’s act insured that his friend (and his soup kitchen) would be financially stable for life.

– Shasta Beverages, Inc. is one of the few American companies that has never changed its slogan (“It hasta be Shasta”).

– The video for the Eurythmics’ song “Who’s That Girl?” features Annie Lennox singing in a cabaret while her “man” (bandmate Dave Stewart) sits in the audience flirting with several women. The women Stewart cavorts with: Stewart’s future wife, Siobhan Fahey of Bananarama; Cheryl Baker and Jay Aston of Bucks Fizz; Kiki Dee (of “Don’t Go Breakin’ My Heart” fame); Hazel O’Connor; Kate Garner of Haysi Fantayzee; Thereza Bazar of Dollar and Boy George’s friend and protege Marilyn (who is actually a man). The two other members of Bananarama can also be seen in the video. Interestingly, Jacquie O’Sullivan (Fahey’s eventual replacement in Bananarama) is also in the video.

– The entire continent of South America lies to the east of Atlanta, Georgia. In other words, if you got in a plane in Atlanta and flew directly south, you’d eventually be flying down the western coast of the continent.

– Aokigahara (also known as the “Sea of Trees”) is a forest at the base of Japan’s Mount Fuji. It is Japan’s most popular place to commit suicide, and the third most popular place to off yourself in the entire world. Since the 1950s, more than 500 people have killed themselves there, with a record 78 people killing themselves in 2002.

– Greece devotes 60% of its cultivated land to olive growing.

– A single 3 minute MP3 file encoded at 128kbps would require 40,960 old-fashioned “punch cards”. To play the song without skips, the card reader would have to accept and process 228 cards per second. Storing the cards would require 21 standard punch card boxes, which would stand 5’9″ (1.75 meters) tall. A modern 3G iPod Shuffle, by contrast, can hold almost 1000 songs in an aluminum box shorter and skinnier than a standard house key.

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