Factropolis -- A new fun fact every day!

Friday, April 30, 2010

In a very early draft of Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones carried brass knuckles instead of a bullwhip.

See also:
- Indiana Jones Official Site

keywords: entertainment, film, george lucas, steven spielberg, harrison ford, famous people, movie, movies, idol, trivia, fun fact, fact of the day

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Adolph Hitler played chess daily. He always played the white pieces, and insisted on being allowed to replace one of his bishops with a second queen.

See also:
- Chess.net

keywords: entertainment, history, famous people, government, nazi, world war ii, holocaust, germany, game, trivia, fun fact, fact of the day

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Gustave Eiffel, designer of the Eiffel Tower, enjoyed a successful career as an architect despite having dyslexia and a paralyzing fear of heights.

See also:
- Eiffel Tower official site

keywords: science and technology, history, famous people, culture and places, france, french, architecture, engineer, phobias, acrophobia, statue of liberty, dyslexic, trivia, fun fact, fact of the day

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt was so convinced the White House was haunted that she kept a vial of holy water on her nightstand.

See also:
- Eleanor Roosevelt

keywords: president, theodore roosevelt, history, famous people, religion, government, white house, haunting, ghost, supernatural, sleep, anna eleanor roosevelt, trivia, fun fact, fact of the day

Monday, April 26, 2010

On Christmas Day, 1968, a scheduling mixup left Checkpoint Charlie unmanned for 12 hours.

See also:
- Checkpoint Charlie Museum

keywords: history, government, cold war, berlin, germany, east germany, west germany, berlin wall, wwii, world war ii, friedrichstraße crossing point, checkpoint alpha, checkpoint bravo, gdr, army, trivia, fun fact, fact of the day

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The site where the Parthenon was built had to be cleared of hundreds of dinosaur bones (then called giants' bones) before construction could begin.

See also:
- The Parthenon
- Prehistoric life

keywords: science and technology, history, nature, culture and places, terrible lizards, ancient greece, greek, architecture, doric, ionic, corinthian, columns, perikles, pericles, gods and goddesses, metopes, archaeology, pathenon, hadrosaurus, bone wars

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Red Baron wasn't particularly patriotic - he just wanted to fly. He applied to both the German Army Air Service and the British Royal Air Force.

See also:
- NOVA: Who killed the Red Baron?

keywords: manfred albrecht freiherr von richthofen, military, history, famous people, government, fighter pilot, flying ace, dog fight, luftwaffe, oswald boelcke, pour le mérite, the flying circus, lieutenant wilfrid "wop" may, cedric popkin, australian 24th machine gun company, vickers gun, peanuts, snoopy, la baron rouge, le diable rouge, petit rouge, red knight, der rote kampfflieger, world war i, trivia, funa fact, fact of the day

Friday, April 23, 2010

The practice of shrinking heads, strongly associated with primitive tribes of South America, was also a common custom among the Knights Templar.

See also:
- Shrunken Head Museum

keywords: entertainment, science and technology, history, religion, nature, culture and places, shrunken heads, tsantsa, headhunter, head hunter, headhunting, mandibular prognathism, poor fellow-soldiers of christ and the temple of solomon, dan brown, the da vinci code, military, death, middle ages, trivia, fun fact, fact of the day

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Princess Diana had her navel pierced - and fitted with a 2.8-carat diamond stud - just a few hours before her fatal accident.

See also:
- TIME: 100 Heroes

keywords: famous people, government, lady di, princess of wales, england, death, dodi al-fayed, diana frances spencer, paparazzi, royalty, royal house of windsor, prince william, prince harry, prince charles, car crash, tunnel, conspiracy, belly button, jewelry, fad, fashion, trivia, fun fact, fact of the day

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Archimedes endured a tragic fate at the hands of drunken Roman soldiers. After forcing him to cut off and eat his own nose, they boiled him in oil.

See also:
- Archimedes

keywords: greek mathematician, physicist, engineer, astronomer, philosopher, greece, rome, scientist, 287 bc-212 bc, syracuse, screw, mirrors, heat ray, war, death, torture, trivia, fun fact, fact of the day

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The striped mittenfish, a deepwater species recently discovered in the Java Sea, can change its sex at will by turning its entire body inside out.

See also:
- Hermaphroditic Fish

keywords: sexuality, nature, indonesia, java and sumatra, hermaphrodite, hermaphroditic, animals, deep sea, rare fish, new species, sunda shelf, mate, mating, trivia, fun fact, fact of the day

Monday, April 19, 2010

Counterculture icon Timothy Leary was afraid of barbers. He learned to cut his own hair at the age of nine, and never again visited a barbershop.

See also:
- Official site of Timothy Leary

keywords: entertainment, drugs, lsd, psychology, hippie, famous people, turn on, tune in, drop out, barber, trivia, fun fact, fact of the day

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The lion used in the original MGM movie logo killed its trainer and two assistants the day after the logo was filmed.

See also:
- MGM official site

keywords: entertainment, history, nature, lion, metro-goldwyn-mayer, cinema, leo the lion mascot, slats, animals, movie, movies, studio, film, hollywood, trivia, fun fact, fact of the day

Saturday, April 17, 2010

In 2004, a lab at a university in Texas received a $6 million federal grant to breed radioactive armadillos for possible use in warfare.

See also:
- Texas Parks and Wildlife

keywords: science and technology, nature, government, research, radiation, war, terror, weapon of mass destruction, george w. bush, white house, republican, nuclear, geiger counter, trivia, fact of the day, fun fact

Friday, April 16, 2010

In 1903, a stone phallus weighing 2.2 tons was unearthed in rural Ohio.

See also:
- Archaeological Institute of America

keywords: history, culture and places, archeology, phallic, sexuality, native americans, mesoamerica, archaeology, indian, art, carving, ancient, trivia, fertility, fun fact, fact of the day

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Sesame seeds were so prized during the Middle Ages that in some parts of the world they were worth their weight in gold.

See also:
- Ancient Trade Routes

keywords: spice trade, spice routes, food preservation sesamum, sesame oil, history, food and drink, culture and places, trivia, fun fact, fact of the day

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The face of Uncle Sam, the fictional personification of the United States, was modeled after a door-to-door salesman from Canada.

See also:
- Library of Congress: Uncle Sam

keywords: history, famous people, culture and places, government, america, mascot, i want you for u.s. army, poster, art, frank bellew, thomas nast, trivia, fact of the day, fun fact

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

At the 2006 World Gourmand Expo, Asian desserts took last place in every category: taste, texture, aroma, appearance and presentation.

See also:
- The Food of Asia

keywords: food and drink, culture and places, asia, cuisine, chopsticks, grass jelly, pat bing soo, china, thailand, cambodia, trivia, fun fact, fact of the day