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  #1  
Old 01-26-2013, 09:44 PM
don't ask don't ask is offline
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Amazing bullshit true facts that are in fact true.

While reading about something totally unrelated I came across a brief history of Walter Jackson Freeman II and the lobotomy. I was telling people at work all the fascinating facts; the guy who invented this form of brain damage won the Nobel prize for doing so, that the surgery was done with no anaethetic but with a hammer, that many patients died. They sat and believed all this. But they all went searching google because they couldn't believe that Dr Freeman called his personal van the lobotomobile. Too good to be true, eh?

Surely there must be more equally fascinating snippets of information.
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  #2  
Old 01-26-2013, 09:45 PM
PSXer PSXer is offline
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A duck's quack doesn't echo - and no one knows why
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  #3  
Old 01-26-2013, 09:56 PM
interface2x interface2x is offline
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Originally Posted by PSXer View Post
A duck's quack doesn't echo - and no one knows why
Yeah, it does. You'll notice that the link is from the Straight Dope itself.

My favorite "Wow, really?" fact: President John Tyler (1841-1845) currently has two living grandchildren.
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Old 01-26-2013, 09:58 PM
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A duck's quack doesn't echo - and no one knows why
A duck’s quack does not echo.
BUSTED
When examined by an audio-expert, it was found that the echo was "swallowed" by the original quack, due to the very similar acoustic structure between the quack and the echo. Because of this, it may be difficult to tell where the quack ends and the echo begins.


From Mythbusters.
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  #5  
Old 01-26-2013, 09:59 PM
JKellyMap JKellyMap is offline
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Benjamin Franklin invented swim fins.
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  #6  
Old 01-26-2013, 10:32 PM
The Second Stone The Second Stone is offline
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Tom Lehrer invented Jello shots.
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  #7  
Old 01-26-2013, 10:35 PM
ZipperJJ ZipperJJ is offline
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Dr. Ruth was trained as a sniper by the Israeli army.
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  #8  
Old 01-26-2013, 11:27 PM
cochrane cochrane is offline
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Former U.S. Rep. Barney Frank is related to Shemp Howard of the Three Stooges. His father, Sam, was a cousin of Shemp's wife, Gertrude Frank.
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  #9  
Old 01-26-2013, 11:33 PM
Sunspace Sunspace is offline
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Hedy Lamarr co-invented spread-spectrum communication.

Edit: her co-inventor was George Antheil, a musician. The spread-spectrum system was controlled by piano rolls.

Last edited by Sunspace; 01-26-2013 at 11:37 PM..
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  #10  
Old 01-27-2013, 01:24 AM
Joey P Joey P is online now
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Originally Posted by don't ask View Post
While reading about something totally unrelated I came across a brief history of Walter Jackson Freeman II and the lobotomy. I was telling people at work all the fascinating facts; the guy who invented this form of brain damage won the Nobel prize for doing so, that the surgery was done with no anaethetic but with a hammer, that many patients died. They sat and believed all this. But they all went searching google because they couldn't believe that Dr Freeman called his personal van the lobotomobile. Too good to be true, eh?

Surely there must be more equally fascinating snippets of information.
And he did the surgery in a tank top.

I've read about him a few times over the years. If you really go digging you can find videos of the surgeries being done. They aren't for the faint of heart.
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  #11  
Old 01-27-2013, 01:51 AM
buddha_david buddha_david is offline
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Michael Nesmith's mother invented Liquid Paper.
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  #12  
Old 01-27-2013, 04:08 AM
mascaroni mascaroni is offline
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The experiments of Donald Ewen Cameron were quite something. I remember reading of a woman seeing him for a mild case of post natal depression and ending up having multiple EST, being given huge doses of
LSD and then being kept in an induced sleep for months to test his theories.

On a lighter note, there's the Barbados v Grenada Caribbean Cup soccer match from 1994 when, for reasons explained here Grenada were trying to score a goal at either end of the pitch while Barbados were trying to stop them.
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Old 01-27-2013, 04:19 AM
Malacandra Malacandra is offline
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Originally Posted by interface2x View Post
Yeah, it does. You'll notice that the link is from the Straight Dope itself.

My favorite "Wow, really?" fact: President John Tyler (1841-1845) currently has two living grandchildren.
...and he was born in the 1700s. Man born in the 18th century has children in the 19th century who have children born in the 20th century who are alive in the 21st. Two successive generations of men who've been able to say "Yeah, dad was born the century before last".
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  #14  
Old 01-27-2013, 04:43 AM
JKellyMap JKellyMap is offline
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Originally Posted by Joey P View Post
And he did the surgery in a tank top.

I've read about him a few times over the years. If you really go digging you can find videos of the surgeries being done. They aren't for the faint of heart.
"Go digging," huh?
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  #15  
Old 01-27-2013, 08:40 AM
monstro monstro is offline
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I have a website where you can find some crazy things.

Like, did you know that Ireland was a net-exporter of food during the Great Potato Famine?
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  #16  
Old 01-27-2013, 09:11 AM
Yorikke Yorikke is offline
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Originally Posted by PSXer View Post
A duck's quack doesn't echo - and no one knows why
Well done.
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  #17  
Old 01-27-2013, 11:47 AM
postcards postcards is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buddha_david View Post
Michael Nesmith's mother invented Liquid Paper.
Jeremy Clarkson (Top Gear UK)'s mother marketed the stuffed Paddington Bear
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  #18  
Old 01-27-2013, 12:09 PM
astro astro is offline
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Jimmy Stewart movie actor was a hardcore war hero with ice in his veins.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_S...ilitary_honors
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  #19  
Old 01-27-2013, 12:58 PM
Two Many Cats Two Many Cats is offline
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Originally Posted by don't ask View Post
While reading about something totally unrelated I came across a brief history of Walter Jackson Freeman II and the lobotomy. I was telling people at work all the fascinating facts; the guy who invented this form of brain damage won the Nobel prize for doing so,
In a slight clarification, the Nobel Prize was awarded to Antonio Egas Moniz who was nominated by Walter Freeman. Moniz was a mentor to Freeman.

Maybe that's what you meant, but I was a little confused by the wording.
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  #20  
Old 01-28-2013, 12:36 PM
Greg Charles Greg Charles is offline
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Trading scuttlebutt by the office water cooler is rooted in history. On sailing ships of the 19th century and before, the scuttlebutt (a barrel with a hole at the bottom) was the water cooler.
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  #21  
Old 01-28-2013, 01:53 PM
Mahaloth Mahaloth is offline
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The first conscript in World War II was the son of the first conscript in World War I.

Alden C. Flagg Jr., of Boston, held the first number drawn in the U.S. peacetime draft lottery of 1940.

His father, Alden C. Flagg, had drawn the first number in the draft of 1917.
From here.
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  #22  
Old 01-28-2013, 02:00 PM
RealityChuck RealityChuck is online now
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My favorite is that only one U.S. president has an entire department (i.e., province) named after him in country outside of the U.S. He also has a city named after him. And he never set foot in the country involved.


It's Rutherford B. Hayes in Paraguay.
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  #23  
Old 01-28-2013, 02:38 PM
Vicullum Vicullum is offline
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Both Richard Pryor and Matthew McConaugheys' fathers died during sex.
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  #24  
Old 01-28-2013, 02:41 PM
Slithy Tove Slithy Tove is offline
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Everest was originally measured at exactly 29,000 feet, so they added two more for credibility.
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  #25  
Old 01-28-2013, 02:49 PM
Amateur Barbarian Amateur Barbarian is offline
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Edwin Booth, the brother of John Wilkes Booth, once saved the life of Abraham Lincoln's son
Robert.

The Imperial Japanese Navy was a contributor to JFK's assassination.
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  #26  
Old 01-28-2013, 03:18 PM
Doctor Jackson Doctor Jackson is offline
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Originally Posted by Vicullum View Post
Both Richard Pryor and Matthew McConaugheys' fathers died during sex.
That must have been some session!
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  #27  
Old 01-28-2013, 03:29 PM
yellowjacketcoder yellowjacketcoder is online now
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The Imperial Japanese Navy was a contributor to JFK's assassination.
This one is going to need some more explanation, because it's currently getting a
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  #28  
Old 01-28-2013, 03:40 PM
Morbo Morbo is offline
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The Monterey Bay Aquarium released a sea otter into the wild. Shortly thereafter, they observed this otter killing seal pups, then toting the corpse around with it, to occasionally mate with. Then they observed another wild otter doing the same thing. They grew concerned, thinking they had somehow corrputed the otter while in captivity and releasing this odd fetish into the wild where it was copied by other wild otters.

Nope, turns out water runoff nearby the bay had a bunch of flushed cat litter in it, which was making the otters insane. (This is common knowledge now and in fact the bacteria started killing otters, but not when the behavior was first observed in 2000).

You cannot make this shit up.
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  #29  
Old 01-28-2013, 03:50 PM
Malacandra Malacandra is offline
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During the Winter War between the Soviet Union and Finland, a single Finnish sniper accounted for over 500 Russians in less than 100 days, when daylight was short, using a rifle with iron sights. He had half his jaw shot away but lived to the age of 96. At one point the Russians were trying (unsuccessfully) to rub him out with artillery strikes.
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  #30  
Old 01-28-2013, 03:59 PM
Amateur Barbarian Amateur Barbarian is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yellowjacketcoder View Post
This one is going to need some more explanation, because it's currently getting a
Bwa-ha-ha-hahhhh.
JFK, whose health was always frail, managed to get assigned to PT-boat duty in the Pacific. When PT-109 was shot out from under him, he badly injured his back and never really recovered from the injury. For the rest of his life, he wore a truly massive back brace, strapped on by yards of ace bandages, to help control the pain. (You can see in many filmed instances that he turns his whole body, not his head and shoulders.)

When Oswald's second bullet went through his neck, it should have knocked him over, out of range for another shot. (That is, if he hadn't ducked from the sound of the first shot.) But with his exoskeleton holding him up and the limousine traveling down a slight downslope, Oswald had no problem making the third and fatal shot.

So the Japanese finally got him... very indirectly.
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  #31  
Old 01-28-2013, 04:50 PM
Dallas Jones Dallas Jones is offline
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Julia Child was too tall to be enlisted in the Women's Air Corp (WACS) or the Navy WAVES, so she took a typing job at the OSS, Office of Strategic Services, the precursor to the CIA.

She later advanced due to her education and ability and was sent to Ceylon, now Sri Lanka, where she met her husband Paul Cushing Child.
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  #32  
Old 01-28-2013, 05:37 PM
t-bonham@scc.net t-bonham@scc.net is offline
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Originally Posted by monstro View Post
Like, did you know that Ireland was a net-exporter of food during the Great Potato Famine?
Well, duh.
That's why the peasants left in Ireland were starving -- the food was being shipped to England.
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  #33  
Old 01-28-2013, 05:57 PM
colonial colonial is offline
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Originally Posted by astro View Post
Jimmy Stewart movie actor was a hardcore war hero with ice in his veins.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_S...ilitary_honors
Ditto Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.
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  #34  
Old 01-28-2013, 06:00 PM
colonial colonial is offline
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Originally Posted by Vicullum View Post
Both Richard Pryor and Matthew McConaugheys' fathers died during sex.
Ditto Nelson Rockefeller.
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  #35  
Old 01-28-2013, 06:27 PM
Amateur Barbarian Amateur Barbarian is offline
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Ditto Nelson Rockefeller.
Not true! He was sitting up late examining his stamp collection.
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  #36  
Old 01-28-2013, 06:37 PM
Loach Loach is online now
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Originally Posted by astro View Post
Jimmy Stewart movie actor was a hardcore war hero with ice in his veins.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_S...ilitary_honors
That was very well known at the time. He became a bigger star after the war but he was very famous already and an Oscar winner. And he stayed in the Air Force Reserve until the 1960s and retired as a Brigadier General.

Last edited by Loach; 01-28-2013 at 06:38 PM..
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  #37  
Old 01-28-2013, 07:48 PM
rhysf rhysf is offline
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Aphids give birth to baby aphids that are already pregnant with their grand-daughters.

During WW2, the US military funded the development of psychologist BF Skinner's missile guidance system that used the pecks of trained pigeons within the missile's nose cone to direct it.

Around 50% of people harbour an arachnid called Demodex that lives in the hair follicles of your eyelashes and emerges at night to feed on dead skin cells.

Morphine was marketed by the German drug company Merck as a treatment for opium addiction, but turned out to be more addictive than opium. Heroin was marketed by the German drug company Bayer as a treatment for morphine addiction, but turned out to be more addictive than morphine.
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  #38  
Old 01-28-2013, 09:00 PM
Wesley Clark Wesley Clark is offline
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A month before 9/11 the actor James Woods was riding first class on a cross country flight. He noticed several middle eastern men acting strangely during the flight, and reported their behavior to both the airport and legal authorities (although I don't know what kind of legal authorities, FBI, etc), claiming they seemed like hijackers doing a practice run. A month later they were among the 19 hijackers of 9/11.

http://www.snopes.com/rumors/woods.asp

Also Seth Macfarlane (of family guy, american dad, cleveland show) had a seat on a plane that crashed on 9/11, he missed his flight.

Last edited by Wesley Clark; 01-28-2013 at 09:03 PM..
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  #39  
Old 01-28-2013, 09:59 PM
BMalion BMalion is offline
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Abraham Lincoln had a secretary named Kennedy and was raised in a log cabin

John Kennedy once spilled Log Cabin Syrup in his dad's Lincoln!









Thank you, I'll be here all week.
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  #40  
Old 01-28-2013, 10:39 PM
Colibri Colibri is offline
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Ho Chi Minh once worked at a hotel in Harlem.

General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, victor at the Alamo, once lived in Staten Island.

Last edited by Colibri; 01-28-2013 at 10:42 PM..
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  #41  
Old 01-28-2013, 10:42 PM
Vicullum Vicullum is offline
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Russ Meyer, mostly known for directing cheesy softcore flicks featuring women with enormous breasts, began his career as an accomplished war photographer and served during WWII.
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  #42  
Old 01-28-2013, 10:54 PM
GameHat GameHat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by don't ask View Post
While reading about something totally unrelated I came across a brief history of Walter Jackson Freeman II and the lobotomy. I was telling people at work all the fascinating facts; the guy who invented this form of brain damage won the Nobel prize for doing so, that the surgery was done with no anaethetic but with a hammer, that many patients died. They sat and believed all this. But they all went searching google because they couldn't believe that Dr Freeman called his personal van the lobotomobile. Too good to be true, eh?
If you really want a thought-provoking listen, 'My Lobotomy': Howard Dully's Journey

Howard Dully had a transorbital lobotomy in 1960. He speaks here. His voice is a bit flat, but otherwise he sounds mostly normal. But still a sad story.
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  #43  
Old 01-28-2013, 11:31 PM
Wesley Clark Wesley Clark is offline
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Osama Bin Laden visited Indiana back in the 1970s.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus (from Seinfeld) comes from a family of billionaires. Her trust fund makes Paris Hilton's look like chump change.

I have the feeling those are just unknown facts, not bullshit facts.
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  #44  
Old 01-29-2013, 02:40 AM
Floater Floater is offline
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Originally Posted by Indian View Post
... it was found that the echo was "swallowed" by the original quack, due to the very similar acoustic structure between the quack and the echo. Because of this, it may be difficult to tell where the quack ends and the echo begins.
If this was true it would be true for any echo of any sound. I have heard the echo of a duck's quack and had no problems distinguishing between the two.
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  #45  
Old 01-29-2013, 06:33 AM
aruvqan aruvqan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joey P View Post
And he did the surgery in a tank top.

I've read about him a few times over the years. If you really go digging you can find videos of the surgeries being done. They aren't for the faint of heart.
I saw a few back in one of my psych classes [we also went to visit Craig Colony in Sonyea NY - it started as an epileptic colony and turned ito sort of a snake pit by the 70s and into a correctional facility in the 80s]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mahaloth View Post
The first conscript in World War II was the son of the first conscript in World War I.

Alden C. Flagg Jr., of Boston, held the first number drawn in the U.S. peacetime draft lottery of 1940.

His father, Alden C. Flagg, had drawn the first number in the draft of 1917. From here.
Now that is a family with seriously craptastic luck!
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Originally Posted by Malacandra View Post
During the Winter War between the Soviet Union and Finland, a single Finnish sniper accounted for over 500 Russians in less than 100 days, when daylight was short, using a rifle with iron sights. He had half his jaw shot away but lived to the age of 96. At one point the Russians were trying (unsuccessfully) to rub him out with artillery strikes.
Ever read the statistics for the Winter War?

Finland Foreign Volunteers
Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim
337,000–346,500 men
32 tanks
114 aircraft
Casualties and losses
25,904 dead or missing
43,557 wounded
1,000 captured
957 civilians in air raids
20–30 tanks
62 aircraft
70,000 total casualties

Soviet Union Joseph Stalin
Kirill Meretskov
Kliment Voroshilov
Semyon Timoshenko
998,100 men (overall)
2,514–6,541 tanks
3,880 aircraft
Casualties and losses
126,875 dead or missing
188,671 wounded, injured or burned
5,572 captured
3,543 tanks
261–515 aircraft
323,000 total casualties

Finns sort of seriously kicked the Soviet Unions asses.
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  #46  
Old 01-29-2013, 07:20 AM
Hari Seldon Hari Seldon is online now
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Albert Einstein and Leo Szilard coinvented a refrigerator: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Einstein_refrigerator
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  #47  
Old 01-29-2013, 07:50 AM
RealityChuck RealityChuck is online now
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Szillard and Eugene Wigner traveled to Peconic, NY,where Einstein was staying, in order to ask him to sign a letter urging Roosevelt to develop an atomic bomb. When they arrived, Einstein was on the porch, talking to my grandfather.
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  #48  
Old 01-29-2013, 08:30 AM
WordMan WordMan is online now
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Originally Posted by RealityChuck View Post
Szillard and Eugene Wigner traveled to Peconic, NY,where Einstein was staying, in order to ask him to sign a letter urging Roosevelt to develop an atomic bomb. When they arrived, Einstein was on the porch, talking to my grandfather.
Wow! Do you discuss this in previous threads? I remember reading about that situation in the amazing Richard Rhodes book, The Making of the Atomic Bomb, but don't remember the details.
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  #49  
Old 01-29-2013, 08:43 AM
Earl Snake-Hips Tucker Earl Snake-Hips Tucker is offline
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OJ Simpson's first name is spelled "Orenthal," but he pronounced it "o-REN-thee-ul."

Last edited by Earl Snake-Hips Tucker; 01-29-2013 at 08:43 AM..
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  #50  
Old 01-29-2013, 09:16 AM
Amateur Barbarian Amateur Barbarian is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RealityChuck View Post
Szillard and Eugene Wigner traveled to Peconic, NY,where Einstein was staying, in order to ask him to sign a letter urging Roosevelt to develop an atomic bomb.
Next fact: the letter was never used. Szilard left it in his briefcase while talking FDR into the project.
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