Where strange fact and stranger fiction collide
Do you ever worry because you are surrounded by your friends and they are talking about something banal like politics, sports, or athlete feet fungus. And you think, oh man if only I knew some amazing mind blowing fact to interject into this conversation, then we would all be morbidly happy? Well if you have not, fear not because we here at Dave’s Corner of the Universe’s secret underground complex, (and by We at Dave’s Corner of the Universe’s secret underground complex, I mean me in my room) have thought about that for you. So to save your conversations and friendships we are providing five (5) incredible facts to amaze your friends with, that are granteed and spice up any boring conversations. (Legal disclaimer guarantee valid only in universes where Han shot fist and Wonder Woman gets same compensation for saving the world as Bat Man.)
Johnny Cash was the first American to find out Stalin was dead. In the words of MTV. “Johnny Cash wasn’t just a country legend, he was an American Legend.” And that was even before his Man in Black days. In the Air Force he was part of an intelligence team that intercepted and broke Russian Morris code transmissions, and he was one of the best. To me it makes since that a person whose ears and minds are disposed to listening to musical notes would be really good at listening to coded messages and translating them.
As part of his assignment he intercepted and translated the message that Joseph Stalin the dictatorial leader of The Soviet Union was dead. Another free fact about Johnny, despite his reputation he never spent any time in prison. He did spend a few days in local jails for petty crimes but never more than 24 hours at a time and he never did hard time.
A city destroying death machine was defeated by sewage. When Demetrius I attacked the Greek city-state of Rhodes in 305 BCE, he had a huge siege tower called Helepolis built. (Its name literally means The Capturer of Cities.) It stood 130’-140’ tall and bristled with catapults some of them were able to loft stones up to 180 lbs. on to the city’s walls. This was a Bronze Age equivalent to the Death Star.
Can’t you just hear them going Bwhahaha!
The citizens of Rhodes defeated this behemoth by diverting the sewage of the city to turn the land around it in to a swamp of feces. This slowed down the infernal machine to where archers with burning arrows could drive the wooden contraption away, saving the city. Eventually the bronze rails the Helepolis traveled on was pulled up and melted by the Rhodians and was part of what was used to build part of the Seven Wonder of the Ancient World.
A rock from Oregon lies on the surface of the Moon. Apollo astronauts trained all over the world to prepare them for their trip to the moon, one of these places was the lava deposits of Bend Oregon. There Jim Irwin met and became friends with a man named Floyd Watson. When Irwin was selected to go to the moon on Apollo 15, Watson gave him a piece of Oregon lava to take to the moon with him. When Irwin got back from his lunar trip he sent Watson a picture of the rook on the moon surface with a hand written note that he’d left the rock n the moon.
For a long time NASA denied this story. Irwin never told his NASA bosses the story because he and fellow Apollo 15 astronaut David Scott got in trouble for taking stamps with them on the trip, with plans to sell them to a stamp collector for a small fortune. OPB reporter Sierra Jenkins was able to get NASA to review the pictures of the rock as well as the letter from Irwin and NASA had to admit that the rock was not lunar in origin and the story was almost certainly true.
Black holes where first theorized by Edgar Allen Poe. Yes you read that right black holes where not first envisioned by Einstein but by writer Edgar Allen Poe. He wrote a non-fiction book in 1849, called Eureka: A Prose Poem. Where he proposed an idea similar to what we now call the Big Bang Theory. And that stars might eventually crush themselves with the weight of their own gravity. Now it is true it was pure conjecture on his part and he had no scientific explanations to back up his theories. But good grief man this was frigging 1849!
Poe was also the first to write a response to Olbers’ Paradox. If the universe is infinite and full of stars then why isn’t the night sky white full of starlight? The answer is of course that some of the e stars are two far away to see them. Eureka was not popular during Poe’s life time because many saw it as an attack on religion, and Poe lost some close friends because of its publication.
A real world Federal court ruled the X-Men are not humans. Why would a court get involved in the argument on whether the X-Men were human or not? Why else because of money. The X-men figures like most other toys were made in China and shipped to the US. The terrify law higher on dolls than they were for action figures, and for the purpose of the law the legal definition of a doll was that it was supposed to be a human and that action figures where non-humans.
So Toy Biz the makers the X-Men toys at that time, went to court. With Marvel as their main witness, they argued that they should pay the lower tariffs for the X-Men. The X-Men were ruled to be non-humans for this law, but in a twist that would probably burn Magneto’s chaps fellow mutant Silver Samurai was ruled to be a human, and they had to pay the doll tariff on that figure. Since then the law has been changed and the tariff on action figures and dolls are now the same.
So there you have five amazing facts sure to spice up any boring conversation.