Feed Your Brain With These Fascinating Facts

December 17, 2015 | 35 Comments » | Topics: Interesting

While John and Clarence Anglin, 2 of the 3 men who ever escaped from Alcatraz, were officially reported to have drowned in the bay, their mother received flowers anonymously every Mother’s Day until she died, and two very tall unknown women were reported to have attended her funeral. (source)

According to Unsolved Mysteries, a day after the escape a man claiming to be John Anglin had called a lawyer in San Francisco and wanted the lawyer to arrange a meeting with the US Marshals’ Office. When the lawyer refused to do this, the person hung up. The sister of the brothers, Marie Anglin Widner, has told the media she believes that the brothers attented their mother’s funeral in 1973, disguised as women. On October 12, 2015, the History Channel premiered a documentary about the 1962 Alcatraz escape, focusing on John and Clarence Anglin and the possibility that their escape was successful. The program, Alcatraz: Search for the Truth provided viewers with evidence kept by the brothers’ family that included: Christmas cards signed by “John” and “Clarence”; an audio tape of a childhood family friend, Fred Brizzi, telling the family in the early 1990s about a chance encounter in 1975 with the brothers in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; a photograph taken by the same family friend in 1975 of two men resembling John and Clarence Anglin.

Here is the Christmas card



When Cristiano Ronaldo was asked to donate his cleats for a charity auction benefitting 10-year old Erik Ortiz Cruz, who had a brain disorder that can cause 30 seizures a day, he instead paid the whole $83K for his surgery. (article)

Cristiano Ronaldo tops list of world’s most charitable sports stars…Real Madrid star beats Serena Williams, Neymar, LeBron James and Dan Carter to title of world’s most charitable sports star



In 1944, the British conceived a plan to assassinate Hitler while he was staying at his vacation residence. However, they ultimately decided against it as Hitler was such a poor strategist at that stage that they believed whoever replaced him would do a better job of fighting the Allies. (source)

Thornley also argued that Germany was almost defeated and, if Hitler were assassinated, he would become a martyr to some Germans, and possibly give rise to a myth that Germany might have won if Hitler had survived. Since the idea was not only to defeat Germany but to destroy Nazism in general, that would have been a highly undesirable development.



Thomas Jefferson had his own version of the bible that omitted the parts of the bible that were “contrary to reason” including the resurrection and other miracles. He was only interested in the moral teachings of Jesus and nothing more. (article)

The Jefferson Bible



There were 6500 veteran suicides in 2012, about 17.8 suicides a day. (article)

More veterans have committed suicide than have died in active duty combat roles since the 90’s.

The Veterans Crisis Line is (800) 273-8255, it’s always staffed and is available for friends, family, and Veterans.



There is a Santa Claus University that teaches professional Santa Claus skills like toy knowledge, poses, and how to avoid law suit. A top-level Santa Claus can make up to $100,000 a year.



if Apple didn’t hold $181B overseas, it would owe $59B in US taxes (article)



Scientists recreated a 9th century onion and garlic eye remedy from an Anglo-Saxon manuscript, and found that it killed 90% of antibiotic-resistant staph bacteria (MRSA). (article)

Awesome Radiolab Podcast about this



Japanese Death Row Inmates Are Not Told Their Date of Execution. They Wake Each Day Wondering if Today May Be Their Last (article)

 Decisions about who is to be executed and when often seem arbitrary, but when the order eventually comes, implementation is swift. The condemned have literally minutes to get their affairs in order before facing the noose. There is no time to say goodbye to families. Because the orders can come at any time, the inmates, in effect, live each day believing it may be their last. 



A man memorized the French dictionary to win the French Scrabble Championship, he does not speak French (article)



Wrestler Chris Benoit had such severe traumatic damage to his brain that it resembled the brain of an 85 year old Alzheimers sufferer when he murdered his wife and child.

Its kind of scary that all these years we spent watching him doing his flying headbutts, we were actually watching man damaging his brain to the point that he wiped out his family and committed suicide.



Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein published a best-selling romance novel that spawned a twenty-episode TV series and a stage musical. (source)

The book was called “Zabibah and the King.” It was a love tale set in medieval Iraq, set around the 7th or 8th century in Tikrit, Saddam’s home town. It was written in 2000, but the author remained anonymous. It was only after Hussein showed interest in his literary ventures and the heavy influence of Hussein’s life in the book that it was believed to be written by their leader. This rumor prompted sales of the cheap book, making it a bestseller.

Even the Central Intelligence Agency thought that the book was written by Hussein himself, perhaps with the help of some ghostwriters. They went through the book with a fine-tooth comb, using the text to analyze and gain insight into Saddam’s mind and thought process.



There is a non-profit organization called “House With A Heart” that takes in and cares for senior dogs, many with special needs, that have been abandoned by their owners. The facility operates as a hospice, seeing to it that older dogs are not consigned to dying in shelters, or worse



Steve Jobs wife is the largest shareholder in The Walt Disney Company. She has more shares in Disney than in Apple. (article)

For the record, the article says her shares are worth $9.5 billion. But if she still has 131 million shares, according to current share price of $112.16, that’s $14,692,960,000. $14.7 Billion worth of Disney.