Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Some trivia


O J Simpson was to be cast as the Terminator:

In 1984 James Cameron premiered the first of The Terminator series of movies. Arnold Schwarzenegger stars as the Terminator, a cyborg sent back in time from 2029 to 1984 to kill Sarah Connor whose son will, in the future, become the leader of the resistance, of the humans against the machines.

Originally, Orion Pictures co-founder Mike Medavoy offered the part to former NFL player and actor O J Simpson.

Cameron nixed the casting, feeling that having an African American man play a character intent on murdering a white woman would alienate audiences, even though it was a fictional story about a time-travelling cyborg. According to Cameron in an interview with The Guardian newspaper:
"Mike Medavoy at Orion called me up one night and said, 'I just went to this party and I got the movie cast!' Now, of course, every filmmaker loves to hear that some douche executive has cast your movie for you. And he said, 'OK, O. J. Simpson for the Terminator.' I was like, 'Hey Mike, Bad idea! You're going to have this black athlete chasing this white girl around LA with a fricking knife and a gun? We're not doing that.' "Which was fortunate, but also unfortunate in that life ended up imitating art there."
In 1995 Simpson was acquitted of the murders of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman. The families of the victims subsequently filed a civil suit against him, and in 1997 a civil court awarded a $33.5 million judgment against Simpson for the victims' wrongful deaths.

Spy cats:

Acoustic Kitty was a CIA project launched by the Central Intelligence Agency Directorate of Science & Technology, which in the 1960s intended to use cats to spy on the Kremlin and Soviet embassies. 

In an hour-long procedure a veterinary surgeon implanted a microphone in the cat's ear canal, a small radio transmitter at the base of its skull and a thin wire into its fur. This would allow the cat to innocuously record and transmit sound from its surroundings. Due to problems with distraction, the cat's sense of hunger had to be addressed in another operation. Victor Marchetti, a former CIA officer, said Project Acoustic Kitty cost about $20 million. The project was cancelled in 1967, the project being disclosed in 2001, when some CIA documents were declassified.

The first Acoustic Kitty mission was to eavesdrop on two men in a park outside the Soviet compound on Wisconsin Avenue in Washington, D.C. The cat was released nearby, but was hit and allegedly killed by a taxi almost immediately.

Things go better with Coke:

Started in 1886, Coca-Cola was originally intended to be consumed as a syrup to cure common ailments, and even once contained up to nine mg of cocaine per serving. 

Eventually, the creator, John Pemberton, realized that while it didn't do much to cure ailments, when mixed with soda water it produced a tasty sweet, fizzy drink.

John Pemberton, the original inventor of Coca-Cola

The drink's name refers to two of its original ingredients, which were kola nuts (a source of caffeine) and coca leaves. A Spanish drink called "Kola Coca" was presented at a contest in Philadelphia in 1885, a year before the official birth of Coca-Cola.The patent for this Spanish drink was bought by Coca-Cola in 1953.


Charles Francis "Chuck" Feeney (1931 - ) made a fortune as a co-founder of the Duty Free Shoppers Group, which pioneered the concept of duty-free shopping. Notwithstanding his wealth, he is known for his frugality, living in a rented apartment, not owning a car or a house, flying economy-class and carrying his reading materials in a plastic bag.

As a result of a business dispute, it was revealed in 1997 that for many years Feeney had been giving away his fortune in secret, mostly to help underprivileged kids go to college. Over the course of his he has given away 99% of his 8 billion dollar fortune and is now worth only 2 million dollars.


The Sun and the Moon appear to be the same size in the sky because of an amazing coincidence: the Moon is 400 times smaller than the Sun but 400 times closer.

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