King Otto of Bavaria – who ‘ruled’ from 1886 to 1913, and was quite mad – exercised his right to shoot one peasant every day. Luckily for Bavaria’s peasants, his attendants gave him pistols loaded with blanks and dressed up as peasants, playing dead whenever he ‘shot’ them.
Polish painter, Rafał Bujnowski, painted a photo-realistic self-portrait in black and white, had it photographed and enclosed the picture as his official photo in the U.S.A. visa application form. Eventually, the artist received a passport with a replica of his own painting.
In ancient Phoenician Sardinia, whenever elderly people were no longer able to support themselves, they were given a neurotoxic plant called “sardonic herb” and thrown off of a cliff. It is the source of the term “sardonic grin” because of the facial expression the plant caused following death.
The song “Mambo No. 5″ was initially chosen for 2000’s Democratic National Convention, but this idea was scrapped due to the line “A little bit of Monica in my life.”
To preserve the harvest, Mao Zedong had all sparrows killed (along with rats, flies and mosquitoes) because they ate grain. The result was an ecological disaster that resulted in the birds’ natural prey devouring the harvest.
At a launch site in South Dakota, the entrance to the underground missile launch control center is sealed by a blast-proof door painted like a Domino’s Pizza logo, and hand-lettered text on the door reads “World-wide delivery in 30 minutes or less, or your next one is free”.
A man in Yellowstone has an 800 pound pet grizzly bear named Brutus. Brutus was the best man at his wedding and sits at the table with them at thanksgiving.
Until 1974, it was legal in Texas for a man to kill his wife’s lover if he found them in bed together.