Lisa Kudrow (Phoebe from the sitcom Friends) published an academic paper in neurology the same year that Friends debuted on TV.
In 1958, Bank of America mass mailed 60,000 unsolicited credit cards, with a credit line of $500, to residents of Fresno, California. They chose Fresno so that if the plan failed, it wouldn’t get much media coverage. The program was wildly successful and marked the birth of Visa.
Silent film comedian Buster Keaton got his start in his father’s vaudeville act at the age of 3. His act would be to goad his father into throwing him across the stage, and he became so good at falling that he rarely got bruises. He was eventually billed as “The Little Boy Who Can’t Be Damaged.”
New York City is one of four major cities in the United States whose drinking water is pure enough not to require purification by water treatment plants. The city is supplied with drinking water by the protected Catskill Mountains watershed.
In the 1800’s, sewer-hunters scavenged the London sewers for bones, fragments of rope, miscellaneous bits of metal, silver cutlery, and coins. Paradoxically, the men were strong, robust and even florid in complexion, often surprisingly long-lived–thanks to their strengthened immune systems.
Some marathon runners elect to have their toenails permanently removed. Their level of running causes friction on the toes and results in toenails routinely becoming damaged and detached. To circumvent chronic nail wounds, some people just get rid of them entirely.
Fiji lost its original declaration of independence from the UK and asked a copy from them.
Archaeologists routinely find edible honey in ancient Egyptian tombs – the stuff never spoils, due to extremely low water-content, very low pH, and hydrogen peroxide (made by an enzyme in the bees’ stomachs).
The Secret Service agent who saved President Reagan’s life joined the Secret Service after seeing a movie starring Ronald Reagan as a Secret Service Agent.
In 1995, Isaac Asimov received a letter congratulating him on an accidental prediction of alpha-particle RAM errors in one of his 1950s novel “Caves of Steel”.