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Bizarre Fact #61:
Did you know...
Tiger Woods' real first name is Eldrick. His father gave him the nickname "Tiger" in honour of a South Vietnamese soldier his father had fought alongside with during the Vietnam War.

Bizarre Fact #62:
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Tycho Brahe, a 16th century astronomer, lost his nose in a duel with one of his students over a mathematical computation. He wore a silver replacement nose for the rest of his life.

Bizarre Fact #63:
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Valentina Tereshkova was the first woman to enter space. She spent three days in space and completed forty-eight orbits of Earth.

Bizarre Fact #64:
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Weatherman Willard Scott was the first Ronald McDonald.

Bizarre Fact #65:
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When the First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt, received an alarming number of threatening letters, soon after her husband became President at the height of the Depression, the Secret Service insisted that she carry a pistol in her purse.

Bizarre Fact #66:
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Spacewar is generally considered to be the first video game. Programmed in 1962 by MIT student Steve Russell, Spacewar was a simple game with ASCII graphics where two players would blast lasers at each other. At the time, the game only ran on massive, million-dollar mainframes the size of a small house. Spacewar was circulated to other computer labs across the country, but only nerdy college students with access to mainframes could play it.
1962 was also the year in which University of Utah student Nolan Bushnell received his first exposure to video games, playing Spacewar in the University's computer lab. Bushnell spent the next seven years trying to reproduce Spacewar on a smaller, less expensive computer. When it was finally completed in 1971, Bushnell's Spacewar variation (dubbed "Computer Space"), bombed. For one thing, people found it too complicated. Bushnell gave up on it, quit his job at Ampex and founded Atari in 1972. Bushnell originally wanted to name the company Syzygy, but the name was already taken by a roofing company. That same year, Magnavox quietly released the Odyssey, the first home video game system. It had a game similar to Pong, and Magnavox later sued Atari for "copying" it (they won).
Bushnell and Atari engineer Al Alcorn placed a prototype of their game in Andy Capp's Tavern, a Sunnyvale, California bar. Alcorn began work a home version of Pong. His project was code named "Darlene" after a female coworker that worked with Alcorn at the time. In the fall of 1974, Alcorn began developing the "Darlene" system. Several months later Atari released Home Pong.

Bizarre Fact #67:
Did you know...
Q-TIPS Cotton Swabs were originally called "Baby Gays." In 1922, Leo Gerstenrang, an immigrant from Warsaw, Poland, who had served in the U.S. Army during World War I and worked with the fledgling Red Cross Organization, founded the Leo Gerstenrang Infant Novelty Co. with his wife, selling accessories used for baby care. After the birth of the couple's daughter, Gerstenrang noticed that his wife would wrap a wad of cotton around a toothpick for use during their baby's bath and decided to manufacture a ready-to-use cotton swab. Gerstenrang developed a machine that would wrap cotton uniformly around each blunt end of a small stick of carefully selected and cured non-splintering birch wood, package the swabs in a sliding tray type box, sterilize the box, and seal it with an outer wrapping of glassine (later changed to cellophane). The phrase "untouched by human hands" became widely known in the production of cotton swabs.

Bizarre Fact #68:
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A device invented as a primitive steam engine by the Greek engineer Hero, about the time of the birth of Christ, is used today as a rotating lawn sprinkler.

Bizarre Fact #69:
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A machine has been invented that can read printed English books aloud to the blind, and it can do so at speed half again as fast as normal speech.

Bizarre Fact #70:
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According to company lore, Ole Evinrude, a Norwegian immigrant, got the idea for an outboard motor while on a picnic with his sweetheart Bessie. They were on a small island in Lake Michigan, when Bessie decided she wanted some ice cream. Ole obligingly rowed to shore to get some, but by the time he made it back the ice cream had melted. So Ole built a motor that could be attached to his rowboat, and founded the Evinrude company in 1909.


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