Completely Random Facts of the Week – Issue 58

April 12, 2016

randomfactsheader58The weekly collection of random and fun facts.  In this week’s edition: Samsung Origins, Wombat Poop, Moaning Myrtle, Daniel Webster Denied, and Van Morrison’s Quick Album

samsungSamsung, the Korean electronic giant which means “three stars” in Korean, hasn’t always been in the business of electronics. It would have been impossible anyway since the company was founded in 1938, far before a boom in electronics. Samsung instead had rather humble beginnings by exporting dried fish, fruit, and vegetables to China.

Byung-Chull Lee began the company in Taegu, Korea, and while it began as export company, Samsung grew to own flour mills, manufacturing operations, and confectionery machines in only ten years. The electronics side of the business wasn’t a blip on the company’s radar quite yet, and by the early 1970s, they had expanded into the petrochemical, heavy manufacturing (shipbuilding), and chemical industries. In the late 1970s, Samsung Electronics was established and became a major exporter of home electronics, and the company expanded again into the aerospace and semiconductor industries. Today Samsung is one of the top five electronics companies in the world. And to think it started with some dried fish.  Source

Wombat poopThere’s nothing more fun than talking about interesting poop, and the wombat has some of the most interesting poop around. Their poop is shaped like a cube. They make about 80-100 of them per day and use them to mark their territory. The cube-shaped scat allows the wombat to mark their territory without it rolling away. That way when the wombat does their business on a rock, ledge, or any other precarious spot, the poop stays put, warning other animals to its presence and to help with the all important task of alerting a mate.

Wombats are heavy sleepers and doze up to 16 hours every day. Since their diet brings in relatively little energy, wombats have to conserve their energy, which probably explains why they need to sleep so much. When they are awake, they do their work at night finding food. Wombats are also the largest animal that burrows, and they spend most of their time underground in tunnels and burrows they’ve dug, called warrens. See? Poop is interesting.  Source

Moaning MyrtleMoaning Myrtle, from the Harry Potter movies, was played by Shirley Henderson, and at 37-years old, she has been the oldest actress to portray a student. In an interview with the BBC, Henderson said that the voice for Moaning Myrtle wasn’t based on anyone and that she came up with it out of her head.Henderson has an extensive body of acting work in TV and movies. Some of her more notable roles were in Trainspotting (1996), Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001), Marie Antoinette (2006), and of course Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002). She’s set to be in the 2016 movie Bridget Jones’s Baby.  Henderson has won 10 different film awards.  Source

Daniel WebsterDaniel Webster doesn’t look happy, and he had a good reason. In the mid-1800s, Daniel Webster ran for president and lost three times. He later declined the Vice Presidency twice, once with William Henry Harrison in 1840, and later with Zachary Taylor in 1848, thinking it was a worthless endeavor. Both presidents who offered him the VP spot later died in office. John Tyler got the nod to be president following Harrison, the first president to die in office, and Millard Fillmore became president after Taylor died in office. As a side note, Fillmore was the last Whig party president, and the only Whig president who didn’t die in office or get expelled by the Whig party. So Daniel Webster missed out on being president two different times since he didn’t want to be vice-president. Those are the breaks sometimes.  Source, Source

MorrisonIn 1967, Singer Van Morrison still owed his solo record label, Bang Records, 31 songs to finish his contract. Morrison was wanting to go to Warner Brothers but was still contractually obligated to Bang Records for the songs. To get out of the contract, Morrison went into the studio, and in one session wrote and recorded 31 nonsensical songs on the spot. He recorded whatever happened to be on his mind at the time. Some of the songs were named, “Want a Danish?”, “Chicken Coo”, “Ring Worm”, and “Dum Dum George”. Source, Source

That’s it for this week’s edition. Spread the word about your new-found facts to anyone that is willing to listen.

Need more random facts? Check out more from the Random Facts of the Week.

About the author 

Daniel Ganninger - The writer, editor, and chief lackey of Knowledge Stew, the author of the Knowledge Stew line of trivia books, and editor of Fact World and the Knowledge Stew sister site on Medium, our ad-free subscription sites. I hope you learn many new things here that add to your knowledge.

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