Completely Random Facts of the Week – Issue 66

August 22, 2016

randomfacts66In this edition of the Random Facts of the Week: The Amazing Liver, Ulysses S. Grant’s Real Name, Los Angeles Moving North, Chances of Getting in the NFL, and Brilliant Boss Hogg.

liverThe liver is the only human internal organ capable of natural regeneration of lost tissue. As little as 25% of a liver can regenerate into a whole liver. Damaged areas of the liver can be replaced by new cells. When too much of the liver has been damaged from toxins or disease it can’t regenerate itself and the only other solution is a liver transplant. It’s ability to regenerate has been recorded to the time of Prometheus and Greek mythology.

The liver is a complex organ. It acts to filter blood coming from the digestive tract, it functions to detoxify chemicals, it is a prime storage for glycogen, the glucose reserve we use for energy, it produces bile to breakdown fats, converts ammonia, and destroys old red blood cells. It is also important in making sure our brain functions properly. The liver is the second largest organ behind the skin, and it’s so vital that every vertebrate on Earth has a liver. Our liver also breaks down the medicines we take so they can be used by the body. Without it, taking an aspirin would be useless. Source, Source, Source

ulysses s grantUlysses S. Grant was the 18th President of the United States and led the Union Army in the Civil War, but he could have been known by a different name if it weren’t for a clerical mistake during his younger days. The congressman who appointed Ulysses S. Grant to the West Point Military Academy in 1839, Senator Morris of Ohio, mistakenly thought his first name was Ulysses and his middle name was Simpson, which was his mother’s maiden name. The error got included on his application to the academy. It even ended up being on his diploma and his commission from West Point. Grant tried to correct the problem but ended up having to keep his new name as he was unable to correct the problem. He went with Ulysses S. Grant even though the “S” didn’t really mean anything. His real name was Hiram Ulysses Grant. Source

san andreas faultCalifornia residents sometime in the future will have to pull out their heavy parkas and buy some snowshoes. The state won’t fall into the ocean but will move north. Southwestern California moves along the San Andreas fault on the Pacific Plate to the northwest at about 2 inches per year as it slides past the North American plate. That means 15 million years from now, Los Angeles will be next to San Francisco, and in 85 million years, Los Angeles will eventually arrive in Alaska. Source

football stadiumA study done in 2013 by the NCAA shows just how difficult it is to make it to play in college and professional sports from high school or college. Taking football as an example, there were 310,465 high school seniors playing football. 20,042, or 6.5% of these players, went on to play on an NCAA team. There were 15,588 college seniors playing NCAA football. Out of this group, 256 players got drafted into the NFL, which is about 1.6%. That means less than two players out of 100 got drafted by an NFL team. But this still doesn’t mean they will have a roster spot on a team. To make matters even more difficult, approximately 150 players will make it to their 4th year of playing in the NFL. Overall, only 0.08% of high school senior football players will make it to the NFL. The numbers that make it to playing professional basketball are even tougher. Only 1.2% of NCAA basketball players will make it into the NBA, while 0.03% of all high school basketball players will get there. Source

boss hoggSorrell Booke, the actor who played greedy Boss Hogg on the television series “The Dukes of Hazzard”, was far from the bumbling politician he played in the show. Booke graduated from Yale and Columbia and spoke 5 languages which included Japanese and Russian. He was also a counter-intelligence officer during the Korean War where he used his language fluency. Booke died in 1994 at the age of 64 due to cancer after having a varied film and television career that started in the 1950s. Source

Need more? Check out more 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 great trivia books, and editor of Fact World and the Knowledge Stew sister site on Medium. I hope you find things here to annoy those around you with your new found knowledge.

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