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Michael Churchill's weekly 'amazing' facts (with explanations)

Posted: 02 Jun 2020, 13:48
by michael_churchill
NB. 'amazing' is, of course, a matter of opinion.

Feel free to discuss.

Re: Michael Churchill's weekly 'amazing' facts (with explanations)

Posted: 02 Jun 2020, 13:48
by michael_churchill
Astronaut Doug Hurley was part of the last two manned space flight launches from US soil, 9 years apart.

Hurley, commander of Crew Dragon Demo-2 which launched on Saturday 30 May, was also part of the crew of Atlantis on the final Space Shuttle mission, STS-135, in 2011.

Re: Michael Churchill's weekly 'amazing' facts (with explanations)

Posted: 09 Jun 2020, 09:19
by michael_churchill
John Stears was the only person to have won an Oscar for working on both a James Bond film and a Star Wars film.

John, who passed away in 1999, won a 'Best Visual Effects' Academy Award for both 'Thunderball' and 'Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope'. He is responsible for building 007's Aston Martin DB5, R2-D2, C-3PO and the Death Star.

Re: Michael Churchill's weekly 'amazing' facts (with explanations)

Posted: 17 Jun 2020, 19:11
by michael_churchill
Only one United States Secret Service officer has died "taking a bullet" for the president.

Leslie Coffelt (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leslie_Coffelt) was a uniformed White House policeman, killed by Puerto Rican nationalists in 1950 at Blair House in Washington DC, where President Truman was living while the White House was undergoing renovation. Two other policeman injured in the same incident and one agent injured when Reagan was shot in 1981 are the only other Secret Service officers shot protecting the president.

Re: Michael Churchill's weekly 'amazing' facts (with explanations)

Posted: 24 Jun 2020, 19:33
by michael_churchill
The ten tallest skyscrapers in the world were all built in the 2010s.

The tallest built before 2010, Taipei 101 in Taiwan now stands at number 11 on the list. Of the ten tallest, 6 are in China and 1 in each of the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, South Korea and the USA.

Re: Michael Churchill's weekly 'amazing' facts (with explanations)

Posted: 02 Jul 2020, 09:11
by michael_churchill
Not to say that there are not a lot of British-Indian actors, but three quarters of the cast of "Goodness Gracious Me" have played Himesh Patel's parents on TV or film.

Nina Wadia played his mum in "EastEnders". Sanjeev Bhaskar and Meera Syal played his parents in the movie "Yesterday".

Re: Michael Churchill's weekly 'amazing' facts (with explanations)

Posted: 10 Jul 2020, 09:48
by michael_churchill
Of the "Big Four" North American sports leagues (NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL), only one US state is home of one of the current champions.

The Kansas City Chiefs (NFL / American football) and St. Louis Blues (NHL / Ice hockey) are both in Missouri. The Toronto Raptors (NBA / Basketball) are in Canada. The Washington Nationals (MLB / Baseball) are in D.C., which is not a state.

Re: Michael Churchill's weekly 'amazing' facts (with explanations)

Posted: 17 Jul 2020, 08:56
by michael_churchill
After breaking the "four minute barrier", Roger Bannister held the world record for the mile for just 46 days.

On 6 May 1954, Roger Bannister (3:59.4) broke the world record (4:01.4) that had stood for almost 9 years. On 21 June 1954, Australian John Landy (3:58.0) broke the record in Turku, Finland. When Bannister beat Landy in the 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Vancouver, it was the first time two men had beaten 4 minutes in the same race.

Re: Michael Churchill's weekly 'amazing' facts (with explanations)

Posted: 18 Jul 2020, 00:29
by RJSRdg
michael_churchill wrote:
24 Jun 2020, 19:33
The ten tallest skyscrapers in the world were all built in the 2010s.

The tallest built before 2010, Taipei 101 in Taiwan now stands at number 11 on the list. Of the ten tallest, 6 are in China and 1 in each of the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, South Korea and the USA.
Not particularly surprising really. Architects are always trying to outdo each other for the tallest buildings so I would expect all the tallest buildings to have been built comparatively recently.

Re: Michael Churchill's weekly 'amazing' facts (with explanations)

Posted: 24 Jul 2020, 08:55
by michael_churchill
Five athletes have won medals at both the Summer and Winter Olympics.

This is not including figure skaters or ice hockey players who won medals when these sports were held in the Summer Olympics, before separate Winter Olympics were started.
The five are:
  • Eddie Eagan (USA) - Boxing / Light-Heavyweight / Gold / 1920 & Bobsleigh / Four man / Gold / 1932
  • Jacob Tullin Thams (NOR) - Sailing / 8 metre / Silver / 1936 & Ski Jumping / Large Hill / Gold / 1924
  • Christa Luding-Rothenburger (GDR/GER) - Cycling / Sprint / Gold 1988 & Speed Skating / 2 Gold, 1 Silver, 1 Bronze / 1984-1992
  • Clara Hughes (CAN) - Cycling / 2 Bronze / 1996 & Speed Skating / 1 Gold, 1 Silver, 2 Bronze / 2002-2010
  • Lauryn Williams (USA) - Athletics / 1 Gold, 1 Silver / 2004-2012 & Bobsleigh / Two women / Silver / 2014

Re: Michael Churchill's weekly 'amazing' facts (with explanations)

Posted: 31 Jul 2020, 16:53
by michael_churchill
At the 2016 Olympics in Rio, the best High Jump in the Heptathlon was better than the champion in the Women's High Jump.

In the Heptathlon, Nafi Thiam (BEL) and Katarina Johnson-Thompson (GBR) both cleared 1.98m. In the High Jump final, won by Ruth Beitia (ESP), four athletes cleared 1.97m.

Re: Michael Churchill's weekly 'amazing' facts (with explanations)

Posted: 07 Aug 2020, 23:16
by greatkingrat
Ross County FC have three goalkeepers in their squad, all called Ross, along with another two outfield players called Ross.

Re: Michael Churchill's weekly 'amazing' facts (with explanations)

Posted: 08 Sep 2020, 16:43
by michael_churchill
The Commerzbank Tower in Frankfurt is the tallest skyscraper in the EU again, after 8 years.

The skyscraper that was the tallest for those 8 years, The Shard in London, is no longer in the EU!

Re: Michael Churchill's weekly 'amazing' facts (with explanations)

Posted: 15 Sep 2020, 16:33
by michael_churchill
There is a red telephone box made of wood at the entrance of Burlington House, the home of the Royal Academy, on Piccadilly in London.

It is a prototype of the classic K2 kiosk, designed by Giles Gilbert Scott. Its listing by Historic England was recently upgraded to Grade II*.

Re: Michael Churchill's weekly 'amazing' facts (with explanations)

Posted: 23 Sep 2020, 06:59
by jamesthegill
The first song played on an iPod was Groovejet (If This Ain't Love) by Spiller ft Sophie Ellis Bextor.

The first pirated MP3 was Until It Sleeps by Metallica, on 10th August 1996 - three years before the band started a lawsuit against mp3 sharing site Napster.