12 Collectible Bits of Trivia Fresh From the Bottom of the Cereal Box
If we’re being honest, we don’t eat Baja Blast Cluster Chunks because they’re “part of a complete breakfast,” or because they’re “made with 100 percent real Baja Men.” Most of the time, we don’t even eat them at all — we just dump them into the InSinkErator when mom’s not looking, so we can get to these rad little bits of trivia inside.
The Reagans Became Obsessed With Astrology After the Attempt on Ronald’s Life
Nancy Reagan asked her astrologer, Joan Quigley, if she could have foreseen the assassination attempt. Quigley said she absolutely could have — if she had been a full-time White House staff member. Nancy made it happen, and for the rest of Ronald’s time in office, everything from public addresses to Air Force One landings had to be scheduled by this weirdo looking at her star charts.
Magellan Never Actually Circumnavigated the Globe
He’s often falsely credited with the feat, but he was killed in the Philippines by an indigenous chief who was sick of having his land colonized. Navigator Juan Sebastián Elcano took over the expedition and limped back to Spain, completing the mission.
Pablo Escobar Was Allowed to Build His Own Prison
The terms of his surrender were that he got to build his own palatial prison, and that he only had to stay there for five years. The joint had a soccer field, a bar, a giant dollhouse (for some reason), a telescope (so he could watch his daughter in the city below while talking to her on the phone), and obviously, an escape tunnel. The deal soured when the Colombian government caught him torturing and murdering his lieutenants there, and he went on the run after just over a year.
Let Them Eat Cheese
President Andrew Jackson was gifted a 1,400-pound wheel of cheese, which he just kind of left somewhere in the White House. It sat there for his entire eight-year presidency before he finally invited the public to come eat it (which they did over the course of several days). The White House reportedly stank like cheese for years after.
Terry Crews Was a Courtroom Sketch Artist
Crews is an artist first and an athlete second. His first job was as a courtroom sketch artist in Flint, Michigan, and even when he was an NFL football player, he would sometimes fall back on painting commissions to make ends meet.
Trevor Noah’s Parents’ Relationship Was Literally a Crime
Growing up in apartheid South Africa, his parents’ interracial relationship was illegal. His mother would have to pretend not to be part of the family when they were in public, dropping his hand if there were ever cops around. He says he “felt like a bag of weed” his entire childhood.
You Can’t Sue Robin Thicke; He Was on Vicodin and Alcohol
Thicke shared co-writing credit on “Blurred Lines” with Pharrell Williams — that is, until Marvin Gaye’s estate sued them for lifting beats. At that point, Thicke said he was “present” when the song was written, but he was too high to have actually helped write it.
Helen Keller Was a Big-Time Eugenics Advocate
She argued that handicapped children might grow up to become criminals, and that babies with disabilities should go before “physicians juries” that would determine if they were worth saving or not.
C-3PO and R2-D2 Hated Each Other in Real Life
Actors Anthony Daniels (C-3PO) and Kenny Baker (R2-D2) had all kinds of behind-the-scenes beef. Baker said Daniels was “the rudest man he ever met,” while Daniels said Baker couldn’t act, and “the character of R2-D2 might as well be a bucket.”
Kelly Osbourne Believes Microwaves Cause Cancer
Sharon Osbourne’s battle with colon cancer inspired some wildly disparate reactions from her family members. Sharon herself founded the Sharon Osbourne Colon Cancer Program at Cedars-Sinai, her son Jack spiraled into depression and her daughter Kelly swore off microwaves, believing that’s what caused her mother’s cancer.
Hugh Jackman Didn’t Know Wolverines Were Real
Before he landed his X-Men gig, he’d never heard of wolverines: “In Australia, we don't have wolverines. I didn’t know that was a real animal.”
Heaven’s Gate Is Still Recruiting, If You’re Looking for Something to Do
Notorious suicide cult Heaven’s Gate funded its operations through a web design business in the 1990s. Their state-of-the-art site is still up — and frozen in time — likely being maintained by two members who didn’t commit suicide when Comet Hale-Bopp last swung through. You can still see their artist’s rendering of a celestial being, and a document ironically titled “Our Position Against Suicide.”