Page 3 - Interesting Facts

This gold-medal-winning Olympian was once a King, and now cannot set foot in his own country!

The end of the 1800's and beginning of the 1900's were a time of Revolution throughout Europe. Lots of monarchies were overthrown and resulted in now Communist or Democratic governments. But it left a lot of displaced monarchs wondering "Now what?" One of whom was Constantine of Greece, formerly Constantine II, King of Hellenes.

Born June 2, 1940, Constantine grew into a noted sportsman, earning his home country of Greece it's first Olympic gold medal since 1912 in the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome for sailing. Constantine assumed the throne as King beginning in 1964, when he was still 23. In the same year, he married Danish Princess Anne-Marie of Denmark, a triple third cousin and sister of the current Danish queen, Margrethe II. However in 1973, a military junta displaced him from power.

A restoration of his power was set to a vote of the populace in 1974, after a royal edict he attempted failed to overthrow the government. The Greek plebiscite voted in favor of overthrowing the monarchy by a two-thirds vote. Living in exile, Constantine told his supporters to respect the decision of the populace. However, he still refused to officially abdicate the throne.

A law passed in 1994 stripped him of his Greek citizenship, passport, and property unless he adopted a surname. Constantine refused to comply. He still refers to himself as "King Constantine." He is one of ten displaced monarchs who still use their titles, claim rights to their thrones, and interact with other ex-royals in hopes of one day reclaiming their families' former glory throughout Europe.


A town of 60 raised $400,000 from speeding tickets! How did they do it?

New Rome, Ohio, is a tiny village made up of 60 residents, located on the west side of Columbus. The roads outside the town post a 45 mph speed limit, but it drops down to 35 mph the moment you drive into the village.

The fourteen part-time policemen decided to take full advantage of this and would wait at the village's only stoplight to catch whoever wasn't following their posted speed limit. Not only did they ticket drivers for speeding, but also for minor offenses such as dusty taillights or improperly tinted windows!

Just how much was made from all of these tickets? Nearly $400,000 annually! Unfortunately for New Rome, it didn't last long. The village was legally dissolved and made part of a nearby township in 2004, and the speed trap came to an end.


Former Costa Rican president José Figueres once saved a hijacked plane.

Figueres was the 32nd, 34th, and 38th president of Costa Rica. Through the course of his terms, he gave women and illiterates the right to vote and he guaranteed public education for all. He created and helped pass a basic welfare legislation, and even directed the writing of a new constitution! Oh and did I mention; he single-handedly stopped a band of hijackers. 

In 1971, opponents of Nicaragua’s Gen. Anastasio Somoza Debayle overtook a plane in Sans José. Upon hearing the news, the 5-foot-3 president leapt into action. He stood on the runway and pointed a submachine gun at the cabin until the hijackers finally surrendered. Ladies and gentlemen, let’s have a slow-clap for José Figueres: relatively successful president/badass extraordinaire. 


Some awesome lists!

Pablo Escobar went so far as to murder any government officials who wouldn't take his bribes. How many officials stood up to him?

Pablo Escobar, the Columbian drug lord and cocaine trafficker, is regarded as one of the wealthiest criminals ever. His net-worth was estimated at close to $25 Billion by Forbes in 1989.

Escobar had a policy when dealing with law enforcement and government officials called "plato o plomo" that translates literally to "silver or lead," meaning take a bribe or die. This led to the death of hundreds if not thousands of people as Escobar would pay anyone who killed his enemies very well.

Some of the more noteworthy murders he is thought to be responsible for are a Columbian presidential candidate and the murders of almost half of the Columbian Supreme Court Justices in 1985 in what is known as The Palace of Justice Siege.

The attack against the Supreme Court of Columbia was done by a guerrilla group called M-19, but is thought to have been partially bankrolled by Pablo Escobar. This was later confirmed by Virginia Vallejo who was romantically involved with Escobar at the time.

Although Pablo Escobar was responsible for countless horrible acts, he isn't viewed as a bad person by all. He worked hard to gain a Robin Hood-like image by giving back to the lower class in Columbia. He built hospitals, schools, churches and soccer fields throughout western Columbia. Because of this, the people of Medelln, where Escobar lived, often helped him by doing whatever they could to protect him.

Pablo Escobar died in December of 1993 at the age of 44 when he was shot by the Columbian National Police while trying to escape after being located in hiding by the use of radio triangulation. Nobody has ever found out who took the killing shot.

Because of his popularity with the locals, about 25,000 people were present for his burial.


Neo from 'The Matrix' could stop bullets, but he couldn't even kick during martial arts training for the movie! Learn more

Keanu Reeves, the actor who played Neo in 'The Matrix' underwent surgery for a two-level fusion of his cervical spine before filming the movie. The fusion was slowly paralyzing his legs and due to this, he couldn't kick for half of the pre-production training. This resulted in him not kicking much during the film.

Although Reeves was still recovering from his surgery during pre-production, he insisted on training. The martial arts choreographer for the film Yuen Woo-ping let him practice punches and lighter moves, but Reeves was physically unable to kick for two of the four months. Despite the setback, the actor trained hard and even requested training on his off days.

During the dojo scene, Reeves was required to perform a triple kick but was unable to do so at first which frustrated him greatly. He tried again a few days later and succeeded in only three takes. During that scene the actors made significant physical contact with each other which resulted in bruising.

There were other physical injuries during the filming as well, such as Reeves' stunt double Chad Stahelski who received broken ribs, knees, and a dislocated shoulder while filming the subway scene. Another stuntman was injured by a hydraulic puller during a shot where Neo was slammed into a booth. Carrie-Anne Moss, who played Trinity, injured her leg during a scene where she runs along a wall as well.

With all the fast paced fighting that goes on in the movie, it's a marvel that Reeves was able to do so much after receiving such a major surgery. It shows the dedication he had for the role. But really, who needs to kick when you can stop bullets?



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