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The Story

It all started out with Vin Diesel. In March of 2005, The Pacifier (or Der Babynator for those of you who speak German) was released in theaters and Vin Diesel's bizarre performance in it was a hot topic of discussion. One of the online communities Ian frequents is the SomethingAwful forums, where the juxtaposition of Diesel playing a Navy SEAL-turned-babysitter opened the floodgates to a rather ludicrous discussion entitled "Post Facts About Vin Diesel". After several pages of these facts, Ian took it upon himself to create a website where anybody could view or submit these (mostly) hilarious facts. The rest, as they say, is history. On its first day in operation, the generator received in excess of 20,000 hits. On May 1st, 2005, the site received its ten millionth hit.

Over that summer, a poll on the website was put up where visitors could vote on about twelve candidates for the next fact generator. Theere was also a write-in component, and more users wrote in "Chuck Norris" than voted for any other option, and the rest is history, as they say. Before the Chuck site went live, there was a short-lived Bob Saget Fact Generator, which came to us by way of user-turned-administrator, Mike, and went live on July 14th, 2005. Althought the Saget generator received about 10,000 hits within its first few hours online, it didn't remain terribly popular and was eventually scrapped, though the code Mike had written to power it would be the basis for the next several revisions of the website, including the Chuck Norris Fact Generator. This code was publicly released and is available here. Please note that these files haven't been updated in quite some time.

On October 24th, 2005, Ian received a rather strange email email from two employees - of all organizations - NASA. That's right, the same people who help put people into outer space contacted him. Not only that, but they wanted to start up a new fact generator... for Mr. T. Within two days, the Mr. T Fact Generator was online. The guys who run it, Tom and Greg also helped out with optimizing all three sites. Ian still foots the bill, handles the media and the servers, and makes sure everything is as funny as possible.

And now for the tech gurus...

The site first launched as a shoddy little text-file-based random generator. As the site became popular overnight (literally), this type of script was hell for the server that the site was running on. Something had to be done. With the help of some volunteers, the contents of the text file were added into a MySQL database, and a new script was written. The counter on the old page never made it past the 4 million mark, since it was also too resource-intensive (it was cgi-based) and was converted to run off of MySQL as well. The current site of the runs off of PHP and MySQL.

So who runs all this?


Creator, Head Honcho, Quality Control, Media Rep

Ian is currently a student at Brown University where he is concentrating in cognitive neuroscience.


Coder and Site administrator

Mike's full name is Michael, but he usually goes by his Internet alias "Toad King". ("Toad" as in the little mushroom-like people in Mario games, not the amphibian.) He is a regular poster on GameFAQs, Slashdot and another site which doesn't exist.


Tom, the co-originator of the Mr. T page, is a heathen hacker whose first computer was a TI-994A, when he was 14. He enjoys an eclectic mix of movies (The Seven Samurai to Serenity), music (classical to Evanescence) and games (Warcraft to Warcraft III). He is also a serial entrepreneur and student. Tom has no known sense of humor which makes it all the more ironic that he is involved with a website dedicated to it.

Tom is currently an MBA candidate at The College of William & Mary and manages networks and servers for NASA in his spare time.


The other co-originator of the Mr. T page, Greg Ackerson is a born-again, spirit-filled hacker. He got his first computer, an Atari 800, when he was 9. He has upgraded since then. He enjoys reading comics, Lord of the Rings, stock market simulation, and maintaining his 4.5 computers. His low-fat, homemade pizza is way better than you think it is, and unlike your pizza, doesn't have orange pools of grease on it. He listens to Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly, KLOVE.com, and you.

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