Monday, December 28, 2009


In the U.S., a white adult murder victim has most likely been poisoned or given an overdose of a legal or illegal drug (80%) while a black adult murder victim was most likely shot (55%)

Number of children under age 15 in the world:  2.2 billion  (More than half are underfed and lack access to safe drinking water)

Life expectancy in the United States:
White Females   -80 years
White Males   -74.5 years
Asian Females   -79.8 years
Asian Males   -77.7 years
Latino Females   -74.8 years
Latino Males   -69.8 years
Black Females   -74.8 years
Black Males   -67.3 years
Native American Females   -58 years
Native American Males   -49 years

Cost to American tax payers to incarcerate people arrested on marijuana-related offenses:  $1.5 billion annually

Rate at which someone is arrested in the U.S. for marijuana possession:  1 every 45 seconds

Cost to American tax payers to combat marijuana use in the U.S.:  $4 billion annually  (Does not include tax payer money spent in their local and state governments for same purpose)

Percent of Americans who claim to smoke marijuana on occasion, regularly, or to have experimented in trying it at least once:  82%

Largest export crop from United States:  Marijuana  (Wheat is second)

Percent of Dutch teens who can speak fluent English:  90%
Percent of American teens who can speak fluent English:  84%

A lawsuit is filed against Wal-Mart every 3 seconds each day across the globe

Brian MacKinnon (1963 -  ), AKA Brandon Lee, the 32 year-old who passed himself off as a pupil at Bearsden Academy. MacKinnon was a medical student in the University of Glasgow but he kept failing his exams and was eventually taken off the course. Determined to become a physician, he posed as Canadian teenager Brandon Lee to re-qualify and get back into medical school. So, 1993 he enrolled in the same school he had graduated from 13 years earlier, Bearsden Academy in Bearsden, a suburb of Glasgow. Although some of the teachers were there when MacKinnon was there thirteen years earlier, he was accepted by all as a new sixteen year old pupil. He stayed for two years, after which he received five 'A' grade Highers in 1994 in Maths, English, Biology, Chemistry and Physics. He was accepted by the University of Dundee's medical school to begin classes that autumn. He left the University after a few months due to financial issues but was accepted to restart in September 1995. Shortly before he was due to re-commence his studies, he took two girls from the school to a holiday in Tenerife. After their return an anonymous phone call to the school headmaster exposed him.

• Ferdinand Waldo Demara Jr. (1921- 1982) AKA The Great Impostor. As Dr. Joseph Cyr, he joined the Royal Canadian Navy as surgeon where he managed numerous successful surgeries including the removal of a bullet from a man’s chest. Making great use of his photographic memory, Demara taught himself all he needed to know for his deception by reading books on the subject. The Canadian Navy, having eventually discovered that Demara was using a false name, kicked him out but his credentials as a surgeon were not questioned. He then went on to create a series of new identities including: zoology Ph.D., law student, cancer researcher, hospital orderly, deputy sheriff, prison warden and teacher.

Marvin Hewitt A high school dropout was found in 1954 to be Dr Kenneth D Yates working as associate professor of physics at the University of New Hampshire. It was his third college (as far as we know) and fifth teaching position in seven years in spite of having no qualification of any sort. The college described him as a "brilliant physicist" and a very satisfactory teacher.

Harry Stokes a 19th-century bricklayer was only unmasked as a woman after his death. Fearing her true nature was about to be revealed she committed suicide and even then her identity was only revealed by chance.

Louis Grin valet in the 1890s, claimed to be Louis de Rougement, an adventurer who lived with the cannibalistic tribes of Australia for 30 years. There were many newspaper articles published about his exploits and how he survived for so long. They were all fictitious and many based on novels he had read.

Dr James Barry (1799 - 1865) joined the army in 1813, passed through the grades of assistant surgeon and surgeon in various regiments, and had served as such in this capacity all over the world. In around 1840 he became promoted to the rank of medical inspector, and was transferred to Malta. He went from Malta to Corfu where he was based for many years where he died. Upon his death after forty years of service as an officer in the British army and a matchless reputation in his field he was discovered to be a woman.

Stanley Clifford Weyman (1890-1960) was an American impostor who impersonated government officials, including Secretary of State and various military officers. He once famously inspected the USS Wyoming playing the part of the Consul General for Romania, fooling the ships captain and crew. He treated them all to dinner afterwards, the bill was supposed to be covered by the Romanian consulate. He was arrested at the dinner and only annoyed because they did not let him finish his meal.

Money spent on video games today:  $64,000,000 (US)

Blog posts that will appear on the Internet today, including this one:  558,292

Deaths of women during childbirth in 2009 (reported):  623,199

Kissing Bugs feed by sucking the blood of humans - their favorite feeding spot is the face and in particular the lips, hence the name

Currently, 1500 people a die each day from cancer

From a Police report in the North Bay, Ontario) on 2009 November 7: An officer in line at a traffic light, realizing that cars had not moved through two light changes, walked up to the lead car to investigate. The driver said she was not able to move on the green lights because she was still on the phone and thus driving off would be illegal. The officer said a brief lecture improved the woman's understanding of the law.

Reported in the Washington Times:  The inspector general of the National Science Foundation
revealed that on-the-job viewing of pornography websites was so widespread at the agency that the resultant ethics investigations hindered his primary mission of investigating fraud on grant contracts. The agency report, obtained by the Washington Times in 2009 September, said the heaviest user was a senior executive who
logged on to pornography at least 331 days in 2008. He subsequently retired, but before leaving defended his habit, claiming that his website visits actually helped impoverished women in Third World countries to earn a decent living (by posing for pornography).

Albert Freed's lawsuit for defective underwear against Hanes was dismissed in 2009 October by a Pensacola, Florida judge, even though Freed had complained that the briefs had caused severe pain and ruined his vacation. Freed said the garment's flap had inexplicably failed to close, allowing his penis to protrude and rub against swim trunks that contained sand from the beach that irritated the sensitive skin. However, Freed admitted that he delayed diagnosing the problem by declining to inspect his penis. He explained that he cannot easily peer over his "belly" (and wouldn't even consider, he said, examining his naked self in a mirror or asking his wife to inspect). Consequently, he had endured increased irritation before recognizing the source of the chafing.

Monday, December 21, 2009


Most actual thinking occurs in humans in the cortex of the brain, which is only on the surface and a thin 3.4 mm thick - to maximize the amount of surface area in a relatively cramped space (your skull), humans evolved brains whose surface has folds - if we unfolded the cortex it would stretch to nearly 3 square feet, or .24 square centimeters, roughly the size of a standard ironing board

The city of London has an average of 100 cameras per person, and the average resident or visitor is captured on video about 300 times a day

In the continental United States the odds that an adult will have sex within an hour of going to bed are 1 in 3.7

-- Younger generations (commonly referred to as Gen-X and Gen-Y) are more likely to give to charities focused on global issues of poverty or AIDS than older generations (Odds a Gen-Yer gave to an international charity in 2008:  1 in 4.2/ Odds that a Gen-Xer gave to a similar charity:  1 in 5.41/ Odds that a "Baby Boomer" gave:  1 in 6.76/ Odds that a "Silent Generation" person gave:  1 in 8.3/  Odds that a member of the "Great Generation" gave:  1 in 8.9)

-- Older generations tend to be drawn toward traditional charitable organizations that they are familiar with and such that care for the needs of the poor

-- About half of both the Silent Generation and the Great Generation give to charities that directly help the poor but are local, and often through their church or other place of worship

-- Younger generations are twice as likely to give to international groups and to diversify their giving among several causes, and are ten times more likely than older generations to donate online

-- Baby Boomers, of all generation groups in the U.S., are the most likely to restrict giving to charitable organizations based in the United States rather than providing assistance to groups who will carry the donation overseas

-- A 2009 report analyzed these trends and found a sharp decrease in donations to charitable organizations that meet people's basic needs of food, shelter and clothing and found a significant increase in donations to organizations working for broader public/societal shifts  -  The study concludes that these trends suggest that organizations providing local and immediate relief are struggling to keep up with innovative projects that seek to solve complex problems - digitally-connected younger generations are looking more broadly and giving globally

On average men hiccup more than women

American Charles Osbourne had the hiccups for 68 years (1922 - 1990) - they stopped as spontaneously as they had started - Osbourne had hiccuped about 50 times a minute through most of his life

Odds that an American holds at least a four-year college degree:  1 in 3.99 (roughly 25% of the population)

No single organization regularly collates STD/STI (Sexually Transmitted Disease/Sexually Transmitted Infection) statistics worldwide and individual countries vary significantly in their tracking methods and in what diseases and infections are tracked at all  -  despite this lack of hard data, the WHO (World Health Organization) estimates 340 million new cases of syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia occurred throughout the world in 1999 in men and women aged 15-49 years  -  the WHO estimates this figure increased to over 400 million for these same age groups in 2009

About 5 million tons of petroleum produced each year ends up in the oceans

In the U.S., about 30% of energy used in households is consumed in heating water 

Despite the recent crash of world markets and a drastic recession in the U.S., the United States controls 53% of the world's wealth

Percent of Dutch teens who can speak fluent English:  90%
Percent of American teens who can speak fluent English:  84%

A lawsuit is filed against Walmart every 3 seconds each day somewhere in the world

By the end of the first quarter of 2010, the United Nations predicts India will become the home to the largest population of English speakers in the world

Country where you are most likely to be arrested:  United States 

Longest prison sentence given to an individual for a single crime:  10,000 years to a U.S. convict for the crime of murder

Number one behavioral cause of death:  Tobacco smoking

Men tend to dream about men, while women tend to dream about men and women with equal frequency

On average, 12 babies are given to the wrong parent(s) at hospital each day around the world

New York City has been undergoing work on the Second Avenue Subway project since 1919

Percent of Americans who say they save pennies:  92%

A single space shuttle toilet costs $24 million

Honda pays prisoners jailed in the U.S. $2 an hour for the same labor an autoworker in a factory would be doing for $25 an hour with benefits

Prison labor in the U.S. typically produces auto parts, blue jeans and other garments, electronics and furniture

In Oregon, 100% of state prisoners must work  -  in March 2007, Colorado replaced "illegal" farm workers with Homeland Security-mandated prisoners who now earn 60 cents a day (a prisoner who loses a day of work for illness or refusal, loses "good time" credit which can extend his or her length of incarceration)

While the incidence of crime has decreased in nearly every category in the U.S., including murder and other violent crime, the number of prisons has increased to meet the needs of an increase in those incarcerated, and sentences have also increased  -  many prisons are now privately-owned and operated, supplying prison labor for companies such as Walmart, JC Penney, Toys-R-Us, Revlon, McDonald's, Starbucks, Nintendo, and Dell Computers  (the largest users of prison labor)

Generally, for each dollar paid to a prisoner 20 cents is deducted for their incarceration, 11 cents is deducted for state and federal taxes, 10 cents goes to state victim compensation funds, and 59 cents goes to the prisoner who will work nearly two hours to earn $1 in net pay

Native Americans are the largest prison population in the United States per capita, followed by African Americans and Latinos  -  whites comprise the largest population by sheer number but that is declining   

The U.S. national unemployment rate is 10% but for Blacks and Native Americans in some areas of the country these groups face triple-digit unemployment rates or higher

Prisoners in 37 states now work for private corporations, including female prisoners who often are employed as customer service operators or reservation processors for airlines and rental car companies

Percent of men who claim they did not enjoy their first consensual sexual encounter:  14%  -  percent of women:  60%


Monday, December 14, 2009


Unemployment insurance in the United States reaches about half of the jobless due to restrictions in who can qualify to receive benefts, and replaces about half of the lost income for those it does reach - the U.S. system is tax-funded, so recipients have already paid into the system while employed, but coverage is limited in most cases to 6 months (applications for extended coverage can be submitted in most states, but it is granted less than half the time)

More prisoners are incarcerated in California state prisons (190,000) than there are federal prisons in the United States (175,000)

Scientists have found that rats learn complex mazes on average three times faster than college students

In February 2008, the United Nations released a report that predicted that half the world's population would live in urban areas by the end of the decade - as of December 2009, that prediction had been realized

According to anthropologists and other researchers, history began with the advent of writing and pre-history denotes anything occurring before writing - history, therefore, began at different times for different peoples around the world depending - researchers who had previously thought a few ancient ruins were "pre-historic" have since realized that the carvings found at the sites were a "written" record of what the people believed and experienced

Until about 10,000 years ago, most humans lived as hunter-gatherers - about 6,000 years ago the first proto-states developed in Egypt, Mesopotamia, and the Indus Valley - military forces were formed as well as government bureaucracies for administration

Around 2000 to 3000 years ago, some states (such as Persia, India, China, Rome and Greece) developed through conquest into the first expansive empires

On September 18, 2006, a few days after her 40th birthday, Anousheh Ansari became the first Muslim woman to participate in a spaceflight - she was a self-funded space tourist who visited the International Space Station through Russia's space program  (the cost: $20 million US)

In the United States, it is against the law to have sex with a dead person

The United States has more laws governing sex than all European nations combined

Most experts agree that the total number of African slaves sent to all parts of the world between 1500 and 1865 was at least 12 million - given that only 1 in 10 made the trip alive, the number of Africans enslaved or killed during this period is about 120 million

World population:  6.8 billion humans
World population:  6.8 billion chickens

The first Wright Brothers flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina lasted 12 seconds and is hailed as the "birth of human flight" - the longest chicken flight ever recorded lasted 13 seconds

Percent of the Earth's surface used to grow food:  11%

Thomas Edison, inventor of the light bulb, had a phobia of the dark

In the United States, 1 in 30 men between the ages of 20 and 34 is in jail or prison - the rate for Black men in  that age group is 1 in 9

The mortality rate in the U.S. saw the most rapid decline between 1936 and 1954, due to medical advances - the next great decline happened between 1968 and 1982, also due to medical advances - mortality rates in the U.S. continue to decline, but more slowly and steadily

The average human experiences about 1,460 dreams per year

Number of tourists who traveled to a small town in the state of New Mexico, USA in 2007 to visit a tortilla chip that some claimed bore the "face of Jesus":  over 11,000

In 2002, a Nike commercial appeared on American television that had been filmed in Kenya with a Samburn tribesman - the tribesman speaks in his native language as the slogan "Just Do It" appears at the bottom of the screen next to the Nike logo - translated, the tribesman was saying "I don't want these"

The Naked Recreation and Travel industry has grown 233% in the past decade

In 1991, during an attempted coup on Russian President Boris Yeltsin, food supplies had dwindled at the Parliment building - the solution was to order 100 pizzas delivered from Pizza Hut

In 1990, the world's largest McDonald's opened in Moscow with the capacity to seat 900 people

In the United States, each citizen is issued a Social Security Card which is used as their identification and for employment as a citizen - the nine digits issued to each person mean:
- the first 3 digits show what part of the country you applied from
- the next 2 digits show, in coded form, the year you applied
- the last 4 digits indicate your "citizen's number" kept on file with the federal government

Amount of time people spend traveling each day, on average, in all societies:  1.1 hours

About 1 in 6 people in the world owns a television

About 1 in 6 people in the world are suffering starvation

Accountants   -   St. Matthew
Gun Dealers   -   St. Adrian Nicomedia
Beekeepers   -   St. Bernard of Clairvaux
Advertisers   -   St. Bernardino of Siena
Flight Attendants   -   St. Bona
Butchers   -   St. Luke
Comedians   -   St. Vitus
Librarians   -   St. Jerome
Postal Workers   -   St. Gabriel
Unhappy Marriages   -   St. Gengulf
Hairdressers   -   St. Martin de Porres

Findlay, Ohio, police blotter: "A woman called the police early Saturday morning (2009 October 31) during an argument with her husband after he claimed that the woman's daughter performed oral sex on him, and the daughter was "better" at it."

Steamboat Springs, Colorado, 2009 November 4, police blotter: "Called to a report of a suspicious incident in the 2900 block of West Acres Drive where a woman reported that she found feces in her toilet that she did not think she put there."

Daniel Adler, 61, was arrested in October in Stony Point, N.Y., and charged with assault. Police said Adler had been solicited by a Sears Home Improvement telemarketer and had agreed to an appointment but that when the employee arrived, Adler allegedly punched him in the face. Adler said he had scheduled the appointment only to "advise" Sears, in person, to stop calling him.

In September 2009, Nebraska prison guard Michal Preclik, 32 (who had been on the job for a year and had just been promoted), was discovered to be on the lam from Interpol for drug and fraud crimes in the Czech Republic. The Corrections Department's background check, on the FBI's National Criminal Information Center database, had turned up nothing, but when officials subsequently Googled Preclik, the Interpol wanted poster was one of the top results.

When the DRP party candidate for president of Mexico City's most populous borough lost in the primary this year, party officials hatched a plot to elevate a street peddler, "Juanito" Angeles, to run in the general election, with the "understanding" that he would step aside if victorious, in favor of the original candidate Clara Brugada. Helped by his "everyman" image (according to a New York Times dispatch), Angeles won the election. However, his sudden power and celebrity apparently went to his head, and he refused to relinquish the presidency. (He finally agreed, in September 2009, but only after receiving concessions from the party.)

Franciscan monk Cesare Bonizzi, 63, who 15 years ago turned from spiritual new age music to heavy metal (inspired, he said, by the groups Metallica and Megadeth) and who has spent the last several years as the robe-clad lead singer of his own band, Fratello Metallo, announced his retirement in November after realizing, he said, that the devil had tempted him too much with celebrity and turned him away from his brothers.

William Evans, 57, on trial in St. Augustine, Fla., in August 2009 for a sex crime that occurred nearly 30 years ago (but not erased by the statute of limitations), committed suicide while away from the courthouse, awaiting the jury's decision. Without knowing that, the jury came back and declared him not guilty.

Engineering student Ken Kitamura, 19, drowned in the Yodogawa River in Osaka, Japan, in August. He and several colleagues had constructed a prototype canoe made of concrete, and Kitamura was the first to try it out.

Monday, December 7, 2009


The largest snowflakes ever recorded fell on 28 January 1887, in Fort Keogh, Montana, USA - one was measured at 8 inches thick and 15 inches in diameter

Odds worldwide that a person has a third nipple somewhere on their body:  1 in 18

At the end of the U.S. Civil War in 1865, as many as 2,500 former Confederate (southern states/pro-slavery) soldiers and families moved to Mexico - most returned within a year, and of these most settled in Texas - of those that did not leave voluntarily, most were driven out by 1897 - of the handful of families that did stay, most were completely assimilated within about three generations

Other former Confederates moved to Brazil with most historians believing as many as 25,000 soldiers and families deciding to relocate to the country where they were known as Confederados - assimilation was very fast for these settlers and within three generations nearly none of the younger spoke English  (only Portuguese), and nearly none of the older spoke of the war, the Confederacy, or America

Inventor of the pet-flap door:  Sir Isaac Newton, physicist

A domesticated cat can run at a top speed of 30 MPH (Miles Per Hour) - the fastest human in the world right now, Usain Bolt, can run at a top speed of 27 MPH in the 100-meter run

Births today:  Approximately 180,000

Deaths today:  Approximately 75,000

Population Density (2009)

Cars produced this year:  About 50,987,376

Bicycles produced this year:  About 222,689,320

Internet users worldwide:  Over 1.6 billion

New book titles published worldwide this year:  931,522

Cellular phones sold worldwide today:  1.8 million

Number of obese people in the world:  340,393,442

Number of overweight people in the world: 1,538,938,390

People who will die of hunger today:  12,000  (Nearly half will be children)

Days left until the world runs out of oil supply (assuming current consumption rates):  15,340  (About 42 years)

Population in the world is currently growing at a rate of around 1.15 % per year - Annual growth rate reached its peak in the late 1960s, when it was at 2% and above

The Ancient Babylonians were the first to brew beer - punishment for brewing a bad batch was to be drown in it

Vikings believed that a giant goat with udders that streamed an endless supply of beer was waiting for them in Valhalla (Viking word for heaven)

The annual growth rate is currently declining and is projected to continue to decline in the coming years, but the pace of the future change is uncertain - Currently, it is estimated that it will become less than 1% by 2020 and less than 0.5% by 2050.
Year Population
1 200 million
1000 275 million
1500 450 million
1650 500 million
1750 700 million
1804 1 billion
1850 1.2 billion
1900 1.6 billion
1927 2 billion
1950 2.55 billion
1955 2.8 billion
1960 3 billion
1965 3.3 billion
1970 3.7 billion
1975 4 billion
1980 4.5 billion
1985 4.85 billion
1990 5.3 billion
1995 5.7 billion
1999 6 billion
2000 6.1 billion
2005 6.45 billion
2006 6.5 billion
2010 6.8 billion
2020 7.6 billion
2030 8.2 billion
2040 8.8 billion
2050 9.2 billion

How Many People Have Ever Lived on Earth?

It was written during the 1970s that 75% of the people who had ever been born were alive at that moment. This was grossly false.

Assuming that we start counting from about 50,000 B.C., the time when modern Homo sapiens appeared on the earth (and not from 700,000 B.C. when the ancestors of Homo sapiens appeared, or several million years ago when hominids were present), taking into account that all population data are a rough estimate, and assuming a constant growth rate applied to each period up to modern times, it has been estimated that a total of approximately 106 billion people have been born since the dawn of the human race, making the population currently alive roughly 6% of all people who have ever lived on planet Earth.

The "triple-X" Symbol means:

XXX  -  the number 30 in Roman numerals
XXX  -  plus-sized clothing (generally 3 times larger than large size)
XXX  -  especially explicit material, such as pornography
XXX  -  a "turkey" - the North American slang term for three consecutive strikes in the game of bowling
XXX  -  generic name for homemade whiskey or "moonshine"
XXX  -  short for Triple X Syndrome, characterized by the presence of an extra X chromosome in human females
XXX  -  used to signify the official flag of Amsterdam
XXX  -  "kisses" on a letter or in an email

Sunday, November 29, 2009


In November 2009 a media advisory stated that over 300 U.S. citizens, nearly all male, have identified themselves to law enforcement in about 100 cities as self-proclaimed "super heroes"  -  these individuals don costumes akin to comic book characters like Batman and Superman, and proclaim to be keeping watch over the streets of their cities at night  to prevent and report crimes  -  law enforcement have issued statements urging the public to not take on such roles that can lead to violence on the part of the "super hero" against an alleged criminal or can, in some cases, lead to the beating of the character by those who feel threatened or attacked by a man in a dark costume following them at night

Every one thousand years, Spring gets two-thirds of one day shorter

Percent of American men who claim that t.v. has taught them more about life than their parents: 22%

95% of all creatures on earth are smaller than a chicken egg

Half of all Americans will receive food aid (commonly known in the U.S. as "food stamps"), at least temporarily, before age 20  -  the rate for Blacks in the U.S. is 90%

36 million Americans currently receive food aid, but while the term "food stamps" is still commonly understood to mean financial aid for non-taxable food purchases, the name enacted by Congress purportedly to remove the stigma of receiving such aid was changed officially to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)  -  SNAP benefits reach about 75% of those eligible in the U.S.  (The government estimates that nearly half of the U.S. population may be eligible for SNAP but either do not want to apply due to social stigma, are unaware that they are eligible, or reside in areas where funds have become limited)

Globally, more than a billion people survive on less than $1 a day

Over a span of five years, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) spent more than $10 million to develop an "acoustic kitty"  -  the money was spent on training a cat to not run away or be distracted, and to implant audio-detection devices in the cat's body so the agency could deploy the cats in various areas as "operatives"  -  the implanted equipment included a battery and an antenna placed in the tail  -  the program was finally discontinued when, during a field test, the final feline in the experiment became startled, darted under a taxicab, and died

Odds that a married couple reports "enjoying sex" with each other during the first three years of marriage:  1 in 1.15 (87%)  -  Odds decrease to 1 in 3.45 (29%) after these same couples were interviewed after ten years of marriage

Odds that a U.S. Congressperson has experience as a state legislator are the same that a person 12 years or older in the U.S. will drink alcohol in a month:  1 in 2 (50%)

32 million Americans take 3 or more prescription medications per day

In the U.S., Blacks are 6 times more likely to be murdered than whites

Where in the world you are most likely to be murdered: Columbia, South Africa, Jamaica, Venezuela, Russia, Mexico, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Belarus

Where in the world you are most likely to end up behind bars: United States (the U.S. incarceration rate is higher than any other nation with 1 out of every 99 people locked up  -  1 in 78 Americans are either in jail, prison, on probation or on parole)

From 1973-1992 the gun supply in the United States doubled while the homicide rate remained unchanged

On average, 2 countries per year have abolished the death penalty since 1976

Number of Fortune 500 companies with a female CEO: 10

The GDP (Gross Domestic Product) of the poorest 48 nations (1/4 of the world's countries) is less than the wealth of the world's three richest individuals combined

In 1999, Harvard University conducted a study called "Gorillas in Our Midst"  -  test subjects were instructed to watch people pass a basketball back and forth  -  meanwhile, more than 80% of the time subjects failed to notice a person in a gorilla suit walking around the room

Percent of Americans who can name the Three Stooges when asked to do so spontaneously: 60%
Percent of Americans who can name three past or current Supreme Court justices: 17%

An official census of Panama City in 1610 listed 548 citizens and more than 3,500 African slaves

Less than 1% of human flatulence is made up of the chemicals that cause odor but they are so pungent that most people can smell them at 1 part per 100 million

Butterflies taste with their feet

It is impossible for a solar eclipse to last longer than 7 minutes, 58 seconds

Plants that are thirsty emit a high pitched sound that the human ear cannot hear

The custom of shaking hands when greeting originated as a way for men who were strangers to demonstrate they were unarmed

Air becomes liquid at -190 degrees Celsius  -  liquid air looks like water with a slight bluish tint

More than 35 million people in the U.S. used an illegal drug last year

To lose one pound of fat, a person must burn about 3,500 calories

Average weight of a newborn in the U.S.: 7 lbs., 6 oz.

Worldwide, only 4% of babies are born on their due date

In 1555, Ivan the Terrible ordered the construction of St. Basil's Cathedral in Moscow  -  when the project was completed he was so taken with its beauty he had the architects blinded so that they would never be able to build anything else more beautiful

If you were born in Los Alamos, New Mexico during the Manhattan Project (where scientists made the atomic bomb), your birthplace is officially listed as a post office box in Albuquerque, NM

Until the age of 5, we laugh about 400 times a day  -   by adulthood we laugh about 15 times a day

Americans spend 5 times more of their life in their car than on holiday

Fourteen years before the Titanic sank, novelist Morgan Robertson published a story about a fictional ship named Titan that struck an iceberg on a foggy April night and sank

Houses were first numbered in Paris in 1463 -- numbering later appeared in Britain in 1708

In London, it rains more often on Thursday than any other day of the week

Nearly 10% of the world's elderly live in the United States (age 60 and older)

No disease afflicting humans ever identified by doctors and scientists has ever been fully eradicated

In the U.S., the number one cause of blindness is diabetes

People in Iceland read more books than any other people in the world while people in France own more pets, people in Sweden eat more candy, and people in the U.S. own more televisions

The first revolution recorded in writing took place around 2500 BC when people in the Sumarian city of Lagash overthrew bureaucrats who were embezzling taxes

More adult American women are living without a husband than are living with one

Less than 25% of the American population over age 25 have a college degree

40% of the world's almonds, 20% of all peanuts, and 8% of the world's sugar end up in candy bars

At normal room temperature, the atoms around us are whizzing by at about 1,000 miles per hour

Being bilingual delays dementia

The Ottoman Empire once had seven emperors in 7 months -- the unlucky leaders died of (in order): burning, choking, drowning, stabbing, heart failure, poisoning, and being thrown from a horse

Since 2003, the suicide rate for girls in the U.S. between the ages of 10 and 14 has increased 76%

Chances of being born on Leap Day: 1 in 1,500  -  about 187,000 people in the U.S. and 4 million people around the world were born on Leap Day (February 29)

Sunday, November 22, 2009


Of all animals, termites have the highest rate of flatulence

Overall, 84% of all serial killers are white, 93% are male, and 76% are American

Less than half of women in the U.S. say that color is an important factor when buying a new car, as compared to more than 60% of American men

In Houston, Texas it is illegal to grunt while moving boxes

Milk cartons were invented in Sweden

When humans meet for the first time, our eyes widen and our eyebrows lift

Number one cause of burglar alarm activation in the U.S.: owner error (burglary ranks 7th)

Number of days in a year that are exactly 24 hours: 4

Country with the most colleges and universities: Mexico (10,341)

In 2000, Disney lifted its 43-year ban on employee mustaches

About 2% of humans have an extra nipple somewhere on their body

October 4, 2004 was the first day since 1999 on which no one was shot in Chicago

By law, all tombstones in Norway must be the same height

Adding up all the times you blink in a day, your eyes are closed for a total of 30 minutes

Your sense of smell is sharpest at age 10 -  by age 20 you will have lost 20% of your sense of smell

Before the Rockies or the Alps were formed, dinosaurs were already extinct

A typical bed houses about 6 million dust mites

The amount of petroleum used worldwide in one year is doubling every 10 years (The U.S. is the world's largest consumer, and the U.S. military consumes most of the imported oil)

Roman citizens who experienced a striking or seemingly significant dream submitted what they had seen to the Senate for analysis and interpretation

1 out of 8 people in the world is suffering chronic malnutrition

Of all the oxygen you breathe in, 20% goes to your brain

During WWII, the U.S. Navy enlisted the assistance of world chess champion Reuben Fine to calculate, on the basis of positional probability, where enemy submarines might be located

In a year, the average person has walked 4 miles in making their bed each day

A zebra is white with black stripes

All polar bears are left-handed

Physicist Lise Meiter, who made calculations that led to the discovery of nuclear fission, was nominated three times for the Nobel Prize in physics but never won -- in 1992, she was posthumously named by fellow scientists "The most significant woman scientist of this century"

In 1949, the Nobel Prize in medicine went to Antonio Egas Moniz in recognition of his breakthrough discovery, the lobotomy -- ten years later he was shot and paralyzed by a disgruntled lobotomized patient

The world's termites outweigh the world's humans by a ratio of 10:1

The rate at which women are murdered in the United States is 5 times higher than any other industrialized nation

Number of psychiatrists who claim to have been physically attacked by a patient: 1 in 2

Percent of Americans who identify the sun as a planet: 15%

Percent of U.S. college graduates who claim to have received all or most of their information after graduation from television watching: 27%

Cockroaches produce flatulence every 15 minutes

Number of Americans who will turn 65 between now and 2030: 38 million

If you are an American murdered in the United States, the chance that you knew your assailant: 92%

If you are a gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender American and are murdered in the U.S., chance you knew your assailant: 23%

Date and time of the most UFO sightings each year in the United States: July 4, at either 9p.m. or 3a.m. local time

Italy has a higher population of Barbie dolls than Canada does Canadians

If a child in the U.S. owns a Barbie doll, odds are they own 7

Number of dog owners who say they have talked to their dog over the phone: 1 in 3

Avocados have more protein than any other fruit, and are poisonous to birds

Two-thirds of the world's eggplant is grown in New Jersey

Largest landowner in New York City: Catholic Church (Columbia University is second)

Wal-Mart clothing brand "No Fear" is manufactured in U.S. prisons (Prison labor manufactures 200,000 garments a year sold in 32 U.S. states, Europe and Japan)

Industrialized nations have a higher per capita suicide rate than developing nations - among industrialized nations, the U.S. ranks at about the middle for suicide

Nearly 150 million Americans are in the workforce and 12% of the total American population lives below the poverty line (close to half of those living below the poverty line are employed)

Obese men are 42% less likely to commit suicide than other men

100 years ago, Americans spent 43% of their income on food and 14% on clothing -- today, Americans spend 13% on food and 4% on clothing (spending is now spread out on other items such as t.v., car, Internet, travel, phone and home ownership, which in the past 100 years has risen from 20% to nearly 70%)

In the United States, whites are more likely to cheat on their spouse than any other racial group

In 2002, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the mentally retarded could not be given the death penalty - as a result, a full 25% of death row inmates had their sentences commuted to life

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Ethiopians first noticed the effects of caffeine when they saw their goats appearing to become frisky and "dance" after eating coffee berries

Odds that a man who is married or in a co-habitation romantic relationship has cheated during that relationship:  1 in 4.76  (Odds for a woman are 1 in 9.09)

Current U.S. national debt:  $11.9 Trillion (US)

A little-known law enacted in 1916 by an act of Congress allows Americans to donate to paying off the national debt and get the same tax-deduction status they would receive as if donating to a charity - while the U.S. government does not have verifiable information on exactly how much money has been donated by Americans to date, the average donation amount is $100 and usually is bequeathed by a citizen in their will after their death - during the current U.S. recession, an average of five people per day donate to pay off the national debt

60 is the smallest number divisible by 1 through 6

Coffee is the second-most traded world commodity, following oil

George Washington invented instant coffee - he was a Belgian man living in Guatemala in 1906

In 1675, the King of England banned coffee houses, claiming they were places where people met to conspire against him (he was right about most of them)

The oldest person on death row in the United States is 94-year-old Viva Leroy Nash - twice Nash escaped prison, and at 67, during his second escape, he robbed a coin shop and fatally shot the 23-year-old clerk, the crime for which he was sentenced to die (Nash is awaiting his last appeal for a life sentence)

40 is the only number that when spelled out (forty) have all letters in alphabetical order

64% of Americans favor the death penalty, which is down 5% from just two years ago and down nearly 20% from 1994

Odds that a male in the U.S. has paid for sex:  1 in 7

75% of Americans state they prefer to be married, while 18% prefer to be unmarried but either dating or in a relationship, and just 2% report preferring to be single

Americans spend more on the interest on their unsecured debt (such as credit cards) than on fresh vegetables by a ratio of nearly 2:1

Although humans appear relatively hairless compared to other primates, the average adult human has more hair follicles than a chimpanzee - the main distinction is that human hairs are shorter, finer, and less heavily pigmented

Men with higher incomes are twice as likely to cheat on their wives than men with lower incomes

Human birth control pills work just as effectively on female gorillas

On average, boys are born during the day more often than girls

Some gerbils are born pregnant

Due to the angle at which the optic nerve enters the brain, staring at a blue surface during sex can greatly increase the intensity of the human orgasm

It is illegal for unmarried couples to have sex in a hotel room in the state of North Carolina

Globally, the average female will have three pregnancies in her lifetime

The sperm count of an average American male compared to 25 years ago has dropped by more than 30%

More twins are born in the Western world than in the Eastern world

Peter the Great executed his wife's lover and had the head of the decapitated man put in a jar of alcohol that he then placed at his wife's bedside where he ordered it to stay for the remainder of their marriage

A barnacle has the largest penis of any other animal in relation to its body size

Average number of times an American male will masturbate in his lifetime: 2,000

53% of Norwegians claim they want to have sex more frequently (Norwegians currently have sex an average of 98 times a year) while 86% of Portuguese claim to be completely satisfied with their sex lives (Portuguese currently have sex an average of 108 times a year)

The United States has more laws governing sex than all the countries in Europe combined

Statistically, the room where you are most likely to tell a lie: bedroom

"The pill" fails to prevent pregnancy 6.2% of the time - the condom fails nearly 14% of the time

Failure rate of condoms in preventing the transmission of HIV: 31%

On average, a human will have sex 3,000 times and spend two full weeks kissing in their lifetime

The speed at which an erotic sensation travels from the skin to the brain is 156 mph

When researchers surgically implanted electrodes into rats' brains in an area presumed to control sexual processes and made it possible for the rats to stimulate themselves, most of the rats cranked up the juice more than 2000 times an hour for 24 hours straight - all lost interest in food, even to the point of starvation

Cold showers actually increase sexual arousal rather than decrease it

Snails have sex for up to 8 hours

Penguins have sex twice a year

The male praying mantis cannot copulate with its head attached to its body, so before intercourse the female initiates mating by ripping his head off

According to several studies, couples who stare into each other's eyes for one minute or longer have an 88% greater chance of ending up in an argument rather than feeling affection for their partner

Both men and women are most likely to experience their first orgasm alone through self-stimulation

Jews and atheists average more sex partners over their lifetimes than do Protestants or Catholics

Sex with a person of the opposite sex is the third most common sexual fantasy for both gay men and lesbians - oral sex is the most common sexual fantasy for gay men, lesbians and heterosexuals

56% of women claim they can't enjoy sex with a partner who is not their intellectual equal (12% of men claim the same)

35% of American men admitted when surveyed to having attempted to perform oral sex on themselves - 0.7% claimed to have succeeded

Largest cell in the human body: female egg

Smallest cell in the human body: male sperm

Number of Internet web pages: more than 10 billion (1 in 5 is pornographic)

Industrialized nation with the most teenage mothers: United States

During kissing, the face and head more often tilt to the right (80% of the time) - researchers believe this is because emotions are controlled by the right side of the brain

A snail's genitals are on its head

Monday, November 9, 2009


Of the nearly 3 million tons of food aid provided by the U.S. annually to developing nations, nearly 25% is Title I sales in which food is sold to third world governments on easy credit terms for resale to local livestock industries as feed, and to food-processing companies (often from the U.S. or other lender nations) who make pasta, bread, cooking oil, and other products for urban consumers - Title I sales are used as a primary tool to create new markets for U.S. grain exports (recipient developing and so-called "third world" nations often come to depend on foreign food supplies since the initial aid ties create a structural dependency where the local food crops are replaced by companies and factories - which use the land and other resources - that ultimately displace the local food supply and replace it with an export food market)

Year the United States declared independence from England: 1776

Percent of Americans over age 20 surveyed in 2005 who could not name the country from which the U.S. gained independence: 43%

First person to issue an official proclamation freeing enslaved Africans in the U.S.: John Murray, Governor of Virginia, 1775 (Abraham Lincoln's proclamation came nearly a century later)

Nearly 30% of all U.S. foreign food aid is entirely tied to purchases from companies in the U.S. - an amount greater than the total assistance the U.S. gave to Sub-Saharan Africa last year

Humanitarian relief has been positive for the image of the U.S. around the world, and it comes at a high price - even though relief aid, which is the assistance given to a nation in a crisis or emergency, accounts for less than 3% of the aid the U.S. offers each year and an overall tiny fraction of the federal budget, the money spent to promote U.S. humanitarian relief most often exceeds the amount of money spent on relief in a region by a ratio of 2:1

The U.S. benefits from the aid it gives out by attaching conditions to those benefits that open new markets for U.S. goods and food exports, and often contain a condition that the U.S. also supply "military aid" - the U.S. supplies "military aid" to countries that may not even have a full army - by selling weapons and technology, however, the U.S. creates a new market for exports

The United States currently is the chief supplier of guns, ammunition and other weapons globally, and in as many as 50 conflicts is the supplier of munitions to both sides (armed conflict has been named as a leading cause of hunger and famine worldwide by the United Nations, the International Red Cross, and Amnesty International)

When the United States gives food aid, it attaches "covenants" - these are conditions that the recipient country must meet that usually alter the structure of that nation's local economies (for example, between 1982 and 1990, Costa Rica received 9 assistance packages that contained a total of 357 covenants that made receiving the aid conditional on many structural changes that have remained permanent, including eliminating local grain markets; slashing support prices for locally grown corn, beans and rice; allowing more imports from the U.S.; and easing restrictions on foreign investments)

Only 12% of the world's population uses 85% of the world's water - none of this 12% lives in the "third world"

U.S. foreign aid entirely- emergency assistance, humanitarian relief, and longer-term food relief programs- account for less than 0.15% of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product - and less than all other industrialized nations' foreign aid relief

In a 2005 survey, nearly 2 out of 3 Americans expressed negative perceptions of foreign relief estimating that the U.S. gave out "at least 10%" of GDP to foreign nations, that this was "charity" and that the foreign nations were frequently "not at all grateful" - less than 0.01% of respondents claimed that the U.S. and other industrialized nations "owed" aid to recipient nations (in exchange for centuries of profit through conquest and colonialism, mineral and natural resource extraction, labor exploitation, and unequal trade practices internationally)

Sneak Peek at Global Spending:
*Military spending: $780 Billion (US)
*Alcoholic drinks in Europe: $150 Billion (US)
*Cigarettes in Europe: $50 Billion (US)
*Business entertainment in Japan: $35 Billion (US)
*Pet food in Europe and U.S.: $17 Billion (US)
*Perfumes in Europe and U.S.: $12 Billion (US)
*Ice cream in Europe: $11 Billion (US)
*Cosmetics in the U.S.: $8 Billion (US)
*Universal education (basic): $6 Billion (US)

The U.S. ranks 15th out of the wealthiest 19 industrialized nations in the prevention of deaths that are "amendable to treatment" (the U.S. ranked last among these nations in the category of "child welfare")

Globally, 40% of the diseases measured by YLD (Years Lived with Disability) are psychiatric (most common are schizophrenia, depression, bipolar disorder, and alcohol/substance abuse)

Globally, 1 out of 4 people will develop a psychiatric disorder in their lifetime, with major depression being the most common disorder (schizophrenia and depression have been found in every known culture)

3000 people in the world will start smoking cigarettes today

U.S. military spending accounts for nearly half the world's total military spending, or $350 Billion (US)

Most U.S. tax dollars are spent on "national defense" (such as the wars and occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan) while 6.5% of taxes are spent on education, and less than 6% is spent on health

Women on "the pill" are 30 times more likely to suffer gum disease

Last year 2,953 Americans were treated at hospitals for toothbrush-related injuries

Odds that an American will visit a hospital for an injury related to an automatic garage door: 1 in 106,300

The world has 193 officially recognized sovereign nations - the United States has over 1700 military bases in 154 nations in the world

The odds that a U.S. congressional representative has experience as a mayor are the same odds that a woman in the U.S. has had an ulcer: 1 in 15

Odds that a white person in the United States aged 68 will live to be 100 years of age: 1 in 34

Odds that a Native American will live to be 68 years of age: 1 in 100

2.4% of Americans live past 100 years
22.4% - past 90 years
54.5% - past 80 years
76.3% - past 70 years

Sunday, November 1, 2009


It takes 30 bone and joint movements and 50 muscles to manipulate chopsticks, a factor some Chinese insist is behind their success at table tennis - the Chinese have used chopsticks when eating for 30 centuries

Starving children in Angola have discovered that sucking on a rag soaked in gasoline can quell hunger pangs for hours at a time - children routinely dash between cars, competing to mop up spilled gas near filling stations

Things to throw at weddings:
African-American: Black-eyed peas
Nepal: Lava (a type of popcorn roasted over a mild flame)
Morocco: A mix of dried grapes, dates and figs
Serbia: Local candies
Other American: White rice

Due to scientific intervention, modern dairy cows produce 10 times more milk than their bodies are intended to (to burn the amount of energy a modern cow expends lactating, you would have to jog non-stop for six hours a day) - newer interventions have produced cows that deliver semi-skimmed milk right from her udder

Children in Brazil, Peru, Bolivia and Uruguay have 6.5 cavities before they reach age 12, the worst rate of child tooth decay in the world

If a woman had the exact proportions of a typical clothes mannequin she would be unable to menstruate

The reason male mannequins do not have genitalia, according to manufacturers, is that clothes do not "hang well" when life-like genitalia are added

Pubic wigs, also known as "night flowers," are sold in Japan as fluffy clumps of recycled hair to be worn on the pubis of schoolgirls and young brides ashamed of their relative lack of pubic hair (no similar product is sold for boys)

Leading health risk for dogs and cats in the U.S.: Obesity (over 50 million dogs and cats in the U.S. are overweight and at-risk for diabetes, liver disease, and other illnesses)

To perform rhinoplasty, or a "nose-job," surgeons slit open the nose, put a chisel against the bone, and break it with a small hammer, afterward molding the bones back together by hand until the nose attains the desired new shape

90% of mouth cancer is caused by tobacco use

Beer is made, in part, by fermentation caused by bacteria feeding on yeast cells then defecating

Eating burns 72 calories an hour; sleeping consumes about 50 calories an hour

1 in 14 American women is a natural blond, while 1 in 16 American men are naturally blond

Number of turkeys raised in the U.S. last year to be sold commercially: 272 million (the turkey industry is worth approximately $3 billion annually; to meet the increased demand for turkey for the U.S. holiday of Thanksgiving, an additional $10 million worth of turkeys are imported from Canada each year)

Your bladder can hold between 350ml and 550ml of urine - at around 250ml, you will feel the need to urinate - childbirth, disease, age, or a weak bladder wall can cause some to leak urine - 5-10% of the world's population are affected by this condition, known as incontinence

Two-thirds of turkeys sold in the U.S. come from 6 states: Arkansas, California, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, Virginia (Americans consume an average of 13 pounds of turkey a year)

At the time of the U.S. Revolutionary War, Philadelphia was the second-largest English speaking city in the world, surpassed only by London

Despite being nominated five times, Gandhi never received the Nobel Peace Prize and only made the short-list of candidates twice - after Gandhi was assassinated in 1948, the Nobel Committee announced that no peace prize would be awarded that year since "there was no suitable living candidate"

Guinness beer is not black, but is a very dark shade of ruby

Most death penalty executions in the United States are carried out one minute past midnight

The average North American gray squirrel lives about 9 years

3000 out of 3001 calico cats is born female

Your body has 40 miles of nerves

In the U.S., more money is spent annually on cigarettes and alcohol than on life insurance by a ratio of 20:1

A "micro-nation" is a country that is not recognized by any other as a sovereign - one example of the literally thousands that exist is the Principality of Sealand, located on an ocean platform off the coast of England, which has its own currency, flag, postage stamps, and issues its own passports but has argued in court for independence (and lost) more than a dozen times (other terms for micro-nations include Model Country and New Country Project)

The average paper currency note in the United States is meant to take up to 400 folds in each direction before it rips, and is made of 25% linen fibers

There are 191 officially recognized currencies worldwide

On average, 300,000 people starve to death each year - 50,000 are children under age 5

In developed nations the median age is 40 years, while in developing countries the median age ranges between 15 and 20 years

Major Languages (native and secondary speakers):
Mandarin Chinese: 1.12 billion
English: 500 million
Spanish: 325 million
Russian: 290 million
French: 270 million
Hindi/Urdu: 255 million
Arabic: 222 million

Percent of Americans over age 20 that are considered obese: 32% (66.5% of the American population over age 20 is considered overweight)

Maggots were approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a "live medical device" - placed on serious wounds, maggots eat bacteria and dead tissue, stimulating healing and helping to prevent infection

82% of U.S. households speak English-only in the home

Most hungry people live in countries that have food surpluses rather than deficits - instead of growing food to feed local communities, industrial agriculture produces crops to sell on world markets (world crop production has tripled since 1950, but more people have died of hunger in each of the past twenty years)

At the dawn of agriculture, around 8000 BCE, world population was approximately 5 million - from 8000 BCE to 1 AD, population grew to about 200 million with an average growth rate of 0.5% a year - annual world population growth rate reached its peak in the 1960s when it was at 2% and currently the growth rate is 1.5% and steadily declining

In the forty year span between 1959 and 1999 world population doubled from 3 billion to 6 billion - United Nations reports project world population will stabilize at about 10 billion people after 2200

Males aged 25-29 die at a rate of 1 in 721 in the U.S. each year

Joseph Merlin of Belgium demonstrated his new invention, roller skating, at a masquerade party in London in 1760

What Keeps Us Pretty:
*Placenta: The uterus lining expelled during childbirth is called the placenta - products were aggressively marketed in the U.S. that contained placenta in the 1940s with claims of wrinkle-removal and initiating tissue growth for "younger-looking skin" - the U.S. Food and Drug Administration admits that placenta does contain high amounts of protein, but bans companies from making specific claims that placenta is more effective than other proteins in skin-care products - today, many skin creams continue to contain placenta

*Whale vomit: Otherwise known as ambergis, a flammable waxy substance that is used in perfumes and some beauty creams, whale vomit contains proteins that aid in keeping skin smooth

*Cow dung: Expected to hit store shelves in 2010, Japanese researchers have found a way to create sweet vanilla fragrance through special heating and pressure processes so that cow dung, which is inexpensive, can be used as a fragrance in shampoo, soap, and cosmetics

*Semen: Contains a very powerful antioxidant called spermine that is five-times more effective than Vitamin E for the healing process of human skin - a Scandanavian company makes an entire line of skin-care products that use spermine, while companies around the world use bull semen in shampoos to give hair extra strength and shine

Sunday, October 25, 2009


An average American will eat the equivalent of 28 pigs in their lifetime

A pig's orgasm can last as long as 30 minutes

Fewer than 10% of infants are born on their due date - half are born within a week of when a doctor predicted their birth, and 90% of all babies are born within two weeks before or after the projected date

California has more than 1,200 7-Eleven convenience stores, more than any other U.S. state

The ten most dangerous jobs in the U.S., based on likelihood of injury or death: fishers and related fishing workers, loggers, aircraft pilots and flight engineers, structural iron and steel workers, farmers and ranchers, refuse and recyclable materials collectors, roofers, electrical repairers, traveling salespeople and truck drivers, taxi drivers and chauffeurs

Chance of an average worker sustaining a fatal work injury in the United States: 3.6 fatal occupational injuries per 100,000 workers (2008 - most recent data collection)

Half of all married pastors will divorce

An open-mouth kiss lasting one minute burns about 26 calories

One barrel of petroleum holds 42 (U.S.) gallons, or 158.9873 liters

One barrel of petroleum holds 34.9723 Imperial (U.K.) gallons

Half of all people who made a purchase on the Internet in 2008 spent about 5 hours per week online - most were female

George Washington, first President of the United States, chose the location for the White House but remains the only president in U.S. history to have never lived there - the first president to reside at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue was John Adams in 1800

7 out of 10 houses in the U.S. are painted white

In the U.S., more than 2 billion pencils are sold each year, most with erasers attached to one end - in the U.K., about the same number of pencils are sold each year but most do not have erasers attached

In 1687, Jean-Baptiste Lully, composer, died of a gangrenous abscess after piercing his foot with a staff while he was vigorously conducting a Te Deum, as it was customary at that time to conduct by banging a staff on the floor - the performance was to celebrate the King's recovery from an illness

The average pencil contains enough graphite to draw a line 35 miles long or to write about 45,000 words

Odds that an American male does not own a pair of bluejeans: 1 in 10

Only 7% of the Earth's land has a temperate climate but nearly half of the world's population, or 3.3 billion people, live in temperate zones

Approximate number of blades of grass in one acre of lawn in the United States: 564,537,600

More than half of the world's supply of pencils comes from China, which produces more than 10 billion pencils a year - enough to circle the earth more than 40 times

7 out of 8 of the U.S. presidents who have died in office- either through illness or assassination- were elected at 20-year intervals (Ronald Reagan was elected 20 years after the last U.S. president who had died in office and, although he was shot during his first term, he survived what some called "The 20-year Curse")

It is illegal to whale hunt in the state of Oklahoma

Men are six times more likely than women to be struck by lightning

Number of miles in a light year: 5,878,499,814,186.5

More than 20 million meteoroids enter Earth's atmosphere each day - most are no bigger than a speck of dust

Japan leads the world in the number of vending machines with about one machine for every 23 people, and those machines are stocked with a variety of products including drinks, snacks, cigarettes, bottles of liquor, cans of beer, fried food, underwear, iPods, porn magazines, sexual lubricants, live lobsters, fresh meat, eggs, potted plants, and clothing

On average, 10-15 people contract Bubonic Plague in the United States each year

Odds that a woman in the United States owns a pair of high-heels: 1 in 6

Fastest growing population of Facebook users: Women, over age 55

In the United States, less than 1% of women choose to deliver their babies at home, while more than 30% of Dutch women choose home births

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Since 1950, over 230 million "eggs" of Silly Putty have been sold worldwide

Odds that a person in the world will seek emergency medical services due to an accident involving a drinking straw: 1 in 166,600 a year

Over 500 randomly selected Americans participated in a long-term study from 1978 to 2005 in which they were asked at intervals how much prices would go up or down in the next year -- experts who made these predictions primarily relied on rate exchanges, money supply growth, and employment rate statistics while the study participants relied almost exclusively on fluctuations in their grocery costs, particularly in milk and fresh vegetables, and their "gut feelings" -- both the economists and the consumers who participated in the study were able to predict inflation rates within a 1% margin of error

The male Satin Bover Bird, found on the east coast of Australia, builds its nest with twigs and then decorates it with blue and yellow shiny objects in an effort to attract females -- people who live nearby have found missing objects such as car keys, clothes pins, and toys built into the nests

The term "continental breakfast" was coined to differentiate between the fried eggs, bacon and beans served in a traditional English breakfast from the pastries, coffee and juice offered throughout the rest of Europe

In a 2008 survey of American males ages 25-49, married men and men in long-term relationships reported changing their underwear twice as often than the unmarried and single men (in the same survey, nearly 4% of all men claimed to "never wear underwear")

Black pepper is the most popular spice in the world

Hong Kong has the highest number of millionaires per square mile of any city in the world

1 in 4 animals on earth is a beetle

10% of biomass on earth is comprised of ants; another 10% of biomass is comprised of termites -- 95% of all animal species are insects, and most are beetles with over 500,000 different species

53% of students attending four-year colleges in the U.S. will take 6 years to complete their degree program

1 in 10 laptop computers are stolen each year

11 billion elevator trips are made in New York City each year -- the Otis Elevator Company estimates that it transports the equivalent of the world's population every five days

Medical negligence: 120,000
On-the-job accidents, occupational diseases: 68,000
Dangerous or defective products: 28,000
Murder: 24,000

Geographic center of the 48 contiguous states within the continental U.S.: Smith County, Kansas

Most common blood type in the world: O-positive (people with blood type O-negative are considered "universal donors" because their blood can be transfused to all other blood types; people with blood type AB-positive are considered "universal recipients" because they can generally accept a transfusion of any other blood type)

Halitophobia: Intense, irrational fear of bad breath (not one's own, but that of someone else)

90% of bad breath odor comes from bacteria and residue accumulated on the tongue

In 1981, Ian Murphy and three accomplices broke into the AT&T telephone system and changed its internal clocks so that customers would get midnight discount rates for long-distance calls at midday while late-night callers would pay the much higher fees -- Murphy became the first computer "hacker" charged with a crime

Asia (44,579,000 sq. km)
Africa (30,065,000 sq. km)
N. America (24,256,000 sq. km)
S. America (17,819,000 sq. km)
Antarctica (13,209,000 sq. km)
Europe (9,938,000 sq. km)
Australia/Oceania (7,687,000

Asia - 3,879,000,000
Africa - 877,500,000
Europe - 727,000,000
N. America - 501,500,000
S. America - 379,500,000
Australia/Oceania - 32,000,000
Antarctica - 0

Africa - 53
Europe - 46
Asia - 44
N. America - 23
Oceania - 14
S. America - 13

Odds that an adult aged 45-64 in the U.S. owns a gun: 1 in 3

In the United States, Google takes 70-75% of the search engine market -- in places such as the U.K., Switzerland, and South America the margin rises to 90%

In 1400, global income rose at a rate of about 0.1% -- in 2000, global income rose by over 5%

Only Grammy Award winner convicted of murder: Jim Gordon, won the Grammy for co-writing the Eric Clapton hit "Layla," convicted in 1983 of killing his mother with a hammer and knife

16th century surgeon Gaspere Tagliacozzi built his aristocratic clients new noses from the skins of their slaves

Studies have demonstrated that adult pigeons have a higher rate of self-recognition (recognizing oneself in a mirror, for example) than 3-year-old humans (other animals that demonstrate high rates of self-recognition are dolphins, elephants, gorillas, and chimpanzees)

Monday, October 12, 2009


According to a survey of American adults in 2009, 70% of whites stated that blacks in the United States face no inequalities, while 50% of blacks surveyed stated they were discriminated against in the past month

Ratio of cars to children in the United States: 5:2

The U.S. infant mortality rate is the highest among the top 23 wealthiest nations

28% of the 4,192 automobiles manufactured in the United States in 1900 were electric

Guinness Book of World Records record-holder for the most records held or broken: Ashrita Furman with 41 current records and having beaten or set 119 since dropping out of Columbia University in 1975

To convert Fahrenheit to Celsius take the degree temperature in Fahrenheit, subtract 32, multiply the result by 5, and divide this result by 9

In 2007, marine biologists discovered an entire new phylum of animal living on the outside rim of a lobster's mouth

An estimated 1 million dogs in the U.S. have been named sole or primary beneficiary in the owner's will

The word "checkmate" is derived from the Persian phrase "Shah mat" which means "the king is dead"

About 25% of the motor cortex in the human brain (the part of your brain which controls body movement) is devoted entirely to the muscles of the hands

Each suit on a standard deck of playing cards represents the four major pillars of the economy in the Middle Ages:
Hearts = Church/ Spades = Military/ Clubs = Agriculture/ Diamonds = Merchants

In 2007, the U.S. spent more than $50 billion on the incarceration of U.S. citizens -- the rate of incarceration is 1 in 99 people, which is the highest among all nations

Vermont, Michigan, Oregon, and Connecticut spend more on jails and prisons than on higher education, while on average in the U.S. every state spends nearly 7% of it's general fund on incarceration

People over age 100 in the U.S. increased from about 4,000 in 1960 to about 55,000 in 1995 -- by 2005, more than 67,000 Americans were over age 100

In the U.S., 57% of women who die after age 15 are widows, while only 18% of men who die over age 15 are widowed

A Swedish company, Promessa, will freeze-dry your dead body in liquid nitrogen, pulverize it with high-frequency vibrations, and place the resulting powder in a cornstarch coffin that will allow for your entire remains and the materials you were buried in to fully decompose in 6-12 months

Traditional burials in just the U.S. deposit 827,000 gallons of embalming fluid- formaldehyde, methanol, and ethanol- into the soil each year (which ends up in ground water supplies) -- Traditional cremations pump dioxins, hydrochloric acid, sulfur dioxide, and carbon dioxide into the air

Time shown on all clocks in the film "Pulp Fiction": 4:20

Number of hours the average American sleeps each year: 2,000

Number of hours doctors recommend a human sleep each year: about 3,000

Number of different animals depicted in cookie form in a standard box of Animal Crackers: 18

Number of rodent hairs and insect fragments allowed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration per 100 grams of peanut butter: 30 insect fragments, 2 rodent hairs

Number of Americans surveyed that stated they read in the bathroom: 66%

82% of Americans made a purchase at a Wal-Mart last year

The music for the U.S. national anthem, "The Star Spangled Banner," comes from a British drinking song

On average, the Pentagon uses 666 rolls of toilet paper per day

In 1990, two California school districts banned the book "Little Red Riding Hood" because a picture inside the book showed a bottle of wine in the basket carried by the title character as she is making her way to her grandmother's house

Each year, Americans spend $30 billion on beer, eat more chicken than any other people in the world, consume about 20 billion hot dogs, and spend more money on gambling than on movies, recorded music, theme parks and spectator sports combined

On average, 125 Americans die each year due to allergic reactions to food

1 out of 10 Americans will be hospitalized this year for at least one day

85% of life on Earth is plankton, 75% of all animals are insects, and 10% of the Earth's biomass is comprised of ants

Country with the highest population of Internet users who read blogs: Canada

Monday, October 5, 2009


U.S. national debt has continued to increase an average of $3.79 Billion per day from September 2008 to September 2009 -- given the estimated population of the United States as 305, 005, 151, the share of the debt for every child, woman, and man in the U.S. is approximately $38, 378

On any given day, about 25 unidentified bodies are in the Los Angeles Coroner's Office

Up to 15,000 dust mites can live in 1 gram of dust

American Roy Sullivan held the world record for the most lightning strikes survived by a human after his 8th hit -- he later committed suicide

Americans consume about 22 pounds of tomatoes each year per person, mostly in the forms of ketchup and sauces

Most popular pizza topping in Japan: Squid

Most popular pizza topping in the U.S.: Pepperoni

Only U.S. state to never have an earthquake: North Dakota

It takes 12 honeybees to produce 1 tablespoon of honey

60% of all apples eaten in the United States were grown in Washington State

On January 11, 1922, Leonard Thompson, a 14-year-old boy dying of uncontrolled diabetes, was given the first human experimental dose of Insulin

When falling, a male skier tends to fall forward while a female skier tends to fall backward

In most advertisements, the time displayed on a watch is 10:10

In 1988, a study found that self-deception was healthy for most people who tend to view themselves in unrealistically positive terms, believing they have more control over their environment than they actually do and holding views about their future that are more positive than the available evidence can justify

Scientists discover about 10,000 species of insect each year

Out of 20,000 species of bees, only four make honey -- honey is the only food that does not spoil

Number of U.S. federal agencies with officers granted the authority to carry firearms: 46

During the Gallic Wars, Julius Cesear ordered the thumbs of captured warriors amputated so that when they were returned to their country they would not be able to use a bow and arrow -- the "thumbs up" gesture is believed to be derived from this period when soldiers would gesture with their thumbs as a sign that they had not been captured and were ready to fight

In general, human males can read smaller print, while females can hear better

It takes 18 minutes to cool hot chocolate into a Hershey's Kiss

Each day, about 40 million Americans eat peanut butter

The New York State Board of Education banned the whipping of children in its schools on March 4, 1908

The main reason ranchers and cowboys carried pistols in the American west was to avoid being dragged to death by their horse

Burial wreaths became popular in the United States in the 17th century -- it was believed they would encircle the spirit of the deceased, thereby preventing them from haunting anyone

On January 15, 1919, a two-million gallon tank of molasses exploded, flooding the streets of Boston and crushing 10 buildings

In the United States, color preference for automobiles varies but the most popular colors are white for trucks, black for luxury cars, and silver for others

According to the World Health Organization, the number of people worldwide currently experiencing "financial catastrophe" due to the cost of their health care: more than 150 million (about 47 million Americans have no health care coverage)

The Human Development Index (HDI), published annually by the United Nations, ranks nations according to their citizens' quality of life rather than strictly by a nation's traditional economic figures -- the criteria for ranking includes life expectancy, educational attainment and access, and adjusted real income

HDI's Most Livable Countries (2007, most recent report): Iceland, Norway, Australia, Canada, Ireland, Sweden, Switzerland, Japan, Netherlands, France (U.S. - 12th, U.K. - 18th)

HDI's Least Livable Countries (2007, most recent report): Sierra Leone, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissan, Niger, Mali, Mozambique, Chad, Ethiopia, Burmundi, Zambia

61% of all humans live in Asia with the vast majority of the remainder residing in the Americas (14%), Africa (14%) and Europe (11%)

Bic estimates that since 1950 it has sold 50 disposable ink pens every second every day -- in September 2005, the company announced the sale of its billionth pen

Monday, September 28, 2009


More than 8 million Americans seriously consider suicide each year

Less than 3% of Fortune 500 companies CEOs are female

A typical British office worker spends an average of 50 hours a year cleaning out junk emails from their workplace email accounts

World's largest frog: The South African Goliath, which grows to about a foot in length and can weigh as much as 2.5 pounds

The 1904 Summer Olympics, held in St. Louis, Missouri, included contests in greased pole climbing, rock throwing, and mud fighting

Most common name for a privately-owned boat in the United States: "Escape" ("Wet Dream" is ranked 7th)

Mount Everest is growing at a rate of half an inch a year, meaning that a climber today would have to go 28 inches further to reach the summit than Sir Edmund Hillary did in 1953 when, at the age of 33, he and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay became the first humans known to reach the peak

Canada occupies most of North America, extending from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west and northward into the Arctic Ocean, and is the second largest country in the world by total area -- Canada shares the world's longest common border with the United States (this border is also the world's longest undefended border)

Canada and the United States are each others largest trading partners -- for example, most of the oil imported by the U.S. comes from Canada, while the U.S. exports most of its automobiles to Canada

Percent of adult Americans who cannot name the Prime Minister of Canada: 89% (Prime Minister of Canada: Stephen Harper)

On average, 1 in 30 American births results in twins

Kathleen Casey of Philadelphia was born at 12:01 a.m., Eastern Standard Time, on January 1, 1946 -- she was the first birth recorded for that year, and the first official "baby boomer"

In Birmingham, England it is illegal to have sex on the steps of any church after sundown

"Female breasts" are not considered "private parts" under state law upheld by the Arizona Supreme Court

In London, England it is illegal to have sex, day or night, on a parked motorcycle

Alexander Hamilton and John Adams were among several founders of the United States who protested against having political parties, both expressing fear that it would lead to a division in society that would not be able to be bridged even in critical moments

Andrew Jackson referred to himself as a "Jeffersonian Democrat" during his presidential campaign -- Thomas Jefferson described Jackson as a "dangerous man"

In March 2009, a hiker in the German town of Landshut found a human skeleton in a treetop -- it was later determined these were the remains of a man who had committed suicide 30 years earlier by tying himself to the tree and shooting himself -- a note he had left behind at the time of his "disappearance" described his plan and the man's belief that he would not be missed

Color most visible to the human eye from the greatest distance: Yellow

In 1811, Scottish surgeon Charles Bell described how each of the five senses had a corresponding spot in the brain

Your teeth start growing six months before you are born -- these "teeth buds" will eventually form a human child's first set of teeth (1 in 2000 newborns has at least one tooth already visible at birth)

Approximately 1% of people worldwide self-identify as having no sexual desire

Nearly 1 in 5 Americans claim they have had sex with a co-worker

1 in 4 Americans live with an incurable sexually transmitted disease

Both Barack Obama and John McCain, who vied for the U.S. presidency in 2008, were born outside the continental United States -- Obama was born in Hawaii and McCain was born in the Panama Canal Zone, a U.S. naval base

A 2009 study of children aged 10-13 years showed the number that felt uncomfortable or reluctant to talk to their parents nearly doubled among the 13-year-olds

Blood-sucking hookworms inhabit about 700 million people worldwide

Earth is the only planet on which water can exist in liquid form on the surface

More than 1000 viruses have been identified as a cause for the common cold in humans

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