Monday, June 8, 2009


Seashell fossils have been found high in the Himalayan Mountains, indicating that the land was once underwater

In the early 20th century, schizophrenia was commonly treated by kidney dialysis

It is illegal to enter England's Houses of Parliament wearing a suit of armor

Male iguanas have two penises

Mapmakers often insert a tiny piece of incorrect information in their maps to prevent illegal reproduction of their work -- called a "copyright trap," the fake text usually takes the form of a bogus street name or even the mapmaker's initials hidden in the corner of a city park

The office cubicle was invented by Robert Probst in 1968, who called his design the Action Office System and promised it would increase productivity among workers who would now have a sense of "social privacy"

An octopus has no bones and can squeeze itself through an opening roughly the size of its eyeball

Antarctica actually gets little snow precipitation -- the extremely low temperatures prevent the snow that does fall from melting

European carousels generally rotate clockwise, while American merry-go-rounds usually rotate counter-clockwise

Apple seeds contain trace amounts of cyanide

Two-thirds of the world's lawyers practice law and reside in the United States

The average American has 8 friends -- 2.5 million Americans claim to have no friends

Depending on the time of year, the Earth's distance from the Sun can vary by as many as 3 million miles

In the U.S., a head injury occurs every 15 seconds

Monaco's national orchestra has more members than its army

A grasshopper's blood is white

Marcel Bich invented the Bic pen, but the "H" was removed from the name for marketing reasons -- it was assumed Americans would pronounce the new item "bitch"

Fewer people die or become ill at age 10 than at any other age -- worldwide, the age of ten is considered the safest year of life

Sport that uses the largest playing field: Polo

When you attempt to recognize and place a familiar face, you are using the right side of your brain

George W. Bush and Jimmy Carter were the only right-handed Presidents of the United States in the past 50 years (President Barack Obama is left-handed)

Scientists know more about the surface of the Moon than about the bottom of the oceans on Earth

If you lick a stamp, you consume 1/10 of a calorie

The richest 10% of the French are approximately 50 times better off than the poorest 10%

A moderate sunburn damages blood vessels in the skin so seriously that it takes between 4-15 months for them to fully heal

If current trends in diet and exercise remain constant, 86% of Americans will be obese by 2030

The United States almost owned Cuba, but when President James Buchanan lobbied Congress for the funds to make the purchase he was denied -- members of Congress feared the President might take the money and leave the U.S.

Contrary to popular thinking, Napoleon was not short -- he was 5 feet, 7 inches tall, making him taller than most Frenchmen of his era -- it is believed that the idea that he was short stems from his nickname, Le Petit Coporal, "The Little Corporal"

The typical human will spend about one-third of their life asleep

Scientific name for the back of your hand: Opisthenar

Fossilized bird droppings are the chief export of Nauru, an island nation in the Western Pacific

In 1987, American Airlines saved $40,000 a year by removing one olive from each salad it served to passengers

In 1777, Vermont declared independence from New York State

About 500,000 detectable earthquakes happen around the world each year -- about 100,000 are felt by people and of these about 100 cause damage

In 1810, African-Americans accounted for nearly 20% of the U.S. population -- African-Americans now account for about 12% of the U.S. population

Most liquid laundry detergents contain living organisms that help to break down stains

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