Monday, August 31, 2009


The first automobile accident on record in the U.S. occurred in New York City in 1896 when a driver struck a bicycle -- the bicyclist suffered a broken leg while the driver spent a night in jail

Since 1932, only Jimmy Carter and George W. Bush have failed in their bids for re-election for a second term as President of the United States

States with laws against the use of dildos: Alabama, Arizona, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Utah, and Virginia

Other than humans and most other primates, female mammals born with hymens: llamas, guinea pigs, manatees, moles, toothed whales, elephants, rats, seals, and horses

In the first U.S. Presidential election, held in 1789, one candidate ran unopposed (George Washington) and only 10 out of the 13 states participated in the election -- New York had not chosen any electors for the Electoral College, while neither Rhode Island nor North Carolina had yet ratified the Constitution

The earliest radio broadcasts on Earth from the 1930s have already traveled past over 100,000 stars

Lemons contain more sugar than strawberries

Yearly Diet of Average American
  • 290 pounds of milk and cream
  • 150 pounds of red meat
  • 135 pounds of potatoes
  • 80 pounds of fruit
  • 68 pounds of bread
  • 48 pounds of chicken
  • 35 pounds of eggs
  • 5 pounds of fish
Nutmeg is fatal if injected intravenously

85% of all plant life on Earth is located in the oceans

Disney World, located in Orlando, Florida, is twice the size of Manhattan

In the United States in 2005, less than 1% of babies were born outside of a hospital, and of these most (65%) were born at home or at a birthing center -- but nearly 2,400 babies were born at the mother's workplace

In the late 1970s, Elizabeth Loftus, one of the world's premier memory researchers, conducted a study using college students who volunteered to participate -- in one experiment, the students viewed moving pictures of a traffic accident, then were asked immediately following "How fast was the white sports car going when it passed the barn?" -- several days later, when witnesses to the film were quizzed about what they had seen, 17% were certain they had seen a barn -- in reality, the film had not included any buildings at all

Percentage of atheists who own at least one bible: 65%

Month when most people are born in the world: September

In a room with 23 people, it is probable that at least two share your birthday -- in a room of 35 people, the odds increase to an 85% chance

If an American dies before age 65, they were most likely between the ages of 25 and 44 at the time of their death and it was most likely the result of an accident

Slogan on New Hampshire license plates: Live Free or Die (Manufacturer of New Hampshire license plates: Prisoners at the New Hampshire State Prison in Concord, NH)

Number of company logos recognized by the typical American child by the time she enters first grade: 200

Human Population Growth:
1804 - 1 billion
1927 - 2 billion (123 years later)
1960 - 3 billion (33 years later)
1974 - 4 billion (14 years later)
1987 - 5 billion (13 years later)
1999 - 6 billion (12 years later)
Expected to reach 7 billion in 2010 (11 years later)

Worldwide, the day of the week most people commit suicide: Monday

Pound for pound, hamburgers in the U.S. cost more than a new car

Monday, August 24, 2009


Humans use over 200 muscles to take one step

Facial hair, especially beards, are the fastest growing hairs on the human body (Pogonophobia: fear of beards)

The only two places on Earth where men outlive women: South Asia, and Iran

Over 10 million Indonesians are current or former Boy Scouts

Charlie Chaplin placed third in a Charlie Chaplin Look-a-Like contest -- Dolly Parton didn't place at all in a contest seeking her resemblance

Since 1950 in the United States, the average functional vocabulary of an 8th grader has declined steadily from about 25,000 words to about 10,000 words

In 1992, Lee Harvey Oswald's (the man alleged to have assassinated President John F. Kennedy) cadaver tag sold at auction for $6,600

A person who can speak two languages fluently is commonly known as bilingual, but is technically a diglot

Percent of Americans who claim to fall asleep with the television on: 20%

Percentage of Americans claim to have never smoked marijuana: 20%

New York City has the highest population of people who commit suicide by jumping off buildings

Human population is predicted to reach 7 billion by 2011

An olive tree can live up to 1,500 years

Nylon is made from coal and petroleum

Technically speaking, the banana tree is not a true fruit but is a giant herb, and the banana is actually a berry

Beans have historically been a symbol of the embryo and growth in most societies -- the ancient Egyptians called the place where the souls of the dead awaited reincarnation Ka, which means "the bean field"

The average weight of a newborn baby in the United States is 8 pounds, while 30 years ago the average weight of a newborn was 6 pounds

  • In South Africa, red is the color of mourning
  • In China, red is the color of good luck and is used as a holiday and wedding color -- Chinese babies are given their names are at a red-egg ceremony
  • Red is the most common color on national flags
  • Only national flag that is a solid color: Libya (green)
  • In Iran, blue is the color of mourning
  • In Thailand, a widow wears purple to symbolize her grief and mourning
  • In Egypt and Burma, yellow signifies mourning
  • In the Middle Ages in Europe, actors portraying the dead wore yellow
  • In China and Japan, white symbolizes mourning
  • The colors yellow, orange and red are widely used in fast-food chains around the world -- these colors stimulate hunger and impulsiveness in humans
9 out of 10 blind people live in developing countries

Before Briton Hadden and Henry Luce decided to call their new magazine Time, they were torn between calling it either Chance or Destiny

The foreskin from one circumcision can be grown to a size that, when unfolded, could cover a football field

The only U.S. president to have once been the leader of a labor union: Ronald Reagan (former leader of SAG- the Screen Actors Guild)

"Goosebumps" on human flesh are caused by stimulation of the arrector pilli, which sense various forms of irritation, ranging from the feeling of fear to the sensation of cold, and raise the skin involuntarily -- scientists believe this was a feature that helped humans appear larger in the presence of danger by raising the hair on the arms and body, and helped humans stay warmer by also raising the hairs on the body

FBI statistics show that driving while drunk in the U.S. is most commonly a crime committed by whites -- after adjusting for differing percentages of total U.S. population, about 10 times more whites are arrested for DWI than African-Americans, and nearly 25 times more likely than all other racial groups

Homer Hickman's book "Rocket Boys" was later made into a film entitled "October Sky" -- the titles are each an anagram of the other

"Drag" - referring to male cross-dressing - first appeared in the English dictionaries in 1870 and was the term to describe male theater actors portraying women characters who wore elaborate gowns that dragged on the floor -- these roles were referred to as "drag" parts in the show

In Switzerland, you can be fined for slamming your car door

More than 220 million tons of discarded computers and other technological hardware (known as e-waste) are trashed in the United States each year -- only about 11% of computers are recycled and less than 10% of televisions

The U.S. Bill of Rights originally contained 12 rights, but only 10 were passed

Sunday, August 16, 2009


Between 1985 and 2005, profits for the world's richest 200 companies rose by nearly 400%

The United States has the highest child poverty rate in the developed world at 37%

In 1986, psychiatrist William Condon of Boston University's Medical School analyzed films of adults chatting and noticed that unconsciously the conversationalists began to coordinate their finger movements, blinks and n0ds -- when pairs of talkers were hooked up to separate electroencephalographs, some of their brain waves began sparking in unison

Artifacts suggest the moon was used to calculate time as far back as 12,000 and possibly even 30,000 BCE

Researchers theorize that most people are right-handed because it is easier for the brain to locate speaking and fine motor skills on one side of the brain

The moose is the world's largest deer

Only U.S. state without a national park site: Delaware

Water is heavier than ice

The first bra was invented in France in 1902

The United States population growth rate is 88.3% (births: 14.18/1,000 population -- deaths: 8.27/1,000 population)

Speed of light: 186,282 miles per second

About 2,000 stars are visible to the unaided human eye

An adult human emits the same heat as a 100-watt light bulb

A study of Google Earth satellite images has revealed that herds of cattle tend to face in the north-south direction of earth's magnetic poles -- red and roe deer also do this (both deer and cattle observed in this study faced a more magnetic north-south direction than the geographic north-south)

World population reached 6 billion humans on July 19, 1999 at about 12:24:02 a.m. GMT, but not everyone agrees -- the United Nations officially celebrated "Day of Six Billion" three months later, on October 12, 1999

Before his death Thomas Jefferson wrote the list of accomplishments he wanted listed on his tombstone -- the list included authoring the Declaration of Independence and founding the University of Virginia but did not mention being President of the United States

The average mother in the U.S. will have 2 children in her lifetime, down from an average of three children to mothers in 1950 and seven children in 1850

In the United States, about 72% of women with children work at least part-time, which is the same rate as women without children (only about 39% of all women were in the workforce in 1979)

Actual text of a help-wanted advertisement for the Pony Express circa 1850:
Wanted: Young, skinny, wiry fellows not over 18
Must be excellent riders, willing to risk death daily
Orphans preferred
Wages: $25 weekly

A human would die almost immediately if the toxic chemical additives of one cigarette were injected directly into their bloodstream

The human thumb is controlled by 9 individual muscles and all 3 major hand nerves

Carnivorous animals in the wild will not eat another animal that has been killed by a lightning strike

If you were freeze-dried, 10% of your body weight would be from the microorganisms living on your body

Since 1970, humans have created and stored more information than in the previous 5,000 years

When experiencing fear, humans produce more earwax

More than 40,000 varieties of rice are grown worldwide

If the neurons from a single human brain were divided equally among the U.S. population, each American would receive about 366 brain cells

One-quarter of the human population can speak at least some English

Ireland has the highest per capita consumption of cereal in the world

Monday, August 10, 2009


Percent of home-based businesses owned and operated by women in the U.S.: 66%

Humans DNA is less than 2% different from that of Chimpanzees

45% of Americans do not know the Sun is a star

70% of the world's poor are female

All of Earth's continents are wider at the north than at the south

During World War II, nearly one-third of U.S. soldiers were married while more than half of the unmarried soldiers reported having girlfriends in the U.S. that they intended to marry after the war -- a full 80% of soldiers surveyed reported having at least one sexual experience with a partner of the opposite sex during their enlistment period

The lighter was invented before the match

A galactic year is equivalent to 250 million Earth years -- a galactic year is the time it takes our solar system to make one revolution around the Milky Way galaxy

The human brain consumes 20% of the body's energy while taking up slightly less than 2% of the body's weight

Heat is better retained in moist air than in dry air, which is why tropical nights are warm and desert nights are cold

Human babies carried full term are technically born 2 months prematurely, according to scientists, given our size and lifespan -- most agree this occurs to accommodate human brain development

It is estimated that within 40 years in the United States no single racial group will be large enough to form a majority

Exxon spent over $100 million on market research before changing its name from Esso

Six-packs of beer were created after marketing research concluded that "women do most family shopping, and six cans of beer are the number women can lift and carry without exerting too much effort"

Each year in the U.S., more than 2,500 Americans arrive to hospital emergency rooms with tooth brush injuries

On average, each person in the United States uses 1,668 gallons of water every year

Every 3 days the human stomach creates a new lining -- without the human body's ability to produce new lining, the stomach's own digestive acids would destroy it

In Canada, men are three times more likely than women to go the doctor

The first drug manufactured and sold in tablet form: Aspirin

Worldwide, males are 50% more likely to be left hand dominant than are women

American women are most likely to deliver their first child at age 24

In the 2004 U.S. Presidential election, Democratic candidate John Kerry won more votes than any other Democratic candidate in U.S. history -- in this same election 60.7% of eligible voters participated (78 million eligible voters did not)

The average American consumes 1.2 pounds of spider eggs and various insect parts each year in food sold commercially, which is made legal through allowances to by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

Your urine has no odor to humans until it leaves your body -- what we recognize as the smell of human urine is ammonia mixing with oxygen

The average convicted criminal in Columbia is sentenced to 137 years

In comic strips, the person on the left always speaks first

The custom of shaking hands as a greeting began hundreds of years ago as a means for men to demonstrate they were unarmed

95% of the bacteria found on your hands is usually found under the fingernails

Of the 530,000 soldiers killed in the American Civil War, an estimated 315,000 died of disease -- most common;y deaths were attributed to dysentery, diarrhea, typhoid, chicken pox, and malaria

The 32 wealthiest nations combined spent over $1 trillion U.S. dollars in 2007 on their national "defense" budgets (none of these nations have national "offense" budgets) -- the United States alone accounted for 40% of this spending, while less than $500 million U.S. dollars would eradicate polio worldwide

"I don't want to be invited to the family hunting party" -- Barack Obama, 2007, answering a reporter when asked how he felt when he learned he was a distant cousin of then-Vice President Dick Cheney

Guam has the distinction of being the first location of a Taco Bell outside the United States, which was opened in 1978 -- Guam now has 6 Taco Bells and many other fast food chains as well as the world's largest K-Mart (Japan opened it's first McDonald's in 1971 and now has more than 3,800)

Monday, August 3, 2009


It costs 3 cents to make one dollar bill in the U.S.

The inventor of the guillotine was actually an anti-death penalty activist -- Dr. Joseph Ignace Guillotine suggested a swift method for chopping off heads as a more "humane" form of execution (This method was last used in France in 1977)

The sky actually only appears blue when viewed through the atmosphere, and only during daylight hours on clear days... the reason for this is that when sunlight strikes the Earth's atmosphere, most of the light passes straight through it, unaffected, but certain wavelengths of light are reflected and scattered in every direction; certain wavelengths are perceived as colors and the wavelength most affected by our atmosphere is blue

The part of the sundial that casts a shadow: Gnomon

World population in 1800: 1 billion (Current world population: 6.7 billion)

Humans have between 22,000 and 25,000 genes

Humans are gradually losing their "wisdom" teeth, with nearly a quarter of all children born in the last 20 years congenitally not having these back teeth

57% of epileptics are ambidextrous, otherwise known as "mixed handedness," or the ability to use either hand with equal ease

In both male and female humans, large parts of the cerebral cortex temporarily reduce activity during orgasm -- after orgasm, most humans feel the need to rest which is due to the release of prolactin, a chemical in the brain associated with a response to irritation

Only about 10% of the neurons in your brain are firing at any given moment, but it is a myth that humans use only 10% of our brains - every part of our brain has a known function

From 1900 to 2000, about 180 million people were killed during declared wars

The birthplace of the first Caucasian baby in the "New World" that would eventually be transformed into the United States: Provincetown, Massachusetts, 1620, only hours after the Mayflower had made land from England (The Mayflower first made land from England carrying about 650 "settlers" in what they came to call Provincetown even though the legend persists that the pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock)

The speed of light in a vacuum is about 186,000 miles per second (the speed of light is dependent upon the medium in which it is traveling and will be slower in a transparent medium)

Saint Patrick was not Irish, nor did he drive snakes from Ireland

12% of lightning strikes occur on golf courses

The human eye blinks an average of 4.2 million times a year

Humans are born with 350 bones and die as an adult with 206 due to the fusing of bones that occurs as we develop through childhood and adolescence

The average human fart is composed of 59% nitrogen, 21% hydrogen, 9% carbon dioxide, 7% methane, 4% oxygen and less than 1% of the stuff that makes them stink (because of this gaseous mixture farts are, in fact, flammable)

New Jersey is home to more racehorses than Kentucky

In the movie "Pulp Fiction" all clocks and watches are set to the time 4:20 -- in counterculture slang, 4:20 refers to smoking marijuana

Red blood cells do not contain a nucleus

Otto, King of Bavaria (1848-1916), started off each morning by shooting a peasant -- to oblige him, his subjects would hand him a pistol loaded secretly with blanks and a person dressed as a peasant would drop to the ground at the sound of the shot

Globally, 1 in 8 people die each year from some form of cancer -- the World Health Organization predicts that by 2015 this rate will rise to 1 in 6

The average U.S. household spends over 80% of its income each year

Eleven women have won science Nobel Prizes out of the 508 awarded in the fields of physics, chemistry and medicine -- Marie Curie won twice, for physics in 1903 and for chemistry in 1911 -- her daughter, Irene Joliot-Curie, won the chemistry prize in 1935

In 2000, Paul Greengard won the Nobel Prize in medicine for discoveries in nerve cell communication -- that same year, he was awarded a first prize trophy in the New York Boy Scout Jamboree for besting all other contestants in the potato sack race

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