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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