Sunday, September 13, 2009


World's largest country with just one time zone: China

Interest paid each day by the United States to China on debt owed: $500 million

A LIPOGRAM is a work of writing in which a particular letter or letters is purposely not used -- probably the most famous (and longest) lipogram is the 1939 novel by Ernest Vincent Wright, Gadsby, subtitled A Story of Over 50,000 Words Without Using the Letter E (Wright died at the age of 66 in 1939 on the same day the book was published)

Largest population of Muslims worldwide: Indonesia

The Misery Index was created by economist Arthur Okun in 1948 as an economic indicator to gauge the effect of a sour economy on the average citizen (rate of employment added to the rate of inflation) -- the Misery Index hit an all-time low in July 1953, at 3.74% and has recently hit an all-time high in June 2009, at 14.9%

ELEVATION is used to describe how far a point on land is above sea level; ALTITUDE is used to describe how far a point in the air is above sea level

Your hat size is determined by measuring the circumference of your head (in inches) and dividing by Pi (3.14)

Know Your -Isms:
  • Accidentalism: the idea that all events are random
  • Malism: the belief that the world is inherently evil
  • Panspermism: the theory that life on Earth is derived from extraterrestrial germs
  • Acosmism: the belief that the entire universe is not real
  • Adamitism: the belief in being naked for religious reasons

The original dwarfs from the fairy tale Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in the book Children's and Household Tales, published by the Brothers Grimm in 1812, had no names -- it wasn't until 1937, when Walt Disney created the names of the dwarfs for the animated feature film version of the story, that the world was introduced to Sleepy, Happy, Doc, Grumpy, Bashful, Sneezy, and Dopey

Beethoven counted exactly 60 coffee beans for each cup of coffee

A 2003 European study found that mothers whose first child was male are more likely to have miscarriages in subsequent pregnancies than mothers whose first child was female -- among those whose first baby was a girl, 73% successfully bore another child; among those whose first child was a boy, the number dropped to 53%

The French Legislative Assembly met for the first time during the French Revolution on October 1, 1791 -- the group of 745 lawmakers and representatives grouped themselves according to their political affiliation, and for no particular reason the more liberal members sat to the left of the speaker and the more conservative members sat to the right -- today "left wing" and "right wing" are still used to denote those same political affiliations

Only six non-native people have been named Honorary Citizens of the United States:
  • British Prime Minister Winston Churchill (1963)
  • Raoul Wallenberg, a Swedish diplomat who aided the escape of Jewish people from the Nazis during WWII (1981)
  • William and Hannah Callowhill Penn, British citizens who founded the Pennsylvania colony in the 17th century (1984)
  • Mother Theresa, the Albanian-born Catholic nun who ministered to and cared for the sick in India from the 1950s to the 1990s (1996)
  • The Marquis de Lafayette, a French noble who fought in the American Revolutionary War (2002)
Scientific name for the "pinky" finger or toe: Minimus

  • Find colors other than green on U.S. paper currency
  • Visit a nation called East Timor
  • Watch American Idol
  • Access Wikipedia
  • Listen to an iPod
  • Watch YouTube
Since 1990, 33 countries have been created (the dissolution of the USSR and Yugoslavia in the early 1990s was responsible for most of them)

Every animal with four limbs, known as tetrapods, which include mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and birds, have five digits at the end of each limb or is descended from animals that did

The Queen of England owns all of the sturgeons, whales and dolphins that inhabit the waters surrounding the United Kingdom, stemming from an edict enacted in 1324 by King Edward II

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