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)

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