Sunday, February 21, 2010


More than two-thirds of New Yorkers hear more than just sirens and taxi cabs when they go to sleep at night - they also hear their neighbors having sex, and a 2009 survey revealed that only 14% complain about the noise while 16% of them are aroused by it  (The most commonly heard sex-related sounds include thumping (60%), moaning (56%), screaming (28%), and the mysterious “other” (23%))

In 2009 in the United States, the average duration of unemployment surpassed six months, the first time that has happened since 1948, when the Bureau of Labor Statistics began tracking that number  -  Currently, for every open job in the U.S., six people are actively looking for work

One recent survey of American households showed that 44 percent of families had experienced a job loss, a reduction in hours, or a pay cut in the past year  -  The economy now lags by more than 10 million jobs, the number required to get back to 5 percent unemployment, the rate the U.S. had before the recession started, and one that’s been more or less typical for a generation, and because the population is growing and new people are continually coming onto the job market, roughly 1.5 million new jobs a year need to be produced (about 125,000 a month) just to keep from sinking deeper

More than 140 U.S. banks failed in 2009

Number of stay-at-home dads in the United States:  143,000  (total only accounts for married men)

The overall odds that a licensed driver will be involved in a fatal motor vehicle accident in a year are 1 in 3,690. The odds for a driver 65 or over are significantly lower at 1 in 5,789, although they rise with advancing age:
  • 65-69: 1 in 6,703
  • 70-74: 1 in 5,941
  • 75-79: 1 in 5,493
  • 80-84: 1 in 5,131
  • 85 or older: 1 in 4,672
Going by age group, drivers 65 or older represent the third highest risk group, trailing those between the ages of 16 and 20 and those 21-34. Drivers aged 35-54 are the fourth highest risk group and drivers 55-64 are the fifth

Number of single fathers in the United States:  2.5 million  (11% have full-time custody)

Number of newborns given to the wrong parents each year worldwide:  12  (According to the World Health Organization, and includes obviously only the babies that were later determined to be given to the incorrect parents, and those that were reported as such)

Number of pet-owners who carry a picture of their pet in their wallet:  40%

Odds that an American male aged 15-44 used a condom during his last sexual encounter:  1 in 2.53

This year, the Winter Olympics are being held at a lower altitude than ever before: 69 feet above sea level, in Vancouver, British Columbia  (The only other year that comes close was 1972, in Sapporo, Japan, with Elevation: 75 feet.)

Ice Hockey and figure skating were Olympic events before the first Winter Olympics (1924) ever took place  -  they debuted at the 1920 Summer Olympics, in Antwerp. (Figure skating had previously appeared in the 1908 Summer Games, too, when tug-of-war was also an Olympic event)

Dutch researchers looked at 1,530 people, 974 of whom went on a trip  -  while it may not be surprising that the trip-anticipators were more content than those who hadn't planned a getaway, the trip-takers reported being happiest in the lead-up to their trip... And once those vacationers were back, they were no more likely to feel lingering happiness than those who hadn't gone away at all  (The only exception were those who took what the researchers called a "very relaxed holiday trip," but that afterglow faded in about two weeks, and the findings suggest that it might be more beneficial to take several short holidays throughout the year, rather than one long trip)

In 1986 general condom sales rose 33%, in response to over 10,000 US deaths from AIDS  -  The next year the Surgeon General’s report on the epidemic was released, and the sale of condoms with spermicide(PDF) shot up 116%

According to estimates from the Centers for Disease Control, the odds that an American girl between the ages of 15 and 19 has had 1 male sexual partner in her lifetime are 1 in 3.68; the odds a girl of the same age has had 3 to 6 male sexual partners are 1 in 5.24   (The odds that a male from the same age group has had 1 female sexual partner in his lifetime are 1 in 4.35; the odds a boy has had 3 to 6 female partners are 1 in 4.83)

Athletes with Medals in Summer and Winter Events:
  • Clara Hughes (Canada)—Individual Road Race Cycling and Individual Time Trial Cycling (2 bronzes, 1996) and Speed Skating (bronze, 2002)
  • Christa Luding-Rothenburger (East Germany)—Speed Skating (bronze, silver, 2 golds; 1992, 1988, 1984) and Match Sprint Cycling (silver, 1988)
  • Jacob Tullin Thams (Norway)—Ski Jumping (gold, 1924) and 8-meter Yachting (silver, 1936)
  • Eddie Eagan (US)—Light-Heavyweight Boxing (gold, 1920) and Four-man Bobsleigh (gold, 1932)
There is only one Winter Olympic event in which the U.S. has never medaled: the biathlon (a combination of cross-country skiing and rifle shooting)

Percent increase in the number of car crashes during the first week of Daylight Savings Time (or Summer Time, as it is called in the UK, Russia, South America, among other places outside North America):  10%

Previous occupation of man who invented the Thigh Master:  Buddhist Monk

Number of meals an American will eat at a McDonald's  in their lifetime:  1800

Portion of returning female soldiers from service in Iraq and/or Afghanistan who claim to have been sexually assaulted by male soldiers they served with:  One-third

World's largest toy distributor:  McDonald's

Number of days the average human can live without water:  11

Number of days the average human can live deprived of sleep:  8

According to a World Health Organization report released in 2008, the number of Bulgarians who described themselves as either "not very" or "not at all" happy:  62%

Frequency of UFO sightings globally:  1 sighting every 3 minutes

Most Internet users per capita:  Iceland

Fastest growing demographic of Internet users worldwide:  Women, over age 45

Average miles per gallon one can expect if a car-maker advertises "30 Miles per Gallon, City":  23

The term "devil's advocate" comes from the Roman Catholic Church - when deciding if someone should be sainted, a devil's advocate is appointed to give the alternative view

India has the lowest average age for marriage in the world with 20 years of age for men and 14.5 years of age for women

The United States receives more undocumented immigrant workers than any other nation in the world - Currently, 1 in 24 people in the U.S. is considered "illegal"

Of the 6.8 billion people in the world, only about one-sixth observes Daylight Savings Time/Summer Time

In the United States more emergency room visits occur in the summer- in fact, visits to the hospital emergency department increase by nearly a third in the summer months in the U.S.

In the U.S. enough paper is thrown away as garbage each year to make a 12-foot thick wall from New York City to Los Angeles

One generation ago, the average CEO of a company received pay that was 40 times that of a worker - today, the average CEO receives 500 times the pay of an average worker in his or her company

Out of all the major car companies, Toyota spends the most to support the Democrats in the United States, with 76% of their political contributions going to Democrats

Manhattan (New York City) has 1.5 million residents, but each day over 6 million people commute onto the island to work

The United States is the only nation to ban ex-felons from voting for the remainder of their life, even if the felon has completed their parole and is now regained all other legal rights of citizenship

Your dominant hand is usually under-washed when washing your hands

Raining animals is a relatively common meteorological event with occurrences reported from nearly every country in the world throughout history - it is believed that low pressure weather systems with high winds are able to pick up groups of animals and deposit them in rain storms, or in just storms of the animals themselves, miles away - fish and frogs are the most common because they are near or in water, and the weather systems can pick up animals close to the surface of water easier than land animals because of the moisture and weight, a formula that is still being argued among researchers

In some cases, animals have landed in areas completely encased in ice suggesting that they fell from a high altitude - the most recent occurrences were frogs raining in Serbia in 2006; fish raining in India in 2005;
ice-encased fish falling in Wales in 2004; and frogs raining in London in 1998

Ginger has been clinically proven to be twice as effective as Dramamine for easing the condition of motion-sickness

When you wake with crust around your eyes, it contains trace amounts of your urine

Televangelist Rod Parsley informed his flock in December that he urgently needed several million dollars because of financial problems attributed directly to Satan. According to a report in the Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch, Parsley's World Harvest Church was facing a $3 million deficit for the quarter ending in December after earlier in the year paying $3.1 million to settle a lawsuit over its daycare center's having too brutally spanked a boy. Wrote Parsley, "Will you help me take back what the devil stole?"

In Frisco, Tex., in January, boutique owner Marian Chadwick, who was about to be robbed at gunpoint by a hooded intruder, pointed her finger at him and said, "In the name of Jesus, you get out of my store. I bind you by the power of the Holy Spirit." The man appeared stunned, then turned and walked out empty-handed, cursing.

Only four days after the January earthquake hit Port-au-Prince, two Royal Caribbean cruise ships made a port call at a private enclave about 60 miles up Haiti's coastline from ground zero, turning loose hundreds of frolickers for "jet ski rides, parasailing, and rum cocktails delivered to their hammocks," according to a report in London's The Guardian. Haitian guards employed by the cruise line manned the resort's 12-foot-high fences, but about a third of the passengers still declined to leave the ships, too upset by the unfolding disaster nearby to enjoy themselves. Royal Caribbean said it had made a large donation to the rescue effort and promised, also, to send proceeds from the port's thriving craft stores.

Unless Stephen Gough, 50, changes his mind about wearing pants, he risks spending the rest of his life behind bars, according to a January ruling of Scotland's Perth Sheriff Court. Gough, Britain's "naked rambler," is a freelance nudist who for years has roamed the United Kingdom countryside, interrupted by numerous jail stints for violating public decency. He was released from Perth Prison in December after his latest stay, but seconds later shucked his clothes and was re-arrested. (In his most recent trial, Gough acted as his own lawyer and somehow persuaded an overly fair judge to let him be naked in court.) 

Shane Williams-Allen, 19, was arrested in Tavares, Fla., in January and charged with burglarizing an unmarked police car and stealing several items, including handcuffs and a Taser gun. Eventually, Williams-Allen called the police for help after he accidentally cuffed himself, and officers believe he also
accidentally Tasered himself.

Police in Oakland, Calif., called off their manhunt for fleeing home-invasion suspects in January when officers encountered four of the men, wedged between two buildings they had tried to squeeze through. Last August, an applicant for the police force in Montgomery, Ala., following directions to be truthful during the job interview, admitted that he owned child pornography. He was of course not hired, but arrested. In January 2010, 170 miles to the south in Pensacola, Fla., another law-enforcement applicant, Clarence Burnette, 25, admitted to owning child pornography -- during his interview to be a sheriff's deputy. He also was not hired, but arrested. (The Montgomery applicant, who also confessed to having sex with an underage girl, is now serving 30 years in prison.)

As of early January, at least 390 new Denver businesses had applied for sales-tax licenses as dispensaries for legal (medicinal) marijuana. By comparison, Starbucks coffee shops number 208 in the entire state of Colorado. Among the first cannabis-centered businesses to open, in December, was the Ganja Gourmet on South Broadway, featuring lasagna, pizza, jambalaya, paella, flavored cheesecakes, and other delicacies, all "spiced" appropriately for customers with doctors' prescriptions.

Jeweler Colin Burn, of Broome, Australia, announced in October at the Asia Adult Expo in Macau that he will make the world's most expensive "personal vibrator," in 10 limited editions, out of smooth platinum, each with 1,500 white diamonds. He said he planned to shoot for a price of $1 million (U.S.) and noted that he currently offers a similar sex toy with only 450 diamonds (but with a handle made of rare conkerberry wood) that he sells for $38,000.

After the New York Post reported in December on the 175- square-foot Manhattan apartment recently purchased by Christopher Prokop and his wife (for $150,000, with $800 monthly in maintenance fees), residents of even smaller Manhattan digs told the Post they were unimpressed. For instance, Felice Cohen, 39, rents a 90-square-foot apartment ($700) with a loft bed, but admits that she must sit sideways on the toilet. Freelance event-planner Eddie Rabon rents a 55-square-foot palace for $800 a month (closer to midtown than Cohen's). He can almost touch both side walls simultaneously and cannot easily turn around while showering. Commented the residents, respectively: "We love it," "I love it," and "It's fantastic."

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