Monday, March 29, 2010


New York State has the highest percentage of people living with HIV than any other U.S. state

Swearing to "tell the truth" in a court of law dates back to English Common Law, and before the 17th century had no legal consequence for breaking the vow as it was believed the fear of God's wrath was enough to keep witnesses honest

The first European settlement in North America in what is now known as the United States was not Jamestown or Augustine, but San Miguel de Guadalupe on the coast of what today is the Georgia/South Carolina border - it was built in 1526 but failed after less than six months

Ohio is the only U.S. state without a flag - it has a pennant

King Louis XIV was so afraid of assassins that he banned sharp-pointed knives at the dinner table, and so was made commonplace the soft-ended knife now referred to as a "butter" knife or knife for spreading rather than cutting

Swanson sold 54 million T.V. Dinners the first year they were introduced (1954) but one was never heated and consumed - one remains on display in the Smithsonian Museum

Texas is the only U.S. state that is home to three cities with populations that exceed 1 million:  Dallas, Houston, San Antonio

In 2000, not a single hurricane made landfall in the United States - Overall, the United States has the most violent weather in the world with more than 5,000 tornadoes, hurricanes, violent thunderstorms, and winter blizzards per year on average

In 1759 Arthur Guinness leased St. Jame's Gate Brewery for 9000 years for 45 pounds a year  -  Guinness Beer continues to be brewed at St. Jame's Gate

Though uncredited in the film, Debra Winger provided vocal parts for the part of E.T. in the film "E.T. the Extra Terrestrial"

If a foreign-born female who does not currently have U.S. citizenship gives birth within U.S. airspace, on U.S. soil, or on a ship within 12 nautical miles of the U.S. coast  then her child is automatically granted U.S. citizenship

The first guide dog for a sight-impaired person was a German Shepard named Buddy presented to Morris Frank in 1927

The first disposable diaper was called "The Boater"

Jellyfish are 94% water

Though it is rarely used, the word used to reference half a computer byte is NIBBLE

Giant squids have been known to eat baby whales

When lightning strikes the ground it will sometimes fuse the soil into a hollow, glass-lined tube called a FULGERITE, especially if it hits a sandy area such as a beach

During a 1994 performance using the world's smallest harmonica, performer Ramon Barrero inhaled the harp and choked to death on stage in Mexico

First woman to run for U.S. President:  Victoria Woodhull in 1870 as the candidate of the Equal Rights Party, peace activist who founded Mother's Day as an anti-war holiday  (Her sister became the first woman to run a Wall Street brokerage)

The first mention of soap in the written record appears on a Sumerian clay tablet dating to about 2500 BCE - the soap was made of water, alkali, and cassia oil

The first compact disc was developed for commercial use by Phillips and SONY in 1980 with initial sales being sluggish for recordings - today, nearly 3 million CDs that are pre-recorded and 3 million writable CDs are sold annually

75% of wild birds die before they are 6 months old

For each human alive today there exist about 200 million insects (ratio of humans to insects: 1 : 200 million)

Over 200 religious denominations actively exist in the United States

Number of women who died during child-bearing or childbirth (according to World Health Organization in 2005, most recent data):
*9 deaths in 100,000 live births - developed nations
*450 deaths in 100,000 live births - developing countries
*900 deaths in 100,000 live births - sub-Saharan Africa

Elizabeth Blackwell became the first woman to gain a medical degree in the United States on February 3, 1821

Deja vu is French and means "already seen" referring in common parlance to the distinct sensation of having experienced a specific set of circumstances before - studies have revealed that people in all areas of the world have had this experience but interpretations of it vary greatly based on culture, religion, and belief in the paranormal

Moths can detect chemical signals called phermones, emitted by the opposite sex when ready to reproduce,  from up to seven miles away

In 2002, twelve women ages 50 to 54 were pregnant with triplets (no accurate statistics are available for women age 55 and over)

Nearly 75% of the passengers on the ill-fated Hindenburg survived the 1937 explosion

The Playboy Bunny uniform was the first service uniform to be registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office

Among the items that celebrity farmer Cathy Gieseker bought with proceeds from the $12 million Ponzi scheme she, in February, was sentenced for perpetrating (prosecutors called her the "Midwest Madoff") was a $900 tanning bed for her "show" pigs 

Later this year, manufacturer Organovo, of San Diego, Calif., will begin shipping its $200,000 ink-jet-type printers that create living organs for patients needing transplants. The 3-D "bioprinter" works by spraying extracted microscopic cells on top of each other, in pass after pass. On the bioprinter's equivalent of a sheet of paper, and under laboratory conditions, the cells fuse together and grow for weeks until an organ substantial enough for research use is created (and ultimately, substantial enough for human transplants). The bioprinter is faster than growing such organs from scratch, which scientists at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine have been doing for several years

In March, sheriff's deputies in Kissimmee, Fla., detained a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent who was working undercover but who had aroused suspicions of residents of a neighborhood. After investigating, the deputies discovered that in order to guard his identity as an ICE agent, the man was posing as an FBI agent

Monday, March 22, 2010


In the United States, as in nearly all industrialized nations, homicides committed by friends and acquaintances and by strangers are most likely to involve guns, while those committed by family members are more likely to involve knives, poison, and bludgeoning objects

The Horseshoe Crab is more closely related to spiders than to other crabs

If your ring finger (third finger on the left hand) is longer than your index finger researchers now believe it may be an indication that you were exposed to higher than normal levels of testosterone in the womb - some further claim this links to personality traits that include an inclination for being logical, decisive and ambitious while others view this extrapolation as "sexist"

In 1942 Henry Ford received a patent for a plastic car that had a soy-bean based body and ran on ethanol

Human kidneys filter over 400 gallons of blood per day

The first recorded exports of Russian vodka date to Sweden in 1505

In many U.S. states, state police cars carry a few gallons of soft drink, such as Coca Cola, in order to remove blood from highways after auto collisons

In the 1500s in England it was common practice to dig up coffins and take the skeletal remains to a "bone house" and reuse the grave because burial space was limited - 1 in 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks inside - as a result, coffins were made with a string attached to a bell above the ground where a person was stationed all night to listen - in modern times this gave rise to the term "grave yard shift" to refer to working at night

The oldest sex manuals in the world are the Chinese "Handbooks of Sex" written 5000 years ago by legendary Yellow Emperor Huang-Ti (2697-2598 BCE)

Buzz Aldrin, the American astronaut who was the second to walk on the moon was the first to take communion there - Aldrin, who was an elder at his Presbyterian Church, asked his pastor to consecrate a communion wafer and small amount of wine which Aldrin ate while on the surface of the moon after making this statement, "This is the LM pilot.  I'd like to take this opportunity to ask every person listening in, whoever and whatever they may be, to pause for a moment and contemplate the events of the past few hours, and to give thanks in his or her own way"

The hottest temperature ever recorded on Earth was 136 F (57.8 C) on September 13, 1922 in El Azizia, Libya - the coldest temperature recorded was -129 F (-89 C) at Vostok, Anatartica on July 21, 1983

The number of people dying from cancer worldwide now exceeds the number dying of AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis combined - around 80% of people dying from chronic, non-communicable diseases live in the developing world

The overall incidence rate of cancer rose by 19% between 1990 and 2000

According to a United Nations report released in 2003, 1 out of 3 women worldwide has been beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise assaulted in her lifetime with the abuser usually known to her

Globally, women aged 15-44 are at greater risk for dying due to violence such as a brutal rape or domestic abuse than from cancer, automobile accidents, war, and malaria

Physics, a branch of science traditionally defined as the study of matter, energy, and the relationship between them, was called Natural Philosophy until the late 1800s

Chinese Mandarin   -   1 billion+
English   -   512 million
Hindi   -   501 million
Spanish   -   399 million
Russian   -   285 million
Arabic   -   265 million
Bengali   -   245 million
Portuguese   -   196 million
Malay-Indonesian   -   140 million
Japanese   -   125 million

First woman to be named Time Magazine's Man of the Year:  Wallis Warfield Simpson, 1936 - her accomplishment was marrying Edward VIII who abdicated his British throne to wed the American divorcee

The U.S. kills 90,000 cattle each day to be eaten by Americans and as exports - Australia has is the world's largest exporter of beef

The North Magnetic Pole, once located over Canada, is now in the Arctic Ocean and is slowly moving toward Russia

The so-called "Spanish Flu" of 1918 started at a military camp in Kansas, USA and spread around the world killing about 50 million people

The first bumper stickers appeared in the United States just prior to America's entry into WWII and usually promoted political candidates - they had no adhesive and were affixed to car bumpers with wire

United States Park Ranger Roy C. Sullivan from Virginia holds the record for the most lightning strikes to hit a single person.  Between 1942 and 1983 he was struck seven times.  The first strike happened when he was working in a lookout tower and the lightning bolt shot through his leg and knocked his big toenail off.

In 1969, he was driving along a mountain road when a second strike burned off his eyebrows and knocked him unconscious.  A year later another strike seared his shoulder as he was walking across his front lawn.

In 1972, he was hit while standing in his office and had to douse his head in water to put out his flaming hair.  A little over a year after his hair had grown back, he was struck again with a bolt ripping his hat in half and setting his hair on fire for a second time while he was driving his truck.

In 1976, he was struck when checking on a campsite, injuring his ankle.  The last strike occurred in 1977 while he was fishing and suffered chest and stomach burns.  Sullivan was never struck by lightning when there was rain and thunder to indicate a storm.  In 1983, Sullivan committed suicide, reportedly over a lost love

At first, Rev. Fred Armfield's arrest for patronizing a prostitute in Greenwood, S.C., in January looked uncontroversial, with Armfield allegedly confessing that he had bargained Melinda "Truck Stop" Robinson down from $10 to $5 for oral sex. Several days later, however, Armfield formally disputed the arrest, calling himself a "descendant of the original Moro-Pithecus Disoch, Kenyapithecus and Afro Pithecus," a "living flesh and blood being with sovereign status," and someone who, based on his character and community standing, should not be prosecuted. Also, he claimed that any payment to "Truck Stop" with Federal Reserve Notes did not legally constitute a purchase since such Notes are not lawful money

Glenn Armstrong, 47, had a defense ready when police accused him of taking restroom photographs of boys in Brisbane, Australia, in January. He said he was having an ongoing debate with his wife and was gathering proof that most boys are not circumcised

Sheriff's deputies in Austin, Tex., arrested Anthony Gigliotti, 17, after complaints that the teen was annoying women by following them around in public and snapping photographs of their clothed body parts. Gigliotti told one deputy that he needed the photos because the sex education at his Lake Travis High School was inadequate

Myesha Williams, 20, and a friend walked in to the police station in DeLand, Fla., in January and demanded to know why their photos appeared in local crime news on TV. Following questioning, police decided Williams was the woman on their surveillance video robbing a beauty shop and arrested her (but since Williams's friend had left before the actual robbery, she was not charged)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


A 2005 Gallup Poll revealed that 41% of Americans believe in extra-sensory perception (ESP)  -  26% believe in clairvoyance (people who can channel the spirits of ghosts), and 31% believe in telepathy (the ability to read minds)

In 2006 a study concluded that college seniors and college graduates in the U.S. are three times as likely to believe in psychic phenomena than college freshman and those who have not attended college

Worldwide deaths per year due to polluted drinking water:  5 million

Ireland has the highest percentage of population with the blood type O-positive; New Zealand has the highest percentage of population with the blood type O-negative; and the following countries all have the highest percentages of populations with the blood type A-positive: Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, South Korea, Poland, and Sweden  (Type O-positive is the most common type in the world while type O-negative is considered the "universal donor" because that type can be transfused to people of any other blood type - Type AB-positive is considered the "universal recipient" because they can receive blood transfusions from all other types without rejection)

The first President of the United States, George Washington, resisted a populist movement initiated by army officers to make him king

Lowest crime-rate cities in the U.S. (2008, most recent reliable data):  Mission Viejo, CA; Clarkstown, NY; Brick, NJ; Amherst, NY; Sugar Land, TX; Colonie, NY; Thousand Oaks, CA; Newton, MA; Toms River, NJ; Lake Forest, CA

Highest crime-rate cities in the U.S. (2008, most recent reliable data):  Detroit, MI; St. Louis, MO; Flint, MI; Oakland, CA; Camden, NJ; Birmingham, AL; North Charleston, NC; Memphis, TN; Richmond, CA; Cleveland, OH

Mumbai (Bombay), India:   12 million
Sao Paulo, Brazil:   11 million
Shanghai, China:   10.9 million
Moscow, Russia:   10.2 million
Seoul, South Korea:   9.9 million
Delhi, India:   9.8 million
Karachi, Pakistan:   9.4 million
Istanbul, Turkey:   8.9 million
Jakarta, Indonesia:  8.7 million
Beijing, China:  8.7 million

The average housefly lives 7-10 days

The word BOYCOTT derives from Charles C. Boycott, hired by an Irish Earl to collect rents from tenant farmers who, when the rents were raised too high, completely ignored him as a collective protest - as a result, the Earl lowered the rents, and the term "boycott" came to mean no longer paying for a service or purchasing from a particular store or manufacturer as a form of protest

The United States, China and India account for a third of all arable and permanent cropland in the world

Australia accounts for more organic cropland than the next 36 countries combined

Every year, about one-third of Bangladesh finds itself under water from monsoons

GAGGLE of geese
QUIVER of cobras
KALIEDOSCOPE of butterflies
MURDER of crows
SKULK of foxes
TROUBLING of goldfish
SMACK of jellyfish
MOB of kangaroos
TROOP of monkeys
UNKINDNESS of ravens

Experiments show that people from all cultures can detect subtle differences between colors placed next to each other, while individuals from societies equipped with names for those different colors can spot differences of shade when the two swatches are placed apart rather than side by side

In a memory experiment, world famous researcher Elizabeth Loftus showed subjects a video of a brunette driver striking a bicyclist.  In subsequent interviews, the subjects were peppered with questions regarding the "blond" driver of the car.  When later asked to describe the incident they had witnessed on film, subjects invariably described the driver as blond, and when shown the original film most insisted it was not the film they had initially seen because it did not match their graphic and distinct memory of the blond driver

Parents who are both left-handed have a 1 in 4 chance of having a left-handed child

The Red Kangaroo can produce two different types of milk at the same time from adjacent teats to feed both younger and older offspring

The process by which ice refreezes is known as regalation

Insects are mostly helpful to humans because they produce honey, silk and wax among other materials, and they pollinate crops - while they do carry disease, less than 1% can be considered "pests" such as the malaria-spreading mosquito

Odds that a person will visit a hospital emergency unit due to an injury from a drinking straw:  1 in 106,000

Odds that an American aged 34-44 will die from an accidental drug overdose in a year:  1 in 7,878

You have a greater chance of being diagnosed with leprosy (1 in 2,930,000) than falling from a cliff (1 in 4,101,000) in a year

Pastor John Renken's Xtreme Ministries of Memphis, Tenn., is one of a supposedly growing number of churches that use "mixed martial arts" events to recruit wayward young men to the Christian gospel. Typically, after leading his flock in solemn prayer to a loving God, Pastor Renken adjourns the session to the back room, where a New York Times reporter found him in 2010 February shouting encouragement to his violent parishioners: "Hard punches!," Renken yelled. "Finish the fight! To the head! To the head!" One participant told the Times that fight nights bring a greater masculinity to religion, which he said had, in recent years, "gone soft"

Eight days after the 2009 Christmas Eve demolition of Minneapolis's historic Fjelde House (as a fire hazard), the Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission awarded the site "interim protection" for its historic value

In 2010 February, aspirants for taxicab licenses in Portsmouth, England, were officially informed by the City Council that application forms are available in other languages or in "audio," "large print," or "Braille"

Monday, March 8, 2010


The average American who holds more than one credit card owes more than $8000 in credit debt  (Overall, most Americans owe at least $4000 in credit debt)

Americans spend about $7.5 billion per year on greeting cards for all occasions, from weddings and anniversaries to sympathy and graduations - 8%, or $570 million worth, are religious

Among religious groups, Jews, Hindus and Buddhists have the lowest suicide rate while Protestants and Catholics have the highest

In the U.S., suicide rates increase for all racial groups with age, except for Native Americans  (Suicide is the 8th leading cause of death for American adults)

In its ancient form a carrot was purple, not orange

Apples are 25% air

Eating one apple stimulates alertness in a human ten times greater than one cup of black coffee

Nevada's residents are currently the most mobile, with 62% having changed residences in the past 5 years, while Pennsylvania's are the most stable with only 34% having changed residences in that same time period

States with the highest suicide rates:  Alaska, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Wyoming, Colorado, Idaho, West Virginia, Utah, Oregon  (New York has the lowest rate of all 50 states)

Peanuts are an ingredient in dynamite

If you graduated from a high school or college in the U.S., a 40% chance exists that your graduation gown was made by a person incarcerated in a federal prison under a work program

The clothing label Prison Blues is manufactured by inmates in Oregon

Each year, U.S. federal inmates manufacture over 200,000 garments that are sold in 32 U.S. states as well as exported to Europe and Japan

A prison workforce delivers a higher profit rate for corporations who rely on their labor since labor laws and fringe benefits, as well as wages, are limited or non-existent - so a prisoner does not receive vacation time, sick leave, and earn usually about $.25 cents an hour, and the work conditions are not mandated to adhere to federal safety standards

Bananas are not technically a fruit, but a type of herb

A punishment used for an adulterous woman in Medieval France was to have her chase a chicken through the town naked

A punishment for an adulterous male in ancient Greece was to place a large radish in his anus and remove his pubic hair

90% of executions in the United States occur in the Southern states giving this region the nickname "the death belt"

Companies that currently rely on low-cost prison labor:  Victoria's Secret, Microsoft, Compaq, IBM, Motorola, Chevron, Honeywell, Boeing, Eddie Bauer, Texas Instruments, and Unicor, which produces furniture for Congressional offices

Antarctica's area code:  642

Globally, most babies are conceived in December and most births occur in September

More Americans have died in car collisions than have died in all U.S. wars combined

Male bats have been observed to have the highest rate of homosexuality of any mammal at about 25%, or 1 in 4

Globally, the largest seller of both pastries and coffee:  Dunkin Donuts

McDonald's opens a new restaurant somewhere in the world every 3 hours

From 1995-2005 the cost of soft drinks (soda pop) rose by 30%, and the cost of candy rose by 56% - the price for fresh vegetables rose by 217%

McDonald's opened it's first restaurant in Russia in 1990 - today, more than 100 have opened

McDonald's first opened in England in 1974, followed by Burger King in 1977 - today, England boasts more than 1000 McDonald's restaurants and over 700 Burger Kings - Brits also eat more fast food than other European nation

Aromatherapy is one of the oldest types of medicinal treatment - the oldest known book of aromatic medicines is Pen Ts'ao, which dates to 2700 BCE and lists over 200 remedies

In the United States, curbside recycling programs have decreased each year since 2002 - the number of new landfills has decreased as well, leading to the substantial growth of existing landfills

Materials most likely to be recycled in the U.S.:  paper and paperboard, yard trimmings, and tin cans

The World Health Organization (WHO) has named working at night, commonly known as "second shift work," as a likely carcinogen (cause of cancer)

Newborn orcas and dolphins can forgo sleep for the entire first month of their lives

Humans have had the same basic anatomical structure for about 100,000 years

According to a global sex survey conducted in 2005 by the condom company Durex, 3% of Americans felt their sex life was "monotonous" compared to 26% of Indians

Women in ancient Egypt prevented pregnancy by using plugs made of crocodile droppings, what we might consider a crude form of the modern Diaghphram

The average family in the United States, Canada and Australia accumulates 60 plastic bags in four trips to the grocery store

Worldwide, an estimated 4 billion plastic bags end up as litter each year, enough so that if they were tied end to end they could circle the Earth 63 times

According to the World Health Organization, the number of persons globally with a drug abuse disorder (does not include alcohol):  15.3 million  (Number with an alcohol disorder:  76.3 million)

Population of Afghanistan under age 15:  42%  (The same as in Iraq)

Sub-Saharan Africa contains about 10% of the world's population and 0.2% of the world's one billion telephone lines

In 2001 more information could be sent over a single cable in one second than could be sent over the entire Internet in one month in 1997

Slightly more than 5% of rapes reported in England and Wales result in a conviction

In 2010 January, Merriam Webster's 10th edition dictionary was deemed so influential that the Menifee Union School District in southern California removed all copies from its elementary schools' shelves in January, in response to a parent's complaint that the book contains a reference to "oral sex"

Long-haul trucker Thomas Wallace was charged with manslaughter in Buffalo, N.Y., in 2010 January after his rig struck a parked car, killing the occupant, while Wallace was distracted watching pornography on his laptop computer

IN 2009 November Guido Boldini (and his mother Constance Boldini) pleaded guilty last April to soliciting a hit man to take out Guido's ex-girlfriend, Michelle Hudon, after a contentious child-custody battle in Keene, N.H. The "hit man" was, of course, an undercover cop, and the son and mother are now serving a combined 12 to 35 years in prison. However, unknown to the Boldinis, Michelle Hudon had been diagnosed with cancer, and in September, she died

An official in Shijiazhuang, China, told Agence France-Presse in December that the city's new "women only" parking lot was designed to meet females' "strong sense of color and different sense of distance." That is, the spaces are three feet wider than regular spaces and painted pink and purple. Also, attendants have been "trained" to "guide" women into parking spaces. [BBC News, 12-28-09]

Lloyd Norris, 57, was arrested in Gwinnett County, Ga., in 2010 February and charged with mortgage fraud, after he tried to buy a house with "cash" consisting of a nonsensical $225,000 "U.S. Treasury" promissory note, supposedly "certified" by Secretary Timothy Geithner. Norris had prepared $1 billion worth of the documents on his computer and apparently assumed that banks would not look too closely at them

Scott Elder, 22, was charged with shooting a 24-year-old man in Savannah, Ga., in 2009 October after an escalating argument that started when one of the two strangers sent a text message to a wrong number. One comment led to another, and the men agreed to meet in a downtown parking lot to settle things

Lankward Harrington, 25, was walking past a gardener working on lawn in Washington, D.C., in October 2006 when grass clippings blew onto his clothes. At his trial In October 2010, Harrington was convicted of murder for shooting the gardener four times in the face. Said Harrington, on the witness stand, "He got grass on me. I take pride in my appearance"

Monday, March 1, 2010


The Polaroid camera actually came out before the Instantic camera - The first Polaroid - Model 95 - came out in 1948, while Kodak debuted the Instamatic (the first camera with film cartridges) in 1963

If a pregnant or recently pregnant woman dies, she was most likely murdered, and the assailant was most likely the father or the alleged father of the unborn child

In 1893, William Taylor was strapped into the newly-invented electric chair for execution.  The routine 2000 volts surged through his body but he did not die.  Instead, the badly burned man was carried into an adjacent room and given morphine for pain and chloroform to render him unconscious. Taylor, still unconscious, was strapped back into the chair and finally executed

Donald Rumsfeld holds the dual distinction of being the youngest and then the oldest Defense Secretary in the history of the United States

In the United States six people turn 17 years old every minute

Ancient Egyptians shaved off their eyebrows to mourn the death of their cat

Al Capone, one of the most notorious gangsters in U.S. mob history, carried business cards that read he was a "furniture dealer"

Owls are the only birds that can see the color blue

1 out of 5 births in the U.S. are delivered by Cesarean Section- the highest rate of all developed countries

Archeologists believe that the first plant that was cultivated by humans was Cannabis (Marijuana) and was used in food, clothing, fastening weapons, smoked in rituals, among other uses

Contrary to popular belief, at least in the U.S., handling of a baby bird will not cause it to be rejected by its mother, mostly because birds have a very limited sense of smell and cannot detect the scent of a human  -  researchers believe that this legend may have been started with good intentions so that children would not move a fledgling baby bird, since in fact many young birds may spend a few days on the ground before gaining the strength to fly away

The Smithsonian Institution, the largest museum in the U.S., holds 137 million objects ranging from the pocket watch of President Abraham Lincoln to bricks from the Great Wall of China

Number of U.S. states ordered to implement Daylight Savings Time under federal law:  O

This year in the U.S., Daylight Savings Time falls on March 14 when Americans in nearly every state will move their clocks ahead one hour (except for Hawaii and Alaska)  -  To mathematics enthusiasts, March 14 is Pi Day each year, with Pi being roughly equal to 3.14 - most celebrate the discovery of Pi at on March 14th at exactly 1:59 pm, because those are the next three digits of Pi (3.14159...)

Nearly 90% of Americans surveyed stated it takes them "5-7 days" to adjust to Daylight Savings Time's new hour

Ten States in the U.S. where you are LEAST likely to be murdered:  Maine, South Dakota, New Hampshire, Iowa, Hawaii, Idaho, North Dakota, Oregon, Massachusetts, Rhode Island

Ten States in the U.S. where you are MOST likely to be murdered (bearing in mind that the murder rate in the U.S. has been dropping steadily for the past 30 years):  Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Nevada, Arizona, Georgia, South Carolina, California, Tennessee, Alabama

Age group most likely to be murder victims in the U.S.:  15-24 year olds

Nearly 75% of Americans use medication regularly, and of these 49% are using prescribed medication and 30% are using over-the-counter remedies

Percent of hospital admissions in the U.S. resulting from the patient not taking medication as directed:  10%  (average hospital stay is 4 days)

Annual salty snack sales in the United States in 2009:

Potato Chips   -   $6.9 billion
Tortilla Chips   -   $5 billion
Pretzels   -   $1.5 billion
Corn Chips   -   $861 million

Americans spend about $13 billion each year on chocolate

A few years ago, anthropologist Robin Dunbar came up with a theory about social networks. He stated that our brains alone can manage only a limited number of social contacts. Studying the social networks of apes, the number he arrived at was 148. Commonly rounded up to 150, this famous number is the Dunbar Number. Although the study didn't include humans, sociologists often cite Dunbar's number when discussing our social networks. Worth noting is the fact that the average number of "friends" in a Facebook network is 120, very close to Dunbar's magic number

The Nielson Company stated in March 2009 that social networks and blogs are now visited by more than two-thirds of the online community, and that social networks such as Facebook are now the fourth most popular online category, even ahead of personal e-mail

Niche social networking is growing as sites like Facebook grow so large that some feel lost in the shuffle - a niche site is one that draws members around one particular interest or topic - an example of an ever-growing niche site is HoffSpace - an entire social network dedicated to the celebrity David Hasselhoff. Members with names like "The Hoff Dog" and "Hoff the Wall" come together to share information about Mr. Hasselhoff, post tribute videos and plan get-togethers (The site also features a feed of Hasselhoff's tweets)

A Toronto restaurant, Mildred's Temple Kitchen, announced that its Valentine's Day promotion this year would not just be a romantic dinner but would also include an invitation for couples to have sex in the restrooms.  Toronto Public Health officials appeared unconcerned, as long as there was no sex in food-preparation areas and as long as the restrooms were clean.  "Bodily fluids" were not a concern, said one unruffled health official, because after all, that's what restrooms are for.

In January, the Justice Department's Inspector General released a long-anticipated report detailing the FBI's post-9-11 corner-cutting in obtaining individual Americans' phone records.  Federal law permits such acquisition only with a "terrorism" subpoena ("National Security Letter") unless the FBI documents emergency ("exigent") circumstances to a telecom company.  The Inspector General found that, from 2002-2006, the FBI had representatives of three telecom companies set up in the FBI unit so that agents could request phone records orally, without documentation, and in some cases merely by writing the requested phone numbers on Post-It Notes and sticking them on the telecom employees' workstations. Some of the acquired records were uploaded to the FBI's database.

Buffalo, N.Y., television meteorologist Mike Cejka was arrested in December after a brief police chase and charged with trespassing after he was spotted at 4 a.m. tinkering with the covering of a motorcycle in a stranger's yard.  Cejka told police he was on his way to work at the station and had merely stopped to admire the motorcycle he had remembered seeing in that yard over the summer.  He was wearing a dress shirt and shoes and leather chaps topped by a pair of sweat shorts.

The Jesus and Mary World Tour (Recent Appearances)
  • Rathkeale, Ireland, July 2009 (Mary on a tree stump). 
  • Apia, Samoa, September 2009 (Mary on the outside wall of a church).  
  • Velyky Berezny, Ukraine, September 2009 (Jesus on the outside wall of a factory).  
  • Ravena, N.Y., September 2009 (Jesus in a coffee stain on a mason jar).  
  • Bishopville, S.C., October 2009 (Jesus on a kitchen curtain).
    Southampton, England, November 2009 (Jesus in a flat bread at an Indian restaurant).  
  • Methuen, Mass., November 2009 (Jesus in a stain on the bottom of an iron).  
  • Jonesborough, Tenn., November 2009 (Jesus, morning after morning, in window condensation on a pickup truck).
  • Florissant, Mo., December 2009 (Jesus on a splotch in a sink).  

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