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"

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