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"

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