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)

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