Monday, June 28, 2010


World's smallest printed book:  A copy of Teeny Ted from Turnip Town - by Michael Douglas Chaplain, International Standard Book Number ISBN-978-1- 894897-17-4 (0.07mm x 0.10mm - entirely 1/6th the size of a housefly) - You can purchase one of the only 100 copies for about $20,000 USD

Most popular day to be married in the United States:  Saturday  (June is the most popular month)

During ten months in 1918 to 1919, a strain of influenza killed about 20 million people worldwide, which was about 1 in 5 people - in the United States, 1 in 3 people were infected and died

One person in two billion will live to be 116 or older

70% of the earth's surface is covered by water - 1 billion people worldwide depend on the oceans for their main source of protein

In Cleveland, Ohio, it's illegal to catch mice without a hunting license

It was the accepted practice in Babylon 4,000 years ago that for a month after the wedding, the bride's father would supply his son-in-law with all the mead he could drink. Mead is a honey beer, and because their calendar was lunar based, this period was called the "honeymonth" or what we know today as the "honeymoon"

Hand tools found in northern Kenya in 1969 date back 2.6 million years

Vermont was the first US state to outlaw slavery in its constitution

In Puritan Boston in 1634, a carpenter named Edward Palmer built the first wooden stocks for public punishment - he then submitted the bill for 1 pound, 13 shillings, and 7 pence to the town officials.  The officials were outraged by what they considered an extortionist amount and fined Palmer 5 pounds and 1 hour locked in the public stocks he had built, making Palmer the first to be punished in the contraption he had made

Percent of all executions worldwide that take place in the United States, China, Saudi Arabia and Iran:  94%

Number of Americans currently diagnosed with asthma:  over 15 million, which is an 75% increase since 1980

Number of children worldwide who will die today from causes directly related to poverty and hunger:  34,000 ("Child" is defined as a person 5 years of age or younger by the World Health Organization)

The Egyptians were the first to envision adding a day to the calendar once every four years to keep pace with the solar year - it was the Romans who adopted the idea and designated February 29 as the Leap Day

Most scientists agree that there are about 1 million species of animal on Earth - about 10,000 new species are discovered each year  (In 2006, 30 unique species of fish, 2 species of tree frogs, 3 species of tree, and 16 ginger species were discovered in the Heart of Borneo, a rainforest about the size of Kansas) 

Percent of Americans who wear corrective lenses:  61%

The average lightning flash would power a 100 watt bulb for 3 months

On average, there is one lightning casualty for every 86,000 flashes in the United States each year - and each year there are about 20 million flashes

If you want to stay dry, it's better to walk than to run in the rain - on a 100 foot course a person soaks up more than twice the rain by running instead of walking

A single strand of DNA, containing every bit of information about you, contains 3 billion base pairs - these pairs can be A, T, C, or G.  It takes 2 bits to represent four options, so your full DNA sequence would occupy 6 billion bits on a computer, or 800 megabytes, which is just enough to fit on a single, standard compact disc

Dream interpretations have been documented on clay tablets that date back to 4000 BCE

Fastest swimming mammal:  Orca (Killer Whale) at 34 miles per hour

State with the highest cost, on average, per driver for car insurance in the United States:  New Jersey

Percent of George Washington's salary as President of the United States spent on liquor:  7%

Percent of US population identified as Native or Indigenous:  Less than 1%  (Percent of this population that resides on reservations:  50%)

In the United States, over 300 languages are spoken

An apple, onion and potato all taste the same if you eat them with your nose plugged (the taste you would experience is sweet)

The United States and Canada together are the world's largest producers of paper and paper products

Men's sperm count has decreased each year since 1959 in the United States

The US Postal Service handles 40% of all mail in the world

In the United States, over 30,000 people experience serious injury from exercise equipment misuse each year

The names of all the continents end with the same letter they start with: Antarctica, Africa, Asia, Europe, Australia, North and South America 

February 1865 and February 1999 are the only two months in recorded history to not have a full moon

1 out of 3 Americans are at least 20% above the recommended weight for their height, sex and age

The average human brain has 100 billion nerve cells

Contact lenses were first invented in 1887 by Swiss scientist A. E. Fick, though the production and use of the corrective lenses did not take place in most parts of the world for another 80 years

About half of the world's 20 largest oil-producers, which together account for 85% of world production, have already hit peak production and are now declining in the amount of oil they produce

The more than 95,000 accountants in New York earn more than their colleagues in other states, with an average salary of about $73,000 compared to a national average salary of about $60,000) - New York has more accountants than any other state

Children in the US are 80 times more likely to be killed or injured walking to school than taking a school bus or other transportation

Human bone most frequently broken by the worldwide population:  Clavicle (collar bone)

US state with the highest population of Native Americans:  Oklahoma (This state has no reservations for Native Americans)

Number of entries misspelled in the 1996 edition of the Webster's Dictionary:  over 300

Longest river in the world:  Nile

In most US states, the highway patrol carries a few gallons of soft drink (Coke, Pepsi, etc) in order to remove blood from the highway at the scene of a collision

The United States has military presence in 175 nations, out of 192 nations recognized by the United Nations and a total of 195 independent states in the world

Radio waves travel so much faster than sound waves that a broadcast voice can be heard sooner 18,000 kilometers away than in the back of the room where it originated

The oldest words in the English language are about 14,000 years old, originating in a pre-Indo-European language group called Nostratic

Longest English words that does not contain any vowels:  RHYTHYMS

The Olympic flag was created in 1914 by Pierre Coubertin and consists of five interlocking rings on a white background - the colors of the rings (green, yellow, black, blue and red) were chosen because at least one of them appeared on every flag of every country in the world - It was debuted at the 1920 games

Albert Bailey, 27, and a 16-year-old buddy were charged with robbery of a People's United Bank in Fairfield, Connecticut, in March, after they made it much too easy for police by calling the bank beforehand and demanding that money be set aside for them to pick up at a certain time. Police were waiting in the parking lot

According to court records cited by the Washington Post in April, Rene Fernandez, 45, will plead guilty to one count of a DUI-caused injury in connection with a 2009 traffic accident in Montgomery County, Maryland, that severely injured a retired county judge and his wife, both in their 80s. Fernandez and the judge, Edwin Collier, had met previously, in 1998, when Judge Collier pronounced sentence on Fernandez for DUI. At that time, Judge Collier released Fernandez on probation, even though Fernandez had been arrested for DUI twice in the previous three months

The reason career criminal Kevin Polwart gave for his brief February escape from New Zealand's Auckland Prison was to demonstrate that he posed no threat to society on the outside (and thus that he should be parolled) - Instead, authorities added nine months to his sentence

Melanie Shaker filed a lawsuit recently against the Fases Salon in Chicago for her 2008 injuries, which she incurred when she fell through the salon's front window and badly slashed herself. She fell after losing her balance while attempting to kick her husband during a quarrel along Sheffield Avenue following dinner (and, of course, drinks). Shaker suffered deep cuts to her arm, back, and feet, which she now says was the salon's fault in that they had neglected to use "safety glass" in their front window, which would not have shattered into glass shards

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