Monday, July 5, 2010


Number of doctors Cuban leader Fidel Castro offered to send to the United States to help in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina: 1550

Wheat occupies 17% of the total cultivated land in the world and is the staple food for 35% of the world's population - wheat provides more calories and protein in the world's diet than any other crop

The continent of Asia consumes 90% of the world's rice

Worldwide more than 100 million children remain out of school due to a lack of funding for universal education

On average each day globally more than 1000 people are killed by small guns

Plastic bags are the among the 12 most common items of debris found in typical coastal cleanups

Odds of being electrocuted sometime in your lifetime if you are an American:  1 in 350,000  (These include small "shocks" people receive from faulty wall sockets and other minor injuries)

In 2006 (the most recent year for which data has been analyzed), Americans generated about 251 million tons of trash and recycled 82 million tons of materials (32.5%) - Americans recycle about 1.5 pounds of their individual waste generation for every 4.6 pounds of garbage per person per day

Known aphrodisiacs include chocolate, oysters, and some spicy foods - these foods tend to trigger the release of a natural chemical in the brain that in turn raises, slightly, sexual arousal

In 2010, McDonald's is set to open its 25,000th restaurant - currently, 1 in 8 Americans has worked at McDonald's  (As of 2008, the Golden Arches symbol of McDonald's was recognized more frequently around the world than the Christian Cross)

Kobe, Japan is recognized as the birthplace of karaoke:  A bar owner hooked a cassette player and microphone to his stereo for his patrons to sing along to when the singer had hired canceled an appearance -  in 1977, an engineer from Pioneer Electronics saw the set up and created a video that played music while rolling the lyrics on a television screen and called the new entertainment karaoke

The United States spends $3 billion annually in military aid to Israel, or about $500 for every Israeli citizen

Percent of American drivers surveyed who believe they possess and demonstrate "superior driving skills and ability" compared to other drivers they encounter on a regular basis:  85%

Spiders have transparent blood

The number of women incarcerated in the United States has increased 48% in the past 20 years, and continues to rise each year (The male population of incarcerated persons increased 29% during the same period)

Suicide is the second-leading cause of death for teenagers in the United States, exceeded only by traffic accidents  (The highest suicide rate in the United States is among persons age 65 and older)

The visible surface of the Sun is called the photosphere and is comprised of 75% Hydrogen and 25% Helium with traces of heavier elements such as Carbon and Iron

First planet discovered by telescope:  Uranus (By William Herschel in 1781)

The U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology atomic clock is so accurate that it would neither gain or lose a second if it ran for more than 60 million years - Below is an image of the atomic clock, which looks more like a super-computer than what one might envision as a time piece:

TOP TEN AIRPORTS (by passengers):
  • Atlanta
  • Chicago
  • London
  • Tokyo
  • Dallas/Ft. Worth
  • Paris
  • Frankfurt
  • Beijing
  • Denver
Between 600,000 and 800,000 persons, mostly women and children, are trafficked across national borders each year (75% for sexual exploitation)

Physicians in Ancient China were only paid when patients were made healthy- not when the patient was sick

Women comprise 42% of Internet users worldwide - in the United States, women comprise 51% and 52% in Canada

35 million people visit Las Vegas each year - 5 million are in town for a convention

The average total cost for a dial-up Internet connection in South Africa is about $60 a month compared to about $22 a month in the United States - the average monthly salary for a full-time worker in South Africa is $66 a month

In the US, most highways that are odd-numbered run  north-south, while even-numbered highways run east-west

97% of all water on earth is contained in the oceans

No new animals have been domesticated in the past 4000 years

Largest species of whale:  Baleen

Depending on the species, whales live 30 to 90 years

India is the world leader in fresh fruit production followed by Vietnam, China, Indonesia, Nigeria, Iran, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, Nepal and South Korea

A "coward" was originally a reference to a young man or boy who tended to cows

50 million bacteria could be contained in a single drop of liquid

After WWI, in the period known as the Weimer Republic, gay men and lesbians in Germany- especially in Berlin- enjoyed more freedom and acceptance than anywhere else in the world, but once Hitler rose to power, gays and lesbians were targeted by the Nazis beginning in 1933- gay organizations were banned, scholarly books on homosexuality were burned, and homosexuals within the Nazi Party itself were murdered - gay men and lesbians were imprisoned and put to death in concentration camps with their prisoner uniforms labeled with a pink triangle.  It was not until 2002 that the German government officially apologized to the gay and lesbian community, the last group targeted during the Holocaust to receive apology

A person who smokes a pack of cigarettes per day (20 cigarettes) will, on average, lose 2 teeth every ten years

First US President to appear on television:  Franklin D. Roosevelt, 30 April 1939

The acid in a vulture's stomach can dissolve a nail

The measurement of time is so critical to the functioning of modern societies that it is coordinated on an international level - the basis for scientific time is a continuous count of seconds based on atomic clocks around the world, known as the International Atomic Time

3/4 of tropical commercial fish depend on mangrove forests for food, habitat, breeding or nursery grounds - Up to 35% of the world's mangrove forests have been destroyed in the last 30 years 

The human-made pollutant Dioxin is the toxin that was part of Agent Orange used in Vietnam and is so powerful that it is measured in parts per trillion while most other chemicals are measured in parts per billion - it is found in the bodies of every person on earth that has ever been tested, and is estimated to exist now in all humans

The country with the most feral camels:  Australia

According to the International Astronomical Union, the three currently-classified “dwarf planets” are Ceres, Eris, and Pluto

Nebraska is the only state in the US that has a unicameral legislature

George de Mestral, the inventor of Velcro, also received a patent for a toy plane at age 12

All California license plates are made in prisons

Hysteria was a once common medical diagnosis made when female patients complained of anxiety, insomnia and a large variety of other symptoms. Remedies included the use of electric vibrators, or before they became available, vaginal massage (often by a male physician)

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