Saturday, August 28, 2010


After his death in 896, the body of Pope Formosus was dug up and tried for various crimes

Nothing can be burned again that has already been burned once

More than 70 percent of all bagel shops in the United States are found in New York, New Jersey, Florida, and California

Fifteen percent of Americans say they follow news about U.S. relations with other countries " very closely," another 50 percent follow it "somewhat closely," while 34 percent admit to not following it closely or, in some cases, not at all 

The chameleon has a tongue that is sometimes as much as 1.5 times the length of its body 
Chameleons feed on grasshoppers, locusts, and insects mainly
The hydrochloric acid of the human digestive process is so strong a corrosive that it easily can eat its way through a cotton handkerchief, and even through the iron of an automobile body. Yet, it doesn't endanger the stomach's sticky mucus walls - This mucus lining is replaced every two weeks, otherwise the stomach would digest itself

The average male adult can bench-press 88 percent of his body weight, having 70 to 80 pounds of muscle

It is a comparatively recent insight that light travels from the object to the eye. Until about 400 years ago, it was thought that there was "something" in the eye that went out and saw the object

The average speed of an avalanche is 22 miles per hour

Europe and the Soviet Union grow 75 percent of the world crop of potatoes. In a good year, the Russians, who call potatoes their "second bread," account for one-third of the world's crop

Horse racing is one of the most ancient sports, originating in Central Asia among prehistoric nomadic tribesmen around 4500 B.C. When humans began keeping written records, horse racing was already an organized sport throughout the world

The average human heart beats about 100,000 times every 24 hours. In a 72-year lifetime, the heart beats more than 2.5 billion times

The burrowing boodie of Australia, also known as the burrowing bettong, is the only kangaroo in the world that lives underground  
To many in North America and other places, this species of kangaroo looks more like a mouse

While reading a page of print, the eyes do not move continually across the page. They move in a series of jumps, called "fixations," from one clump of words to the next 

The average pool cue is 57 inches long

On the average, more animals are killed by motorists in cars and trucks than by hunters with guns  

Twenty-four frames per second are projected in most animated films

Antarctica is the only continent without reptiles

Anthropologists believe that people have been making and wearing shoes for more than 10,000 years. The Egyptians wore sandals woven from papyrus leaves

The soft mass of the adult brain is motionless. Though it consumes up to 25 percent of the blood's oxygen supply, it does not grow, divide, or contract

According to a 2005 Gallup Poll, 39 percent of Americans found the Christmas holidays more stressful than enjoyable. Those with the lowest incomes were most likely to find the season stressful, perhaps reflecting their inability to participate fully in the commercial, gift-giving aspects of the holiday  

In 1893, Chicago hired its first female police officer. Her name was Marie Owens and she worked as a detective

A garter snake can give birth to 85 babies

The most densely populated state in the United States is New Jersey

Someone with an irrational fear of meat is "carnophobic"

The hippopotamus has the world's shortest sperm

The last American president to sport facial hair was William Howard Taft, who left office in 1913. He had a mustache
Taft was also the most overweight President in US history, weighing over 300 pounds.  After embarrassingly getting stuck in the White House bathtub, he had a special tub made for his bathing to accommodate his size
Socrates, one of the most famous Greek philosophers, never wrote down a single word of his teachings. The only knowledge we have of his thinking today comes from the notes taken by his student, Plato 

The average minimal speed of birds in order to remain aloft in flight is reported to be about 16½ feet per second, or about 11 miles per hour

One square inch of skin on the human hand contains some 72 feet of nerve fiber 

The German chemist Johann Friedrich Böttger was the first European to discover how to make porcelain in 1708  

There are more people in New York City (8,295,563) than there are in the states of Alaska, Vermont, Wyoming, South Dakota, New Hampshire, Nevada, Idaho, Utah, Hawaii, Delaware, and New Mexico combined  

There are five types of simple machines: the lever, the pulley, the inclined plane, the screw, and the wheel and axle

A "hairbreadth away" is 1/48 of an inch

In December 2010, near Ocala, Florida a 39-year-old driver survived a rollover but was accidentally run over and killed by a responding Marion County sheriff's deputy, and in April 2011 in Baldwin Park, California an arriving ambulance fatally struck a 22-year-old accident victim who was, until that moment, not seriously

In 2007 Australian Wayne Scullino, then 30, quit his job in Sydney and somehow convinced his wife they should sell their house and move to Wisconsin for the sole purpose of rooting for the Green Bay Packers, about which he had enjoyed an inexplicable fascination since age 15. Said Scullino, "At some point, you've got
to . . . start living the life you want to." After one season, the Scullinos returned home, but in February 2011, he was back in the U.S., on hand in Dallas for the Packers' victory in Super Bowl XLV. Scullino says his Australian friends are still bewildered. "I try to talk to them about it," he said, "but they just don't get it"

The notorious U.S. military contractor KBR, prominent for having earned several billion dollars from no-bid contracts during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and which has been accused of numerous employee sexual harassment cover-ups (including nine pending lawsuits filed by female employees), has apparently been voted by readers of Woman Engineer magazine as one of the top 50 places for women to work. (KBR and other companies on the list made announcements in April, but at press time, Woman Engineer's issue containing the list had not been published)

Nursery school teacher Elizabeth Davies, 48, was fired in February from Hafod Primary School in Swansea, Wales, after accusations that she had sprayed pine-scented room-freshener on kids who passed gas and on Bangladeshis who had come to class reeking of curry and onions. Of the latter, she reportedly said,  "There is a waft coming in from paradise"

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