Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Annie Oakley, (August 13, 1860 – November 3, 1926), born Phoebe Ann Mosey, was an American sharpshooter and exhibition shooter. Oakley's amazing talent and timely rise to fame led to a starring role in Buffalo Bill's Wild West show, which propelled her to become the first American female superstar. Using a .22 caliber rifle at 90 feet Oakley reputedly could split a playing card edge-on and put five or six more holes in it before it touched the ground - upon retirement she had all of her gold shooting medals melted down, then sold the gold and gave the money to charity
Oakley poses with her rifle, about age 21.  She never married.
There are 640 acres in a square mile

Light from the moon takes about a second and a half to reach Earth

Some form of bowling is played in more than 90 countries around the world. Approximately 100 million people participate in bowling today

A fireplace is called a "mantelpiece" because, at one time, people hung their coats (or "mantles") over the fireplace to dry them

The female anglerfish is six times larger than her mate. The male anchors himself to the top of her head and stays there for the rest of his life. They literally become one. Their digestive and circulatory systems are merged. Except for two very large generative organs and a few fins, nothing remains of the male
This female has already begun absorbing the male, while part of him remains visible atop her head
Thomas Edison, "the Wizard of Menlo Park," established an "invention factory," the first industrial research laboratory, with the hope of producing a new invention every ten days. In one 4-year period, he obtained 300 patents, or one every five days

Thirteen popes were named Leo, including Leo the Great, who prevented the Huns from sacking Rome. Six emperors of Constantinople were also called Leo. The continuing popularity of the name probably stems for it association with the lion, long considered the king of beasts

The average lead pencil will draw a line 35 miles long or write approximately 50,000 English words. More than 2 billion pencils are manufactured in the U.S. annually. If these were laid end to end, they would circle the earth nine times

The game of a cats’ cradle – two players alternately strength a looped string over their fingers to produce different designs – has been around since about 1760

Giant hornet workers capture a variety of insects, including bees and yellowjackets, to feed their young. Workers strip back bark from shrubs – a favorite is lilac. As they girdle the branches, they lick the sap from the torn edge
Birth defects in Moscow are alarmingly high. The infant death rate stands at 15 per 1,000 live births, nearly twice the U.S. rate

The term "feather in your cap" came from the American Indian tradition of obtaining feathers for headdresses. Birds were captured, some feathers plucked, and the birds were released. Each feather represented an act of bravery. The fashion of decorating hats with feathers declined in the twentieth century because too many birds were being slaughtered for their feathers - the term refers to an accomplishment or something done well

A robin has nearly 3,000 feathers

The peacock is the national bird of India

Between the mid-1860's and 1883, the bison population in North America was reduced from an estimated 13 million to a few hundred

Goombay is the native music of the Bahamas. Goombay achieves its unique rhythm and style by merging native folk songs with percussion effects from Haiti and Cuba
A line of drummers, horn players, and others in traditional dress at a Goombay Festival that is an annual event in Key West, Florida, USA
The National Institute of Mental Health (United States) places fear of flying (aerophobia), second only to fear of public speaking 

Only three percent of the energy the atmosphere receives is converted into movement or kinetic energy

Louis XIV owned 413 beds

Miami Beach pharmacist Benjamin Green invented the first suntan cream by cooking cocoa butter in a granite coffee pot on his wife's stove, and then testing the batch on his own head. His invention was introduced as Coppertone Suntan Cream in 1944

The ice cream cone was introduced in 1904 at the St. Louis World Fair when a waffle vendor rolled waffles into the shape of a cone for an ice cream vendor at an adjoining booth

The third Challenger flight carried the first African-American into space, Guion Blufo, Jr., on August 30, 1983. A weather/communications satellite was launched for India during the flight  

Hollywood Memorial Park is provides visitors with "star maps" to find celebrity's graves 

In the floor of Westminster Abbey is a tiny stone marking the burial place of the British Renaissance playwright and poet Ben Jonson (1572-1637). Despite enjoying respectable success in the arts and serving as a major influence on seventeenth-century poets, the death of King James I ended Jonson's period of court favor. Jonson was too poor to pay for the normal grave space, so he is buried standing up

It is forbidden to take photographs at a Quaker wedding

A giraffe's sticky, black tongue can be more than 18 inches long and is used to gather food into the mouth. Males typically feed with their head and neck at full vertical stretch, often with their tongues extended to reach the shoots on the underside of the mature tree canopy. Females feed at the body or knee height, with their necks curled over

Without using precision instruments, Eratosthenes measured the radius of Earth in the third century B.C.E., and came within 1 percent of the value determined by today's technology 

About 27 tons of dust rains down on the earth each day from space, making a total of almost 10,000 tons each year

The first portable calculator placed on sale by Texas Instruments and marketed in the US weighed  2-1/2 pounds and cost $150 in 1972

Arrested in Aurora, Colorado in January 2011 and charged with stalking his wife:  Joseph Moron

Appointed to a senior executive position in January 2011 in the global communications firm Alcatel-Lucent:
George Nazi

Arrested for dealing marijuana in March in Fairfax County, Virginia:  Kevin Lee Cokayne

Appointed as interim Chief Medical Officer of Newhall Memorial Hospital in Santa Clarita, California in March 2011:  Dr. Richard Frankenstein

Arrested for DUI in April by a California Highway Patrolman ("CHiP"):  Eric Estrada (not the actor) 

Posthumously rejected as the namesake for the new government office center in Fort Wayne, Indianna in March 2011:  former Fort Wayne mayor Harry Baals (pronounced "bales" by his descendants but always "balls" by Mr. Baals, himself)

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