Monday, August 30, 2010


Ancient Greeks believed that wearing amethysts would help prevent a person from getting drunk

At the 2000 Samsung Open, a furious Goran Ivanisevic smashed three rackets - he was then forced to withdraw from the competition when he didn’t have a fourth racket on hand to use 
An official holds up the three smashed rackets for photographers- the rackets had been left on the court

Worcestershire sauce was invented accidentally by Brits trying to recreate the flavors in Indian food

Contrary to the widely held belief, there are no wild tigers in Africa - tigers are native to eastern and southern Asia

The average life span of London residents in the middle of the 19th century was 27 years. For members of the working class, that number dropped to 22 years 

During the early 1920s, at the height of the inflation in the German Weimar Republic, one American dollar was equal to 4 trillion German marks

Edgar Allen Poe (January 19, 1809 – October 7, 1849) was an American writer, poet, editor and literary critic - He was expelled from West Point for showing up for a public parade wearing only a white belt and gloves
Humans have between 100 trillion to 1 quadrillion living cells in their bodies
While Arabic is the official language in Lebanon, French and English are widely spoken and taught in the schools

In medieval times, church bells were often consecrated to ward off evil spirits. Because thunderstorms were attributed to the work of demons, the bells would be rung in an attempt to stop the storms. Numerous bellringers were killed by lightning

There are more than 300 references to sheep and lambs, more than any other animal, in the Bible's Old Testament, one of the earliest records of sheep

Generally, the higher a dog’s cholesterol, the more likely they are to chase their tail - especially if they’re female

The tallest known mountain in the solar system is on one of the smallest planets: Mars’ Olympus Mons, which stands an incredible 15 miles tall

Turkana tribesmen, who live on the barren soils of the Great Rift Valley in Kenya, add iron to their diet by drinking cow's blood - they puncture the cow's jugular vein with a sharp arrow and catch the spurting liquid in a clay jug. The cows, though bled frequently, suffer no ill effect

The female condor lays a single egg once every 1-2 years once she reaches age 5 - The condor is the largest flying bird in the Western Hemisphere and is a vulture - They live for 50-60 years, and one on record in California lived to be 100 

The average “album” length has increased from 40 minutes in the LP era to well over an hour in the CD era -  Most double-album LPs can fit onto a single CD

Those few folks who have survived a jump from the Golden Gate Bridge report that it takes about four seconds to hit the water

Harvard research from 2003 revealed that mothers pregnant with male babies tend to eat more than those carrying females

According to the latest research by physicists, the proton seems to be 0.00000000000003 millimeter smaller than researchers previously thought

The prominent Howrah bridge in Calcutta, India, has become a serious safety risk, according to a May report for the Calcutta Port Trust, because the steel hoods protecting the pillars holding up the bridge have been thinned by 50 percent in recent years. Engineers believe the corrosion has been caused almost entirely by the chemicals in gutkha, the popular chewing tobacco/herb concoction, which produces expectorants routinely hocked onto the bridge by the 500,000 pedestrians who cross it every day

A severe but underappreciated American drug problem (sometimes deadly and often expensive) is patients' failure to take prescribed medications--even to save their own lives (such as with anti-coagulants or cholesterol-regulating statins). In recent pilot programs, according to a June New York Times report, compliance rates have been significantly improved--by giving patients money ($50 to $100 a month, sometimes more) if they remember to take their drugs. Data show that, indeed, such compliance subsidies
reduce society's overall healthcare costs by preventing expensive hospital admissions. In the trials, patients must demonstrate their irresponsibility before being eligible for payments 

Arizona (viewed by some as hard-hearted for its April law stepping up vigilance for illegal immigrants by allowing law enforcement to stop anyone they suspected may not be a legal citizen of the United States) showed a soft side recently, implementing a $1.25 million federal grant that it believes will save the lives of at least five squirrels a year. The state's 250 endangered Mount Graham red squirrels (pictured below) risk becoming roadkill on Route 366 near Pima, and the state is building a rope bridge for them to add to several existing tunnels 

On television in May, the governor of the Russian republic of Kalmykia, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, recounted that he had been abducted in a spaceship in 1997 and forced to communicate with aliens telepathically, and later entertained some in his apartment. One opponent seized the moment and called for an inquiry into whether Ilyumzhinov had telepathically spilled government secrets while under the aliens' spell. Then, former world chess champion Anatoly Karpov announced he would challenge Ilyumzhinov for the position of head of the World Chess Federation (which Ilyumzhinov has been since 1993), but yet another Russian chess icon, Arkady Dvorkovich (who is President Medvedev's chief economic advisor), said he still backed Ilyumzhinov because of the latter's superior managerial ability

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