Tuesday, August 31, 2010


More than 71 million gallons of water pass over Victoria Falls in Africa every minute

The fragrant patchouli is a member of the mint family
This perennial patchouli will sprout small flowers, once slightly able to be seen already, and the plant will be very fragrant throughout its bloom
Ivory Soap was originally named P&G White Soap. In 1879, Harley Proctor found the new name during a reading in church of the 45th Psalm of the Bible: "All thy garments smell of myrrh, and aloes, and cassia, out of ivory palaces, whereby they have made thee glad"

Americans eat less than one serving of fruit and only 1½ servings of vegetables per day. About 45 percent reported eating no fruit in a day, and one in nine said they didn't eat either fruit or vegetables - It is recommended that all people have five servings of fruits and vegetables per day but many in the world do not due to lack of access, which is not true for most Americans who do have access

Roughly 25 percent of all prescription medicines in the United States are derived from plants, including alkaloids from the rosy periwinkle of Madagascar. This plant has been successful in arresting childhood leukemia and Hodgkin's disease
Women harvest the rosy periwinkle in Madagascar as seen in the background and with this smiling worker in the foreground- workers do are hunched most of the day during the harvest
In London, it is a 24-hour detainment if caught sticking gum under a seat of a bus

The U.S. coastline, comprised of the Atlantic, Pacific, and Gulf waters, involves 25 of the 48 mainland states 

Chocolate can be lethal to dogs. Theobromine, an ingredient that stimulates the cardiac muscle and the central nervous system, causes chocolate's toxicity. As little as two ounces of milk chocolate can be poisonous for a 10-pound puppy

The average age at which America's presidents have taken office is 54

Sixty-two degrees Fahrenheit is the minimum temperature required for a grasshopper to be able to hop

In every hour that one listens to the radio in the United States, one hears approximately 11,000 spoken words  

One Laysan albatross, tracked by biologists at Wake Forest University, flew more than 24,843 miles in flights across the North Pacific to find food for its chick in just 90 days — a flight distance equivalent to circling the globe

The number of hamburgers the McDonald’s fast-food chain has sold is 12 times the world's total population - world population is 6.7 billion

The average capacity of a pelican's pouch is 12 quarts

On a hot afternoon, the atmosphere draws up 5,500 million gallons of water an hour from the Gulf of Mexico

Cleopatra was no older than 18 when she became the queen of Egypt. Despite her glamorous image today, she is depicted on ancient coins with a long hooked nose and masculine features. Yet she was a very seductive woman. It was reported that she had a lovely singing voice, exuded great charm, and was very intelligent. She spoke nine languages (she was the first Ptolemy pharaoh who could actually speak Egyptian) and was considered a shrewd politician
The jet streams blow from the west with such a power that eastbound airliners fly across North America about an hour faster than airliners flying westward

The Federated States of Micronesia, located at the Eastern Caroline Islands in the northwest Pacific Ocean, has more than 600 islands and 40 volcanoes

All cows are females; the males are called bulls

In medieval Europe, alchemists mixed powdered gold into drinks to "comfort sore limbs," one of the earliest references to attempting to treat arthritis      

There are more than 450 species of finches throughout the world

More people are killed in Africa by crocodiles than by lions  

Following a family move, a series of studies in the United States have discovered that boys between the ages of 6 and 11 tend to have problems adjusting to new environments, particularly school. The research showed that moving during those ages could be so traumatic for boys as to cause a drop in academic achievement or even I.Q. The results were not conclusive for girls   

The softest mineral known is talc

Only one-fifth of air is oxygen - Most of the rest is nitrogen 

The most popular euphemism for vomiting in Denmark is "talking into the big phone"

Germany was the first European country to establish a system for health insurance for its workers in 1888

John Jay, the first U.S. Chief Justice, bought slaves in order to free them

About two-thirds of the world's fresh water flows out of the Amazon River in South America. The amount is so immense that fresh water can be found on the sea surface 40 miles from the river's mouth     

The cure for emphysema is cigarette smoke piped directly into the lungs, according to chemist Gretha Zahar, whose clinic has treated 60,000 people in Jakarta, Indonesia, in the past decade. Zahar (with a Ph.D from Padjadjaran University in West Java) modifies the tobacco smoke with "nanotechnology" to remove "free radicals" and adjust the mercury levels--and touts her "divine cigarettes" as cures for "all" diseases, including cancer, with only a wink of the eye from the government (which opposition leaders say is in the pocket of Indonesia's tobacco industry). Though 400,000 Indonesians die yearly from smoking-related causes, nicotine "addiction" was only reluctantly and subtly mentioned in recent regulations. One pharmacology professor said he had never heard of anyone dying of smoking, which he called a "good, cheap alternative" to expensive drugs 

Marla Gilson, 59, was fired in April after her employer callously rejected her offer to work from home in Chevy Chase, Maryland, USA at reduced salary, while she recovers from chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant for her leukemia. Gilson's job was chief executive of Association of Jewish Aging Services of North America, which serves 112 facilities that help frail and elderly Jews during their final years. Gilson's termination also made her health care much more expensive and potentially made her uninsurable in the future if her treatment is successful. (Nonetheless, the board of directors thanked her for her service and wished her a "speedy recovery")

Thomas Cavender, 60, of Bessemer City, North Carolina, USA pleaded unsuccessfully with a judge in March to remove him from the National Sex Offender Registry, to which he had been assigned as part of his sentence in 2000 for molesting a third-grade girl.  Cavender told the judge that he had become a preacher and evangelist and that it "hurts my ministry when you're in the pulpit, and someone goes to the computer, and there you are"

In April, two police constables in North London, England, threatened Louise Willows with arrest for criminal damage and forced her to clean her artwork from a city sidewalk. Willows had cleared off 25 deposits of droppings that dog-walkers had failed to remove and in their place drawn pink cupcakes in chalk (with a nearby message, "Dog owners, Please clear up your dog's mess.  Children walk here") 

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