Thursday, August 12, 2010


Acoustic stress (caused by loud noises) can trigger an episode of Long QT Syndrome (LQTS), a disorder of the heart’s electrical system. LQTS is estimated to cause as many as 3,000 deaths in the U.S. each year

The bikini was initially banned by predominantly Catholic countries

When Martin Van Buren wrote his autobiography after serving as US president from 1837-1841, he didn’t mention his wife of 12 years

Antonio Salieri, Mozart’s rival, was rumored to “confess” to murdering Mozart before his own death in 1825.  Mozart died of an undiagnosed illness, which fueled rumors that he had been poisoned by his nemesis - troubled by the rumors during his life, Salieri had a nervous breakdown, and it is unlikely that he did confess or was telling the truth if he did.  Modern science, based on the detailed notes that describe Mozart's symptoms, has uncovered that it is likely Mozart died of rheumatic fever

Burger King’s Double Whopper with cheese contains 923 calories. A man would need to walk for about nine miles to burn it off. Adding french fries and a large cola brings the total calories to an amazing 1,500 calories (2/3 of an adult man’s recommended daily caloric intake)

 The myth of the lost city of Atlantis sinking beneath the waves may be based on the Greek island of Santorini, of which portions collapsed into the sea after a large volcanic eruption during the Bronze Age

Several, mostly Christian, religious sources claim that Roman emperor Nero was the Antichrist and will return as the Antichrist. Some scholars claim that the numbers 666 in the biblical Book of Revelation is a code for Nero

Some sharks—such as the Great White, Porbeagle, and Mako—have crescent-shaped tail fins and can swim very fast. The Shortfin Mako can reach speeds of up to 86 miles per hour. Both the Mako and the Great White can leap up out of the water

A pair of shoes made of shark leather can last four times longer than shoes made with cow leather

The longest gestation period of any mammal is the elephant, at 22 months

A fasces, which was a bundle of tied rods with a red ribbon that often included a bronze axe, symbolized the power and unity of Rome. “Fascism” derives its name from fasces

Lyssophobia:  Fear of going insane 

Brazil is home to the world's largest snake (the anaconda, measuring up to 35 feet in length), largest spider, largest rodent (the capybara), and the world's largest ant  (Pictured below is the mouth of the dorylus helvolus, the world's largest ant)

During the reign of Catherine I of Russia, the rules for parties stipulated that no man was to get drunk before 9 o'clock and ladies weren't to get drunk at any hour

The men who served as guards along the Great Wall of China in the Middle Ages were often born on the wall, grew up there, married there, died there, and were buried within it

Nearly all of the dirt in the average home originated from outside – 80% of that comes in on people, stuck to their clothes and their feet - Most of the dust in the average home is from dead skin from people who live in the home or who have visited

President George Washington oversaw construction of the White House, but he never lived there. It was the second U.S. president, John Adams, elected in 1796, who first lived in the White House. His term was nearly over by the time he moved in, and only six rooms had been completed

Upon her death in 1967, writer Dorothy Parker left most of her estate to civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. She left her ashes to writer Lillian Hellman, who reportedly never claimed them

On the average, women dream more than men and children dream more than adults. Overall, more people dream in black-and-white than in color

A University of Illinois study measured average pig squeals that ranged from 100 to 115 decibels. The supersonic Concorde jet, by comparison, was originally banned from New York when its engines exceeded 112 decibels at takeoff   

The dating website, supposedly limiting its reach only to the attractive (though claiming 600,000 members worldwide), announced recently that it would sponsor a companion egg and sperm bank for its members to sell their essences for a fee. However, as managing director Greg Hodge told Newsweek in June 2010, homely customers were welcome. "Initially, we hesitated to widen the offering to non-beautiful people. But everyone - including ugly people - would like to bring good-looking children into the world, and we can't be selfish"   

Michelle Philpotts of Spalding, England, and her husband Ian and their two children have adjusted, since a car crash 20 years ago, to her anteretrograde amnesia, which, every day, robs her of short-term memory, forcing her to constantly re-learn her life. According to a June 2010 profile in London's Daily Mail, that includes Ian's convincing her that the stranger in her bed every morning is her husband, which he does by showing her their wedding photographs  

An April 2010 National Geographic TV special tracked "Silvano," an Italian man for whom sleep is almost impossible. He has "Fatal Familial Insomnia," making him constantly exhausted, and doctors believe he will eventually fall into a fatal dementia. Only 40 families in the world are believed to carry the FFI gene

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