Monday, September 27, 2010


The creator of the iPod first shopped his idea (without success) to Philips and RealNetworks before Apple agreed to market the device

Carter Lake, a unique Iowa town bound by the Nebraska state line, is nestled among land legally within city limits of Omaha, Nebraska

Plastic bags take up less landfill space than paper bags. According to one study, two plastic bags take up 72 percent less landfill space than one paper bag - the bad news is that plastic bags do not biodegrade or photo-degrade, and take up to 50,000 years to begin to decompose at all

Arthur Conan Doyle, who created the literary character Sherlock Holmes, helped popularize skiing in Switzerland - in 1893, when Doyle and his wife arrived on holiday, skiing was not a popular passtime.  Doyle moved to Davos Switzerland for his wife's health when she was diagnosed with tuberculosis and instead of dying within months, she lived until 1906.  While there he taught himself the sport he had seen in Norway, found a few locals who already knew how to ski, and predicted that it would catch on to become a destination for people who loved to ski  (Pictured below is Doyle and his wife, circa 1900)

 The first American cheerleaders were a league of men at Princeton in the 1880’s

Many celebrity moms-to-be elect to have a C-section (whether medically necessary or not) in order to fit into their very tight filming schedules

In 2004, researchers at King’s College in London spent weeks examining dozens of horror movies before determining that Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining was “the perfect scary film”

A researcher at California State University calculated that non-fiction writers live an average of 68 years, longer than their cohorts who write poems, plays, and fiction works but still lower than the national average

Hava Nagila was first performed in 1918 at a celebration in honor of a British victory in Palestine during WWI

A report by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission in 1995 indicated that between 1978 and 1995 no less than 37 deaths in the U.S. were credited to vending machines

“Pretty Boy” Floyd might have been one of America’s most notorious bank robbers, but he became a folk hero to many when on bank heists he became known for destroying mortgage papers, consequently freeing hundreds of people from property debt (Pictured below: Law enforcement offers a reward for Floyd, dead or alive)

Pamela Anderson, Baywatch star and Playboy centerfold, is Canada’s Centennial Baby, recognized as being the first baby born on the centennial anniversary of Canada’s confederation as a nation

Historians’ best guess as to why humans draw the heart shape to represent love is the shape of a plant called silphium. A relative of the fennel seed, the stuff was once consumed as an early form of birth control

George S. Patton, who helped drive the Nazis out of North Africa and liberate Sicily during World War II, believed he’d fought in North Africa and Sicily centuries before. A staunch believer in reincarnation, Patton claimed to have fought during the Punic Wars, as both a Roman legionnaire and as the Carthaginian general Hannibal

In the 1950s, Harper Lee moved to New York to become an author, and succeeded. Her 1960 novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, won a Pulitzer Prize and is a classic. But aside from a few nonfiction magazine articles she’s published since, she’s refused to write anything else—including a foreword for her lone novel

A Mercurian day is longer than its year - A solar day on Mercury lasts about 176 Earth days, which is about twice as long as Mercury's orbital period, roughly 88 Earth Days. As a result, a Mercury year is about 0.5 Mercury days long, and one Mercury day lasts approximately two Mercury years

Stores don't sell mouse-flavored cat food as a matter of marketing: tuna, chicken and liver flavors sound much more palatable to the humans buying the pet food

Canada has more lakes than all other countries combined

A recent surge of Neo-Nazism in several countries--including, improbably, Israel, and Mongolia (where some dark-skinned natives are rabidly anti-Chinese)--has generally been denounced, but Corinna Burt credited it with rescuing her from a life of acting in pornographic videos. According to a hate-group watchdog, the Portland, Oregon, woman is "the most prominent National Socialist Movement organizer in the Pacific northwest." In an August interview with, the white-supremacist Burt (a mother of two and a professional embalmer who is also into bodybuilding) said she terminated her porn career (as "Cori Lou," doing mostly bondage and "torture" films) because, "If we [caucasians] consider ourselves a master race then we have to act like a master race, not degenerates" 

In 2010 April, the Senjosi Temple in Tokyo hosted the possibly-400-year-old Naki Sumo ("crying baby contest"), in which infants are blessed to good health by having Sumo wrestlers hoist them into the air, hold them at arm's length, and coax them (no squeezing!) to cry, thus signaling that the offering has been heard. This year, 80 babies were glorified, with special spiritual favors afforded those who cried the loudest and the longest

Japanese ice-cream makers are famous for expanding the universe of conceivable flavors, but a gathering by the fashion/style website The Gloss in 2010 July found several more, suggesting that maybe the world is about
to run out of what ingredients can go into ice cream: Haggis ice cream (from Morelli's in London), Sardines and Brandy ice cream (from Helader a de Lares in Venezuela), Caviar ice cream (Petrossian in New York City), and Foie Gras ice cream (Phillippe Faur in Toulouse, France, about $150)

Every weekend for the last four years, parishioners from the New Beginnings Ministries church in Warsaw, Ohio, have gathered in front of the Foxhole strip club in nearby Newcastle and tried to shame customers by photographing them and posting their license plate numbers on the Internet, and brandishing hellfire-threatening signs. Recently, however, Foxhole's strippers joined the duel, congregating on Sundays in front of New Beginnings, wearing bikinis and "see-through" shorts, dancing scandalously, squirting each other with jumbo water guns, and wielding their own Bible-quoting signs to greet the day's worshipers

Wisconsin law permits independent candidates five-word statements to accompany their names on the ballot, to signal voters just as the words "Republican" and "Democrat" are signals, but Milwaukee Assembly candidate Ieshuh Griffin was ruled in July to have gone too far with her statement ("NOT the 'whiteman's bitch'") [her capitalization and punctuation]. Griffin said the decision baffled her since "everyone" she spoke with understood exactly what she meant

Nottinghamshire County Council recently refused, for the third time, to issue a disabled-parking permit to British Army Corporal Johno Lee, whose right leg was amputated below the knee following an explosion in
Iraq. Lee said a staff member told him he was "young" and that his situation "might get better"

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