Monday, September 6, 2010


Casu marzu means “rotten cheese” in Sardinian and is known commonly as maggot cheese because it actually contains live maggots. The cheese is okay to eat only if the maggots are alive. If the maggots die the cheese is no longer safe to consume

Charles Curtis, Herbert Hoover’s Vice President, was a Native American Indian - He attained the highest elected office (to date) of any Native American  -  His maternal ancestry was three-quarters' Native American, of ethnic Kaw, Osage and Pottawatomie ancestry. Curtis spent years of childhood living with his maternal grandparents on their Kaw reservation
Charles Curtis (1860-1936)
In Australia, the most popular topping for pizza is eggs. In Chile, the favorite topping is mussels and clams. In the United States, it's pepperoni

Odds an American thinks they have a chance at winning the lottery:  1 in 5

The brilliant colors in a hummingbird's feather are created by tiny platelets that resemble a pancake filled with air bubbles. They are called "interference colors," and are much like the shimmering colors seen in a soap bubble or in a drop of oil
Despite his many name changes, musician Prince does have a real first name: Prince

The onion is a lily, botanically

Prior to the Chinese take-over of Tibet in 1952, 25% of the males in the country were Buddhist monks 

Godiva Chocolates were launched in 1926 in Brussels, Belgium, when master chocolatier Joseph Draps founded, with his family, a chocolate company named in honor of the 1040 A.D. legend of Lady Godiva

Bore-hole seismometry indicates that the land in Oklahoma moves up and down 25 cm throughout the day, corresponding with the tides. Earth tides are generally about one-third the size of ocean tides

The most common town names in the U.S.: 1. Fairview 2. Midway 3. Oak Grove 4. Franklin 5. Riverside 6. Centerville 7. Mount Pleasant 8. Georgetown 9. Salem 10. Greenwood 

The pituitary gland - responsible for producing the hormone that regulates growth in humans - is only the size of a pea and weighs little more than a small paper clip    

The depressed area of skin under your nose and above your upper lip is called your philtrum

Studies in space have shown that birds cannot survive in weightless environments, since they require gravity in order to swallow food

As of July 2010, one job is available for every 5 unemployed workers in the United States

A group of rhinos is called a crash

The first known chain letter appeared in 1888 asking for money for the poor in Tennessee and promising God’s blessing in return

Just as some people talk in their sleep, sign language speakers have been known to sign in their sleep

It’s estimated that Elwood Edwards is heard some 64,000,000 times per day - He’s the voice behind America Online’s “Welcome” and “You’ve Got Mail”

H. Cecil Booth, inventor of the first suction-powered vacuum, first experimented by covering his lips with various fabrics and taking giant gulps of detritus off his floor

Harvard University is the alma mater of more presidents (seven of them, including President Obama) than any other college

The last state to ban eugenics-based castration was Oregon in 1983 - The last castration took place in 1978

If a starfish is cut into pieces, each piece will grow into a whole new starfish

A city called Rome can be located on every continent of the world

In  the year 2160, astronomers predict there will be 2 lunar eclipses and 5 solar eclipses

New York state school officials had promised to crack down on soft test-grading, to end the near-automatic grade-advancement by students unprepared for promotion. However, a June New York Post report found that the problem lingers under the current grading guideline called "holistic rubrics." Among examples cited by the Post (from a 4th-grade math test): How many inches long is a "2-foot-long skateboard"? (Answer: 24; "half-credit" answer: 48)

It took until Spring 2010 (eight years after the invasion of Afghanistan) for the U.S. Army to realize that enemy fighters in that vast, mountainous country were difficult to shoot at because they are often so far away. The Associated Press reported in May that the Army is only now reconsidering its reliance on standard M-4 rifles (whose effective range is under 1,000 feet), in favor of M-110 sniper rifles (effective at more than 2,500 feet). (Shorter-range rifles work well in Iraq, since the fighting is closer-in   

In Urfa, Turkey, in April, pop singer Metin Senturk set the world speed record for an unassisted blind driver (in a Ferrari F430, at about 175 mph), an experience he called "like a dance with death"

According to a May report by Seattle's KOMO-TV, former Oregon National Guardsman Gary Pfleider II is awaiting the results of his latest appeal to end the garnishment of his disability checks to cover $3,175 for gear he supposedly "lost" when he was shot in Iraq. Pfleider was hit by a sniper in 2007 and is now preparing for his ninth surgery. Despite the trauma and profuse bleeding at the time, the Oregon Guard apparently expected him to have paused to inventory the equipment he was carrying and to make arrangements for its safekeeping during his hospitalization 

Though he reportedly hacks more frequently lately, two-year-old Ardi Rizal of Benyuasin, Indonesia, continues to smoke two packs of cigarettes a day, according to a May dispatch in London's Daily Mail and other news reports. Local officials offered Ardi's parents a new car if they convinced him to quit, but the mother warned that her son throws massive, head-banging tantrums if deprived of his smokes, and his fisherman father, noting Ardi's generous girth, says the kid looks fine to him. (Unfortunately for the parents, Ardi prefers only a certain high-end brand, a pack of which costs more than a whole day's food for the family

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