Monday, December 6, 2010


Located entirely within its own improvement district – the Reedy Creek Improvement District of Lake Buena Vista, Florida – Walt Disney World with its main attractions and resorts is twice the size of Manhattan. Every day, the guests of the resorts use an amount of linens that would take one person 40 years to clean - the landscaping crew puts over a half a million miles on the mowers cutting the grass of the 47 miles of WDW throughout the year, and in the last seven years, a single water-saving effort has taken place at the theme parks, which has meant a savings of about 2.5 billion gallons of water

The microwave was invented after a researcher walked by a radar tube and a chocolate bar melted in his pocket

Giant squids have been known to eat baby whales

One of the most popular of all urban legends asserts that the New York City sewer system is infested with deadly alligators. In the most popular versions, the animals were brought north from Florida by people who wanted to keep them as pets. When the gators started getting too big and violent, they were released into the sewers. This story dates back to the 1930s, when sensationalist newspapers started reporting countless stories of alligators being found in and around New York City, with some even claiming that police were making regular trips underground to hunt the creatures down

During sleep, fluid in the body tends to pool in low-lying areas, which is the main reason for waking up with puffy eyes

The first lotions and moisturizers date back to 3000 BC, when people in the Near East used whipped ostrich eggs and crocodile dung to keep their skin looking fresh

Kool-Aid was originally marketed as Fruit Smack from 1918 until 1927 by its original inventor, Edwin Perkins, who came up with the powdered concoction in his mother's kitchen in Nebraska with his wife Kitty - it is now owned by Kraft Foods and manufactured in Mexico

Holograms are images made using lasers; that said, if you make a hologram of a magnifying glass, the resulting image would also function as a magnifying glass

BIC estimates that it has sold more than 50 disposable ink pens every second of every day since 1950. In fact, in September 2005, the company proudly announced that it had sold its 100 billionth pen

The scale for measuring the spiciness of a food is called the Scoville Heat Index - The spiciest pepper has over 1,000,000 Scoville units

In Parrsboro, Nova Scotia, the world’s smallest dinosaur footprints were found in 1984 - They were made by a creature likely no larger than a robin

Omar Knedlik of Coffeyville, Kansas, invented the Icee (also called a Slurpee, Slush or Mr. Misty) in the late 1950s - The first flavor he offered was root beer

In the 1904 Olympics, an American gymnast George Eyser faired quite well with six medals even though his left leg was made of wood having lost his real leg after being run over by a train (Pictured below is the wooden leg he wore)

According to doctors, humans experience an average of 14 episodes of flatulence per day no matter their age, race, or sex, though some humans experience slightly higher rates of "passing gas" depending on diet

The use of a stethoscope to listen to your heart rate and breathing is called 'auscultation'

The longest continuous sidewalk in the world is along Bay Shore Blvd. in Tampa, Florida

The ‘Crows Nest’ on a ship (the basket near the top of the mast) used to actually contain a crow - The ships navigator would use one of the birds as a guide in bad weather, since they invariably head towards land

At the time of the Holy Roman Empire, light-color hair was associated with the barbarian women of Gaul and Germany who often ended up as slaves in brothels. Consequently, Roman law required all prostitutes to dye their hair blonde in order to distinguish themselves from “proper,” dark-mane women

Some cultures (especially those in sub-Saharan Africa) give their children names with meanings such as “ugly,” “disagreeable,” or “crippled,” to make them undesirable to demons

“Cleaner shrimp” feed off the parasites that live on fish. To attract passersby for a cleaning, the shrimp appear to do a little dance. Fish taken in by the shrimps’ choreographed moves will respond by “striking a pose,” which signals the cleaner shrimp to begin their feeding and cleaning

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

Disney once banned its park employees from wearing any facial hair. The only person allowed to wear face fuzz was Walt Disney himself until the ban was lifted in 2000 - today, male employees are allowed to have "neatly trimmed" moustaches

The proper name for a crash test dummy is Anthropomorphic Test Device - The first one was developed for the Air Force, not the automobile industry, and was used to test ejection seats  (Pictured below a "crash test family" shows the results of a low-impact crash - the lack of leg room for the back passenger would have resulted in massive injuries to ankles and legs of a real-life passenger)

Librarian Graham Barker, 45, of Perth, Australia, casually revealed to a reporter in October that his hobby of 26 years-- harvesting his own navel lint daily, just before he showers--has now won acclaim in the Guinness Book of World Records. His three-jar collection (a fourth is in progress) has been sold to a local museum.  His pastime, he told London's Daily Mail in October, "costs nothing and takes almost no time or effort so there is no compelling reason to stop." Barker, who also collects McDonald's tray liners, said he once did a "navel lint survey,"and "a handful of respondents confessed" to the hobby. "One guy might have persisted, but he got married, and his wife ordered him to stop"
In September, a judge in Kent County, Michigan finally ordered Howard Veal, 44, to prison to serve at least two years for failure to pay child support. He is more than $500,000 behind in payments to 14 mothers for the 23 children he has fathered. Authorities suspect there are even more 

French officials arrested a 54-year-old immigrant in September on suspicion of welfare fraud. They had recently begun to notice the man applying for government benefits for 55 children by 55 different mothers- authorities believe he has not fathered any children

Swiss artist Gianni Motti had been displaying (through the end of November) a bar of soap at Zurich's Migros Museum of Contemporary Art, claiming it was made from fat that had been liposuctioned from Italy's Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. Motti said a clinic employee had surreptitiously given him the fat following Berlusconi's treatment in 2004, but the clinic has denied any involvement 

The investigative journalism website, curious about the workers being hired in the mortgage industry's massive, rushed re-examination of home loans previously foreclosed upon but which may have been processed illegally, began scouring the classified ads in October and November. Result: Though most employers "preferred" college graduates with credit-industry experience, it was clear from the entry-level wages offered that many were accepted only with high school educations, with at least some barely familiar with the concept of mortgages. (One staffing agency, offering $10-$12 an hour, sought a "Supervisor of Foreclosure Department," but that position, also, required only a high school diploma)

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