Monday, January 31, 2011


The average daily growth of a bamboo plant is 35.4 inches

There are 5 million different species of insects in the world. The insect population of the world is at least 1,000,000,000,000,000,000. The weight of the world's insect population exceeds that of human by a factor of twelve

In the opening procession of the Olympics, the team representing the host nation always marches last

The famous Russian composer Aleksandr Borodin was also a respected chemistry professor in St. Petersburg

More than 1.5 million people die from malaria every year

Moths – at least in the form we know them – are not responsible for damaging woolen clothing. Our wearables are attacked only by moths in the larval state, and then only by one family of moths, the Tineidae 

Early models of vacuum cleaners were powered by gasoline

A male goat that has been neutered is known as a "wether"

The world's tallest mountains, the Himalayas, are also the fastest growing. Their growth — about half an inch a year — is caused by the pressure exerted by two of Earth's continental plates (the Eurasian plate and the Indo-Australian plate) pushing against one another

With a six-inch wingspan, the cecropia is the largest moth in North America. Its charcoal gray wings are adorned with distinctive “eye spots” and bands of orange and white. The cecropia has feathery antennae and a furry orange-striped body as big as a baby mouse

When a school of baby catfish are threatened, their father opens his huge mouth and the youngsters swim inside to hide. When danger has passed, he reopens his mouth so they can swim back out

Residents of Hawaii outlive residents of all other states, while Louisianans are the most prone in the U.S. to die an early death - in the US, and around the world, on average women outlive men by a few years

The African eagle, swooping at better than 100 miles per hour, can brake to a halt in 20 feet

Iridescent beetle shells were the source of the earliest eye glitter ever used — devised by the ancient Egyptians

A recent study found that 75 percent of headache patients felt relief when they rubbed capsaicin (the component that makes chile peppers hot) on their nose

Less than 50 percent of American adults understand that Earth orbits the Sun yearly, according to a 2006 basic science survey 

Airport security personnel find about six weapons a day searching passengers at US airports

If a person is "aerophobic," they have an irrational fear of drafts of air

According to a 2005 survey, 7 out of 10 British dogs get Christmas gifts from their owners

Each rain drop is made up of several million cloud droplets

The letters in the acronym LED stand for light-emitting diode

To make a daguerreotype, an early photograph, required a 15-minute average exposure time (Pictured below is a typical daguerreotype camera, cicra 1937)

The name Netherlands is derived from the Dutch word neder meaning "low;" the term Low Countries is used collectively for Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands, a reference to the low-lying nature of the land   

There are 62,000 miles of arteries, capillaries, and veins in the adult human body

French consumers drink an average 88 servings of Coca-Cola® products per year per person

The pinball machine was one of the few successful industries that grew out of the Depression in the United States. The early models typically charged 5 cents for 10 balls, did not have side flippers, and the player had to add up his own score. Because it offered inexpensive and interactive entertainment value, the pinball machine remained popular for decades, until the advent of electronic video games   
1950 Striker pinball machine
Jason Williams, 38, was convicted in Maidenhead, England, in 2010 October of stealing a neighbor's window curtains, which he had immediately installed on his own windows--in plain view of the neighbor's window

Ms. Cha Sa-soon, 69, became a national heroine in South Korea in May when she passed her driver's license written test on the 950th try (after taking two-hour bus rides to the test center almost daily for three years). (It took her only 10 more tries to pass the driving test, and Hyundai gave her a new car as a reward)

In 2010 October, Greece's largest health insurance provider announced, in a letter to a diabetes foundation, that it would no longer pay for the special footwear that diabetics need for reducing pain but suggested it would pay instead for amputation, which is less expensive. The decision, which the foundation said is not supported by the international scientific literature, was published in the prominent Athens newspaper To Vima ("The Tribune") and reported by the U.S. news site 

A shop in Santa Cruz, California, opened in 2010 September selling ice cream infused with extract of marijuana.  Customers with "medical marijuana" prescriptions can buy Creme De Canna, Bananabis Foster, or Straw-Mari Cheesecake, at $15 a half-pint (with one bite supposedly equal to five puffs of "really good" weed, according to the proprietor)   

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