Monday, January 3, 2011


The Outerbridge Crossing, that connects Staten Island, New York and Perth Amboy, New Jersey was named after Eugenius Harvey Outerbridge and has nothing to do with the geographical location of the bridge

Only half of a dolphin’s brain sleeps at a time. The other half that’s awake makes the dolphin come up for air when needed to prevent drowning

Ayds, an appetite-suppressant candy in the 1970s, lost half of its sales when the similarly named AIDS virus gained public awareness in the mid-1980s- the company rebounded by changing the product's name to “Diet Ayds”

An estimated 15% to 20% of people who receive gift cards never redeem them - companies know that this percentage of recipients will not redeem their gift card, and profits substantially from the sale of the cards not only monetarily but in promoting their logo and brand name

The “Black Hills” of South Dakota are not hills but really mountains

Three months after Charlie Chaplin died his corpse was stolen by two Swiss mechanics in order to extort money from the family. The robbers were captured and Chaplin’s body was found eleven weeks later. To prevent further attempts, he was reburied under concrete

World Famous Jack Daniels Tennessee Whiskey is made in only one place-the small town of Lynchburg, Tennessee, population 361. Though the town supplies the world with the famous libation, not a drop may be purchased for consumption anywhere in town. Moore County is a “dry” county; the sale of hard alcohol is illegal

An ostrich’s eye is the same size as its brain

‘Aposiopesis’ is the official name of the rhetorical style in which you deliberately fail to complete a sentence - (’Why you…’)

About one in every 30 Americans births results in twins

Seashell fossils have been found high in the Himalayan mountains, suggesting that the land was once underwater

The “french” in french fries actually describes the way the potatoes are sliced, not their country of origin

“Pepsi-Cola” is an anagram for “Episcopal,” which some believe the drink is named after

In the 1940s, Eleanor Abbott invented the board game Candy Land as a diversion for children recovering from polio

Beethoven, Schubert, Dvorak, and Mahler all died before completing a tenth symphony

The name “The Birdman of Alcatraz” is a bit of misnomer: Robert Stroud was allowed to keep birds when he was incarcerated at Leavenworth, but not when he was transferred to Alcatraz

In the early 20th century, peanut butter was less suburban staple and more haute cuisine.  High-end establishments like New York’s Vanity Fair Tea Room served up peanut-butter-and-watercress sandwiches, and the cookbooks of the day endorsed plenty of peanut butter pairings, including pimentos and chili

Mock turtle soup does not actually contain turtle, its main ingredient is brain and organ meats usually from a cow or calf's foot - sometimes vegetables are added such as onion and celery

Ashrita Furman’s twelve-minute mile may not sound impressive, unless it’s pointed out that he was riding a pogo stick at the time

The popular toy known as the View Master began as an invention called the Model A Viewer in 1939 and was marketed to adults as a way to see scenic views of tourist attractions in the United States - by 1942, the US military purchased over 1,000 of the viewers as a way to train soldiers in identifying planes, munitions, and even territory occupied by their enemies.  By 1950, the viewer became marketed as a child's toy, the View Master
Pictured:  A 1952 Model E View Master, a precursor to the toy that would become known simply as the View Master in less than a decade

Jackrabbits are powerful jumpers. A twenty inch adult can leap twenty feet in a single bound

Leonardo da Vinci could draw with one hand and write with the other simultaneously

On March 27, 1964, North America’s strongest recorded earthquake, with a moment magnitude of 9.2, rocked central Alaska. Each year Alaska has approximately 5,000 earthquakes, including 1,000 that measure above 3.5 on the Richter scale. Of the ten strongest earthquakes ever recorded in the world, three have occurred in Alaska

The largest order of mammals, with about 1,700 species, is rodents - Bats are second with about 950 species

Marie Murphy, a fifth-grade teacher in Stratford, New Jersey, and her husband lost almost everything in a house fire in April, but when she arrived at the burning home, she defied firefighters and dashed inside to retrieve a single prized possession: her Philadelphia Phillies season tickets. "My husband was so mad at me." (Later, a Phillies representative gently informed her that the team would have reprinted her tickets for free)

At least 13 percent of U.S. teenagers report having intentionally injured themselves as cries for help, and among the more extreme manifestations is "embedding"--the insertion of glass, wood, metal, and other material, just under the skin. Writing in October in the journal Radiology, a doctor at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, followed up on 11 cases involving 76 self-embedded objects in arms, neck, feet, and hands, including an astonishing 35 placed by one boy (staples, parts of a comb, parts of a fork

Sherin Brown, 23, happened to be walking through a Brooklyn, New York, neighborhood in August at the exact moment that a tractor-trailer accidentally clipped a light pole, sending it crashing to the sidewalk. First responders found Brown pinned under the pole, screaming for help, and had her taken to a hospital. Afterward, investigators discovered a nearby surveillance camera, which revealed that Brown had stepped out of the way of the falling pole but then, with no one else around, had crawled underneath and began wailing in "pain," perhaps in anticipation of a future lawsuit 

Steven Black, one of five suspects in a federal credit card and check-cashing fraud ring, was arrested on August 30th in Maryland Heights, Montana., following a car chase. In a search, police discovered that Black was carrying $1,540 in cash, in a roll tied with a shoelace to his scrotum 

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