Monday, January 24, 2011


New York was the first state to require the licensing of motor vehicles. The law was adopted in 1901  (Pictured below is a driver's license issued in 1938 for a New York driver)

The State of Nevada first legalized gambling in 1931. At that same time, the Hoover Dam was being built and the federal government did not want its workers (who earned 50 cents an hour) to be involved with such diversions, so they built the town of Boulder City to house the dam workers. To this day, Boulder City is the only city in Nevada where gambling is illegal 

Hoover Dam is 726 feet tall and 660 feet thick at its base. Enough rock was excavated in its construction to build the Great Wall of China. Contrary to old wives' tales, no workers were buried in the dam's concrete

A claque is a group of people hired to applaud an act or performer

Former US President Lyndon Baines Johnson was so obsessed with secrecy that he often wrote "burn this" on personal letters

One of Napoleon's drinking cups was made from the skull of the famous Italian adventurer Cagliostro

Of the 250-plus known species of shark in the world, only about 18 are known to be dangerous to humans

In the mid 1880s until approximately 1910, American undertakers sold "Grave Alarm" Devices. These were elaborate rope and bell/pulley arrangements allowing those buried alive to summon help. The rope was placed into the hand of the (supposed) deceased, and it wound through a series of tubes to the bell outside the grave - the person hired to sit at the grave site for the first three nights after death was known as having taken the "graveyard shift," a term that today still refers to someone who works overnight

To an observer standing on Pluto, the Sun would appear no brighter than Venus appears in our evening sky

In January 2000, the U.S. Postal Service issued a Grand Canyon stamp. However, the photo used was a reverse image, giving a mirror image of a view from the South Rim. The previous year, the Postal Service mistakenly labeled the Grand Canyon as a Colorado landmark on 100 million stamps. Those stamps were destroyed. A trade paper estimated the reprinting cost for the current mistake at $500,000, and so it was decided to distribute them with the reversed image

If the name of every insect were printed in an average-size book, it would take about 6,000 pages to list them all. There are more than 900,000 known species of insects in the world

The official term for the pincerlike claw of a crab, lobster, or scorpion is a "chela"
A whirlpool below Niagara Falls iced over for the first time on record, on March 25, 1955. A huge ice jam in Lake Erie caused more than $6 million in property damages near Niagara Falls, New York

There are 170,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 ways to play the ten opening moves in a game of chess

To make a one-pound comb of honey, bees must collect nectar from about two million flowers

A giant Pacific octopus can fit its entire body through an opening no bigger than the size of its beak

The venom of the king cobra is so deadly that one gram of it can kill 150 people. Just to handle the substance can put one in a coma  

Hot water weighs more than cold

The are more different kinds of insects on existence today than the total of all kinds of other animals put together

A lawyer in Xian, China, filed a lawsuit in 2010 September against a movie house and film distributor for wasting her time--because she was exposed to 20 minutes of advertisements that began at the posted time for the actual movie to begin. Ms. Chen Xiaomei is requesting a refund (equivalent of about $5.20) plus damages of an equal amount, plus the equivalent of about 15 cents for "emotional" damages, plus an apology

British entrepreneur Howard James, who runs several online dating sites, opened another in 2010 August to worldwide attention (and, allegedly, thousands of sign-ups in the first five days): dates for ugly people. James said new members (accepted from the UK, the USA, Canada, Australia, and Ireland) will have their photos vetted to keep out "attractive" people

Keith Jeffery's book on the British intelligence service MI6, published in 2010 September and serialized in The Times of London, revealed that the first chief of the SIS (Secret Intelligence Service) during World War I recommended, as the best invisible ink, semen, in that it "would not react to [ink-detecting] iodine vapor" and was, of course, "readily available"

Recently, the New York Times discovered that 104-year-old Montana copper-mine heiress Huguette Clark has cloistered herself for the last 20 years in an ordinary room at an unnamed New York City hospital. All of Clark's affairs are handled by an attorney who has almost no contact with her but oversees her three well-maintained estates in Connecticut, Santa Barbara (Calif.), and New York City, worth, respectively, $24 million, $100 million, and $100 million

FEED*YOUR*HEAD on Facebook