Monday, January 17, 2011


The gestation period of some species of opossum is less than two weeks

More than half the people living in Uganda are under 15 years of age

Comic book publishing giants Marvel and DC differ on a central aspect of a superhero’s origin: Marvel sets all its characters in real cities (New York, Los Angeles, etc.), while DC Comics chooses to sticks to fantasy with places like Batman’s Gotham City and Superman’s Metropolis
Before it became PG, the “parental guidance” movie rating was known for one year as GP (for General audience, Parental guidance suggested)

From 1920 to 1933, the 18th amendment to the US Constitution outlawed the manufacture and sale of intoxicating liquors - much as with marijuana today, people lobbied for "medical liquor" and some states allowed prescriptions for the treatment of various ailments from migraine headaches and cancer
Pictured:  A logbook, circa 1930, for prescriptions for liquor
The eye of the Colossal Squid is the largest of any known animal, at up to 12 inches in diameter (30 cm)

In 1960, Joseph William Kittinger II jumped from an altitude of 102,800 feet as part of the United States Air Force’s ‘Project Excelsior’ and safetly parachuted back to earth. This record jump was made from an open gondola helium balloon, and to this day, this jump set a number of records which still stand including the highest, longest and fastest highjump

Foreign Accent Syndrome is a rare side effect of brain trauma, whereby a patient’s enunciation is altered to the point where it begins to resemble a foreign accent. Perhaps the most famous example occurred in 1941, when a young Norwegian woman began speaking with what sounded like a German accent after being hit in the head with shrapnel. Her community, thinking she had Fascist sympathies, shunned her - to date, there have been over 60 reported cases including one that followed a severe migraine headache.  Once afflicted with Foreign Accent Syndrome, the sufferer does not regain their normal speech pattern

As a rule, European carousels rotate clockwise, while American merry-go-rounds spin counterclockwise

Artificial colors are illegal in the feed farmers give to hens so a egg yolk's color depends on the hen's diet. Hens that eat feed containing yellow corn or alfalfa produce medium yellow yolks. Hens that eat feed containing wheat or barley produce lighter color yolks. Natural yellow-orange substances such as marigold petals may be added to light colored feeds to enhance the yolk color

The Gideons, who went on to place millions of Bibles in hotels, prisons, hospitals and military bases across the United States, first did so at the Superior Hotel in Iron Mountain, Montana, in 1908

Buddy Guy’s complete Rock & Roll Hall of Fame acceptance speech: “If you don’t think you have the blues, just keep living”

When the American Civil War broke out, the seceding Confederate states snatched up government property, including everything from forts to arsenals to thousands of post offices stocked full of stamps. Not wanting the enemy to profit off their goods, the Union recalled every U.S. stamp ever issued and declared them invalid for postage. Instead, people were allowed to exchange their old stamps for replacements, which the government had quickly printed with new designs

Most hoofed herbivores (from horses to giraffes) sleep standing up - if they slept lying down in the wild, precious seconds would be wasted scrambling to their feet when predators approached

Matt Majikas holds a Guinness Book record for playing miniature golf for 24 hours straight. During that time, he traversed more than 35 miles of putting green and completed 3,035 holes

John C. Calhoun of South Carolina was the only man to serve as Vice-President to U.S. Presidents in two different parties: John Quincy Adams (1825-1829) and Andrew Jackson (1829-1832). He is also the first to resign the office

Medieval Japanese samurai burned incense in their helmets, so if they were decapitated in battle, their head would smell sweet

Nuclear explosions have taken place in five U.S. States: New Mexico, Nevada, Colorado, Alaska, and Mississippi

The first cow to ride in an airplane was Elm Farm Ollie in 1930 as part of the International Air Exposition - Milk she gave in-flight was sealed in containers and parachuted down over St. Louis to spectators below

President Warren G. Harding once gambled away and entire box of priceless White House China while playing poker with friends in the Presidential Mansion

The infinity sign is properly known as a “lemniscate"

It took George Eastman, the inventor of Kodak film, four years to come up with a name for his product. He worked with his mother on it, and had a few rules for what he wanted: something short, something impossible to mispronounce, something unique, and something that included his favorite letter, K

Among the Medicare billings only recently discovered in late 2010 as fraudulent (after being paid): (1) Brooklyn, New York, proctologist Boris Sacharov was paid for performing 6,593 hemorrhoidectomies and other procedures over a 13-month period--an average of 18 every day, 365 days a year (and 6,212 more than the doctor who billed the second-highest number). (2) Two Hialeah, Florida., companies, "Charlie RX" and "Happy Trips," between them billed Medicare $63,000 for penis pumps--including a total of four to the same patient (by the way, a woman)

People with tough times ahead: Donald N. Duck, 51 (arrested for DUI, Massillon, Ohio, June). Lord Jesus Christ, 50 (pedestrian injury, Northampton, Massachusetts, May). Tara Wang (marrying Austin DeCock in Moorhead, Minnesota, in October). (2) Police saw them coming: Jerry Dick, 46 (pleaded guilty to indecent exposure, Greensboro, North Carolina, August). Kermit Butts, 26 (arrested in the slaying of Samuel Boob, Madisonburg, Pennsylvania, August). Cum Starkweather, 56 (arrested for prostitution, Springfield, Ohio, August) - (All arrested in 2010)

A 29-year-old man, in a group of 12 "ghost hunters" on a field trip in Iredell County, North Carolina, in August 2010, was killed by a speeding train. The 12 were investigating a rumored "ghost train" that killed 30 people in an 1891 crash and supposedly returns every year on the anniversary date

Woody Will Smith, 33, was convicted in September 2010 of murdering his wife after a jury in Dayton, Kentucky, "deliberated" about 90 minutes before rejecting his defense of caffeine intoxication. Smith had claimed that his daily intake of sodas, energy drinks, and diet pills had made him temporarily insane when he strangled his two-timing wife with an extension cord in 2009, and made him again not responsible when he confessed the crime to police. (In May 2010, a judge in Pullman, Washington, ordered a hit-and-run driver to treatment instead of jail, based on the driver's "caffeine psychosis." Some doctors believe the condition can kick in with as little as 400 mg of caffeine daily--an amount that, given America's coffee consumption, potentially portends a sky-high murder rate)

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