Monday, February 21, 2011


In Air Force slang, a "laundry bag" is a parachute

In 1860, the first food and drug act became law in Great Britain

As the official taste tester for Edy's Grand Ice Cream, John Harrison had his taste buds (tasting ability of his tongue) insured for one million dollars (USD)

Gophers are hermits

Orca whales are voluntary breathers. For this reason, they sleep with only half of their brain at one time. The other half remains alert to regulate breathing. Resident whales typically remain near the surface, breathing and swimming in a pattern. When traveling together, resident pods have been observed to breathe in unison. Although it is not known why this occurs, it could be a way of helping the pod keep tabs on one another

On the Baja coast, osprey couples return to the same nests year after year. These birds rebuild their old nest, carefully repairing any damage caused by winds, rain, and age. After years of rebuilding, some osprey nests can reach heights of 4 feet

One notable medieval English Christmas celebration featured a giant, 165-pound pie. The giant pie was nine feet in diameter. Its ingredients included 2 bushels of flour, 20 pounds of butter, 4 geese, 2 rabbits, 4 wild ducks, 2 woodcocks, 6 snipes, 4 partridges, 2 neats' tongues, 2 curlews, 6 pigeons, and 7 blackbirds

Fish can be susceptible to seasickness

A plaice, a large European flounder, can lie on a checkerboard and reproduce on its upper surface the same pattern of squares, for camouflage    
A mole can dig a tunnel 300 feet long in one night

The average pollen particle is less than the width of a human hair. Pollens can remain on your skin and hair for hours after spending time outdoors. Pollens can travel as far as 400 miles and up to two miles high in the air

An angstrom is a unit of length equal to one ten-millionth of a millimeter, primarily used to express electromagnetic wavelengths. It was named after Swedish astronomer and physicist Anders Jonas Ångström (1814-1874)

McDonald's restaurants in Holland serve a Mac Kroket, a sandwich made with a "kroket," which is a Dutch snack    

In the kingdom of Bhutan, all citizens officially become a year older on New Year's Day

Rome has more homeless cats per square mile than any other city in the world

Poet/writer Edgar Allan Poe was expelled from West Point the United States Military Academy, because he showed up for a parade naked

The word "sake," Japanese wine made from fermented rice, is shortened from the word sake-mizu, which translates to "prosperous waters"

One bushel of corn will sweeten more than 400 cans of soda. A single bushel of corn can produce: 32 pounds of cornstarch, 1.6 pounds of corn oil, 11.4 pounds of 21% protein gluten feed or 3 pounds of 60% gluten meal

Until 1266, the Isle of Man was owned by Norway and was a separate country with its own King who also owned the Sodor, the southern isles of Scotland. Edward III was the Isle of Man's first English king, but in 1405, Henry IV gave it to the Stanley family and it later passed to the Dukes of Atholl. It was not until 1765 that it was sold to the British Government for 70,000 pounds

Pocahontas and her husband John Rolfe had one son named Thomas who was born and educated in England, but settled in Virginia - Pocahontas had married Rolfe while still in captivity, but made no attempt to leave him once she gained her freedom  (Pictured below is a sign marking the kidnapping of Pocahontas as an American landmark)

Murderer John Horwood was hanged on April 13, 1821. His skin was used to bind a book describing the dissection of his body by surgeon Richard Smith

A car that shifts manually gets 2 miles more per gallon of gas, on average, than a car with automatic shift 

The Pima Indians of Gila River Reservation, south of Phoenix, Arizona, have the highest rate of diabetes in the world

An elephant may consume 500 pounds of hay and 60 gallons of water in a single day

Former Groveland, Massachusetts, police officer Aaron Yeo, who was fired in 2009 for sleeping on the job and lying to dispatchers about his locations, challenged the termination in October 2010, claiming through his lawyer that he had declined to reveal his locations only because he was "watching for terrorists." 

In recent years frisky Britons have popularized "dogging"-- strangers meeting for outdoor sex in remote public parks--and UK government agencies appear to be of two minds about it. Local councils want to see it stopped, but the police chiefs' association in Scotland recognizes that doggers have rights. (The Surrey County
Council, for example, recently considered bringing wild bulls into one park to discourage doggers, although one critic said romping bulls "will probably make [doggers] even more excited." The chiefs' association issued a 60-page "hate crimes" manual in October that urged officers to be sensitive to "outdoor sex" practitioners, in that they are vulnerable to hate crimes just as are other disadvantaged minorities.)  

Police in Gumperda, Germany, arrested a 64-year-old retired do-it-yourselfer in November after he drilled through a neighbor's wall in their duplex home. The man had spent two days trapped in his own basement, where he had laid bricks and mortar for a room but apparently forgot to leave himself an exit           

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