Monday, May 2, 2011


Mother prairie dogs will nurse their young only while underground in the safety of the burrow. If an infant tries to suckle above ground, the mother will slap it

Finland has the greatest number of islands in the world: 179,584

There were 15,700,003 Model T Ford's manufactured, all in black

London's Millennium Dome, the largest of its kind in the world and referred to simply as The Dome, is the original name of a large dome-shaped building, originally used to house the Millennium Experience, a major exhibition celebrating the beginning of the third millennium. Located on the Greenwich Peninsula in South East London, England, the exhibition opened to the public on 1 January 2000 and ran until 31 December 2000. The project and exhibition was the subject of considerable political controversy as it failed to attract the number of visitors anticipated, leading to recurring financial problems. While all of the original exhibition and associated complex has since been demolished, the canopy or shell of the dome still exists - The Prime Meridian passes the western edge of the Dome 

The substance that human blood resembles most closely in terms of chemical composition is sea water  

Fingernail polish often contains four or five chemicals the Environmental Protection Agency calls potentially harmful. If a person bought fingernail polish in a 55-gallon drum, the empty drum could not be legally thrown into a landfill. It would have to be transported to the nearest state-regulated commercial hazardous-waste disposal facility. As many as 350,000 nail-polish bottles find their way into the average U.S. municipal waste landfill every year

According to the Beer Institute in Washington, D.C., a combination of federal, state and local taxes accounts for almost 43% of the cost of every bottle of beer sold in the United States - Oregon alone proudly announced in 2008 that the brewing and sale of beer there accounted for over $2 billion in revenue for the state
The Japanese cremate 93% of their dead, as compared to Great Britain at 67% and the United States at just over 12%

A standard 747 Jumbo Jet has 420 seats

Although the United States has just 5% of the world's population, it has most of the world's lawyers at 70% - The U.S. has more than one million lawyers 

Camels instinctively know their own endurance and will refuse to move beyond it. If their masters try to drive them farther, they will lie down and refuse to budge

Located about 45 miles south of San Francisco, San José was the first nonreligious community founded in California. Pueblo de San José de Guadalupe was settled in 1777 by enterprising farmers who wanted to make themselves and the bountiful region independent of Mexico and the network of Spanish missions for their supplies. Fruit and olive trees, livestock, grain, hides, and tallow all contributed to San José’s early prosperity. It was California's first capital from 1849-1852  

Some Chinese typewriters have 5,700 characters. The keyboard is almost 3 feet wide on some models, and the fastest one can type on these machines is 11 words per minute  (Pictured below is a Chinese typewriter in Munich university's institute for sinology. The shown model was shipped from China to Germany in the late 1990s. The characters can be assorted on the board and can be picked separately and then typed)   

Ferdinand Porsche, who later went on to build sports cars bearing his own name, designed the original 1936 Volkswagen 

The Sears Tower is Chicago's tallest structure, towering at 1,454 feet. About 10,000 people go to work there Monday through Friday. The building has its own U.S. Post Official and ZIP code: 60606

Pain from any injury or illness is always registered by the brain. Yet, the brain tissue itself is immune to pain; it contains none of the specialized receptor cells that sense pain in other parts of the body. The pain associated with brain tumors does not arise from brain cells but from the pressure created by a growing tumor or tissues outside the brain

The reproductive cycle of some worms is in phase with the moon. The sex organs of adult pallolo worms mature once a year at about the same time of day, on a day when the moon is in its last quarter

Names for groups of animals… a bale of turtles, a clowder of cats, a charm of goldfinches, a gam of whales, a knot of toads, a streak of tigers 

New Year's Day is the world's most shared observed holiday. In most English-speaking countries, it has been observed on January 1 since the British Calendar Act was passed in 1751. There was a time when people wished others a "Happy New Year" on March 25, approximately the date of spring's onset
A now-10-year-old church in Denver, Colo., ministers to (as contemplated by 1 Corinthians 4:11-13) the homeless, the reviled, and the persecuted and formally named itself after the actual words in verse 13, the "Scum of the Earth" Church. The congregation touts non-judgmental Christianity; owns an elegant, aging building (but hold services elsewhere because of fire code violations); and is a rough mix of anarchists, punk rockers, environmentalists, and disaffected teens perhaps mainly keen on angering their parents.  "Scum" (as church members matter-of-factly call themselves) tilt mildly philosophically conservative (though not nearly evangelical), connected only by the common belief that "God is love," according to a December 2010 report in Denver's Westword 
A holiday dinner with members of the Scum of the Earth Church in Denver, Colorado, USA
Among the major league baseball players (average salary: about $3.3 million) who spent time on the disabled list in 2010: Kendry Morales (Angels), who broke his leg jumping on home plate after hitting a home run; Brian Roberts (Orioles), who was out a week with a concussion when he smacked himself in the head with his bat after striking out; Chris Coghlan (Marlins), who needed knee surgery after giving a teammate a playful post-game shaving-cream pie; and Geoff Blum (Astros), who needed elbow surgery after straining his arm putting on his shirt

British researchers, writing in the journal Evolution in November, described a species of birds in Africa's Kalahari Desert that appear to acquire food by running a "protection racket" for other birds. The biologists hypothesize that because drongo birds hang out at certain nests and squawk loudly when predators approach, the nest's residents grow more confident about security and thus can roam further away when they search for food--but with the hunters gone, the drongos scoop up any food left behind. (The researchers also found that drongos are not above staging false alarms to trick birds into leaving their food unguarded.) 

It was a prestigious hospital on a worthy mission (to recruit hard-to-match bone marrow donors to beef up a dwindling list), but UMass Memorial Medical Center (Worcester, Massachusetts) went hardcore: hiring young female models in short skirts to flirt with men at New Hampshire shopping centers to entice them to give DNA swabs for possible matches. Complaints piled up because state law requires insurance providers to cover the tests, at $4,000 for each swab submitted by the love-struck flirtees, and the hospital recently dropped the program, according to a December New York Times report 

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