Monday, May 16, 2011


About two-thirds of the world's fresh water flows out of the Amazon River in South America. The amount is so immense that fresh water can be found on the sea surface 40 miles from the river's mouth

The famous Russian composer Aleksandr Borodin (1833-1897) was also a respected chemistry professor in St. Petersburg 

A bird "chews" with its stomach. Since most birds do not have teeth, a bird routinely swallows small pebbles and gravel. These grits become vigorously agitated in the bird's stomach and serve to grind food as it passes through the digestive system

1,792 steps lead to the top of the Eiffel Tower

To a competitive swimmer, "d.p.s." means distance per stroke

Oscar Wilde, Irish writer and poet born in 1854, served two years at hard labor after being found guilty of homosexuality, specifically "gross indecency with other men," at the height of his success - he found his popularity greatly diminished after the trial and prison sentence, and eventually died in November 1900 penniless in Paris at the age of 46

The Procrastinators Club of America sends news to its members under the masthead "Last Month's Newsletter"

The name of the legendary Lady Godiva's horse was Aethenoth

Most lipsticks contain fish scales

The common male housefly completes its entire life cycle in 17 days

Tuberculosis is one of the world's oldest diseases. Some ancient mummies found in Egypt and Peru had tuberculosis

At birth, baby kangaroos are only about an inch long — no bigger than a large waterbug or a queen bee

Salt Lake City, Utah, gets an average of 17 inches more snow annually than Fairbanks, Alaska. Santa Fe, New Mexico, gets an average of 9 inches more snow each year than New Haven, Connecticut

The kakapo is a nocturnal burrowing parrot of New Zealand that has a green body with brown and yellow markings - Its name is from Maori and means "night parrot"

Bananas are the most popular fruit in America. The average person eats 33 pounds of bananas a year. Over 4 million tons of bananas are imported into the United States every year

Cockroaches have lived on the Earth for 250 million years. Many varieties, found today, look identical to the fossilized record of their ancestors  (Pictured below is a fossilized cockroach found in North America)

Inventor Gail Borden, Jr. invented condensed milk in the 1850s 

About 25% of American adults say they have participated, at some time or another, in illegal gambling  

The only crime defined in the U.S. Constitution is treason — Article III, Section 3 

A "fulgerite" is fossilized lightning. It forms when a powerful lightning bolt melts the soil into a glass-like state  (Pictured below is a piece of fossilized lightning- a fulgerite- found in the northeastern US after lightning struck a beach area in 1990)

A winkle is an edible sea snail

Ann Franklin was the first woman to hold the title of "newspaper editor" (at The Newport Mercury in Newport, Rhode Island) in 1762 

A supposedly centuries-old Korean health treatment--the vaginal steam bath--has become a popular fad recently in southern California, according to a December Los Angeles Times report. As the client squats on an open-seated stool, vapors of herbs such as wormwood supposedly fight stress, infections, hemorrhoids, infertility, and irregular menstrual periods. Thirty minutes' treatment runs $20 to $50, and according to a prominent Beverly Hills gynecologist, the procedure actually could be beneficial 

China's dynamic economy has created Western-style insecurities, including young women's anxieties about beauty and self- improvement as they search for employment. Consequently, China has become the world's third largest consumer of plastic surgery services--with demand that perhaps challenges the supply of skilled surgeons. Women typically want wider eyes, "sliced" eyelids, narrower noses and jaws, and smaller chins, and both men and women seek height by attempting the painful (and usually unsuccessful) "heel implant" procedure. (A currently popular, less invasive remedy for immediate body streamlining--as when preparing for a job interview--involves ingesting eggs of the ringworm, so that the "worm" devours food before the stomach can digest it)   

Every December 24th in Sweden, at 3 p.m., a third to a half of all Swedes sit down to watch the same traditional television program that has marked Christmas for the last 50 years: a lineup of historic Donald Duck cartoons. According to a December report on, the show is insinuated in the national psyche because it was the first big holiday program when Swedes began to acquire television sets in 1959. Entire families still watch together, repeating their favorite lines 

From a December 2010 memo to paramedics in Edmonton, Alberta, by Alberta Health Services: Drivers should "respond within the posted speed limits even when responding with lights and siren." "Our job is to save lives," AHS wrote, "not put them in jeopardy." According to drivers interviewed by Canadian Broadcasting Corporation News, police have been issuing tickets to drivers on emergencies if they speed or go through red lights 

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