Monday, May 23, 2011


Women's trousers usually had side fastenings, as front zippers for women were considered "naughty"

Baby food sales are booming in Japan. A sardine dish is Gerber's top seller in Japan, even though the company doesn't sell a single fish-based product in the U.S. 

Mozart once composed a piano piece that required a player to use two hands, both feet, and their nose in order to hit all the correct notes

When the female embryo is only six weeks old, it makes preparations for her potential motherhood by developing egg cells for future offspring. (When the baby girl is born, each of her ovaries carries about a million egg cells, all she will ever have) 

English was not the mother tongue of Queen Victoria. Her mother, the daughter of a German duke, spoke German in the home, and Victoria – though she ruled England for 64 years – was never able to speak English fluently

Cabbage is 91 percent water

The British slang for what is known as a "white-collar worker" in the US is "black-coat worker" - both terms refer to someone who works in an office.  In the US, a "blue-collar worker" refers to someone who works with their hands, and is derived from the common color of shirts worn by mechanics, constructions workers, and others

In the US, about 15,000 are in comas

The Bactrian camel is the only land mammal on Earth that can survive on salt water

The telescope on Mount Palomar, California, can see a distance of 7,038,835,200,000,000,000,000 miles  (Pictured below is the open dome of the housing of the telescope on a clear, starry night)

A female pharaoh was unknown in Egypt before Hatshepsut, who began her reign in 1502 B.C. In order not to shock convention, she had herself portrayed in male costume, with a beard, and without breasts

A study of New York marathoners found that their divorce rate – male and female – was twice the national average 

The computer programming language BASIC is an acronym of "Beginner’s All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code"

Belgian driver Jenatzy was the first to reach a speed of over 100 km/h in his electrically powered car "La Jamais Contente" on 29 April 1899  (Pictured below is part of the celebration that took place following the record-setting with Jenatzy wearing his driving cap and leather jacket)

Roulette was invented by the great French mathematician and philosopher Blaise Pascal. It was a by product of his experiments with perpetual motion

The dark spots on the moon that create the benevolent "man in the moon" image are actually basins filled 3 to 8 kilometers deep with basalt, a dense mineral, which causes immense gravitation variations

Playtex International made U.S. history in May 1987 when US television networks began airing its commercials showing women wearing bras. Prior to this, torso mannequins were usually used, or female models could don brassieres provided the undergarments were worn on top of the models' clothing  

The General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments in Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates) announced in December that it issued 350,000 "fatwas" in 2010--not the "death to" fatwas but rather Quranic interpretations governing everyday life. (The Authority ruled last year, for example, that car raffles are bad; that vuvuzelas
are acceptable if kept under 100 decibels; that afternoon naps are prohibited because time should be better spent; and that half-sisters may shake hands with their brothers, even if their mother is Christian.)

Georgia Tech scientists tested (for an October publication) the "oscillatory shaking" they witnessed by wet mice and various-sized wet dogs as they shook water off--finding an inverse ratio between size and speed, from 27 cycles per second by a mouse to 5.8 by a mid-sized dog. Their original hypothesis was that speed would decrease according to "torso radius," but they forgot to factor in the length of the animals' fur

Israeli researchers, writing in the journal Fertility and Sterility, found that women undergoing in-vitro
fertilization were almost twice as likely to conceive if they had been made to laugh by a hospital "clown" entertaining them as soon as their embryos were implanted  

A 2010 Chicago Tribune public-records examination of suburban Chicago traffic-stop drug searches found that sniffer dogs are usually wrong--that 56% of all "positive" signals by dogs yielded no contraband (73% failure if the driver was Hispanic) 

"Ashley," attacked at age 15 by a counselor in a New York City lockup, finally received justice in September when the counselor pleaded guilty to that assault and two others. (Ashley had been in the lockup for lying on a police report and served one year in juvenile detention.) The counselor's guilty pleas came in a deal with the prosecutor, for which he was "punished" by a probation-only sentence, according to an October New York Daily News story. Thus, Ashley was locked up after the rape; the rapist remains free    


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