Thursday, June 2, 2011


The breed of the Thoroughbred horse is only about 300 years old, although horse racing has been popular in England since Roman times, and can be traced back to Central Asia among prehistoric nomads

Traces of copper give the gemstone turquoise its distinctive color
 The first "braces" were constructed by Pierre Fauchard in 1728. Fauchard's "braces" consisted of a flat strip of metal, which was connected to teeth by pieces of thread

Lettuce is the world's most popular green food

A dripping hot water faucet wastes an average of 40 kilowatt-hours of electricity per month. This is the equivalent of running a color television 8 hours a day for about 31 days

The war with Spain was the shortest war in American history. It lasted five months: April 1898 to August 1898

At an extravagant party during the reign of William III, the Hon. Edward Russel, captain general of the English forces, used the fountain in his garden as a giant punch bowl for mixing his drinks. The recipe included 560 gallons of brandy, 1,300 pounds of sugar, 25,000 lemons, 20 gallons of lime juice, and 5 pounds of nutmeg. Russel's bartender rowed about in a small boat, filling up the punch cups for the awed guests

Although Asia and the Mediterranean are the original regions where mustard grew, most of the world's mustard today is cultivated in Canada and the United States

The star known as LP 327-186, a white dwarf, is smaller than the state of Texas, yet so dense, that if a cubic inch of it were brought to Earth, it would weigh more than 1.5 million tons 

The pupil of the eye expands as much as 45 percent when a person looks at something they find pleasing     

Secure, relatively high-yielding stocks came to be called "blue chips" or "blue chip stocks," a term taken from the game of poker, where blue chips are more valuable than white or red chips  

An oast is a kiln used for drying hops, malt, or tobacco  (Pictured below is a typical oast consisting of four round kiln houses, this one located in Ireland and used for drying hops)

The chicken can travel up to 9 miles per hour

It took Henry Ford's Motor Company seven years to manufacture 1 million automobiles but just 132 working days after this figure was reached (in 1924), the company had made 9 million more cars due to the implementation of the assembly line and new automation for some components of the manufacturing process

The world's first underground railway, between Paddington (Bishop's Road) and Farringdon Street - with trains hauled by steam engines - was opened by the Metropolitan Railway on January 10th 1863. The initial section was six km (nearly four miles) in length, and provided both a new commuter rail service and an onward rail link for passengers arriving at Paddington, Euston and King's Cross main line stations to the City of London  

There are over 375 organizations around the world devoted to fictional late-1800s detective Sherlock Holmes. The largest group is the Japan Sherlock Holmes Club with over 1,200 members 

The peanut isn't a nut - It is a legume, a member of the pea family 

Under a treaty dating back to 1918, if the Grimaldis of Monaco should ever be without a male heir, Monaco would cease to exist as a sovereign state and would become a self-governing French protectorate

A scientist at Michigan State University has calculated that the production of a single hen egg requires about 120 gallons of water, a loaf of bread requires 300 gallons, and a pound of beef, 3,500 gallons

The beluga whale is often referred to as the "sea canary" because of the birdlike chirping sounds it makes

Skilled odor technicians in the perfume trade have the olfactory skill to distinguish 19,000 different odors at twenty levels of intensity each   
William MacDonald, restricted by state law wherever he and his wife relocate to because he is a "registered sex offender," told the New York Times in January that his case is particular "galling," in that his only crime
was violating Virginia law by having oral sex with consenting adults, which most legal scholars believe is not a crime (following a 2003 U.S. Supreme Court decision). (Virginia still believes that its law is valid.)  

Tennessee, the "second-fattest" state according to a recent foundation report, continues to pay for obese Medicaid recipients to have bariatric surgery (at an average cost of about $2,000) but to deny coverage for an overweight person to consult, even once, with a dietitian 

As of early November 2010, 150 people had been killed by the two-week-old, erupting Mount Merapi volcano in Central Java, Indonesia, and the government had created shelters in stadiums and public halls for 300,000 jammed-together evacuees. By that time, however, some had petitioned authorities to open up private shelter locations so that the displaced could attend to certain romantic, biological needs. Apparently some evacuees had become so frisky that they had left the shelter and returned to their homes in the danger zone just so they could have sex 

Three men and two juveniles were charged with burglary in Silver Springs Shores, Florida in January 2011 following a December 2010 break-in that netted them electronics and jewelry and what they thought was a
stash of cocaine. The men told police they had snorted some of the powder. The police report identified the powder as the ashes of the resident's late father and of two Great Danes 

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