Wednesday, July 20, 2011


The Pink Fairy Armadillo (Chlamyphorus truncatus) or Pichiciego is the smallest species of armadillo (mammals of the family Dasypodidae, mostly known for having a bony armor shell). It is found in central Argentina where it inhabits dry grasslands and sandy plains with thorn bushes and cacti.  A full-grown adult may only grow to 5 inches in length, compared to an Armadillo found in North America that may grow to be six-times as big
A Pink Fairy Armadillo in a nest.  It's pinkish-color hard exterior shell covers a furry and soft underbelly
Dolphins swim in circles while they sleep with one eye on the outside of the circle open to keep watch for predators. After a certain amount of time, they reverse and swim in the opposite direction with the opposite eye open- They really are asleep, but what is happening is that one side of the brain sleeps while the other remains alert

The word "yardstick" is derived in part from the Old English word "gird" for the word "yard," which translates to "stick." As a result of this melding, we're literally calling the measuring device a "stick-stick"

Tap, fibrous, fleshy, and tuberous are types of plant roots

The red, yellow, and dark blue Renaissance uniform worn by the Swiss Guard at the Vatican was designed by Michaelangelo. It is one of several costumes worn by the Gendarmeria Pontificia (the Vatican Police Guard)

The hummingbird's tiny brain, 4.2% of its body weight, is proportionately the largest in the bird kingdom

The swimming pool at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, Florida is the largest in the continental U.S. It covers a half acre and holds 600,000 gallons of waterIt was designed by Schultze and Weaver and was built in 1926 by John McEntee Bowman and George Merrick as part of the Biltmore hotel chain.  It served as a hospital during World War II and as a VA Hospital and campus of the University of Miami medical school until 1968. It became a hotel again in 1987 managed by the Seaway Hotels Corporation.  There are some reports that claim this hotel to be haunted, most often by the spirit of Thomas Walsh...

When completed, it was the tallest building in Florida, surpassing the Freedom Tower in Downtown Miami. It was surpassed in 1928 by the Dade County Courthouse, also in Downtown Miami.  At one time the pool was the largest pool in the world and among the many attractions was swimming instructor (and later Tarzan actor) Johnny Weissmuller.  Currently, the acclaimed GableStage Theater operates out of the Biltmore Hotel

William Caxton, an English printer, established the first printing press in English in 1476

Candy made from pieces of barrel cactus was outlawed in the U.S. in 1952 to protect the species

Cut-outs of a moon and a star were used in colonial times on outhouse doors to designate the gender of the intended user. Originally, the moon cut-out was for women and the star was for the men. But men's outhouses were usually such a mess that men preferred using the women's outhouses. So, eventually the use of stars were phased out and in some cases a moon and a star appear together on a single outhouse

Figs have the highest dietary fiber content of any common fruit, nut, or vegetable

Because of fears that the Japanese, who had attacked Pearl Harbor less than a month earlier, might attach California, the Rose Bowl game of 1942 between Oregon State and Duke University was moved east to Duke's hometown in Durham, North Carolina. It didn't, however, help the home team. Oregon won, 20-16    

The first U.S. census to be tallied by computer was in 1950. This was also the first year that Americans abroad were counted in the census. UNIVAC did the tallying.  UNIVAC (Universal Automatic Computer) was so large that it took up the space of an entire office room - It weighed 16,000 pounds and used 5,000 vacuum tubes

Hugnes was archbishop of Reims in the tenth century when he was five years old

Toffee is made by boiling together brown sugar, butter, and vinegar

A pea jacket is actually a "jacket jacket." The "pea" part of its name is from the Dutch word pij, which is a sailor's garment

In ancient Rome, flamingo tongues were considered a great delicacy. Their existence was threatened by hunters. The Romans made a law making it illegal to hunt flamingos but, it failed

New York City's Empire State Building's world famous tower lights are turned off every night at midnight with the exception of New Year's Eve, New Year's Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and St. Patrick's Day, when they are illuminated until 3 a.m.  
The Empire State Building lit up on a Christmas night
From one cord of wood, 7.5 million toothpicks can be produced

Of the 15,000-odd known species of orchids in the world, 3,000 of them can be found in Brazil

A pelican consumes about 33 percent of its body weight in a single meal

Starch is used as a binder in the production of paper. It is the use of a starch coating that controls ink penetration when printing.  Newspapers, due to mass distribution, often don't use paper that has a high level of starch because it is cheaper to use paper with a lower level, but that means that the ink will often smudge onto your fingers after holding a page.  Your body heat mixes with the limited amount of starch, and in some cases you may be able to get a near-mirror image of the page onto your skin
It is against the law to yell out "Snake!" within the city limits of Flowery Branch, Georgia

The National Roller Skating Museum is located in Lincoln, Nebraska, and is the only roller skating museum in the world, possibly because roller skating did not become as big a phenomenon in other countries as it did in the United States.  However, the world's oldest roller skates, known as "road rollers" most popular in the 1920s with British businessmen, are on display in a British museum not entirely dedicated to the sport or history of roller skates.  The first pair of roller skates were invented by Joseph Merlin of Huy, Belgium, in 1759. Merlin introduced the invention by skating into a ballroom playing a violin

An American Animal Hospital Association survey revealed that 62 percent of dog owners sign letters or cards from themselves and their dogs
One-fourth of the 206 bones in the adult human body are located in the feet
One peculiar behavior of dachshunds is that they often roll around in odiferous things when they encounter them. This odd habit has been attributed to the dog's hunting instinct. Doing this is the dachshund's attempt to "lose its scent" so that its potential prey cannot smell it

In film industry slang, a "hot set" is a set that is ready for use and is not to be disturbed

Mahi-mahi can be found off the coasts of the Hawaiian Islands, as well as in the off the coast of Florida.  In other languages it is known as lampuga, lampuka, rankingo, calitos, maverikos, and dorado.  A fully grown Mahi-mahi weighs about 50 pounds - their size and the color (and their taste) make them a popular fish for commercial and sports fishers.  Mahi-mahi means "very strong" in Hawaiian 

The Cozy Coupe is the best-selling car in American history and is on display in the Smithsonian. Manufactured and distributed by Little Tikes, an American manufacturer of children's toys based in Hudson, Ohio, the toy reached 6 million units in sales by its 25th anniversary in 2004.
The car's design, described as "a cross between a Volkswagen Beetle and Fred Flintstone's vehicle", was created by Jim Mariol who had worked as a designer at Chrysler starting in 1952.   First sold in 1979 as one of the first molded-plastic toy cars sold in the United States, it was called the "world's best-selling car for much of this decade" by The New York Times in 1998, outselling the Honda Accord and Ford Taurus. As of 1991, the Cozy Coupe was selling 500,000 units per year, making it the top-selling model in the United States, outselling the 399,000 Accords and 299,000 Taurus vehicles sold that year

LOX, in space lingo is liquid oxygen, a component of rocket fuel

The Swedes drink more coffee than any other people in the world  

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