Wednesday, July 20, 2011


The female king crab incubates as many as 400,000 young for 11 months in a brood pouch under her abdomen.  It is necessary for the king crab to produce so many offspring since most will not survive to adulthood

The custom of serving a slice of lemon with fish dates back to the Middle Ages, but it was not for adding flavor or zest - It was believed that if a person accidentally swallowed a fish bone, the lemon juice would dissolve it

Grunt, slump, pandowdy, and cobbler are all deserts made with stewed fruit or fresh fruit, topped with dumplings or biscuits

The Salto Alto (Angel Falls) in Venezuela is the highest waterfall known. It is more than twenty times higher than Niagara 

A collector who attempts to collect an example of every item in a particular field is called a completist

A dragonfly flaps its wings 20 to 40 times a second, bees and houseflies 200 times, some mosquitoes 600 times, and a gnat 1,000 times

A grasshopper can leap over obstacles 500 times its own height. In relation to its size, it has the greatest jumping ability of all animals

Haggis, a traditional Scottish dish, is made from the lungs, heart, and liver of a sheep, chopped with onions, seasonings, suet, and oatmeal, and then broiled in a bag made from the sheep's stomach

In English folklore, Queen Mab was a fairy queen who governed people's dreams

Charlemagne, the Frankish Emperor, never learned to write; even though he practiced on tablets, he admitted he couldn't master the skill. He learned to read, however

Selenologists study the moon, as geologists study earth

The modern Christmas custom of displaying a wreath on the front door of one's house, is borrowed from ancient Rome's New Year's celebrations. Romans wished each other "good health" by exchanging branches of evergreens. They called these gifts strenae after Strenia, the goddess of health. It became the custom to bend these branches into a ring and display them on doorways  

1 in 50 humans have an extra rib

A video of the famous Asch Experiment, which exposed how humans often react to social/peer pressure, even as adults:

The "phantom ring" is a phenomenon where people believe their cell phone is ringing when in fact it is not.
This is also cleverly referred to as ‘ringxiety’ and ‘fauxcellarm’.  The explanations for why this happens are not exactly concrete, but this auditory illusion usually occurs in the midst of other noise – such as while taking a shower, watching TV or using a blow-dryer.   Often the tones of these noises are similar to those of mobile ringtones (usually between 1000 and 6000 hertz) and our brain gets fooled into thinking it is hearing your phone.  Some researchers have noted that in an ever-increasing "need" for connectivity, this phantom ring phenomenon may be a new expression of anxiety

Walt Disney World is home to the largest working wardrobe in the world with over 2.5 million costumes in its inventory

A tuna can swim 100 miles in a single day  

The horned lizard of the American southwest may squirt a thin stream of blood from the corners of its eyes when frightened

Americans consume about 138 billion cups of coffee a year

The adjective "saxicolous" refers to something living or growing on or among rocks

In 1889, the first coin-operated telephone, patented by Hartford, Connecticut inventor William Gray, was installed in the Hartford Bank. Soon, "pay phones" were installed in stores, hotels, saloons, and restaurants, and their use soared. Local calls using a coin-operated phone in the U.S. cost only 5 cents everywhere until 1951

In July of 1801, a 1,235 pound cheese ball was pressed at the farm of Elisha Brown, Jr. The huge ball of cheese was later loaded on a horse-driven wagon and presented to President Thomas Jefferson at the White House 

The term “Sword and Sandal Epic” is a film industry colloquialism for an epic film with biblical or fantasy elements. The term was named for the weapons and costumes that the characters typically wear
Ireland boasts the highest per capita consumption of cereal in the world – 15 pounds per person annually

A human can see a candle flame from 50 kilometers on a clear, dark night

In medieval China, it was not unusual for a mother to breast-feed a child until the child was seven years old  (This same standard practice occurred in other parts of the world at various times as well)

Plants in the mint family have been used for centuries by people as anti-spasmodics. Current studies suggest that ingesting peppermint oil (available in capsule form) helps relieve internal gas and bloating   

Popcorn was banned at most movie theaters in the United States in the 1920s because it was considered too noisy 

Girl Guides or Girl Scouts is a parallel movement to Scouting. It evolved from the Scouting movement in the early years of the 20th century. Girls were attracted to Scouting from its inception in 1907. In different places around the world, the movement developed in diverse ways. In some places, girls attempted to join Scouting organizations and it was decided that single-gender organizations were a better solution. In other places, girls groups were started, some of them later to open up to boys or merge with boys' organisations. In other instances, mixed groups were formed, sometimes to later split. In the same way, the name Girl Guide or Girl Scout has been used by groups at different times and in different places, with some groups changing from one to another. In the past, boys had to join the Boy Scouts or Cub Scouts but in recent years Guides has been open for both boys and girls to join in some countries
A Girl Guide troop poses with their leader in 1918 in England
According to some acupuncturists and homeopaths, there is a point on the head that you can press to control your appetite. It is located in the hollow just in front of the flap of the ear

Words that contain the same root, such as the words "wise" and "wisdom," are said to be paronymous

A woodchuck breathes only ten times per hour while hibernating, while an active woodchuck breathes 2,100 times an hour

Hollywood Memorial Park is the only cemetery which provides visitors maps to the stars' graves. Here visitors can view the graves of early Hollywood greets. The epitaph on the headstone of Mel Blanc, “The Man of 1,000 Voices,” including Bugs Bunny and Porky Pig, reads: “That’s all, folks," the famous catch-phrase that was a staple of the ending of Looney Tunes episodes, stated by Porky Pig

The New York Yankees' Derek Jeter achieved his milestone 3,000th major league hit in July 2011, and Steiner Sports Marketing of New Rochelle, New York was ready (in partnership with the Yankees and Major League Baseball). Dozens of items from the game were offered to collectors, including the bases ($7,500 each), 30 balls used during the game ($2,000 each, unsigned), and even Jeter's sweaty socks ($1,000). Steiner had also collected five gallons of dirt (under supervision, to assure authenticity), and uberfans can buy half-ounce containers of clay walked upon by Jeter during the game (from the shortstop area and the right-hand batter's box)--for a not- dirt-cheap $250 each

Military veteran Joshua Price, 26, was arrested in March after police in a Chicago suburb found child pornography and 1,700 photos of dismembered women on his computer, but at a court hearing in May 2011, Price explained that his photographs were a necessary escape from war-related trauma. In fact, Price told prosecutors that were it not for the distracting photos, his stress disorder would surely have caused him to kill his wife and two daughters. (Prosecutors accepted that Price's crime was a "cry for help," but the judge, less impressed, quadrupled Price's bail, to $1 million) 

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