Monday, July 18, 2011


Todd Whitehurst may be the "father" of from 42 to 60 children, based on statistical probability that recognizes his virtuosity as a sperm donor, according to a June New York Post profile (though one website, Donor Sibling Registry, claims to have documented 129 children sired by an unnamed seed demon, who is one of 92 highly productive men with 10 or more). Whitehurst, who like the others, was selected based on his sperm's profile and speed, donated weekly for about three years in the late 1980s (for $50 a session), and has been contacted so far by nine teenagers who sent him their photos after piecing together evidence identifying him (despite sperm banks' promises of confidentiality). Whitehurst, acknowledging the resemblances to his "offspring," seems to find the relationships fulfilling, however limited they are. Said he, "I love Father's Day" 
Todd Whitehurst continues to be contacted by teens and young adults who are seeking to find their biological father
The United Kingdom was the first nation to issue adhesive postage stamps; as a result, today British postage stamps are the only ones in the world that do not indicate their country of origin

The word “tycoon” is based on “taikun,” a title used by Japanese Shoguns - It is unknown who started using the term to describe a multi-millionaire

Theological philosopher Saint Augustine of Hippo is so important to the Catholic faith that even his mom was canonized. Today, she’s known as Saint Monica. Augustine’s dad, on the other hand, is not a saint. He’s primarily remembered for cheating on St. Monica

New York Tribune founder Horace Greeley is best known for saying, “Go West, young man.” Problem is, he didn’t say it. The quote actually came from Indiana newspaper editor John B.L. Soule. In fact, Greeley’s own comments regarding the West were less than encouraging. In 1859, while traveling across Utah, he wrote, “The desolation seems irredeemable.” Twelve years later, he proclaimed, “This Daniel Boone business is about played out”
Greeley (February 3, 1811 – November 29, 1872) was an outspoken advocate for the end of slavery in the U.S. as well as a founder of the Liberal Republican Party.  He was widely considered the greatest newspaper editor of his day. 

Not only are all automobile taillights in the U.S. red, they’re a specific shade of red (with a specific color wavelength and intensity) mandated by the federal government

The Jolly Corks was a social club formed in New York in 1867. They’re still around, but today they’re now known as the Benevolent Protective Order of the Elks

Despite their appearance and fierce name, dragonflies cannot sting and are harmless to human beings

Max Factor, Hollywood’s celebrated make-up artist, was also known for his elaborate, hand-made, human-hair wigs. His rugs were commonly used in old Western flicks, but they came at a price: they could only be rented if the producers agreed to cast Factor’s sons as extras

Leatherback sea turtles have fleshy backward-pointing spines in their throats so that jellyfish, their favorite food, can be swallowed more easily
The Leatherback is the largest of all sea turtles 
The consistency of your ear wax is genetic

In 1943 Philip Morris ran an ad acknowledging “smokers’ cough.” They claimed it was caused by smoking brands other than Philip Morris
This Phillip Morris print ad, circa 1950, notes that "Gentleness means so much"
Hawaii is the only U.S. state that grows coffee

Parcheesi originated as a life-size game - the ruler of India played it in his garden, using pretty young women as the pawns.  The “home” they moved toward was the center of the garden, where the emperor sat

West Virginia is no longer the coal-mining capital; nine of the ten top-producing coal mines in the U.S. are located in Wyoming

Prior to the 1800s, people tried to clean their teeth using eggshells and abrasives. Not until 1824 did an American dentist named Peabody come up with the idea to add soap to tooth powder, thus giving it a cleansing agent

The world’s largest exporter of beef is Australia

In 1667, the Dutch purchased Manhattan for the extremely low price of $24, then traded it to England for the South American country of Suriname - This is oft-cited as one of the worst land deals in world history

While it’s up to individual states to determine their color, most school buses have been painted National School Bus Chrome Yellow since a 1939 national conference recommended it as the shade of choice - Early research had determined that yellow, particularly chrome yellow, is the color most visible to the human eye

You probably know (or are) a couch potato, but may not know that the term is the legal property of Robert Armstrong, who trademarked it in 1976

The U.S. Marine Corps is actually older than the United States itself, having been founded in 1775

As late as the 1800s, some American women received thimbles as symbols of their engagements

Montana is the only U.S. state that borders three different Canadian provinces (Alberta, British Columbia & Saskatchewan)

Medieval Japanese samurai burned incense in their helmets, so if they were decapitated in battle, their head would smell sweet

Sulfuric Acid is the most produced chemical in the United States - it can be processed to be used in car batteries and other vehicles, fertilizer, oil refining, ore processing, manufacturing detergents, waste water processing, and other uses

Cheddar cheese that has been ripened for six months is considered “mild.” Seven months to a year of ripening makes “sharp” cheddar, and two years worth of aging yields an “extra sharp” product

An estimated 15% to 20% of people who receive gift cards never redeem them, and the companies that sell the gift vouchers are well-aware of this figure and tabulate it into their profit projections, especially during Christmas sales season

Turtles often bury their eggs in alligator nests. The mother alligator guards her nest so well it ensures the safety of the turtles as well
A Florida Red-bellied turtle shares space with an alligator, hoping to lay her eggs and have the gator guard them until they hatch a couple months later

New York scent artist Christopher Brosius had made his name with fragrances recalling childhood (such as Clean Baby Butt, Green Bean, and Baseball Glove) but felt it was time, according to an April report in New York magazine, to approach the next frontier- to make a perfume so exclusive that no one could smell it.  By Brosius's reasoning, the scent's chemicals would provoke whatever reactions scents provoke in those exposed to it, but the actual scent would be undetectable to the nose; hence, no one would know why they were reacting as they were. By trial and error, he combined jasmine, sandalwood, and natural amber, and scaled them down in power, yielding what he calls Where We Are There Is No Here . Said Brosius, "The question, 'What perfume are you wearing?' should never arise"

Bank of America (BA) had the tables turned on it in June after the company wrongfully harassed an alleged mortgage scofflaw in Naples, Fla. BA had attempted to foreclose on homeowners Warren and Maureen Nyerges last year even though the couple had bought their house with cash- paid directly to BA. It took BA a year and a half to understand its mistake--that is, until the Nyergeses sued and won a judgment for expenses of $2,534, which BA promptly ignored. The Nyerges' attorney obtained a seizure order, and two sheriff's deputies, with a moving truck, arrived at the local BA branch on June 3rd to load $2,534 worth of furniture and computer equipment from the Bank's offices. After about an hour on the phone with higher-ups, the local
BA manager issued a check for $2,534 

Police in Doncaster, England, were on the lookout in June for an organized group of four female and two male shoplifters who hit a liquor store on Bentley Road in May but left an interesting crime-scene story on the surveillance video. While five of the crew distracted employees, one woman, wearing pants, walked to the back but emerged minutes later wearing a large wraparound skirt and waddling slowly toward the front door. After the unsuspecting employees bid farewell to the six, they discovered that the office safe was missing and concluded that the waddling woman was holding it between her legs

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