Monday, August 29, 2011


In 625 B.C.E., metal coins were introduced in Greece. They replaced grain — usually barley — as the medium of exchange. Stamped with a likeness of an ear of wheat, the new coins were lighter and easier to transport than grain, and did not get moldy

Thomas Edison’s first major invention was the quadruplex telegraph. Unlike other telegraphs at the time, it could send four messages at the same time over one wire

Prize fights prior to the turn of the century lasted up to more than a hundred rounds (rounds were often determined by knockdowns) - The fighters used bare knuckles (no boxing gloves that are padded, and have been in standard use since the early 1900s) - (Pictured below is a legal bare knuckle match that took place in 1899 in New York City)

The pupil of the human eye expands as much as 45% when a person looks at something the person deems pleasing

The oak tree can take as long as 30 years to produce its first crop of acorns

Czar Nicholas II considered the construction of an electric fence around Russia and expressed interest in building a bridge across the Bering Straits

The first law to protect the cheese industry was enacted in 1411, when Charles VI gave the people of Roquefort “the monopoly of curing cheese as has been done in the caves of Roquefort village since time immemorial”  

Americans buy an average of 4.6 movie tickets per year. According to Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, Ireland buys the most of the European countries, with 3.2 tickets a year - of all countries that have been recorded, Lebanon has the most movie-goers and Russia has the most theaters

The statue by Auguste Rodin that has come to be called "The Thinker" was not meant to be a portrait of just any man at thought.  Originally named The Poet, the piece was part of a commission by the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris to create a monumental portal to act as the door of the museum. Rodin based his theme on The Divine Comedy of Dante and entitled the portal The Gates of Hell. Each of the statues in the piece represented one of the main characters in the epic poem. The Thinker was originally meant to depict Dante in front of the Gates of Hell, pondering his great poem - (In the final sculpture, a miniature of the statue sits atop the gates, pondering the hellish fate of those beneath him.) The sculpture is nude, as Rodin wanted a heroic figure in the tradition of Michelangelo, to represent intellect as well as poetry 

The seed of the redwood trees are so small that 123,000 of them weigh scarcely a pound 

The honey ant of the desert has a method of providing food in times of scarcity. Certain members of the colony are stuffed with liquid food or water until the rear of their bodies are enlarged to the size of a pea. When a famine occurs, these ants disgorge their supplies to feed the others  (Pictured below some honey ants, fully engorged, hang from the ceiling of the colony's nest, while others set out to look for food)

Over 200,000 telephone calls are made daily at the Pentagon

Chocolate contains the same chemical, phenylethylamine, that your brain produces when you feel you are in love - Researchers have found that an excess of phenylethylamine makes people very nervous

Murderer John Horwood was hanged on April 13, 1821. His skin was used to bind a book describing the dissection of his body by surgeon Richard Smith

If a glass of water were magnified to the size of the Earth, the molecules comprising it would be about as big as a large orange

A Dutch study indicated that 50 percent of the adult Dutch population have never flown in an airplane, and 28 percent admitted a fear of flying   

Because its tongue is too short for its beak, the toucan must juggle its food before swallowing it  (Pictured below a toucan has food in its mouth that to eat means it will have to juggle by tilting its head upward in quick and sharp gestures that edge the food to its throat)
The first female operator was Emma M. Nutt, who started working for Telephone Dispatch Company in Boston on September 1, 1878. Prior to that, all operators were men - women proved to be friendlier and more efficient than the men, and less prone to play pranks on the callers 

Various U.S. cities are named after other countries - For example, you can visit the U.S. city of Peru in the states of Maine, Nebraska, and New York  

Water makes up 60 percent of our body weight. Of the water, 8 percent is in the blood, 25 percent in the spaces between cells, and 67 percent inside the cells

As an advertising gimmick, Carl Mayer, nephew of lunchmeat mogul Oscar Mayer, invented the company's "Wienermobile." On July 18, 1936, the first Oscar Mayer® "Wienermobile" rolled out of General Body Company's factory in Chicago. Wienermobiles still tour the U.S. today

Last year, the highly-qualified agriculture expert Ricardo Salvador was passed over by Iowa State University
to run its Center for Sustainable Agriculture, even after the person who finished ahead of him declined the job. According to a June Chronicle of Higher Education report, Salvador had committed an unpardonable faux pas during the hiring process--by stating the obvious fact that cows everywhere, historically, eat "grass." (Since
Iowa's dominant crop is corn, "grass" was the wrong answer.)  When a Chronicle reporter asked the dean of Iowa State's agriculture school whether cows evolved eating grass, the dean said she did not have an "opinion" about that 

Over the last 10 years, newspaper vendor Miljenko Bukovic, 56, of Valparaiso, Chile, has acquired 82 Julia Roberts face tattoos on his upper body--all, he said, inspired by scenes from the movie "Erin Brockovich." 
Bukovic poses to display his tattoos (left).  Actress Julia Roberts, who portrayed activist Erin Brockovich in the movie of the same name, poses for photogs (right).
On February 21, 2011 Jessica Davey, 22, of Salisbury, England, saw that her car had been wrongly immobilized with a boot. Angry at probably missing work, she locked herself in the car, thus impeding the tow truck, and remained for 30 hours, until a parking inspector dropped by and removed the boot 

In February 2011, the Sarasota, Florida Police Department fired veteran homicide detective Tom Laughlin,
almost a year after he had filed formal papers identifying himself as part of the "sovereign" movement, whose members believe they are beyond the control of any government and can establish their own financial system (which usually makes them much richer- on paper), among other assertions. (The U.S. Constitution is cited as
their authority, but only the original and not the popular version, which is a sham secretly switched with the original by President Abraham Lincoln.) In a subsequent interview with the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Laughlin, who had a strong record as a detective, acknowledged that maybe he had gotten carried away 

Monday, August 22, 2011


Average human life expectancy globally:  63.79 years

In the Fall of 1814, a tidal wave of beer washed down the streets of London after the world's biggest beer barrel ruptured. It was October 17, 1814 at the Meux and Company Brewery on Tottenham Court Road, when a huge vat containing over 135,000 gallons (610,000 L) of beer ruptured, causing other vats in the same building to succumb in a domino effect. As a result, more than 323,000 gallons (1,470,000 L) of beer burst out and gushed into the streets -

- the wave of beer destroyed two homes and crumbled the wall of the Tavistock Arms Pub, trapping teenaged employee Eleanor Cooper under the rubble - Rescue attempts were blocked and delayed by the thousands who flocked to the area to drink beer directly off the road - only eight of the nine casualties from the incident were because of the actual flood; the ninth person died from alcohol poisoning a few days later

SPAM is an acronym formed from two words — spiced ham

Scallops are considered the safest shellfish to eat raw. Most of the danger in eating raw shellfish stems from the fact that shellfish filter large amounts of sea water to obtain nutrients. Toxins, bacteria, and viruses tend to accumulate in this filtration apparatus. The filtration apparatus in scallops is, however, discarded; only the scallop's abductor muscle, where few toxins accumulate, is eaten

Although only about 6 percent of women fail to cry at least once a month, 50 percent of men fail to cry that often

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 water   

Strangeray Springs cattle station in South Australia is the largest ranch in the world. It's area, 30,029 square kilometers, and is only slightly smaller than the European country of Belgium

A robin has nearly 3,000 feathers

Thirty-eight percent of parents say Monday is the most stressful day of their week, compared to only 20 percent of people without children who picked Monday - people without children picked Wednesday as the most stressful day by 49 percent

“Calico” is not a breed of cat, but rather a description of fur color. Most calicos are female, but occasionally a male kitten is born with an extra chromosome which allows him to sport calico fur - that extra chromosome also renders him sterile

The bombardier beetle, when disturbed, defends itself by emitting a series of explosions, sometimes setting off four or five in succession. The noises sound like miniature popgun blasts and are followed by a cloud of reddish-colored, vile-smelling fluid

A famous North American landmark, Niagara Falls, is constantly moving backward. The rim was worn down about two and a half feet each year because of the millions of gallons of water that rush over it every minute. Attempts to control flow and divert the water has reduced erosion in recent years to one foot per year with the potential for one foot every ten years
Gerald Ford is the only person to serve as both president AND vice-president of the US without having been elected to either office

House flies younger than four days old don’t react to light

Though largely unknown, Jerry Lynn Ross and Franklin Chang-Diaz both hold the record for most spaceflights by an astronaut

The Playboy bunny costume was the first service uniform to be registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

The monarch butterfly can discern tastes 12,000 times more subtle than those perceivable by human taste buds  (The monarch, pictured below, tastes with its feet like all other species of butterfly)

With heroin too expensive for many African addicts, some ask an addicted friend for a temporary fix- withdrawing a teaspoonful of the friend's heroin-tinged blood and injecting it into their own bloodstream. Evidence of this practice (called "flashblood") comes from anecdotes from health officials in Tanzania, Zanzibar, and Kenya, reported in the New York Times in July. Doctors said they question the euphoria producing quality of such tiny amounts of heroin but are certain that flashblood will potently deliver any HIV present in the donor's blood (Reported in the New York Times, July 13, 2010)

Jammie Harms, 34, who had been executive assistant to CEO John Smith of the developer Hearthstone Homes, filed a lawsuit against the Omaha, Nebraska, company in June for wrongful firing. According to the lawsuit, Smith told Harms that, after consulting with psychics, he was troubled by her pregnancy. He said he was feeling "negative energy" from her fetus, sensing that it was "hostile" toward him and causing him to be reminded of his own unpleasant experience as a fetus. [KFAB Radio (Omaha)-AP, 7-1-10]

Youth worker Cherie Beekman, 33, took a group of her kids to a bowling alley in Didsbury, England, in April for a diversion but got her thumb stuck in her bowling ball. She was taken to a fire station, where, for over two hours, rescuers used an electric saw, hacksaw, and chisel to free her. [Utica Observer-Dispatch, 4-9-10] [Daily Mail, 4-20-10]

Monday, August 15, 2011


Some parts of the body are more ticklish than the others, the reason for which is still unknown. When used in sexual fetishism, the act of tickling is called as "tickle torture". Research by Dr Sarah-Jayne Blakemore of the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience in London found that robotic arms used to tickle people are just as effective as human arms. Men and women are just as "ticklish". But a few studies suggest that, men may be slightly more ticklish than women. Research headed by Dr M Blagrove from the University of Wales in Swansea shows that the normal tickling response may be absent in those with schizophrenia. Tickling was used as a torture by the ancient Romans. The most surprising feature that can be experimented personally is that if one tickles oneself, there is no such stimulation or laughter

Most humans spend six years or more of our lifetime dreaming.  Research proves that all of us dream at least twice or more in our sleep though we may not remember when we get up. In 5 minutes of waking, half of our dream is forgotten and within 10 minutes, almost all dreams are forgotten

Jeanne Louise Calment of Arles, France was the world's longest living person on record. Jeanne was born on February 21, 1875 and died on August 4, 1997. Her height was 4'11" (1.50m). Jeanne died at the age of 122 in a nursing home in Arles. She lived 122 years and 164 days (44,724 days total). Jeanne's name appears in the Guinness Book of World Records. At age 121, she released her two CDs, one in French and another in English titled, Maitresse du Temps (Time's Mistress). During the end stage, she became blind, she could not hear properly and was confined to a wheelchair but was in high spirits and mentally alert. At age 117, Jeanne decided to quit smoking after over 6 decades of the habit  (Pictured below Jeanne enjoys a smoke and a sip of scotch - she never gave up having an occasional sip of scotch in the late afternoon)

 It is possible to be naturally immune to Pasteurella pestis and HIV, the viruses that cause 2 well-known wide spread killers, The Black Plague and AIDS. This is thanks to a genetic mutation in ones DNA called CCR5-delta 32, or Delta 32 for short. This mutation cuts off the means for a virus, to attach to our white blood cells and enter the immune system. It must come from both parents to cause immunity, but if in possession of only one chromosome for delta-32 it is likely to delay the virus from spreading for long periods of time. This mutation isn't known to ever have a negative effect on any individual, only positive

Foreign bodies in the rectum are a common occurrence and most of the cases are treated with anesthesia before removing objects. Patients have usually made multiple attempts to remove the object themselves before consulting the professional. Common objects inserted are fruits, balls, bottles, vibrators, vegetables, and balls. However, interesting fact is that professors D. Busch and J. Starling; Madison, Wisconsin in 1986 did research and study report on strange rectal foreign bodies. Some of the unusual objects found in the anus and rectum include: magazine, beer glass, seven light bulbs, two flashlights, knife sharpener, frozen pigs tail, wire spring and tobacco pouch

 The picture of Albert Einstein sticking his tongue was taken on his 72nd birthday by annoying press photographer Arthur Sasse. Albert loved the photo so much that he cut his image out and send it to all his friends

Top Ten Richest People in 2010:
1 Warren Buffett Investments $(bn) 62.0
2 Carlos Slim Helu Telecoms 60.0
3 Bill Gates Software 58.0
4 Lakshmi Mittal Steel 45.0
5 Mukesh Ambani Petrochemicals 43.0

6 Anil Ambani Diverse sources 42.0
7 Ingvar Kamprad Ikea stores 31.0
8 KP Singh Property 30.0
9 Oleg Deripaska Aluminium 28.0
10 Karl Albrecht Aldi stores 27.0
*The richest young person is Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, currently worth $1.3billion (USD)
*According to the Forbes list, Bill Gates has been the richest person for the last 13 years

The poorest 40% of the world’s population accounts for 5% of global income. The richest 20% accounts for three-quarters of world income

Nearly a billion people entered the 21st century unable to read a book or sign their names

Number of children in the world:  2.2 billion
Number of children in poverty:  1 billion

The wealthiest nation on Earth has the widest gap between rich and poor of any industrialized nation:  United States of America

Our Lifetime in Numbers:
Life expectancy – 78.5 years or 2,475,576,000 seconds
Words Spoken in Lifetime - 123,205,750
Friendships – 1,700 
Baths – 7,163
Dreams – 104,390
Beef and Veal consumed – 4.5 cows per person
Chickens consumed – 1,201 per person
Potatoes consumed – 5130 pounds
Chocolate – 10,354 bars
Baked Beans – 845 cans
Farts – 35,815 liters of wind
Soap – 656 bars
Toothpaste – 276 tubes
Deodorant – 272 cans
Shampoo – 198 bottles
Beer – 10,351 pints
Wine – 1,694 bottles
Vomit produced – 149 liters
Sex – 4,239 times
Holidays - 59 trips

Air pollution may contribute to two percent of all deaths in the US, some 50,000 cases per year. A nine-year study of US cities showed a strong correlation between death rates and periods of significant pollution

Fourteen percent of the one million citizens of Nairobi, Kenya carry the AIDS virus. Some 20% of the Kenyan military is infected

Humans are the one of the rare animals which copulate face to face. Orangutans also copulate in this manner, the only other species to do so with the same regularity as humans. In addition, Bonobos have been documented doing the same, though only occasionally

Men commit suicide three times more frequently than women do. But women attempt suicide two to three times more often than men

Three chemicals are used to execute criminals by lethal injection. First, Sodium Thiopental is injected, causing the inmate to fall into a deep sleep. The second chemical agent, Pancuronium Bromide, a muscle relaxer, follows. This causes the inmate to stop breathing due to paralyses of the diaphragm and lungs. Finally, Potassium Chloride is injected, stopping the heart

Women shoplift more often than men; the statistics are 4 to 1

You share your birthday with at least nine million other people around the world

Karen Remsing, a 42 year old registered nurse, was arrested in November 2011 following her stealing an unspecified pain medicine delivered by IV at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Children's Hospital. The IV line being shorted was that of her own, terminally-ill, 15-year-old son 

Principal Angela Jennings of Rock Chapel Elementary School in Lithonia, Georgia resigned after an investigation revealed that she had temporarily un-enrolled 13 students last year for the sole purpose of keeping them from annual statewide tests because she feared their scores would drag down her school's performance. (When the test was over, Jennings re-enrolled them) 

Monday, August 8, 2011


New York City has the most skyscrapers of any city in the world with 140. Chicago is a distant second at 68. The term "skyscraper" technically describes all habitable buildings with a height of more than 500 feet (152 m)

In medieval China, it was not unusual for a mother to breastfeed a child until the child was seven years old - This happened in other parts of the world at different time periods, but has generally been out of favor globally since the 18th century

The Caesar salad is not named after Julius Caesar. It is named for its creator, Caesar Cardini, who first prepared the salad in his Caesar's Palace Restaurant in Tijuana, Mexico

The largest stained-glass window in the world is at Kennedy International Airport in New York City. It can be seen on the American Airlines terminal building and measures 300 feet long by 23 feet high  (Pictured below is a nighttime view of the stained glass window at JKF Airport)

The letters in the abbreviation e.g. stand for exempli gratia – a Latin term meaning "for example"

The highest tides in the world are in the Bay of Fundy in southeastern Canada. Tides have reached 70 feet at the head of this bay, one of the highest vertical tidal ranges in the world  (Pictured below a group of tourists stand amid rocks that will be partially submerged in a few hours when the tide comes in... the Bay and surrounding vistas attract tourists from around the world, and in 2009 the Bay of Fundy was a runner for being included in the Seven Wonders of the World)

A racehorse averages a weight loss of between 15 and 25 pounds during a race

"Singapore" means "City of Lions," but none have ever been seen there

Pepin the Short, King of the Franks from 751 to 768 A.D., was 4 feet, 6 inches tall. His wife was known as Bertha of the Big Foot

The owl is the only bird to drop its upper eyelid to wink. All other birds raise their lower eyelids

The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans ages the equivalent of 5 human years for every day they live, usually expiring after 14 days. However, when stressed, the  worm goes into a state of suspended animation that can last for 2 months or more. The human equivalent would be to sleep for about 200 years  (Pictured below is a nematode that is swimming - the natural habitat is various marine areas - and the glow is caused by chemicals it releases)

A 2008 Newsweek magazine poll found that 49% of American fathers described themselves as better parents than their dads

FBI agents were first allowed to carry guns in 1934, 26 years after the agency was established

The caterpillar has more than 2,000 muscles -  those muscles are needed to move about, and to build the cocoon in which the caterpillar will metamorphose into a butterfly or moth  (Pictured below caterpillars are in various states of creating their cocoons)

Railroad conductors and mailmen in the U.S. refused to wear uniforms until after the Civil War. In 1844, policemen in New York City staged a strike against their proposed blue uniforms. The reason for their opposition was that they considered uniforms to be symbols of servitude, as maids and butlers wore them in the "old country," wherever that happened to be

Goombay is the native music of the Bahamas. Goombay achieves its unique rhythm and style by merging native folk songs with percussion effects from Haiti and Cuba - it is also the name of a specific drum that is used in producing the music, which is goat skin stretched over a wooden frame and hit with hands or a stick  (Pictured below is a costumed dancer/musician at a celebration playing a traditional Goombay drum)

The US presidential election is traditionally held on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November. November was chosen as the election month because it was a convenient time for farmers when the weather was still nice enough to travel to the county seat and the bulk of their harvest chores were finished. The Tuesday after the first Monday was chosen to prevent the election from ever falling on the first day of the month and to thwart travel on Sunday, which is the Christian sabbath

Martin Jones, an Englishman, had lost his power of vision and remained blind for almost a decade. He has now regained his power of vision. This has been accomplished by implanting a piece of tooth in his eye. The tooth that was implanted was a canine tooth which is also known as the "eyetooth" and it was pulled out of Martin Jones' own mouth. They then placed a man-made eye lens into its base and placed it under the lid of his eye and let the tissue grow over the canine. Also, a flap of his skin was taken from his mouth and implanted over the tooth in his eye which later had access to its own supply of blood. The doctors then cut a hole in the cornea that permitted light to enter the eye. This very procedure has given six hundred people the power of vision 

Gen. Than Shwe of Myanmar, leader of Asia's most authoritarian regime, made a rare public appearance in February 2011 but dressed in a women's sarong. Most likely, according to a report on AOL News, he was challenging the country's increasingly successful "panty protests" in which females opposed to the regime toss their underwear at the leaders or onto government property to, according to superstition, weaken the oppressors. (Men wear sarongs, too, in Myanmar, but the general's sarong was uniquely of a design worn
by women.) An Internet site run by the protesters urges sympathetic women worldwide to "post, deliver, or fling" panties at any Burmese embassy

Nurse Sarah Casareto resigned in February 2011 from Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis, and
faced possible criminal charges, after allegedly swiping the painkiller Fentanyl from her patient's IV line as he was undergoing kidney-stone surgery (telling him once to "man up" when he complained about the pain)         

Monday, August 1, 2011


The oceans contain enough salt to cover all the continents to a depth of nearly 500 feet

One month after Michael Jackson passed away, his Facebook Page became the first to reach 10 million fans

Delaware State Park isn't in Delaware - it is in Ohio

The Telegraph plant can move its leaves without the aide of wind - It is widely distributed throughout Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. It can even be found on the Society Islands, a remote chain of islands in the South Pacific - This plant is famous for its movement of small lateral leaflets at speeds rapid enough to be perceivable with the naked eye

Food stylists use Krazy Glue to keep food in place during photography sessions for advertisements, television commercials and motion pictures

More people are killed each year from bees than from snakes 

The Jalapeno was the first pepper to be taken into space

In 1876, the average man in the U.S. stood 5'5" tall, 4" shorter than today's average. Half of that increase has been since 1960, according to the U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services - since then men are, on average, 2" taller

"Per capita" is adapted from the Latin phrase "pro capite", meaning "for each head." Statistics commonly use this term in place of "for each person" or "per person"

Australian Graham Barker extracted his own belly button fluff every day for 18 years acquiring a record-breaking amount of fluff. He hopes to accumulate enough fluff to stuff a pillow  (Pictured below are a few of Barker's labeled jars of navel fluff that he keeps stored)

In a year, an average American makes 1,140 phone calls

American women, on average, spend 55 minutes per day getting showered, dressed, and groomed - American men spend, on average, 51 minutes for the same activities

The odds of having quadruplets are 1 in 729,000 - some fertility treatments increase the odds of having multiples 

In the United States, 800 couples will get a divorce today

In China, people eat a bar of chocolate for every 1,000 chocolate bars eaten by the British

Women smile more than men do regardless of age, race, or nationality, according to a recent study of body language

The number of births that occur in India each year is higher than the entire population of Australia

In America, 38% of doctors are from India

There are about 125 million multiples (twins, triplets, etc.) worldwide

Annually, fires that occur at home kill more Americans than all natural disasters combined

Convicted by the English, Joan of Arc was burned at the stake. One of the main reasons for her execution - dressing in male clothing. Witnesses testified that Joan had wore pants because she feared guards would rape her

In 18th Century Britain, you could take out insurance against going to hell

Some form of bowling is played in more than 90 countries around the world. Approximately 100 million people participate in bowling today

Three people were hospitalized in Bellevue, Washington in January 2010 when their van stalled and then exploded as the ignition was re-engaged. They were carrying two gallons of gasoline in an open container and had been feeding the carburetor directly, through an opening in the engine housing (between the seats), as the van was in motion 

Washington, D.C., resident Nicole Pugh, arriving at her polling station in November 2010 with the sole intention of casting a vote for mayor, noticed a line on the ballot asking her choice for Advisory Neighborhood commissioner, even though no candidates were listed. On a lark and with no knowledge of the office, she
wrote in her own name, and that evening was informed that she had been elected, 1-0, to an office that had been vacant, through apathy, for the previous 14 years

Armed-robbery convict Edward Nathan Jr., escaped from a Florida work-release center in 1983 and, as "Claude Brooks" and other identities, managed to avoid police for the next 27 years, until he slipped up in December 2010 in Atlanta--arrested after being caught urinating in public. He was returned to Florida and charged with escape  

Britain's Oxfordshire County Council, which oversees youth swimming classes, banned goggles from the pools in February 2010 because of the fear that kids might snap the elastic bands and hurt their eyes 


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