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]

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