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)         

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