Monday, September 12, 2011


The sport and recreational activity with the largest expenses (medical, legal, and others) due to injuries treated in U.S. emergency rooms in 1995 was bicycling, with costs exceeding $4 billion. More than half a million bicycling injuries were documented. A huge percentage of those injuries were head injuries, which could have been prevented had riders worn protective helmets

A magic potion or charm thought to arouse sexual love, especially toward a specific person, is known as a "philter"

Eugene-Francois Vidocq, a French thief and outlaw, evaded the police for years, turned police spy, joined the force as a detective, and ultimately used his knowledge of crime to establish a new crime-fighting organization, the Surete - the Surete was a specialized police force akin to the FBI or CIA that used covert operations to reach their objectives.  Vidocq is regarded as the world's first private detective

The United States Department of Agriculture reports that the average American eats eight-and-a-half pounds of pickles a year. Dill pickles are twice as popular as sweet

In December of 1957, Shippingport, Pennsylvania became the site of the first full-scale nuclear power plant in the U.S. The plant was able to generate 60 megawatts of electricity after reaching full power 21 days after going on-line

Of the four Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, all named after artists and/or sculptors, Donatello does not occur in the same time period as Leonardo, Michelangelo and Raphael 

The first foreign monarch to patent an invention in the U.S. was King Hassan II of Morocco. He was issued a patent for an invention that combined videotape and an electrocardiogram to study heart performance

Shrimp is the top seafood ordered in restaurants, followed by salmon and swordfish, according to a National Restaurant Association survey
The Cairo Opera House was destroyed by fire in 1970. The Cairo fire station was located inside the same building
Women who are stay-at-home wives and mothers are, as a whole, less likely to commit adultery than women who work outside of the home

Woodbury Soap was the first product to use a picture of a nude woman in its advertisements. In 1936, a photo by Edward Steichen showed a rear full-length view of a woman sunbathing 

Worldwide, the most common environmental allergy is dust

On the human intelligence scale, pigs are third removed from humans, while dogs are 13th removed, and only primates and dolphines are smarter than pigs. They are quick one time learners, and some learn by watching others

Wrigley's promoted their new spearmint-flavored chewing gum in 1915 by mailing 4 sample sticks to each of the 1.5 million names listed in US telephone books

You burn more calories sleeping than watching television

Dark yellow to yellowish-green urine may mean that you are under-hydrated and should drink more water

You would have to walk 80 kilometers (50 miles) for your legs to equal the amount of exercise your eyes get daily, assuming you are a sighted person

You would need to travel at 6.95 miles per second to escape the Earth’s gravitational pull. This is equivalent to traveling from New York to Philadelphia in about twenty seconds

Your body releases growth hormones when you sleep, until you stop growing and your brain will stop growing in size when you are about 15 years old - once you reach age 21, you are done growing and no longer release the hormones to help with growth

Your nostrils take turns inhaling

At its peak in 1943, the Pentagon had a working population of about 33,000. Today, even with the US at war with Afghanistan and Iraq, about 23,000 employees work in the building

A "hairbreadth away" is 1/48 of an inch

If the Earth was smooth, the ocean would cover the entire surface to a depth of 12,000 feet

Every queen named Jane has either been murdered, imprisoned, gone mad, died young, or been dethroned

Electric Christmas tree lights were first used in 1895. The idea for using electric Christmas lights came from an American, Ralph E. Morris. The new lights proved safer than the traditional candles  (Though not in color, below is the first electric-lit Christmas tree in the home of Ralph E. Morris in 1895)

A 200-exhibit installation on the history of dirt and filth and their importance in our lives opened in a London gallery in March 2011, featuring the ordinary (dust), the educational (a video tribute to New York's Fresh Kills landfill, at one time the world's largest), the medical (vials of historic, nasty-looking secretions from cholera victims), and the artistic (bricks fashioned from feces gathered by India's Dalits, who hand-clean latrines). Dirt may worry us as a society, said the exhibit's curator, but we have learned that we "need
bits of it and, guiltily, secretly, we are sometimes drawn to it."  Capping the exhibit, leaning against a wall, was what appeared at a distance to be an ordinary broom but whose handle was studded with diamonds and pearls

The CIA recently won two court rulings allowing the agency to refuse comment about its former contractor Dennis Montgomery- rulings that issues involving him are "state secrets" (despite strong evidence that the main "secret" is merely how foolish the agency, and the U.S. Air Force, were to pay Montgomery at least $20 million for bogus software following 9-11, according to a February New York Times report). Montgomery, a small-time gambler who said he was once abducted by aliens, convinced the two agencies that his sophisticated software could detect secret al-Qaeda messages embedded in video pixels on Al Jazeera's news website.  According to the Times report, Montgomery has not been charged with wrongdoing and is not likely to be, since the agencies do not want their gullibility publicized

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