Monday, October 17, 2011


PEANUTS has appeared in some 2,600 newspapers in 75 countries and has been translated into 21 languages. United Feature Syndicate started the strip in syndication on October 2, 1950. Snoopy first appeared on October 4, 1950  (Pictured below is just one volume of dailies published in the 1950s... below that is the very first PEANUTS strip to appear in a daily newspaper in 1950)

John F. Kennedy and Warren Harding were the only United States presidents to be survived by their fathers

The star known as LP 327-186, a so-called white dwarf, is smaller than the state of Texas, yet so dense, that if a cubic inch of it were brought to Earth, it would weigh more than 1.5 million tons

The celebration of the new year is the oldest of all holidays. It was first observed in ancient Babylon about 4,000 years ago. In the years around 2000 B.C.E., Babylonians celebrated the beginning of a new year on what is now March 25, although they themselves had no written calendar  

Tongue prints are as unique as fingerprints

Green tea has 50 percent more vitamin C than black tea

Continental snow cover would advance to the equator, and the oceans would eventually freeze, if there was a permanent drop in just 1.6 to 2.0 percent in energy reaching the Earth

The loop on a belt that holds the loose end is called a "keeper"

Rattan palms found in the jungles of Southeast Asia have vinelike stems that trail along the jungle floor up to 250 feet in all directions  (Pictured below are the vines as the come off the rattan in the jungle, and beneath that an image of how locals in areas of the jungle use the vines, which are strong enough to make a bed, clothing, rope, and other useful materials)

In 1937 the emergency 999 telephone service was established in London. More than 13,000 genuine calls were made in the first month

In Florida, women may be fined for falling asleep under a hair dryer, as can the salon owner

Jacques-Yves Cousteau invented the aqualung, the self-contained device that supplies air under pressure for underwater divers
The last words of famed ballerina Anna Pavlova were "Get my swan costume ready" - a "swan dance" is the phrase associated with something coming to an end

The average human eye can distinguish about 500 different shades of gray

The average healthy adult human ingests about a ton of food and drink each year  

Many insects hear with their hair. A number of insects, such as the male mosquito, have thousands of tiny hairs growing along their antennae

The world's largest yo-yo resides in the National YoYo Museum in Chico, California. Named "Big Yo," the 256-pound yoyo is an exact scale replica of a Tom Kuhn "No Jive 3 in 1 YoYo." Fifty inches tall and 31.5 inches wide, the yo-yo is made of California sugar pine, baltic birch from the former USSR, and hardrock maple. It was first launched in San Francisco on October 13, 1979

There are 1,792 steps leading to the top of the Eiffel Tower

The Japanese word for chef, itamae, literally means "in front of the cutting board"

Harps are played throughout much of the world. In Africa alone, there are more than 150 distinct harp traditions

More than a third of all adults in the US and Britain hit their alarm clock's "snooze" button each morning an average of three times before they get up. Those most likely of snatching some extra sleep are those in the 25–34 age bracket, at 57 percent           

Young birds such as ducks, geese, and shore birds are born with their eyes open 

Laptop computers get bumped around because they are portable, which makes them around 30 percent more likely to fail than a computer that stays in one place 

In Rome, the world's first paved streets were laid out in 170 B.C.E.  The new streets were popular as they were functional in all types of weather and were easier to keep clean - the only complaint found in writing was that they amplified the city's noise level 

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, written by Mark Twain, was the first novel ever to be written on a typewriter

Studies show that one out of every 3,000 children has some form of autistic disorder

Attitudes about death and dying differ from one culture to the other. For example, Korean-Americans and Hispanics are less likely than Anglos and African-Americans to believe a patient should be fully informed about a serious illness   

The human hand contains an average of 1,300 nerve endings per square inch

Every hour, nearly 12,500 puppies are born in the United States

Nitrous oxide was discovered in 1800. When inhaled, it was found to give a giddy, intoxicated feeling and to release the emotions. People laughed inanely, so it was called "laughing gas." For a while, parties were organized at which people sat around inhaling its fumes

Finland has the greatest number of islands in the world: 179,584

The study of mountains is called "orology"

The land area of the country of Greece is slightly smaller than US state of Alabama    
Tablecloths were originally meant to serve as towels with which guests could wipe their hands and faces after dinner

A 50-year-old man was charged with indecent exposure near Yakima, Washington in March 2011 when he jumped in front of a woman, genitals exposed, but otherwise dressed in a diver's wet suit, mask, and bright orange gloves

Businesses typically resist government regulation, but in March 2011 Florida's interior designers begged the state House of Representatives to continue controlling them, with a theatrically ham-handed lobbying campaign challenging a deregulation bill.  Designers righteously insisted that only "licensed professionals" (with a minimum six years of college and experience) could prevent the nausea Floridians would suffer from inappropriate color
schemes (affecting the "autonomic nervous system" and salivary glands). Also, poorly-designed prison interiors could be turned into weapons by inmates. Furthermore, deregulation would contribute to "88,000 deaths" a year from flammable materials and hospital infections that would suddenly inundate the market in the absence
of licensing. Said one designer, addressing House committee members, "You [here in this chamber] don't even have correct seating"

Ellenbeth Wachs, 48, was arrested in Lakeland, Florida in May on a complaint that she "simulated" a sex act in front of a minor. In a March 2011 incident, Wachs, after receiving medication for her multiple sclerosis, was awakened at 8:30 a.m. by her 10-year-old neighbor boy's clamorous basketball game, near Wachs's window. After unsuccessfully beseeching the boy for quiet, Wachs- hoping, perhaps, to make a point about noisy neighbors- began moaning out the window (while remaining out of sight), "Oh, John! Oh! John!" over and over at increased shrillness as if in the throes of orgasm.  The basketball-playing stopped, but the incident was not a teaching moment. The boy's father, Otto Lehman, called the police and filed for an order of protection against Wachs  

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