Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Studies have shown the octupus can solve fairly complex problems and are considered to have approximately the same intelligence level as a dog

Before Beverly Hills was home to the rich and famous, the area was better known for its lima beans - it is now the wealthiest place to live in the entire United States according to the 2010 Census, for the second time in a row, with a median home sale price of $2.2 million and a population of about 36,000

Peridots are the only gems that have been found in meteorites, and is one of the few gemstones that appear in only one color- an olive green

The epitaph of Alexander the Great is one of the most famous in history: “A tomb now suffices him for whom the whole world was not sufficient.” But in all likelihood, Alexander’s tomb does not contain Alexander himself. The emperor Ptolemy took Alexander’s body and brought it back to Alexandria, where it was on display for a long time. But the body was lost and its current whereabouts are unknown

More than half the people living in Uganda are under 15 years of age, making it the country in the world with the youngest population

Before he wrote Jaws, Peter Benchley was a speechwriter for President Lyndon Johnson

Australia was actually given its name before it was even discovered by Europeans. Rumors of Terra Australis (”land to the south”) persisted for centuries until 1616, when the Dutch confirmed the continent’s existence

Up until the early 1970s in the United States, funeral homes often offered their hearses for use as ambulances to transport patients to hospitals

Limelight, a 1952 Charlie Chaplin film, won an Oscar for Best Dramatic Score 21 years later- Since the movie had never been shown in Los Angeles, it was still eligible to enter the competition as a “new” picture in 1973

That baritone voice behind the Jolly Green Giant’s “ho-ho-ho” belongs to the late Elmer “Len” Dresslar Jr., a Chicago-area jazz singer

The Ford Falcon was discontinued in the US in 1971 but was redesigned and produced through 1991 in Argentina and was known as the official vehicle of the military junta

The Flintstones was sponsored by a cigarette company during the show’s first two seasons. The show was intended for adults, not kids, so few complained about the commercials that depicted the stone-age characters puffing away on Winstons

In 1998, a Georgia teen was suspended for one day for wearing a Pepsi t-shirt at his school’s “Coke in Education Day” - High school senior Mike Cameron served a one-day suspension for sporting a Pepsi logo during an event school officials crafted in an attempt to win a $500 contest run by the Coca-Cola Bottling Co. School officials even went so far as to integrate Coke into class instruction for the day, in addition to bringing in Coke executives from Atlanta as speakers and gathering students outside during regular class time in their required brand-bearing apparel to spell "Coke" for a photograph.  By refusing to participate, the student was showing disrespect to the school's visiting corporate dignitaries who took time out of their busy schedules to fly in for the event, Greenbrier principal Gloria Hamilton said

The peacock is actually the male name of the peafowl- The female is called a peahen
A male (rear) courts a female with a bright and wide display of his feathers
‘Salmonella’ gets its name from Daniel Elmer Salmon, a veterinary pathologist who ran a USDA microorganism research program in the 1800s - the bacteria were discovered by his assistant and named in his honor

Countries in which people are most likely to help a stranger:  In a 2010 survey, Liberia and Sierra Leone were ranked #1 and #2 respectively

Printing the phrase “In God We Trust” on US currency was a mandate handed down by Abraham Lincoln’s Treasury Secretary Salmon Chase. During his presidency, Theodore Roosevelt attempted to remove the slogan because he, as a devout Christian, felt that putting God on money was a sacrilege

Most often, ostriches don’t stick their heads underground to hide from predators - they bend their neck down low and flatten it against the ground

Only female mosquitoes bite you

After riding high through the 1920s, the roller coaster craze was nearly killed off by the Depression. In the United States between 1930 and 1972, only 120 of the thrill contraptions were built, while more than 1,500 were destroyed
The 1920s-era Aeroplane roller coaster in New York's Playland Park
Prison Guard ("the greatest entry-level job in California," according to an April 2011 Wall Street Journal report highlighting its benefits over a typical job resulting from a Harvard University education). Starting pay is comparable; loans are not necessary (since the guard "academy" actually pays the student); and vacation time is more generous (seven weeks, five paid). One downside: The prison system is more selective (Harvard accepts 6.2 percent of applicants versus the guard service's fewer-than-one- percent of 120,000 applicants)

In a widely reported story that originated in the Brazilian press, accountant (and severe-anxiety and hypersexuality sufferer) Ana Catarian Bezerra, 36, was said to have prevailed after a court battle in April to be allowed breaks during the work day to masturbate

From time to time, rabbis suggest ways of bypassingancient Talmudic laws that restrict observant Jews' behavior on the Sabbath (a day of "rest"). In April, Rabbi Dror Fixler, an electro-optics expert from Bar-Ilan University in Israel, said he could foresee a day when even driving a car might be permitted on the Sabbath.  The driver would wear an encephalography helmet that caught brain signals and transmitted them to a car's operating and steering system, removing the need for "action" on the driver's part (thus theoretically leaving them "at rest")

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