Monday, November 21, 2011


If the name of every insect were printed in an average-size book, it would take about 6,000 pages to list them all.  Scientists believe over 37,000 species of spider exist, with another approximately 4,000 as yet unidentified

Ambergris (whale vomit), a common additive in skin creams and lotions, has also been added to cigarettes for flavor.  Ambergris is a fatty, waxy substance that forms in the intestines of the sperm whale
An example of hard, dried whale vomit, before being processed as an ingredient to cigarettes
 New Year's Day is the world's most observed holiday. In most English-speaking countries, it has been observed on January 1 since the British Calendar Act was passed in 1751

The metal part of a lamp that surrounds the bulb and supports the shade is called a harp
No penguins live at the North Pole. In fact, there are no penguins anywhere in the Northern Hemisphere (outside of zoos). All 17 varieties of the bird are found below the equator, primarily in the Antarctica 

The hair of an adult man or woman can stretch 25 percent of its length without breaking. If it is less elastic, it is not healthy

The telephone area code for a cruise ship in the Atlantic Ocean is 871  

"What can be more palpably absurd than the prospect held out of locomotives traveling twice as fast as stagecoaches"  - The Quarterly Review, 1825 

Close to Niagara Falls and Buffalo in Orchard Park, New York, is the Pedaling History Bicycle Museum, which features one of the world’s largest collections of antique American bicycles, including thousands of items of cycling-related memorabilia. The museum's machines are completely restored to their original condition. Recent acquisitions on display at the museum include several 1890s military bicycles and a very rare large two-wheeled bicycle manufactured in 1888 on which the rider sits between two large wheels, one on either side. The Pedaling History Bicycle Museum is the only one of its kind in America, and one of only a few remaining in the world. It is the biggest and most complete bicycle museum in the United States
 Two women about to go for an afternoon ride on their bicycles, circa 1900.  Women were discouraged from cycling initially since men saw this as "too vigorous" for women and dangerous to their health
Requirements of applicants to NASA's Mercury Space program in 1959, to become an astronaut:  Male; be in a branch of the military; be under 40 years old and shorter than 5 feet, 11 inches; demonstrate 20/20 eyesight and excellent physical condition; hold a bachelor's degree or equivalent in engineering; be a qualified jet pilot and have logged at least 1,500 hours of flying time  

Crushed cockroaches can be applied to a stinging wound to help relieve the pain

In one year, hens in just the U.S. lay enough eggs to encircle the globe a hundred times  

The 1998 blockbuster movie Titanic lasts 3 hours and 14 minutes. The actual ship took 2 hours and 40 minutes to sink after hitting an iceberg

The streets of London were lit by gaslights for the first time in 1807. Before that, torches were used

The tarantula spends most of its life within its burrow, which is an 18-inch vertical hole with an inch-wide opening. When male tarantulas are between the ages of 5 to 7 years, they leave the burrow in search of a female, usually in the early fall. This migration actually signals the end of their life cycle. The males mate with as many females as they can, and then they die around mid-November

Thomas Jefferson, one of the founders of the United States after the war for independence from England, was so upset with the Continental Congress' editing of his original Declaration of Independence that, for years afterward, he sent copies of both the original and the final version to friends and asked their opinions as to which version they preferred

New York University arts professor Wafaa Bilal had his camera surgically removed in February- the one that was implanted in the back of his skull in November to record, at 60-second intervals, the places he had left behind (beamed to and archived by a museum in Qatar). The camera had been mounted under his skin, braced by three titanium posts, but his body very painfully rejected one of the posts, and his temporary solution is to merely tie the camera to the back of his neck (even though that work-around is unsatisfactory to him because it represents a less-personal "commitment" to the art).  In the future, he said, communication devices like his will routinely be part of our bodies

Till Krautkraemer's New York City beverage company MeatWater creates dozens of flavors of water for the upscale market of hearty gourmets who would like their daily salads, or shellfish, or goulash, from a bottle instead of from a plate. Among his new flavors introduced in January, according to an AOL News report, were poached salmon salad water and a Caribbean shrimp salad water that can double as a vodka mixer. Old standbys include Peking duck water, tandoori chicken water, bangers 'n' mash water, and Krautkraemer's favorite, German sauerbraten water 

Sell What You Know: In December, a company in eastern Ukraine (a country known for hard-drinking) announced a "drinking buddy" service in which, for the equivalent of about $18, it would supply a barroom companion for the evening, "qualified" to discuss politics, sports, women, etc., and even to offer psychological counseling if appropriate  

The Panamanian company Scottish Spirits recently introduced a straight Scotch whiskey in 12-ounce cans, for a market of mobile drinkers who prefer not to invest in a whole bottle. The international Scotch whiskey trade association expressed alarm    

FEED*YOUR*HEAD on Facebook