Monday, November 28, 2011


In the United States, hail destroys hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of crops and property each year, a greater toll than that taken by tornadoes

Nearly two-thirds of professional hockey players have lost at least one tooth playing the sport

The onion is a lily, botanically

Most have heard the terms "rural," "urban" and suburbia" but the term less frequently heard, "Exurbia," refers to the mostly rural residential area beyond the suburbs of a city
A single family lives in this "exurban" home along a rural route in the United States' Southwest
Florence Harding, wife of Warren G. Harding, was the first divorcee to live in the White House as First Lady of the United States

Eleven days before the statute of limitations was to expire on the Brink's robbery in Boston, Massachusetts, that netted nearly $3 million in January 1950, one of the robbers confessed and betrayed his fellow robbers - Only $50,000 was ever recovered and it cost the government's taxpaying citizens $5 million for the investigation, trial and incarceration of the suspects
Before the Industrial Revolution, raw milk was an everyday commodity in the United States. This means that the milk was not pasteurized.  New methods of processing milk such as pasteurization led to the banning of raw milk.  In many countries, you’ll find bottles of raw milk offered. In the U.S., there is a continuous debate raging on about the healthfulness of raw milk, while others insist that it is full of germs. In Europe, Asia, Africa, and other countries, you’ll often find raw milk and even raw cheese available. In the U.S., only 28 states allow the consumption of raw milk. It is banned in Canada.  The consumption of raw milk in the U.S. is usually done through cow shares (where consumers own part of a cow and share the costs and the milk it produces)
Raw milk is sometimes offered for sale in health food and food cooperative stores in states in the U.S.
According to a 1999 survey conducted by the National Sleep Foundation, of those people who snore, 19% snore so loudly that they can be heard through a closed door

Statistically, traveling by air is the safest means of transportation. Atlanta's Hartsfield Airport handles more than 73 million passengers a year, making it the busiest airport in the world - It has been deemed the busiest airport in the world since 1998 as deemed by the in Switzerland

The most complex automobile interchange of paths in all ways is located in Texas - interstate 10 highway interchange, pictured below:

The world's first patent was granted in 1421 to architect Filippo Brunelleschi in Florence to make a barge crane to transport marble

Lemon sharks grow a new set of teeth every two weeks. They grow more than 24,000 new teeth every year

The caterpillar has more than 2,000 muscles. Watch the video below to see a time-lapse version of how a caterpillar turns into a butterfly:

The modern zipper, the Talon Slide Fastener, was invented in 1913 but didn't catch on until after World War I. The first dresses incorporating the zipper appeared in the 1930s

In 1976, a Los Angeles secretary named Jannene Swift officially married a 50-pound rock. The ceremony was witnessed by more than twenty people.  In June 2011, California's Supreme Court upheld a ban on same-sex marriage
“Soft Drink” refers to nearly all beverages that do not contain significant amounts of alcohol (hard drinks).
The term “soft drink” though is now typically used exclusively for flavored carbonated beverages.  This is actually due to advertising.  Flavored carbonated beverage makers were having difficulty creating national advertisements due to the fact that what you call their product varies from place to place.  For instance, in parts of the United States and Canada, flavored carbonated beverages are referred to as “pop”; in other parts “soda”; in yet other parts “coke”; and there are a variety of other names commonly used as well.  Then if we go international with the advertisements, in England these drinks are called “fizzy drinks”; in Ireland sometimes “minerals”.  To account for the fact that they can’t refer to their product in the generic sense on national advertisements, because of these varied terms, these manufactures have chosen the term “soft drink” to be more or less a universal term for flavored carbonated beverages.

Interestingly, according to a study done in 2006, most carbonated “soft” drinks actually do contain a little alcohol.  In older methods of introducing the CO2 to the drink, this was resulting from natural fermentation, similar to how most beer gets its alcohol.  However, with modern methods of introducing CO2 to the drink, this is not an issue; yet measurable amounts of alcohol remain.  This is due to the fermentation of sugars in the non-sterile environment of the drink.   In some types of soda-pop, additional alcohol is also introduced due to the fact that alcohol is used in the preparation of some of the flavor extracts.  However, before anyone starts campaigning to make soda-pop illegal for kids due to the alcohol content, it should be noted that a typical container of yogurt of similar volume to  some amount of soda-pop, will contain about 2 times the amount of alcohol over the amount in the soda-pop.
Soft drink advertisement, circa 1952
Nearly two billion people in the world are overweight or obese (This is one-third of the world's population).  This is a 25% increase since 2002

For the technologically-savvy, the word "modem" is known to be short for Modulation and Demodulation

If one digit were to be added to a telephone number in one area code in the United States, potentially 90,000,000 new phone numbers could be added

In the late nineteenth century, the symbol for currency in the United States was 'US' - the "S" was placed directly over the "U" and in time instead of "US" overlapping, it was shortened to the current symbol for the US dollar or means of currency:  $

The only part of the current United States invaded by the Japanese during WWII was Alaska, though when posed the question of what part of the US was invaded by the Japanese many Americans mistakenly identify Pearl Harbor, Hawaii (Pearl Harbor was bombed by the Japanese in a surprise attack that caught the US military base unaware, after which the US attacked Japan and entered WWII)

Dugan Smith, 13, is almost as good as new, having overcome an extremely rare malignant tumor on his thigh bone. A surgeon at Ohio State's James Cancer Hospital removed the middle of Smith's leg, turned the bottom of it around so that the back faces the front, and reconnected the parts

The Belly Button Biodiversity project at North Carolina State University has begun examining the "faunal differences" in the microbial ecosystems of our navels, to foster understanding of the "tens of thousands" of organisms crawling around inside (almost all benign or even helpful). An 85-year-old man in North Carolina
may have "very different navel life" than a 7-year-old girl in France, according to a May Raleigh News & Observer report. So far, only the organisms themselves and the host's demographics have been studied; other issues, such as variations by hairiness of navel, remain

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