Monday, December 12, 2011


On January 7, 1894 W.K. Dickson received a patent for motion picture film. A demonstration included a 47-frame film (about 2 seconds) that showed a man sneezing  (Below, from the Library of Congress, is that film)

No two-cycle engines are allowed in Singapore. The license fee for a new car is small, about $5, but as the vehicle grows older, the fee increases. When the auto reaches 8 years old, it is no longer allowed on the streets. This is opposite of the license-fee structure in the U.S. While strict, Singapore's auto law has greatly reduced air pollution in the country

The land owned by the U.S. Federal government is about 651 million acres — about 30% of the country's total 

An ox is a castrated bull. A mule is a sterile cross between a male ass and a female horse

A hibernating woodchuck breathes only ten times per hour. An active woodchuck breathes 2,100 times an hour
A North American brown and grey woodchuck
A salt mine in the Polish town of Wieliczka, near Cracow, that has been in operation for nearly 1,000 years

The average person's hand flexes its finger joints 25 million times during a lifetime

Less than half (40%) of child psychologists in the U.S. advise parents of preschoolers to “confirm Santa’s existence” 
Globally, the odds of being killed by falling out of bed are one in two million

The first product that SONY came out with was the rice cooker - the company is now more famous as a manufacturer and global distributor of high-definition televisions, radios, mobile phones, DVD players, and cameras, among other products
The original SONY Rice Cooker, circa 1946
Buttermilk does not contain any butter

All human babies are color blind when they are born

A one ounce milk chocolate bar has 6 mg of caffeine

What is probably the largest living organism on earth has been discovered in the Malheur National Forest in eastern Oregon. A fungus living three feet underground is estimated to cover 2,200 acres. After testing samples from various locations, scientists say it is all one organism.   Officially known as Armillaria ostoyae, or the honey mushroom, the fungus is 3.5 miles across and takes up 1,665 football fields. The small mushrooms visible above ground are only the tip of the iceberg. Experts estimate that the giant mushroom is at least 2,400 years old, but could be 7,200 years old

Dirty snow melts faster than clean

Cold water weighs more than hot water

Orca whales are voluntary breathers. For this reason, they sleep with only half of their brain at one time. The other half remains alert to regulate breathing. Resident whales (a type of Orca) typically remain near the surface, breathing and swimming in a pattern. When traveling together, resident pods have been observed to breathe in unison. Although it is not known why this occurs, it could be a way of helping the pod keep tabs on one another
The dorsal fin of the Resident whale is more rounded than the dorsal of other Orca whales
The Roman Catholic population of the world is larger than that of all other Christian sects combined

Carrageenan is a common ingredient used in ice cream and toothpaste. Carrageenan is seaweed — a purple, edible seaweed, also known as Irish moss, that's found along the coasts of Northern Europe and North America. It is used as a suspending agent in foods, pharmaceuticals, and liquids, as a clarifying agent for beverages, and in controlling crystal growth in frozen confections

Mr. P.J. Tierney, credited as the "father of the modern diner," died of indigestion in 1917 after eating at a diner

More than two-thirds of Earth's land surface lies north of the equator

Living creatures create tiny weather systems called microclimates in their nests and burrows. For instance, bees fan their wings at the hive entrance during hot weather. This makes a cooling draft blow through the hive 

Playing cards were invented by the Chinese as early as 1120

A male kangaroo is called a boomer, and a female is called a flyer.  Baby kangaroos are collectively called Joeys

Gasoline was once sold in small bottles as a cure for lice

Flatfish are born with one eye on each side of their heads, giving it an odd appearance as its head accommodates a gradual flattening of the mouth and eyes.  As the fish matures, the eyes and mouth move allowing the fish to lie on the ocean floor and look up to find food

A 53-year-old man with failing eyesight and who had recently undergone intestinal surgery told Sonoma, California police that on Sunday afternoon, May 1, 2011 a woman had come to his home and instructed him to drop his pants and get face-down on the bed so that she could administer an enema. He said he assumed his doctor had sent her and thus complied, and it was over in two minutes, and she was gone. The doctor later said he had no idea who the woman was. (In the 1970s, in the Champaign, Illinois area, Michael Kenyon operated similarly as the "Illinois Enema Bandit" --and inspired the late Frank Zappa's "Illinois Enema Bandit Blues)

Several funeral homes in the United States have drive-thru windows to serve rushed mourners or those stressed by the parlor experience. "Not quite as emotional," said one visitor to the Robert L. Adams Mortuary in Compton, California referring to the need not to linger in the queue of bereaved, idling motorists. The Adams facility was even more popular during the peak of gang murders in the area, according to an April Los Angeles Times report, because the drive-thru window's bulletproof glass rendered unnecessary the precarious indoor service in which gangbangers tried to further desecrate late rivals' corpses

In April, two Italian entrepreneurs introduced a perfume meant to evoke the scents of a person's blood, varying by type (A, B, AB, O)--but with no actual blood. A prominent member of the U.S. "vampire community" fondly described the "intriguing" olfactory sensations of Type B (the "black cherry, pomegranate, and patchouli infusions") and Type O ("raspberry, rose hips, and birch"). Another "vampirist" called the whole idea "cheesy"

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