Monday, December 5, 2011


In the French court of Louis XI, the refined ladies lived mainly on soup because they believed that excessive chewing would cause them to develop premature facial wrinkles

The World's Largest Catsup Bottle stands proudly next to Route 159, just south of downtown Collinsville, Illinois. This unique, 170-foot-tall water tower was built in 1949 by W.E. Caldwell Company for the G.S. Suppiger catsup bottling plant. In 1995, due largely to the efforts of the Catsup Bottle Preservation Group, this piece of local history was saved from demolition and beautifully restored to its original appearance

Swimming pools in the U.S. contain enough water to cover the city of San Francisco with a layer of water about 7 feet deep

Brain-wave activity in humans changes when we catch the punch line of a joke 

One of the fastest of all fish in the sea is the swordfish, also known as Broadbill in some countries, streaming forward at speeds that average 50 miles per hour and able to reach nearly 65 miles an hour  (Pictured below a male swordfish jumps out of the water, which is a regular behavior for these fish that researchers believe is a way for the animal to get rid of pests)

 It is estimated that 1.8 billion light bulbs are manufactured each year in the United States

Walt Disney World is home to the largest working wardrobe in the world with over 2.5 million costumes in its inventory

According to the U.S. Defense department, the Pentagon's many libraries support personnel in research and completion of their work. The Army Library alone provides 300,000 publications and 1,700 periodicals in various languages

The human brain is insensitive to pain. The suffering of a headache come not from the organ itself but from the nerve and muscles lining it

A bee could travel 4 million miles (6.5 million km) at 7 mph (11 km/h) on the energy it would obtain from 1 gallon (3.785 liters) of nectar

Small animals like bats and shrews consume up to one and one half times their body weight in food every day

Most people's legs are slightly different lengths

The temperature of lava is dependent on the geographic location. For example, Hawaiian lava can be as hot as 2,140 degrees Fahrenheit. By contrast, lava from mountains like Mount St. Helen's can be several hundred degrees cooler

In the early 1950s, Denver architect Temple H. Buell, often called the Father of the Mall, conceived of and built one of the first shopping malls in the U.S.: the Cherry Creek Mall
A pastoral garden was created at the center of the mall and is pictured above, circa 1952
Winston Churchill was born in a ladies' cloakroom in the ancestral castle of Blenheim. His mother was attending a formal ball there when she prematurely delivered

On TV game shows, a contestant who freezes before the camera is called a "Bambi," in reference to a deer paralyzed by the glare of headlights

The first macaroni factory in the United States was established in 1848. It was started by Antoine Zegera in Brooklyn, New York

A snake is capable of eating an animal four times larger than the width of its own head  (Pictured below a brown water snake eats a catfish, stretching it's mouth wider than its own head)
Comets speed up as they approach the Sun – sometimes reaching speeds of over a million miles per hour. Far away from the Sun, speeds drop, perhaps down to as little as 700 miles per hour

The male moose sheds its antlers every winter and grows a new set the following year  (Females do not have antlers)

Helen Keller (1880-1968), blind and deaf from an early age, developed her sense of smell so finely that she could identify friends by their personal odors

The language of Taki, spoken in parts of French Guinea, consists of only 340 words

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

On the average, women dream more than men and children dream more than adults. Overall, more people dream in black-and-white than in color

The Hollywood sign was first erected in 1923. Conceived as a real estate ad, it originally read Hollywoodland. The sign stands 50 feet tall, stretches 450 feet across, weighs 450,000 pounds

The longstanding springtime culinary tradition of urine-soaked eggs endures, in Dongyang, China, according to a March 2011 CNN dispatch. Prepubescent boys contribute their urine (apparently without inhibition) by filling containers at schools, and the eggs are boiled according to recipe and sold for the equivalent of about 23
cents each. Many residents consider the tradition gross, but for devotees, it represents, as one said, "the [joyous] smell of spring"

The port town of Kumai, Borneo, consists of low-rise shops and houses serving a population of 20,000 but also many tall, windowless box buildings perforated with small holes. The structures are actually bird houses, for the town's chief industry is harvesting the nests of the hummingbird-like swiftlet, constructed of its own saliva, which, properly processed, yields a sweet-tasting paste with alleged medicinal qualities and highly revered throughout Asia 

In January 2011, while the Texas Legislature debated budget cuts that would almost certainly cost Allen High School (just north of Dallas) at least $18 million and require layoffs of teachers and other school personnel, construction was continuing on the school's new $60 million football stadium 

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