Monday, January 9, 2012


Thomas Edison held a record 1,093 patents during his lifetime- Some of Edison’s most famous inventions include: the carbon transmitter (which allowed for the later invention of the telephone), the phonograph, the incandescent light bulb, the dictaphone, the mimeograph, and the kinetoscope (the precursor to our modern film projector) and the unsuccessful concrete piano

The Beatles song “Hey Jude” was written to comfort John Lennon’s son during his parents’ divorce- The tune was originally called “Hey Jules” for Lennon’s son Julian. Paul McCartney composed the song to cheer the boy up during John’s split from Julian’s mother Cynthia in 1968

A cat has 32 muscles in each ear

A bucket filled with earth would weigh about 5 times more than the same bucket filled with the substance of the Sun. However, the force of gravity is so much greater on the Sun that a person weighing 150 pounds on our planet would weigh 2 tons on the Sun 

A Chinese designer made a Coca-Cola powered cell phone- Daizi Zheng came up with the idea of a cell phone powered by sustainable energy sources. She designed a battery that uses enzymes generate electricity from carbs. That way she can use sugary drinks like Coke or Pepsi to charge the battery. The by-products of the charging process are just water and oxygen.  As a side-benefit, this battery is more efficient. It can last 4 times as long as a standard lithium battery on a full charge. The phone is biodegradable

Ants can be used as stitches: The ant can be placed on a cut, and the ant will bite the edges. It will lock on with its mandibles sealing the wound closed like a stitch or a suture. At this time you can remove the ant from it mandibles. The mandibles can remain in place for days as the wound heals  (Watch this video to see how it works)

The City Mall in Christchurch, New Zealand has taken to playing music from classical composer Mozart. As a result they have seen fewer instances of crime. This mall had seen an average of 77 crimes per week in October of 2008. After implementing their new classical music crime-fighting strategy, by October of 2009 that number went down to 2 crimes per week, and continues to decline

Men average less than 3 hours of orgasm over their entire lifetime.  Singapore Gleneagles Hospital gynecologist Dr. Fang Zhuang Wei said that because of our busy modern lifestyle, couples are typically sexually active only before and immediately after their marriage. For instance, if a man has an average orgasm of about 2.5 seconds over 40 years (from age 18 to 58), having sex twice weekly with his partner would result in two hours, 53 minutes and 20 seconds of orgasm in his lifetime

There are 1,600 known species of starfishes in the world

The 1,340-foot-long wall that gave New York's Wall Street its name was only 12 feet tall. It was erected in 1653 by Dutch colonists to protect against their enemies, namely the indigenous Native Americans

Susanna Salter was elected mayor of Argonia, Kansas in 1887 at the age of 27, making her the first woman mayor in the United States
Susan Salter, 1860 - 1961
The chocolate chip cookie was invented by accident:  In 1930 Ruth Wakefield was preparing cookies for her guests at the Toll House Inn when she realized she was out of baker’s chocolate. She used broken chunks of Nestle’s semi-sweet chocolate instead, expecting it to melt into the dough to make chocolate cookies. She was surprised when the chocolate “chips” were still intact!  She called the resulting creation “Toll House Crunch Cookies.” As their popularity increased locally, so did the demand for Nestle’s semi-sweet chocolate bars. Wakefield and proprietor Andrew Nestle therefore decided to make a mutually beneficial deal. Nestle would be allowed to print the Toll House Cookie recipe on its package, and Wakefield would be granted a lifetime supply of Nestle chocolate. This partnership helped the chocolate chip cookie quickly become the most popular cookie variety, a distinction it still holds to this day

Spaniards brought the first cattle to the United States in the sixteenth century. Originally, the white settlers regarded them as beasts of burden, but the indigenous peoples found them delicious. The  Native Americans, in fact, were the first cattle herders, and they were the ones who moved the cattle across the Mississippi River to the grasslands of the plains

France and Italy produce over 40% of all wine consumed in the world

Many parts of a tree can die without killing the whole tree. In fact, much of a normal, healthy tree is dead — the wood in the center, for example

The longest tapeworm to ever be withdrawn from a human was removed from Sally Mae Wallace of Great Grits, Mississippi on September 5, 1991. In all, doctors pulled 37 FEET of tapeworm out through Sally Mae’s mouth

An ostrich’s egg is the largest bird egg and can support an adult human’s weight

At the height of U.S. war in Iraq, the U.S. armed forces were using 1.8 billion rounds of small-arms ammunition every year. In 2005, American ammunition makers couldn't keep up with demand and the U.S. had to import more supplies from Israel

The world’s oldest college graduate, Nola Ochs of Kansas, began taking classes 30 years ago. On May 12, 2007 she graduated from Fort Hays State University with a bachelor’s degree in history. In an interesting twist, Ochs graduated alongside her 21-year-old granddaughter Alexandra. Nola said that she wants to use her degree to seek employment on a cruise ship, traveling the world as a storyteller
Nola and Alexandra Ochs at their graduation ceremony in 2007
The “Gotta Go Briefcase,” manufactured by Niban Too Corporation in Japan, contains stainless steel toilet bowl surrounded by mahogany leather. It contains everything you could possibly need while going about your ‘business’: a pop-out toilet paper roll, hand sanitizer dispenser, cup holder, and even a mirror

In Albania, nodding your head means ‘no’ and shaking your head means ‘yes’  

Yoo-hoo, the chocolate milk drink, won’t spoil if you keep it in its sealed bottle

The director of Nokia received a speeding ticket for 116,000 euros (roughly $152,725) in FinlandIn 2002, police caught Anssi Vanjoki breaking the speed limit on his Harley Davidson. In Finland, fines for traffic violations are based on the offender’s income. Vanjoki’s fine was an estimate of how much he would make in 14 days, based on his income in 1999. In 1999, he made 14 million euros (over $18 million).  Vanjoki appealed the fine, saying that the 1999 figure was inaccurate, and his income dropped considerably between 1999 and 2002 

All the proceeds earned from James M. Barrie's book "Peter Pan" were bequeathed to the Great Ormond Street Hospital for the Sick Children in London

"Almost" is the longest word in the English language with all the letters in alphabetical order  

December, the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay, Wisconsin,  announced it had received approval to designate a site in Champion, Wisconsin as the 11th official, Vatican-authorized location of a Virgin Mary apparition (witnessed by a nun in 1859)

Yucca Valley, California in April Jesus appeared on the petal of a poppy plant

Brisbane, Australia, in March Jesus appeared on a pie from the Posh Pizza restaurant

Los Angeles in February Jesus appeared on a rocking chair

Pequabuck, Connecticut in February Mary appeared in an ice formation on a neighbor's roof

Comal County, Texas in December Mary appeared "floating" on the wall of an apartment building

Elwood, Indiana in December Jesus appeared on a woman's chest x-ray  

In Chinese legend, tea leaves picked by fairies using not their hands but just their mouths yielded brewed tea that would bring prosperity and cure diseases, and now the historic, picturesque Jiuhua Mountain Tea Plantation (in Gushi, Henan province) has promised to hire up to ten female virgins to provide the equivalently
pure and delicate tea leaves, picked with the teeth and dropped into small baskets worn around the women's necks. According to an April report in London's Daily Mail, only virgins with strong necks and lips (and a bra size of C-cup or larger), and without visible scars or blemishes, will be considered for the equivalent $80-a-day jobs (an almost unheard-of salary in China, especially for agricultural field work 

In April, academic researchers at Boston College reported that gallery patrons correctly differentiated serious
works from squiggles only about 60-70 percent of the time.  Commented one survey subject, apparently realizing his confusion:  "The chimpanzee's stuff is good. I like how he plays with metaphors about depth of field, but I think I like this guy [Mark] Rothko a little bit better"

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