Monday, January 23, 2012


If an astronaut tried to land on a neutron star, he or she would be crushed by the extremely strong force of gravity, and squashed into a thin layer less than one atom thick

At least 100,000 different chemical reactions occur in the normal human brain every second

The multi-layered space suite worn by astronauts on the Apollo moon landings weighed 180 pounds on Earth and 30 pounds on the moon with the reduced lunar gravity

Rome has more homeless cats per square mile than any other city in the world

Americans hold more parties in their homes on Super Bowl Sunday, which is the finale of the football season, than any other day of the year 

Squirrels can climb trees faster than they can run on the ground

Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary opened in 1927 in Brisbane, Australia, and it was the first and is still the largest koala sanctuary in the world. Tourists can cuddle one of 130 koalas, hand feed kangaroos and emus, and see a large variety of Australian native wildlife in the 50-acre sanctuary, such as wombats, Tasmanian devils, and dingoes. Koala cuddling has been banned in New South Wales since January 1997, but cuddling is still permitted in Queensland, and especially at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. In Queensland, koalas can only be cuddled for less than 30 minutes per day. They must also get every fourth day off. At Lone Pine, koalas are timed for “clock on” and “clock off” when they go to the koala cuddling area

A mother giraffe often gives birth while standing, so the newborn's first experience outside the womb is a 1.8-meter (6-foot) drop

About half of the energy entering the outer atmosphere from the sun reaches the ground. Of the radiation that reached the ground, about one-third is radiated back into space, one-third heats the lower atmosphere, and one-third is used in the process of evaporating water

The Alaskan moose is the largest deer of the New World. It attains a height at the withers in excess of 7 feet and, when fully grown, weighs up to 1,800 pounds

Of all cheese customs, one of the more unusual was that of the "groaning cheese." Years ago in Europe, a prospective father would nibble on a huge chunk of cheese while awaiting the home birth of his child. Instead of pacing outside the bedroom door, the father would eat from the center of the cheese until a large hole had been gnawed out. Later, his newborn infant was ceremoniously passed through the hole

For a short time in 1967, the American Typers Association invented a new punctuation mark that was a combination of the question mark and an exclamation point called an “interrobang.” It was intended to be used to express incredulity or disbelief. It never caught on with the general public, and it faded away 
The giant red star Betelguese – the red star in the shoulder of the constellation Orion – is 700 million miles across, about 800 times larger than the Sun. Light takes 1 hour to travel from one side of the giant star to the other

In Muddy, Illinois, the post office measures only 7½ by 10½ feet, about the size of a garden shed. If it wasn't for a sign hanging above the door stating, "U.S. Post Office, Muddy, IL., 62965," finding the tiny, wooden building could be difficult. It is believed to be one of the smallest post offices in the United States - it was officially closed in 2002 after fifty-three years of service
The building that was the US Post Office stands as an official national landmark
The Dalmatian dog is named for the Dalmatian Coast of Croatia, where it is believed to have been originally bred

Every time a ton of steel is recycled, it means 2,500 pounds of iron ore, 1,000 pounds of coal, and 40 pounds of limestone will not have to be mined from the Earth

Acorn, banana, buttercup, butternut, carnival, delicata, golden nugget, Hubbard, kabocha, spaghetti, sweet dumpling, turban, and pumpkin are varieties of winter squash

Studies have confirmed that men who are exposed to a lot of toxic chemicals, high heat, and unusual pressures, such as jet pilots and deep-sea divers, are more prone to father girls than boys

The three-toed sloth of tropical South America can swim easily, but it can only drag itself across bare ground

Most insect repellents used by humans work on the principle of either masking odors that might attract insects or by creating smells that are repulsive to them

When a snail hatches from an egg, it is a miniature adult, shell and all. The shell grows with the snail, and the snail never leaves the shell
Snails hatching from eggs
Kleenex® tissues were marketed as a cold cream remover when they were first introduced in 1924  - The Kimberly-Clark Corporation created the first Western facial tissue in 1924 (it had been in use for centuries before in Japan)
Print ad for Kleenex appearing in the US circa 1940
The Black Mission fig, the most popular variety of fig growing in desert areas, is so named because of its color and because it was the variety introduced at the California and Southwestern Spanish missions 

It takes the human eyes an hour to adapt completely to seeing in the dark. Once adapted, however, the eyes are about 100,000 times more sensitive to light than they are in bright sunlight

There are 48 teaspoons in a cup: three teaspoons make a tablespoon and 16 tablespoons to a cup

More than 60 percent of all recipients of organ donations are between the ages of 18 and 49   

Former stripper Crystal Deans, who said she learned the trade at age 18 but later retired and turned to God for help through a rough patch of her life, now offers free pole-dancing classes in Spring, Texas, near Houston, expressly for Christian women. Her gyrations may be the same as when she was working, she said, but now everyone is clothed, and she dances only to "Christian music"
Marie Stopes International is a prominent London charity that robustly promotes a woman's right to choose abortion, but a whimsical public-service campaign in January has created unusually savage criticism. The organization partnered with the British comedy music band The Midnight Beast to produce a video suggesting anal sex as a contraceptive of choice. Among the lyrics of one song, "One up the bum, and it's no harm done / One up the bum, and you won't be a mum"

A man stole Waltham, Massachusetts student Mark Bao's notebook computer in March 2011, but Bao used his automatic online-backup service to access the hard drive while the thief was using it, to discover a performance video of a man (presumably the thief) dancing (lamely, thought Bao) to a pop song. Bao uploaded the video to YouTube where 700,000 viewers showed it the proper disrespect, and also tracked down the thief's e-mail address and informed him of his new Internet "stardom." Shortly afterward, the still-unidentified thief turned in the notebook to Bentley University police with an apology to "Mark," begging him to take down the video

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