Posts Tagged ‘factoid’

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Yes, I have to admit that many of the facts that I use on these posts are just as big a surprise to me as they possibly are to you.

But I hope interesting, as well.

Here is the latest batch from the archives.

Enjoy.

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facts 04

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There are 13 ways to spell

the “o” sound in French

the-simpsons-d-oh

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There is a planet called HD189733b

where it rains glass sideways.

planet HD189733b

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The language of the Native American Zuni tribe

has resemblances to Japanese.

Subsequent research confirmed

biological similarities between the groups.

Native American Zuni tribe

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For a long time the world believed Troy to be a mythical city

and the Trojan War to be little more than legend,

until Heinrich Schliemann discovered the actual remains of the city.

Troy

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Despite the common myth that large brains equal more intelligence,

people like Einstein actually had a smaller brain

(only difference is, he used his!)

Einstein

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Vikings didn’t have horns on their helmets.

Viking helmet

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A man  named James Boole survived a fall of 6,000 feet

without a parachute with only a broken back and ribs.

It is estimated that when Boole hit the ground,

he was falling at about 100 kilometers per hour.

James Boole

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There is no such thing as a banana tree,

bananas grow on a banana plant.

banana plant

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Nuclear rain from the Chernobyl disaster

fell as far away as Ireland

where sheep farmers were banned from

selling their animals for human consumption for a time.

chernobyl-radiation-map

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For years Big Pharma made $millions off selling people

anti-stress drugs to cure their ulcers,

until an Australian scientist proved the ulcers

were quite often caused by bacteria and were easily curable.

anti-stress drugs

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Fourteen of the original rides from

Disneyland’s 1955 opening are still in operation.

original rides from Disneyland

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Nice comes from a Latin word meaning “ignorant”.

nescius

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Side by side, 2000 cells from the human body

could cover about one square inch.

cells from the human body

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When Robert Williams tried to retrieve

a faulty part at a Ford Motor’s casting plant,

the malfunctioning machine reactivated

and its arm slammed into his head, killing him instantly.

He is the first man in history to have been killed by a robot.

Ford Motor Company robot

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In one of the stupidest decision

in the history of the music industry,

Decca Records turned down the Beatles

because they “weren’t sellable”.

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“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Yes, the fact file is open again.

Another random selection covering science, music, history, archaeology, nature and even brain surgery!

Enjoy.

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did you know5

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Women blink twice as much as men.

Women blink twice as much as men

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Picking up baby birds and returning them to their nests

will not cause their mothers to reject them.

baby bird

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It takes food approximately seven seconds

to get from your mouth to your stomach.

mouth to your stomach

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The brain has no pain receptors so it doesn’t feel anything.

This is why doctors are able to perform open brain surgery

on patients that are still awake.

Hannibal Lecter brain

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But brain surgery is not something new.

In the past some cultures practiced “trepanation”,

or the act of drilling holes in the brain

to alleviate pain and cure sickness.

trepanation

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More than 5 million people live in areas

that are considered to be “contaminated”

with radioactive material from the Chernobyl disaster.

Chernobyl disaster

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The body of the last English King to die in battle, Richard III,

was finally found buried under a Leicester car park

in what was one of the most astonishing

archaeological discoveries of the last few decades.

Richard III grave found in Leicester carpark

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The Chinese government

attempted to crack down on gift giving

by banning certain luxury commercials.

The economy immediately started falling.

Chinese government

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Disney Park employees are required to point

with either the whole hand or using two fingers.

This is because some cultures see pointing

with one finger as disrespectful

Disney two finger point

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Dropping a penny from the top of the

Empire State Building would not kill someone

Dropping a penny from the top of the Empire State Building

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Lemur comes from a Latin word that means

“spirit of the dead”.

The person that named them cited their

nocturnal nature as a source of influence.

Lemur

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For many years scientists couldn’t figure out

how the Earth’s solid inner core spins one way

and the liquid outer core spins the other.

Scientists at Leeds University recently found

that the answer lies in a simple “equal and opposite” reaction

based around Earth’s magnetic fields.

Earth’s solid inner core spins one way and the liquid outer core spins the other

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The word “Addict” comes from ancient Rome

when soldiers were awarded slaves known as “addicts”,

which is the Latin word for slave.

It eventually came to refer to a person

who was a slave to anyone or anything.

Addict

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Air Force One is not the name of a specific plane,

but the name of any plane carrying the president.

Air Force One

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The Beatles still hold the record for the

most number-one singles in the Billboard Charts.

They had twenty in all

and their biggest seller was “Hey Jude”.

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“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Yes, July’s start here.

Another random selection of curious pieces of information.

And another chance for you to find a few things to tell people at the next barby!

Enjoy.

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did you know2

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In Disney’s “Fantasia”, the Sorcerer’s name is

“Yensid”, which is “Disney” backwards.

Yensid

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The Mongolian navy consists of

seven people and one boat.

Mongolian navy

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The pavement between the different ‘worlds’ in the Disney parks changes suddenly.

These sensory ‘tickles’ startle you and make you look up and look around,

realizing that your surroundings have changed.

Pavement 40

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In 1788

the Austrian army accidentally attacked itself

and lost 10,000 men

The-Battle-of-Karansebes

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The attachment of human muscles to skin

is what causes dimples.

dimple

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Nightmare comes from an old English word “mare”

that refers to a demon who suffocates you in your sleep

Nightmare

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Eisenhower played a big role in popularizing golf.

He installed a putting green at the White House

and played more than 800 rounds while in office

— exceeding the record of any other president.

Eisenhower playing golf

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Other than humans, black lemurs are the only

primates that may have blue eyes.

black lemurs blue eyes

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Sheriff came from Shire Reeve.

During early years of feudal rule in England,

each shire had a reeve who was the law for that shire.

When the term was brought to the United States

it was shortned to Sheriff.

ny_shire_reeve_sergeant_hat_badge

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Iowa has more independent telephone companies

than any other state.

Iowa independent telephone companies

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Murphy’s Oil Soap is the chemical most

commonly used to clean elephants.

Murphy's Oil Soap

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Artist Constantino Brumidi

fell from the dome of the U.S. Capitol

while painting a mural around the rim.

He died four months later.

Constantino Brumidi

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There were no squirrels on Nantucket until 1989.

mister red squirrel's lunch

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Blueberry Jelly Bellies were created

especially for Ronald Reagan.

Blueberry Jelly Bellies

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Cathy Rigby is the only woman

to pose nude for Sports Illustrated.

(August 1972)

Cathy Rigby

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“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Another fact filled post for you.

The usual random mixture, so pick out the ones you like best.

Enjoy.

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did you know5

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Until 2001 Disney required that all cast members

playing costumed park characters

share communal underwear.

Talk about getting into your pants!

Disney costumed park characters

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Muscle comes from a Latin root meaning ‘little mouse’.

Apparently people used to think muscles

looked like little mice under their skin.

Muscle

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Scotland is as far north as Alaska.

map north america and europe

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NASA lost a Mars orbiter because part of the team

used metric units and the other half used English.

NASA lost a Mars orbiter

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The Chernobyl disaster remains the only level 7 incident

on the International Nuclear Event Scale (INES)

making it the biggest man-made disaster of all time.

Chernobyl disaster

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The US government placed some beer

next to an atomic bomb blast

to determine if it was still drinkable.

The good news is that in the event of a

nuclear war beer is safe to drink.

beer next to an atomic bomb blast

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A full bladder is roughly the size of a soft ball

(a bit bigger than a cricket ball).

soft ball

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Calvin Coolidge would occasionally press all the buttons in the Oval Office,

sending bells ringing throughout the White House

— and then hide to watch his staff run in.

Apparently he just wanted to see who was working.

Calvin Coolidge

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Men with hairless chests are more likely to

get cirrhosis of the liver than men with hair.

hairy chest

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A fact in honor of the World Cup currently underway in Brazil.

The word Soccer actually originated in the United Kingdom.

Association Football was shortened to “socca”

(derived from the middle of the word association).

This turned into the word “soccer”

that is still used in the US, Canada, and Australia.

soccer Brazil World Cup 2014

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The day of his assassination,

Martin Luther King Jr.

got in a pillow fight in his hotel room.

Martin Luther King Jr

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Cows have best friends and they tend

to spend most of their time together.

Cows

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The Dutch discovered Australia 100 years before the British

but decided to ignore it because they thought it was a useless desert.

Crikey!

Australia

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There is a ‘zip bomb’ called 42.zip

that is only 42 kilobytes when zipped,

but is 4.5 Petabytes uncompressed.

Be careful clicking on those email attachments!

42.zip

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4’33? (pronounced “Four minutes, thirty-three seconds”

or just “Four thirty-three”) is a three-movement composition

by American experimental composer John Cage

for any instrument or combination of instruments,

and the score instructs the performer(s) not to play their instrument(s)

during the entire duration of the piece throughout the three movements.

Here it is…… No it’s not. What would be the point of that???

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“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Another selection of random facts including candle clocks and feral cats, and what could be more random than that?

So here we go.

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did you know2

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Russia sold Alaska to the US for 2 cents an acre

because they thought it was a useless tundra.

(Big mistake comrades!)

map Alaska and Russia

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The Chernobyl disaster released

at least 100 times more radiation

than the atom bombs dropped

on Nagasaki and Hiroshima.

chernobyl

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Up to 200 feral cats live in Disneyland

and are tolerated because they eradicate

mice and rats on the property.

feral cats live in Disneyland

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The largest cell in the human body is the female egg,

and the smallest is the male sperm.

ovum-largest-cell-in-the-body-and-sperm-cell-the-smallest-

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There are entire cities all over China

with no people living in them!

China ghost city

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In Germany there are fake bus stops outside many nursing homes

to prevent confused senior citizens from wandering off.

fake-bus-stop

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Twelve book publishers rejected Harry Potter,

a very shrewd move on their part since

the sales of the series is now approaching half a billion!

harry_potter_paperback_set

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Before clocks as we now know them,

there were candle clocks that burned a set amount of hours.

If you wanted an alarm or reminder,

you pushed a nail into the candle at the desired height/time length

and when it melted the nail would fall out and the

noise of it hitting the metal holder would alert you.

candle clock

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Loophole (or murder hole)

originally referred to the slits in castle walls

that archers would shoot their arrows through.

castle-arrow-slits

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NASA has lost over 700 boxes of magnetic data tapes

recorded throughout the Apollo program

including original footage of the moon landing.

They ‘think’ some of them may have

‘accidentally been taped over’.

NASA-Tape

A NASA tape – not one of the ones they lost – because they’re lost!!!

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Harvard University was founded

before calculus was derived.

Harvard University

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Apparently it is possible

to sail a boat from Pakistan to Russia

if you sail in a completely straight line.

sail boat

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There are some trees alive today that

were alive before the pyramids were built.

oldest trees on earth

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Chester A. Arthur was known for his impeccable attire,

earning him the nickname “Elegant Arthur.”

On his last day in office,

four women offered him their hands in marriage.

chester_arthur

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Regarded as his finest song,

David Bowie’s ‘Space Oddity’ purports to tell in only five minutes

a story that can easily serve as the plot to a two-hour sci-fi film.

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“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Yes, today is a bit of a multi-cultural fact feast.

Hope you enjoy.

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did you know2

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Brown eyes are actually blue,

under a layer of melanin.

blue eyes

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Billionaire Chuck Feeney donated most of his fortune

anonymously and with no recognition,

while flying coach, owning a $15 watch,

and having no cars or homes.

Billionaire Chuck Feeney

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George Washington was surprised to discover

that the Chinese were not white.

(I wonder how surprised they were to find out he was?)

chinese drawing

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When it first opened in 1955 Disneyland had

a lingerie store on Main Street called The Wizard Of Bras

The Wizard Of Bras

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In the mid 1800s France gave a crucial patent

in photography as a free gift to the world…

except for Britain who had to pay for it!

photographing the eiffel tower

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Disaster comes from the Greek

“dis” meaning bad,

and “aster”, meaning star.

The ancient Greeks used to blame calamities

on unfavorable planetary positions.

disaster-sign

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If you are in a room with 23 people,

there’s more than a 50% chance that

two of the people have the same birthday.

Birthday_Paradox.svg

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There are more tigers living in Texas

than in the rest of the world.

tiger

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While serving as sheriff of Erie County, N.Y.,

Grover Cleveland had to spring the trap

at a hanging on two occassions.

This earned him the unflattering nickname

“Buffalo Hangman.”

Grover Cleveland

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Workers at Amazon’s distribution centers

can be expected to walk up to 11 miles per shift,

picking an order every 33 seconds.

Amazon's distribution centers

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The shortest French word with all

five vowels is “oiseau” meaning bird.

oiseau

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Des Moines has the highest per capita0

Jello consumption in the U.S

Des Moines jello capital

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In 1770 the British parliament passed a law

condemning lipstick, stating that

” women found guilty of seducing men

into matrimony by a cosmetic means”

could be tried for witchcraft.

law condemning lipstick

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Mr Feng, a Chinese father, hired a bunch of assassins

to kill his son’s online World of Warcraft character.

Apparently his son was wasting too much time after being laid off.

Mr Feng, World of Warcraft

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Spencer Eldon was the name of the naked baby

on the cover of Nirvana’s album

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“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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This is a bit Donald Rumsfeld, but it is certainly true that the more of these facts I see, the more I know I don’t know, except I would know if I could remember them all.

But enough of that.

Let’s get on with today’s lot.

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did you know3

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The official state vegetable of Oklahoma

is the watermelon.

watermelon, official state vegetable of Oklahoma

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Horses cannot breathe through their mouths.

Horse's mouth

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The word ‘Hazard’ comes from the Arabic ‘al zahr’ which means ‘the dice’.

The term came to be associated with dice during the Crusades

and eventually took on a negative connotation because

games of dice were associated with gambling.

Hazard sign

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If you eat a teaspoon of sugar after eating something spicy,

it will completely neutralize the heat.

teaspoon of sugar

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When the oldest person on Earth was born,

there was a completely different set of people on the planet.

oldest person on Earth

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The last veteran of the American Civil War died in 1956,

long enough to see the atomic bomb dropped in Japan.

Albert_Woolson_(ca._1953)

Albert Henry Woolson, last surviving Civil War veteran on either side whose status is undisputed.

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A “butt load” is an actual unit of measurement,

equivalent to 126 gallons.

butt load - giant_ass_in_seat

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The word ‘posh’, which denotes luxurious rooms or accommodations,

originated when ticket agents in England

marked the tickets of travelers going by ship to the Orient.

Since there was no air conditioning in those days,

it was always better to have a cabin on the shady side of the ship

as it passed through the Mediterranean and Suez area.

Since the sun is in the south, those with money paid extra

to get cabins on the left, or port, traveling to the Asia,

and on the right, or starboard, when returning to Europe.

Hence their tickets were marked with the initials for

Port Outbound Starboard Homebound, or POSH.

POSH logo black_full

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Nepal is the only country without a rectangular flag,

it looks like two pennants glued one on top of the other.

Nepal-Flag

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Dr Seuss wrote “Green Eggs And Ham”

to win a bet against his publisher

who thought that Seuss could not complete

a book using only 50 words.

Green Eggs And Ham Dr Seuss

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Crocodiles are more closely related to birds than to lizards.

american-crocodile

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Not only was James Garfield ambidextrous,

he could write Latin with one hand

and Greek with the other at the same time.

James Garfield ambidextrous

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Shakespeare and Pocahontas

were alive at the same time.

Shakespeare and Pocahontas

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Kiribati is the first country in the world

that will be entirely lost due to rising sea levels.

They are already planning the complete and

permanent evacuation of the population.

Kiribati

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Duddley Do Right’s Horses name was “Horse.”

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“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Indeed, it’s time for another factoid feast.

I would say that this is an unusual selection, but the truth is they are usually unusual, if you see what I mean.

I try to make the whole thing as random as possible so there is at least one or two things that you find interesting.

So here goes this week’s offering.

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did you know5

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Many Japanese golfers carry “hole-in-one” insurance,

because it is traditional in Japan to share one’s good luck

by sending gifts to all your friends when you get an “ace.”

The price for what the Japanese term an “albatross”

can often reach $10,000.

hole in one

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Those sunbeams that you see shining down

through the clouds are called ‘crespucular rays’.

Crepuscular rays

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A-1 Steak Sauce contains

both orange peel and raisins.

A-1 Steak Sauce

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The Chinese ideogram for ‘trouble’ symbolizes

‘two women living under one roof’.

trouble2

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Clans of long ago that wanted to get rid of

their unwanted people without killing them

use to burn their houses down

- hence the expression “to get fired.”

burning houses

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The naval rank of “Admiral” is derived from

the Arabic phrase “amir al bahr”,

which means “lord of the sea”.

Admiral Mike Mullen

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Mt. Vernon Washington grows more tulips

than the entire country of Holland.

Mt. Vernon Washington tulip fields

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Jamie Farr (who played Klinger on M*A*S*H)

was the only member of the cast who

actually served as a soldier in the Korean war.

Jamie Farr as Klinger in MASH

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Little known Cathedral Caverns near Grant, Alabama

has the world’s largest cave opening, the largest stalagmite (Goliath),

and the largest stalagmite forest in the World.

Cathedral Caverns Alabama

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The word ‘pixel’ is a contraction of

either ‘picture cell’ or ‘picture element.’

pixels

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Back in the mid to late 80’s, an IBM compatible computer

wasn’t considered a hundred percent compatible

unless it could run Microsoft’s Flight Simulator.

Microsoft's Flight Simulator

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If you were born in Los Alamos, New Mexico

during the Manhattan project (where they made the atomic bomb),

your birthplace was listed as a post office box in Albequerque.

Manhattan project sign

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Ralph Lauren’s original name was Ralph Lifshitz.

(I can’t say I’m surprised he changed a crappy name like that.)

Ralph Lifshitz

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The word “samba” means “to rub navels together.”

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“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Hello folks. Thanks for stopping by.

Here are today’s factoid offerings.

Hope you enjoy.

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did you know1

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You can’t breathe and swallow at the same time.

breathe and swallow at the same time

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There are more ways to shuffle a deck of cards

than there are atoms on Earth.

two-hands-shuffling-a-deck-of-cards-in-a-casino

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Africa is bigger than the United States, China, India, Spain, France,

and several other countries combined.

Africa

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Norway once knighted a penguin.

a penguin

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You can get a rough estimate of the temperature by

counting the number of times a cricket chirps in 13 seconds,

then adding 40.

cricket chirp and temperature

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It’s impossible to hum while holding your nose.

hum while holding your nose

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Quarantine comes from the French “qarante” for 40.

Whenever a ship arriving in port was suspected of being infected

it had to forego contact with the shore for a period of about 40 days.

Quarantine

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On average, astronauts are two inches taller in space.

astronauts-fingernails-hands-shuttle

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Ohio is the only U.S. state that doesn’t share

any letters with the word “mackerel.”

(I have no idea who figured that one out,

but they clearly had too much free time on their hands!)

mackerel

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Wombat poop is square.

(Ouch!!!)

Wombat Poo

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There is enough iron in your body to make a 2-inch nail.

a 2-inch nail

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The “S” in Harry S. Truman’s full name doesn’t stand for anything.

His parents couldn’t decide on a middle name for over a month,

so they settled on the letter “S” in honor of his maternal grandfather, Solomon Young,

and his paternal grandfather, Anderson Shipp Truman.

Harry S. Truman

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The girlfriend of the guy who founded Match.com

left him for a man she met on Match.com.

(So that’s why he did it!)

man who founded Match.com

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George Washington was 48 years old

when Beethoven was born.

George Washington

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The British music group ‘Simply Red’

is named because of its love for the football team,

Manchester United, who have a red home strip.

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Okay, so who tried to hum while holding their nose, come on?

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“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Talk about random. Today’s selection certainly lives up to that description.

Hope you can find at least a few facts in this lot that you like.

Enjoy.

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did you know2

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The Swiss flag is square.

Swiss Flag

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All of the cobble stones that used to line the streets in New York

were originally weighting stones

put in the hulls of Belgian ships to keep an even keel.

Manhattan, New York cobblestone street

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There are only thirteen blimps in the world.

Nine of the thirteen blimps are in the United States.

The existing biggest blimp is the Fuji Film blimp.

Fuji Film blimp

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If you come from Manchester,

you are a Mancunian.

Mancunian

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The most remote inhabited place on Earth,  Tristan de Cunha,

a small archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean

thousands of miles from both South Africa and South America,

has a population of only  271 people and mail only arrives a few times per year.

Tristan de Cunha from Sea

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At the last official census,

the hottest constantly inhabited region in the world

is Dallol in Ethiopia.

Dallol in Ethiopia

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The German Kaiser Wilhelm II had a withered arm

and often hid the fact by posing with his hand

resting on a sword, or by holding gloves.

German Kaiser Wilhelm II

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A kind of tortoise in the Galapagos Islands

has an upturned shell at its neck

so it can reach its head up to eat cactus branches.

tortoise in the Galapagos Islands

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The 1957 Milwaukee Braves were the first baseball team

to win the World Series after being relocated.

1957 Milwaukee Braves

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The slogan on New Hampshire license plates is ‘Live Free or Die’.

Ironically these license plates are manufactured

by prisoners in the state prison in Concord.

New Hampshire license plates

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The common goldfish is the only animal that can

see both infra-red and ultra-violet light.

The common goldfish

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If you stretch a standard Slinky out flat

it measures 87 feet long.

Slinky

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Camel’s milk does not curdle.

camel milk

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A person from the country of Nauru is called a Nauruan;

this is the only palindromic nationality.

Nauruan

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Hang On Sloopy

is the official rock song of Ohio.

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