Posts Tagged ‘facts’

Did You Know – The Facts Are Here!

Posted: July 29, 2014 in Factoids, Unusual
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“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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The facts are indeed here.

Most Tuesdays in fact (no pun intended, that’s Thursdays!).

A very random selection of hopefully interesting things to peruse, perhaps with a nice cup of coffee.

Enjoy.

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facts 03

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Dogs don’t sweat through their tongue.

Most of their sweat glands are located in their foot pads.

While panting does keep them cool,

panting is not equivalent to sweating.

dog panting

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The word “Berserk” comes from ancient Norse fighters

who were known as Berserkers

Berserker

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800,000 brave men risked their lives

by exposing themselves to radiation

in order to contain the Chernobyl disaster.

25,000 of these have died (20 percent by suicide)

and 70,000 are disabled.

The environmental group Greenpeace places the

eventual death toll at 93,000 cancer deaths world wide,

but surprisingly, the overall rate of cancer deaths

and other health effects related to the Chernobyl accident

is lower than initially feared.

Chernobyl disaster workers

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The average woman is 5 inches shorter

than the average man.

tall woman short man

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On her 112th jump South African skydiver,

Christine McKenzie’s main and reserve

parachutes both failed to deploy.

As she raced towards earth from a height

of about 11,000 feet, she fell on power lines.

She was not electrocuted,

but instead the power lines helped

brake her fall and save her life.

 

skydiver.

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At any given time your brain

can generate up to 25 watts of power.

That’s enough to power a lightbulb.

brain can generate up to 25 watts of power

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Martin Bormann, the highest ranking Nazi official

who wasn’t accounted for after World War II

was thought to have gone into hiding

somewhere in South America

and sightings had been reported for years.

In 1999, however, his body was found

in an unmarked grave near the bunker

where Hitler committed suicide.

Martin Bormann

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Bats aren’t blind.

While many species do use echolocation,

some have excellent night vision

and don’t rely on echolocation at all.

Bats

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British pro wrestler Mal “King Kong” Kirk

was squished to death under the belly

of Shirley “Big Daddy” Crabtree when

Crabtree performed his signature “belly slam”

Shirley “Big Daddy” Crabtree

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There’s a gas cloud in the constellation of Aquila

that contains enough alcohol to make

400 trillion trillion pints of beer.

(Now that’s my kinda gas cloud!)

pints of beer

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When you are looking at someone you love,

your pupils dilate…

they do the same when

you are looking at someone you hate!

dilated pupil

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The statue of Cinderella at Disney

looks sad to adults,

but from a child’s view she is

happily smiling and wearing a crown.

statue of Cinderella at Disney

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A Japanese man recently sued the

National Broadcasting Company

for the mental distress they caused him

by using too many English words in their programs

Japanese English dictionary

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The Earth isn’t actually orbiting around the Sun.

It’s orbiting around the Solar System’s center of mass

known as the Barycenter.

Although this point often falls within the mass of the Sun,

it can be shifted by the pull of larger planets.

Therefore, at least some of the time,

everything in the solar system

is orbiting around empty space

Earth orbiting around the Sun 

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The Silbo language of La Gomera

off the coast of Spain

consists entirely of whistles.

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“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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The Sunday Sermon

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“It was the Russians, they’re the ones to blame.”

“It was Putin. He’s the baddie. We can’t let him get way with it!”

 malaysia-airlines-flight-mh17

So go the cries in the US in the aftermath of the shooting down of Air Malaysia Flight MH17 over the Ukraine.

And that was long before any of the facts had been collected and it was known who shot down a plane on a different continent, or why. 

Russia wants (virtual) control of the Ukraine. There isn’t really any doubt about that. For them it is a strategic imperative. Russia’s history has taught it that it needs to be able to control a vast amount of territory, if only to use as a buffer zone against invasion.

The situation is not helped by various US Presidents and Secretaries of State giving Russia assurances that they would not attempt to involve the peripheral former Soviet states in things like NATO – and then trying to do the exact opposite.

It is now widely accepted that the underlying reason for the unrest in the Ukraine and Russia’s reaction is because of US interference in that country, which included helping to overthrow its democratically elected president, Viktor Yanukovych, and replace him with someone who was a virtual puppet of the West.

That was just asking for trouble. And they should have known it.

And they will get trouble, probably much more than they bargained for.

Unfortunately that will impact on ordinary people, like us.

 Major_NATO_affiliations_in_Europe

Just as the US has its beady eyes on bringing the Ukraine and other former Soviet states into pro-Western organizations like NATO, it is equally certain that Putin will have his beady eyes on not only bringing the former Soviet states back firmly under Russian control, but in perhaps expanding his relationships with other parts of Europe.

Putin has the energy reserves to do it. Whilst there is very little in the way of direct trade between the US and Russia, particularly in regard to energy supplies, (Russia is just the United States’ 20th largest trading partner), Europe is largely dependent on Russian gas to keep it going. Over 30 percent of the European Union’s energy supplies come from Russia and the EU is Russia’s largest trading partner.

Russia’s counter strategy, therefore, will obviously be to use its considerable economic influence as leverage to try to break up the NATO alliance and to separate the European power house, Germany, from its Anglo-American alliance.

Putin is being helped by the arrogance of America’s government spooks who thought they could spy on their friends and allies, even going so far as tapping the phone of German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, without there being consequences.  

consequences

Prompted by leaks from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, the fallout from America’s spying debacle continues, people have been arrested, and the German government has even ordered the local CIA station chief to pack his bags and leave the country.

Germany may still place some value on its relationship with the US, but not nearly so much as previously, thanks solely to America’s lack of respect for them.

Putin and his advisors know this, even if Obama and Kerry don’t. They see Germany as ready for change. And they may well be right. The German people are angry at the contempt America has shown for them  – just as Americans would rightly have been if the Germans had done the same to them and their President  –  and they are increasingly frustrated at the burden the European Union has become economically.

If the US doesn’t catch itself on and behave differently and with respect towards its foreign friends, it may find that there will be changes it did not expect and certainly did not want.

Kerry Putin Obama

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“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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We had it with the real estate market. Billions of dollars being lent to people who obviously couldn’t afford it.

We saw the trouble, hardship, misery and financial woes that were caused as credit dried up, real estate prices began to tumble, and bankruptcies and foreclosures increased.

And we know the damage it did to the economy when irresponsible banks and other lenders went bust and almost brought down the entire financial system. 

Smart people would learn from such a situation.

Smart people would never contemplate doing such a thing again.

But despite what they would like to have you believe, bankers are not smart people. They’re dumb and they are greedy, a deadly combination.

bad credit 100 percent financing

As a result of the financial crisis millions of Americans (and people in other countries too) have been left with poor credit scores. Yet remarkably they are now able to easily obtain auto loans from used-car dealers, including some who fabricate or ignore borrowers’ abilities to repay. Even if you are bankrupt or living only on social security, banks like Wells Fargo will lend you thousands of dollars to buy a used car.

It’s called the new sub-prime boom, because the lack of caution resembles the frenzied sub-prime mortgage market before its collapse. And it is already bringing misery to many people who have been suckered into taking out loans that they clearly could not afford.

Worse than that, these sub-prime auto loans often come with terms that take advantage of the most desperate, least financially sophisticated customers, with interest rates that can exceed 20 percent. And many of the loans can be at least twice the value of the second hand cars they are being used to purchase!

wall street car crash

This creates a vicious circle for some borrowers, who still owe money on a car that they are trading in when they purchase another one, meaning that the former debt is rolled over into the new loan and they end up, not just paying too much for their current car, but also continue to pay off the loan on their previous car that they don’t even have!

This is the way loan sharks operate. Eventually you end up borrowing your own money and paying them interest for the privilege!

This surge in sub-prime auto lending is being driven by some of the same dynamics that were at work in sub-prime mortgages. There is a veritable deluge of money pouring into sub-prime autos, as the high rates and steady profits of the loans attract investors.

And just as Wall Street stoked the boom in mortgages, some of the nation’s biggest banks and private equity firms are now feeding the growth in sub-prime auto loans by investing in lenders and making money available for loans.

To quote some of the figures, auto loans to people with bad credit have risen more than 130 percent in the five years since the immediate aftermath of the financial crisis, with roughly one in four new auto loans last year going to borrowers considered sub-prime, that is, people with credit scores at or below 640. Wells Fargo, mentioned earlier, made $7.8 billion in auto loans in the second quarter of this year, up 9 percent from a year earlier, and has at least $50 billion in auto loans on its books.

greedy bankers

Even worse, as was the case with sub-prime mortgages before the financial crisis, many sub-prime auto loans are being bundled up into complex bonds and sold as securities by banks to insurance companies, mutual funds and public pension funds. They are all scrambling for these, which in turn creates ever-greater demand for loans, and leads to the banks issuing more and more sub-prime credit.

Unbelievably it’s the same crooks doing exactly the same thing, including using incorrect information about borrowers’ income and employment, so that people who had lost their jobs, or were bankrupt, or living on Social Security, could qualify for loans that they could never afford.

carbuying credit report

Admittedly, the size of the sub-prime auto loan market is only a tiny fraction of the sub-prime mortgage market at its peak, and its implosion would not have the same far-reaching consequences.

For the banks the investors silly enough to buy their bonds, that is.

But the misery is just as great for the people who are suckered into accepting credit they cannot afford.

Illegal it may not be, but immoral it certainly is.

Political leaders who sit astride high horses and purport to be working on behalf of the ordinary people should be doing something about it.

But, as I’ve said before, don’t hold your breath!

obama used car salesman

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“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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Why Are The Bureaucrats Destroying What Made America Great?

Posted: July 20, 2014 in Business, Current Events, Factoids, Politics, Rants
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“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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The Sunday Sermon

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Since the government and bureaucrats in the United States abandoned the business-friendly environment that made the country the greatest and wealthiest nation on earth, and replaced that with a legislative and wealth redistributing strategy that is anything but business-friendly, there has been a growing trend for successful companies to leave the US.

It should have been obvious – and indeed it was – to everyone but the morons in Washington. 

 

obama cartoon big government

The latest to try to make a move out of the United States is the pharmaceutical giant AbbVie, currently based outside Chicago, Illinois, but not for much longer if they get their way.

Using a $53 billion acquisition of the Jersey-registered, Irish-headquartered global specialty biopharmaceutical company “Shire”, a deal that will allow Abbvie to reincorporate elsewhere, it plans to leave the high tax US for a more advantageous business environment.

By making this move and escaping United States tax rates, Abbvie will pay lower taxes on its international earnings, get access to overseas cash more cheaply, and be able to acquire other companies without making their earnings subject to United States taxes.

Abbvie

And Abbvie is not alone.

There has been a rush of companies wanting to get out of the United States. Health care companies in particular, such as Medtronic, Mylan, Actavis, Perrigo, Jazz Pharmaceuticals and Endo, have pursued these “inversion deals”, as they are called, with particular zeal.

The moral of the story is simply this.

When a country forgets what has made it great and instead turns into something quite the opposite, all the reasons for its greatness disappear. And the United States is doing this at a time when it is heavily in debt – the most indebted nation in the world by a long way.

The short-termism of trying to grab as much money as possible from companies and individuals will end in failure and disaster for all. People like Obama try to put a fancy misleading name on it and call it “wealth redistribution”. What it really is, is a major disincentive for anyone to want to set up and do business in the United States.

redistribution-of-wealth

And as you would expect, the idiots in Washington aren’t scratching their heads and wondering why more and more companies are opting to leave the US. Instead the bureaucrats are trying to think of ways to make it illegal for companies like Abbvie to adopt this strategy. 

Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew has already sent letters to senior members of Congress, encouraging them to pass legislation halting inversions. The legislation being considered by some lawmakers would be retroactive, and if passed, could impede AbbVie’s ability to reincorporate overseas.

Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew

And proving that stupidity is a cross party phenomenon, on Thursday, Senator Orrin G. Hatch, the Utah Republican who is the ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, responded to calls from the Obama administration to crack down on inversions by saying he supported a short-term fix, although he suggested that the administration’s initial proposal went too far.

Senator Orrin G. Hatch

It seems fairly logical in my mind that the way to stop this growing exodus, which in the longer term will leave the US a lot poorer and a lot more of its citizens out of work, is to legislate to reduce tax bills, not increase them; to give businesses an incentive to invest and expand in the United States, not to drive them away; and to encourage entrepreneurs to relocate TO the US rather than scramble to get out.

Of course, that’s just in my head. All that is in the heads of the idiot bureaucrats in Washington is self-defeating rubbish like increase minimum wages, increase healthcare contributions, increase taxation, introduce capital controls, increase government bureaucracy so more debt is piled up and the USD$ weakens further, and of course start a few more wars to distract the people from the mess that is being made at home.

So, to pose the question in the title of this post again, why are the bureaucrats destroying what made America great?

Your guess is as good as mine, although while some obviously have malicious intent, I wouldn’t entirely rule out plain old stupidity!

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“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Farnborough Airc Show 2014 logo

In the summer in Farnborough in Hampshire, England one of the biggest events in the aviation industry takes place. It’s call the Farnborough Air Show.

I remember when I used to work in that industry helping to prepare invitations, information packs, and all the usual PR stuff. Farnborough is THE place to meet and greet both those who buy aircraft and those firms like Boeing and AIrbus who build them and provide tens of thousands of jobs for smaller companies.

So it is an important event.

At this year’s show they named the world’s best airline, in fact they named the top ten best airlines.

And despite the United States building some of the best airplanes in the world, and despite the United States having some of the world’s largest and busiest airlines, do you know how many United States airlines made it into the top ten?

The title of this post probably gave it away. The answer is….

None. That’s ninguno, aucun, keiner, zero!

Even the regional category for North America was won by Air Canada.

cartoon intrusive airport searches

Apparently, not only are air travelers in America to be treated as potential terrorists, herded and prodded and scanned and humiliated when they are trying to get on to an airplane. But when they do, the comfort and service they can expect will be second rate.

I think that’s a disgrace. America should be leading the world in the standard of their airlines. They should be at least one, if not more, of the top ten list every year offering a consistently high standard that their customers (that’s you and me) deserve.

And this award is decided by the votes of millions of travelers, so customers’ opinions do count.

So time for United States airlines to ditch those bureaucratic bean counters who decide that they can squeeze just another row of seats into an airplane so that everyone is uncomfortable. In the long term this kind of thinking doesn’t save you money, it loses you money. And when your customers vote for the best airline, they don’t vote for you!

For those of you who are interested, this year’s best airline was the Hong Kong based Cathay Pacific. They were voted best performer across all types of travel, economy, and luxury.

Cathay Pacific World's Best Airline 2014

Cathay Pacific World’s Best Airline 2014

Qatar Airways and Singapore Airlines placed second and third respectively in the global category, with last year’s winner, Emirates, slipping to fourth. Fifth to tenth places went to Turkish Airlines, ANA All Nippon Airways, Garuda Indonesia, Asiana Airlines, Etihad Airways and Lufthansa respectively.

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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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Welcome to another fact day and a list of very random things that certainly will increase your knowledge base, if you can remember them.

The only way to find out is to read on.

Enjoy.

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did you know1

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The first explorers who discovered the West Indies

thought it was Southeast Asia.

map West Indies

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At Disney there used to be paint brushes

hidden on Tom Sawyer island

and if you found one,

you could present it to the barge driver and

you and your party would get golden Fast Passes.

paint brushes hidden on Tom Sawyer island

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If the average male never shaved,

his beard would be 13 feet long when he died.

long beard

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Sorry to bust a much believed myth,

but sugar does not actually make you hyper,

the whole idea of a “sugar rush” is not real,

in fact, according to recent science from Yale University

it’s all just a placebo effect.

sugar rush myth

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Cracking your knuckles won’t lead to arthritis

cracking-knuckles

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The Chernobyl disaster region has become

one of the world’s most unique wildlife sanctuaries

with thriving populations of wolves, deer,

beavers, eagles, and other animals.

Chernobyl wildlife sanctuary wolf

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Pamphlet comes from the title of a Latin love poem called Pamphilus

that was supposedly passed from person to person

Pamphilus

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A cubic inch of bone is about

four times as strong as concrete.

bone smashing concrete

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The 8 lane, 26 mile long Qingdao Bridge in China

cost 14.8 billion yuan to build

but gets almost no traffic.

The-Jiaozhou-Bay-Bridge-1

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Napoleon was actually taller than the average Frenchman

napoleon height

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Not only is Reno, Nevada, west of Los Angeles,

but so are six other state capitals.

map north america

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William McKinley almost always wore

a red carnation on his lapel as a good luck charm.

While greeting a line of people in 1901, 

he gave the flower to a little girl.

Seconds later, he was shot by an assassin,

and died eight days later.

William McKinley

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Buck, the slang term for an American dollar

comes from the fact that on the American frontier

deerskins were used as units of commerce.

American dollar

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The coldest inhabited place on earth is Oymyakon, Russia,

where sometimes the temperature drops

below freezing in mid September and stays there until May.

The average temperature in January is -46 °C.

The village has a population of less than 500 people.

oymyakon-coldest-village-on-earth-amos-chapple-04

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Hacky-sack was invented in Turkey.

Hacky-sack

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Significant Number Factoid Friday – Today The Number Had To Be 1776

Posted: July 4, 2014 in Numbers, Factoids
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“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Hello everyone.

And a very happy Fourth of July to everyone, particularly my American friends.

Independence Day again, and no sign of invading spaceships so I’m assuming its safe to do another number factoid.

And what else could it be today other than 1776, the year America became an independent nation.

Here we go.

Enjoy

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1776

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And where else to start but with….

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American Revolutionary War

Gen George Washington hoisted the Continental Union Flag

  • On January 1st, 1776 Gen George Washington hoisted the Continental Union Flag. The same day the town of Norfolk, Virginia, was destroyed by the combined actions of the British Royal Navy and occupying Patriot forces.
  • On Jan 5th the Assembly of New Hampshire adopts its 1st state constitution.
  • On January 10th Thomas Paine published his pamphlet Common Sense “written by an Englishman” in Philadelphia arguing for independence from British rule in what were then the Thirteen Colonies.

pamphlet Common Sense by Thomas Paine

  • On Jan 16th the Continental Congress approves enlistment of free blacks.
  • On February 27th Scottish North Carolina Loyalists charge across Moore’s Creek bridge near Wilmington to attack what they mistakenly believed to be a small force of rebels. Several loyalist leaders are killed in the ensuing battle. The patriot victory virtually ended all British authority in the province.
  • On March 2nd and 3rd the American Continental Navy and Marines made a successful assault on Nassau, Bahamas, and in the Battle of the Rice Boats, American Patriots resisted the Royal Navy on the Savannah River effectively ending British control over the Province of Georgia.
  • On March 4th American Patriots capture Dorchester Heights thereby dominating the port of Boston, Massachusetts. Threatened by the Patriot cannons on Dorchester Heights, the British evacuate Boston on March 17th.
  • On April 12th the Royal Colony of North Carolina produced the Halifax Resolves making it the first British colony officially to authorize its Continental Congress delegates to vote for independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain.
  • On May 4th Rhode Island became the first American colony to renounce allegiance to King George III of Great Britain.
  • On June 7th Richard Henry Lee of Virginia proposed to the Second Continental Congress (meeting in Philadelphia) that “these united colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent states.”
  • On June 11th the Continental Congress appointed a Committee of Five to draft a Declaration of Independence.

declaration-of-independence-1776

  • On June 12th the Virginia Declaration of Rights by George Mason was adopted by the Virginia Convention of Delegates and three days later on June 15th the Delaware General Assembly voted to suspend government under the British Crown.
  • On July 2nd the final (despite minor revisions) U.S. Declaration of Independence was written. The Continental Congress passed the Lee Resolution.
  • And as we all know, on July 4th the United States Declared Independence: The Continental Congress ratified the declaration by the United States of its independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain.
  • On July 8th the Liberty Bell rang in Philadelphia for the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence and the following day an angry mob in New York City toppled the equestrian statue of George III of Great Britain in Bowling Green.

Liberty Bell

  • On August 2nd most of the American colonies ratify the Declaration of Independence.
  • On August 15th the first Hessian troops land on Staten Island to join British forces.
  • On August 27th in the Battle of Long Island, Washington’s troops were routed in Brooklyn by British under William Howe.
  • On September 1st the Cherokee Nation was invaded by 6,000 patriot troops from Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina begins. The troops destroyed thirty-six Cherokee towns.
  • On September 7th saw the world’s first submarine attack when the American submersible craft Turtle attempted to attach a time bomb to the hull of British Admiral Richard Howe’s flagship HMS Eagle in New York Harbor.
  • On September 11th an abortive peace conference took place between British and Americans on Staten Island.
  • On September 15th British troops landed on Manhattan at Kips Bay.
  • On September 16th in the Battle of Harlem Heights, the Continental Army under Washington are victorious against the British on Manhattan.
  • On September 22nd the British hanged spy Nathan Hale in New York City for espionage.
  • The following month, on October 11th on Lake Champlain near Valcour Island, a British fleet led by Sir Guy Carleton defeated 15 American gunboats commanded by Brigadier General Benedict Arnold. Although nearly all of Arnold’s ships are destroyed, the two day-long battle gave Patriot forces enough time to prepare defenses of New York City.
  • On October 18th in the Battle of Pell’s Point, forces of the American Continental Army resisted a British and Hessian force in The Bronx, whilst on October 28 in the Battle of White Plains, British forces attacked and captured Chatterton Hill from the Americans.
  • On October 26th Benjamin Franklin departed from America for France on a mission to seek French support for the American Revolution.

Benjamin Franklin

  • The last day of that month, October 31st saw King George III make his first speech before British Parliament since the Declaration of Independence that summer, in which in perhaps the understatement of the year, told the British Parliament that all was not going well for Britain in the war with the United States.
  • On November 16th Hessian mercenaries under Lieutenant General Wilhelm von Knyphausen captured Fort Washington from the American Continentals. The captain of the American navy ship Andrew Doria fired a salute to the Dutch flag on Fort Orange and Johannes de Graaff answers with eleven gun shots.
  • On December 7th the Marquis de Lafayette attempted to enter the American military as a major general.
  • And on December 21st the Royal Colony of North Carolina reorganizes into the State of North Carolina after adopting its own constitution. Richard Caswell becomes the first governor of the newly formed state.
  • On December 23rd Thomas Paine, living with Washington’s troops, began publishing The American Crisis, containing the stirring phrase, “These are the times that try men’s souls.”
  • At Christmas 1776, Gen. George Washington ordered the first issue of The Crisis to be read to his troops on Christmas Eve, then at 6 p.m. all 2600 of them march to McKonkey’s Ferry, crossed the Delaware River and land on the Jersey bank at 3 a.m.
  • And finally December 26th saw the Battle of Trenton, in which Washington’s troops surprised and defeated the 1500 Hessian troops under the command of Col. Johann Rall outside Trenton, taking 948 prisoners while suffering only 5 wounded.

 crossing the Delaware River

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In other things and other places in 1776

  • The year 1776 was a leap year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and a leap year starting on Friday of the 11-day slower Julian calendar.
  • In Roman Numerals 1776 is written as MDCCLXXVI.
  • On January 2nd Austria ended interrogation torture
  • On February 17th Edward Gibbon published the first volume of his famous work, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.

The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

  • On March 9th Scottish economist Adam Smith published The Wealth of Nations in London.
  • On March 28th Juan Bautista de Anza found the site for the Presidio of San Francisco.
  • On April 15th the Duchess of Kingston was found guilty of bigamy.
  • On May 1st Adam Weishaupt founded the Illuminati in Ingolstadt, Bavaria.
  • On June 17th Lt. Jose Joaquin Moraga leads a band of colonists from Monterey Presidio, landing on June 29th and constructing the Mission Dolores of the new Presidio of San Francisco.
  • On July 12th Captain James Cook sets off from Plymouth, England, in HMS Resolution on his third voyage, to the Pacific Ocean and Arctic, which would turn out to be fatal.

Captain James Cook

  • On July 21st Mozart’s Serenade No. 7 (the “Haffner”) is first performed in Salzburg, Austria.
  • On July 29th Francisco Silvestre Vélez de Escalante, Francisco Atanasio Domínguez, and eight other Spaniards set out from Santa Fe on an eighteen-hundred mile trek through the American Southwest. They were the first Europeans to explore the vast region between the Rockies and the Sierras.
  • On September 6th a hurricane hit Guadeloupe, killing more than 6000 people.
  • On September 24th the first of the now very famous St Leger horse races were held at Doncaster, England.
  • On October 7th Crown Prince Paul of Russia married Sophie Marie Dorothea of Württemberg.
  • On October 9th Father Francisco Palou founded the Mission San Francisco de Asis in what is now San Francisco, California.
  • On October 18th in a New York bar decorated with a bird tail, a customer orders “cock tail”.
  • On December 5th the first US fraternity, Phi Beta Kappa (William & Mary College), is formed.

Phi Beta Kappa

  • The Standard Practice for Conditioning and Testing Textiles is Active Standard ASTM D1776
  • The Standard Specification for Eye Protective Devices for Paintball Sports is Active Standard ASTM F1776.
  • MTE M-1776 is a Surge Protective Device
  • P1776 is the code for solenoid stuck in low/reverse which is a fairly common problem and can be prevented most of the time by keeping the fluid clean.
  • The 1776 Premier Program offers a venue for highly-committed, elite players to receive professional, year-round coaching and to seek competition at the highest levels of US Youth Soccer.

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“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

.

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

.

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

“Yensid”, which is “Disney” backwards.

Yensid

.

.

The Mongolian navy consists of

seven people and one boat.

Mongolian navy

.

.

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

.

.

In 1788

the Austrian army accidentally attacked itself

and lost 10,000 men

The-Battle-of-Karansebes

.

.

The attachment of human muscles to skin

is what causes dimples.

dimple

.

.

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

.

.

Other than humans, black lemurs are the only

primates that may have blue eyes.

black lemurs blue eyes

.

.

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

.

.

Iowa has more independent telephone companies

than any other state.

Iowa independent telephone companies

.

.

Murphy’s Oil Soap is the chemical most

commonly used to clean elephants.

Murphy's Oil Soap

.

.

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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