Did You Know – The Facts Are Here!

“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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Did You Know? – Prepare To Increase Your Knowledge Base.

“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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Did You Know? – Americans, Chinese, French, Greeks, There’s Facts About All Of Them In Here!

“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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Did You Know? – Another Factoid Feast.

“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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Did You Know? – It’s Another Fact Filled Tuesday.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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A curious mixture of facts today, or maybe they’re always hat way?

Anyway, I’ll leave it up to you to decide.

But whatever conclusion you come to I hope you enjoy.

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did you know2

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As with many things, Penicillin was discovered accidently

when Scottish biologist Alexander Fleming came back from vacation

and noticed that his bacteria were all being killed off by a strange fungus.

Alexander_Fleming

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Every two minutes, we take as many photos

as all of humanity took during the 1800s.

Smile please!

taking-picture-photographer

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If you think no one cares if you’re alive,

try leaving some debts unpaid.

debts unpaid

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In 1942 Dr. Harry Coover found that a substance he created,

cyanoacrylate, was a failure.

It stuck to everything it touched just a little too well.

So he invented Super Glue.

Dr. Harry Coover superglued

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When Warner Brothers formed,

the Ottoman Empire was still in being.

warner brothers logo

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John Pemberton didn’t start out wanting to be a successful businessman.

He just wanted to cure headaches.

His recipes consisted of two things – coca leaves and cola nuts.

When his lab assistant accidentally mixed the two with carbonated water

Coke was born.

John Pemberton coca cola

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The oldest living person’s birth

is closer to the signing of the US Constitution

than present day.

signing of the US Constitution

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John Tyler, America’s 10th President,

has two living grandchildren.

Tylers-Son-and-Grandsons

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The last time the Chicago Cubs won a World Series,

women were not allowed to vote.

(Sorry for reminding you Cubs fans.)

Chicago Cubs

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If it weren’t for the last minute

nothing would ever get done.

last-minut

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While building an ocillator to record heart beat sounds in animals

at Cornell University Wilson Greatbatch accidentally grabbed the wrong transistor.

After switching on the device he found it to have

a very familiar rhythmic pulsing sound, very similar to a human heart.

So now we have Pacemakers!

GREATBACH-obit-articleInline

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Basque, a language spoken in the

mountains between France and Spain

is the only European language

not related to any other known language.

Basque

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President Kennedy was the fastest

random speaker in the world

with upwards of 350 words per minute.

President Kennedy

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Sometimes your mouth is like a zipper,

by the time you realize it’s open

it has already embarrassed you.

zipper

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The bagpipe was originally made

from the whole skin of a dead sheep.

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Did You Know? – It’s A First Tuesday Fact Feast!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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It’s the first Tuesday of 2014 so here are a few lesser known facts about the New Year, its traditions and its celebrations.

Enjoy.

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did you know4

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January is named after Janus, the god with two faces,

one looking forward and one looking backward.

janus

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The Scottish ‘First Footer’ tradition or superstition originates

in the belief that the first visitor on New Year’s Day would bring

either good luck or bad luck for the rest of the year,

depending on who he/she was.

First Footer

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The tradition of fireworks and making loud noises on New Year’s Eve

is believed to have originated in ancient times,

when noise and fire were thought to dispel evil spirits and bring good luck.

New-Years-Desktop-Pictures-New-Years-Eve-in-Sydney

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Traditionally, it was thought that people could alter the luck

they would have throughout the coming year

by what they did or ate on the first day of the year.

It has, therefore, become important to celebrate first day of the New Year

in the company of family and friends.

new year party

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Almost half of Americans make New Year’s Resolutions,

mainly about losing weight, stopping smoking, being better organized,

staying fit and healthy and spending less and saving more.

new year resolutions

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More than half of Americans who make New Year’s Resolutions

are able to keep them for less than a month.

resolutions broken

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In Denmark, it is a good sign when you find broken dishes in front of your door.

Danish people specially keep a few plates that they break

to place at their friends’ doors on New Year’s Eve.

broken plates

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Many parts of the U.S. celebrate New Year by consuming black-eyed peas

and other legumes, as it has been considered good luck in many cultures.

Black-Eyed-Peas

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Ancient Persians gave New Year’s gifts of eggs,

which symbolized productiveness.

Eggs

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“Auld Lang Syne” is traditionally sung at midnight on New Year’s Eve.

It was written by Scottish poet Robert Burns in 1788

and may have based it on a folk song.

The words “auld lang syne” mean “times gone by”.

Robert Burns

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More than a third of a billion glasses of Champagne and other sparkling wine

are consumed during the Christmas / New Year celebrations.

champagne glasses

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In Brazil at New Year many people dress in white

as a sign or hope for peace for the coming year.

brazil new year

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The Time Square New Year’s Eve Ball came about as a result of a ban on fireworks.

The first ball, in 1907, was an illuminated 700-pound iron and wood ball

adorned with one hundred 25-watt light bulbs.

Today, the round ball designed by Waterford Crystal, weighs 11,875-pounds,

is 12 feet in diameter and is bedazzled with 2,668 Waterford crystals.

The only time the New Year’s Eve ball was not lowered was

in 1942 and 1943 due to wartime restrictions.

times-square-ball

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The tradition of ringing in the New Year dates back four thousand years,

to the time of the Babylonians who celebrated it at

the first full moon after the spring equinox.

HNY Bells

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In 46 BC Julius Caesar made January 1st the first day of the year.

In England and its colonies, including America,

we didn’t do the same until 1752.

julius caesar

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The top three destinations in the United States

to ring in the New Year are

Las Vegas, Disney World and New York City.

Las Vegas New Years

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Many cultures believe that anything given or taken on New Year,

in the shape of a ring is good luck,

because it symbolizes “coming full circle”.

rings

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In America more vehicles are stolen on New Year’s Day

than on any other holiday throughout the year.

StolenCar

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The Spanish ritual on New Year’s Eve is to eat twelve grapes at midnight.

The tradition is meant to secure twelve happy months in the coming year.

12-uvas-nocheviejas

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The Ethiopian Calendar has twelve months with 30 days each and a

thirteenth month called Pagume with five or six days depending on the year.

Their current year is still 2006 and they celebrate New Years on September 11.

ethopian calendar

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