A Few Of Today’s Facts Really Stink.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Sorry, but today a few of the facts really do stink.

But you might find them interesting nonetheless.

I hope so anyway.

So here they are.

Enjoy.

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did you know3

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There are 13 ways to spell

the “o” sound in French.

Oh?

 parlez-vous

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In the TV series Star Trek,

The Enterprise’s often seen access tunnels

that they called ‘Jeffries Tubes’

were named after original series

prop master Walter M Jeffries.

 JefferiesTube Star Trek

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Vitamin A is important for vision,

the immune system function,

reproduction and support for the

heart, lungs and kidneys.

According to National Institutes of Health (NIH),

around 28%–37% of the general population

take supplements with vitamin A,

however,

just one sweet potato baked in the skin

has 28,058 international units (IU) of

vitamin A per serving,

which is 561% of the daily recommended value.

 sweet potato baked in skin

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In 2002, a man was hit by a truck in Finland

as he was trying to cross highway 8 on his bike.

2 hours later his twin brother was also hit by a truck

while trying to cross highway 8 on his bike.

They died within 1.5 km of each other, 2 hours apart.

 cartoon twins

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The US Air Force once experimented with a

Boeing 747 mounted with an anti-missile defense system

that they hoped could track and shoot down

enemy missiles from hundreds of miles away.

Technically called the YAL-1 Airborne Laser

the project was eventually cancelled.

 Airborne-Laser-Weapon_photo_medium

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The Aztecs are the Aztecs at all.

The name Aztec was actually made up by Europeans,

the name they called themselves was the ‘Mexica’.

 Aztecs

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It is estimated that the inhabitants

of medieval London, both human and animal,

produced fifty tons of excrement a day.

As a matter of fact, during the fourteenth century,

Sherborne Lane in East London was so disgusting

that it was officially known as Shiteburn Lane.

 sherborne lane Nigel Clark Publications

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The reason around 99% of the population

tend to need glasses, especially for reading,

as they get older is not because

their arms get shorter, but because

the lens in the eyes slowly loses

its focusing ability with age.

 A classic example of being in reading glasses denial.

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Translated as the “Swimming Car”

the Volkswagen Schwimmwagen is an

amphibious four-wheel drive off-roader,

used extensively by the German Wehrmacht

and the Waffen-SS during WWII.

The Type 166 is the most numerous and

mass-produced amphibious car in history.

 Volkswagen Schwimmwagen

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Think you have a bad job?

It could be worse.

You could be a Breath Odor Evaluator.

These are people hired by mint and

toothpaste companies to keep smelling

bad breath until the minty freshness appears.

 Breath Odor Evaluator

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But these people have it made

compared to Dog Breath Sniffers,

who do the same job, only for dogs.

Phew!!!

 dog's breath

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Stanley Kubrick hated traveling and

was a little afraid of airplanes.

For that reason,

even though set mostly in Vietnam,

Full Metal Jacket was fully shot in London.

The abandoned Beckton Gas Works that were used

to shoot the major battle scenes are still there today.

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I Love Grandfather Clocks. Big Time!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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And I love puns as well.

So brace yourselves for another selection of word plays.

Enjoy or endure!!

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rofl

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It pains me to say it,

but I have a sore throat

 sore throat

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There was a knock at the door this morning,

so I opened it and there was a basin on the doorstep.

I thought, “I’d better let this sink in.”

 sink

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For the record I bought

a vinyl cleaning machine

 record

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Having just punched a midget selling watches,

I know I’ve hit an all time low.

 watches

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Are there any fat people in Finland?

 fat people in Finland

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Have you ever wondered what the

word for ‘dot’ looks like in braille?

 braille

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My girlfriend broke up with me

because of my obsession with puzzles.

There were a lot of cross words

 crossword

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I can’t undo wrongs.

But I can write them.

 write

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A friend dared me to steal a

flat-bottomed boat from the river.

I thought, “Why not. I’ll take a punt.”

 punt

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Everyone loved the baker.

He had a massive flan base.

 massive flan

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I don’t regard being a toastmaster a job,

it’s more a calling.

 toastmaster

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The ten largest baseball stadiums hold

between 46,000 – 56,000 people.

Just some ballpark figures for you.

 baseball stadium

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My girlfriend asked me what I’d do with my life if I lost her.

I said it would be like breaking a pencil.

She said, “Do you mean it would be pointless?”

I said, “No, I’d just go out and buy another one.”

 breaking a pencil

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I’ve just bought some ghost-shaped laxative tablets.

They scare the crap out of me.

ghost-shaped laxative

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Friday The 13th, Part Two.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Friday 13th

What do you know, it’s Friday 13th AGAIN.

Second one in two months and there will be another in November 2015 too.

How lucky is that?

Well, I guess not so lucky if you suffer from paraskevidekatriaphobia (also known as friggatriskaidekaphobia), which is a fear of Friday the 13th, or even triskadekaphobia which is the scientific name given to a fear of the number 13 itself.

It shouldn’t be that much of a surprise really. The longest period that can occur without a Friday the 13th is 14 months, and every year has at least one and sometimes, like this year, three Friday the 13ths.

There is no written evidence for a “Friday the 13th” superstition before the 19th century, the first reference to an unlucky Friday the 13th coming in an 1869 biography of the composer Rossini who died on Friday November 13, 1868.

The superstition only gained widespread distribution in the 20th century, although the origin is believed to have come from the Bible, the association stemming from the idea that the 13th guest at the Last Supper was the one who betrayed Jesus prior to his death, which occurred on a Friday.

The Curtis Hotel in Denver

Hotels, skyscrapers and even hospitals have been known to skip out on creating a 13th floor due to its unlucky connection and even airports sometimes quietly omit gate 13. The Curtis Hotel in Denver, Colorado, on the other hand uses the superstition as a gimmick to amuse guests by playing the “dun, dun, dunnnnn!!” theme in the elevator shaft for guests as they arrive on the 13th floor.

Sometimes research seems to add weight to the superstition. A study in Finland, for example, has shown that women are more likely to die in traffic accidents on Friday the 13th than on other Fridays.

And, according to a report from U.K.’s newspaper, The Mirror, 72 percent of United Kingdom residents have claimed to have had bad luck experiences Friday the 13th. The readers polled admitted to avoiding traveling, attending business meetings and making large purchases on this unlucky day, with 34 percent admitting to wanting to “hide under their duvet” for the upcoming dates. The study did not speculate if their luck would have been better if they had gone about their normal business!

Former US President Franklin D. Roosevelt had a strong fear of the number 13 and refused to host a dinner party with 13 guests or to travel on the 13th day of any month. US President Herbert Hoover had similar fears.

Maybe he did what superstitious diners in Paris do – hire a quatorzieme, or professional 14th guest.

I don’t think Cuban leader Fidel Castro had the same fears because he was born on Friday, August 13,1926, as was the celebrated outlaw Butch Cassidy (born on. Friday, April 13,1866).

Butch Cassidy

Speaking of outlaws, Oklahoma bandit Crawford “Cherokee Bill” Goldsby murdered 13 victims, and was captured after a reward of $1300 was posted. At his trial, 13 eyewitnesses testified against him, the jury took 13 hours to render a verdict of guilty. He was hanged on April 13,1896 on a gallows with 13 steps!

Stock broker and author Thomas W. Lawson, wrote a novel in 1907 entitled “Friday the Thirteenth,” about a stockbroker’s attempts to take down Wall Street on the unluckiest day of the month. Reportedly, stock brokers after this were as unlikely to buy or sell stocks on this unlucky day as they were to walk under a ladder, according to accounts of a 1925 New York Times article.

The independent horror movie Friday the 13th was released in May 1980 and despite only having a budget of $550,000 it grossed $39.7million at the box office in the United States – not unlucky for it’s backers. In fact the “Friday the 13th” film franchise continues to sweep up its box-office competition. According to  BoxOfficeMojo.com, the dozen films named after the haunted holiday have raked in more than $380 million nationally, with an average gross of $31 million per feature.

Another director noted for his suspenseful psychological thrillers, Alfred Hitchcock, was born on the Friday 13th in August 1899, although he also had a run in with bad luck on that date too when his directorial debut movie called “Number 13,” never made it past the first few scenes and was shut down due to financial problems. He is supposed to have said that the film wasn’t very interesting. We’ll never know!

Alfred Hitchcock

Also with movies in mind there was a feature film based on the unlucky events of Apollo 13, launched on 13:13 CST, April 11,1970, which barely escaped becoming a doomed flight when an explosion disabled the craft occurring on April 13th (not a Friday in case you are interested).

According to Thomas Gilovich, chair of Psychology at Cornell University, our brains are known to make associations with Friday 13th in a way that would give favor to the “bad luck” myths. He explains this by saying that “if anything bad happens to you on Friday the 13th, the two will be forever associated in your mind and all those uneventful days in which the 13th fell on a Friday will be ignored.” It’s a bit like remembering the good old days and forgetting the bad ones!

Always contrary, pagans believe that 13 is actually a lucky number since it corresponds with the number of full moons in a year and in Spanish-speaking nations, Tuesday The 13th is regarded as unlucky rather than Friday!

So I guess you just have to make up your own mind whether you believe Friday 13th is unlucky or not.

I’m hoping of course that the fact that you have landed on this blog today is good luck rather than bad.

It was good luck for me, please call again.

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Dogs, Dickens And Drink! – It’s Fact Day.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Hi and thanks for stopping by my blog.

Today’s post is another assortment of random facts, at least some of which I hope you find interesting.

And they do include dogs, Dickens and drink!

Enjoy.

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did you know4

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Research indicates that 42% of Americans

have tried marijuana at least once.

smoking_joint

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The Old Course at St. Andrews, Scotland

is considered to be the birth place of modern golf;

it has been played there since the 15th century.

Old-Course-Hotel-with-Golfe

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At the time ‘Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets’ was filmed,

the actress who played Hogwarts student ‘Moaning Myrtle’

was 37 years old.

Moaning Myrtle

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At any given time approximately 0.7%

of the world population is drunk,

in other words about 50 million people

are drunk right now.

Cheers!

drunks

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The town of Gibsonton, Florida is

a favorite retirement spot and official home of

people who have worked (or still do) in the circus industry.

The town is also famous for its many exceptional museums

on the carnival and circus lifestyle.

Gibsonton, Florida

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It has been estimated that

as many as 800,000 people

were involved in the construction

of the Great Wall of China.

Great Wall of China

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Orlando Serrell is what is known as an “acquired savant”.

He began to exhibit enhanced mental skills

after being hit on the side of the head by a baseball

when he was ten years old.

Since the accident he has been able to

remember the weather of every single day.

Orlando Serrell

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There are more than 12,000 known species of ants,

ranging in shape and color and size

from just 0.03 to 2 inches in length

ants

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Pluto’s surface is one of the coldest places in the solar system

at roughly minus 375 degrees F (minus 225 degrees C).

Pluto's surface

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 ‘Sergeant Stubby’ is the most decorated war dog of World War I

and the only dog in US history that was promoted to sergeant

because of his time in combat.

Stubby served for eighteen months and participated

in seventeen battles on the Western Front

during the course of which he saved his regiment

from many unexpected mustard gas attacks

and found and comforted several wounded soldiers.

It is also said that he once caught

a German spy by the seat of his pants,

holding him there until American soldiers

found and captured him.  

Sergeant Stubby Wearing Military Medals

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Fear on an empty glass

is called Cenosillicaphobia.

empty glass

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Every year in Finland, since 1992, there is a

‘Wife Carrying World Championship’

in which male competitors race through a

special obstacle course in the fastest time

while each carrying a female teammate.

Most competitors use the piggyback or fireman’s carry

technique, though a few prefer to go Estonian-style

where the wife hangs upside-down with her

legs around the husband’s shoulders,

holding onto his waist.

Wife Carrying World Championship

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In Tribeca, New York,

there is a Japanese Ninja Restaurant

where your meal will include Kung fu fire tricks,

sword-carrying waiters and exploding food.

Japanese Ninja Restaurant

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Charles Dickens and Edgar Allen Poe were pen friends

and even met once in Philadelphia

when Poe was 34-year-old and Dickens was 31.

Charles Dickens and Edgar Allen Poe

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On July 16, 1959, the Juno II rocket which was

meant to take the Explorer S1 satellite into orbit

was launched but after a few seconds the rocket

performed a near 180 degree flip

and hurtled back towards the launch pad.

The safety officer exploded the rocket

to protect those at the site.

From December 1958 to May 1961, five out of ten

Juno II rockets malfunctioned during launch.

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Did You Know? – A Foolish Fact Filled Tuesday!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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A foolish fact filled Tuesday?

I don’t know about that, but it is April Fool’s Day so anything is possible.

Nevertheless I hope there are at least a few things of interest in this lot.

Enjoy.

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did you know3

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Will Smith is now older than Uncle Phil

was at the beginning of “The Fresh Prince.”

will-smith-the-fresh-prince-of-bel-air

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There are more than 1,700 references to gems and

precious stones in the King James translation of the Bible.

precious stones

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Turning a clock’s hands counterclockwise

while setting it is not necessarily harmful.

It is only damaging when the timepiece

contains a chiming mechanism.

turning a clock's hands counterclockwise

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Cleopatra lived closer to the building

of Pizza Hut than the pyramids.

cleopatra

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Dentists have recommended that a toothbrush

be kept at least 6 feet (2 m) away from a toilet

to avoid airborne particles resulting from the flush.

Toothbrush and toilet

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South Africa has 11 official languages

– the most for a single country.

South Africa official languages

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The US has no official language.

(Comprende?)

us_language_melting_pot

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The citrus soda 7-UP was created in 1929;

“7” was selected because the original containers were 7 ounces.

“UP” indicated the direction of the bubbles.

7_up

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The highest point in Pennsylvania

is lower than the lowest point in Colorado.

colorado

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France was still executing people by guillotine

when Star Wars came out.

guillotine Star Wars

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The earliest recorded case

of a man giving up smoking was on April 5, 1679,

when Johan Katsu, Sheriff of Turku, Finland, wrote in his diary

“I quit smoking tobacco.”

He died one month later.

giving up smoking

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“Goodbye” came from “God bye”

which came from “God be with you.”

god_be_with_you

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Charlie Brown’s father was a barber.

Charlie-Browns-Dad-Was-A-Barber

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Every continent begins and ends in the same letter.

(I bet you never noticed that.)

Continents

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Every continent has a city called Rome.

(I bet you never noticed that either.)

Rome_title_card

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The Last Post – Of 2013.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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The Last Post Of 2013

31st December has rolled round again and so it’s time to bring 2013 to a close.

This is always an appropriate time to reflect on what has happened during the previous twelve months.

These are just some of the things I remember about 2013. It’s a personal choice and you may have thought of other things that could have been mentioned, but, in spite of the fact that the time seems to fly, a lot happens in the space of a year so only so much can be included.

Hope you find something of interest.

Enjoy.

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The Weather

As good a place as any to start since the weather is a constant topic of conversation at all times of the year.

Statistically 2013 appears to have been a year where major weather events were at a minimum. Not much comfort to those at the extreme end of that distribution curve and who suffered hardship and discomfort as the result of extreme weather.

But here are some of what I think are the most memorable weather events of 2013.

In January Malaysia, Indonesia and South-East Africa saw major flooding events caused by monsoon and other heavy rainstorms. It also saw Australia’s hottest month on record.

Malaysia floods

February saw the largest snowfall from a single storm ever recorded in the North-eastern United States. Major winter storms also affected central US states and even the Texas panhandle.

snow-snow-snow

In March New Zealand saw its worst drought in more than 30 years. China had its second warmest recorded March temperature, while in usually sunny Spain they had their wettest March on record with three times the average for the previous three decades.

New Zealand drought 2013

Contrast was the name of the game in the US in April with California experiencing drought conditions while in the Central US there was widespread flooding.

May was the wettest ever seen in China for forty years. Indeed it was a month of extremes with more than 1 million people evacuated from their homes as Tropical Cyclone Mahasan struck Bangladesh, while in the US the widest ever observed tornado hit Oklahoma bringing more than 20 deaths and widespread devastation.

oklahoma-tornado-wallpaper-2013

June was the hottest ever, Portugal, China, Hungary, Finland, and Britain, all recorded heat-waves, and the temperature in Death Valley, California hit 129.2F (54.0C), the hottest temperature ever recorded on Earth during June.

In July in the US 19 firefighters were killed trying to contain wildfires in Prescot Arizona.

Arizona firefighters

More contrasts later in the year with the 2013 Atlantic Ocean hurricane season being one of the weakest recorded in 50 years, with no major hurricanes in the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico or the Atlantic basin. Only Ingrid and Humberto out of the 13 named storms reached hurricane strength.

In the western-north Pacific on the other hand, 30 major storms had been recorded by early November, 13 of them typhoon-strength. The biggest was typhoon Haiyan, possibly the most powerful tropical cyclone to make landfall in recorded history, which smashed into the southern Philippines, killing at least 6,000 people and wreaking massive damage.  

typhoon Haiyan 2013

The end of the year saw the focus change to Europe, where a major depression moved eastwards from northwest Scotland to southern Sweden bringing strong winds of up to 142 mph and a massive tidal surge that affected coastal areas around the North Sea. In the UK thousands of people had to evacuate their homes along the east coast, where the coastal surge was the worst since 1953 with local flooding and some houses being washed into the sea as cliffs gave way. At least six people died by the time the winds moved finally down over northeast Europe.

storms uk 2013

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Scandals

2013 has been noted as a great year for scandal and corruption. Here are some of the highlights (or low lights perhaps?).

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In the food industry we had the Aflatoxin scandal, where throughout much of Europe contaminated milk and other food products were found to be ‘infested’ with this toxin.

Major supermarket retailers were the subject of another major scandal in the UK when they were found to be selling meat products labeled “100% beef” which were actually horse meat.

horse meat scandal

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In sport several Major League Baseball players were accused of obtaining performance-enhancing drugs, specifically human growth hormone, from the now-defunct rejuvenation clinic Biogenesis of America.

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However, undoubtedly the biggest scandal of 2013 was perpetrated by the US Government.

It was discovered during 2013, as the result of documents released by whistleblower Edward Snowden, that US Government agencies, in particular the NSA, had been guilty of a widespread snooping and spying campaign, even on its own citizens.

It was reminiscent of the old Soviet Union and the KGB, but it was happening in the “Land of the Free”. The snooping projects included “PRISM”, a clandestine mass electronic surveillance data mining program that collects stored Internet communications based on demands made to Internet companies such as Google; “Dropmire”, a secret surveillance program of surveillance of foreign embassies and diplomatic staff, including those of NATO allies; “Fairview”, a secret mass surveillance program used to collect phone, internet and e-mail data in bulk from the computers and mobile telephones of foreign countries’ citizens; “Hemisphere”, a mass surveillance program conducted by US telephone company AT&T and paid for by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy and the Drug Enforcement Administration; “MUSCULAR”, a surveillance program jointly operated by Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) and the NSA that was used to secretly break into the main communications links that connect Yahoo and Google data centers around the world; and “XKeyscore”, a formerly secret computer system used by the United States National Security Agency for searching and analyzing Internet data about foreign nationals across the world.

nsa-spying-scandal

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In 2013, the United States Department of Justice, under Attorney General Eric Holder, also came under scrutiny from the media and some members of Congress for subpoenaing phone records from the Associated Press and naming Fox News reporter, James Rosen, a “criminal co-conspirator” under the Espionage Act of 1917 in order to gain access to his personal emails and phone records.

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And the IRS was also condemned when it was revealed that it had targeted political groups applying for tax-exempt status for closer scrutiny based on their names or political themes.

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All in all a bad year for the reputation and standing of the US Government.

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In other countries perhaps the worst scandal of 2013 was “Danielgate”, a political scandal in which Mohammed VI, the King of Morocco, issued a pardon for a Spanish convicted serial child-rapist named Daniel Galván who was serving a 30 years prison sentence for the rape of at least 11 Moroccan children in Kenitra—a city where he had been living in since 2004.

The Pardon sparked unprecedented popular outrage in Morocco where several protests were held denouncing the monarch’s decision.

It was revealed later that this wasn’t the first time Mohammed VI had pardoned a convicted foreign paedophile, having pardoned Hervé Le Gloannec, a French citizen convicted of child rape and child pornography in 2006.

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In India a Ponzi scheme operated by the Saradha Group financial Group, a consortium of Indian companies that was believed to be running a wide variety of collective investment schemes, collapsed causing an estimated loss of INR 200–300 billion (US$4–6 billion) to over 1.7 million depositors.

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In politics there was the usual sex and drugs scandals during 2013. In May videos were exposed that showed Toronto Mayor Rob Ford smoking crack cocaine and commenting on political issues. Rob Ford consistently denied the existence of the video, and denied that he uses crack cocaine, remaining Mayor despite calls for him to step down. On November 5, 2013, Ford eventually admitted to smoking crack cocaine “probably in one of my drunken stupors”, and to hiding his drug abuse from his family, his staff and the people of Toronto, but pledged to continue on as Mayor.

Toronto Mayor Bob Ford

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Back in the US former member of the United States House of Representatives from New York City,  Anthony Weiner, was involved in another sexual scandal relating to sexting, or sending explicit sexual material by cell phone. First caught in the Weinergate scandal in 2011 that led to his resignation as a congressman, this idiot has learned nothing. During his attempt to return to politics as candidate for mayor of New York City,  Weiner admitted having sexted again, after more explicit pictures were published in July 2013.

Weiner Scandal Headlines

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Departures

As every year, 2013 saw many departures. Here are some of the better known faces that passed on during the year.

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Astronauts, C. Gordon Fullerton and Scott Carpenter.

astronauts fullerton-carpenter

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From politics, Ed Koch, U.S. Representative from New York (1969–1977) and Mayor of New York City (1978–1989), later a television judge in “The People’s Court”.

ed_koch 

Margaret Thatcher aka “The Iron Lady”, daughter of a greengrocer who became the first woman Prime Minister of the UK. 

 Margaret Thatcher

Hugo Chávez, Venezuelan politician and military officer and President since 1999.

Chavez

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Television and the movies also lost many well known characters including,

Conrad Bain, Canadian born and usually cast as the erudite gent, advice-spouting father or uptight, pompous neighbor, included roles in “Diff’rent Strokes”.

conrad-bain 

Michael Winner a director best known for dramatic and violent movies like “Death Wish” starring Charles Bronson.

Michael Winner 

Richard Briers, television comedy actor well known on British sitcoms such as “The Good Life” and “Ever Decreasing Circles”.

Richard Briers 

Dale Robertson who, after service during WWII in North Africa and Europe, became an actor and made his name in television Westerns in the 1950s and ’60s.

dale-robertson 

Richard Griffiths, a British character actor who came from radio and the classical stage.

Richard Griffiths 

Steve Forrest began his screen career as a small part contract player with MGM and made his name as an action man in the 1960’s and 70’s. He is a brother of star Dana Andrews.

Steve Forrest 

New Jersey-born James Gandolfini began acting in the New York theater, making his Broadway debut was in the 1992 revival of “A Streetcar Named Desire” with Jessica Lange and Alec Baldwin. James’ breakthrough role was his portrayal of Virgil the hitman in Tony Scott’s “True Romance”, but the role that made him a household name was as Tony Soprano in the award winning television series “The Sopranos”.

James-Gandolfini 

Gary David Goldberg was born in Brooklyn, New York but moved to Hollywood to try to make it as a writer. He was responsible for the hit series “Spin City”.

gary_david_goldberg 

Although Dennis Farina did not start acting until he was 37 years old, he achieved success as a character actor, often being cast as a cop or gangster.

Dennis Farina 

Eileen Brennan was a supremely gifted, versatile player who could reach dramatic depths, as exemplified in her weary-eyed, good-hearted waitress in “The Last Picture Show”, or comedy heights, as in her sadistic drill captain in “Private Benjamin”. Perhaps one of her best remembered performances was in the hit movie “The Sting” with Paul Newman and Roberts Redford and Shaw.

Eileen Brennan 

Lisa Robin Kelly first made her acting debut, at age 21, in a 1992 episode of “Married with Children”, and went on to guest-star in many popular television shows, such as “Murphy Brown”, “The X Files”, “Sisters and Silk Stalkings”. She got her biggest break in “Days Of Our Lives”.

Lisa Robin Kelly 

David Frost achieved success on both sides of the Atlantic, first in the UK and then in America. He is most remembered for his political interviews, particularly those with former US President Richard Nixon.

David_Frost 

In a film career that has extended for over four decades, Ed Lauter has starred in a plethora of film and television productions since making his big screen debut in the western “Dirty Little Billy”.

ed-lauter 

Hal Needham was the highest paid stuntman in the world. In the course of his career suffered many injuries breaking 56 bones, including his back twice, punctured a lung and knocked out a few teeth. His career has included work on 4500 television episodes and 310 feature films as a stuntman, stunt coordinator, 2nd unit director and ultimately, director. He wrote and directed some of the most financially successful action comedy films.

Hal Needham 

Robin Sachs, 61, was an English actor who made it into American television series such as “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”, “Galaxy Quest” and “Babylon 5”.

Robin Sachs 

Frank Thornton, was a British actor best remembered fot his role as “Captain Peacock” in the long running sitcom “Are You Being Served?”. He also appeared in “Last of the Summer Wine” and “Gosford Park”.

frank-thornton-capt-peacock 

Bryan Forbes, was another Briton and an accomplished actor (“The League of Gentlemen”), director (“The Stepford Wives”) and screenwriter (“Chaplin”)

brian_forbes 

Lewis Collins, was most famous and best loved for his role as action man “Bodie” in the television series “The Professionals”. He also starred in the terrorist hostage movie “Who Dares Wins” loosely based on the dramatic Iranian Embassy siege in London in 1980.

Lewis-Collins 

Paul William Walker who was killed in a car accident was an American actor and the founder of Reach Out Worldwide. He became famous in 1999 after his role in the hit film “Varsity Blues”, but later garnered fame as “Brian O’Conner” in “The Fast and the Furious” film series. His other well known works are “Eight Below”, “Running Scared”, “The Lazarus Project”, “Into the Blue”, “Joy Ride”, “She’s All That”, “Takers”, and “Hours”.

Paul-Walker 

Peter O’Toole, was a British-Irish actor with a reputation as a bit of a hell-raiser. Among his movie credits he starred in “Lawrence of Arabia”, “The Lion in Winter”, “Becket”, and “Troy”.

Peter O'Toole

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The music scene too has lost a few well known names during 2013. They include,

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Patti Page (born Clara Ann Fowler) toured the US in the late 1940s with Jimmy Joy, and notably sang with the Benny Goodman band in Chicago.

patti-page 

Patty Andrews and her sisters, Maxene and Laverne, were “The Andrews Sisters”, an American close harmony singing group of the swing and boogie-woogie eras. They accumulated 19 gold records and sales of nearly 100 million copies.

 patty_andrews_sisters

Lou Reed formed the group “The Velvet Underground” with Welsh multi-instrumentalist John Cale, second guitarist Sterling Morrison, and drummer Maureen Tucker in New York in 1965. The group soon became a part of Andy Warhol’s Factory scene, which housed a great number of experimental artists at the time.

 lou-reed

Never as famous as his namesake Elvis, Reg Presley was a British singer and songwriter. His group was called “The Troggs” and among many other hits, he composed “Love Is All Around” which was first a hit for the Troggs but made real fame by the group “Wet Wet Wet” when it featured in the movie “Four Weddings And A Funeral” and spent 15 weeks at number one in the UK charts in 1994.

reg-presley

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Sports best known departure during 2013 was former WBC world heavyweight champion boxer Ken Norton, remembered for his trilogy of fights with Muhammad Ali. He defeated Ali in their first bout by a fifteen round split-decision, a fight in which Norton famously broke Ali’s jaw. Norton also fought a classic battle with Larry Holmes over fifteen brutal rounds in 1978, a fight which ranks as one of the greatest heavyweight contests in boxing history. 

KEN_NORTON

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The world of Pubishing & Books saw several famous departures during 2013.

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Tom Clancy whose fiction works, “The Hunt for Red October”, “Patriot Games”, “Clear and Present Danger”, and “The Sum of All Fears”, have been turned into commercially successful movies with actors Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford, and Ben Affleck as Clancy’s most famous fictional character “Jack Ryan”.

Tom_Clancy_at_Burns_Library 

Robert Kee, British writer, journalist and broadcaster best known for his historical works on World War II and Ireland.

Robert Kee 

Steven Utley, was an American writer of poems, humorous essays and other non-fiction, but best known for his science fiction stories.

Steven Utley 

Dave Hunt was a Christian Evangelist speaker, radio commentator and author, in full-time ministry from 1973 until his death. He wrote numerous books on theology, prophecy, cults, and other religions, including critiques of Catholicism, Islam, Mormonism, and Calvinism, among others.

dave hunt 

Richard Matheson, was an American author and screenwriter, primarily in the fantasy, horror, and science fiction genres. Known best as the author of “I Am Legend”, a 1954 horror novel that has been adapted for the screen four times, five more of his novels or short stories have also been adapted as major motion pictures, namely “The Shrinking Man”, “Hell House”, “What Dreams May Come”, “Bid Time Return” (filmed as “Somewhere in Time”), “A Stir of Echoes” and “Button, Button”. Matheson also wrote numerous television episodes of “The Twilight Zone” for Rod Serling, including “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” and “Steel”. He later adapted his 1971 short story “Duel” as a screenplay which was promptly directed by a young Steven Spielberg, for the television movie of the same name.

Richard Matheson

William Stevenson, was a British-born Canadian writer, whose 1976 book “A Man Called Intrepid” was a best-seller and made into a 1979 mini-series starring David Niven. Stevenson followed it up with a 1983 book titled “Intrepid’s Last Case”. He published his autobiography in 2012. Stevenson is also noted for having set a record with another 1976 book, “90 Minutes at Entebbe”, about Operation Entebbe where Israeli commandos secretly landed at night at Entebbe Airport in Uganda and succeeded in rescuing the passengers of an airliner hi-jacked by Palestinian militants, while incurring very few casualties. The remarkable record is that in the pre-internet age Stevenson’s “instant book” was written, edited, printed and available for sale within weeks of the event it described.

Wm Stevenson

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Other notable people who died during 2013 include,

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Mikhail Kalashnikov, a Russian arms designer responsible for the AK-47 rifle, millions of which have been produced.

Mikhail Kalashnikov 

Roy Brown Jr., an American car design engineer responsible for designs such as the Edsel, and the much more successful Ford Consul and Ford Cortina

Roy Brown Jr with the Edsel

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More Random Samples From The Fasab Fact File

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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If its facts you want we have them!

So here is another selection.

If you can’t find something you don’t know in here then you know far too much.

Enjoy.

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did you know3

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“Kemo Sabe”, the name Tonto called The Lone Ranger

means “Soggy Shrub” in Navajo Indian.

The Tonto in Spanish means “a fool”.

Lone Ranger and Tonto

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Ketchup was sold in the 1830’s as medicine.

ketchup

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Killer whales have such a good sense of touch

that if you dropped a pill into a bucket

and feed it to the orca

it would eat the fish and spit out the pill.

Shamu_the_Killer_Whale_Sea_World_Orlando

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Kleenex tissues were originally used as filters in gas masks.

Kleenex

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Knitted socks discovered in Ancient Egyptian tombs

have been dated back as far as the 3rd century AD.

Oh mummy!

knitted socks

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Larry Lewis ran the 100 yard dash in 17.9 seconds in 1969,

there by setting a new world’s record

for runners in the 100 years or older class.

He was 101.

old-runner

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5% of Canadians don’t know the first 7 words of the Canadian anthem,

but know the first 9 of the American anthem.

Canadian Anthem

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7% of Americans don’t know the first 9 words of the American anthem,

but know the first 7 of the Canadian anthem.

American Anthem

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85,000,000 tons of paper are used each year in the U.S.

paper

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99% of the solar system’s mass is concentrated in the sun.

sun-etc

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There is a company in Taiwan makes dinnerware

out of wheat, so you can eat your plate.

wheat dinnerware

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About 70% of Americans who go to college

do it just to make more money.

(The rest are just avoiding reality for four more years.)

college

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America once issued a 5-cent bill.

5 Cent Bill

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The Aztec emperor Montezuma had a nephew named Cuitlahuac,

whose name meant “plenty of excrement.”

Now there’s revenge for you!

cuitlahuac_realista

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Clans of long ago that wanted to get rid of

their unwanted people without killing them

used to burn their houses down

– hence the expression “to get fired.”

youre-fired

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Donald Duck comics were banned from Finland

because he doesn’t wear pants

– the little pecker!

donald_duck

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Marijuana is not as chemically addictive

as is nicotine, alcohol, or caffeine.

One of the reasons marijuana is illegal today

is because in the 1930’s cotton growers lobbied against

hemp farmers whom they saw it as competition.

marijuana-leaf

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Special playing cards were issued to British pilots in WWII.

If captured, they could be soaked in water

and unfolded to reveal a map for escape.

map-card

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The three best-known western names in China are

Jesus Christ, Richard Nixon, and Elvis Presley.

Nixon and Elvis

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Lady Astor once told Winston Churchill,

‘If you were my husband, I would poison your coffee’.

To which Churchill replied,

‘If you were my wife, I would drink it’.

Astor vs Churchill

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Significant Number Factoid Friday – Today Number Forty 40

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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The factoid number for this Friday is forty. As usual there is more associated with it than you might think. Whatever your interest you will probably find something in here that you didn’t know about the number forty.

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The Number Forty 40

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40

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In religion

40 is probably the most frequently used number in the Bible and corresponds to many major events. For example,

  • During the great flood it rained for forty days and forty nights [Genesis 7:4, 12, 17,8:6].
  • Isaac was forty years of age when he married Rebekah [Genesis 25:20].
  • Moses’ life is divided into three 40-year segments, separated by his fleeing from Egypt, and his return to lead his people out.
  • Moses spent three consecutive periods of “forty days and forty nights” on Mount Sinai; during the forty days during which he received the Law of the Sinai Covenant [Exodus 24:18], the children of Israel were tested [Exodus 32:1].
  • The Hebrew people lived in the Sinai desert for “forty years”. This period of years represents the time it takes for a new generation to arise.
  • Forty days after his birth a male child of Israel was dedicated to God at the Sanctuary [Leviticus 12:1-4].
  • The Israelite spies reconnoitered the land of Canaan for forty days [Numbers 13:25]; and Caleb was forty years of age when Moses sent him to reconnoiter Canaan [Joshua 14:7].
  • There were forty year intervals of peace in the age of the Judges (Judges 3:11; 5:31; 8:28)
  • There were forty years of war between Israel and the Philistines.
  • Several Jewish leaders and kings are said to have ruled for “forty years”, that is, a generation. (Examples: Eli, Saul, David, Solomon.)
  • Goliath challenged the Israelites twice a day for forty days before David defeated him.
  • 40 lashes is one of the punishments meted out by the Sanhedrin, though in actual practice only 39 lashes were administered.
  • Jesus fasted in the wilderness for forty days before His temptation [Matthew 4:2; Mark 1:13; Luke 4:2].
  • Jesus taught His disciples for forty days after the Resurrection. On the fortieth day He ascended to the Father [Acts 1:3].
  • In modern Christian practice, Lent consists of the 40 days preceding Easter. In much of Western Christianity, Sundays are excluded from the count; in Eastern Christianity, Sundays are included.

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  • In Islamic belief Muhammad was forty years old when he first received the revelation delivered by the archangel Gabriel.
  • Masih ad-Dajjal roams around the Earth in forty days, a period of time that can be as many as forty months, forty years, and so on.
  • The Quran says that a person is only fully grown when they reach the age of 40.

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  • Some Russians believe that ghosts of the dead linger at the site of their death for forty days.

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  • In Hinduism, some popular religious prayers consist of forty shlokas or dohas (couplets, stanzas). The most common being the Hanuman Chalisa (chaalis is the Hindi term for 40).
  • In Hindu system some of the popular fasting period consist 40 days and is called the period One ‘Mandl kal’ Kal means a period and Mandal kal means a period of 40 days. For example the devotees of ‘Swami Ayyappa’, the name of a Hindu God very popular in Kerala, India ( Sabarimala Swami Ayyappan ) strictly observed forty days fasting and visit ( Only male devotees are permitted to enter into the God’s Temple) with their holy submittance or offerings on 41st or a convenient day after a minimum 40 days practice of fasting. The offering is called ‘Kanikka’.

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In science

  • Forty is the atomic number of zirconium.
  • Negative forty is the unique temperature at which the Fahrenheit and Celsius scales correspond; that is, -40°F=-40°C. It is referred to as either “minus forty” or “forty below”.
Negative forty  -40°F=-40°C
Negative forty -40°F=-40°C

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In space

  • The planet Venus forms a pentagram in the night sky every eight years with it returning to its original point every 40 years with a 40 day regression (some scholars believe that this ancient information was the basis for the number 40 becoming sacred to Jews, Christians, and Muslims).
planet venus
planet Venus

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  • Messier object M40, is a magnitude 9.0 double star in the constellation Ursa Major
Messier Object M40
Messier Object M40

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  • STS-40
  • Although designated STS-40, this was in fact the 41st flight of the Space Shuttle and the 11th flight of Columbia. Its mission was to conduct the Spacelab Life Sciences (SLS-1) experiments, the first spacelab dedicated to life sciences research. This included experiments that explored how the heart, blood vessels, lungs, kidneys and hormone-secreting glands respond to microgravity, the causes of space sickness and changes in muscles, bones and cells during the microgravity environment of space flight and in the readjustment to gravity upon returning to Earth.
  • Launch took place on June 5, 1991, 9:24:51 a.m. EDT. It was originally set for May 22,1991, but postponed less than 48 hours before launch when it became known that a leaking liquid hydrogen transducer in orbiter main propulsion system which was removed and replaced during a leak testing in 1990, had failed an analysis by vendor. Engineers feared that one or more of the nine liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen transducer protruding into fuel and oxidizer lines could break off and be ingested by the engine turbopumps, causing engine failure.
  • In addition, one of orbiter five general purpose computers failed completely, along with one of the multiplexer demultiplexers that control orbiter hydraulics ordinance and orbiter maneuvering system / reaction control system functions in aft compartment.
  • New general purpose computer and multiplexer demultiplexer were installed and tested. One liquid hydrogen and two liquid oxygen transducers were replaced upstream in propellant flow system near 17-inch disconnect area, which is protected by internal screen. Three liquid oxygen transducers replaced at engine manifold area, while three liquid hydrogen transducers here were removed and openings plugged. Launch reset for 8 a.m. EDT, June 1, but postponed again after several attempts to calibrate inertial measurement unit 2 failed. Unit was replaced and retested, and launch was rescheduled for June 5. Launch Weight: 251,970 lbs.
  • The Commander STS-40 was Marine Corps Col. Bryan D. O’Connor. Other crew, Air Force Lt. Col. Sidney M. Gutierrez (Pilot), James P. Bagian, M.D.; Tamara E. Jernigan, Ph.D.; and Margaret Rhea Seddon, M.D. The payload specialists, Francis Andrew Gaffney, M.D., and Millie Hughes-Fulford, Ph.D.

sts-40-patch

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In politics

  • South Dakota ranks 16th in size among the 50 states. It was the 40th state to join the Union in 1889. South Dakota encompasses 77,123 square miles, averaging 10 people per square mile.
South Dakota State flag
South Dakota State flag
  • Ronald Reagan, former actor and Governor of California (1967-75) was the fortieth President of the United States of America, from January 20, 1981 to January 20, 1989. His Vice President was George H. W. Bush.
Ronald Reagan 40th President of the United States of America
Ronald Reagan 40th President of the United States of America
  • Reagan’s Presidency was notable for at least two incidents.
  • On March 30, 1981, only 69 days into the new administration, Reagan, his press secretary James Brady, Washington police officer Thomas Delahanty, and Secret Service agent Timothy McCarthy were struck by gunfire from would-be assassin John Hinckley, Jr. outside the Washington Hilton Hotel. Although “close to death” during surgery, Reagan recovered and was released from the hospital on April 11, becoming the first serving U.S. President to survive being shot in an assassination attempt. The attempt had great influence on Reagan’s popularity; polls indicated his approval rating to be around 73%. Reagan believed that God had spared his life so that he might go on to fulfill a greater purpose.
  • A couple of videos, the first rather long but interesting in that it shows the live story of the assassination attempt developing, and the second President Reagan recounting the assassination attempt from his personal perspective.

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  • Another controversial incident involving President Reagan happened in summer of 1981 when PATCO, the union of federal air traffic controllers, went on strike, violating a federal law prohibiting government unions from striking. Reagan declared the situation an emergency as described in the 1947 Taft–Hartley Act, and stated that if the air traffic controllers “do not report for work within 48 hours, they have forfeited their jobs and will be terminated”. They did not return and on August 5, Reagan fired 11,345 striking air traffic controllers who had ignored his order, and used supervisors and military controllers to handle the nation’s commercial air traffic until new controllers could be hired and trained. As a leading reference work on public administration concluded, “The firing of PATCO employees not only demonstrated a clear resolve by the president to take control of the bureaucracy, but it also sent a clear message to the private sector that unions no longer needed to be feared.”

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In sport

  • In football (soccer), forty is generally considered to be the number of points that a Premier League team (or, by extension, a team in any 20-team league with a standard home-and-away season) needs to avoid relegation.
  • In baseball, each team in Major League Baseball is allowed to have 40 players under major-league contracts at any given time (not including players on the 60-day disabled list). From September 1 to the end of the regular season, teams are allowed to expand their game-day rosters to include the entire 40-man roster.
  • In tennis, the number 40 represents the third point gained in a game. A score of 40-40 (three points each) is called “deuce”, at which time a player must score two consecutive points to win the game.

deuce

  • Beginning with the 2013 season, forty cars will run each race in NASCAR’s second-level Nationwide Series.
  • The jersey number 40 has been retired by several North American sports teams in honor of past playing greats or other key figures:
  • In Major League Baseball: the Houston Astros, for Don Wilson; the Pittsburgh Pirates, for Danny Murtaugh, most noted as the team’s longtime manager.

Danny Murtaugh

  • In the NBA: the Denver Nuggets, for Byron Beck; the Detroit Pistons, for Bill Laimbeer.
Byron Beck
Byron Beck
  • In the NFL: the Arizona Cardinals, for Pat Tillman; the Chicago Bears, for Hall of Famer Gale Sayers; the New England Patriots, for Hall of Famer Mike Haynes; the New York Giants, for Joe Morrison; the Philadelphia Eagles, for Tom Brookshier.
Gale Sayers
Gale Sayers

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In militaria

  • Curtiss P-40 Warhawk
  • Manufactured by Curtiss-Wright Corporation of Buffalo, New York and designed by Donovan Berlin, the Curtiss P-40 Warhawk’s first flight was on 14 October 1938. Over 13,700 were built and during its twenty year life it was used by the United States Army Air Forces, the Royal Air Force, Royal Australian Air Force, Royal Canadian Air Force, Royal New Zealand Air Force, and many others. A single-engine, single-seat, all-metal fighter and ground attack aircraft, it was used extensively by most Allied powers during World War II, and remained in front line service until the end of the war.
  • The British Commonwealth and Soviet air forces used the name Tomahawk for models equivalent to the P-40B and P-40C, and the name Kittyhawk for models equivalent to the P-40D and all later variants.
Curtiss P-40E Warhawk USAF
Curtiss P-40E Warhawk USAF

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  • PPD40
  • The PPD (Pistolet-Pulemyot Degtyarova) was developed by famous Russian small arms designer Fedor Degtyarov. It was formally adopted by the Red Army in 1935 and entered limited production as the PPD-34. Made in small numbers, it was mostly relegated for NKVD use, mostly for border guards. Slightly modified in 1938, it was then produced until 1939 in PPD-34/38 variation, with newly developed 71 rounds drum with long neck.
  • After the Winter War experience (1940 war between USSR and Finland), new version of PPD has been rapidly developed, with the most visible change being the two-part stock, cut to accept new pattern of drums, which had no neck. This became the PPD-40.
  • After the outbreak of the Great Patriotic Warin 1941, it was soon been discovered that the PPD-40 is less than ideal for wartime production, so it was quickly replaced by the more efficient and inexpensive PPSh-41, which appeared in great numbers and was widely used by Red Army.
Pistolet-Pulemyot Degtyarova PPD40
Pistolet-Pulemyot Degtyarova PPD40

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  • MP40
  • One of the most famous submachine gun designs in history, the M.P. 38 submachine gun started its life under requirements from German Heereswaffenamt (HWA, Army Weapons Office), which saw the need for a compact submachine gun, suitable for use by armored vehicles crews and paratroopers.
  • German arms-making company Erfurter Maschinenfabrik Gmbh, better known under its trade name Erma, began the development of a new weapon under HWA specifications. It was manufactured for just 2 years, when it was replaced in production by externally similar, but less expensive MP-40, which used more stamped parts instead of machined parts, found in MP-38.
  • There also were minor variations in design of MP-38, such as shape of cocking handle etc. MP-40 was also produced in a number of variations, which differed in shape of certain parts; also, toward the end of the war, several production shortcuts were introduced to save the costs of manufacturing. probably the most interesting variation of the MP-40 were the MP-40-II and MP-40-II. These guns featured dual magazine housings which hold two magazines in a laterally sliding bracket. This increase the total ammunition capacity “in the gun” to 64 rounds, in a desperate attempt to catch up with 71-round magazine capacity of Soviet PPSh-41. The later variant, MP-40-II, was made in limited numbers, but turned out to be a failure – sliding dual-magazine housing was a constant source of jams and failures, and was very sensitive to dirt and fouling.
  • Nevertheless, the MP-40 submachine guns were of good design, and set the pattern for so called “second generation” of submachine guns (“first generation” being represented by the wood-stocked and carefully machined MP-18, MP-28 and the like). The second generation weapons usually were of compact design, and made using mostly steel stampings and pressings, or castings.
  • Many MP-40 that survived the WW2, continued to serve up until late 1970s or early 1980s, in few European armies such as Austrian or Norwegian.

MP-40

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  • Taurus MP40
  • During the 1990s Taurus replaced in production its MT-12A submachine gun (licensed copy of the Beretta PM-12) with another foreign design, this time purchased from Chile.
  • Originally known as the FAMAE SAF, in Brazil it is made in a slightly modified form as the Taurus MT-9 (in 9mm Luger) and MT-40 (in .40SW, especially for the Brazilian police forces that favor this caliber). In this case, the MT index stands for Metralhadora Taurus – Taurus Submachine gun, and the digits denote a caliber.
  • Taurus also makes an interesting offshoot of the MT-40, the CT-40 semi-automatic carbine, which is also intended for police and security use but is restricted to semi-automatic fire and has somewhat longer barrel.

Taurus MP40

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  • SVT-40
  • The SVT-38 (Samozaryadnaya Vintovka Tokareva – Tokarev Self-loading rifle) was originally adopted in the 1938 after more than 20 years of the research and development, done by famous Russian arms designer Fedor Tokarev. 
  • This rifle was made in relatively large numbers (more than 1 million made prior to 1945), and was originally issued as a standard infantry rifle, replacing the obsolete Mosin-Nagant M1891/30 bolt action rifles. A few SVT-40 were also manufactured in the sniper variant, (only about 50 000) equipped with scope mounts and telescopic sights, but accuracy was not sufficient. 
  • The SVT-40 had a somewhat controversial reputation. It was highly regarded by the enemies (Finns and Germans) and it was a very sought-after war trophy, re-issued to both German and Finnish troops. On the other hand, it was often considered unreliable and over-complicated by the Soviet troops (when comparing with old Mosin-Nagant rifles), but it was more to the poor training and maintenance, than to the rifle itself. Some better trained and educated Soviet troops, such as Sea Infantry (Marines, which always were some kind of elite in the Soviet army) used the SVT-40 with great deal of success.

SVT40

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  • Husqvarna M/40
  • The ‘Luger-like’ L-35 pistol was developed by the Finnish designer Aimo Lahti and manufactured by Finnish company VKT from 1935 until 1985 or so. It was adopted as a standard sidearm for Finnish army in 1935. 
  • In 1940, Sweden purchased a license for Lahti pistol, simplified it and began production as a Husqvarna M/40 pistol. Due to simplification and poor quality of steel used in M/40, these guns tended to crack when fired 9mm “submachinegun” ammunition, and also M/40 were less reliable than original L-35s, so in the 1980s almost all M/40s were recalled from military service and replaced by older m/07 pistol (licensed Browning M1903 pistols) as an emergency feature.

Husqvarna M40

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  • HK-UMP40
  • The UMP (Universal Machinen-Pistole = Universal Submachine Gun) had been developed by the Heckler & Koch company of Germany in the mid- to late- 1990s and first appeared on the markets in 1999. The key idea behind the UMP was to create a lightweight and powerful submachine gun, that was also cheaper than one of the H&K’s flagships, the MP-5. UMP, being targeted primary for USA law enforcement market, first appeared in .45ACP and .40SW chamberings, and later – in 9mm. 
  • The UMP is a blowback-operated select-fire submachine gun, being fired from the closed bolt. The receiver is made from the polymer, the controls are fully ambidextrous. UMP can be fired in full-auto, in single shots, and in 2 or 3 round bursts (optional). UMP also has bolt hold-open device, which traps the bolt in the open position when the last round from magazine had been fired. UMP has side-folding buttstock and two set of picatinny rails – one on the top of the receiver, and the other – on the forend. These rails can accept wide variety of sighting and other equipment, such as red-dot sights, laser pointers, tactical grips and flashlights. The barrel has quick mount for snap-on silencer.
Heckler & Koch Universal Machinen-Pistole
Heckler & Koch Universal Machinen-Pistole

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In books, music and movies

  • Forty Shades of Green is a visual term for rural Ireland, Johnny Cash popularised it with his 1961 song of the name.
  • “40” is a 1983 song by U2 from their album War
  • “40′” is the title of a song by Franz Ferdinand
  • The American-Japanese rock band Crush 40 from Sega’s Sonic the Hedgehog video game series with Hardline vocalist Johnny Gioeli and guitarist Jun Senoue
  • Canadian hip-hop producer Noah Shebib is known as “40”.
  • A well known radio program is the American Top 40
  • Rick Dees hosts a Weekly Top 40 radio program
  • The best known story from a Thousand and One Nights is Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves which has been made in movie and cartoon versions

ali baba and the forty thieves

  • Movies with ’40’ in their titles include 
  • “40 Carats”, about a forty year old woman who was vacationing in Greece
  • “40 Days and Nights”, a modern take on a Noah’s Ark tale
  • “The 40 Year Old Virgin”, a comedy about, well, a 40 year old virgin

The 40 Year Old Virgin

  • “This is 40”, a sequel to the 2007 movie ‘Knocked Up’ about at the lives of characters Pete and Debbie a few years on. 

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Other stuff

  • The expression “forty winks”, meaning a short sleep
  • There is the famous Saying “Life begins at forty”
  • Forty years of marriage is a ruby wedding anniversary
  • The international direct dial phone code for Romania is 40
  • The number of weeks for an average term of pregnancy, counting from the woman’s last menstrual period is forty.
  • There is an Arabic proverb that says, ‘To understand a people, you must live among them for 40 days.’
  • A regular work week in some western countries consists of forty hours.
  • There are forty spaces in a standard Monopoly game board

monopoly board

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And finally,

Last, but definitely not least, perhaps one of the greatest ever inventions also carries the ’40’ tag. It is WD-40.

WD-40 is the trademark name of a penetrating oil and water-displacing spray, developed in 1953 by Norm Larsen, founder of the Rocket Chemical Company, in San Diego, California.

The term ‘WD-40’, is an abbreviation of the phrase “Water Displacement, 40th formula”.

Larsen was attempting to create a formula to prevent corrosion in nuclear missiles, by displacing the standing water that causes it. He claims he arrived at a successful formula, which is primarily composed of various hydrocarbons, on his 40th attempt.

WD-40 was first used by Convair to protect the outer skin, and more importantly, the paper thin “balloon tanks” of the Atlas missile from rust and corrosion.

WD-40 first became commercially available on store shelves in San Diego in 1958

WD40 product range
The WD40 product range

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