Ugh, Communism Just Has No Class.

 “Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Communism may have no class but clever word play certainly does.

That’s our cue for another Pun Day.

Enjoy or endure!

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rofl

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I’m against picketing,

but I don’t know how to show it.

against picketing

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I saw a man walking along the street

with a t-shirt that said ‘Free Hugs’.

I don’t know who ‘Hugs’ is,

but I’m sure they should release him.

t-shirt 'Free Hugs'

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I went for a job interview at 

my local sandwich shop today.

As an aptitude test, the shop owner

asked me to make a beef sandwich

using only a spoon.

Unfortunately I didn’t get the job

– I couldn’t cut the mustard.

sandwich shop

 

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A committee is a group of people

who keep minutes and lose hours.

A committee

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I was given the sack at work last month.

I suppose you have to expect that

when you play Santa Clause.

play Santa Clause

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I can’t speak for anyone else,

but I think I’m a terrible ventriloquist.

terrible ventriloquist

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My girlfriend talked me into putting

table salt into my bath today.

I think I’ve been brine washed.

table salt into my bath

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I saw a strange white bear at the zoo today.

It was mating with a female bear then it

suddenly it tried mating with a male bear.

I think it’s Bi Polar.

white bear at the zoo

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Never employ someone who’s obsessed with graphs.

They’ll always be plotting behind your back.

graph

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I got a real telling off yesterday

when we were visiting grandma.

She has a very hairy upper lip

and when we were leaving, she asked

me why I wouldn’t kiss her good bye.

Apparently my answer, “Sorry, must-dash,”

wasn’t the best choice of words.

hairy upper lip

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How does an angry Muslim close a door?

Islams it.

door slam

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I’ve just seen a sign in the post office that said

“Stamps sold by the book”.

It’s good to know that someone follows the rules.

book of stamps

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I decided to open an

exclusive hotel and casino

for people who have epilepsy.

It’s called Seizure’s Palace.

Seizure's Palace

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I went to the pet shop to buy some breeding birds.

The cashier said, “Have you got a store card?”

I said, “No but I did get a budgie excited once.”

pet shop

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My friend has just rung to say

he’s bought a bubble car.

He’s going to pop round in it later.

bubble car

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Significant Number Factoid Friday – Today The Number Is Twenty-Five 25

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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It’s been a while since I did a number factoid.

My only excuse is the time it takes to compile these, which I haven’t managed to find for a few months, so if you missed them my apologies.

However, there is one today, so if you like this sort of thing I hope you enjoy.

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The Number 25

25

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In religion

  • In the Bible the number twenty-five is of cardinal importance in Ezekiel’s Temple Vision (Ezekiel 40-48).
  • Twenty-five is also seen near God’s throne in heaven. God’s throne, plus the thrones of the twenty-four elders, makes for 25 total. (Revelation 4:1-4)
  • Twenty-five pictures ‘grace upon grace.’ Redemption (20) plus grace (5) also equals 25. (John 1:14, 16-17)
  • Levites were to begin serving at age 25 in assisting with sacrifices — which were a physical type of forgiveness and redemption for the people.
  • Jehoshaphat, considered one of the best kings to rule the Kingdom of Judah, reigned for 25 years (872 – 848 B.C.).

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  • In Islam, there are twenty-five prophets mentioned in the Quran.

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In mathematics

  • 25 is a square number, being 5² = 5 × 5.
  • 25 is the smallest square that is also a sum of two squares: 25 = 3² + 4². Hence it often appears in demonstrations of the Pythagorean theorem.

pythagoras-3-4-5

  • 25 percent is equal to 1/4.
  • Within base 10 one can readily test for divisibility by 25 by seeing if the last two digits of the number match 25, 50, 75 or 00.
  • In base 30, 25 is a 1-automorphic number (displayed as the numeral ‘P’ or ‘R’ dependant on the chosen digit set), and in base 10 a 2-automorphic number.

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In science and technology

  • Atomic Number of Manganese (Mn) = 25  (25 protons & 25 electrons)
  • It is part of the name of LSD-25 molecule
  • 25 is the usual TCP port for SMTP.
  • 25 is the per-second frame rate of the PAL video standard
  • And probably most significant of all, the internet or world wide web turned 25 this year!

world wide web is 25 this year

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In space

  • Open Cluster M25 (also known as Messier Object 25 or IC 4725) is an open cluster in the constellation Sagittarius. It was discovered by Philippe Loys de Chéseaux in 1745 and included in Charles Messier’s list in 1764.
  • NGC 25 is a lenticular galaxy situated in the Phoenix constellation
  • The Sun rotates once in 25 days near the poles and about 30 days near its equator.
  • 25 is the number of days approximately that takes the sun to do a complete rotation on itself.

sun

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In politics

  • William McKinley (January 29, 1843 – September 14, 1901) was the 25th President of the United States, serving from March 4, 1897, until his assassination in September 1901, six months into his second term. McKinley led the nation to victory in the Spanish–American War, raised protective tariffs to promote American industry, and maintained the nation on the gold standard in a rejection of inflationary proposals. He was also the last President to have served during the Civil War.

25th US President Wm McKinley jnr

  • The Twenty-fifth Amendment (Amendment XXV) to the United States Constitution deals with succession to the Presidency and establishes procedures both for filling a vacancy in the office of the Vice President, as well as responding to Presidential disabilities. It supersedes the ambiguous wording of Article II, Section 1, Clause 6 of the Constitution, which does not expressly state whether the Vice President becomes the President, as opposed to an Acting President, if the President dies, resigns, is removed from office or is otherwise unable to discharge the powers of the presidency. The Twenty-fifth Amendment was adopted on February 23, 1967.
  • 25 is the minimum age of candidates for election to the United States House of Representatives.
  • 25 is the (critical) number of Florida electoral votes for the 2000 U.S. presidential election
  • 25 is the number of the French department Doubs

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In books, music, movies and TV

  • “25” is a song by Veruca Salt from their 1994 album American Thighs.
  • “25th Floor” is a song by Patti Smith Group from their 1978 album Easter.
  • Twenty Five is the name of a 2006 George Michael compilation celebrating 25 years in the music business (1981–2006).
  • “In the Year 2525 (Exordium et Terminus)” is a 1969 hit song by the American pop-rock duo of Zager and Evans. It reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100.
  • The 25th Hour is a MGM film (1967) with screen-play by Henri Verneuil based on C. Virgil Gheorghiu’s novel.
  • Not forgetting our old friend, “Buck Rogers in the 25th Century”

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In sport

  • Twenty-five is the value of the outer bullseye on a dart board.
  • Twenty-five is the size of the full roster on a Major League Baseball team for most of the season, except for regular-season games on or after September 1, when teams may expand their roster to no more than 40 players.
  • In baseball, the number 25 is typically reserved for the best slugger on the team. Examples include Mark McGwire, Barry Bonds, and Mark Teixeira.

MarkTeixeira

  • The number of points needed to win a set in volleyball under rally scoring rules (except for the fifth set), so long as the losing team’s score is two less than the winning team’s score (i.e., if the winning team scores 25 points, the losing team can have no more than 23 points).
  • In U.S. college football, schools that are members of NCAA Division I FBS are allowed to provide athletic scholarships to a maximum of 25 new football players (i.e., players who were not previously receiving scholarships) each season.
  • In the NBA the number 25 jersey has been retired by the Boston Celtics for K. C. Jones; by the Cleveland Cavaliers for Mark Price; by the Los Angeles Lakers for Gail Goodrich; and by the Washington Wizards for Gus Johnson (the team was then known as the Baltimore Bullets).
  • In the NHL the number 25 jersey has been retired by the  Winnipeg Jets for Thomas Steen.

Thomas-Steen

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In automotive and transportation

  • In the United States 25 is the designation of United States Interstate 25, a freeway that runs from New Mexico to Wyoming.
  • In Britain M25 is the designation of the London Orbital motorway.

map-of-the-m25-motorway-junctions

  • And in Russia Municipal Okrug 25, until March, 2010, was the name of Knyazhevo Municipal Okrug in Kirovsky District of Saint Petersburg.

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  • The Carlsson C25 Supercar
  • Carlsson’s first supercar, the C25, made its debut at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show. With a limited run of 25 units, the C25 is powered by a twin-turbocharged V12 engine that generates 753 hp (562 kW) and 848 ft·lbf (1,150 N·m) of torque. Estimated acceleration from 0–100 km/h (62 mph) in 3.7 seconds and top speed is 219 mph. (355 km/h).

carlsson-c25-xl

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  • Donkervoort Prototype J25
  • Under the code name J25, Donkervoort developed – right before its 25 year jubilee – a completely new car. This model went a step further in its styling than its predecessors the S8 and D8. The, for that period, very modern lines and a number of details, such the little doors and nose used, were derived from the D20. The J25 was also the first Donkervoort to be produced with 270 bhp.

Donkervoort J25

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  • Infiniti G25
  • Infiniti debuted the G25 sedan at the 2010 Paris Auto Show. The G25 is powered by a 2.5 L V6 VQ25HR producing 218 hp (163 kW) and 187 lb·ft (254 N·m) of torque. The G25’s JDM relative, the Nissan Skyline 250 GT Sedan which features the same engine, had been on sale for several years already.

infiniti-g25

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  • BMW R25
  • The 1951 the 250cc R25 single was BMW’s first postwar single-cylinder motorcycle with a rear suspension.

BMW R25

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  • Yamaha R25
  • The Yamaha R25 is the first motorcycle by Yamaha in the 250cc segment. It is a 2-cylinder, liquid cooled motorcycle, using an advanced fuel injection system. It also has a tubular chassis with telescopic front suspension.

Yamaha-YZF-R25-Sports-Motorcycle-Render

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  • C25 Standard RV
  • The C25 is a traditional motorhome with the self-contained features you expect, including most with a power generator in the USA.

c25-rv

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  • David Brown DB25 Tractor
  • David Brown developed the 25hp and 30hp engine, and so the DB25 and DB30 tractors came into existence, lasting from 1953-58. The petrol/TVO models were known as the David Brown 25C and 30C, while they called the diesel versions 25D and 30D. They are still collected and restored by enthusiasts today.

David Brown D25 tractor

 

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J25 Steam Engine

The NER Class P1 (LNER Class J25) was a class of 0-6-0 steam locomotives of the North Eastern Railway in Great Britain. Class P1 was a development of Class P, having a boiler four inches longer, and a firebox six inches longer. To accommodate these, the wheelbase was increased by nine inches. The cylinder stroke was also increased by two inches.

W Worsdell J25 steam engine

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In militaria

  • B-25 Mitchell
  • Named in honor of General Billy Mitchell, a pioneer of U.S. military aviation, the B-25 Mitchell was an American twin-engined medium bomber manufactured by North American Aviation that saw service over four decades. By the end of its production, nearly 10,000 B-25s in numerous models had been built.
  • It was used by many Allied air forces, in every theater of World War II, as well as many other air forces after the war ended, including The Royal Air Force (RAF), Royal Canadian Air Force, Royal Australian Air Force, Dutch Air Force, Soviet Air Force, China Air Force, Brazilian Air Force,  and by the Free French.

B25-bomber

  • However, the incident for which the B-25 is perhaps best known is one that happened in America. At 9:40 on Saturday, 28 July 1945, a USAAF B-25D crashed in thick fog into the north side of the Empire State Building between the 79th and 80th floors.
  • Fourteen people died – eleven in the building and the three occupants of the aircraft including the pilot, Colonel William Smith.
  • Betty Lou Oliver, an elevator attendant, survived the impact and a subsequent uncontrolled descent in the elevator.
  • Partly as a result of this incident, Towers 1 and 2 of the World Trade Center were designed to withstand an aircraft impact. However, this design was based on an impact by a Boeing 707 aircraft in common use in the late 1960s and early 1970s, not the larger Boeing 767, two of which, (American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175), struck the towers on September 11, 2001, resulting in their eventual collapse.

B25 empire-state

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  • Boeing VC-25
  • The Boeing VC-25 is the United States Air Force designation for a military version of the Boeing 747 airliner. The A-model (VC-25A) is the only variant of the VC-25.
  • The VC-25 is most famous for its role as Air Force One, the call sign of any U.S. Air Force aircraft carrying the President of the United States. The two aircraft currently in U.S. service are highly modified versions of Boeing’s 747-200B, with tail numbers 28000 and 29000.
  • Although the Air Force One designation technically applies to the aircraft only while the President is aboard, the term is commonly applied to the VC-25s more generally.
  • They often operate in conjunction with Marine One helicopters that ferry the President to airports in circumstances where a vehicle motorcade would be inappropriate.

Boeing VC-25 Air_Force_One_over_Mt._Rushmore

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  • MIG-25
  • The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-25 is a supersonic interceptor and reconnaissance aircraft that was among the fastest military aircraft to enter service.
  • It was designed by the Soviet Union’s Mikoyan-Gurevich bureau. The first prototype flew in 1964, and the aircraft entered into service in 1970.
  • It has a top speed of Mach 2.83 (as high as Mach 3.2, but at risk of significant damage to the engines), and features a powerful radar and four air-to-air missiles.
  • When first seen in reconnaissance photography, the large wing planform suggested an enormous and highly maneuverable fighter. This was during a period of time when U.S. design theories were also evolving towards higher maneuverability due to combat performance in the Vietnam War.
  • The capabilities of the MiG-25 were better understood in 1976 when Soviet pilot Viktor Belenko defected in a MiG-25 to the United States via Japan. It turned out that the weight of the aircraft necessitated large wings.
  • Production of the MiG-25 series ended in 1984 after completion of 1,190 aircraft. A symbol of the Cold War, the MiG-25 flew with Soviet allies and former Soviet republics, remaining in limited service in Russia and several other nations.
  • It is the second fastest and second highest-flying military aircraft ever fielded after the SR-71 reconnaissance aircraft.

mig25

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  • USS Terry (DD-25)
  • Launched on 21 August 1909 and commissioned on 18 October 1910, the USS Terry (DD-25) was a modified Paulding-class destroyer in the United States Navy during World War I, and later in the United States Coast Guard, designated CG-19. She was the first ship named for Edward Terry.
  • During WWI USS Terry patrolled along the Atlantic coast escorting merchantmen bound for Europe. In January 1918, Terry put to sea for operations with the destroyer force based at Queenstown, Ireland where she escorted convoys through the submarine-infested waters surrounding the British Isles.
  • In December 1918, Terry returned to the United States, and after 11 months of extremely limited service, she was decommissioned at Philadelphia Navy Yard on 13 November 1919.
  • She remained there until she was transferred to the Coast Guard on 7 June 1924. Based in New York, she served as part of the Rum Patrol, until 18 October 1930, when she was returned to the Navy and restored on the Navy list in a decommissioned status, listed as a “vessel to be disposed of by sale or salvage.” On 2 May 1934, Terry was sold for scrapping. Her name was struck from the Naval Vessel Register on 28 June 1934.

USS_Terry_(DD-25)

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  • USS Salt Lake City (CL/CA-25)
  • Launched on 23 January 1929 and commissioned on 11 December 1929, the USS Salt Lake City (CL/CA-25) was a Pensacola-class heavy cruiser sometimes known as “Swayback Maru” or “Old Swayback”. She had the (unofficial) distinction of having taken part in more engagements than any other ship in the fleet. She was also the first ship to be named after Salt Lake City, Utah.
  • From August–October 1942, Salt Lake City was in the south Pacific to support the campaign to seize and hold Guadalcanal. She escorted Wasp during the landings of 7–8 August and subsequent operations.
  • Surviving two atomic bomb blasts, she was decommissioned on 29 August and laid up to await ultimate disposal. She was sunk as a target hull on 25 May 1948, 130 mi (110 nmi; 210 km) off the coast of southern California
  • Salt Lake City received 11 battle stars for her World War II service, and a Navy Unit Commendation for her actions during the Aleutian Campaign.

USS_Salt_Lake_City_(CA-25)

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  • USS Potomac (AG-25)
  • The USS Potomac (AG-25), formerly USCGC Electra, was Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s presidential yacht from 1936 until his death in 1945.
  • On 3 August 1941, she played a decoy role while Roosevelt held a secret conference to develop the Atlantic Charter.
  • She is now preserved in Oakland, California, as a National Historic Landmark.

USS Potomac AG-25

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  • USS Copeland (FFG-25)
  • The USS Copeland (FFG-25), the first ship of that name in the US Navy, was the seventeenth ship of the Oliver Hazard Perry-class of guided-missile frigates. She was named for Rear Admiral Robert W. Copeland (1910–1973).
  • Copeland was launched on 26 July 1980, and commissioned on 7 August 1982.
  • Decommissioned and stricken on 18 September 1996, she was transferred to Egypt the same day as Mubarak (F911). After the 2011 revolution the ship was renamed to remove the former ruler’s name. The ship is currenty named Alexandria (F911) and remains in active service with the Egyptian Navy.

USS Copeland FFG-25

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  • USS Bainbridge
  • The nuclear powered USS Bainbridge (DLGN-25/CGN-25) was initially classed as a guided missile destroyer leader in the United States Navy, and later re-designated as a guided missile cruiser in 1975.
  • In 1966–67, 1969, 1970, 1971 and 1972–73, USS Bainbridge was involved Vietnam War combat operations, as well as voyages to Australia, the Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea.
  • In 1982 she won the Marjorie Sterrett Battleship Fund Award.
  • After receiving her final nuclear refueling overhaul in 1983–85, Bainbridge operations included counter-drug smuggling patrols in the Caribbean, several deployments to northern European waters and four Mediterranean cruises including combat operations off Libya.
  • During 1994 she was deployed to support UN resolutions that became part of Operation Sharp Guard, enforcing sanctions against the Former Republic of Yugoslavia and Bosnia.
  • Finally deactivated in October 1995, Bainbridge was decommissioned in September 1996 and towed to Bremerton, Washington in mid-1997 where she was put in dry dock to begin “recycling,” the process by which nuclear-powered warships are scrapped.

USS Bainbridge

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  • USS Somerset (LPD-25)
  • The USS Somerset (LPD-25), a San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock, is the fifth ship of the United States Navy of that name; in this case in honor of Somerset County, Pennsylvania.
  • The name honors the passengers of United Airlines Flight 93 whose actions prevented terrorist hijackers from reaching their intended target, forcing the airplane to crash in Stonycreek Township in Somerset County, PA, on September 11, 2001. In the words of Secretary of the Navy Gordon R. England, “The courage and heroism of the people aboard the flight will never be forgotten and USS Somerset will leave a legacy that will never be forgotten by those wishing to do harm to this country.”
  • Some 22 tons of steel from a crane that stood near Flight 93’s crash site have been used to construct Somerset’s stemhold.
  • She was launched on 14 April 2012, and was christened three months later, on 28 July.

USS Somerset LPD-25

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  • HMS Medway
  • HMS Medway was the first purpose-built submarine depot ship constructed for the Royal Navy. She was built by Vickers Armstrong at Barrow-in-Furness during the late 1920s. The ship served on the China Station before the Second World War and was transferred to Egypt in early 1940.
  • Ordered to evacuate Alexandria in the face of the German advance after the Battle of Gazala in May 1942, Medway sailed for Lebanon at the end of June, escorted by a light cruiser and seven destroyers.
  • Despite her strong escort, she was torpedoed and sunk by a German submarine on 30 June.

hms_medway

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  • HMS Warwick (D-25)
  • HMS Warwick (D-25) was an Admiralty ‘W’ class destroyer built in 1917.
  • She saw service in both the First and Second World Wars, before being torpedoed and sunk in February 1944.

hms_warwick_d25

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  • T-25 Tank
  • The T25 Medium Tank was a prototype tank that was produced by the United States during World War II.
  • It had an armament consisting of a 90 mm anti-tank gun, two .30 MGs, one mounted coaxially and one in the bow, and a .50 Browning M2 mount on top of the turret. The vehicle had a crew of five, a weight of 35,100 kg, used the same 474 hp, GAN V8 engine as the earlier T23, and had a top speed of 48 km/h.
  • The T25 was developed with a variant which itself was virtually the same, the only difference was that the T25 was built with horizontal volute spring suspension, and the variant T25E1 had the torsion bar suspension later adopted for use in the M26. Only 40 T25 and T25E1 prototypes were built.

T25-medium-tank-01

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  • M25 “Three Shot Bazooka”
  • Bazooka is the common name for a man-portable recoilless antitank rocket launcher weapon, widely fielded by the United States Army. Also referred to as the “Stovepipe”, the innovative bazooka was among the first-generation of rocket propelled anti-tank weapons used in infantry combat.
  • Featuring a solid rocket motor for propulsion, it allowed for high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT) warheads to be delivered against armored vehicles, machine gun nests, and fortified bunkers at ranges beyond that of a standard thrown grenade or mine. The Bazooka also fired a HESH round, effective against buildings and tank armour.
  • The universally-applied nickname arose from the M1 variant’s vague resemblance to the musical instrument called a “bazooka” invented and popularized by 1930s U.S. comedian Bob Burns.
  • The M25 “Three Shot Bazooka” was an experimental tripod mounted rocket launcher with overhead magazine circa 1955.

M25Bazooka

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  • Remington R-25
  • The Remington R-25 is a hi-tech hunting rifle that uses the direct-impingement gas system, where gas is ported down a tube into the action and the bolt carrier is cycled via the gas blowing the carrier off the tube.
  • The upper and lower receivers are made from aluminum forgings, and the handguard is turned aluminum, all impervious to the weather; climate changes will have no effect on accuracy or bedding.
  • Additionally, the R-25 has a Mossy Oak Treestand coating, so if you aren’t careful in the woods, you may spend some time hunting for the rifle you set down while doing something else.
  • The magazine holds four rounds, a prudent choice since the purpose of the R-25 is hunting.

Remington r-25- rifle

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  • Glock 25
  • The Glock 25 in low-recoil .380 AUTO was introduced in 1995 in Germany. This small-dimension firearm was developed for markets where civilian personnel are not allowed to possess handguns featuring military calibers.
  • In the USA, the G25 .380 AUTO is reserved for law enforcement agencies only.

glock25

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  • Zastava P25
  • The Zastava P25, manufactured by Zastava Arms of Serbia and nicknamed the Dark Lady, is a blowback-operated, single-action, semi-automatic pocket pistol chambered in .25 ACP.
  • The pistol frame is made of aluminum alloy and the barrel is made of alloy steel, while the handgrips are usually made of walnut or polymer materials.
  • The P25 is aimed extensively at the civilian market as a self-defense weapon due to its concealability, but is somewhat less favorable compared to the M57, M88 and CZ 99 pistols due to its small caliber.

Zastava-p25

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  • A&K SR-25
  • The A&K SR-25 Full Metal AEG is very accurate and a good  range for this type of weapon It is semi and full auto capable and has a 300rd High Capacity magazine and fast rate of fire
  • This airsoft sniper rifle is built like a tank, with a full metal upper and lower receiver and a full metal rail system. The A&K SR-25 performs better than almost all other SR-25 AEGs on the market, and includes more accessories than any other SR-25 AEG.

AK-SR25-Sniper Rifle

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  • K-25
  • K-25 is a former uranium enrichment facility of the Manhattan Project which used the gaseous diffusion method. The plant is located in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, on the southwestern end of the Oak Ridge Reservation.

K-25 former uranium enrichment facility Oak Ridge, Tennessee

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In other stuff

  • Illinois is the 25th largest state in America.
  • Nashville, Tennessee is the 25th largest city in the United States by size of population.
  • South Africa is the 25th largest Country in the world by area.
  • France is the 25th richest country in the world, based on Gross Domestic Product (PPP) Per Capita 2009-2013.
  • There are 25 cents in a quarter.

quarter dollar

  • A ‘Pony’ is British slang for £25.
  • Christmas Day is December 25
  • 25 is the number of years of marriage marked in a silver wedding anniversary.
  • 25 is the name of the national card game of Ireland related to the classic Spanish game of ombre. It was played under the name maw by the British King James I and was later called spoil five from one of its principal objectives. From it derives the Canadian game of forty-fives.
  • Pachisi, which is Hindi for 25, is the name of the national board game of India.

Pachisi

  • “twentyfive”, is a design studio in the Czech Republic
  • 25 is the total number of playable characters in Mario Kart Wii and Super Smash Bros. Melee.
  • “25 boy” (read as “two-five boy”), in Cantonese Chinese, is a slang term meaning “traitor” as used in the Chinese movie Over the Edge.
  • 25 random things about me, an Internet meme utilizing Facebook’s Notes feature
  • 25 is the usual minimum age for car rental in most countries.
  • “Under 25″ provides a common cut-off point for designating youth.
  • The year 25 BC was a leap year.
  • 25 Burgers opened its first Location in Bound Brook NJI in the Spring of 2009, serving 25 Choices of Fresh Made to Order Gourmet Burgers in a Clean and Friendly Environment.

25 burgers logo 

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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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Significant Number Factoid Friday – Today The Number Is Twelve 12 (Part 1)

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Welcome to significant number factoid Friday.

Today the number is twelve and as usual it has a lot more associations that you might at first think. So many in fact that I have decided to split this post into two parts.

The second part (next Friday) will consist of the many entries in the ‘militaria’ section, while today’s will include the rest.

Even with the split it’s still a long post, but I hope those of you interested in numbers and their associations will enjoy reading it.

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The Number Twelve  12

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12

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In religion

  • The number 12 is very important in many religions, mainly Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, but also found in some other belief systems.
  • From the Bible we know that Jacob had 12 sons, (Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Issachar, Zebulun, Joseph and Benjamin), who were the progenitors of the Twelve Tribes of Israel.
  • The New Testament describes twelve apostles of Jesus; after Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus and hanged himself, a meeting was held (Acts) to add Matthias to complete the number twelve once more.
  • The Book of Revelation contains much numerical symbolism, and a lot of the numbers mentioned have 12 as a divisor.
  • Revelation 12:1 mentions a woman—interpreted as the people of Israel, the Church or the Virgin Mary—wearing a crown of twelve stars (representing each of the twelve tribes of Israel).
  • Also there are 12,000 people sealed from each of the twelve tribes of Israel, making a total of 144,000 (which is the square of 12 multiplied by a thousand).

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  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has a Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
  • In Orthodox Judaism, 12 signifies the age a girl matures (bat mitzvah)
  • There are 12 days of Christmas; the period of thirteen days including Epiphany is sometimes known as Christmastide, thus Twelfth Night is another name for the twelfth day of Christmas or January 5 (the eve of Epiphany).
  • Similarly, Eastern Orthodoxy observes 12 Great Feasts.
  • In Twelver (or Imami) Shi’a Islam, there are twelve Imams, successors of the prophet Muhammad. These twelve early leaders of Islam were—Ali, Hasan, Husayn, and nine of Husayn’s descendants. Imamah is the Shi‘ah doctrine of religious, spiritual and political leadership of the Ummah. The Shi‘ah believe that the A’immah (“Imams”) are the true Caliphs or rightful successors of Muhammad, and Twelver and Isma‘ili Shi‘ah further that Imams are possessed of supernatural knowledge, authority, and infallibility as well as being part of the Ahl al-Bayt, the family of Muhammad. Both beliefs distinguish the Shi‘ah from Sunnis.
  • In the Quran, the Sura number 12 is Sura Yusuf (Joseph), and it is located in Juz’a number 12. This Sura narrates the story of Prophet Yusuf and his 12 brothers.
  • In Hinduism, the sun god Surya has 12 names. Also, there are 12 Petals in Anahata (Heart Chakra. There are twelve “Jyotirlingas” in Hindu Shaivism. The Shaivites (orthodox devotees of God Shiva) treat them with great respect and they are visited by almost every pious Hindu at least once in a lifetime.

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  • In antiquity there are numerous magical/religious uses of twelves.
  • Ancient Greek religion, the Twelve Olympians were the principal gods of the pantheon.
  • Greek mythology has the twelve labors of Hercules.
  • The chief Norse god, Odin, had 12 sons.
  • Several sets of twelve cities are identified in history as a dodecapolis, the most familiar being the Etruscan League.
  • In the King Arthur Legend, Arthur is said to have subdued 12 rebel princes and to have won 12 great battles against Saxon invaders.

Knights of the Round Table

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In mathematics

  • Twelve is the smallest number with exactly six divisors, its divisors being 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 and 12.
  • Twelve is a sublime number, a number that has a perfect number of divisors, and the sum of its divisors is also a perfect number.
  • Twelve is a superfactorial, being the product of the first three factorials.
  • The first four positive integers show up in the following equation 12 = 3 × 4, which can be continued with the equation 56 = 7 × 8.
  • A twelve-sided polygon is a dodecagon.
  • A twelve-faced polyhedron is a dodecahedron.

dodecahedron

  • Regular cubes and octahedrons both have 12 edges, while regular icosahedrons have 12 vertices.
  • The duodecimal system (1210 [twelve] = 1012), which is the use of 12 as a division factor for many ancient and medieval weights and measures, including hours, probably originates from Mesopotamia.
  • In base thirteen and higher bases (such as hexadecimal), twelve is represented as C. In base 10, the number 12 is a Harshad number.

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In science and technology

  • Twelve is the atomic number of magnesium in the periodic table.
  • The human body has twelve cranial nerves.
  • The duodenum (from Latin duodecim, “twelve”) is the first part of the small intestine, that is about twelve inches (30 cm) long. More precisely, this section of the intestine was measured not in inches but in fingerwidths. In fact, in German the name of the duodenum is Zwölffingerdarm and in Dutch the name is twaalfvingerige darm, both meaning “twelve-finger bowel”.
  • Vitamin B12, also called cobalamin, is a water-soluble vitamin with a key role in the normal functioning of the brain and nervous system, and for the formation of blood. It is one of the eight B vitamins. The vitamin is the largest and most structurally complicated vitamin and can be produced industrially only through bacterial fermentation-synthesis.
  • Dichlorodifluoromethane (R-12), a colorless gas usually sold under the brand name Freon-12, is a chlorofluorocarbon halomethane (CFC), used as a refrigerant and aerosol spray propellant. Complying with the Montreal Protocol, its manufacture was banned in the United States along with many other countries in 1996 due to concerns about damage to the ozone layer. It is soluble in many organic solvents. Dichlorodifluoromethane was also the main component of Silly String.

silly-string

  • Force 12 on the Beaufort wind force scale corresponds to the maximum wind speed of a hurricane.
  • There are twelve function keys on most PC keyboards (F1 through F12)
  • There are twelve keys in any standard digital telephone (1 through 9, 0, * and #)
  • Microsoft’s Rich Text Format specification assigns numbers congruent to 12 mod 256 to variants of the French language.

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In space

  • Messier object M12 is a magnitude 8.0 globular cluster in the constellation Ophiuchus.
  • The New General Catalogue object NGC 12 is a magnitude 13.1 spiral galaxy in the constellation Pisces.
  • The 12th moon of Jupiter is Lysithea.
  • Twelve people have walked on Earth’s moon.
  • Telstar 12, is a commercial broadcast satellite used in telecommunications, operated by Loral Skynet. It is a Ku band satellite with coverage of North America as far West as Cleveland, Ohio, the majority of South America, Europe as far East as the United Arab Emirates and South Africa. Telstar 12 also has the capability to provide intercontinental connectivity including trans-Atlantic to the Mid-East.

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  • Apollo 12
  • Apollo 12 was the sixth manned flight in the United States Apollo program and the second to land on the Moon (an H type mission).
  • It was launched on November 14, 1969 from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, four months after Apollo 11. Mission commander Charles “Pete” Conrad and Lunar Module Pilot Alan L. Bean performed just over one day and seven hours of lunar surface activity while Command Module Pilot Richard F. Gordon remained in lunar orbit. The landing site for the mission was located in the southeastern portion of the Ocean of Storms.
  • Unlike the first landing by Apollo 11, Conrad and Bean achieved a precise landing at their expected location, the site of the Surveyor 3 unmanned probe, which had landed on April 20, 1967. They carried the first color television camera to the lunar surface on an Apollo flight, but transmission was lost after Bean accidentally destroyed the camera by pointing it at the Sun. On one of two moonwalks, they visited the Surveyor, and removed some parts for return to Earth.
  • The mission ended on November 24 with a successful splashdown.

apollo 12 patch

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  • STS-12 
  • During the Space Shuttle program, several missions were cancelled. Many were cancelled as a result of the Challenger and the Columbia disasters. Many early missions were cancelled due to delays in the development of the shuttle. Others were cancelled because of changes in payload and missions requirements.
  • STS-12 was originally scheduled for launch on 30 January 1981. The crew of three were to place the satellites TDRS-C and Anik-C2 into orbit during the 2-day mission. An alternate mission was also planned which replaced the TDRS-C with an Intelsat-V satellite, and would last five days instead of two. TDRS-C was eventually made as the replacement for the destroyed TDRS-B and launched from Discovery on STS-26 in September 1988.
  • The crew of STS-12 were, Henry W. Hartsfield, Jr. (Commander); Michael L. Coats (Pilot); and Mission Specialists Richard M. Mullane, Steven A. Hawley and Judith A. Resnik.

sts12_patch

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  • Majestic 12
  • According to UFO conspiracy theory, Majestic 12 (or MJ-12) is the supposed code name of an alleged secret committee of scientists, military leaders, and government officials, formed in 1947 by an executive order by U.S. President Harry S. Truman. The purpose of the committee was to investigate the recovery of a UFO north of Roswell, New Mexico during July 1947.
  • Initial indications of such a group’s existence appeared in 1978 in declassified Canadian documents. Another reference to a classified group called “MJ-12” was discovered in 1980, but was later identified to be a hoax. In 1984 a set of documents was discovered in United States archives, which closely resemble real declassified documents, but which the FBI have declared to be “completely bogus”.
  • UFO conspiracy theories and the popular media based on them sometimes incorporate Majestic 12.

Majestic 12

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In politics

  • The 12th President of the United States of America (1849–1850) was Zachary Taylor (November 24, 1784 – July 9, 1850). An American military leader, his 40-year military career ended with far-reaching victories in the Mexican–American War. His status as a national hero won him election to the White House despite his vague political beliefs. His top priority as president was preserving the Union, but he died 16 months into his term, before making any progress on the status of slavery, which had been inflaming tensions in Congress.

12th US President-Zachary_Taylor-circa1850

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  • The Twelfth Amendment (Amendment XII) to the United States Constitution provides the procedure for electing the President and Vice President. It replaced Article II, Section 1, Clause 3, which provided the original procedure by which the Electoral College functioned. Problems with the original procedure arose in the elections of 1796 and 1800. The Twelfth Amendment was proposed by the Congress on December 9, 1803, and was ratified by the required number of state legislatures on June 15, 1804.
  • The United States of America is divided into twelve Federal Reserve Districts (Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Richmond, Atlanta, Chicago, St. Louis, Minneapolis, Kansas City, Dallas, and San Francisco); American paper currency has serial numbers beginning with one of twelve different letters, A through L, representing the Federal Reserve Bank from which the currency originated.

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  • There are 12 stars are featured on the Flag of Europe

EU Flag

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  • The French department Aveyron is number twelve.
  • In Northern Ireland the Twelfth of July is the main day of celebration and commemoration for the Protestant and Unionist community, and a public holiday.

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In sport

  • The competition that was founded in 2001 as the Celtic League changed its name in 2011 to Pro12, reflecting its status as a 12-team league after it expanded in 2010 to include teams from Italy.
  • The Southern Hemisphere competition now known as Super Rugby was known from 1996 through 2005, an era in which it had 12 teams, as Super 12.
  • In both soccer and American football, the number 12 can be a symbolic reference to the fans because of the support they give to the 11 players on the field.
  • Texas A&M University reserves the number 12 jersey for a walk-on player who represents the original “12th Man”, a fan who was asked to play when the team’s reserves were low in a college American football game in 1922.
  • Bayern Munich, Hammarby, Feyenoord, Atlético Mineiro, Flamengo, Seattle Seahawks, Portsmouth and Cork City do not allow field players to wear the number 12 on their jersey because it is reserved for their supporters.
  • The jersey number 12 has been retired by several North American sports teams in honor of past playing greats (or, in one case, a team’s fans):
  • In Major League Baseball: the Tampa Bay Rays, for Hall of Famer Wade Boggs; the Toronto Blue Jays, for Hall of Famer Roberto Alomar.

Roberto Alomar

  • In the NFL: the Buffalo Bills, for Hall of Famer Jim Kelly; the Miami Dolphins, for Hall of Famer Bob Griese; the New York Jets, for Hall of Famer Joe Namath; the San Francisco 49ers, for John Brodie; the Seattle Seahawks, for their fans (the “12th Man”); the Dallas Cowboys have a policy of not retiring numbers, however, the team has not issued #12 since the retirement of Hall of Famer Roger Staubach; the Pittsburgh Steelers currently have a policy of not retiring numbers, having retired only one number (70) in their earlier history, however, the Steelers have not issued #12 since the retirement of Hall of Famer Terry Bradshaw.

Bob Griese Miami Dolphins

  • In the NBA: the New York Knicks, for Dick Barnett; the Utah Jazz, for Hall of Famer John Stockton; the Cincinnati Royals, for Hall of Famer Maurice Stokes, who suffered a career-ending head injury in 1958, the team’s first season in Cincinnati and the franchise continues to honor the number in its current incarnation as the Sacramento Kings.

maurice_stokes

  • In the NHL: he Detroit Red Wings, for Hall of Famer Sid Abel; the Montreal Canadiens, for Hall of Famers Yvan Cournoyer and Dickie Moore; the Vancouver Canucks, for Stan Smyl; the jersey number 12 has also been retired by the men’s basketball program of the University of North Carolina for Phil Ford.

Stan Smyl

  • In Canadian football, 12 is the maximum number of players that can be on the field of play for each team at any time.
  • In ten-pin bowling, 12 is the number of strikes needed for a perfect game.
  • In curling, the House or the circular scoring area, is 12 feet in diameter.
  • In cricket, another sport with eleven players per team, teams may select a “12th man”, who may replace an injured player for the purpose of fielding (but not batting, bowling or keeping wicket).
  • In association football, 12 was also the number of teams in the finals of the FIFA Women’s World Cup in its first two editions in 1991 and 1995.

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In books, music, movies and TV

  • Books
  • ‘Twelfth Night’ is a comedy by William Shakespeare.
  • ‘Twelve Angry Men’ by Reginald Rose, was adapted from his own teleplay (see TV below).
  • ‘The Twelve’ is a poem by Aleksandr Blok.
  • ‘Twelve’ is a novel by Nick McDonell.
  • ‘The Twelve Chairs’ is a satirical novel by the Soviet authors Ilf and Petrov.
  • ‘Cheaper by the Dozen’ is a 1946 novel by Frank Bunker Gilbreth, Jr. and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey.
  • ‘The Twelve Dancing Princesses’ is a folk tale.
  • ‘The Aeneid’, an epic poem by Virgil is divided into two halves composed of twelve books.
  • ‘Paradise Lost’, an epic poem by John Milton is divided into twelve books perhaps in imitation of the Aeneid.
  • In ‘The Hunger Games’, the fictional country of Panem is separated into twelve districts.

AENEID

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  • Music
  • Twelve is the number of pitch classes in an octave; the total number of major keys; and the total number of minor keys.
  • The twelfth is the interval of an octave and a fifth. Instruments such as the clarinet which behave as a stopped cylindrical pipe overblow at the twelfth.
  • The twelve-tone technique (also dodecaphony) is a method of musical composition devised by Arnold Schoenberg. Music using the technique is called twelve-tone music.
  • One of the most famous classical music pieces is the 1812 overture by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.
  • The 12-inch single is a vinyl record format.
  • B12 are a British electronic music duo consisting of Mike Golding and Steve Rutter.
  • There is a group called ‘Twelve Girls Band’.
  • ‘Twelfth Night’ is a progressive rock band.
  • ‘12 Play’ is an R. Kelly album.
  • ‘The Number 12 Looks Like You’ is a mathcore band.
  • ‘Twelve’ is an album by Patti Smith.
  • ‘Twelve Deadly Cyns…and Then Some’ is an album by Cyndi Lauper.
  • ‘D12’ a rap group also known as the ‘Dirty Dozen’.
  • There is a musical group named ‘12 Stones’.
  • ‘12’, a Song from Brave Murder Day by Katatonia.
  • ‘12’ is a studio album by German singer Herbert Grönemeyer.
  • ‘12’ is the 12th studio album by Keller Williams.
  • ‘12 Hundred’ is a song by band Mushroomhead of their Savior Sorrow album.
  • ‘12’ (“Dodeka” in Greek) is one of the most well-known hits by Anna Vissi.
  • ‘Twelve drummers drumming’ is the gift on the twelfth day of Christmas in the carol ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’.
  • ‘12:59 Lullaby’ by Bedouin Soundclash.
  • ‘Rainy Day Women No. 12 & 35’ by Bob Dylan.
  • ‘Little 12 Toes’ by Chavez (band).
  • ‘12 Hours’ by Davenport Cabinet.
  • ‘12’ by Hot Chip.
  • ‘Eighteen Wheels and a Dozen Roses’ by Kathy Mattea.
  • ‘Twelve Reasons Why’ by My Life Story.
  • ‘Dozen Wicked Words’ by The Longpigs.
  • ‘Prelude 12’ by Styx.
  • ‘12:51’ by The Strokes.
  • ‘12 Steps’ by Violent Femmes.
  • ‘The 12th Of September’ by Xavier Rudd.
  • ‘12 Fingers’ by Young the Giant.
  • ‘12-Bar Original’ by The Beatles.
  • Twelve is the number of studio albums ‘The Beatles’ released.

Dylan rainydaySP

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  • Movies
  • Movies with the number twelve or its variations in their titles include
  • 12
  • 12.01
  • 12 Angry Men (1957 and 1997)
  • Cheaper by the Dozen
  • Ocean’s Twelve
  • 12 Monkeys
  • The Dirty Dozen
  • 12 Rounds
  • Twelve

The Dirty Dozen

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  • Television
  • The number twelve plays a significant role in the television franchise Battlestar Galactica. The characters come from the Twelve Colonies of Kobol and worship the twelve lords of Kobol. In the re-imagined series, there are also twelve models of the humanoid version of Cylons.
  • Twelve Angry Men, the original 1954 live performance on the anthology television series Studio One.
  • ‘Number 12 Looks Just Like You’ is an episode of the television show The Twilight Zone.
  • Schoolhouse Rock! portrayed an alien child using base-twelve arithmetic in the short ‘Little Twelvetoes’.
  • 12 Oz Mouse was an animated television show on Adult Swim.

Battlestar Galactica

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In transport

  • Lockheed Model 12 Electra Junior
  • The Lockheed Model 12 Electra Junior, more commonly known as the Lockheed 12 or L-12, is an eight-seat, six-passenger all-metal twin-engine transport aircraft of the late 1930s designed for use by small airlines, companies, and wealthy private individuals.
  • A scaled-down version of the Lockheed Model 10 Electra, the Lockheed 12 was not popular as an airliner but was widely used as a corporate and government transport. Several were also used for testing new aviation technologies.
  • Aviator Milo Burcham flew a Lockheed 12A in the 1937 Bendix Trophy Race from Burbank, California to Cleveland, Ohio. This 12A had been modified with extra fuel tanks in the cabin, allowing it to save time by making the entire 2,043-mile (3,288 km) trip non-stop. The 12A came in fifth at an average speed of 184 mph (296 km/h); this was an impressive performance, since the first and fourth-place winners were both privately owned Seversky P-35 fighters.
  • Another Lockheed 12A, owned by Republic Oil Company and named The Texan, was modified by aviator Jimmie Mattern for a round-the-world flight attempt. Mattern filled the 12A’s cabin with fuel tanks and removed the cabin windows and door; the crew would enter the aircraft via a cockpit hatch. The aircraft was denied a U.S. permit for the flight following the Earhart incident (she had been flying a Lockheed 10 Electra), however it was pressed into action September 1937 in a long range search effort for Sigizmund Levanevsky who crashed somewhere between the North pole and Barrow, Alaska. “The Texan” was outfitted as a luxury transport afterward, and lost in a hangar fire in January 1938.

Lockheed_12A_Electra_Junior

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  • Hispano-Suiza J12
  • The Hispano-Suiza J12 was a luxury automobile made by Hispano-Suiza from 1931 to 1938. It replaced the Hispano-Suiza H6. The J12 was powered by a V12 engine with pushrod-operated overhead valves.
  • Hispano-Suiza suspended automobile production in 1938 to concentrate on the manufacture of aircraft engines.

Hispano Suiza J12 Sport Torpedo 1933

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  • Renault 12
  • The Renault 12 is a family car produced by French automaker Renault between 1969 and 1980. Available as a saloon (Berline) and estate (Break), it was also produced under license in many countries across the globe into the early 21st century.
  • In its first few years the 12 received praise from the European press for its spacious, comfortable interior, its styling, its performance and its low fuel consumption. However it fared worse in the North American press: in a test of the 1974 model, Road & Track was critical of the engine’s “obtrusive” noise, and called the heavy, non-power steering “a serious design flaw”. They also gave it “very poor marks” for the ventilation system.
  • Renault 12 production and sales ended in western Europe in 1980, but the model continued to be produced and sold by Renault affiliates elsewhere. The last R12 was produced in 1999 in Turkey, whilst Romanian automaker Dacia continued producing the R12-based 1310 sedan and estate until 2004 and the R12-based Dacia Pick-Up until December 2006.
  • In terms of sales the Renault 12 was a successful car, selling 2.5 million units.

Renault R12TL

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  • McLaren M12
  • The McLaren M12 was an open-cockpit racing car developed by Bruce McLaren Motor Racing in 1969, solely for the purpose of selling to customers in the Can-Am series.
  • The M12 combined elements from two of McLaren’s previous efforts, the M6 series and the M8 series.
  • One of the more notable owners of an M12 was Chaparral Cars, who used the McLaren in the early 1969 Can-Am season while their own model’s development had been delayed.

1969 McLaren M12

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  • BMW E12
  • The BMW E12 BMW 5-Series was made between 1972 and 1981. The E12 was the first series to bear the 5 Series name: the ‘5’ denoting BMW’s fifth ‘New Class’ platform. Designed as a replacement for the popular BMW New Class mid-size sedan, the E12 5-Series models were smaller than the large BMW E3 sedan but larger than the two-door 2002 models.
  • The E12 was replaced by the BMW E28 5 Series in 1981, although production continued until 1984 in South Africa.

BMW_5_Series_e12_v_sst

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  • Volkswagen W12 Coupe
  • The Volkswagen W12 Coupe (also known as the Volkswagen Nardò, with reference to the Nardò Ring vehicle test track, near to the Italian city of Nardò) was a concept car created by Volkswagen Passenger Cars in 1997.
  • The car is portrayed in games such as Heat Online, Gran Turismo, and the Test Drive series.
  • This car also featured in an April Fools joke as the new Volkswagen 2015 LeVanto.

Volkswagen_W12_Syncro_Concept_Goodwood

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  • Vector M12
  • The Vector M12 was a vehicle designed by parent company Megatech LTD the Vector Motors Corporation, and was the first vehicle produced after the hostile takeover of the company from Jerry Wiegert by the Indonesian company Megatech.
  • The vehicle was a rebodied Lamborghini Diablo with a chopper gun fiberglass body set on a lengthened Diablo chassis. It was a loose copy of the Vector AWX-3, which was not released due to the Megatech hostile takeover.
  • The M12 was able to accelerate from zero to 60 mph (97 km/h) in 4.8 seconds and had a top speed of 189 mph (304 km/h) and was produced from 1995 to 1999, when production was halted, partly due to slow sales of the cars and alleged mismanagement of the company.
  • The average price of the vehicle was $184,000 (USD). Today you can purchase a M12 normally for $65,000 to an astounding $189,000 paid by a purchaser of a purple M12 at Barrett Jackson for a record sale price.

Vector M12

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  • Noble M12       
  • The Noble M12 is a two-door, two-seat model, originally planned both as a coupe and as a convertible.
  • All M12s have been powered by modified bi-turbocharged Ford Duratec V6 engines. The M12 has a full steel roll cage, steel frame, and G.R.P. (fibreglass) composite clam shell body parts.
  • These famed “Ferrari killers” are extremely lightweight and stiff. Although looking to be track derived, the M12 performs very well on both road and track, with surprisingly good ride quality, but a rigid feel. This is achieved by having no anti-roll bars on the car. This allows the suspension to be stiff yet comfortable.

Noble-M12-GTO-3_5

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  • Ferrari F12 Berlinetta
  • The Ferrari F12 berlinetta (also unofficially referred to as the F12 Berlinetta or the F12) is a front mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive grand tourer produced by Italian sports car manufacturer Ferrari. The F12 Berlinetta, introduced to the public at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, replaces the Ferrari 599 series grand tourers.
  • The F12berlinetta was named “The Supercar of the Year 2012” by car magazine Top Gear.

Ferrari F12 Berlinetta

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  • Spyker E12 Zagato
  • Spyker Cars shareholder and CEO, Victor Muller hinted at a Maserati Quattroporte, Porsche Panamera rival with an eight-cylinder (the E8) or a twelve-cylinder (the E12) engine, but due to problems getting the D8 into production, the idea was ignored until recently when Muller has said he “believes now could be the time to resurrect the saloon.”
  • Muller believes it will take about four years from time E8/E12 is revealed to the time it starts production. In March 2011, Muller stated that the production version of the Spyker E8/E12 will use a twelve-cylinder instead of the proposed eight-cylinder engine.

Spyker C12 Zagato

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  • V12 engine
  • A V12 engine is a V engine with 12 cylinders mounted on the crankcase in two banks of six cylinders, usually but not always at a 60° angle to each other, with all 12 pistons driving a common crankshaft.
  • Since each cylinder bank is essentially a straight-6, this configuration has perfect primary and secondary balance no matter which V angle is used and therefore needs no balance shafts. A V12 with two banks of six cylinders angled at 60°, 120° or 180° (with the latter configuration usually referred to as a flat-12) from each other has even firing with power pulses delivered twice as often per revolution as a straight-6.
  • This allows for great refinement in a luxury car. In a racing car, the rotating parts can be made much lighter and thus more responsive, since there is no need to use counterweights on the crankshaft as is needed in a 90° V8 and less need for the inertial mass in a flywheel to smooth out the power delivery. In a large displacement, heavy-duty engine, a V12 can run slower than smaller engines, prolonging engine life.

V12 engine

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  • W12 engine
  • A W12 engine is a twelve cylinder piston internal combustion engine in a W configuration.
  • W12 engines are manufactured in two distinct configurations. One configuration uses four rows of three cylinders merged into two ‘cylinder banks’ (two narrow-angle VR6 engine blocks), coupled to a common crankshaft – as in the Volkswagen Group W12. Another uses three banks of four cylinders coupled to a common crankshaft – as in the Napier Lion.

W12-LionEngine

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Other stuff

  • There are twelve basic hues in the color wheel; 3 primary colors (red, yellow, blue), 3 secondary colors (orange, green & purple) and 6 tertiary colors (names for these vary, but are intermediates between the primaries and secondaries).
  • There are 12 ounces in a troy pound (used for precious metals)
  • There are 12 signs of the zodiac.
  • In English, twelve is the number of greatest magnitude that has just one syllable.
  • There are normally twelve pairs of ribs in the human body.
  • The Twelve Tables or Lex Duodecim Tabularum, more informally simply Duodecim Tabulae was the ancient legislation underlying Roman law.
  • In the United States, twelve people are appointed to sit on a jury for felony trials in all but four states, and in federal and Washington, D.C. courts. The number of jurors gave the title to the play (and subsequent films) Twelve Angry Men.
  • There are 12 inches in a foot.
  • Twelve shillings made up one British pound in pre decimal currency.
  • There are 12 face cards in a normal card deck.
  • Alcoholics Anonymous has 12 steps, 12 traditions and 12 concepts for world service.
  • Most calendar systems have twelve months in a year.
  • The Western zodiac has twelve signs, as does the Chinese zodiac.
  • The Chinese use a 12 year cycle for time-reckoning called Earthly Branches.
  • There are twenty-four hours in a day, the hours being numbered from one to twelve for both the ante meridiem (a.m.) half of the day and the post meridiem (p.m.) half of the day. The basic units of time (60 seconds, 60 minutes, 24 hours) can all perfectly divide by twelve.

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Sunni or Shiite?

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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You could perhaps be forgiven for thinking that the title indicated that today’s post is about the weather, but it isn’t. Instead I’m doing a Sunday Sermon (otherwise known as a rant) about things Middle Eastern.

It is a part of the world about which most of us know very little, but a place that has affected, and will affect, all our lives dramatically.

map-middle-east

If you listen to CNN or ABC or any of the other media outlets you would be left with the impression that what has been happening in the Middle East and the terrorist offshoots that it has spawned is solely a religious crusade by Muslims against all other religions, particularly the Christians and the Jews.

Granted that type of hatred does exist and is being fomented by demented Islamic clerics within the Muslim community both at home and abroad, but it is by no means the whole picture.

Just as there are many different sects within, for example, the Christian faith, there are different denominations within the Muslim faith also.

The latter consists of two main factions, the Sunnis and the Shiites, and a lot of what has been, and is happening in the Middle East has its roots in a sectarian conflict and power struggle between these two factions of Islam.

It’s always difficult, and a little bit dangerous, to try to sum up a long standing conflict in a couple of paragraphs, but basically what happened was that after the death of the Prophet Muhammad his followers split into two factions, those who accepted Abu Bakr, Muhammad’s father-in-law, as the rightful successor (the Sunnis) and those who believed that Ali, Muhammad’s son-in-law, should be successor (the Shiites).

Rather than find common ground over the centuries the differences and bitterness remained and are still being played out throughout the Middle East today.

Syria, where the politicians seem hell bent on involving us next, is a prime example of this sectarian conflict. The Assads, who have been in power for over forty years, are Alawaites which is a branch of Shia Islam. Currently there is an attempt to overthrow the Assad regime by opposing forces that come from the Sunni faction.

The Sunnis comprise around three-quarters of the Syrian population, as opposed to about 12% to 15% for the Shias, and that will be used as justification for siding with the forces trying to overthrow Assad. The fact that Syria under Assad participated in the US-led Gulf War against Saddam Hussein in the 1990-91 Operation Desert Storm will be quietly forgotten, as will the fact that Hamas, regarded as a terrorist organization by most Western states including the US, Canada, and the EU, supports the Syrian Opposition.

However, the real reason that America and her allies will side with the Sunni faction has nothing to do with the lofty goal of establishing democracy in Syria. In fact it has very little to do with Syria at all, but everything to do with Saudi Arabia.

The ruling Sheiks and the vast majority of the population in Saudi Arabia are Sunni, but there is also a significant Shia population in the country and it contains Mecca and Medina, the two holiest cities of Islam, which are a focal point for all Muslims.

Are you getting the picture?

saudi oil well

If by chance Assad’s regime were to survive and perhaps emerge stronger than ever, some Western nations are afraid that it would give encouragement to those Shia and fundamentalist factions within Saudi Arabia to also create unrest there too, which in turn would have a devastating effect on oil supplies and oil prices and further damage the already weak economies in the West. 

It won’t work out as planned though. These things never do. Eventually there will be some kind of disruption within Saudi Arabia and the economic consequences will be felt worldwide.

But in the meantime that’s what Syria is really all about, according to me anyway. And until someone can come up with a better explanation I for one will not believe the claptrap from the politicians and their tame media front men.

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Some say puns are the lowest form of Hugh Moore…….whoever he is???

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Yes, pun day again! The jokes you love to pretend to hate.

They are a bit like quicksand, the more you struggle the harder it is to get away from them.

Take my advice and just sit back and enjoy.

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Ever since my mate directed his first movie, he’s been a nightmare at parties.

He’s always creating a scene.

director

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I retired yesterday after working for 30 years on a conveyor belt.

It was a very moving experience.

conveyor belt

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My parents are forcing me to wear a turban because of my religion.

It makes me sikh.

turban

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My wife cost me a fortune when I took her out for a meal yesterday.

Take my advice. Never put A la carte before the horse.

a la carte

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I bought some cheap glasses.

They’re fiver optics.

glasses

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I can’t think of any boat puns.

Canoe?

canoe

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What’s the difference between Oxfam and Islam?

Oxfam is a non profit organisation.

non profit

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If ignorance is bliss,

why are McDonald’s staff never happy?

mcdonalds cartoon

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A friend of mine dug a hole in the garden and filled it with water

….I think he meant well.

digging

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I don’t approve of political jokes.

I’ve seen too many of them get elected.

political jokes

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Marriage is the mourning after the knot before.

cartoon marriage

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In case you’re wondering, I don’t suffer from insanity;

I enjoy every minute of it.

informed-sanity

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Coffee Anyone?

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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If you are a regular reader of this blog you will have realised that I like facts about various subjects.

One of them is food.

I have already done a post about peanut butter (click here) and one about chocolate (click here) , both everyday items that almost all of use and enjoy. ‘

Today’s post is about probably THE most loved and enjoyed drink that we use everyday.

So here we have lots and lots of things you probably never knew about you coffee.

Enjoy (with a nice cup of coffee or three perhaps).

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Coffee Bean Man

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According to legend during the 9th century Ethopian shepherds first noticed the effects of caffeine when they saw their goats appearing to become frisky and ‘dance’ after eating coffee berries.

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Originally coffee was eaten.

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African tribes mixed coffee berries with fat to make energy balls

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Coffee has been used as a beverage for over 700 years.

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The rise of Islam contributed greatly to the popularilty of coffee. The religion prohibited drinking alcohol, but coffee was considered an acceptable drink

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In Turkey, the bridegroom as once required to make a vow during the wedding to always make sure to provide their wives with coffee. If they did not do so it was considered grounds for divorce.

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Also in Turkey, the intended bride is required to serve coffee to her parents and future husband when he comes to ask for her hand in marriage; however, she has no say so in the outcome of the request. Tradition has it that her response is in the sweetness or lack thereof of the coffee. Sweet coffee supposedly means she is okay with the arrangement while salty means she is not.

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All the coffee grown in the world grows in the bean belt which is the area between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn

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Hawaii is the only state in the US that grows coffee

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The heavy tea tax imposed on the American colonies in 1773, which caused the ‘Boston Tea Party’, resulted in America switching from tea to coffee. Drinking coffee became an expression of freedom.

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Black coffee with no sugar contains no calories.

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Drinking a single cup of coffee that has been brewing for 20 minutes provides the body with 300 phytochemicals which act as antioxidants and stay in the body for up to a month.

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New Yorkers drink almost seven times more coffee than other cities in the US.

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Coffee is a psychoactive. And at high doses it can make you see things… It can also kill you…The lethal dose of caffeine is roughly 100 cups of coffee.

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The French philosopher Voltaire is said to have drank 50 cups of coffee a day.

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In 1675 Charles II, King of England issued a proclamation banning Coffee Houses. He said that they were places where people met to plot against him.

 coffee house.

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Coffee is the second most traded commodity on earth, after oil.

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70% of the world consumes Arabica coffee, which is mild and aromatic. The remaining 30% drink Robusta, which is more bitter tasting but has 50% more caffeine than Arabica

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Coffee grows on trees, which can grow up to 30 feet tall but commercially are cultivated to around 10 feet in height for easier picking

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A coffee tree has a lifespan of about 50 to 70 years.

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When it is in bloom, the coffee tree is covered with 30,000 white flowers which begin to develop into fruit after 24 – 36 hours.

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A coffee tree can flower eight times in any one year – depending on rainfall.

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The coffee cherries turn from yellow to orange and then bright red, 6 – 8 months after flowering.

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One coffee tree yields less than half a kilo of coffee per year.

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A French doctor in the 1600s suggested Cafe Au Laits for patients, inspiring people to begin adding milk to coffee.

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The coffee bean is actually a seed inside a bright red berry

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Coffee berries are picked, dried and stripped down until all that is left is the green bean

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Once shipped the beans are roasted at around 500F, after a few minutes the bean will pop and double in size, a few minutes after that the bean will pop again which means the bean is ready

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The aromas in coffee develop at the 10th minute of roasting.

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Coffee increases in volume during roasting by 18.60%.

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Caffeine is not the main bitter compound in coffee. Rather, the pungent perpetrators are antioxidants.

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George Washington invented instant coffee. No, not him, the George Washington from Belgiun, living in Guatemala in 1906, although the invention has also been claimed by a Japanese American chemist known as Satori Kato in 1901.

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Espresso is regulated by the Italian government because it is considered an essential part of their daily life

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Espresso is not a particular roast, bean or blend, just the way the coffee is prepared by shooting pressurized hot water through finely ground coffee

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Brewed espresso has 2.5% fat, while filtered coffee contains 0.6% fat.

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It takes 40 coffee beans to make an espresso.

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In 1822 the French were the first to innovate a crude espresso machine. The Italians then perfected this machine and became the first to manufacture it.

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Contrary to popular belief, espresso has one-third the caffeine of a cup of coffee, simply due to serving size differences.

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In 1785, the coffee revolt broke out in Prussia because coffee consumption was restricted to the nobility, the clergy and high officials.

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James Mason invented the coffee percolator on December 26, 1865.

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30% of coffee drinkers in US added a sweetener of some kind to their coffee, compared with 57% in UK.

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Coffee sacks are usually made of hemp and weigh approximately 132 pounds when they are full of green coffee beans. It takes over 600,000 beans to fill a coffee sack.

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October 1st is official “Coffee Day” in Japan.

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Scientists have discovered more than 800 different aromatic compounds in coffee.

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Italy now has over 200,000 coffee bars, and still growing.

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The term Americano comes from American GIs during WWII who would order espresso with water to dilute the strong flavor

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The term cup of Joe also comes from American servicemen in WWII who were known as big coffee drinkers

cuppa joe .

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The custom of tipping waiters originated in early European Coffee Houses, in order to receive good service in that loud, dirty, hectic place you needed to Tip Big.

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In the ancient Arab culture there was only one way a woman could legally divorce: If her husband didn’t provide enough coffee.

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Melitta Bentz a housewife from Dresden, Germany, invented the first coffee filter in 1908.

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Johan Sebastian Bach wrote an opera about a woman who was addicted to coffee.

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There is a way to brew coffee with marijuana in it and it is described as producing a “dreamy” kind of coffee buzz.

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In Greece and Turkey, the oldest person is always served their coffee first.

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Some of the worlds most powerful businesses, including Lloyds of London and the New York Stock Exchange, started life as a coffee houses.

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In the 1600s there was a controversy over whether or not Catholics could drink coffee, luckily for them Pope Clement VIII loved coffee and authorized its use.

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Caffeine, which is found in coffee, increases the effect of some painkillers, especially aspirin and paracetamol.

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Dorothy Jones of Boston was the first American coffee trader, In 1670 she was granted a license to sell coffee.

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In Africa coffee beans are soaked in water mixed with spices and served as candy to chew.

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A regular 6oz cup of coffee contains about 150 milligrams of caffeine, most physicians call this a “therapeutic dose”.

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There are over 50 species of coffee world wide. Though only 2, arabica and robusta, are commonly used in commercial coffee production.

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Robusta coffee beans have twice as much caffeine than Arabica beans, but our of less quality.

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If you drink five to 10 cups of decaffeinated coffee, you could get as much caffeine as from one or two cups of caffeinated coffee, a study found.

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To produce decaffeinated coffee the beans are steamed, so that dissolved caffeine rises to the surface, where it is washed off using an organic solvent called methylene chloride.

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Coffee can actually be used to fuel a car.

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At one point, Brazil had such a coffee surplus that they tried to find other uses for it, including using it to make plastic.

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The world record for most coffee consumption is 82 cups of coffee in 7 hours.

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Contrary to popular belief light roast coffee actually has more caffeine than dark roast coffee. The reason for this is that the longer coffee is roasted the more caffeine cooked out of the bean.

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An expert in preparing Turkish coffee is known as a “kahveci”.

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The Nicaraguan Margogpipe is the largest of all coffee beans.

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King Frederick of Germany created a special task force to search out illicit coffee smugglers. The task force was known as the Kaffee Schnuffler. The king believed that soldiers who drank coffee were not dependable.

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Both the French and American Revolutions were planned in coffee houses.

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‘Excelso’ or ‘supremo’ do not mean a better quality of coffee when used to describe coffee beans, it refers to the size of the coffee bean.

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Jim Henson, the creator of the Muppets got his start doing coffee ads.

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One the largest misconception in the U.S. today about coffee is that Mocha Java coffee is a chocolaty beverage. In fact there is no chocolate in the Mocha or Java bean at all. Mocha is the name of the largest port in Yemen, here is where all of the African coffee beans are traded and transported. Java is the name of an island in Indonesia where the Java Bean comes from. Both coffees are a dark bean and provide a very rich and bold coffee, when you mix the two together you get Mocha Java coffee.

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Coffee at one stage in its life or another provides a living to more than 100 million people.

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During World War II there was a coffee drinking competition between the branches of the military. The Marines claimed to drink the most – twenty cups a day.

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Coffee was so scarce in Germany that during WWII “coffee bombs” or bags of coffee were dropped from planes to turn the people against their government.

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In Staten Island, there’s a restaurant owner that drinks fifty cups of coffee a day.

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The actress who played the Wicked Witch Of The West in the Wizard Of Oz, Margaret Hamilton, was promoting Maxwell House in the 1970’s.

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In December 2001 Brazil produced a scented postage stamp to promote its coffee – the smell should last between 3 and 5 years.

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No matter what people tell you, caffeine cannot help you sober up.

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The first webcam was invented at The University of Cambridge to let people know if the coffee pot was full or not.

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The Japanese believe that bathing in coffee grounds fermented with pineapple pulp will reduce wrinkles and beautify the skin and there is a spa in Japan that lets you bathe in coffee, tea, or wine. I wouldn’t drink it though…

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Before coffee caught on in the US in the 1700s, beer was breakfast drink of choice. Difficult choice!

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Irish coffee was actually invented to warm up cold American plane passengers leaving from Ireland.

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On May 11, 1926, the slogan “Maxwell House Good to the last drop” was trademark registered.

 Coffee-Posters.

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There is a tourist agency for people wanting to take coffee vacations called Cafe Away.

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Norway drinks the most coffee per person. The United States is ranked number 12.

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Teddy Roosevelt is and was the greatest American coffee drinker, consuming a gallon a day. But you probably shouldn’t attempt to do that.

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The name cappuccino comes from: the resemblance of the drink to the clothing of the Capuchin monks.

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A study conducted at the University of Sao Paulo found that sperm motility was markedly higher in coffee drinkers versus non coffee-drinkers. And it turns out that it doesn’t matter whether you drink one or ten cups a day: The only detectable difference was found between coffee drinkers and non-coffee drinkers.

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Beethoven counted the number of coffee beans he used to make his coffee and insisted on 60 beans per cup.

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During the American Civil War soldiers who were craving coffee and couldn’t get it tried roasting sweet potatoes and corn to make a beverage similar to coffee. It obviously didn’t become a popular choice.

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In 1674 a group of London women formed a group called WPAC (Women’s Petition Against Coffee). They didn’t like the amount of time their husbands spent in coffee houses rather than being home where they belonged.

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According to David Levitsky, PhD, professor of nutritional science at Cornell University, “Caffeine decreases the rate at which the stomach dumps its contents into the duodenum – a part of the small intestine where digestion takes place – and also increases metabolic rate.” so sipping a cup post-meal could, in small part, help promote a healthy weight.

coffee maker .

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Water is the only beverage more popular than coffee.

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Coffee contains over 1200 chemicals and over half of those are responsible for creating its flavor.

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The average coffee drinker consumes 3 cups of coffee per day.

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Three countries consume 65% of the world’s coffee: America, France, and Germany.

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Coffee grounds sprinkled on the ground around plants and the garden will stop snails and slugs from eating the plants.

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Kenyan coffees are graded as ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘C’. ‘AA’ is the best coffee. In Costa Rica, coffees are graded as ‘Strictly Hard Bean’, ‘Good Hard Bean’, ‘Hard Bean’, ‘Medium Hard Bean’, ‘High Grown Atlantic’, ‘Medium Grown Atlantic’, and ‘Low Grown Atlantic’. Those coffee beans from Colombia are labelled as ‘Supremo’, ‘Excelso’, ‘Extra’ and the lowest grade, ‘Pasilla’.

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In 1763, there were over 200 coffee shops in Venice.

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Caffeine is on the International Olympic Committee list of prohibited substances. Athletes who test positive for more than 12 micrograms of caffeine per millilitre of urine may be banned from the Olympic Games. This level may be reached after drinking about 5 cups of coffee.

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Coffee was first known in  Europe as Arabian Wine.

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It was said that cowboys made their coffee by putting ground coffee into a sock (hopefully a clean one) and immersed it in water heated over a camp fire. When ready, they would pour the coffee into tin cups and drink it.

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A study from the Harvard School of Public Health, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, found that women who regularly drink fully caffeinated coffee have a 20% lower risk of depression than non-coffee drinkers. The study, which followed a group of women for 10 years, found that as more coffee was consumed (up to six cups per day), the likelihood of depression decreased.

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There are two major coffee markets in the world. One is in London, which deals with the buying of Robusta coffee. The other is the ‘C’ contract market, known as Coffee, Sugar and Cocoa Exchange (CSCE), which is in New York. It handles the trade of Arabica coffee. The ‘C’ market is also a futures market.

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Finally, can you see the man?

coffee test

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