Did You Know? – Candle Clocks And Feral Cats Are Just Two Of Today’s Fabulous Facts!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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

So here we go.

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did you know2

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Russia sold Alaska to the US for 2 cents an acre

because they thought it was a useless tundra.

(Big mistake comrades!)

map Alaska and Russia

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The Chernobyl disaster released

at least 100 times more radiation

than the atom bombs dropped

on Nagasaki and Hiroshima.

chernobyl

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Up to 200 feral cats live in Disneyland

and are tolerated because they eradicate

mice and rats on the property.

feral cats live in Disneyland

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

and the smallest is the male sperm.

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

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There are entire cities all over China

with no people living in them!

China ghost city

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In Germany there are fake bus stops outside many nursing homes

to prevent confused senior citizens from wandering off.

fake-bus-stop

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Twelve book publishers rejected Harry Potter,

a very shrewd move on their part since

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

harry_potter_paperback_set

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Before clocks as we now know them,

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

If you wanted an alarm or reminder,

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

and when it melted the nail would fall out and the

noise of it hitting the metal holder would alert you.

candle clock

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Loophole (or murder hole)

originally referred to the slits in castle walls

that archers would shoot their arrows through.

castle-arrow-slits

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NASA has lost over 700 boxes of magnetic data tapes

recorded throughout the Apollo program

including original footage of the moon landing.

They ‘think’ some of them may have

‘accidentally been taped over’.

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

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Harvard University was founded

before calculus was derived.

Harvard University

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Apparently it is possible

to sail a boat from Pakistan to Russia

if you sail in a completely straight line.

sail boat

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There are some trees alive today that

were alive before the pyramids were built.

oldest trees on earth

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Chester A. Arthur was known for his impeccable attire,

earning him the nickname “Elegant Arthur.”

On his last day in office,

four women offered him their hands in marriage.

chester_arthur

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Regarded as his finest song,

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

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

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Significant Number Factoid Friday – Fourteen

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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They’ve been ‘beautiful’,  they’ve been ‘big’  and they’ve been ‘unusual’. 

Today we have another ‘significant’ number, fourteen, so-called because of its use and the beliefs surrounding it.

Enjoy.

 

14 Fourteen

14 sign

The number 14 seems to have some regal significance, particularly where these two Royals were concerned:

 

Louis XIV

  • ascended to the throne on May 14th, 1643  (1+6+4+3=14);
  • he was saved by Turenne at Blema in 1652  (1+6+5+2=14);
  • in accordance with an Edict of Charle V, he was declared major at 14 years and governed himself in 1661 (1+6+6+1=14);
  • he built the Hotel of the Invalids in 1670 (1+6+7+0=14);
  • he died in 1715 (1+7+1+5=14), at the age of 77 years old (7+7=14);  
  • having reigned 72 years (7×2=14).
Louis XIV
Louis XIV

 

 

England’s King Henry IV

  • was born 14 centuries, 14 decades and 14 years after the Christian era;
  • he came into the world on December 14th ;
  • he died on May 14th :
  • he lived 4 x 14 years, 14 weeks and 14 days.
England's King Henry iv
England’s King Henry iv

 

 

Other stuff

The atomic number for Silicon is 14.

The approximate atomic weight of nitrogen 14.

There are fourteen ascending and downward days of the moon.

The fourteenth year is, for the man, the year of the puberty.

The fingers of each of the two hands are composed of fourteen phalanxes.

February 14th is Saint Valentine’s Day, a fact most men are not allowed to forget.

February 14th - St Valentine's Day
February 14th – St Valentine’s Day

 

 

In the Bible

  • There are fourteen generations from Abraham to David;
  • The fourteen epistles written by saint Paul, having on the whole 100 chapters and adding up 2335 verses;
  • With the return of Exile, after the rebuilding of the Temple, the Israelis celebrated the Passover the fourteenth day of the first month; (Ezr 6,19)
  • Jacob worked fourteen years for his uncle Laban in order to be able to marry his daughter Rachel, they had fourteen sons and grandsons; (Gn 29,15-30 and 46,22)
  • The sufferings of the Christ would have begun fourteen days before Passover to finish with his passion;
  • Every year, the celebration of the Easter is never done in the same date. At the fourth century after Jesus Christ, it was established that this major feast of the liturgical calendar would be celebrated the first Sunday following the 14th night of lunation of March;
  • In the Book of Enoch (not included in the Bible) it talks about the fourteen preferential trees which remain always green for all season of the year.

 

In legends

  • According to the Egyptian legend, the body of Osiris was cut into 14 pieces, 13 of which were found by Isis, the 14th, the penis, having been devoured by the fishes.
  • In Egypt, the Amenti, area westward of the Nile, where go the souls of deaths, was divided in 14 parts.
  • Among Greeks, the fourteen days “alcyonians” were the 7 days preceding and the 7 days following the solstice of winter. During this period, the sea was supposed calm so as to allow the “alcyons” to build their nest and to brood. The alcyons came from the Metamorphosis of Ceyx, son of the Star of the morning, Eosphéros (in Latin Lucifer) and his wife Alcyon, girl of Eole.

 

Fourteen also is:

  • The number of days in a fortnight;
  • In traditional British units of weight, the number of pounds in a stone;
  • A number supposedly ‘encoded’ in much of the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. Bach may have considered this number a sort of signature, since given A = 1, B = 2, C = 3, etc., then B + A + C + H = 14;
  • A common designation for the thirteenth floor in many buildings for superstitious reasons;
  • The number of lines in a sonnet;
  • The Number 14 airship by Alberto Santos Dumont that was used to test the aerodynamics of his 14-bis airplane;
  • The number of the French department Calvados;
  • A Storage server manufactured by IBM. It goes by name of “XIV” and is pronounced as the separate letters “X”, “I”, “V”;
  • The Piano Sonata No. 14, also known as Moonlight Sonata, is one of the most famous piano sonatas composed by Ludwig van Beethoven;
  • Age 14 is the earliest that the emancipation of minors can occur in the U.S.
  • Minimum age at which one can work in many U.S states. Some require parental consent while others don’t;
  • Minimum age at which one can work in most Australian states with parent’s consent;
  • Minimum age at which one can drive a vehicle in the U.S. with a driver’s license (with supervision of an adult over 18 years of age, and with a valid, unmarked driver’s license, and at least 365 days of experience driving an actual automobile);
  • The minimum age limit to drive a 50cc motorbike in Italy.

 

In Politics

The fourteenth President of the United States was Franklin Pierce (1804–1869) of the Democratic Party, who served from March 4th, 1853  to March 4th, 1857. His VP was William R. King (March 4th, 1853 to April 18th, 1853, when he died of tuberculosis only 45 days into office, the position being vacant from April 18th, 1853 to March 4th, 1857.)

Franklin Pierce 14th President of the United States of America
Franklin Pierce 14th President of the United States of America

 

 

Then There Was The Fourteen Points

‘The Fourteen Points’ was a speech given by US President Woodrow Wilson to a joint session of Congress on January 8, 1918. It was the only explicit statement of war aims by any of the nations fighting in World War I, and was intended to assure the country that the Great War was being fought for a moral cause and for postwar peace in Europe.

President Woodrow Wilson
President Woodrow Wilson

 

The Fourteen Points were:

  • There should be no secret alliances between countries;
  • Freedom of the seas in peace and war;
  • The reduction of trade barriers among nations;
  • The general reduction of armaments;
  • The adjustment of colonial claims in the interest of the inhabitants as well as of the colonial powers;
  • The evacuation of Russian territory and a welcome for its government to the society of nations;
  • The restoration of Belgian territories in Germany;
  • The evacuation of all French territory, including Alsace-Lorraine;
  • The readjustment of Italian boundaries along clearly recognizable lines of nationality;
  • Independence for various national groups in Austria-Hungary;
  • The restoration of the Balkan nations and free access to the sea for Serbia;
  • Protection for minorities in Turkey and the free passage of the ships of all nations through the Dardanelles;
  • Independence for Poland, including access to the sea;
  • A league of nations to protect “mutual guarantees of political independence and territorial integrity to great and small nations alike.”

The Fourteen Points was accepted by France and Italy on November 1, 1918. Britain later signed off on all of the points except the freedom of the seas. The United Kingdom also wanted Germany to make reparation payments for the war, and thought that that should be added to the Fourteen Points.

The speech was delivered 10 months before the Armistice with Germany and became the basis for the terms of the German surrender, as negotiated at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919. The Treaty of Versailles had little to do with the Fourteen Points and was never ratified by the U.S. Senate.

 

In aviation

In aviation the designation 14 has been used for several famous aircraft. Best known would be the Grumman F-14 Tomcat which entered the fleet in 1973, replacing the F-4 Phantom II. New variants were introduced in 1987 (the F-14B) and in 1990 (the F-14D).

An F-14A Tomcat over Iraq during Southern Watch
An F-14A Tomcat over Iraq during Southern Watch

 

 

The designation has also appeared on Soviet/Russian aircraft, the most notable being the Antonov An-14 Pchelka, a utility transport introduced in 1966 and primarily used by the Soviet Air Force, Aeroflot, Afghan Air Force and East German Air Force. Production continued until 1972. Known as the “Little Bee”, it was a twin-engined light STOL utility transport first flown on 15 March 1958. Serial production started in 1966, and about 300 examples were built by the time production ended in 1972. A small number of An-14 are still in airworthy condition.

The Ilyushin Il-14 was a commercial and military personnel and cargo transport aircraft that entered service in 1954.

 

In space

Apollo 14, launched on January 31st, 1971, was the eighth manned mission in the Apollo program, and the third to land on the Moon. It was the last of the “H missions”, targeted landings with two-day stays on the Moon with two lunar EVAs, or moonwalks.

The astronauts were Commander Alan Shepard, Command Module Pilot Stuart Roosa, and Lunar Module Pilot Edgar Mitchell.

Shepard and Mitchell made their lunar landing on February 5th in the Fra Mauro formation (this had originally been the target of the aborted Apollo 13 mission).
They spent about 33 hours on the Moon, with Shepard famously hit two golf balls on the lunar surface with a makeshift club he had brought from Earth.

Apollo 14 landed in the Pacific Ocean on February 9.

Apollo 14 patch

And finally

Finally, the No. 14 chair is the most famous chair made by the Thonet chair company. Also known as the bistro chair, it was designed by Michael Thonet and introduced in 1859. It became one of the best-selling chairs ever made with some 50 million being sold between 1859 and 1930. Millions more have been sold since.

The famous and best selling No 14 chair
The famous and best selling No 14 chair

 

Movement 1 from Ludwig Van Beetoven’s famous Moonlight Sonata


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