Did You Know – More Facts For Fun.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Welcome to another selection of fasab’s facts for fun.

A more than random list of unusual facts that may come in handy some day. I wouldn’t count on it, but you never know. It has happened believe it or not!

So read on and enjoy.

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did you know4

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The only U.S. president to have been the head of a union

was Ronald Reagan,

a former president of the Screen Actors Guild.

Ronald Reagan at his desk

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Just proving that not everybody is all bad,

“Pretty Boy” Floyd, one of America’s most notorious bank robbers,

was known for destroying mortgage papers,

consequently freeing hundreds of people from property debt.

gangster-pretty-boy-floyd-tote-bag

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A man in China has kept himself alive with

a homemade dialysis machine for 13 years.

Home made dialysis machine

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Divorce is legal in every nation in the world

except in the Philippines and in Vatican City.

divorce_pic1

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In 1755 Benjamin Franklin organized the first

regular monthly mail packet service

between Falmouth, England, and New York,

and opened the first official post office in Canada

(in Halifax, Nova Scotia), to link Halifax with

the Atlantic colonies and the packet service to England.

Benjamin Franklin

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About half the geysers on Earth

are located in Yellowstone National Park.

Old_Faithful_13

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Your brain makes imaginary monsters when you stare in a mirror.

(Either that or you don’t look as good as you thought!)

cat and mirror

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While most of it lies in Africa,

a small part of Egypt is located in Asia, as well.

Egypt_map

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The White House has a variety of recreational facilities

available to its residents, including a tennis court, a jogging track,

swimming pool, movie theater, billiard room, and a bowling lane.

white-house

Click here to take an interactive tour

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The Australian $5 to $100 notes are made of plastic.

aussie-money

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A skunk’s smell can be detected by a human a mile away.

Skunk-in-Grass

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The poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s wife died

when a dropped match ignited her enormous hoop skirt.

fanny-wadsworth

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Alabama was the first state to

recognize Christmas as an official holiday.

Alabama Christmas

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If your eyes are six feet above the surface of the ocean,

the horizon will be about three statute miles away.

hopes_on_the_horizon

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The longest freshwater shoreline in the world

is located in the state of Michigan.

Michigan shoreline

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Carbon monoxide is deadly.

It can kill a person in less than 15 minutes

carbon-monoxide-gas-safety

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In 1876, the first microphone was invented by Emile Berliner.

emile_berliner

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When Nadia Comaneci became the first gymnast

to score a perfect 10, the scoreboard wasn’t prepared.

Her score was reported as “1.00.”

Comaneci-1976

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The accent that Mike Myers used for the character Shrek

came from the accent that his mother would use

when she was telling him bedtime stories when he was a child.

Shrek_fierce

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Johnny Cash’s “A Boy Named Sue” was written by Shel Silverstein.

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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

.

  • 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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More Facts – And That’s A Fact!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Welcome to another selection of random facts and the chance to prepare yourself for questions that you may never be asked.

Enjoy.

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did you know4

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While in Alcatraz, Al Capone was inmate 85.

Alcatraz

.

.

The airport scene at the end of classic movie “Casablanca”

was produced using a cardboard model of a plane

and little people actors in the background!!

casablanca5

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Donkeys kill more people than plane crashes.

donkey-kick

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.

The White House has 32 bathrooms,

and 6 levels to accommodate all the people

who live in, work in, and visit the White House.

There are also 412 doors, 147 windows,

28 fireplaces, 7 staircases, and 3 elevators.

white house

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.

Hummingbirds are the only animals that can fly backwards.

hummingbird

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In the great fire of London in 1666 half of London was burnt down

but only 6 people were injured.

Great Fire Of London

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Women blink nearly twice as much as men.

woman eye

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Each year there is one ton of cement poured

for each man woman and child in the world.

pouring concrete

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The most common name in Italy is Mario Rossi.

Mario Rossi

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Fingernails grow nearly 4 times faster than toenails!

fingernails

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Rugby, North Dakota is the geographical center of North America.

Rugby, North Dakota

.

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Butte County, South Dakota is the geographical center of the U.S.

Geographic-Center-of-the-US-Speafish-SD

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No matter where you stand in Michigan,

you are never more than 85 miles from a Great Lake.

michigan map

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The number “four” is considered unlucky in Japan

because it is pronounced the same as “death”.

4

.

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Sylvia Miles had the shortest performance

ever nominated for an Oscar with “Midnight Cowboy.”

Her entire role lasted only six minutes.

Sylvia-Miles

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You’re more likely to get stung by a bee

on a windy day than in any other weather.

CARTOON_Bee-full

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The world’s deepest hole is the Sakhali I oil well in Russia

(part owned by Exxon Mobil) which is 12.345 Km. deep (7.67 miles).

Previously to this the Al Shaheen oil well (12.29km or 7.64 miles)

dug in Qatar was the deepest oil well.

kola2

.

.

Spain leads the world in cork production

wine-cork

.

.

A jail in Brazil allows its inmates to pedal exercise bikes

to power lights in a nearby town in exchange for reduced sentences.

bike charger

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.

The Boston University Bridge

(on Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts)

is the only place in the world where a boat can sail under a train

driving under a car driving under an airplane.

Boston University Bridge

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==================================

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Another Twenty Challenging Questions – Yes It’s Quiz Day!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Another start to the week and another twenty challenging questions in our latest quiz.

Easy, difficult and few “curve balls” in this lot, so see how well you do.

As usual the answers are given waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay down below.

But NO cheating please!

Enjoy.

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Quiz3

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Q   1:  In Italy who or what is known as “Topolino”?

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Q   2:  How many men in total have landed on and explored the Moon?

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Q   3:  How many women in total have landed on and explored the Moon?

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Q   4:  In their natural habitats, what percentage of penguins live south of the equator?

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Q   5:  In what book of The Bible is God not mentioned?

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Q   6:  What do they call a “French kiss” in France?

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Q   7:  What is the longest English word without a vowel?

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Q   8:  What is the driest state in the U.S.?

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Q   9:  A group of toads is called a what?

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Q  10:  The first toilet ever seen on television was on what show?

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Q  11:  How many of the 44 US Presidents has worn glasses?

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Q  12:  Can you think of a word that is pronounced differently by merely capitalizing the first letter?

There are several, a point for each.

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Q  13:  What word describes a woman who does not have all her fingers on one hand?

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Q  14:  At various times throughout history known as the “President’s Palace,” the “President’s House,” and the “Executive Mansion”, what US President officially gave the White House its current name in 1901?

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Q  15:  What is the only capital letter in the Roman alphabet (the one we use) with exactly one end point?

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Q  16:  What US state’s motto is “Wisdom, Justice and Moderation.”

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Q  17:  What TV comedy series character’s catchphrase was “I’m listening”?

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Q  18:  In what country do people generally answer the phone by saying, “I’m listening”.

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Q  19:  What is light as a feather, but even the strongest man cannot hold it more than a few minutes?

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Q  20:  How can you make seven even?

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ANSWERS

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Q   1:  In Italy who or what is known as “Topolino”?

A   1:  Mickey Mouse is known as “Topolino” in Italy

.

. 

Q   2:  How many men in total have landed on and explored the Moon?

A   2:  Twelve men have landed on and explored the moon

 .

.

Q   3:  How many women in total have landed on and explored the Moon?

A   3:  Zero, no women have landed on and explored the moon

.

. 

Q   4:  In their natural habitats, what percentage of penguins live south of the equator?

A   4:  100%. All penguins live south of the equator

.

Q   5:  In what book of The Bible is God not mentioned?

A   5:  The book of Esther.

.

Q   6:  What do they call a “French kiss” in France?

A   6:  An “English Kiss”.

.

Q   7:  What is the longest English word without a vowel?

A   7:  “Rhythm”

.

Q   8:  What is the driest state in the U.S.?

A   8:  Nevada. Each year it averages 7.5 inches (19 cm) of rain.

.

Q   9:  A group of toads is called a what?

A   9:  A knot.

.

Q  10:  The first toilet ever seen on television was on what show?

A  10:  “Leave It to Beaver.”

.

Q  11:  How many of the 44 US Presidents has worn glasses?

A  11:  Every US president has worn glasses (just not always in public).

.

Q  12:  Can you think of a word that is pronounced differently by merely capitalizing the first letter?

There are several, a point for each.

A  12:  Here are some examples, there could be others

1. job  and  Job

2. herb  and  Herb

3. polish  and  Polish

and there could be more, so well done if you thought of others.

.

Q  13:  What word describes a woman who does not have all her fingers on one hand?

A  13:  “Normal”. Normal people do not have ‘all’ their fingers on ‘one’ hand.

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Q  14:  At various times throughout history known as the “President’s Palace,” the “President’s House,” and the “Executive Mansion”, what US President officially gave the White House its current name in 1901?

A  14:  Theodore Roosevelt

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Q  15:  What is the only capital letter in the Roman alphabet (the one we use) with exactly one end point?

A  15:  The only capital letter in the Roman alphabet with exactly one end point is P.

Check out the others if you want, A(2), B (0), C (2), D (0), E (3), F (3), G (2), H (4), I (2), J (2), K (4), L (2), M (2), N (2), O (0), Q (2), R (2), S (2), T (3), U (2), V (2), W (2), X (4), Y (3), Z (2).  

.

Q  16:  What US state’s motto is “Wisdom, Justice and Moderation.”

A  16:  The state motto of Georgia is “Wisdom, Justice and Moderation.”

.

Q  17:  What TV comedy series character’s catchphrase was “I’m listening”?

A  17:  Frasier Crane played by the ever excellent Kelsey Grammar.

.

Q  18:  In what country do people generally answer the phone by saying, “I’m listening”.

A  18:  Russians generally answer the phone by saying, “I’m listening”.

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Q  19:  What is light as a feather, but even the strongest man cannot hold it more than a few minutes?

A  19:  His breath.

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Q  20:  How can you make seven even?

A  20:  Just take away the “s”, duhhhh!

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Not so easy. Hope you did okay!

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Did You Know? More Random Fact File Fun

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Facts don’t more random than these selections.

A little something for everyone seems to be the goal, so I hope you find at least one fact in here of interest.

Enjoy.

.

did you know5

.

People say “bless you” when you sneeze

because your heart stops for a millisecond.

achoo

.

.

US gold coins used to say

“In Gold We Trust”.

in gold we trust

.

.

Kuwait is about 60% male

(highest in the world).

Kuwaiti men

.

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Latvia is about 54% female

(highest in the world).

latvian women

.

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The Hawaiian alphabet has only 12 letters.

Hawaiian Alphabet

.

.

Julius Caesar’s autograph is worth about $2,000,000.

Caesar

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.

The surface of the Earth is about 60% water and 10% ice,

but the volume of fresh water compared to

the volume of the earth is a lot smaller.

global-water-volume-fresh

.

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For every 230 cars that are made, 1 will be stolen.

car-theft

.

.

Lightning strikes the earth about 8 million times a day.

Lightning Strikes

.

.

John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James Monroe died on July 4th.

Presidential funeral procession

.

.

In 1386, a pig in France was executed

by public hanging for the murder of a child

pig hanged

.

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Human thigh bones are stronger than concrete.

thigh bone

.

.

Present population of 7 billion plus people of the world

is predicted to become 15 billion by 2080.

world_popluation_1

.

.

A man named Charles Osborne

had the hiccups for 69 years!

Charles Osborne

.

.

A giraffe can clean its ears with its 21-inch tongue!

(That takes some lickin’)

giraffe tongue

.

.

The average person laughs 10 times a day!

(But obviously readers of the Fasab blog are well above average!)

laughing-men

.

.

Someone paid $14,000 for the bra worn by

Marilyn Monroe in the film ‘Some Like It Hot’.

slih-bra

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.

More than 1,000 different languages

are spoken on the continent of Africa.

africa_languages

.

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The White House has 132 rooms and

a total floor area of around 55,000 ft²

(5,100 square metres).

white-house

.

.

Buckingham Palace in England has 775 rooms and

the total floor area of the Palace, from basement to roof,

covers over 828,000 square feet (77,000 square metres).

Buckingham Palace

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Did You Know? More Fab Facts From The Files

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Yes, more fab facts from the files here at the fasab blog.

These posts are as random as they get so hopefully you should be able to get something out of them no matter what your interests are.

Check them out below.

And enjoy.

.

did you know3

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The phone number to the white house is:

(202) 456-1414.

US-WhiteHouse-Logo

.

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It takes about 63,000 trees to make the newsprint

for the average Sunday edition of New York Times.

The_New_York_Times

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Pucks hit by hockey sticks have reached speeds

of up to 150 miles per hour.

NHL puck

.

.

Intelligent people have more

zinc and copper in their hair.

albert-einstein

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In every episode of Seinfeld

there is a Superman somewhere.

Seinfeld Superman

.

.

The most poisonous spider is the black widow.

Its venom is more potent than a rattlesnake’s.

Black_widow_Spider

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Fish that live more than 800 meters below

the ocean surface don’t have eyes.

deep sea fish

.

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Mercury is the only planet

whose orbit is coplanar with its equator.

Mercury

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There is actually no danger in swimming right after you eat,

though it may feel uncomfortable.

wait_30_minutes

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Starfish have no brains.

(I know several people like that!)

starfish-2

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The national anthem of Greece has 158 verses.

greek anthem

.

.

Los Angeles’ full name is

“El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora la Reina de los Angeles de Porciuncula”.

LA

.

.

Al Capone’s business card

said he was a used furniture dealer.

capone card 2

.

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A dime has 118 ridges around the edge.

A quarter has 119.

quarter

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John Lennon’s first girlfriend

was named Thelma Pickles.

Thelma-Pickles

.

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You can lead a cow upstairs

but not downstairs.

.

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The average person falls asleep in seven minutes.

HomerSleeping

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There are 336 dimples on a regulation US golf ball.

In the UK its 330.

golf ball

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At the height of its power in 400 BC, the Greek city of Sparta

had 25,000 citizens and 500,000 slaves.

Sparta

.

.

In “Silence of the Lambs”,

Hannibal Lector (Anthony Hopkins) never blinks.

silence of the lambs

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Significant Number Factoid Friday – Today Number Forty-Two 42

“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, forty-two, so-called because of its use and the beliefs surrounding it.

Enjoy.

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42 Forty-Two

42

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In Religion

  • In Japanese culture, the number 42 is considered unlucky because the numerals when pronounced separately — “shi ni” (four two) — sound like the phrase, “unto death”;
  • There are 42 principles of Ma’at, the Ancient Egyptian personification of physical and moral law, order, and truth. In the judgement scene described in the Egyptian and the Book of the Coming/Going Forth by Day, there are 42 gods and goddesses of Egypt, personifying the principles of Ma’at. These 42 correspond to the 42 Nomes (Governmental Units) of Egypt. If the departed successfully answers all 42, s/he becomes an Osiris;
  • 42 is the number with which God creates the Universe in Kabbalistic tradition; 
  • In Judaism, the number (in the Babylonian Talmud, compiled 375 AD to 499 AD) of the “Forty-Two Lettered Name” ascribed to God. Rab (or Rabhs), a 3rd century source in the Talmud stated “The Forty-Two Lettered Name is entrusted only to him who is pious, meek, middle-aged, free from bad temper, sober, and not insistent on his rights”. 
  • 42 is a sacred Tibetan number and there is also a 42 armed Hindu God;
  • The first book to be printed with movable type, the Gutenberg Bible, is also known as the “42-line Bible”, as the book contained 42 lines per page;
  • The Forty-Two Articles (1552), largely the work of Thomas Cranmer, were intended to summarise Anglican doctrine, as it now existed under the reign of Edward VI..

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In The Bible

  • Forty Two, 3½ and 1260 – this is the amount that is given to the wicked or for people to bear fruit. Judgment occurs at the end. It is based on the law that God only expects results after the third year of planting (Leviticus 19: 23-25);
  • This time period appears in many prophecies as 1260 days, 42 months or 3½ years. It is the period that God allows the beast to operate. Notice that this is equal to 6 x 7 months. It is man’s portion of the jubilee cycle; 
  • Two female bears kill forty two children after they ridiculed the prophet of God. 2 Kings 2: 24; 
  • 42 Cities are given to the Levites in addition to six cities of refuge (Numbers 35: 6); 
  • 42 men of Beth-azmaveth were counted in the census of men of Israel upon return from exile (Ezra 2:24); 
  • Israel camped 42 times in the wilderness during the 40 year exodus. 
  • The goat’s hair and linen curtains covering the sanctuary have a length of 42 and 40 cubits. 
  • Jesus was forty two generations from Abraham. (Matthew 1).

.

In Mathematics

  • 42 is the product of the first three terms of Sylvester’s sequence; like the first five such numbers it is also a primary pseudoperfect number;
  • 42 is a partition number – the number of different ways 10 can be represented as the sum of natural numbers;
  • 42 is a Størmer number;
  • 42 is a perfect score on the USA Math Olympiad (USAMO) and International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO).
Simple Magic Cube adding to 42
Simple Magic Cube adding to 42

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In Science

  • 42 is the atomic number of molybdenum;
  • 42 is the value of the angle rounded to whole degrees for which a rainbow appears (the critical angle);
  • In 1966, mathematician Paul Cooper theorized that the fastest, most efficient way to travel across continents would be to bore a straight hollow tube directly through the Earth, connecting a set of antipodes, evacuate it (remove the air), and then just fall through. The first half of the journey consists of free-fall acceleration, while the second half consists of an exactly equal deceleration. The time for such a journey works out to be 42 minutes. Remarkably, even if the tube does not pass through the exact center of the Earth, the time for a journey powered entirely by gravity (also known as Gravity train) always works out to be 42 minutes, as long as the tube remains friction-free, as while gravity’s force would be lessened, so would the distance traveled at an equal rate. (The same idea was proposed, without calculation by Lewis Carroll in 1893 in Sylvie and Bruno Concluded.)
Gravity Train Concept
Gravity Train Concept

.

In Technology

  • The glyph, or character, corresponding to the number 42 in the ASCII character set, is *, the asterisk, commonly known as the wildcard character;
  • In the TIFF image file format, the second 16-bit word of every file is 42, which is used together with the first word to indicate byte order;
  • In the reiser4 file system, 42 is the inode number of the root directory;
  • In the military IRIG 106 Chapter 10 data recording standard, the hex value 0x464F52545974776F (ASCII “FORTYtwo”) is used as a magic number to identify directory blocks;
  • The GNU C Library, a set of standard routines available for use in computer programming, contains a function—memfrob()—which performs an XOR combination of a given variable and the binary pattern 00101010 (42) as an XOR cipher;
  • 42 is the result given by the web search engines Google and Wolfram Alpha when the query “the answer to life the universe and everything” is entered as a search.

.

In Space

  • Messier object M42, a magnitude 5.0 diffuse nebula in the constellation Orion, also known as the Orion Nebula;
  • The New General Catalogue object NGC 42, is a spiral galaxy in the constellation Pegasus;
  • In January 2004, asteroid 2001 DA42 was given the permanent name 25924 Douglasadams, for the author Douglas Adams who popularized the number 42 and died in 2001; 
  • Kepler-42, is a red dwarf in the constellation Cygnus around which orbits the three smallest exoplanets found to date.
Messier-42 also known as the Orion Nebula
Messier-42 also known as the Orion Nebula

.

In Politics

  • The 42nd President of the Unites States of America was Democratic Party William (Bill) Jefferson Clinton, from January 20, 1993 to January 20, 2001. Vice President was Al Gore. Remembered more for ‘blow-jobs’ in the White House, Clinton’s Presidency also oversaw the disastrous Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act in 1999, that repealed the parts of the Glass–Steagall Act which had not already been repealed. This 1999 Act took down barriers to competition between traditional banks, investment banks, and insurance companies, in some cases allowing firms to participate in all three markets thus making distinctions between these categories less clear. It has been held largely responsible for the current financial crisis. 
Bill Clinton, 42nd President of the United States of America
Bill Clinton, 42nd President of the United States of America

.

In Sport

  • 42 is the jersey number of Jackie Robinson, which is the only number retired by all Major League Baseball teams. Although the number was retired in 1997, Mariano Rivera of the New York Yankees, the last professional baseball player to wear number 42, is currently still using it;
  • 42 is the jersey number of basketball Hall of Famer and one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History James Worthy, small forward for the Los Angeles Lakers, who retired his jersey number in 1995;
  • 42 is the jersey number of football Hall of Famer, Ronnie Lott, safety for the San Francisco 49ers, who retired his jersey number in 2003;
  • 42 is the jersey number of Chicago Bears legend Sid Luckman, which was retired by the Bears; 
  • 42 is the jersey number of Pat Tillman, which was retired on November 13, 2004 by Arizona State University; 
  • 42 is the number of laws of cricket;
  • 42 is the number of kilometers in a marathon;
  • 42 is the number of a NASCAR car owned by Earnhardt Ganassi Racing. It is currently being driven by former F1 star and Indy 500 champion Juan Pablo Montoya;

Earnhardt Ganassi Racing

.

In Militaria

  • XB-42
  • The most notable aircraft with the 42 designation was the XB-42 ‘Mixmaster’. This aircraft was developed initially as a private venture and an unsolicited proposal was presented to the United States Army Air Forces in May 1943 which resulted in an Air Force contract for two prototypes and one static test airframe, the USAAF seeing an intriguing possibility of finding a bomber capable of the Boeing B-29 Superfortress’ range without its size or cost.
  • The aircraft was unusual in design in that it had a pair of Allison V-1710-125 liquid-cooled V-12 engines mounted behind the crew’s cabin, each driving one of the twin propellers which protruded from the rear of the aircraft’s fuselage. The pilot and co-pilot sat under twin bubble canopies, and the bombardier sat in the extreme front behind a plexiglass nose.
  • The first XB-42 was delivered to the Army Air Force and flew at Palm Springs, California on 6 May 1944. Performance was excellent, being basically as described in the original proposal; as fast or faster than the de Havilland Mosquito but with defensive armament and twice the bombload. The twin bubble canopies proved a bad idea as communications were adversely affected and a single bubble canopy was substituted after the first flight, a problem that could have been rectified, but the end of World War II changed priorities and the advent of the jet engine gave an alternative way toward achieving high speed.
XB-42 'Mixmaster' and model
XB-42 ‘Mixmaster’ and model

 

  • AG-42
  • The AG-42 rifle (official designation Halvautomatiskt Gevaer 42) was developed by Swedish engineer Erik Eklund while working at company C. J. Ljungman AB. Officially adopted by Swedish army in 1942, this rifle served in Sweden until mid-1960s, when it was replaced in service with 7.62mm AK-4 rifle (license-build HK G3 rifle).
AG-42B Rifle
AG-42B Rifle

 

  • MKb.42
  • In 1939 HWaA (Hitler’s army Weapons command) issued a contract for the development of a “Maschinen karabiner”, or machine carbine (MKb for short), chambered for the new 7.92×33 Kurz cartridge, to the company C.G. Haenel Waffen und Fahrradfabrik.
  • The famous designer Hugo Schmeisser led the Haenel development team, which produced the first working prototypes of new weapon by 1942. The new weapon was intended as a replacement for submachine guns, bolt action rifles and, partly, light machine guns for front troops. The MKb.42(H) could be fitted with standardbayonet, and has a wooden butt. 
mkb 42h-1 rifle
mkb 42h-1 ri

 

  • MG 42
  • A cheaper to produce but much more reliable replacement for the MG 34, the MG 42 was officially adopted as the MG 42, and production commenced in 1941.
  • In general terms, the MG 42 was a great success. It fulfilled the roles of a light machine gun on a bipod, a medium machine gun (on a newly developed Lafette 42 tripod), and an anti-aircraft machine gun, mounted in single and twin installations, ground and vehicle-mounted. 
  • After the WW2 the MG 42, unlike other wartime designs, lived on, as in 1958, the FRG (WestGermany) re-instituted its official armed force, known as the Bundeswehr. 
  • The simplicity, low manufacturing cost and high effectiveness of the MG 3 attracted several other countries, which either bought the guns from Rheinmetall (such as Denmark), or obtained manufacturing licenses and build (or at least have built in the past) the same guns domestically (such as Italy, Iran, Turkey, Pakistan and Yugoslavia). In total, at least twenty armies have used or still are using the MG 3 and its versions.
mg42 machine gun
mg42 machine gun

 

.

In Books, Movies & TV

  • The 42nd Parallel is the first of a trilogy of books, (the others being 1919, and The Big Money), written by John Dos Passos and acclaimed by many to be the great American novel;
  • English author Douglas Noel Adams popularized the number 42 in his best known work called the Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy. The number 42 and the phrase, “Life, the universe, and everything” have attained cult status on the Internet. If you type the answer to life, the universe and everything into Google (without quotes or capitalising the small words), the Google Calculator will give you 42; also, if you go to Wolfram’s Computational Knowledge Engine and type “answer to life, the universe, and everything”, it provides you with the result 42. Microsoft’s Bing search engine will also give you 42. Alphasmart 3000’s calculator, when given any equation that results in 42, will display, “The answer to life, the universe, and everything”. In the online community “Second Life,” there is a section on a sim called “42nd Life”;
  • In the Stargate Atlantis Season 4 episode “Quarantine”, 42 are the last two digits in Rodney McKay’s password. After John Sheppard explains to Teyla the meaning of the previous twelve digits, she asks him what 42 is. Then, John says, “It’s the ultimate answer to the great question of life, the universe, and everything,” at which point Teyla looks confused;
  • In the TV show Lost, 42 is the last of the mysterious numbers, 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, and 42;
  • In Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange, Alex browses through records in a record store and we see a record of the, at this time fictional, band Level 42;
  • “42” is an episode of Doctor Who, set in real time lasting approximately 42 minutes;
  • “The Kumars at No. 42” is the name of a 2003 BBC television series; 
  • A made for TV movie 42: Forty Two Up – an installment in a series of documentaries wherein the director revisits the same group of British-born individuals every 7 years;
  • On the game show Jeopardy!, “Watson” the IBM supercomputer, has 42 “threads” in its avatar;
  • On the Unusuals TV-show there’s an episode called “42”. Detective Leo Banks recently turned 42. On account of his father, uncle, and grandfather dropping dead at 42, Leo is convinced he’ll share their fate. There were 42s all over the episode.
42nd Parallel by John Dos Passos
42nd Parallel by John Dos Passos

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Other Stuff

  • In New York City, 42nd Street is a main and very popular two-way thoroughfare. Landmarks on it include the Chrysler Building, Grand Central Station, the main branch of the New York Public Library, and Times Square; 
  • Tower 42, originally called the NatWest Tower because it was built for the National Westminster Bank, is the tallest skyscraper in the city of London and the fifth tallest in London as a whole;
  • +42 is the historic Country calling code for the former country of Czechoslovakia; 
  • 42 is the number of US gallons in a barrel of oil;
  • 42 is the number of spots (or pips, circular patches or pits) on a pair of standard six-sided dice;
  • 42 is a free tabloid devoted to technology news in Huntsville, Alabama. It is published by the Huntsville Times and is named for “The Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything”;
  • Fictional comic book superhero Miles Morales is bitten by a genetically altered spider with a red 42 marked on its abdomen. Morales later assumes the role of Spider-Man as a result of the bite and following the death of Peter Parker in the Ultimate Marvel universe from Marvel Comics. Morales also wins a coveted spot in a prestigious charter school after his number (42) is chosen during a lottery.
Miles Morales Spiderman
Miles Morales Spiderman

 

A Question Of Lies And Gross Indecency, But Just Who Is Responsible?

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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The election is looming. Just about a month to go in fact.

Despite his numerous gaffs, after the first televised debate Romney has pulled slightly ahead in the polls and according to news reports, is “hardening his lead”, mainly on the back of a lackluster performance by Obama.

The VP debate last week didn’t produce a clear leader either – just created a frenzy among viewers to find out who was under the desk tickling Biden’s feet.

Last evening’s bout at Hofstra University, in Hempstead, New York didn’t produce a clear winner for me either, although some media polls put Obama ahead. His performance was certainly way better than in debate one, but you could easily have written the totally predictable moron media’s “Obama fights back” headlines without even watching it.

What this all means is that it’s still all to play for and far too close to call. In the end the committed supporters on each side will largely cancel each other out and the king-makers (or president-makers in this case) will be the 5 to 10 percent so far undecided.

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Does it really matter who wins? After all, when it’s all done and dusted, the same types of people will hold the same offices as before. They will do the same things as before. And the mess we are all in will be as big as before – or bigger. I hope you have noticed that there has been a distinct failure by BOTH candidates to address the economic crisis in any meaningful and specific terms.  

But there are two other questions we need to address.

First, there is an obscenity here that no one is talking very much about. Call it the elephant and the donkey in the room if you like. It is an obscenity that has been around for far too long, but today in our current dire economic circumstances, it has been elevated to the level of gross indecency.

What am I ranting on about this time?

political money badge

 

Well, if you hadn’t guessed already, the obscenity I am referring to is the scandalous amount of money that BOTH presidential candidates are wasting trying to get themselves elected.

We all know Romney is a multi-millionaire, with equally rich chums or better, so it maybe isn’t such a surprise that he is able to raise hundreds of millions of dollars for his campaign war chest.

What is more surprising is Obama. His war chest is actually bigger than Romney’s and, quite unbelievably, is about to hit and probably surpass the $1 billion mark. It may already have by the time you read this.

Obama war chest

 

I know a billion dollars isn’t what it used to be in terms of purchasing power, but it can still buy a lot of stuff. If you are having any difficulty visualizing how much a billion dollars is, think of it this way. The median income in the United States is around $29,000, meaning half the wage earners  make less and half make more. If you make $29,000 a year, and don’t spend a single penny of it, it will still take you 34,482 years to save a billion dollars.

One Billion Dollars
One Billion Dollars

 

Now you are probably having trouble visualizing what it would be like to wait 34,482 years – if you are, it’s over 400 lifetimes!

Put another way, their combined waste of money could provide almost 150,000 surgical procedures, or more than 500 million meals for the poor and homeless, either of them money a lot better spent.

homeless in winter
homeless in winter

 

That anyone, Obama, Romney or A. N. Other can squander this amount of money for no return other than to aggrandize themselves with the title of President shows a deal of contempt for the ordinary people of the country, particularly those who are presently struggling to survive thanks to the financial mismanagement that these same politicians have presided over.

You can be sure that whoever gets into the big seat in the White House he will drown us in hypocrisy. We will get lectures about sacrifice and austerity measures, how deficits need to be cut, how taxes need to be raised, how you will have to tighten your belt for the sake of the country (whether you can still afford a belt or not) and so forth. Where was the belt tightening during the election campaign, boyz???

Rat Cartoon

 

Of course, we are told that the bulk of the money in the politicians’ war chests is made up of the small $5, $10, $25 or $50 donated by ordinary folks. That may be true. But there are two types of dollars donated for election campaigns – ‘gifted’ dollars and ‘investment’ dollars. Most of the dollars donated by big corporations, super rich individuals and bankers fall into the latter category. Those people will be expecting, and will get, a return on that ‘investment’.

political graft

Thus the system – which is now so corrupt that rich executives ride roughshod over the law at will, and without fear of being punished no matter who is president – will remain largely as is.

This is a recipe for disaster. If history has taught us nothing else, it has taught us that a nation, caught between a broken political system and a populist movement of those who feel increasingly disenfranchised and undervalued, will at some stage experience rebellion against that corruption.

If you think not, think again. In fact, think tea parties in Boston and how and why the United States came into being in the first place.

Boston tea party cartoon

 

Of course the solution to this particular obscenity is quick and easy. Put a ceiling on the amount of money a politician can legally collect and spend on his campaign. That would create a level playing field for all. Rich or poor, large party or small party, would have an equal chance of marketing their wears.

The only problem is that it is the same politicians who will have to make that law, and last reports still say that turkeys are very reluctant to vote for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Thanksgiving Turkey eat beef campaign

 

So that gets us to the second question in the title of this post, namely “Who is responsible?” In fact it is a two-fold question.

Are the politicians responsible because they lie to the people and promise one thing before an election and do another afterwards?

Or are the people responsible because they know fine well that the politicians are lying to them and won’t deliver on their promises, but still go out and vote for them anyway?

Let’s phrase these two questions another way.

Are the politicians responsible because they know that if they did not lie, not enough people would vote for them?

Or are the people responsible because they don’t really want to hear the hard truth and would not vote for a politician who told it how it is?

 

Everyone has to answer that dilemma themselves. Personally I wouldn’t vote for someone I know is lying to me, no matter what party they belonged to.

 

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