Friday, April 01, 2005

Amazing but True Facts

  • Molecularly speaking, water is actually much drier than sand.

  • The term "bank teller" originated in the wake of the 1929 stock market crash, when banks began hiring low-paid workers to "tell" throngs of frantic depositors that their money was gone.

  • The brand name "Jelly Belly" was created in 1982 after Nancy Reagan made a much-publicized quip about her husband's 20-pound weight gain.

  • The Internal Revenue Service audits 87 percent of women who claim breast implants as tax deductions.

  • Scandinavian berserkers used to cut out their eyes before battle to spare themselves the sight of the carnage they invariably wrought.

  • Human tonsils can bounce higher than a rubber ball of similar weight and size, but only for the first 30 minutes after they've been removed.

  • Comic duo Cheech and Chong were originally known as Spic and Span before changing due to pressure from Chicano organizations.

  • The city of Slaughter, Texas (population: 11,284), has never had a homicide occur within its boundaries.

  • Rubbing Tabasco on one's upper lip before bedtime is an effective temporary cure for sleep apnea.

    (Hey, if I'd only known!!! - ed.)

  • British pop singer Baby Spice is the great-great-great-great-great-great-grandniece of Archduke William Pinkley-Hogue of Standishfordshire, making her 103rd in line for the throne of England.

  • The curved shape of a hockey stick is a throwback to prehistoric use of mastodon tusks in a similar game.

  • A Native American tribe in South Dakota collects bottle caps left by campers, using them as currency. Several banks in the area now recognize the caps as legal tender.

  • Fish have "dandruff" caused by flaking skin, and it is impossible to filter all traces of it from drinking water.

  • Moths are unable to fly during an earthquake.

  • The first case of the common cold was diagnosed in 1611 in Stratford, England. The patient? John Common, who coincidentally gave his cold to William Shakespeare who said the new malady exacerbated his lovesickness, thereby inspiring several of his most fondly remembered sonnets.

  • "Hello Kitty" began as part of a covert propaganda campaign originally proposed by Prime Minister Tojo during World War II.

  • When in heat, female hippopotami secrete an oil with a flavor similar to strawberries. Kalahari bushmen use the oil to make flat-bread treats for children.

  • If an average human scrotum were stretched until all its wrinkles were smoothed out, it could hold a basketball.

  • Ingesting small doses of ink over an extended period of time will change your eye color slightly.

  • To commemorate ratification of the 19th Amendment in 1920, U.S. playing card manufacturers replaced "staffs" with "hearts" as the fourth suit in the deck. The world soon followed.

  • In 1960, a then-unknown Dan Rather auditioned for the voice of cartoon character Dudley Do-Right but was turned down by animator/director Jay Ward.

  • When subjected to an electric current of at least 50 volts, a cat's tail always points toward the north.

  • If the current trend continues, by the year 2215 midgets will outnumber "normal-sized" people.

  • Scientists estimate that sleep lost due to daylight saving time reduces the average lifespan by nearly two full months.

    (SEE!?!? SEE!?!?!? I warrrrrrned ya'...Din't I warrrrrrrn ya'? - ed.)

  • In the late '90s, Microsoft secretly developed its own version of Linux, but shelved it after quality control researchers deemed it "too stable."

  • No NCAA basketball team from a school located in its state's capital has ever won the national championship.

    (Sorry, Vandy. But we kinda knew that already... - ed.)

  • The African black rhinoceros excretes its own weight in dung every 48 hours.

    (The average politician does that as well. - ed.)

  • The top three names for female babies born in China last year were Huan Yue, Jia Li and -- unlikely as it seems -- Buffy.

  • Peter Maas, creator of the character Serpico, got his character's name from an ultra-expensive, highly-prized Malaysian liqueur made from fermented viper venom.

  • Shortly before his execution, Timothy McVeigh constructed a scale model of the Lincoln Memorial with soda crackers.

  • There have been four documented cases of humans who have hibernated through an entire winter.

  • Strains of bacteria similar to E. coli have been found in spent printer cartridges -- but only in the cyan ones. Scientists have no explanation.

  • The four different people who, at various times, tried -- and failed -- to become the Guinness Book of World Records'"Human Milkshake Volcano" by drinking five gallons of milk and then riding the Six Flags Screaming' Eagle roller coaster all shared the same birthday: September 18, 1970.

  • The Australian aborigine language has over 30 words for "dust."

  • Anyone convicted of animal cruelty in Sedalia, Missouri, is sentenced to a month's confinement in the county animal shelter.

  • Fewer divorces occur in families in which the children wake their parents before 6 a.m. on Saturdays.

    (I have trouble believing this. However, I also have trouble believing that the children would live long enough to complete this survey... - ed.)

  • A futuristic automobile designed by Ford for the movie "Blade Runner" was produced and sold in limited quantities as the "Ford Harrison."

  • John F. Kennedy was an accomplished ventriloquist.

  • A bad case of laryngitis forced Abraham Lincoln to lip-sync the Gettysburg Address. The speech was actually delivered by an aide hidden beneath the stage.

  • A prominent organization of anthropologists has predicted that by the year 5000, humans will have two rectums, but only one nostril.

  • For over a decade, the number of drive-by shootings has been directly proportional to increased gas prices.

    (So, for those citizens of Knoxville I say--- LOOK OUT!!! DUCK!!!! - ed.)

  • Two-thirds of all the world's coriander comes from a single valley in Italy.

  • As the sheer volume of Internet traffic has increased, the friction of the electrons passing around the planet has increased the overall global temperature by .07 degrees.

  • Contrary to popular belief, the white is not the healthiest part of an egg. It's actually the shell.

  • A comprehensive multi-year study using pattern-recognition software determined that Millard Fillmore is the most common identifiable U.S. president seen in cloud formations.

  • Baking soda and vinegar will make your scrambled eggs fluffier.

  • The first prototype defibrillators delivered 1,200 joules of electrical energy instead of the now standard 360, occasionally causing dead bodies to sit upright momentarily as though they were still alive.

  • Ancient Egyptians used molted cobra skins as condoms.

  • Using its anal sphincter muscle, the Mongolian tapir is capable of creating high-pitched tones that can be heard by dogs nearly 30 miles away.

    (Also known as "Britney Spears". - ed.)

  • Customs officials have dogs that are trained to distinguish between Cuban cigars and all other cigars.

  • Archimedes' screw was the basis for Max Factor's invention of the twisting lipstick holder.

  • A Tokyo inventor has developed a laptop computer whose battery is recharged by energy generated from the movement of the user's mouse, yet Sony lawyers have successfully blocked every attempt to produce a product using the technology.

  • Female black cats can actually see their shadows at night.

  • Ballpoint pens were invented by a Michigan scientist attempting to reduce the number of birds killed for their quills.

  • Glamorous movie star Brad Pitt once had a summer job posting warning signs at coal mine entrances.

  • The National Weather Service will pay $30 for the rights to any original photograph of lightning.

  • U.S. Army medics in World War I knew of the germ-fighting properties of rodent saliva and carried hamsters in their medical bags to sterilize wounds in the field.

  • An early draft of the Declaration of Independence included a line by Benjamin Franklin inviting King George to "kisse our collective arse."

  • Nearly three percent of the ice in Antarctic glaciers is penguin urine.

  • The sound made when a duck passes gas is the precise acoustic opposite of its quack; if it does both simultaneously, there's no audible sound.

    (Yes, but does it echo??? - ed.)

  • Contrary to their popular image as spinsters, the average librarian has 5.9 random sex partners per year.

  • The rhesus monkey is the only animal that can be taught to hum a tune.

  • With the exception of a small 200-square-mile section of Antarctica, every single square kilometer of dry land on the planet has been walked on by at least one human being.

  • If you've made it this far and believed a single one of these, you're a bigger April Fool than the person sitting next to you on the subway when you're in Chicago three years from now at the Firefighter's convention.

(Found at Top 5)

1 comment:

  1. This list states that U.S. playing card manufacturers replaced "staffs" with "hearts" as the fourth suit in the deck in 1920.This makes no sense as the four suits (hearts, diamonds, spades, clubs) now used in most of the world originated in France, approximately in 1480. As further proof, Alice in Wonderland, containing the character the Queen of hearts, a reference to a deck of playing cards Alice has, was published in 1865, 55 years before the claimed change.

    (Sorry, I kinda like to poke holes in stuff like this)