Sunday, 20 January 2008

Stupid Facts or Amazing Facts

1) The Human Body

The ashes of the average cremated person weigh nine pounds.

The skeleton of an average 160-pound body weighs about 29 pounds.

By age 60, most people have lost half their taste buds.

A person who smokes a pack of cigarettes a day will (on average) lose two teeth every 10 years.

90 percent of the population has an "innie" belly button.

The average human will shed 40 pounds of skin in a lifetime.

A fingernail or toenail takes about six months to a year to grow from base to tip.

The human body has 70,000 miles of blood vessels.

The thumbnail grows the slowest. The middle nail grows the fastest.

The space between your eyebrows is called the glabella.

The surface of the human skin is 6.5 square feet (2m).

2) Some more facts.

Regalation is the process that allows ice to refreeze.
A full moon always rises at sunset.

A regulation soccer game is 90 minutes.

A coward was originally a boy who took care of cows.

England is smaller than New England.

The age of a fish can be determined by the number of growth rings on its scales.

The average human eyelash lives about 150 days.

The average person’s hair will grow approximately 590 inches in a lifetime.

The average woman’s thighs are 1.5 times larger in circumference than the average man’s.

An average person uses the bathroom six times per day.

Mercury is the only metal liquid at room temperature.

Thermometers were once filled with brandy.

3.5% of the oceans is dissolved salt.

Brussel sprouts were discovered in Brussels.

Swedish fish are neither.

Blood is six times thicker than water.

Andromeda is the nearest galaxy.

Scooby Doo's first name is Scoobert.

The word "corduroy" comes from the French "cord du roi" or "cloth of the king."

Coca-cola was originally sold as a brain tonic.

3) Occupational Surnames:

Common surnames whose original meanings were occupations:

* Ackerman: plowman

* Barker: leather tanner

* Baxter: baker

* Brewster: brewer

* Carter: wagon driver

* Chandler: candle maker

* Clark: clerk

* Cohen: priest

* Collier: coal miner

* Conner: inspector

* Cooper: barrel maker

* Currier: curer of hides

* Dyker: stonemason

* Faber: artisan

* Ferrier: blacksmith

* Fletcher: arrow maker

* Fowler: bird hunter

* Fuller: cleaner of cloth goods

* Granger: farmer

* Hacker: woodcutter

* Harper: minstrel

* Hayward: fence inspector

* Hooper: maker of barrel hoops

* Kaufman: merchant

* Keeler: bargeman

* Lederer: leather maker

* Marshall: horse doctor

* Mercer: cloth merchant

* Pitman: coal miner

* Sawyer: sawer of timber into boards

* Schneider: tailor

* Tinker: traveling salesman

* Travers: collector of bridge tolls

* Tucker: cleaner of cloth goods

* Webster: weaver

* Wainwright: wagon maker

* Wechsler: moneychanger

4) Car Names:

Many car company names are named for real people.

Buick: David Dunbar Buick (1854-1929), a Scotsman, merged the failing Buick Manufacturing Company with another to form the Buick Motor Car Company in 1903.

Chevrolet: Louis Chevrolet (1878-1941) was a race car driver and designer who co-founded the company.

Chrysler: Walter Chrysler (1875-1940) formed the Chrysler Corporation in 1925.

Dodge: John (1864-1920) and Horace (1868-1920) Dodge founded the their own car company in 1914.

Ferrari: Enzo Ferrari (1898-1988) racing car driver and designer founded the company in 1929.

Ford: Henry Ford (1863-1947) founded the Ford Motor Company in 1903.

Mercedes-Benz: Karl Benz (1844-1929) is believed by many to be the inventor of the automobile. Mercedes Jellinek was a daughter of a German diplomat and investor.

Oldsmobile: Ransom Eli Olds (1864-1950) founded the Olds Motor Vehicle company in 1897.

Porsche: Ferdinand Porsche (1875-1951), automobile designer and manufacturer, started his own company in 1930.

Rolls-Royce: A combination of Sir Henry Royce (1863-1933) and Charles Rolls (1877-1910 ). Royce founded the company in 1903 and Rolls promoted the car.

5) Weather:

To tell the temperature without a thermometer:

Count a cricket's "chirps" for 15 seconds and add 40. This tells you the degrees in Fahrenheit.

If you cut a hailstone in half and count the rings, that information will tell you how many times the hailstone fell and rose within the a thunderstorm's updrafts.

The cool rush of air preceding a thunderstorm is caused by the downward force of rainfall, and this rush of air is approximately 1-2 miles ahead of the oncoming storm!

A typical cloud reflects 75% of the Sun's energy, leaving 25% of sunlight to reach the ground.

The best time to go fishing, according to weather experts, is during a full moon cycle. A full moon causes increased electromagnetic energy, which in turn triggers traveling, feeding, and spawning responses in fish and their prey.

6) Life Spans

* An average elephant lives for about 55 years.

* A butterfly lives for about 6 months.

* A gorilla lives to about 40 years of age.

* A queen honeybee lives for about 7 years.

* A shark lives for about 100 years.

* An average lion lives for 25 years.

* An average parrot lives for 120 years.

* Ants may live up to 16 years.

* Dolphins live for about 25 years.

* Eagles live for about 40 years.

* Giant tortoises live to be 200 years old.

* Rattlesnakes live for about 19 years.

* The longest-lived insects are queen termites, which live for up to 100 years.

* The oldest known goldfish lived to 41 years of age.

7) Life in the 1500's

Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May and were still smelling pretty good by June. However, they were starting to smell, so brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the b.o.

Baths equaled a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children. Last of all the babies. By then the water was so dirty you could actually loose someone in it. Hence the saying, "Don't throw the baby out with the bath water".

Houses had thatched roofs. Thick straw, piled high, with no wood underneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the pets...dogs, cats and other small animals, mice, rats, bugs lived in the roof. When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof. Hence the saying, "It's raining cats and dogs," There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house. This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could really mess up your nice clean bed. So, they found if they made beds with big posts and hung a sheet over the top, it addressed that problem. Hence those beautiful big 4 poster beds with canopies.

The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt, hence the saying "dirt poor". The wealthy had slate floors which would get slippery in the winter when wet. So they spread thresh on the floor to help keep their footing. As the winter wore on they kept adding more thresh until when you opened the door it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed at the entry way, hence a "thresh hold".

They cooked in the kitchen in a big kettle that always hung over the fire. Every day they lit the fire and added things to the pot. They mostly ate vegetables and didn't get much meat. They would eat the stew for dinner leaving leftovers in the pot to get cold overnight and then start over the next day. Sometimes the stew had food in it that had been in there for a month. Hence the rhyme: peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old.

Sometimes they could obtain pork and would feel really special when that happened. When company came over, they would bring out some bacon and hang it to show it off. It was a sign of wealth and that a man "could really bring home the bacon." They would cut off a little to share with guests and would all sit around and "chew the fat."

Those with money had plates made of pewter. Food with a high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food. This happened most often with tomatoes, so they stopped eating tomatoes... for 400 years. Most people didn't have pewter plates, but had trenchers - a piece of wood with the middle scooped out like a bowl. Trencher were never washed and a lot of times worms got into the wood. After eating off wormy trenchers, they would get "trench mouth."

Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the top, or the "upper crust".

Lead cups were used to drink ale or whiskey. The combination would sometimes knock them out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial. They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up. Hence the custom of holding a "wake".

England is old and small and they started running out of places to bury people. So, they would dig up coffins and would take their bones to a house and reuse the grave. In reopening these coffins, one out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive. So they thought they would tie a string on their wrist and lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell. Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night to listen for the bell. Hence on the "graveyard shift" they would know that someone was "saved by the bell" or he was a "dead ringer".

8) Firsts:

* The first beer can was used by Krueger Beer, and introduced in 1935.

* The first bra was created by a French designer in 1902.

* The first city in history to boast a million inhabitants was London, in 1811.

* The first continental phone call occurred in 1915 between New York and San Francisco.

* The first electronic computer was built in 1889 for the U.S. Census Bureau.

* The first heart transplant took place on December 3, 1967.

* The first issue of Rolling Stone magazine featured a photo of John Lennon on the cover.

* The first pay phone was installed in a Hartford, Connecticut bank in 1889.

* The first scheduled TV broadcast, in 1931, featured George Gershwin and Kate Smith.

* The first shopping center was built in Baltimore, MD, in 1896.

* The first sound recording ever made was "Mary Had a Little Lamb," in 1877 by Tom Edison.

* The first sperm banks opened in 1964 in Tokyo and Iowa City.

* The first stereo record went on the market in 1958.

* The first stewardesses were on United Airlines in 1930, and had to be registered nurses.

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