Trivia and Brain Twisters III

 Don't miss the Original Trivia Page!

Assorted Useless Facts 10/18/03
Human Body Trivia 8/16/03
How Observant Are You?
Movie Trivia 8/16/03
Facts About the Middle East

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Assorted Useless Facts

White Out was invented by the mother of Mike Nesmith (Formerly of the Monkees).

101 Dalmatians and Peter Pan are the only two Disney cartoon features with both parents that are present and don't die throughout the movie.

Only two people signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, John Hancock and Charles Thomson. Most of the rest signed on August 2, but the last signature wasn't added until 5 years later.

If the Sun stopped producing energy today, we wouldn't know about it for ten million years.

On a clear night in the autumn you can see two million years back in time.

The first living creature to orbit the Earth was a dog called Laika.

People in space are up to 5 centimeters taller than they are on Earth. Without the effect of gravity pressing them down, their vertebrae (sections of their spine) move a little further apart.

The footprints that Neil Armstrong and the other astronauts left on the surface of the Moon will still be there in a million years' time.

Jupiter is so big you could fit the Earth inside it 1300 times over.

On the Sun a person would be as heavy as an elephant is on Earth. The Sun is 330,000 times more massive than the Earth, so its gravity is very strong.

It was the custom among men in Rome, when swearing to tell the truth, to place one's right hand on one's testicles. The English word "testimony" is related to this custom.

Coffee is the world's second largest item of international commerce. Petroleum is the first.

Percentage of Americans that want to change their bodies in some way: 75% Percentage of Americans that would want to change their intelligence: 13%

Americans eat almost one million tons of potato chips each year.

The can opener was invented forty-four years after canned food.

A female salamander inseminates herself. At mating time, the male deposits a jellylike substance containing the sperm. The female draws the jelly into herself, and in doing so fertilizes her eggs.

Challenger Deep is the deepest spot in the ocean. It is 35,813 feet deep. If you cut Mount Everest off at sea level and put it on the ocean bottom in the Challenger Deep, there would still be over a mile of water at the top.

Antarctica is the coldest, windiest and highest continent anywhere on earth. The sun rises and sets only ONCE A YEAR in the Antarctic, which means there are six months of daylight, followed by six months of darkness.

The Dead Sea is almost six times as salty as the ocean. Nothing lives in it. Fish that swim into it are instantly killed. But humans don't, and because of the high concentration of dissolved mineral salts in the water it's density is higher than fresh water, which in turn makes the human body more buoyant in the water. In short, you would bob up and down like a cork in the Dead Sea.

There are 318,979,564,000 possible ways of playing just the first four moves on each side in a game of chess.

In the 1970 Census, the U.S. had 2,983 men who were already widowers at the age of fourteen and 289 women, also at fourteen, who had already been widowed or divorced.

The second most numerous of living things are mollusks - soft bodied animals with hard shells.

The total population of the Earth at the time of Julius Caesar was 150 million. The total population increase in two years on Earth today is 150 million.

People who have never married are 7.5 times more likely to be hospitalized in a state or community psychiatric facility than those who married.

In 1977, less than 9 percent of physicians in the U.S. were women.

Born on November 14, 1963, the island of Surtsey off the coast of Iceland, achieved permanence in 1965 when volcano lava spread over its surface, protecting it from erosion.

A University of Illinois study measured average pig squeals that ranged from 100 to 115 decibels. The supersonic Concorde jet, by comparison, was originally banned from New York when its engines exceeded 112 decibels at takeoff.

'Hoosier,' Indiana's state nickname came from a generic Southern word, meaning bumpkin or backwoodsman.

Some Toothpastes and Makeup contain crushed volcanic stone.

The longest name in the Bible: Mahershalalbaz (Isaiah 8:1).

Anne Baxter, who co-starred in All About Eve, The Razor's Edge, and The Ten Commandments, was the granddaughter of world-renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright.

The digestive juices of crocodiles contain so much hydrochloric acid that they have dissolved iron spearheads and 6-inch steel hooks that the crocodiles have swallowed.

Houdini was born Erich Weiss. In the early 1900s while performing on the vaudeville circuit, Houdini worked with a couple named Keaton. Their young son Joseph was intrigued by Houdini's magic, and Houdini was quite taken with the boy. Houdini nicknamed him "Buster." The name stuck, explaining how Buster Keaton, the famous film comedian, got his name.

Wolf was the name of the dog that was with Rip Van Winkle when he fell asleep for 20 years.

If Earth was the size of an apple, the atmospheric layer would be no thicker than the skin of the apple.

A poet writes poems; the writer of inferior poems is called a "poetaster."

There is just one known species of ostrich in the world - it is in the order of Struthioniformes.

The Ozark blind salamander begins life with eyes and plume-like gills. As the animal matures, its eyelids fuse together and the gills disappear.

More than 50 percent of the people who are bitten by venomous snakes in the United States and who go untreated still survive.

Edwin Land, inventor of the Polaroid camera is second only to Thomas Edison in the number of U.S. patents granted for inventions.

In 1811, Louisiana was the first state in the U.S. to declare, by statute, English as its official language. It would be 109 years before a second state in the U.S., Nebraska, would issue a constitutional amendment to make English the official state idiom there.

Zip code 12345 is assigned to General Electric in Schenectady, New York.

When British film companies buy a product called "Kensington Gore," they are purchasing artificial blood, used for special effects.

Americans spend more money on dog food every year than they spend on baby food.

Kilts are not native to Scotland. They originated in France.

ISBN stands for "International Standard Book Number." The ISBN is a 10-digit identification system that allows book sellers and libraries to easily differentiate between books and other media when ordering. The ISBN refers to the specific edition (e.g., trade paperback, mass market paper back) and is usually located on the back of the book and on the copyright page.

The campy 1964 sci-fi flick Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, which featured a young, unknown Pia Zadora as a spunky Martian girl, was filmed in an airplane hangar on Long Island, New York.

The white meat of turkey is generally preferred in the United States, while other countries choose the dark meat.

Ralph Lauren's original name was Ralph Lifshitz.

The Jell-O company came out with a cola flavor gelatin for kids in 1942. It was discontinued the following year.

The San Blas Indian women of Panama consider giant noses a mark of great beauty. They paint black lines down the center of their noses to make them appear longer.

The average elephant produces 50 pounds of dung each day.

Monaco is so small, it covers about 350 acres. Fifty-five Monacos could fit inside the city of Paris. The diminutive principality still attracts the elite. The capital city of Monte Carlo still maintains some royal rituals. Tourists flock to see the Palace's regal changing of the guard. Monaco is also a popular tax haven for the wealthy.

Oscar the Grouch's pet worm on TV's Sesame Street is named Slimey.

If all the OREO cookies sold to date were stacked on top of each other, the height of the stack would be equivalent to the height of 9.8 million Sears Towers. The Sears Tower is 1,454 feet tall.

George Washington and Thomas Jefferson both grew hemp. Ben Franklin owned a mill that made hemp paper. The US Declaration of Independence was written on hemp paper.

On every continent there is a city called Rome.

Eskimos use refrigerators to keep food from freezing.

Neil Armstrong stepped on the moon with his left foot first.

Lightning strikes men about seven times more often than it does women.

Women make up 49% of the world population.

About 50% of Americans live within 50 miles of their birthplace. This is called propinquity.

From the Middle Ages until the 18th century the local barber's duties included dentistry, blood letting, minor operations and bone-setting. The barber's striped red pole originates from when patients would grip the pole during an operation.

The US nickname Uncle Sam was derived from Uncle Sam Wilson, a meat inspector in Troy, New York.

The electric chair was invented by a dentist.

According to Bayer Aspirin, over 50 billion aspirin tablets are taken worldwide each year.

The male moose sheds its antlers every winter and grows a new set the following year.

White Christmas (1954), starring Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye, was the first movie to be made in Vista Vision, a deep-focus process.

The word "pajamas" has its origin in Persian. It is a combination of the Persian words pa (leg) and jamah (garment).

A one-pound bag of candy corn usually contains 294 kernels.

Badminton is the world's fastest racket sport: a shuttle can leave the racket at a speed of almost 200 mph.

Just one episode of the macabre but popular Alfred Hitchcock Presents was never shown. It was titled "The Sorcerer's Apprentice," and was about a retarded boy who watched a magician saw a man in half and then killed someone trying to duplicate the trick. CBS refused to allow it on television, saying it was too morbid to air.

Pieces of bread were used to erase lead pencil before rubber came into use.

A zarzuela is an operetta of a traditional type, with spoken dialogue and lyrical music. The word is derived from the Spanish after La Zarzuela, the royal palace near Madrid where the operetta was first performed in 1629. A zarzuela is also the name of a seafood stew.

Spider silk is an extremely strong material and its on-weight basis has been proven to be stronger than steel. Experts suggest that a pencil-thick strand of silk could stop a Boeing 747 in flight.

The petunia and the potato are related to each other.

Western singer and cowboy star Tex Ritter was born Woodward Maurice Ritter. He was nicknamed "America's Most Beloved Cowboy" and is likely best remembered for singing the award-winning title song in the Gary Cooper/Grace Kelly classic, High Noon (1952).

A head tap gesture in Argentina and Peru means "I'm thinking" or "Think." Elsewhere, it can mean "He's crazy."

The average female between the ages of 20 and 44 is more likely to be overweight than are males in the same age category.

Thomas Paine designed the first long bridge that could cross a river without a supporting prop in the middle.

Artist Xavier Roberts first designed his soon-to-be-famous Cabbage Patch dolls in 1977 to help pay his way through school. They had soft faces and were made by hand, as opposed to the hard-faced mass-market dolls, and were originally called "Little People."

When a snail hatches from an egg, it is a miniature adult, shell and all. The shell grows with the snail, and the snail never leaves the shell.

The first Rolls-Royce sold for $600.00 in 1906. Today the cheapest model goes for close to $200,000.

Only 16 percent of the able-bodied males in the American colonies participated in the Revolutionary War.

If one places a minute amount of liquor on a scorpion, it will instantly go mad and sting itself to death.

The Hirudo leech has three jaws with 100 teeth on each jaw, making 300 teeth in all. The Amazon leech uses a different method of sucking blood. They insert a long proboscis into the victim as opposed to biting.

The term "feather in your cap" came from the American Indian tradition of obtaining feathers for headdresses. Birds were captured, some feathers plucked, and the birds were released. Each feather represented an act of bravery. The fashion of decorating hats with feathers declined in the twentieth century because too many birds were being slaughtered for their feathers.

The footprints left by the Apollo astronauts will not erode since there is no wind or water on the Moon. The footprints should last at least 10 million years.

There are approximately 320,000 icebergs in the world.

The temperature of Earth's interior increases by 1 degree every 60 feet down.

Kielbasa, a smoked sausage of coarsely chopped beef and pork, and flavored with garlic and spices, is from the Polish word Kielbasa, the word for sausage. Kielbasa sausage literally means "sausage sausage."

Rivers in the northern hemisphere scour their right-hand banks more severely than their left-hand banks. This effect is due to the rotation of the Earth.

Emerson Moser, who was Crayola's senior crayon maker, revealed upon his retirement that he was blue-green color-blind and couldn't see all the colors. He molded over 1.4 billion crayons in his 37-year career.

According to ancient Chinese legend, the appearance of the Hyades group of stars in the sky means rain. Interestingly, Roman and Greek legends say the same thing.

In fourteenth-century England, the number of males named Robert, William, Henry, John, or Richard averaged 2 out of every 3.

Inside London's oldest church, St. Bartholomew-the-Great, is a wall tablet recording the death of a man named Edward Cooke. His 1652 epitaph requests that others cry for him, "or if ye find noe vent for tears, yet stay and see the marble weepe." As poetic as this sounds, it seems to also be ironic, as Cooke's memorial is made of "weeping marble," a material that tends to exude beads or "tears" of moisture.

Barnard's star is approaching the Sun at a speed of 87 miles/second. By the year 11,800, it will be the closest star to us.

According to purist Italian chefs, ingredients that should never appear on an authentic Italian pizza include bell pepper, pepperoni, or chicken.

Jenna Elfman, co-star of the TV hit Dharma and Greg, was born Jennifer Mary Butala. In 1995, she married actor Bodhi Elfman, nephew of film score composer Danny Eflman (The Simpsons, Men in Black, Good Will Hunting), and changed her last name.

Louis Diat, chef de cuisine at the New York City Ritz-Carlton in the early twentieth century, named Vichyssoise after a leek and potato soup from his hometown in Vichy in France.

Some names for groups of animals include a bale of turtles, a clowder of cats, a charm of goldfinches, a gam of whales, a knot of toads, a streak of tigers.

According to researchers, the Marquis de Sade was only 5' 3" tall.

The best diamonds are colored blue-white.

"Hot cockles" was a popular game at Christmas in medieval times. It was a game in which the other players took turns striking the blindfolded player, who had to guess the name of the person delivering each blow. "Hot cockles" was still a Christmas pastime until the Victorian era.

In 1798, a mirage of the French coast was seen from Hastings, a town in Southern England, 60 miles away. A hundred-mile stretch of the French coast from Calais to Dieppe was seen clearly for three hours.

The City of Bridges in Canada are to be found in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. The city of Saskatoon was named for the red berries that grew along its riverbank.

The name Wendy was first used in JM Barrie's Peter Pan.

Lady Peseshet of Ancient Egypt (2600-2100 BC) is the world's first known female physician.

The 16th century Escorial palace of King Phillip II of Spain had 1,200 doors.

Julius Caesar was known as a great swimmer.

The people killed most often during bank robberies are the robbers.

Orville Wright numbered the eggs that his chickens produced so he could eat them in the order they were laid.

On New Year's Day, 1907, Theodore Roosevelt shook hands with 8,513 people.

Alexander Graham Bell never phoned his wife or mother because they were deaf.

Burt Reynold's father was the chief of police in West Palm Beach, Florida.

English sailors came to be called Limeys after using lime juice to combat scurvy.

Leonardo da Vinci could write with the one hand and draw with the other simultaneously.

Until he was 18, Woody Allen read virtually nothing but comic books but did show his writing skills. He sold one-liners for ten cents each to gossip columnists.

In 1973, Swedish confectionery salesman Roland Ohisson was buried in a coffin made entirely of chocolate.

Silent-movie star Mary Pickford once owned both the jewels The Star of Bombay and The Star of India.

Each rain drop is made up of several million cloud droplets.

In Jewish folklore, a dybbuk was a demon, or the soul of a dead person that entered the body of a living person and directed the person’s conduct, exorcism being possible only by a religious ceremony.

The only Englishman to become Pope was Nicholas Breakspear, who was Adrian IV from 1154 to 1159.

The average life expectancy of a white ash tree is 275 years.

The first automobile to cross the United States took 52 days in 1903 to travel from San Francisco to New York.

Toffee is made by boiling together brown sugar, butter, and vinegar.

A bibliophile is a collector of rare books. A bibliopole is a seller of rare books.

Devils Tower in Wyoming, the world-famous, nearly vertical monolith rises 1,267 feet above the Belle Fourche River. Known by several northern plains tribes as Bears Lodge, it is a sacred site of worship for many American Indians. Scientists are still undecided as to what exactly caused the natural wonder, although they agree that it is the remnant of an ancient volcanic feature.

The descriptive phrase "eighty pence to the pound" is a British term meaning "not all there" or "stupid."

Before a wrist injury changed her career plans, Marlene Dietrich had wanted to become a professional concert violinist.

The word "hurricane" is derived from the name of the West Indian god of storms, Huracan.

The hypodermic needle was invented in 1853. It was initially used for giving injections of morphine as a painkiller. Physicians mistakenly believed that morphine would not be addictive if it by-passed the digestive tract.

Actress Katharine Hepburn and Playboy publisher Hugh Hefner have something unusual in common: both hold college degrees in psychology. Hepburn's was earned at Bryn Mawr and Hefner's was from University of Illinois.

Dr. Albert Schweitzer had a pet pelican named Parsifal.

When using the first pay telephone, a caller did not deposit his coins in the machine. He gave them to an attendant who stood next to the telephone. Coin telephones did not appear until 1899.

According to the U.S. Defense department, the Pentagon's many libraries support personnel in research and completion of their work. The Army Library alone provides 300,000 publications and 1,700 periodicals in various languages.

During his amazing baseball career, Ty Cobb stole home 50 times, setting then and still holding the all-time record in stolen home runs.

In one second 6,242,000,000,000,000,000 electrons pass any given point in an electrical current.

Lake Baikal in Siberia is the only lake in the world that is deep enough to have deep-sea fish.

The duckbill platypus of Australia can store up to 600 worms in its large cheek pouches.

The Andromeda galaxy is the largest member of our local group of galaxies. The Milky Way is second largest in this group.

The only crime defined in the U.S. Constitution is treason, in Article III, Section 3.

Fighting alongside Americans and British during the D-Day invasion of 1944 were 15,000 Canadians. And it was the Canadian troops who were the first to reach their planned objective.

The U.S. Congress passed a law in 1832 requiring all American citizens to spend one day each year fasting and praying. For the most part, people ignored the law, and no effort was made to enforce the legislation.

Cosmetics queen Helena Rubenstein provided the money to help artist Marc Chagall and his wife flee the Nazis and move to New York City in 1941.

At a jet plane's speed of 1,000 km (620 miles) per hour, the length of the plane becomes one atom shorter than its original length.

Emily Dickinson wrote more than 900 poems, of which only four were published during her lifetime.

Next to wood, coal is the oldest of fuels. The Chinese mined it as long ago as 1000 B.C. and used it to smelt iron and copper.

Ganymede, Jupiter's largest satellite, is actually larger than the planet Mercury. It is 3,275 miles in diameter.

There is one slot machine in Las Vegas for every eight inhabitants.

According to sources, Isabelle Adjani, Brigitte Bardot, Jean-Paul Belmondo, Claudette Colbert, Catherine Deneuve, Kathie Lee Gifford, Yo-Yo Ma, Roman Polanski, and Roger Vadim were all born in Paris, France.

As CEO and chair of Harpo Entertainment Group, Oprah Winfrey is the first black female and the third female ever, behind Mary Pickford and Lucille Ball, to own her own TV and film-production studio. Harpo Productions, her $20 million, 100,000-square-foot facility, has mushroomed from just five employees to 135 since 1985. In 1994, Winfrey's sales reached an astounding $115 million.

There are 640 acres in a square mile.

The brightest asteroid is called Vesta. It has a diameter of 335 miles and is the only asteroid visible to the unaided eye.

The peanut isn't a nut. It is a legume, a member of the pea family.

Moses Malone became the first player to go from high school straight into pro basketball in 1974. The move made him the highest salaried teenage athlete in the United States at that time. Malone was signed by the Utah Stars of the American Basketball Association.

According to hospital figures, dogs bite an average of 1 million Americans a year.

There are more people in New York City (7,895,563) than there are in the states of Alaska, Vermont, Wyoming, South Dakota, New Hampshire, Nevada, Idaho, Utah, Hawaii, Delaware, and New Mexico combined.

In a famous New Year's Day column, newspaperman Westbrook Pegler repeated the same sentence 50 times. It was "I will never mix gin, beer, and whiskey again."

While a student at Wilson High in Long Beach, California in 1956, former Disney Studio's child actress Luana Patten was working as a box office cashier at the Lakewood Theater when the theater was robbed. At the time of the robbery, the theater was playing her first major film, Disney's Song of the South (1946). Patten was 8 years old when she was cast in the role of Ginny.

Frogs never drink. They absorb water from their surroundings by osmosis.

Less than 50 percent of American adults understand that Earth orbits the Sun yearly, according to a basic science survey.

Cicadas are well-known singers. The song is a mating call produced by the males only. Each species has its own distinctive call and only attracts females of its own kind, even though rather similar species may co-exist within the same territory. Cicadas are the only insects known to have developed such a specialized and effective means of producing sound.

The oldest known map is carved on a clay tablet that dates to about 2300 B.C., which now resides in the Fogg Art Museum in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Excavated at Nuzi in northern Iraq during the early 1920s, the clay map portrays the river Euphrates flowing through northern Mesopotamia.

A 42-foot sperm whale has about 7 tons of oil in it.

The state of Michigan claims more varieties of trees than all of Europe, which are spread over 19 million forested acres - more than half the state.

Roderigo de Triana was the sailor aboard Columbus's ship the Pinta, who made the first definite sighting of land in the New World on October 12, 1492.

Giraffes are the only animals born with horns. Both males and females are born with bony knobs on the forehead.

The blow of a whale has a strong, foul odor. It apparently smells like a combination of spoiled fish and old oil. Because whales have such terrible breath, sailors believed at one time that a whiff of it could cause brain disorders.

From 1944 to 1947, James Mason was the top box-office draw in Britain.

Napoleon suffered from ailurophobia, the fear of cats.

During an eclipse of the sun in 1868, spectral lines were located that were attributed to an unknown element that was called "helium," from the Greek word for "sun." Thirty years later, helium was discovered on Earth.

The Stratosphere Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada is 1,149 feet tall, making it the tallest building west of the Mississippi River.

In Russia, when a friend is leaving on a trip, it is common for this person and a close friend or spouse to sit in silence on the traveler's packed suitcases for a few minutes prior to him or her departing. It is believed that this moment of togetherness will cause the traveler to have a safe journey.

An elephant may consume 500 pounds of hay and 60 gallons of water in a single day.

ESPN, a total sports network, made its debut on cable in 1979. It became the largest and most successful basic cable channel, carried by nearly all cable systems, and now reaches more than 57 million households.

There are 4,360,000 cubic yards of concrete in the Hoover Dam. This much concrete would build a monument 100 feet square and 2-1/2 miles high; would rise higher than the Empire State Building (which is 1,250 feet) if placed on an ordinary city block; or would pave a standard highway, 16 feet wide, from San Francisco to New York City.

The first chocolate chip cookie was developed in the kitchen of a Whitman, Massachusetts, country inn in 1937. Simple experiments led to a recipe combining bits of chocolate candy with a shortbread type cookie dough.

Petroleum accounts for nearly half the world's energy supply.

An ant can lift 50 times its own weight, which is equivalent to a human being pulling a 10-ton trailer.

Redhaven, fairhaven, elberta, desert gold, and sunhaven are varieties of peaches.

Arguably the largest state in the world, Western Australia covers one-third of the Australian continent. It spans over 2.5 million square kilometers (1 million square miles).

Alexander the Great ordered his entire army to shave their faces and heads. He believed beards and long hair were too easy for an enemy to grab and cut off the head.

The third Challenger flight carried the first black American into space, Guion Blufo, Jr., on August 30, 1983. A weather/communications satellite was launched for India during the flight.

In Thailand, the left hand is considered unclean, so you should not eat with it. Also, pointing with one finger is considered rude and is only done when pointing to objects or animals, never humans.

The average New York City household generates 6.2 pounds of garbage each day. Every day, between 12,000 and 14,000 tons of solid waste are disposed at the Fresh Kills Landfill in Staten Island, New York.

Hawaii is the only state in the United States where male life expectancy exceeds 70 years. Hawaii also leads all states in life expectancy in general, with an average of 73.6 years for both males and females.

Any number squared is equal to one more than the numbers on
either side of it: 4 x 6 is 24, 5 x 5 is 25.

When glass breaks, the cracks move faster than 3,000 miles per hour. To photograph the event, a camera must shoot at a millionth of a second.

The Kentucky Supreme Court has ruled that the prosecution must throw its files wide open to the defense if the accused is suffering from amnesia.

Mickey Mouse has four fingers on each hand.

Eating in public in Japan, while now commonplace, was a shocking breach of Japanese etiquette in former times.

Some sloths, opossum, and armadillos spend up to 80 percent of their lives sleeping or dozing.

Newborn babies are not blind. Studies have shown that newborns have approximately 20/50 vision and can easily discriminate between degrees of brightness.

Up to 20,000 pounds of pressure per square inch may be absorbed by a pole vaulter on the joints of his tubular thigh bones when he lands.

The female king crab incubates as many as 400,000 young for 11 months in a brood pouch under her abdomen.

According to one source, it was Jonathan Swift who originated this popular quote: "Promises and pie-crusts are made to be broken."

Henry Ford did not invent the automobile. It was the invention of several 19th-century engineers, paramount among them being two Germans: Gottlieb Daimler and Karl Benz. What Ford did accomplish was to mass-produce automobiles and provide affordable service for them.

Reportedly, Virginia Woolf wrote all her books while standing.

Mr. P. J. Tierney, father of the modern diner, died of indigestion in 1917 after eating at a diner.

Jazz pianist and composer Count Basie's first name was William. Basie appeared as himself in several movies spanning four decades, including Stage Door Canteen, Reveille with Beverly, Ebony Parade, Cinderfella, Sex and the Single Girl, and Mel Brooks' Blazing Saddles.

Aerosmith's "Dude Looks Like A Lady," was written about Vince Neil of Motley Crue.

There are about 295 species of pigeons and doves in the world.

The brightest asteroid is called Vesta. It has a diameter of 335 miles and is the only asteroid visible to the unaided eye.

The oldest known map is carved on a clay tablet that dates to about 2300 B.C., which now resides in the Fogg Art Museum in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Excavated at Nuzi in northern Iraq during the early 1920s, the clay map portrays the river Euphrates flowing through northern Mesopotamia.

The medical term for snow blindness is "chionablepsia."

Composer Irving Berlin took his tune "Smile and Show Your Dimples," changed the lyrics, and retitled it "Easter Parade."

When actress Delta Burke competed at the Miss America Pageant as Miss Florida in 1974, she told reporters that she'd been named after her mother's "goofy" cat, Delta, who liked to chase dogs and swim in the ocean.

Television broadcasts were suspended until the end of World War II in 1945. This delayed the development of an affordable television system until the late 1940s.

The junk mail that Americans receive in one day could produce enough energy to heat 250,000 homes.

In 1882, Richard Higham of Troy, New York, former manager and National League baseball player, was banished from the league for advising gamblers how to bet on baseball games he umpired, thus earning the infamous distinction of being the only umpire ever judged guilty of dishonesty on the field.

Cats have no ability to taste sweet things.

Edgar Allan Poe invented the detective story. Before he wrote "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" and "The Mystery of Marie Roget," the genre was totally unknown in English or American literature.

Some viewers of Gilligan's Island apparently took the television show seriously in the 1960s. The U.S. Coast Guard received several telegrams from concerned citizens asking why they didn't rescue the Minnow's crew

Scallops are considered the safest shellfish to eat raw. Most of the danger in eating raw shellfish stems from the fact that shellfish filter large amounts of sea water to obtain nutrients. Toxins, bacteria, and viruses tend to accumulate in this filtration apparatus. The filtration apparatus in scallops is, however, discarded; only the scallop's abductor muscle, where few toxins accumulate, is eaten.

Five members of Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer's family were killed at the Battle of little Big Horn: Tom and Boston, two half-brothers; Harry Armstrong Reed, a nephew; and a brother-in-law, James Calhoun.

The names of some cities in the United States are the names of other U.S. states. These include Nevada in Missouri, California Maryland, Louisiana in Missouri, Oregon in Wisconsin, Kansas in Oklahoma, Wyoming in Ohio, Michigan in North Dakota, Delaware in Arkansas, and Indiana in Pennsylvania.

Famous writer Oscar Wilde bragged that he gave his talent to his work and saved his genius for his life.

As World War I raged through Europe in 1917, Ed Cox of San Francisco invented a pre-soaped pad with which to clean pots. His wife named it S.O.S., which, as the story goes, stood for "Save Our Saucepans."

In the old school primer "Now We Read," the name of the cat featured with Dick, Jane, Sally, and their dog Spot, was Puff.

More than two-thirds of Earth's land surface lies north of the equator.

There is evidence of glass being made by Neolithic man about 10,000 B.C., and in Egypt about 1500 B.C. to be used as jewelry.

The dark spots on the moon that create the benevolent "man in the moon" image are actually basins filled 3 to 8 kilometers deep with basalt, a dense mineral, which causes immense gravitation variations.

Despite the strong presence of Latino baseball players since the 1940s, Armando Rodriguez in 1974 and Rich Garcia in 1975, both in the American League, were the first Hispanic umpires in the majors.

Lanolin, an essential ingredient of many expensive cosmetics, is, in its native form, a foul-smelling, waxy, tarlike substance extracted from the fleece of sheep.

The core of a upward lightning stroke is only a few inches across but can carry a current of 100,000 amperes, enough to run nearly 8,000 electric toasters at the same time.

FBI agents were first allowed to carry guns in 1934, 26 years after the agency was established.

Liv Tyler was named after film actress Liv Ullmann because she was reportedly on the cover of "TV Guide" the week baby Liv was born. She's the daughter of Aerosmith lead singer Steve Tyler and Bibi Buell.

In 1931, an industrialist named Robert Ilg built a half-size replica of the Leaning Tower of Pisa outside Chicago and lived in it for several years. The tower is still there.

Joe Namath, one-time New York Jets quarterback, donated pantyhose to Planet Hollywood. He wore the pantyhose on the football playing field on chilly days

In the Netherlands, marijuana is not officially legal, but people are able to buy grass, hashish, loose joints, smoking paraphernalia, and seeds in registered "coffee shops". Magic mushrooms are also available. Despite such easy access, only about 5 percent of the population indulges.

Pollen grains are so tiny and uniform they have been used to calibrate instruments that measure in thousandths of an inch. Forget-me-not pollen grains are so small that 10,000 of them can fit on the head of a pin.

A pig is a hog but a hog is not a pig. "Hog" is a generic name for all swine. Per hog-raising terminology, a pig is a baby hog less than ten weeks old.

The comedy team of Wayne and Shuster, who were legends in the history of Canadian entertainment, appeared a record 67 times on the Ed Sullivan television show.

A galaxy of typical size, about 100 billion suns, produces less energy than a single quasar.

RICO, the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, is a U.S. Law enacted in 1970, allowing victims of organized crime to sue those responsible for punitive damages.

Twenty-four frames per second are projected in most animated films.

According to the rules of Gaelic football, players may punch the ball, but the punching motion must be clearly visible to the referee. Players may not pick up the ball off the ground unless they first get their toe under the ball.

In 1889, Aunt Jemima pancake flour, invented at St. Joseph, Missouri, was the first self-rising flour for pancakes and the first ready-mix food ever to be introduced commercially.

Cattle branding was practiced 4,000 years ago. Old tomb paintings show Egyptians branding their fat, spotted cattle.

In his 1895 "A Madman's Diary," August Strindberg wrote, "I loath people who keep dogs. They are cowards who haven't got the guts to bite people themselves."

There are more than 700 species of plants that grow in the United States that have been identified as dangerous if eaten. Among them are some that are commonly favored by gardeners: buttercups, daffodils, lily of the valley, sweet peas, oleander, azalea, bleeding heart, delphinium, and rhododendron.

Harrison Ford is listed as one of 50 people barred from entering Tibet - apparently, Disney clashed with Chinese officials over the film Kundun (1997). Ford's wife Melissa Mathison wrote the screenplay.

Four million tons of hydrogen dust are destroyed on the Sun every second.

If the fresh water of the earth (only 1.6 percent of the water on the planet) was divided equally among all the people on earth, each one would get 40 million gallons.

According to Gale Research, the average American household wraps 30 Christmas gifts each year.

Kenbei is an anti-American sentiment coined in the 1990s by the Japanese, and literally means "hate America."

The # symbol is often referred to as a "number sign" or "pound sign." Its actual name is an octothorpe.

In any given week, an average of 2.3 million Americans are on paid vacation.

Glaciers occupy 5.8 million square miles, or 10 percent of the world's land surface, as in an area as large as South America.

There is one slot machine in Las Vegas for every eight inhabitants.

If a person is "aerophobic," they have an irrational fear of drafts.

Medical experts have observed that people who stutter rarely do when they are alone or talking to a pet.

The only country in the world that has a Bill of Rights for Cows is India.

The Lincoln Monument in Edinburgh's Old Carlton Cemetery (Scotland) was the first statue of an American president to be constructed outside the U.S.

Peanut oil is used for underwater cooking in submarines. Undersea fleets like it because it does not smoke unless heated above 450 degrees F.

A small or imperfect ear of corn is called a nubbin.

Millions of meteorites fall against the outer limits of the atmosphere every day and are burned to nothing by the friction.

Built during the fourteenth century, Amsterdam's red-light district is an attractive part of the city with charming architecture. The area originally was filled with houses of ill repute and myriad distilleries. The distilleries are gone, but the oldest of professions flourishes. Prostitutes display themselves in windows under red neon lights.

A vamp is the upper front top of a shoe.

In North Dakota, it is legal to shoot an Indian on horseback, provided you are in a covered wagon.

The worlds fastest reptile (measured on land) is the spiny-tailed iguana of Costa Rica. It has been clocked at 21.7 mph.

On May 12, 1955, passengers crowded in to ride the last run of the Third Avenue elevated, "The El", in New York City. The way-above-ground train trip down memory lane went from Chinatown to the Bronx.

Floor cleaning products in Venezuela have ten times the pine fragrance of U.S. floor cleaners. Venezuelan women won't buy a weaker fragrance. These fastidious homemakers may wet-mop their tile floors twice a day, leaving windows and doors open so the scent can waft out to the street to send the message that their houses are clean.

In ancient Greece, courtesans wore sandals with nails studded into the sole so that their footprints would leave the message "Follow me".

French toast isn't French. It comes from a Roman cookbook, dating back to 1000 or 2000 B.C., and titled "Apicius on Cooking."

There are more than 300 references to sheep and lambs, more than any other animal, in the Bible's Old Testament, one of the earliest records of sheep.

On May 13, 1873, Ludwig M. Wolf of Avon, CT, patented the sewing machine lampholder.

Rugby, North Dakota is the geographical center of North America, not the geographical center of the United States. That is located in Butte County, South Dakota, on the state's western border. If only the 48 contiguous states are included, the point is in Smith County, Kansas.

Hollywood actress Joan Crawford had her back teeth removed to make her cheekbones more prominent.

King Alfonso of Spain (1886-1931), was so tone-deaf that he had one man in his employ known as the Anthem Man. This man's duty was to tell the king to stand up whenever the Spanish national anthem was played, because the monarch couldn't recognize it.

The Namib is the world's oldest desert, and the only desert inhabited by elephant, rhino, giraffe, and lion.

A person who is lost in the woods and starving can obtain nourishment by chewing on his shoes. Leather has enough nutritional value to sustain life for a short time.

Murmansk, in Russia, is the largest city north of the Arctic Circle.

Traveling at the speed of 186,000 miles per second, light take 6 hours to travel from Pluto to Earth.

Young cockroaches need only a crack as thin as a dime (about .5mm wide) to crawl into. Adult males can squeeze into a space of 1.6mm or the thickness of a quarter. Pregnant females need the most space to hide: 4.5mm or a space as tall as two stacked nickels.

The oldest way to lose weight is fasting - the ultimate diet.

The layer of gas that spreads out from a nova explosion can be traveling at speeds of 5 million miles per hour.

To divide something into squares is to "graticulate."

ENIAC, the first electronic computer, appeared 50 years ago. The original ENIAC was about 80 feet long, weighed 30 tons, had 17,000 tubes. By comparison, a desktop computer today can store a million times more information than an ENIAC, and is 50,000 times faster.

Heavily cultivated, though it may have been in England, the leek is the national emblem of Wales.

In the 1850s, Ohio was the nation's largest wine producer. Although its remaining 3,000 acres of vineyards are but a fraction of what they once were, Ohio remains the largest wine producer in the Midwest.

There are fifteen nations that gave women the right to vote before the United States did in 1920. The earliest were New Zealand, in 1893, Australia, in 1902, and Finland, in 1906.

Every bird must eat at least half its own weight in food each day to survive. Young birds need even more. A young robin, for example, eats as much as 14 feet of earthworms a day.

Through 1999, basketball-great Michael Jordan's television endorsements included Nike, MCI WorldCom, Sara Lee (Hanes underwear and Ballpark Franks), Gatorade, and Rayovac.

When commercial telephone service was introduced between New York and London in 1927, the first three minutes of a call cost $75.00.

The G.I. Joe toy line got its name from the 1945 movie "The Story of G.I.Joe", which retold the story of war correspondent Ernie Pyle's days on the front lines. It starred Burgess Meredith and Robert Mitchum.

Soups are Ecuador's specialty. Most lunches and dinners are accompanied by a savory soup as the first course. Locro soup, made with cheese, avocado, and potato, is quite tasty. Bold diners can try yaguarlocro, a potato soup made with sprinklings of blood. For the truly adventurous, there is caldo de pata, a broth containing chunks of boiled cow hooves which is considered a delicacy by locals and believed by hopeful men to increase virility.

The birthstone for May, the emerald, is perceived as a symbol of success. Even more than the diamond, this jewel has been a favorite of emperors and kings.

Shrimp is the top seafood ordered in restaurants, followed by salmon and swordfish, according to a National Restaurant Association survey.

In his autobiography, comedian David Brenner noted, "I swore to myself that when I became a man and made some money, I would never eat at home but would eat every meal out. It was a priority. To me, food in the refrigerator is a symbol of poverty. When I see an empty refrigerator, I know I've got some bucks."

The natural diet of lady beetles consists of soft-bodied insects, such as aphids, spider mites, and young caterpillars. Adults can consume up to 100 aphids a day.

In Milan, Italy, there is a law on the books that requires a smile on the face of all citizens at all times. Exemptions include time spent visiting patients in hospitals or attending funerals. Otherwise, the fine is $100 if they are seen in public without a smile on their face.

Seedless oranges were not grown in the United States until 1871. The first ones came from Brazil and were planted in California.

Playtex International made U.S. history in May 1987 when TV networks began airing its commercials showing women wearing bras. Prior to this, torso mannequins were usually used, or female models could don brassiers provided the undergarments were worn on top of the models' clothing.

A "funambulist" is a tight-rope walker.

The center span of the Golden Gate Bridge - once the longest in the world - is 4,200 feet long and 220 feet above the water. The bridge itself is 6,450 feet in length and 90 feet wide.

Just who would have been better at saving Private Ryan, eh? Fighting alongside Americans and British during the D-Day invasion of 1944 were 15,000 Canadians. And it was the Canadian troops who were the first to reach their planned objective.

Oktoberfest Zinzinnati is an annual celebration of Cincinnati's German heritage. It is the second largest Oktoberfest in the world - only Munich's is larger.

According to food experts, marinades for meat are for a one-time use only. You should never save and reuse a marinade.

First Lt. Arthur MacArthur (Civil War) and General Douglas MacArthur (WWII) are the only FATHER & SON in history to each receive a Medal of Honor. The award has been presented to 5 sets of brothers.

Alexander the Great ordered his entire army to shave their faces and heads. He believed beards and long hair were too easy for an enemy to grab and cut off the head.

In 1994, Michael Kearney received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of South Alabama. Michael was 10 years old and the youngest ever college graduate. In 1997 Mary Fasano graduated from Harvard University at the age of 89, one of the oldest to ever graduate college.

The world's first patent was granted in 1421 to architect Filippo Brunelleschi in Florence to make a barge crane to transport marble.

Flatfishes form a unique and widespread group that includes about 130 American species, common in both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

One of the fattiest fishes is salmon: 4 ounces of the delectable fish contains 9 grams of fat.

It is not against the law in the U.S. to be a drug addict. In 1962, the Supreme Court called imprisonment for being an addict cruel and unusual punishment prohibited by the Bill of Rights.

Anthropologists use a standard height of 4 feet 11 inches to determine if a group of people are pygmies. The average adult male must be less than 59 inches in height.

If you have three quarters, four dimes, and four pennies, you have $1.19. You also have the largest amount of money in U.S. coins without being able to make change for a dollar.

In 1960, Harry Belafonte was the first black performer to win a major Emmy award; he was awarded Best Performance in a Variety Show for his TV special Tonight with Belafonte.

It's a part of Hollywood lore (and reporters' delight) that, when asked what she wore to bed, Marilyn Monroe responded, "Chanel No. 5." When asked the same question, then-actress Grace Kelly icily replied, "I don't think it's anybody's business what I wear to bed."

Chase and Sanborn was the first coffee to be sold in sealed tin cans in the United States in 1879.

The point in a lunar orbit that is farthest from the moon is called an "apolune."

In early America, simple wooden beds and straw mattresses were the rule in all but the wealthiest of homes. American inns during the Revolutionary War era were not lush or comfortable, and an innkeeper would think nothing of requesting that a guest share his bed with a stranger when accommodations became scarce.

On May 27, 1926, Hannibal, Missouri, erected the first statue of literary characters. The bronze figures of Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer were hoisted above a red granite base.

Hawaii has 150 recognized ecosystems.

The only wood used by famed London cabinetmaker Thomas Chippendale was mahogany.

Because total absence of life on the moon had been satisfactorily determined, NASA did not bother to quarantine the Apollo 14 astronauts on their return to earth after the third moon mission.

Haggis, a traditional Scottish dish, is made from the lungs, heart, and liver of a sheep, chopped with onions, seasonings, suet, and oatmeal, and then broiled in a bag made from the sheep's stomach.

Glamorous sex kitten during the 1950s, starring in movies such as Trapeze and Solomon and Sheba, Gina Lollobridgida retired from films in the 1970s to become a professional photographer.

Even though there were only six manned lunar landings, there are seven Apollo lunar landers on the moon. Apollo X, as part of their mission, dropped their lunar lander to test seismic equipment that had already been set up on a previous mission.

The oldest rocks in the world, the so-called St. Peter and St. Paul stones in the Atlantic Ocean, are over 4 billion years old.

About 75 percent of Americans will have foot problems of one sort or another at some time in their lives.

Hollywood not only is a world unto itself, it has its own calendar. For instance, the year 2000 in Tinseltown started in December 1999 and will end in February 2001. It has to do with marketing and the race for the Oscars.

Cattle branding in the United States did not originate in the West. It began in Connecticut in the mid-19th century, when farmers were required by law to mark all their pigs.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, the best time to spray household insects is 4:00 p.m. Insects are most vulnerable at this time.

In a traditional French restaurant kitchen, a "garde-manger" is responsible for salads.

The Motown female group The Supremes, which dominated the pop charts in the 1960s, was originally called The Primettes.

A male kangaroo is called a boomer, and a female is called a flyer.

The first musical to feature murder as an essential ingredient of the plot was "Rose-Marie" in 1924, in which a fur trapper was falsely accused of a killing.

After his death in 1937, Guglielmo Marconi, inventor of the wireless telegraph was honored by broadcasters worldwide as they let the airwaves fall silent for two minutes in his memory.

The word "Nazi" is actually an abbreviation. The party's full name was the "Nazionalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartel."

"Singapore" means "City of Lions," but none have ever been seen there.

The Statue of Liberty measures 35 feet in diameter at the waist. The robe forms the outer shell of the statue, and there is no "torso" underneath.

In Dominican Republic is the University of Santo Domingo (established in 1538), the Americas' oldest university.

According to international definition, fog occurs when visibility is 600 feet or less. Visibility in mist may extend up to 3,000 feet.

If an object has no molecules, the concept of temperature is meaningless. That's why it's technically incorrect to speak of the "cold of outer space" — space has no temperature, and is known as a "temperature sink," meaning it drains heat out of things.

The Broadway musical A Chorus Line, written by James Kirkwood, Nicholas Dante, Marvin Hamlisch, and Edward Kleban, employed 510 different members during its record 15-year run at the Shubert Theatre.

The very peak of the Washington Monument is not stone, but a 100-ounce solid aluminum pyramid, constructed as part of the monument's lightning protection system. In the 1880s, aluminum was a rare metal, selling for $1.10 per ounce and used primarily for jewelry. The pyramid at the top of the monument was the largest piece of aluminum of its day and was such a novelty that it was displayed at Tiffany's jewelry store before it was placed at the top.

Peter Falk, best known for his starring role on TV's Columbo, earned a B.S. in political science from the New School for Social Research in New York. He worked as an efficiency expert for the Connecticut Budget Director before he pursued acting.

A turkey should never be carved until it has been out of the oven at least 30 minutes. This permits the inner cooking to subside and the internal meat juices to stop running. Once the meat sets, it's easier to carve clean, neat slices.

On June 3, 1937, The Duke of Windsor, who had abdicated as King Edward VIII of England, married Wallis Simpson in France.

The numbers on opposite sides of a die always add up to 7.

A magic potion or charm thought to arouse sexual love, especially toward a specific person, is known as a "philter."

A hailstone weighing more than one-and-a-half pounds once fell on Coffeyville, Kansas. No one was hit.

"Please Mr. Postman" has been a Number 1 hit on Billboard's record charts twice: the chart-topping versions were recorded by The Marvelettes in 1961 and The Carpenters in 1974.

In the floor of Westminster Abbey is a tiny stone marking the burial place of the British Renaissance playwright and poet Ben Jonson (1572-1637). Despite enjoying respectable success in the arts and serving as a major influence on seventeenth-century poets, the death of King James I ended Jonson's period of court favor. Jonson was too poor to pay for the normal grave space, so he is buried standing up.

In 1973, Dungeons & Dragons was invented by Dave Arneson and Scott Gygax. The innovative game created a whole new fantasy/adventure category of toys, which quickly became a $250-million market.

The U.S. Coast Guard motto, semper paratus, means "always prepared."

If one identical twin grows up without a given tooth coming in, the second identical twin will usually also grow up without the tooth.

The world's longest suspension bridge opened to traffic on April 5, 1998. The 3,911-meter (12,831-foot) Akashi Kaikyo Bridge is 580 meters (1,900 feet) longer than the Humber Bridge in England, the previous record holder.

A ballet enthusiast is called a balletomane.

Five percent of people who frequent restaurants claim they eat out because they do not know how to cook.

Comedian/actor Billy Crystal portrayed Jodie Dallas, the first openly gay main character on network television on ABC's Soap, which aired from 1977 to 1981.

Billie Jean King holds the distinction of being the oldest woman to receive a singles seed at Wimbledon. She was 39 years, 209 days old when she got the No. 10 seed in 1983.

It has been estimated that at least a million meteors have hit the Earth's land surface, which is only 25 percent of the planet. Every last trace of more than 99 percent of the craters thus formed has vanished, erased by wind, water, and living things.

In Milan, Italy, there is a law on the books that requires a smile on the face of all citizens at all times. Exemptions include time spent visiting patients in hospitals or attending funerals. Otherwise, the fine is $100 if they are seen in public without a smile on their face.

Since the spice saffron is so expensive, knowledgeable chefs don't want to waste it. They never use wooden utensils when mixing saffron. Wood tends to absorb it easily.

Kenbei is an anti-American sentiment coined in the 1990s by the Japanese, and literally means "hate America."

Early hand-held lights used carbon-zinc batteries that did not last very long. To keep the light burning required that the user turn it on for a short time and then turn it off to allow the battery to recover. That's how they became known as a "flashlight."

Papua, New Guinea includes the islands of New Britain and New Ireland.

The wages paid by the Ford auto company were much higher than those paid by other automobile companies. In 1914, Ford paid workers who were age 22 or older $5 per day - double the average wage offered by other car factories.

A racehorse averages a weight loss of between 15 and 25 pounds during a race.

Salt helped build the Erie Canal. A tax of 12.5 percent on New York State salt, plus tolls charged for salt shipments, paid for nearly half of the $7 million construction cost.

Ralph Lauren's original name was Ralph Lifshitz.

Surprisingly in 1969, basketball legend Jerry West was named NBA Most Valuable Player of the finals despite losing.

It was reported in 1990 that former President Ronald Reagan's autobiography, A Life, was a financial catastrophe. Publisher Simon and Schuster had paid the former actor-U.S. leader $7 million in advance for his autobiography and a collection of his speeches. Of the 500,000 copies produced, nearly 300,000 were returned to the publisher, forcing them to revise their advance-payment policy.

Though most people think of salt as a seasoning, only 5 out of every 100 pounds produced each year go to the dinner table.

The Tower of Terror climbs ominously into the skies of the Walt Disney World Resort, the tallest structure on the property. Nearly 13 stories tall, the ride drops its occupants for a free-fall that lasts 1.75 seconds - during which the riders go from 0-35 mph in 1.0 second. In fact, the ride vehicle is not just released for its heighten the sensation, the vehicle is actually *pulled down* for a brief period.

"I took the road less traveled by, and that has made all the difference."
Robert Frost (The Road Not Taken)

The beautiful Eilean Donan Castle is situated in Loch Duich near Dornie on the west coast of Scotland near the Isle of Skye. It is the one of the most photographed castles in Scotland, and has been in a number of films, including Highlander (1984) and the nineteenth James Bond film The World Is Not Enough (1999).

Lightning puts 10 million tons of nitrogen into the Earth each year.

The Pentagon building in Arlington, Virginia, has nearly 68,000 miles of telephone lines.

In Mexico, the poinsettia is known as the "Flower of the Holy Night." It was first brought to America by Joel Poinsett in 1829.

The number 4 is the only number, in the English language, that has the same number of letters in its name as its meaning.

At the age of 8, Caryn Johnson, later to call herself Whoopi Goldberg, made her first onstage appearance at the Helena Rubinstein Children's Theatre in New York City.

Lightning strikes the Earth 1,800 times at any moment.

The California Board of Equalization has ruled that bartenders cannot be held responsible for misjudging the age of midgets.

The Romans were enamored with the smell of roses. According to historians, Nero had pipes installed under banquet plates to allow his guests to be spritzed with rose scent between dinner courses.

As the official taste tester for Edy's Grand Ice Cream, John Harrison had his tastebuds insured for one million dollars.

The opossum, often called "possum," dates back over 45 million years.

"Yakka" means "hard work" in Australian slang.

The game of a cats' cradle - two players alternately strength a looped string over their fingers to produce different designs - has been around since about 1760.

After more than a century as a dessert for royalty alone, ice cream was made available to the general public for the first time at Café Procope, the first café in Paris, in 1670.

A nanosecond is one billionth of a second.

At an extravagant party during the reign of William III, the Hon. Edward Russel, captain general of the English forces, used the fountain in his garden as a giant punch bowl for mixing his drinks. The recipe included 560 gallons of brandy, 1,300 pounds of sugar, 25,000 lemons, 20 gallons of lime juice, and 5 pounds of nutmeg. Russel's bartender rowed about in a small boat, filling up the punch cups for the awed guests.

From the 1830s to 1960s, the Lehigh River in eastern Pennsylvania, was owned by the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Co., making it the only privately owned river in the United States.

In some smaller towns in the state of Arizona, it is illegal to wear suspenders.

Edgar Allan Poe and James Abott McNeill Whistler both went to West Point, the United States Military Academy.

Hamadryas baboons, in ancient Egypt, were believed to be companions and oracles of the god Thoth. They were given the honor of being mummified when they died.

In a Czechoslovakian church there is a chandelier made of human bones. The ceiling is festooned with the remains of former worshipers.

Though they were only five and three years old, Susan and Deborah Tripp, two sisters in the U.S. in 1829, weighed 205 and 124 pounds, respectively.

The gesture of a nose tap in Britain means secrecy or confidentiality. In Italy, a tap to the nose signifies a friendly warning.

Gatorade got its name after the Gators, the University of Florida football team, tested it.

Just like people, mother chimpanzees often develop lifelong relationships with their offspring.

Johnny Carson delivered 4,531 opening monologues during his 30 years as host of The Tonight Show.

Auto racer Dan Gurney was one of the first U.S. drivers to use rear-engine race cars. He won the Le Mans race (1967), and finished second in the Indianapolis 500 twice (1968 and 1969).

Advice to collectors of battery-operated toys: Pull out the batteries before storing them. Otherwise, you'll have an oozing mess of battery acid and plastic in a few years, thanks to leaky batteries.

"Honolulu" means "sheltered harbor."

In 1996, The Associated Press reported that during a robbery at Super Jim's grocery in Chicago, store employee Vincente Arriaga was shot by the robber. The bullet barely broke Arriaga's skin because it was slowed as it passed through an 8-ounce box of Tuna Helper he was holding.

Ernest Hemingway wrote a story about Mt. Kilimanjaro. The famous mountain is located in Tanganyika.

As long as 4,500 years ago, the Egyptians used gold in dentistry. Remarkable examples of the artistry of these early orthodontists have been found, perfectly preserved, by archaeologists of our own time.

One peculiar behavior of dachshunds is that they often roll around in odiferous things when they encounter them. This odd habit has been attributed to the dog's hunting instinct. Doing this is the dachshund's attempt to "lose its scent" so that its potential prey cannot smell it.

A 1999 poll revealed that the female leaders most admired today are Eleanor Roosevelt, who received 36.1 percent of the votes, and Margaret Thatcher, with a close 35.4 percent.

In English folklore, Queen Mab was a fairy queen who governed people's dreams.

The fastest animal on four legs is the cheetah, which races at speeds up to 70 miles per hour in short distances. It can accelerate to 45 miles per hour in two seconds.

Unlike most African nations, Ethiopia was never a European colony.

The average giraffe's blood pressure is two or three times that of a healthy man.

In the French court of Louis XI, the fine ladies lived mainly on soup because they believed that excessive chewing would cause them to develop premature facial wrinkles.

According to Margaret Jones, author of a Patsy Cline biography, there are a dozen places in Virginia that could claim to be the hometown of the nomadic Cline. Her family moved 19 times before she was 15.

The normal body temperature of the Clydesdale horse is 101 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius).

Columbus had three ships on his first American exploration. On his second expedition, seventeen ships were under his command.

The largest number of movie theaters in one city was 986 in New York in 1913.

Benjamin Franklin devised the first wet suit for divers, as well as a primitive version of today's flippers.

At race tracks, the favorite wins fewer than 30 percent of all horse races.

In U.S. schools where more than 30 percent of the students are poor, 59 percent of teachers report they lack sufficient books and other reading resources. Only 16 percent of teachers in more affluent schools report shortages.

Other than sleeping, men and women differ on what is their favorite thing to do in bed. Of the men polled, the top response was to have sex at 50 percent; for women, only 20 percent responded the same. Women would prefer to read (23 percent), whereas men put books at just 11 percent.

The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco was named one of the "Seven Wonders of the Modern World" by the American Society of Civil Engineers in 1994, along with the Hoover Dam, Interstate Highway System, Kennedy Space Center, Panama Canal, Trans-Alaska Pipeline, and World Trade Center.

Until the 1970s, Jessica was a very unusual name. William Shakespeare, who may even have made up the name, called Shylock’s lovely daughter Jessica in The Merchant of Venice, but it was not until recently that large numbers of people began choosing this name for their daughters.

The marquees of the fifty largest casinos and hotels in Las Vegas use enough electricity to run more than a thousand average U.S. homes.

Hoi polloi is a Greek phrase meaning "the many." Hoi polloi are the masses.

M*A*S*H army surgeon Benjamin Franklin "Hawkeye" Pierce hailed from Crab Apple Cove, Maine.

Winnie, from Winnie the Pooh, was named after a bear at the London Zoo. The animal had been born in Canada but brought to London in 1914 as the mascot of a Canadian regiment.

The first chocolate chip cookie was developed in the kitchen of a Whitman, Massachusetts, country inn in 1937. Simple experiments led to a recipe combining bits of chocolate candy with a shortbread type cookie dough.

The only radio station in the U.S. with call letters that spell out the name of its home city is WACO, Texas.

Approximately five million Americans suffer from a recurring ailment known as SAD. This is an acronym for "seasonal affective disorder." This wintertime syndrome can be treated with light.

Toothed sperm whales live in extended family units that, for families, constitute life-long associations. They differ from baleen whales, which form only temporary bonds.

According to poetic legend, Lizzie Borden used her ax and gave her mother 40 whacks and her father 41. In actuality, the police accused her of giving her father 10 whacks and her stepmom 19. Lizzie was acquitted at her trial of the double murder.

From humorist Lewis Grizzard: "Being a newspaper columnist is like being married to a nymphomaniac. It's great for the first two weeks."

The smallest visible sunspots have an area of 500 million square miles, about fifty times the size of Africa. The largest sunspots have an area of about 7,000 million square miles.

While Columbus was seeking new world to the west, Italian engineers were rebuilding the Kremlin in Moscow.

According to a recent study, there are more than 100 art galleries in Scottsdale, Arizona, which, surprisingly, exceeds the number in either Los Angeles or San Francisco.

A healthy man who is good physical shape has about 12 to 15 percent body fat. A woman in good shape has between 15 to 18 percent. The models used in most of the advertising for abdominal machines, on the other hand, have less than 10 percent body fat.

A young pigeon that has not yet flown is a squab.

In the eleventh century, crusader knights first introduced raisins to Europe when they returned home from the Mediterranean. By the fourteenth century, raisins became an important part of European cuisine. Raisin prices skyrocketed. The English, French, and Germans attempted to grow grapes for raisins, but their climates were too cold for drying the fruit.

Nobody knows where the body of Voltaire is. It was stolen from its tomb in the 19th century and has never been recovered. The theft was discovered in 1864, when the tomb was opened and found empty.


Newt Gingrich (politician); Marilyn Monroe (actress); Dan O'Brien (Olympic gold medallist, decathlon); Nancy Reagan (actress; wife of U.S. president); Dave Thomas (founder of Wendy's restaurant); John J. Audubon (naturalist); Ted Danson (actor); Gerald Ford (U.S. president); Melissa Gilbert (actress); and Tom Monaghan (founder of Domino's Pizza, former owner of Detroit Tigers).

If someone is "androphobic," they have an extreme, irrational fear of men.

It seems to biologists that, unlike their humpback whale relatives whose underwater song evolves from year to year, killer whales retain individual dialects unchanged over long periods, possibly even for life.

Greyhounds have the best eyesight of any breed of dog.

Every queen named Jane has either been murdered, imprisoned, gone mad, died young, or been dethroned.

Today's oldest form of horse is the Przewalski, or Mongolian Wild Horse. Survivors of this breed were discovered in the Gobi Desert in 1881.

Dartmouth was the last Ivy League college to go co-ed, in 1972.

Ernest Hemingway revised the last page of "A Farewell to Arms" 39 times.

The state of Maine was once known as the "Earmuff Capital of The World". Earmuffs were invented there by Chester Greenwood in 1873.

After being forced to state in public that the earth does not rotate, Galileo is said to have muttered under his breath, "But it does move."

A bibliophile is a collector of rare books. A bibliopole is a seller of rare books.

Spanish surrealist Salvador Dali had his wife pose for the face of Christ in his painting "Sacrament of the Last Supper."

John Tyler had more children that any other American president. He had eight sons and seven daughters and was married twice.

Sunday school teachers Patty and Mildred Hill wrote a song in the 1890s that we still sing today. Happy Birthday to You was a rewrite of their earlier song, Good Morning to All.

A conventional sign of virginity in Tudor England was a high exposed bosom and a sleeve full to the wrists.

Peanut oil is used for underwater cooking in submarines. Undersea fleets like it because it does not smoke unless heated above 450 degrees F.

Because it is continually losing body heat, the shrew must keep moving to stay warm. If inactive for more than a few hours, the animal will lose enough body heat to freeze to death.

The crocodile is surprisingly fast on land. If pursued by a crocodile, a person should run in a zigzag motion, for the crocodile has little or no ability to make sudden changes of direction.

A herd of sixty cows is capable of producing a ton of milk in less than a day.

The first paper notes printed in the United States were in denominations of 1 cent, 5 cents, 25 cents, and 50 cents. The U.S. Department of the Treasury first issued paper U.S. currency in 1862 to make up for the shortage of coins and to finance the Civil War.

Using a graphite tennis racket reportedly helps prevent the onset of "tennis elbow."

Van Gogh started to draw at the age of twenty-seven.

Rebecca Elizabeth Marier was the first woman to graduate "top of the class" at West Point, the U.S. Military Academy. The rankings are based on academic, military, and physical accomplishments.

Hugnes was archbishop of Reims in the tenth century when he was five years old.

The world's first underground railway, between Paddington (Bishop's Road) and Farringdon Street - with trains hauled by steam engines - was opened by the Metropolitan Railway on January 10th 1863. The initial section was 6 km (nearly four miles) in length, and provided both a new commuter rail service and an onward rail link for passengers arriving at Paddington, Euston and King's Cross main line stations to the City of London.

Montreal is the largest French-speaking city in the Western Hemisphere.

Devils Tower in Wyoming, the world-famous, nearly vertical monolith rises 1,267 feet above the Belle Fourche River. Known by several northern plains tribes as Bears Lodge, it is a sacred site of worship for many American Indians. Scientists are still undecided as to what exactly caused the natural wonder, although they agree that it is the remnant of an ancient volcanic feature.

The youngest person to take the position of U.S. President was Theodore Roosevelt. He was 42 at his inauguration. Next youngest was John F. Kennedy, who was 43.

Descartes came up with the theory of coordinate geometry by looking at a fly walk across a tiled ceiling.

In living memory, it was not until February 18, 1979 that snow fell on the Sahara. A half-hour storm in southern Algeria stopped traffic. But within a few hours, all the snow had melted.

There are some differences on driving in Japan that tourists should know. Motorists drive on the left side of the road and the steering wheel is on the right, like in the United Kingdom. In areas where the cops are few, people routinely speed 30 km over the speed limit (50 kph), and taxi drivers are notorious for their aggressive driving. The pedestrian always has the right of way, and drivers can not turn on a red light.

Australia is the smallest, flattest, and driest inhabited continent in the world. It is the only country which is also a whole continent. 18.6 million people live here.

The seventh planet from the Sun, Uranus, is tipped on its side so that at any moment one pole is pointed at the Sun. The polar regions are warmer than the equator. At the poles, a day lasts for 42 Earth years, followed by an equally long night.

According to the Gregorian calendar, which is the civil calendar in use today, years evenly divisible by 4 are leap years, with the exception of centurial years that are not evenly divisible by 400. Therefore, the years 1700, 1800, 1900 and 2100 are not leap years, but 1600, 2000, and 2400 are leap years.

Seven-foot-two Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was born just a bit longer than the average newborn at 22½ inches, but he weighed a hefty 12 pounds, 11 ounces. His name at birth was Lewis Alcindor.

In England, murder is murder. There are no degrees of murder, as in the United States.

The adjective "sesquipedalian" defines itself: it is used to describe the use of very long, or multi-syllabic, words.

French law stipulates that to be called "Roquefort," a cheese must come only from that village in France, but the name is used, imitated, and abused widely.

Small island tailor shops were making custom print shirts for Hawaiian families for special occasions, such as weddings, in the early 1920s. When tourism came to Hawaii in the late 1920s, the Hawaiian shirt literally became a blank canvas for local artists. Designs depicting everything from romantic beaches and erupting volcanoes to exotic, tropical flowers began to appear. It wasn't until 1936 that shirtmaker Ellery J. Chun coined the term "Aloha" shirt. The name stuck. Today, Aloha shirts are considered American folk art. The older shirts are prized collector items.

In England, a billboard is called a hoarding.

The Louisville Slugger logo doesn't always appear just on baseball bats. One of the more recent adaptations of the familiar oval was on the first cruise missile fired in the Persian Gulf war. The missile was painted by sailors on the U.S.S. Louisville nuclear attack submarine which fired the opening shot of the conflict. Each of the sailors on board received a personalized Louisville Slugger bat when the ship was originally commissioned.

Sir George Cayley (1773-1857), a British nobleman, made the first serious attempts to invent the airplane. He built the first successful gliders.

Edward VIII had a highly respected reputation as a leader of fashion. As a result, it was assumed he invented the world-famous Windsor knot after he abdicated in 1936 and became Duke of Windsor. According to Sarah Giddings, fashion trend researcher, the tie knot may well have been the brainchild of his father, George V. George was photographed in the 1920s wearing a tie knotted in what appeared to be the never-before-seen Windsor knot.

There are more than 100 million dogs and cats in the United States. Americans spend more than 5.4 billion dollars on their pets each year

Thailand means "land of the free."

A quart-size pail holds 8 million grains of sand.

A "quidnunc" is a person who is eager to know the latest news and gossip - otherwise, a busybody.

Most plant pollen is highly inflammable. It will ignite and explode when placed on an extremely hot surface. In the early days of modern theater, artificial lightning was produced by throwing pollen grains of the club moss onto a hot shovel.

Charles Dickens was the great writer who gave us the line, "Polly put the kettle on, we'll all have tea."

As of 1998, Reno, Nevada has the highest rate of alcoholism in the U.S.; Provo, Utah has the lowest rate.

On the professional golf tour, players are allotted 45 seconds per shot.

A large cumulonimbus cloud can hold enough water for 500,000 baths. Most of the water droplets in a cloud re-evaporate and never reach the ground; only one-fifth actually falls as rain.

Because its tongue is too short for its beak, the toucan must juggle its food before swallowing it.

At the height of a hundred miles, air is only a billionth as dense as it is on Earth's surface. Even so, the total amount of air that is higher than the hundred-mile level comes to 6 million tons.

More than one-third of the world's commercial supply of pineapples comes from Hawaii.

Jim Morrison found the name "The Doors" for his rock band in the title of Aldous Huxley's book "The Doors of Perception, which extolls the use of hallucinogenic drugs.

The dark spots on the moon that create the benevolent "man in the moon" image are actually basins filled 3 to 8 kilometers deep with basalt, a dense mineral, which causes immense gravitation variations.

On April 5, 1978, triplets were born to an Israeli Arab at the Assaf Harofeh Hospital. The babies' parents, according to researcher Bruce D. Witherspoon, named them Carter, Begin, and Sadat.

In an interview, New Zealand actress Lucy Lawless, star of the highly successful syndicated TV show Xena: Warrior Princess, said, "I don't have any idea how much I weigh. I don't own a set of scales. I just know if I fit in my clothes, I eat everything."

Jack Graney of St. Thomas, Ontario, was the first baseball player to pitch to Babe Ruth in the major leagues. We all know what the Babe did in his career. As for Graney, he played 14 seasons and then became the first ex-ballplayer to broadcast a game on radio.

It snows more at the Grand Canyon than it does in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Forty percent of child psychologists advise parents of preschoolers to "confirm Santa's existence."

All of the phone books distributed in the city of Fairbanks, Alaska, weigh about 81 tons.

The common male housefly completes its entire life cycle in just 17 days.

Before a wrist injury changed her career plans, Marlene Dietrich had wanted to become a professional concert violinist.

When he was a child, Blaise Pascal once locked himself in his room for several days and would not allow anyone to enter. When he emerged, he had figured out all of Euclid's geometrical propositions totally on his own.

On August 12, 1895, Minnie Dean became the first woman to be hanged in New Zealand. Her crime was "baby farming." She would adopt unwanted babies for a certain fee and then dispose of them, a "service" she began in 1889. The police caught on to Minnie after six years and found her to be most certainly guilty when they dug up three bodies of infants in her flower garden.

A green flash is sometimes seen just as the sun sets or rises. This occurs because green light is bent most strongly by the atmosphere. So the green is seen before other colors at sunrise, and after the other colors have vanished at sunset.

It is estimated that 1.8 billion light bulbs are manufactured each year in the United States.

A bird sees everything at once in total focus. Whereas the human eye is globular and must adjust to varying distances, the bird's eye is flat and can take in everything at once in a single glance.

Popcorn was banned at most movie theaters in the 1920s because it was considered too noisy.

Why is an expensive but nonproductive possession called a "white elephant"?

This is said to have originated with the king of Siam, who supposedly gave white elephants to members of his court he wished to ruin.

White elephants, at that time, were considered sacred and were not allowed to do work, yet they still had to be fed and cared for. Thus a possession that must be maintained at high cost but that offers no productive output in return is said to be a "white elephant."

Odd Phobias

Coprophobia- Fear of Feces

Dextrophobia- Fear of objects at the right side of the body.

Alektorophobia- Fear of chickens.

Olfactophobia- Fear of smells.

Anablephobia- Fear of looking up.

Phronemophobia- Fear of thinking.

Tonsurphobia - Fear of haircuts.

Anthophobia - Fear of roses.

Carte blanche, which means unconditional authority or power, was coined during the mid 1600s and literally means in French "blank document."

St. Genevieve is the patron saint of Paris because she saved the city from an attack by Attila the Hun.

The largest lake in Australia is Eyre, measuring 3,420 square miles (8,885 sq. km).

There's enough energy in ten minutes of one hurricane to match the nuclear stockpiles of the world.

Henry VIII's second wife, Anne Boleyn, had six fingers on one hand. She wore special gloves all her life to hide her deformity. She also had three breasts.

Fresh apples float because 25 percent of their volume is air.

The hum of a hummingbird comes from the super-fast beat of the wings. The smallest ones beat their wings the fastest- up to 80 times per second. Even the slower beat of bigger hummingbirds (20 times per second) is so fast you can only see a blur.

Cindy Crawford was the first contemporary supermodel to pose for Playboy magazine.

On February 17, 1959, Vanguard II was the first satellite to send weather information back to Earth.

Certain birds of prey (the African serpent eagle and the American kestrel, for example) have visual acuity 2.4 to 2.6 times greater than humans. They can see a 1 mm long insect from a treetop 18 meters above ground.

A giant Pacific octopus can fit its entire body through an opening no bigger than the size of its beak.

The Pentagon was allowed to choose some of the clothes that John Travolta wore in the movie Broken Arrow so that the military would be portrayed positively.

In the airplane known as the DC-10, the letters "DC" stand for Douglas Commercial.

Julianna Margulies, Emmy-winning dramatic actress of NBC's ER, has a gifted father. He was an ad executive who is credited with writing the famous Alka Seltzer "Plop-Plop, Fizz-Fizz" jingle some years back.

The largest U.S. state is home to the 4,215-square-mile Katmai National Monument, the largest of all other U. S. national parks and monuments in size. Glacier Bay National Monument, also in Alaska, ranks second with 3,554 square miles, and Yellowstone National Park is third with 3,472. Katmai is about four-fifths as large as Connecticut, and more than twice the size of Delaware.

At least 40 jockeys have died from accidents while racing horses since 1940.

The state flower of Massachusetts is the mayflower.

The Dalmatian dog is named for the Dalmatian Coast of Croatia, where it is believed to have been originally bred.

Someone who speaks through clenched teeth is called a dentiloquist.

It's a part of Hollywood lore (and reporters' delight) that, when asked what she wore to bed, Marilyn Monroe responded, "Chanel No. 5." When asked the same question, then-actress Grace Kelly icily replied, "I don't think it's anybody's business what I wear to bed."

Sylvan N. Goldman of Humpty Dumpty Stores and Standard Food Markets developed the shopping cart so that people could buy more in a single visit to the grocery store. He unveiled his creation in Oklahoma City on June 4, 1937.

Benjamin Franklin was the first head of the United States Post Office..

Sir Walter Scott wrote the words to the American presidential anthem, "Hail to the Chief."

Before she got her big break on television's Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In in the 1960s, Jo Anne Worley was Carol Channing's understudy in Hello, Dolly on Broadway.

The hippopotamus has skin an inch-and-a-half thick, so solid that most bullets cannot penetrate it.

The British term "swipes" is a slang expression meaning weak or inferior beer.

The musical term "honky tonk" comes from black slang for "gin mill" - later it was used to describe spirited music that thrived in such places in the 1930s.

Over 11 million people sell their blood annually in the US?

The annual expenditures on prostitutes in the US is estimated to be $20 billion.

One million Americans call 900 numbers each day to cast their votes in one kind of poll or another.

Margaret Gorman was the first Miss America. She was 16.

Because its tongue is too short for its beak, the toucan must juggle its food before swallowing it.

As a child, Queen Victoria was trained to keep her chin up. A sprig of holly was placed beneath her collar.

Ellen DeGeneres was the first stand-up comedienne Johnny Carson ever asked to sit on The Tonight Show guest couch during a first appearance.

The San Francisco cable cars are the only mobile National Monuments.

Despite its popularity as a seasoning, basil has a controversial history. Basil was a sacred plant in ancient Hindu religion, and it was handled warily by European herbalists of the Middle Ages, who feared it as a scorpion breeder.

The US record for the greatest number of patented inventions is 1,093. The record is held by Thomas Alva Edison.

Termite queens are fertilized regularly by the same mate for life, unlike bee and ant queens, whose male partners die after the first and only mating.

"Lobster shift" is a colloquial term for the night shift of a newspaper staff.

Crystals grow by reproducing themselves. The come the nearest to being "alive" of all members of the mineral kingdom.

Burt Bacharach started his career as an accompanist for singer Vic Damone - he was fired.

The largest city on the Mississippi River is Memphis, Tennessee.

It is the impurities in gemstones which give them their color.

A simple, moderately severe sunburn damages the blood vessels to such an extent that it takes four to fifteen months for them to return to their normal condition.

The raccoon derives its name from the Indian word meaning "he who scratches with his hands."

The most commonly used language in the world is Chinese. It is spoken by over 1 billion people.

The Osprey is the U.S. Marine tilt-rotor transport that takes off and lands like a helicopter, but flies like an airplane. It is also known as the V-22.

Chips Ahoy! cookies are baked in ovens which are as long as a football field. Over 4,000 cookies exit the oven each minute.

Samuel Colt received a U.S. patent for his pistol with a six-chamber, revolving barrel on February 25, 1836. With a pocket knife, Colt had whittled a wood model while stationed on the S.S. Corlo.

The state of Maine has 62 lighthouses. One of the most famous (and oldest) is Portland Head Light, which was commissioned by President George Washington.

In Sparta during the fourth century, if you were male and over 20 years of age, you were required by law to eat 2 pounds of meat a day. It was supposed to make a person brave.

In Russia, dogs have been trained to sniff out ore deposits that contain iron sulfides.

Christopher Columbus set sail for the New World on a Friday in 1492.

A cat's ear has 30 muscles that control the outer ear (by comparison, human ears only have six muscles). These muscles rotate 180 degrees, so the cat can hear in all directions without moving its head.

The only dog to ever appear in a Shakespearean play was Crab in "The Two Gentlemen of Verona."

Granite conducts sound ten times faster than air.

In 1998, director/writer Spike Lee moved his family to Manhattan's tony Upper East Side. For $7.5 million, Lee purchased the turn-of-the-century townhouse once owned by artist Jasper Johns and before that, famed stripper Gypsy Rose Lee.

The bumblebee does not die when it stings - it can sting again and again. In bumblebee hives, the entire colony, except for the queen, dies at the end of each summer. Each year, an entirely new colony of bees must be produced.

Warsaw, Poland, holds the distinction of opening the world's first public library in 1747.

Rich King Croesus of Lydians in Asia Minor issued the first money of gold - an oblong piece - in the 6th century. Soon the Greeks began minting money in the shape of discs, striking them with detailed high relief. Romans introduced the familiar serrated edges of today's coins as a way to discourage the practice of shaving off thin slices.

Purely coincidental, Disneyland and Walt Disney World amusement parks are in counties with the same name. The former is in Orange County, California; the latter is in Orange County, Florida.

It was the style among 18th-century Englishmen to wear pantaloons so tight they had to be hung on special pegs that held them open, allowing the wearer to jump down into them.

For a short time in 1967, the American Typers Association invented a new punctuation mark that was a combination of the question mark and an exclamation point called an "interrobang." It was intended to be used to express incredulity or disbelief. It never caught on with the general public, and it faded away.

In 1995, each American used an annual average of 731 pounds of paper, more than double the amount used in the 1980s. Contrary to predictions that computers would displace paper, consumption is growing.

The Canadian Tulip Festival is the world's largest tulip festival. Held in mid-May in Ottawa and Hull, this festival attracts thousands of visitors from all over the world. Two million tulips were planted as part of the Millennium Tulip Challenge in 2000. Up to five million tulips bloomed in the National Capital Region, coinciding perfectly with the festival.

As CEO and chair of Harpo Entertainment Group, Oprah Winfrey is the first black female and the third female ever, behind Mary Pickford and Lucille Ball, to own her own TV- and film-production studio.

The Chicago Cubs are the oldest original franchise in professional sports, dating back to the founding of the National League by team president Walter A. Hubert in 1876. Nicknamed the "lovable losers" of the North Side, the Cubs have not won a World Series since 1908 and have not played in the fall classic since 1945.

In 1984 the state of New York became the last of the United States to put photographs on drivers' licenses.

On September 2, 1909, American Annie Smith Peck, at age 57, was the first person to climb the 21,000-foot Mount Huascaran, the highest peak in Peru.

Dining etiquette in Japan is tricky. It is considered extremely impolite to pour one's own drink when eating with others - you pour your companion's drink and your companion pours yours. On the other hand, it is considered normal and nonoffensive to make loud slurping sounds when eating noodles in Japan.

Native peoples of South America catch piranha and use their razor-sharp teeth to make tools and weapons.

Focus group information compiled by CalComp revealed that 50 percent of computer users do not like using a mouse.

No one can drown in the Dead Sea. It is 25 percent salt, which makes the water very heavy.

Early in his career, William F. Buckley, Jr. was employed as a Spanish teacher at Yale.

Chili is the official state dish of Texas.

The weight of the Sun is two billion billion billion tons, about 333,420 times that of the Earth.

In Mexico, Día de la Madre - Mother's Day - is celebrated the day before it's observed in the United States. It is a huge gala event, with mariachis starting at noon and family festivities throughout the day.

In the military world, EGADS is an acronym for Electronic Ground Automatic Destruct System.

New York City, named by Americans as the most dangerous, least attractive, and rudest city in a recent poll, is also, strangely enough, Americans' top choice as the city where they would most like to live or visit on vacation

If you stack one million US $1 bills, it would be 110m (361 ft) high and weigh exactly 1 ton.

TIP is the acronym for "To Insure Promptness."

Of the more than $50 billion worth of diet products sold every year, almost $20 billion are spent on imitation fats and sugar substitutes.

Money notes are not made from paper, they are made mostly from a special blend of cotton and linen.

The average age of Forbes's 400 wealthiest individuals is 63.

In 1955 the richest woman in the world was Mrs. Hetty Green Wilks, who left an estate of $95 million in a will that was found in a tin box with four pieces of soap.

80% of millionaires drive second-hand cars.

If California was a country, it would be the 5th largest economy in the world.

A third of the world's people live on less than $2 a day, with 1.2 billion people living on less than $1 a day.

The Andaman Islanders and the Pygmies are the only world's peoples not known to use fire.

Fireflies like to light up together. Two found near each other will eventually start lighting up at the same time.

The Hercules global cluster is the brightest global cluster in the northern sky. It was discovered by English scientist Edmond Halley in 1714.

During the mating season, male porcupines bristle their quills at each other and chatter their teeth in rage before attacking. All porcupines at this time become very vocal: grunting, whining, chattering, even barking and mewing at each other.

Seven thousand years ago, the ancient Egyptians bowled on alleys not unlike our own.

Sandy Gardner, an Ottawa, Ontario journalist, coined the phrase "Beatlemania."

Czar Nicholas II considered the construction of an electric fence around Russia and expressed interest in building a bridge across the Bering Straits.

In 1870, English critic and social theorist John Ruskin (1819-1900) was appointed Slade Professor at Oxford, the first professor of art in England.

While diamonds are usually considered the most precious of stones, a large, near flawless emerald is worth considerably more than a diamond of the same size.

The perennial European grass timothy, widely grown in the United States for hay, was named after Timothy Hanson, who took the seed from New York to the Carolinas in the 1720s.

The initials M.G. on the famous British-made automobile stand for "Morris Garage."

Roman statues were made with detachable heads, so that one head could be removed and replaced by another.

On her youth, comedienne Carol Burnett once commented, "Sometimes a guy would ask me to jitterbug, but nine times out of ten, they were not only a foot shorter than I was, but geeks to boot."

When Sir Walter Raleigh introduced tobacco into England in the early 1600s, King James I wrote a booklet arguing against its use. The early example of attempted government regulation of smoking failed.

The Roman historian Pliny was so impressed by garlic and its perceived powers, he listed no less than 61 medicinal uses for the pungent bulb. Among them was that of warding off vampires, restoring hair loss, and preventing warts.

The National Golf Association says that, at golf ranges, an extra-large golf-ball bucket contains about 150 balls; large, 90 balls; medium, 63 balls; and small, 35 balls.

When cows graze in their natural head-down position, their saliva production increases by 17 percent.

Frumenty was a spiced porridge, enjoyed by both rich and poor. It is thought to be the forerunner of modern Christmas puddings. It has its origins in a Celtic legend of the harvest god Dagda, who stirred a porridge made up of all the good things of the Earth.

Many prominent Frenchmen, including 18 kings, share the name Louis.

The capsaicin found in peppers has been found to be an anticoagulant. Anticoagulants tend to reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes caused by blood clots.

All mammals have tongues.

Chocolate can be lethal to dogs. Theobromine, an ingredient that stimulates the cardiac muscle and the central nervous system, causes chocolate's toxicity. As little as two ounces of milk chocolate can be poisonous for a 10-pound puppy.

The P.T.A., or the National Congress of Parents and Teachers, was founded in the United States in 1897. It was originally called the "National Congress of Mothers," but was expanded to include fathers, teachers, and other citizens.

The first Komodo dragons to breed in the western world are at the National Zoo at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C.

The earliest known photograph of the star-spangled banner was made at the Boston Navy Yard in 1873.

Former boxing champion Muhammad Ali was the composer of numerous self-admiring verses ("Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee"). He was once invited to lecture on poetry at Oxford University.

In 1995, the average U.S. public school contained 72 computers.

Bats are voracious insect eaters, devouring as many as 600 bugs per hour for 4 to 6 hours a night. They can eat from one-half to three-quarters their weight per evening. Bats are also important plant pollinators, particularly in the southwestern U.S.

Theodore Roosevelt's wife and mother both died on Valentine's Day - February 14, 1884.

Actor James Stewart attained the highest U.S. military rank in history for an entertainer. Mr. Stewart rose to the rank of brigadier general in the U.S. Air Force Reserve.

The word "bozo" derives from the French slang term "bouseaux" (meaning "hick, peasant, or yokel"). However, bouseaux literally means "cow turds."

Gay men who successfully joined the British Navy used to be called "reverse malingerers."

A Boy Scout who forcibly helps an old lady across the street is called an officious interloper.

The Greeks had a word that meant "with armpits smelling like a he-goat."

The term for when dogs scratch their butts by dragging them across the floor is called "sleigh riding."

The expression "paddy wagon" is derived from a derogatory reference to picking up drunk Irish people.

Young women in Atlanta used to refer to their private parts as "janers."

The people killed most often during bank robberies are the robbers.

Orville Wright numbered the eggs that his chickens produced so he could eat them in the order they were laid.

Alexander Graham Bell never phoned his wife or mother because they were deaf.

English sailors came to be called Limeys after using lime juice to fight scurvy.

Leonardo da Vinci could write with one hand and draw with the other simultaneously.

Thomas Jefferson wrote his own epitaph without mentioning that he was US President.

In 1973, Swedish confectionery salesman Roland Ohisson was buried in a coffin made entirely of chocolate.

Peter the Great had his wife's lover executed and his head put into a jar of alcohol. She had to keep it in her bedroom.

After having a two year affair with Catherine the Great, Gregory Aleksandrovich Potemkin remained a valued advisor to Catherine. He even helped her pick out future lovers.

Cleopatra married two of her brothers and was the mistress of both Caesar and Mark Antony.

Fernade Olivier lived with Picasso for seven years. They wanted to marry but Olivier couldn't find her estranged husband to divorce him. In the 1940's she found out he had died right after she met Picasso - 40 years earlier.

There are 318,979,564,000 possible ways of playing just the first four moves on each side in a game of chess.

In the 1970 Census, the U.S. had 2,983 men who were already widowers at the age of fourteen and 289 women, also at fourteen, who had already been widowed or divorced.

Mollusks, soft bodied animals with hard shells, are the second largest population of living things.

The total population of the Earth at the time of Julius Caesar was 150 million. The total population increase in two years on Earth today is 150 million.

People who have never married are 7.5 times more likely to be hospitalized in a state or community psychiatric facility than those who married.

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Movie Trivia

The first Best Picture Oscar for an animation was awarded in 1991 for Disney's Beauty and the Beast.

Jack Mercer was the voice of Popeye the Sailor for 45 years.

On average, a movie makes about 5 times more from its video sales than ticket takings.

In the 1926 film version of Don Juan actor Lionel Barrymore set the record for the most kisses ever in a single film. Barrymore embraced Mary Astor and Estelle Taylor 127 times.

The longest kiss in a movie is in Andy Warhol's Kiss. Rufus Collins and Naomi Levine kissed for the entire 50 minutes of the movie.

The first porn movie was the 1908 French film al'Ecu d'or oula bonne auberge.

The first movie to use sound was "The Jazz Singer," released in 1927: the first words, spoken by Al Jolson, were: "Wait a minute, you ain't heard nothing yet."

In 1939, David O. Selznick was ordered to pay a then-whopping $5,000 fine to the Motion Picture Producers Association because he insisted that the word "damn" remain in Gone With the Wind's final script. A perfectionist, Selznick wanted to stay true to author Margaret Mitchell's novel.

Best Picture Oscar winner Dances with Wolves, a three-hour Western, had a full-third of its dialogue spoken in Lakota Sioux. Subtitles were used, unusual for a major Academy Award-winning film.

Before filming the role of Iris, the teen prostitute in the 1976 film Taxi Driver, actress Jodi Foster had to undergo psychiatric evaluation by the California Labor Board. Because she was a minor, the board had to determine whether she was capable of handling the controversial role.

Bert Lahr's unforgettable performance in The Wizard of Oz in 1939 apparently hurt his career in films. He told friend George Burns that typecasting meant "that they call me every time a role comes up for a cowardly lion. Otherwise, they don't call me."

John Wayne was on the Top Ten Box Office List 25 times during his career, more often than any other film star in history. Between the years 1949 and 1974, there was only one year that Wayne did not appear on the list: 1956. Four times Wayne landed in the Number 1 Box Office spot: in 1950, 1951, 1954, and 1971.

For her role as the Egyptian queen in Cleopatra,, Elizabeth Taylor audaciously asked for, and received, the first $1 million contract in the film industry. The role was first offered to starlet Joan Collins, who turned it down. Film production became much more elaborate and costly than originally budgeted once Taylor came on board.

The term "spaghetti Western" originated during the 1960's. Moviemakers made low-budget films in Italy because it was cheaper to do so there than in the United States. Upon completion of a movie, English was dubbed in for the Italian actors. Struggling actor Clint Eastwood had left Hollywood for a few years and made his early Westerns in Italy with director Sergio Leone, to whom the term "spaghetti Western" is attributed. The collaboration of Eastwood and Leone included the hit film The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (1966).

At the Pasadena Playhouse, Gene Hackman and classmate Dustin Hoffman were voted the two least likely to succeed.

The campy 1964 sci-fi flick Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, which featured a young, unknown Pia Zadora as a spunky Martian girl, was filmed in an airplane hangar in Long Island, New York.

Talented juvenile actress Claire Danes left New York and came to Los Angeles to audition for a role in Schindler's List (1993). In the interim, she was discovered for the starring role on TV's My So Called Life. Spielberg ultimately cast her in Schindler's List, but Danes turned the part down because the film's producers weren't willing to pay her schooling in Poland.

Oscar's 1981 Best Supporting Actor recipient for Arthur, Sir John Gielgud began his film career in Britain in the mid 1920s. At that time, he was usually cast as the handsome love interest or starring hero. When his leading-man, matinee idol days drew to a close, he was cast in character roles. In a 1997 interview, Gielgud reflected, "I never thought I was that good-looking. So when it came to playing old gentlemen, madmen, and professors, I found that releasing."

After 11 years of living together, Danny De Vito and Rhea Perlman were married during a Taxi lunchbreak.

The movies, The Turning Point (1977) and The Color Purple (1985) both share the record of receiving the most Oscar nominations (11) and no Oscar wins

After her success in the stage and film treatments of The Miracle Worker, Patty Duke was the first teenager to be given her own American TV show - The Patty Duke Show - which aired from 1963 through 1966.

Both Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward were understudies in the William Inge play "Picnic" in 1960. From this less than romantic beginning, they were soon married and both went to film stardom, collaborating on many projects. They are regarded as one of Hollywood's few truly happy couples.

In her 1987 autobiography, "This 'N That," actress Bette Davis made the following observation: "We movie stars all end up by ourselves. Who knows? Maybe we want to."

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Human Body Trivia

Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, suggested that a woman could enlarge her bust line by singing loudly and often.

Men lose about 40 hairs a day. Women lose about 70 hairs a day.

A person remains conscious for eight seconds after being decapitated.

The first human sex change took place in 1950 when Danish doctor Christian Hamburger operated on New Yorker George Jargensen, who became Christine Jargensen.

Unless food is mixed with saliva you cannot taste it.

On average a hiccup lasts 5 minutes.

Fingernails grow nearly 4 times faster than toenails.

A newborn baby's head accounts for one-quarter of its weight.

If all your DNA is stretched out, it would reach to the moon 6,000 times.

When we smile broadly, we use seventeen muscles.

Sixty thousand miles of vessels carry blood to every part of your body.

Your stomach has to produce a new layer of mucus every two weeks otherwise it will digest itself.

The human heart creates enough pressure when it pumps out to the body to squirt blood 30 feet.

The white part of your fingernail is called the lunula.

It has been determined that one brow wrinkle is the result of 200,000 frowns.

The average human eyelash lives about 150 days.

During menstruation, the sensitivity of a woman's middle finger is reduced.

The human hand contains an average of 1,300 nerve endings per square inch.

In the adult human body, there are 46 miles of nerves.

Because of their extreme elasticity, the lungs are 100 times easier to blow up than a child's toy balloon.

The mouth produces a quart of saliva a day.

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Facts About the Middle East

Nationhood and Jerusalem: Israel became a nation in 1312 B.C.E., two thousand years before the rise of Islam.

Arab refugees in Israel began identifying themselves as part of a Palestinian people in 1967, two decades after the establishment of the modern State of Israel.

Since the Jewish conquest in 1272 B.C.E. the Jews have had dominion over the land for one thousand years with a continuous presence in the land for the past 3,300 years.

The only Arab dominion since the conquest in 635 C.E. lasted no more than 22 years.

For over 3,300 years, Jerusalem has been the Jewish capital. Jerusalem has never been the capital of any Arab or Muslim entity. Even when the Jordanians occupied Jerusalem, they never sought to make it their capital, and Arab leaders did not come to visit.

Jerusalem is mentioned over 700 times in Tanach, the Jewish Holy Scriptures. Jerusalem is not mentioned once in the Koran.

King David founded the city of Jerusalem. Mohammed never came to Jerusalem.

Jews pray facing Jerusalem. Muslims pray with their backs toward Jerusalem.

Arab and Jewish Refugees: In 1948 the Arab refugees were encouraged to leave Israel by Arab leaders promising to purge the land of Jews. Sixty-eight percent left without ever seeing an Israeli soldier.

The Jewish refugees were forced to flee from Arab lands due to Arab brutality, persecution and pogroms.

The number of Arab refugees who left Israel in 1948 is estimated to be around 630,000. The number of Jewish refugees from Arab lands is estimated to be the same.

Arab refugees were INTENTIONALLY not absorbed or integrated into the Arab lands to which they fled, despite the vast Arab territory. Out of the 100,000,000 refugees since World War II, theirs is the only refugee group in the world that has never been absorbed or integrated into their own peoples' lands. Jewish refugees were completely absorbed into Israel, a country no larger than the state of New Jersey.

The Arab - Israeli Conflict; The Arabs are represented by eight separate nations, not including the Palestinians. There is only one Jewish nation.

The Arab nations initiated all five wars and lost. Israel defended itself each time and won.

The P.L.O.'s Charter still calls for the destruction of the State of Israel. Israel has given the Palestinians most of the West Bank land, autonomy under the Palestinian Authority, and has supplied them with weapons.

Under Jordanian rule, Jewish holy sites were desecrated and the Jews were denied access to places of worship. Under Israeli rule, all Muslim and Christian sites have been preserved and made accessible to people of all faiths.

The UN Record on Israel and the Arabs: of the 175 Security Council resolutions passed before 1990, 97 were directed against Israel.

Of the 690 General Assembly resolutions voted on before 1990, 429 were directed against Israel.

The U. N was silent while 58 Jerusalem Synagogues were destroyed by the Jordanians.

The UN was silent while the Jordanians systematically desecrated the ancient Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives.

The UN was silent while the Jordanians enforced an apartheid-like policy of preventing Jews from visiting the Temple Mount and the Western Wall.
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How Observant Are You?

Let's Just See How Observant You Really Are...

There are 20 questions about things we see every day. How many can you get right? These little simple questions are harder than you think--it just shows you how little we pay attention to the common place things of life. Put your thinking caps on.

1. On a standard traffic light, is the green on the top or bottom?
2. In which hand is the Statue of Liberty's torch?
3. What two numbers on the telephone dial don't have letters by them?
4. When you walk does your left arm swing w/your right or left leg?
5. How many matches are in a standard pack?
6. On the United States flag is the top stripe red or white?
7. Which way does water go down the drain, counter or clockwise?
8. Which way does a "no smoking" sign's slash run?
9. Which side of a women's blouse are the buttons on?
10. Whose face is on a dime?
11. How many sides does a stop sign have?
12. Do books have even-numbered pages on the right or left side?
13. How many lug nuts are on a standard car wheel?
14. How many sides are there on a standard pencil?
15. Sleepy, Happy, Sneezy, Grumpy, Dopey, Doc: Who's missing?
16. On which playing card is the card maker's trademark?
17. On the back of a $1 bill, what is in the center?
18. There are 12 buttons on a touch-tone phone. What 2 symbols bear no digits?
19. How many curves are there in the standard paper clip?
20. Does a merry-go-round turn counter or clockwise?

Don't look at answers below until you finish all the questions!

* * * Answers * * *

1. Bottom
2. Right
3. 1, 0
4. Right
5. 20
6. Red
7. Counter (north of the equator)
8. Towards bottom right
9. Left
10. Roosevelt
11. 8
12. Left
13. 5
14. 6
15. Bashful
16. Ace of spades
17. ONE
18. *, #
19. 3
20. Counter


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