March 1, 2007
• 23.2 percent of Americans say they never have dreams.
• Charlemagne's father and two of his sons were named Pippin.
• There are 12 deans named "Wormer" listed in Who's Who in American Administrators of Higher Learning
• 2002 was the first year in which sales of laptop and notebook computers exceeded traditional desktop computers.
• 61 percent of Swedes cannot describe the difference between Astronomy and Astrology.
March 2, 2007
• Approximately one-half of one percent of the annual world-wide output of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide is due to soft drink carbonation. Despite the availability of a nearly no-cost switch to nitrogen, soda manufacturers are thus far refusing to make the change.
• The Apple iPhone has a hidden easter egg mode whereby it can mimic the ill-fated Apple Newton, complete with comically inaccurate handwriting recognition.
• The toll-free number (888) 888-8888 was recently purchased by Alliance Carpet Installation And Repair for $1.2 million in AT&T's first auction-format sale of a phone number.
• Despite its similarity to the kidney, navy, and pinto beans, the white bean is completely unrelated and is actually classified as a nut.
• The largest sand castle ever constructed was a half-size replica of the Taj Mahal built in Atlantic City, New Jersey in 1983.
March 5, 2007
• The Sonoma Desert has the highest average daily temperature differential in North America: 38.4° F.
• In Bangladesh it is illegal for motorcyclists to wear helmets.
• Pilgrims considered it good luck to lend someone clothing on the first day of Lent.
• In Indianapolis, beer sales rose four percent on the day after the 2007 Super Bowl in comparison to an average Monday.
• Consumer Reports
has refused to offer a comparison on paper quality, despite many varieties of paper. Quote the chief editor: "It's just paper, for crying out loud [...] are we supposed to analyze everything?"
March 6, 2007
• Prior to the discovery of antibiotics, horse urine was commonly used to treat pink eye.
• In 1975, the Pet Rock became the first product to include the label "Warning: Choking Hazard: Contains small parts not suitable for children under 3 years."
• According to a recent paper in the Journal of English Linguistics
, the use of abbreviations speed reading by 12 percent, but reduce comprehension by 23 percent.
• Vehicles at the U.S. bases in Antarctica have the lowest auto insurance rates available in the U.S. due to the complete lack of vehicle-on-vehicle accidents.
• Taking a picture in a hall of mirrors will burn out a digital camera's CCDs due to the infinite reflection of the flash.
March 7, 2007
• 3.4 percent of business emails contain only, "OK", "Thanks" or "OK, thanks".
• Three fourths of the lemmings that have ever lived have died by drowning.
• The number of emails written in English has decreased by 21 percent between the years 2000 and 2007. During this time period, the fastest growing languages for email were Farsi, Arabic, Mandarin and Urdu.
• Canada has more artesian wells per capita than any other country.
• The average conference call has 5.7 people, lasts 41 minutes and the average distance between the moderator and the participants is 427 miles.
March 8, 2007
• King Tutankhamen, who ascended to the throne at age 9, was only 5' 6" when he died mysteriously and suddenly at age 19. His family and friends affectionately called him an ancient Egyptian term that can be translated as "Shorty".
• Yahoo reports that five percent of all registered user names contain the word "fun", 3% contain "sex" or "sxy" and one percent contain both.
• The average rain delay in a major league baseball game lasts 38 minutes.
• The average teenage text-messager can enter 22 'words' per minute.
• In North Carolina all convenience stores must, by law, offer cigarettes for sale.
March 9, 2007
Intrepid readers of the Gullible.info: I am here today with a bevy of fine factoids about sleep, produced by our resplendent Fact Checkers
. Special thanks this week goes to Udoboy, Trance, No_Truth, Fact Totum, and Taed.
• Birds must be asleep to begin the process of laying an egg. Once that process starts, the hen awakens.
• Officially, a "nap" becomes a "sleep" after the sleeper has slept for 53 minutes.
• Contrary to popular belief, cats don't actually sleep: their muscles relax and their breathing slows while the brain stays completely alert.
• Up until the late 1500s the preferred past tense of 'sleep' was 'slope'.
• The African sloth is the only mammal that sleeps more than 23 hours per day, whereas the naked mole rat is the only one that sleeps less than 1.
March 12, 2007
• One in 15 Americans surveyed identified Yusuf Islam (the singer / songwriter formerly known as Cat Stevens) as one of the 9/11 hijackers.
• 1975 was the first year that Matchbox cars outsold matchboxes, due to the rise in popularity of both the toy and of disposable lighters.
• Michael Maxwell was found guilty of murder in 2002 based largely on the time stamp of a digital photograph taken of him with the victim just prior to death. However, he was later exonerated after it was proven that the digital camera never had the correct time set and was off by 19 hours.
• Microsoft owns a patent on the Ctrl-Alt-Del key sequence.
• Due to a slight mistranslation, Revelation 13:18 is usually written as "the number of the beast ... is 666", instead of the correct "... is 6 by 6 by 6." Hence, the number of the beast is actually 216, not 666.
March 13, 2007
• The average PC has 52 different fonts loaded. As of 2006 there were an estimated 28,437 different fonts available for PCs.
• 1.2 percent of all yard sticks are more than 1/32nd of an inch too short or too long.
• Railroads with a grade higher than seven percent are called a "funicular".
• The species of fish with the sharpest vision is the turbot.
• In the 1970s Warner Brothers considered introducing Bugs Bunny's cousin "Baddy" into its cartoons. His catch phrase would have been, "What's happenin', dudes?"
March 14, 2007
• Napalm is named for the scientists who invented it: Nedrick Adams, Pamela Allminsen and Louis Mercer.
• The median number of objects used to create a snowman's mouth is seven. The traditional material used is coal, but small stones and charcoal are used most often.
• No toad has ever been seen sitting on a toadstool unless it was placed there by a person.
• The 'flattest area in the world' is a 17,124 acre tract of land north of Hayes, KS, the elevation above sea level of which varies by no more than 14 inches over the entire area.
• Soil in areas that were once covered by glaciers is, on average, 732 percent more rocky than soil that has never been covered by a glacier.
March 15, 2007
• Worldwide, over two hundred deaths are annually attributed to accidents that happen as a direct result of Daylight Saving Time.
• Richard Nixon was wearing the same pair of shoes the days he graduated from college, was inaugurated into the presidency and resigned the presidency.
• One in five people carry a spoon or fork in their pocket "just in case".
• Caddan's Syndrome, a rare disease that causes afflicted individuals to develop horn-like bone growths from their skull, affects one in six million individuals.
• Researchers have been able to double the jumping height of grasshoppers (Caelifera Acrididae) by injecting a precise mixture of sulfates under the exoskeleton. The study cost $1.2 million.
March 16, 2007
• 67.2 percent of American workers who are not self-employed are issued an ID badge of some sort by their employer.
• Philadelphia has the most 100+ year-old buildings of any American city. Boston has the second most.
• The total number of motor vehicles that had used the Brooklyn Bridge surpassed the total number of horse-drawn vehicles that had used it in October of 1938.
• The Geographic Society of America has stated that the Delaware Water Gap is misnamed. It is actually a 'pass' and not a 'gap'.
• As of 2006 58 percent of revenue taken in by toll roads in the United States was received electronically.
March 19, 2007
• Within the Irish-American community, it is considered bad luck to get married on St. Patrick's Day. Conversely, The Polish, Jewish and Ethiopian communities consider it good luck.
• The average sidewalk "brat" vendor in Milwaukee grosses $487.52 per day.
• 43 percent of Britons will never select "Don't know" as an answer to a question on a survey.
• 87 percent of all flower gardens have two or more rose bushes.
• The average American seven year old girl has 4.4 stuffed animals on her bed.
March 20, 2007
• Cigarette lighters may not be longer than 3.5 inches, nor burn hotter than 800°F by U.S. law.
• Carpenter Ants are credited with causing the extinction of the Silvermoon Tulip, around 500 B.C.E.
• 9.4 percent of bird houses contain at least one dead bird.
• McDonalds is the largest toy manufacturer and distributor, based on the sales of its Happy Meal.
• Frog eggs are more likely to hatch on Thursdays more than any other day.
March 21, 2007
• Because of the increase in the number of 'double flushes' the introduction of the so-called "low flow" toilets has actually increased water consumption.
• New Jersey has the most traffic clover leaves per capita of any state in the U.S.
• White Oak trees hold their leaves the longest of all deciduous plants.
• The NCAA employs a person whose official job title is "Director of March Madness"
• King Henry VIII was the first British Monarch who used Arabic numerals instead of Roman numerals.
March 22, 2007
• The average Scotsman or Scotswoman knows 14 phrases in Gaelic, nine of which are insults or curses.
• Scottsdale, AZ, has the 23rd largest St. Patrick's Day Parade in the world.
• Nine percent of computer applications and hardware peripherals have the word "Turbo" in their name.
• It is illegal to surf on the Rio Grand within the El Paso city limits.
• The average American office worker with a PC on his or her desk uses 11,432 keystrokes per day and 1,126 mouse clicks. Mac users stroke an average of 8,927 keys and click their mouse 1,823 times.
March 23, 2007
With the advances of medical science throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, more and more diseases of the ancient world have been conquered. But many diseases have been recently discovered, caused not by deadly pathogens but by contact with various mostly-innocuous substances. Here are a few samplings, from the the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention's "Contact Syndromes To Beware Of In 2007":
- Chronic Theobromic Bronchitis, also known as Chocolate Emphysema, is a syndrome rapidly gaining prevalence in the confectionary community. It results from the long-term inhalation of powdered cocoa during the manufacture of truffles and other sweets. This powder pollutes and irritates the lungs, causing unpleasant symptoms and raising the risk of lung cancer later in life. Its pathology is not unlike Pneumoconiosis ("Black Lung") which results from inhaled coal dust, and this similarity has led to the common appellation "Brown Lung". Though chocolate ingested in moderation acts as an antitussive, lungs contaminated in this way suffer from spasmodic contractions, and sufferers often report chest plain and bloody coughing. There is currently no known treatment, though limiting exposure to cocoa powder has been shown to halt the progress of symptoms.
- Acute Pyrotechnic Absorbative Psychosis, known better by its nickname "Firecracker Madness" was first discovered in a number of young Laotian fireworkwrights in 1989. A new pyrotechnic alkaline had just come into use in Southeast Asia, and these sixteen fireworks-makers all worked with the substance. They drew handfuls of it out of large buckets and packed it into skyrocket launch tubes for several hours each day. Unbeknownst to their employers, this substance was able to cross the blood-brain barrier, and soon these men found themselves the victims of terrifying hallucinations and delusions. One man became convinced his father was calling to him from heaven to bring large bales of toilet paper to the tallest hill in the village, another became convinced that he could pass through solid objects. A third fell fourteen meters from a catwalk, convinced he was being pursued by a ball of fire-breathing eels. After four days of inexplicable behavior on the part of their employees, factory managers shut down the operation, and after discovering the cause the use of the alkaline pyrotechnic was discontinued throughout Laos. Thirteen of the sixteen men stricken with the syndrome recovered fully, and the remaining three live on somewhat disabled to this day. The chemical (whose name and composition was never released) continues to be used by Chinese and Korean fireworks manufacturers, but they refuse to comment on any further cases of "Firecracker Madness".
- In 2005 a class-action suit was brought against General Mills, The Kellogg Company, and a number of other US breakfast cereal manufacturers. The plaintiffs claimed the defendants' cereals gave them what experts termed Acute Erosive Gingivitis, the sudden and severe erosion of gum tissue by the ingestion of abrasive breakfast cereal. "Their teeth were quite literally eaten away by the sharp, dense material in a number of the defendants' products," said Dr. Miriam Feldman, a Gingivist with the National Gum Institute. "It is as if they had been chewing nails." The high density and sharp cleavage patterns prevalent in these cereals acted as strong abrasives when consumed regularly, causing peridontitis and even tooth loss in as little as a year's time. The case was settled in early 2006 for an undisclosed amount, but the CDC cautions that the syndrome can still be developed, and to monitor gum health and visit a Gingivist regularly.
- In the early 1980s, the Islamic Republic of Turkey was shaken by an outbreak of foodborne bacterial dermatitis in what the Turkish press dubbed the Hummus Catastrophe. In the spring of 1981, a heavier than expected season of rain created an unforseen bloom in the naturally-occuring bacteria found in the roots of chick pea plants produced in Central Asia. These bacteria posed no threat to the human digestive tract, but when coming into contact with human skin during consumption the bacteria in the hummus began to act on the follicles much as it acted on the roots, causing severe skin irritation, and, if left untreated, dermal necrosis. Over 500 Turks were treated for moderate rashes, and eleven required skin grafts to replace damaged tissue. This incident led to worldwide legume sanitation reform, and no similar outbreaks have been reported since.
March 26, 2007
• The device commonly known as a plunger was invented by Jeffrey Gunderson, a farmer on the Isle of Jersey. He originally created it to alleviate his cows of constipation.
• The average amount of milk, cream or half and half added to a cup of coffee is 1.2 oz.
• A higher percentage of medical doctors purchase extra firm mattresses than dentists or psychiatrists.
• The average movie house shows 3.1 trailers prior to the main feature. Virtually all play the "Let's all go to the lobby" jingle.
• 73 percent of all lottery purchases are "quick picks" selected by the lottery machine.
March 27, 2007
• The ball of pus in a zit is called the pistipule.
• On any given weekday, nearly 16 percent of the crowd outside the Today Show has been convicted of at least one misdemeanor. Only 3.5 percent have been convicted of at least one felony.
• Children in Peru chew their bubble gum with a mouthful of water to eliminate any loud smacking noises. This should be seen as a generalization of all Peruvian people.
• The average adult kidney can process up to three gallons of liquid in a two-hour period.
• For eight years following the American Revolutionary War, it was illegal to produce or sell an atlas in England that did not show the (much smaller) USA as a British Colony.
March 28, 2007
• Eric the Red was bald. His name came from his ruddy complexion.
• Until just before it went into production, Star Trek was called Space Invaders.
• Boysenberries contain more anti-oxidants than blueberries and strawberries.
• A Komodo Dragon's saliva contains 342 known pathogens.
• There's an unpublished Beethoven piece called "Sonata for Hand Bells and Tuba"
March 29, 2007
• President William Henry Harrison introduced 214 separate pieces of legislation even though he was in office for only one month before dying.
• The Sears Roebuck catalogue coined the term ‘husky’ to refer to larger-than-average boys in 1882.
• A well-trained ear can discern between notes played by a chrome-plated flute, a silver-plated flute and a gold-plated flute.
• Syracuse University’s colors are orange and white because a major benefactor was the inventor of the orange and white “creamsicle”.
• When Jumbo the Elephant was transported from England to the U.S. he spent most of the crossing sleeping in an improvised sling that minimized the effects of the waves.
March 30, 2007
• The toner used annually by copy machines and laser printers in New York City alone could fill Madison Square Garden.
• The duck-billed platypus is the only mammal born without an appendix.
• Teenagers who have pledged themselves to an abstinence program are 28 percent more likely to try drugs.
• Three out of five white American adults surveyed identified a photograph of 2004 Presidential candidate Al Sharpton as boxing promoter Don King.
• Having a car bumper sticker increases the chance of getting rear-ended by 60 percent.