Skip to comments.Stupid, Dumb, Useless, Fascinating Facts That May Or May Not Be True
Posted on 07/07/2005 12:04:00 PM PDT by Asphalt
Here are some interesting facts to read.
Ancient Egyptians shaved off their eyebrows to mourn the deaths of their cats.
A bowling pin need only tilt 7.5 degrees in order to fall down.
The right side of a boat was called the starboard side due to the that the astronavigators used to stand out on the plank (which was on the right side) to get an unobstructed view of the stars. The left side was called the port side because that was the side you put in on at the port. This was so that they didn't knock off the starboard!
The Japanese word "Arigato" meaning thank you is derived from the Portugese word "Obrigado". Portugal once had a thriving trade with Japan.
The bubbles in Guinness Beer sink to the bottom rather than float to the top like all other beers. No one knows why.
Jupiter's core is in fact made of a non-metal, but due to the immense pressure inside Jupiter the core has become a metal. This metal is hydrogen.
The Main Library at Indiana University sinks over an inch every year because when it was built, engineers failed to take into account the weight of all the books that would occupy the building.
A fullgrown bear can run as fast as a horse.
When opossums are playing opossum, they are not "playing." They actually pass out from sheer terror.
Every male over the 18 is considered part of the Arizona Militia according to state constitution.
The word "karate" means "empty hand."
Four people played Darth Vader: David Prowse was his body, James Earl Jones did the voice, Sebastian Shaw was his face and a fourth person did the breathing.
A hamlet is a village without a church and a town is not a city until it has a cathedral.
49.6% of US residents live in Eastern time zone, 29.3% live in the Central time zone, 5.3% live in the Mountain time zone, 15.0% live in the Pacific time zone and .8% live in any other time zone.
Texas is also the only state that is allowed to fly its state flag at the same height as the U.S. flag.
If you put a raisin in a glass of champagne, it will keep floating to the top and sinking to the bottom.
Tommy Lee Jones and Al Gore were freshman roommates at Harvard.
A lion's roar can be heard from five miles away.
The reason firehouses have circular stairways is from the days of yore when the engines were pulled by horses. The horses were stabled on the ground floor and figured out how to walk up straight staircases.
The launching mechanism of a carrier ship that helps planes to take off, could throw a pickup truck over a mile.
If you told someone that they were one in a million, you'd be saying there were about 1,800 of them in China.
A duck's quack doesn't echo, and no one knows why.
The average sixty minute audio cassette tape has 562.5 feet of tape in it, nearly two football fields long
The ashes of the average cremated person weigh nine pounds.
The "save" icon on Microsoft Word shows a floppy disk, with the shutter on backwards.
Assuming Rudolph was in front, there are 40,320 ways to arrange the other eight reindeer.
The fingerprints of koala bears are virtually indistinguishable from those of humans, so much so that they could be confused at a crime scene.
Robert E. Lee, of the Confederate Army, remains the only person, to date, to have graduated from the West Point military academy without a single demerit.
Croatia was the first country to recognize the United States in 1776.
There are only 14 blimps in the world, and 10 of them are in the U.S.
Pinocchio is Italian for "pine eyes."
If you stretch a standard Slinky out flat it measures 87 feet long.
Most Americans' car horns beep in the key of F. The telephone dial tone is also in the key of F.
Barbie's measurements if she were life size: 39-23-33.
The Chinese ideogram for 'trouble' depicts two women living under one roof. And the Chinese words for crisis and opportunity are the same.
Ralph Lauren's original name was Ralph Lifshitz.
Lizzie Borden was acquitted.
Isaac Asimov is the only author to have a book in every Dewey-decimal category.
Approximately sixty circus performers have been shot from cannons. At last report, thirty-one of these have been killed.
The Boeing 767 aircraft is a collection of 3.1 million parts from 800 different suppliers around the world: fuselage parts from Japan, center wing section from Southern California, flaps from Italy.
A man irate about his income tax paid Uncle Sam with a plaster of Paris check that weighed several pounds. He wasn't all that bright, because once the government cashed the check, it was returned to him and he had to keep it for five years for his records.
On the new hundred dollar bill the time on the clock tower of Independence Hall is 4:10.
Parker Brothers prints about 50 billion dollars worth of Monopoly money in one year.
Calvin and Hobbes: Hobbes originally had pads on his hands and feet but Bill Waterson (the creator) found them too distracting and removed them.
It took Leo Tolstoy six years to write "War & Peace".
Charlie Brown's father was a barber.
Lucy and Linus (who where brother and sister) had another little brother named Rerun. (He sometimes played left-field on Charlie Brown's baseball team, [when he could find it!]).
In the name of art, Chris Burden arranged to be shot by a friend while another person photographed the event. He sold the series of pictures to an art dealer. He made $1750 on the deal, but his hospital bill was $84,000.
In Britains House of Commons, the government and opposition sides of the House are separated by two red lines. The distance between the lines is two swords lengths, a reminder of just how seriously the Brits used to take their politics.
The surface area of an average-sized brick is 79 cm squared.
In the kingdom of Bhutan, all citizens officially become a year older on New Year's Day.
The diameter of the wire in a standard paper clip is 1 millimeter - or about 0.04 inch.
People generally say there are 365 days in a year. By a year, I mean this is the time period it takes the earth to travel around the sun: 365 days. Actually, however, it takes the Earth 365.25 days to make this trip. In other words, for every year we gain one-fourth of a day and every for years we gain an extra day. If nothing was done about this, our calendar would move backwards one full day every four years in relation to our seasons.
November 29 is National Sinky Day; a day to eat over one's sink and worship it.
Public typists work at typewriters charging about 14 cents per page. On a good day, a public typist earns about $3.50.
On average, there are 333 squares of toilet paper on a roll.
Halloween isn't an established holiday by law. It is traditional that Halloween is Oct. 31 no matter what day of the week it falls on. Halloween dates from 837 when Pope Gregory IV instituted All Saints or All Hallows Day on Nov. 1 to take the place of an earlier festival known as the Peace of the Martyrs. The day was set aside to honor all saints, known and unknown. Halloween then is a shortened form of All Hallows Eve - the evening before All Hallows Day. Certainly, you have a choice of celebrating it on Oct. 30, Saturday, if you wish. Many of the area parties will be held then rather than on Sunday. It's probably appropriate to say some people equate Halloween with the occult or Satanism and don't approve of it at all.
The numbers on opposite sides of a die always add up to 7.
In 1979, Namco released Pac-Man, the most popular arcade game of all time. Over 300,000 units were sold worldwide. More than 100,000 units are sold in the United States alone. Originally named Puck Man, the game was retitled after executives saw the potential for vandals to scratch out part of the letter P on the game's marquee, which might discourage parents from letting their children play. Pac-Man became the first video game to be popular with both males and females.
Elizabeth Goose, who lived in Massachusetts in the late 1600's, is credited by some with the nursery rhymes read to us as children. However, most of those rhymes existed before her time in the form of satirical poems and drinking songs. Some were based on actual events or characters. Charles Perrault, a Frenchman, published a collection of these rhymes in 1697 and an illustration accompanying the text showed an old woman telling stories, with the words "Mother Goose" appearing behind her. The book was eventually published in England and the United States and more rhymes were added with each new publication. It wasn't until the 1800's that a relative of Mrs. Goose claimed the stories originated with Elizabeth.
If you were born in Los Alamos, New Mexico during the Manhattan project (where they made the atomic bomb), your birth place is listed as a post office box in Albuquerque.
The St. Louis Gateway Arch had a projected death toll while it was being built. No one died.
The Hoover Dam was built to last 2,000 years. The concrete in it will not even be fully cured for another 500 years.
The "Calabash" pipe, most often associated with Sherlock Holmes, was not used by him until William Gillette (an American) portrayed Holmes on stage. Gillette needed a pipe he could keep in his mouth while he spoke his lines.
The Chinese national anthem is called "the march of volunteers."
"The Tale of Genji", a Japanese work from the early eleventh century, is considered by many scholars to be the world's first full novel. The novel was written by a woman: Murasaki Shikibu, or Lady Murasaki.
The reason wheels seem to spin backwards on a camera is because when you film something, you are really taking a series of still images and then replaying them so fast that the eye is fooled into thinking it is a continuous stream of images. The eye can see about 12-14 frames per second. Because of a physical law called the Nyquist Sampling Theorem you need to display frames twice as fast as the eye can see to fool it into seeing it as a continuous movie (Nyquist showed mathematically why that is true). So, imagine you have a wheel that is spinning exactly once every second. If you took a picture at the same rate, it would look like it is standing still. That's because it rotates exactly once every time you take a picture. Now take a picture just a little bit faster than 1 per second. Now every time you take a picture, the wheel has not quite made it all the way around; maybe it will have gone 350 degrees around, so it's 10 degrees behind the first frame. The next frame it will have gone another 350 degrees, making it now 20 degrees behind the first frame, and so on. When you play the film back, it will look like the wheel is moving backwards, even though you know it was going forwards. The opposite effect happens when you take pictures a bit slower than the rotation rate. It gets more complicated when the wheel does not rotate at a constant rate, like when a car accelerates. The next time you watch TV or go to the movies, watch the wheels as a car speeds up. You might see the wheel appear to go backwards, them stop, then go forwards, all while the car is moving forwards.
The glue on Israeli postage stamps is certified kosher.
In the movie "Toy Story", the carpet designs in Sid's hallway is the same as the carpet designs in "The Shining."
In 1970, "MCI" stood for "Microwave Communications, Inc." No longer used as an acronym, it now stands alone.
The short-term memory capacity for most people is between five and nine items or digits. This is one reason that phone numbers were kept to seven digits for so long.
Mario, of Super Mario Bros. fame, appeared in the 1981 arcade game, Donkey Kong. His original name was Jumpman, but was changed to Mario to honor the Nintendo of America's landlord, Mario Segali.
Dennis the Menace's favorite drink is Root beer.
The hundred billionth crayon made by Crayola was Periwinkle Blue.
Alexander Hamilton and his son, Philip, both died on the same spot, and both during duels. Philip went first, 3 years before his father would be killed in that same field by Aaron Burr.
Despite the fact that 77 percent of Americans go to the grocery store with a list, it's estimated that half of everything bought there is bought on impulse. Supermarkets report very strong sales of almost anything they stock at the check-out line.
Golf was banned in England in 1457 because it was considered a distraction from the serious pursuit of archery.
A teenager in Belmont, New Hampshire robbed the local convenience store. Getting away with a pocket full of change, the boy walked home. He did not realize, however, that he had holes in both of his pockets. A trail of quarters and dimes led police directly to his house.
When the Hoovers did not want to be overheard by White House guests, they spoke to each other in Chinese.
At Disneyland they have hundreds of wild domesticated cats running around the park. They never come out during the day because there's too many people, but the reason they're there is to catch the mice.
Theaters in Glendale, California can show horror films only on Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday.
You can't plow a cotton field with an elephant in North Carolina.
In Lehigh, Nebraska it's against the law to sell donut holes.
Under the law of Mississippi, theres no such thing as a female Peeping Tom.
Anti-modem laws restrict Internet access in the country of Burma. Illegal possession of a modem can lead to a prison term.
Lawn darts are illegal in Canada.
In Idaho a citizen is forbidden by law to give another citizen a box of candy that weighs more than 50 pounds.
Every citizen of Kentucky is required by law to take a bath at least once a year.
It is against the law to whale hunt in Oklahoma. (Think about it...)
A Venetian law decrees that all gondolas must be painted black. The only exceptions are gondolas belonging to high public officials.
In the state of Queensland, Australia, it is still constitutional law that all pubs (hotel/bar) must have a railing outside for patrons to tie up their horse.
According to law, no store is allowed to sell a toothbrush on the Sabbath in Providence, Rhode Island. Yet these same stores are allowed to sell toothpaste and mouthwash on Sundays.
Before the enactment of the 1978 law that made it mandatory for dog owners in New York City to clean up after their pets, approximately 40 million pounds of dog excrement were deposited on the streets every year.
Chewing gum is outlawed in Singapore because it is a means of "tainting an environment free of dirt."
The handkerchief had been used by the Romans, who ordinarily wore two handkerchiefs: one on the left wrist and one tucked in at the waist or around the neck. In the fifteenth century, the handkerchief was for a time allowed only to the nobility; special laws were made to enforce this. The classical heritage was rediscovered during the Renaissance.
For hundreds of years, the Chinese zealously guarded the secret of sericulture; imperial law decreed death by torture to those who disclosed how to make silk.
An old law in Bellingham, Washington, made it illegal for a woman to take more than 3 steps backwards while dancing.
By law, information collected in a U.S. census must remain confidential for 72 years.
Candy made from pieces of barrel cactus was outlawed in the U.S. in 1952 to protect the species.
A slander case in Thailand was once settled by a witness who said nothing at all. According to the memoirs of Justice Gerald Sparrow, a 20th century British barrister who served as a judge in Bangkok, the case involved two rival Chinese merchants. Pu Lin and Swee Ho. Pu Lin had stated sneeringly at a party that Swee Ho's new wife, Li Bua, was merely a decoration to show how rich her husband was. Swee Ho, he said, could no longer "please the ladies." Swee Ho sued for slander, claiming Li Bua was his wife in every sense - and he won his case, along with substantial damages, without a word of evidence being taken. Swee Ho's lawyer simply put the blushing bride in the witness box. She had decorative, gold-painted fingernails, to be sure, but she was also quite obviously pregnant.
In Breton, Alabama, there is a law on the town's books against riding down the street in a motorboat.
Connecticut and Rhode Island never ratified the 18th Amendment: Prohibition.
A few years back, a Chinese soap hit it big with consumers in Asia. It was claimed in ads that users would lose weight with Seaweed Defat Scented Soap simply by washing with it. The soap was sold in violation to the Japanese Pharmaceutical Affairs Law and was banned. Reportedly, the craze for the soap was so great that Japanese tourists from China and Hong Kong brought back large quantities. The product was also in violation of customs regulations. In June and July 1999 alone, over 10,000 bars were seized.
In most American states, a wedding ring is exempt by law from inclusion among the assets in a bankruptcy estate. This means that a wedding ring cannot be seized by creditors, no matter how much the bankrupt person owes.
In New York State, it is still illegal to shoot a rabbit from a moving trolley car.
Vermont, Alaska, Hawaii, and Maine are the four states in the U.S. that do not allow billboards.
Wetaskiwin, Alberta from 1917: "It's against the law to tie a male horse next to a female horse on Main Street."
Women were banned by royal decree from using hotel swimming pools in Jidda, Saudi Arabia, in 1979.
In Riverside, California, there is an old law on the city's books which makes it illegal to kiss unless both people wipe their lips with rose water.
In Saudi Arabia, a woman reportedly may divorce her husband if he does not keep her supplied with coffee.
Muppets creator Jim Henson first created Kermit in 1955 - as a lizard. He was made from Henson's mother's coat and two halves of a Ping-Pong ball (no flipper feet or eleven-point collar)
The person who performs the Muppets - Miss Piggy, Fozzie, Animal, and Grover is Frank Oz. Oz is also the voice of Star Wars Yoda. By the way, his real name is Frank Oznowicz.
The 1997 Jack Nicholson film - "As Good As It Gets", is known in China as "Mr. Cat Poop".
Of the six men who made up the Three Stooges, three of them were real brothers (Moe, Curly and Shemp.)
The writers of The Simpsons have never revealed what state Springfield is in.
A theater manager in Seoul, Korea felt that The Sound of Music was too long, so he shortened it by cutting out all the songs.
Bruce was the nickname of the mechanical shark used in the "Jaws" movies.
Donald Duck comics were banned from Finland because he doesn't wear pants.
A two hour motion picture uses 10,800 feet of film. Not including the previews and commercials.
For many years, the globe on the NBC Nightly News spun in the wrong direction. On January 2, 1984, NBC finally set the world spinning back in the proper direction.
In the Mario Brothers movie, the Princess' first name is Daisy, but in Mario 64, the game, her first name is Peach. Before that, it's Princess Toadstool.
"60 Minutes" is the only show on CBS that doesnt have a theme song.
Dooley Wilson appeared as Sam in the movie Casablanca. Dooley was a drummer - not a pianist in real life. The man who really played the piano in Casablanca was a Warner Brothers staff musician who was at a piano off camera during the filming.
The TV sitcom Seinfeld was originally named "The Seinfeld Chronicles". The pilot which was broadcast in 1989 also featured a kooky neighbor named Kessler. This character later became known as Kramer.
In the movie 'Now and Then', when the girls are talking to the hippie (Brenden Fraser), and they get up to leave, Teeny (Thora Birch) puts out her cigarette twice.
i wouldn't know
This is incorrect. The right side of a ship became known as the starboard side because the Vikings, who called each side of their ship a board, had the steering oar or "steer board" on the right side of the ship.
again, I wouldn't know
... otherwise known as a catapult.
"i wouldn't know"
Just letting you know so you can edit your list for correctness ;) Interesting stuff though.
L believe the Texas flag can be flown at the same level as the US flag since at one time it was a national flag.
Naw, Flag code has nothing about any exceptions for Texas, or flags of States that were previous nations. Just another one of those urban legends floating around ;)
You could never tell it around here.Many Texas flags are flown at the same level as the US flag.
art.6139 Texas flag code and excerpt:When the state and United States flags are displayed at the same time, they should be flown on flagpoles of the same height, and the flags should be of approximately equal size. The United States flag should be displayed to the United States flag's right, that is, the observer's left. However, when it is necessary for the state and United States flags to be flown from the same flagpole, the state flag should be displayed underneath the United States flag. When the state flag is displayed on a separate flagpole from the United States flag, the state flag should be hoisted after the United States flag is hoisted and lowered before the United States flag is lowered.
Well things are gonna get technical on this one :)
This site pretty much has it all.
Any state flag can fly at the same height as the US flag, it seems that most state's have laws/codes against this, Texas doesn't ;)
I lived in Texas for 7 years. I was on the STUCO in HS and we were talking about a class gift. The Teacher who oversaw STUCO suggested we buy a Texas flag and send it to Austin so it can "Fly over Texas." I said that was a great idea and while we're at it, buy an American flag and send it to DC to be flown over the country. The response form the teacher was "Why would you want to do that"
Sigh, I miss Texas.
OK, I just stretched out one of my slinkies and it is only 64 feet long.
I demand a refund.
what I was thinking
what brand was it?
Cool list, I love things like this!
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.