June 2, 2006
• In comic books, there are approximately 20 super-villains for every super-hero.
• According to FAA statistical records, 23A is the safest seat in a commercial airplane accident.
• For reasons that are not yet understood, vegetarian mothers are about five percent more likely to deliver twins than their meat-eating counterparts.
• Humans have the thickest eyelids in the animal kingdom.
• Until 1922, Flag Day was celebrated on the first Wednesday following the second Sunday in June.
June 5, 2006
• A recent Nickelodeon Kids-Call-In® survey named George W. Bush as the best President ever, handily defeating perennial favorites George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.
• According to the International Association of Fire Fighters, approximately 12 percent of high-rise office fire alarms are set off by someone accidentally burning popcorn in the microwave.
• The web site of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation runs on Linux.
• Pearls will dissolve in vinegar, opals in chlorine bleach, and cubic zirconia in hydrogen peroxide. The latter provides a simple way to distinguish between diamonds and their imitators.
• In nearly every language of the indigenous Amazon rain forest people, "good weather" refers to a rain storm, and "bad weather" means sunny.
June 6, 2006
• Left handed opthamologists are four times more likely to perform orbital reconstructive surgery than their right-handed colleagues.
• Cranial escritobattery is the technical term for hitting ones head against a solid surface such as a wall.
• An average, casual game of volleyball lasts 22 minutes.
• During the summer an average child loses six pounds. During the winter, they gain 13.
• Church attendance declines 21 percent during the summer months.
June 8, 2006
• On average, a basketball used by the NBA will be slam dunked seven times during its usable life.
• In a recent poll of United States civil servants, 86 percent could not describe the difference between a #1 and a #2 pencil; 57 percent did not know #1 pencils exist.
• Studies at the University of Wyoming have shown that overweight people are 36 percent more likely to vote Republican than their thinner counterparts.
• Lefty Frizzell's number one song "Saginaw, Michigan" was based on the experiences of his great uncle, who actually lived in nearby Bay City. Frizzell changed the city to Saginaw to make it "more singable."
• On May 9, 2006, Bernard Ellula became the one hundredth person to be killed by a computer mouse.
June 9, 2006
Over in the Fact Check Forums
, Geog wanted to know more about search engines. Never in the mood to disappoint, we set to work, and here's what we were able to uncover. A big thanks to Taed, Andrew, and Lyet for their great research. And special congratulations to Lyet, who won this
awesome shirt for her research about Yahoo's alternative name.
• While AltaVista paid $3.3 million for their domain name, Google purchased theirs for $5, at the time, InterNic was having a buy-one-get-one-half-off sale.
• Fully 12 percent of web searches are on search engines that use only text based ranking systems. That is, unlike most modern search engines, they don't use any information about incoming links to rank sites.
• In deciding their name, Yahoo narrowly selected its current moniker over the internally popular alternative, Hooray.
• Adults over the age of 65 account for less than one percent of all search engine usage.
• It is possible to determine with 91 percent accuracy what TV shows are currently on the top five major broadcast networks by monitoring the top 250 searches in Yahoo.
June 12, 2006
• Creator Marc Cherry has acknowledged that the Desperate Housewives
are loosely based on the characters from Louisa May Alcott's Little Women
• Among U.S. public companies, the average price paid for an office chair is $62 for rank-and-file employees, $278 for first-level managers, and $723 for executives.
• If the average American driver were to aggressively invest the money currently used for gasoline, they would have over $118,000 in that investment after 10 years.
• In a typical office high-rise, the elevators consume nearly half of the electricity used by the building as a whole.
• The short-beaked echidna is the only mammal that has been completely frozen and subsequently revived.
June 14, 2006
• In just 15 seconds, 250 electric eels can produce enough energy to power an electric golf cart for 130 minutes.
• The preference for toilet paper roll arrangement -- whether or not the paper drapes over or under the roll -- is determined by a recessive gene carried in the X chromosome.
• The dense core section of a cabbage is sometimes referred to by its traditional name, babchka.
• While Dr Pepper purports to be a blend of 23 flavors, the company acknowledges that three of those flavors are different concentrations of vanilla extract, brining the actual number of flavors to 21.
• Installing a lock so the ridges of the key face downwards -- what many would consider to be "upside down" -- increases the lock's security by 29 percent.
June 16, 2006
• American astronaut Sally Ride was named after the chorus "All you want to do is ride around, Sally / Ride, Sally, Ride" in the song "Mustang Sally", later popularly covered by Wilson Pickett.
• The story of Sun Wukong, the Monkey King, is often used in Chinese textbooks to illustrate Darwin's principles of evolution.
• Sales of Mentos candy have nearly tripled in the last year, after five years of steady decline. This surge is attributed to the popularity of the various soda / Mentos experiment videos on the Internet.
• Arnold Schwarzenegger was officially an illegal alien until 1982, due to his failing to complete his residency paperwork.
• The Chinese version of Google links to at least 12,000 pages of United States government information that is illegal to disseminate in the U.S., and is thus not indexed by the American version of the search engine.
June 18, 2006
• Nearly one-third of self-professed Christians believe that it was Jesus, not Moses, who parted the Red Sea. Only one percent of Jews make the same mistake.
• Including variants, there are over 13,000 different Pokémon cards.
• Due to a bug in The Sims 2
, if you have a pizza delivered, but try to pay for it with another pizza instead of money, the pizza man will give you a random, sometimes valuable, object instead of the pizza.
• Each year on April Fool's Day, AltaVista's Babel Fish translation web site intentionally gives completely wrong, yet humorous, translations.
magazine has estimated that only one in 6,500 people who buy a harmonica will ever be able to play even the simplest song on it, making it the musical instrument with the lowest proficiency. The kazoo, on the other hand, has the highest proficiency.
June 20, 2006
• Ants do not perceive gravity.
• One in eight Russians say they practice falling asleep.
• At any given moment, a standard, home wireless router can put approximately 12 MB of data into the air.
• More injuries are likely to befall a professional badminton player than any other professional sport player.
• One in ten Americans eats ramen noodle soup more than twice every week.
June 22, 2006
• 31 percent of veterans are disqualified for federal jobs because they incorrectly filled out their applications.
• The Bantam Classic edition of Franz Kafka's short story "The Metamorphiosis" contains 4 pages of analysis for every one of text, the highest such ratio of any 20th century work.
• The average article of women's clothing is worn eight times less than the average men's article.
• Four percent of news stories are withheld before they are printed or aired.
• In a survey of Ohio residents, 12 percent said their favorite entertainer was "Jesus Christ."
June 24, 2006
• Percentage-wise, decorative pillows were the largest growth industry in the Eastern United States in 2002.
• People who re-use water bottles have, on average, a three year longer life span than other bottled water drinkers.
• Because of unexpectedly strong DVD sales, reruns of What's Happening
will begin airing on British satellite services in 2007.
• Birkenstock sandals are more durable than any other non-industrial sandal.
• The four-day Bonnaroo music festival in Manchester, Tennessee offers the greatest amount of music per dollar of any concert event in the world.
June 26, 2006
• According to the proposed U.S. federal budget, the CIA is requesting $3.4 billion for "non-employee incentives", which include bribes and other forms of financial enticement for providing intelligence information.
• In "blue states," Internet users favor Google over Yahoo by a 4-to-1 margin, whereas in "red states," Yahoo is slightly more popular.
• The U.S. Office of Federal Procurement Policy has produced an 87-page requirements document for Post-it Notes®, which details standards of size, color, paper material, and ranges of acceptable stickiness.
• Nearly two-thirds of 4-year-old children who watch Little Einsteins
daily can correctly identify works by both Mozart and van Gogh.
• An Apple Computer engineer invented an iPod-like digital music playback device in 1982, but since it was the size and weight of a brick, Apple decided not to pursue its development at that time.
June 29, 2006
• The U.S. federal government has spent nearly 3 times more on Agent Orange litigation and medical payments to veterans than had been spent on the entire Vietnam War.
• New York City manhole covers weigh exactly 100 pounds.
• A watchdog group stated that, on average, a newly-connected telephone line will receive its first telemarketing call within the first 18 hours.
• "ACT" and "FACT" are the most commonly-used three- and four-letter acronyms.
• The San Francisco Cable Car National Landmark is the only national park, monument, or landmark that receives no federal funds and makes a profit.