Archive for the ‘tidbits’ Tag

09-18-2016 Journal – Nature Trivia!   Leave a comment

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I’ve always been a lover of Nature and almost anything related to it.  As a photographer I spend as much time as I can out-and-about communing with Mother Nature.  I come by it honestly because as a kid growing up I spent more than half of my time in the woods with my friends. We lived on the edge of huge state park directly adjacent to the Allegheny River and knew every inch of the place.  My father, a hunter, spent a lot of time explaining about local wildlife and how they lived and traveled in the wild. It was just a very cool place to grow up.

So I thought I’d share a few interesting factoids about Nature with you. Here they are.

  • Every year the world’s deserts produce 1.7 billion tons of dust.
  • Nature reserves and national park cover 3% of the worlds surface.
  • Over 99.9% of the land on earth is not occupied by a person at a given time.
  • A tenth of the world’s population relies on the Ganges for water.
  • It takes one hundred years for the deep-sea clam to grow to the length of a third of an inch.

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  • Nearly half of the carbon dioxide emitted by humans since the beginning of the nineteenth century has been absorbed by the oceans.
  • An estimated 30% of Earth’s ice-free land is directly or indirectly involved in livestock production.
  • Since the formation of the solar system 4.6 billion years ago, the sun has become 25-30% hotter.
  • More than 90% of the world’s rubies come from Burma (or whatever they’re calling it these days).
  • Lake Baikal in Russia contains about 20% of the world’s fresh water.

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That’s it for today. It’s time to turn off this computer and get to work in the yard. Winter’s coming and the garden has to be deconstructed.

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ENJOY YOUR DAY OF REST

 

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06-05-2016 Journal – Miscellaneous Trivia!   Leave a comment

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I think it’s time for more trivia. I’m actually getting tired of talking about gardens and gardening. I need a break and I’m sure you do as well. They’ll be a lot more of that information coming your way this summer so there’s no need for more today.

These factoids will cover a number of categories but I’m sure you’ll find as interesting as I did.  Let’s get started.

  • Half of British women own more than thirty pairs of shoes.
  • In the US, half of children ages 4-6 have played video games, and a 25%  say thy do so regularly.
  • The most expensive age of your life is thirty-four.
  • Ten percent of people are left-handed and twenty percent are left-footed.
  • In the US, the lifetime cost to parents for rearing one middle class child is $1.43 million.

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  • In any conversation lasting ten minutes or longer, 20% of adults will lie.
  • There are a half million semiautomatic machine guns in Swiss homes.
  • Women are estimated to buy 80% of everything that is sold.
  • By late 2006, only 35% of Americans had sent a text message, compared to almost 100% of Brits.
  • Women in almost every culture speak in deeper voices than Japanese women. American women’s voices are lower than Japanese, Swedish women’s lower than American, and Dutch women women’s lower than Swedish.

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  • One third of all houses in Ireland were built in the last two decades.
  • The average American two-car garage is 25% bigger than the average Tokyo home.
  • In 2007 YouTube consumed as much bandwidth as the entire Internet did in 2000.
  • Spammers typically need to send one million emails to get just fifteen positive responses.
  • The total computing power of NASA at the time of the Sputnik launch in 1957 was far less than that available in a typical smart phone in use today.

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I guess that will do it for today. I never stop searching for this kind of off-the-wall information and you can be sure more facts will keep coming your way on a regular basis in the future.

GET OUTSIDE AND ENJOY YOUR DAY

05-02-2016 Journal–Presidential Trivia!   Leave a comment

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As I prepare for the exit of Barack Obama as President my mind naturally turns to politics. I’m not going to get into the expected arguments concerning the current roster of candidates because it’s pointless. People make up their own minds and then spend all of their leisure time trying to convince everyone else to vote like they do because they’re smarter than everyone else.  It’s those kinds of discussions I don’t want taking place on this blog.

I honestly don’t care a wit for who any of you may vote for.  Just like I won’t tell you what I’m going to do. If I agree with your selection I’m smart and intelligent and if I don’t then I’m a dumb ass without a clue about politics. It’s a lose . . . lose for me and not worth my time.

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As much as I dislike politics and politicians I still love trivia.  So I’ll delve into my archives to find a few interesting political tidbits from past Presidents and presidencies.  Here they are.

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Herbert Hoover was the only president to turn over 40 years of his government paychecks to charity.

A $5.7 million dollar renovation of the White House during the Truman administration was caused when the leg of Margaret Truman’s piano broke through the floor of v\her sitting room into the room below.

President Lyndon Johnson and his wife named their dogs Him & Her. Franklin D. Roosevelt and his wife named their pistols His & Hers.

Camp David located in the Catoctin Mountains was originally named Shangri- La before renaming by FDR.

James Madison, the fourth President was 5’4” tall and never weighed more than 100 pounds.

George Washington’s second inaugural address was the shortest in history.  It contained only 135 words.

William Howard Taft had a bathtub installed in the White House large enough to hold four men.  He weighed in at the time at 325 pounds.

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During his 12 years as President FDR used his veto powers 635 times.

Alexander Hamilton is credited with writing George Washington’s famous Farewell Address.

The average age that Presidents have taken office is 54.

First Lady Barbara Bush’s great-great-great uncle was President Franklin Pierce.

FDR was the only President who never used the word “I” in his inaugural speech.

The nickname of the first Presidential plane (a C-45 piloted by Major Henry T. Myers in 1944) was the, ”Sacred Cow”.

John Tyler was the only President to serve as a member of of the Congress of the Confederate States.

John Quincy Adams was the first President to wear long pants rather than knee breeches to his inauguration in 1825.

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I think that’s about enough politics for me today.  Anymore and I’ll become nauseous and violently ill.

04-10-2016 Journal – Some “Day of Rest” Trivia!   Leave a comment

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For most of my life I’ve been lectured about religion by an oh-so Catholic mother.  Part or her lecture series was to make sure I kept the Sabbath, “A Day of Rest”.  It wasn’t until this morning, 60 years later, that I decided to remember that.  According to my Mom it was a day to relax, reexamine your week, and be sorry for every rotten thing you did or even thought about doing.  I always had more than enough things to review that it usually took me the entire day.

Since I no longer do bad things or think bad things it puts me into a quandary. What do I do with my Sundays these days?  Being a well behaved and sinless person really opens up my Sundays for other activities.  One of which is posting more useless, uninformative, and silly items of trivia.

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Some of these tidbits are really and truly interesting but the other 99% are a waste of time.  If you’re a clean living person like me then you too will have plenty of time today to read this nonsense.  Since I’ve been watching a lot of English historical programs of late, I thought we should begin with these.

  • As a prince, King Edward VI had a “whipping boy” named Barnaby Fitzpatrick, who was beaten every time the prince misbehaved during his lessons.
  • The sirloin was introduced  when King James I knighted a joint of beef (a loin), which was particularly tasty.
  • King Charles I’s favorite joke was to place his court dwarf, Jeffrey Hudson, who was eighteen inches tall, between two halves of a loaf of bread and pretend to eat him.
  • King Edward III died of gonorrhea, which he caught from his mistress when he was sixty-five years of age. Henry VIII and Edward VI also died of venereal disease.

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So much for so-called royalty.  They’re just plain disgusting pervs like the rest of us. Now onto some strikingly stupid mis-statements released by the Media. This should convince you just how overrated and inaccurate they really can be.

  • “And now the sequence of events in no particular order.” – Dan Rather
  • “We are unable to announce the weather. We depend on weather reports from the airport, which is closed, due to the weather. Whether we will be able to give you a weather report tomorrow will depend on the weather. – Actual Arab news report.
  • “Passive activity income does not include the following income for an activity that is not a passive activity.” – I.R.S. form.
  • “The Supreme Court rules that murderers shall not be electrocuted twice for the same crime.” – Cleveland Daily News

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Now a few miscellaneous items in no particular order of importance.

  • More than 200 people in West Virginia returned their license plates to the Motor Vehicle Bureau because they began with the letters “OJ”.
  • Henry Ford never had a driver’s license.
  • A survey of career women who had tattoos revealed that they preferred to adorn their left breast rather than their right by a ratio of three to one.
  • In the early days of Hollywood, Western sets were made to seven-eighth scale to make the heroes seem larger.
  • There are now said to be more Samoans in Los Angeles than in American Samoa.
  • When W.C. Fields was caught glancing through the Bible, he explained it with, “Looking for loopholes.”
  • In New Mexico more than eleven thousand people have visited a tortilla chip that has the face of Jesus Christ burned on it.

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And for all of you dieters out these, here’s my favorite food quotation from Miss Piggy. “Never eat more than you can lift.”

HAVE A PEACEFUL DAY OF REST

03-29-16 Journal–Reading & Writing!   Leave a comment

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Most people who blog love to write and I guess that’s understandable. What I don’t understand are those people out there who choose not to write or read. I’m not criticizing, just questioning why. It seems that some people are wired differently and just aren’t all that interested. I read almost the entire Lord of the Rings story to my young son and he enjoyed it immensely.  I can honestly say that might be the last book he ever had read to him and he hasn’t read one on his own very often if ever.  He just isn’t interested in reading.

Is it nature or nurture?  I really don’t have a clue.  Using my son again as an example, on his twelfth birthday I bought him a book on the history of baseball and statistics on every player of note for the last fifty years. I knew he loved sports and I took a shot. The book was four inches thick and I thought if nothing else he could use it as a door stop.  He read the entire book in a few weeks and remembered almost every statistic on every player. After a time he drove me nuts quoting stats every time we talked.  Apparently he was over-the-top interested in sports.

You all know how much I love the written word and trivia so I decided to combine them for todays post.  Here’s my collection of useless information on the written word.

  • The number  of children in  the United Kingdom appearing in hospital emergency rooms dropped by 50% on weekends when the new Harry Potter books were released.
  • The first edition of Freud’s The Interpretation of Dreams (1899) sold only 351 copies in it’s first six years.
  • Five years after the 9/11 attacks, 1248 books had been published on the subject.
  • More than  150 books have the words “before you die” in their titles.
  • Charles Dickens created 989 named characters.

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  • Only half of American adults have read a book since leaving high school.
  • Five of the ten best selling novels in Japan in 2007 were written on mobile phones.
  • In 1893, when Sir Arthur Conan Doyle killed off Sherlock Holmes, 20,000 people cancelled their subscriptions to The Strand Magazine, which had published the Holmes stories.
  • Around 200,000 academic journals are published in the English language. The average number of readers per article is 5.
  • The word “bible” does not appear in the works of Shakespeare.

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  • Thirty percent of hardcover books go directly from the printer to the warehouse.
  • The Da Vinci Code is the bestselling book in French history. A quarter of the population is estimated to have read it.
  • Mein Kampf was second bestselling book in Turkey in March of 2005.
  • The eighteenth-century scholar Edmond Malone calculated that 4,144 of the 6,033 lines in parts I, II, and II of Henry VI were plagiarized by William Shakespeare.
  • The record for the highest number of short stories published in The New Yorker by an author in one year is held by E.B. White (twenty-eight in 1927). The overall record is held by James Thurber, who published 273 stories from 1927 to 1961.

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That’s it for today.  Hopefully they’ll be a few non-readers out there who’ll decide to read this post. I know for certain my son won’t be one of them unless I add some silly facts about batting averages or Babe Ruth’s weight problems.

NON-READERS MAKE ME CRAZY

03-22-2013   Leave a comment

It’s time for another installment of totally useless information. Normally I supply true facts that are strange, ironic, or unbelievable.  Today I’m taking a page from the Main Stream Media who on a regular basis use the jokes told on late night television to gauge certain politicians standing with the American people.  I’ve never really understood that type of polling since most of the material used by Leno, Letterman, Kimmel, and O’Brien is written by professional writers hired and directed by their corporate owners. Of course, they’re all totally unbiased politically.

I like a good laugh and joke as much as the next guy so I’ll pass these tidbits along simply as fun "one liners".  Since this country thrives on "sound bites" this style of humor is all the rage.  I need to enter a disclaimer here because I’m reasonable sure that all of these items are untrue. Enjoy them for what they are, just silly and stupid jokes.

  • Einstein estimated that his Theory of Relativity  got him laid more than one hundred times.
  • The United States border with Mexico is over 2000 miles long but only six inches wide.
  • Montana is the only state where "horseplay" is illegal.
  • Ninety six percent of all wrong numbers involve a guy saying, "Larry?"
  • Scientists who’ve been studying pigeons agree that they’re definitely up to something.
  • In Westchester, NY, there is a barber named Tony DeBarber.
  • Newton’s Fourth Law states "No fat chicks".
  • Christopher Welden of Columbus, OH, is the only person ever to actually "laugh all the way to the bank".
  • While their still not allowed to drive cars, as of May 2006, Saudi Arabian women may operate riding lawn mowers.
  • During a screening of Neil Simon’s The Goodbye Girl at the Vatican, someone asked the Pope to remove his hat.
  • When held by a person more than seven feet tall a ladle is just called a "spoon".
  • In response to continued complaints the Campbell’s Soup company  has removed the letter "F" from their alphabet soup.

Well there you have it. The first dirty dozen useless tidbits that might just make you smile but there are certainly no guarantees.