Archive for the ‘useless information’ 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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08-04-2016 Journal – Odd Facts!   Leave a comment

 

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I feel the need today to once again fill your heads with more of my useless information. These factoids were chosen at random and are in no particular order or category.

  • Thomas Jefferson invented the swivel chair.
  • The philosopher Daniel Dennett introduced the Frisbee to Britain.
  • Isaac Newton invented the cat door.
  • The longest length of time from invention to production was for the ballpoint pen at 58 years.  The zipper took only 32 years.
  • Windshield wipers, laser printers, and bullet-proof vests were invented by women.

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I’m amazed at some of the facts I’ve been finding and the longer I look the crazier they seem to get. Lets continue.

  • In India, 127 million people were vaccinated in a single day in 1997.
  • There are nearly as many American Indians in California now as there were in the eighteenth century.
  • By 2007, the cost of a coffin in Bagdad was 50-75 dollars, up from 5-10 before the Iraq war.
  • In Britain, 93% of young people can master a computer game while only 38% can bake a potato.
  • Jack  Bauer, the lead character from the series 24, personally killed 112 people in the first five seasons of the show.

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Re your eyes getting tired? Are you bored yet?  No!  I’ll just keep going until you’re asleep.

  • There are no legal public cinema’s in Saudi Arabia.
  • One in every 3400 Americans  is an Elvis impersonator.
  • There are approximately twenty families with the name Obama in the US, compared with more than 11,000 Clintons and 60,000 Bushes.
  • In the year 1377, 35% of all English men were named John.
  • There are more people named Chang in China than there are people in Germany.

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That’s just about it for today but I have one more tidbit I especially liked:

“In the urban West, one of every three women has blond hair; only one in 20 is a natural blond.”

Someone has the best job ever. He spends all day checking to see if the rugs match the drapes.

I WANT THAT JOB

06-13-2016 Journal–High Tech & Low Tech!   Leave a comment

Anyone who’s read this blog over the years realizes how addicted to the Internet I am.  I spend a great deal of my time roaming the Internet looking for odd facts on just about any subject.  With that thought in mind, I thought I’d share some tidbits about the Internet that I happened upon recently.  To me they’re interesting, but to you, maybe not so much.  Needless to say I’m posting them anyway, so here’s goes.

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High Tech

  • Russian Victor Yazykov, sailing alone in the South Atlantic, performed surgery on his own arm by following instructions from Dr. Daniel Carlin of Boston, relayed via e-mail from halfway across the world.
  • Cyberstalking: A man identified only as Roger was the prey in the world’s first live game of human hunting on the web.  It took a week to find him in a Berlin library, counting books.
  • In 1999, a NASA expedition set up the first Internet link to the North Pole and made the very first North Pole to South Pole conversation ever.
  • When a computer glitch occurred in Sydney, Australia, hundreds of programmed soda pop machines began dialing ambulance and fire emergency lines.
  • A company in San Francisco, California, has developed Internet software that is scented with a plug-in device for Web surfers called Smell-O-Vision.
  • The Vatican has considered recognizing St. Isadora of Seville as the patron saint of the Internet.  A clergyman during the sixth century, St. Isadora created a 20 volume encyclopedia, one of the earliest known databases.
  • A ferret named Misty was used by the US Space Command in Colorado to help rewire a new computerized command center.
  • In 1997, 67 million computer e-mail users in North America sent 2.7 billion messages.  Can only imagine how many are being sent these days.

I’m sure you were thrilled reading all of those useless facts but as we all know the Internet is the gift that keeps on giving. Now let’s move on to telephones because many of you anti-technology folks who really hate the Internet love old style telephones.

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Low Tech

  • A company in Japan developed false fingernails that glow when the wearer is talking on a cell phone.
  • Bob Prosser of Turtle Lake, Wisconsin, has a collection of 500,000 telephones, including an explosion proof military phone, a 14 karat gold Swedish phone, and a crank model used by the last Sultan of Turkey.
  • In Shoup, Idaho, there are no power lines, no televisions, and no stereos.
  • An answering machine in San Diego, California , created to take calls from Elvis Spotters has already received over 50,000 calls.
  • The Lazy E Ranch in Guthrie, Oklahoma, has telephones that are 6 1/2 feet above the ground, for use by cowboys on horseback.
  • The first telephone book was published in New Haven, Connecticut, in 1878, and contained only 50 names.
  • Albert Einstein never memorized his own telephone number.
  • The world’s smallest police station in Carabelle, Florida, is actually a phone booth.

I think that’s enough nonsense for today.  More trivia to follow as it becomes available. Fortunately there’s an endless supply if you know where to look.

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

08-06-2015 Journal–August Whining!   Leave a comment

I just returned from the UPS Store where I dropped off the last of the equipment to be returned to the Dish Network.  I wanted to make sure I mailed them as quickly as possible because their veiled threats of future penalty charges were wearing thin.  I now have my receipt in hand and they can go find someone else to screw with.  The only chore I have left is to remove that attractive satellite dish from the front of my house. I may be forced to repurpose that dish for further use because I have hundreds of birds in the area who’d appreciate another place to bathe.  SEEYA DISH!

Today’s posting will be a lot of useless whining but I need to vent before my head explodes. Yesterday was Windows 10 day here at my house.  What a huge pain in the ass that turned into.  Two of my computers were eligible for the free upgrade and since I’ve always disliked Windows 7 and absolutely hated Windows 8.1, I was ready for the change. That old adage of “Be careful what you wish for” always seems to remain relevant.

My desktop was first up and should have been an indicator of where I’d be heading for the remainder of my day. The desktop was a Windows 7 unit and while the upgrade was over and done with in thirty minutes it created other problems. Anyone who knows anything about computers also knows that a Microsoft upgrade means additional problems. My desktop is located in a basement office a fair distance from the router. It always had a bar and a half on the wi-fi meter and that was sufficient to operate on the Net. After the upgrade I no longer could connect to to my home network. What a shock! (Sarcasm on) My final solution to the damn problem was either to buy a range extender or move my office elsewhere.  More money down the drain for an range extender making my free upgrade not so free . . . add $90.00.

Then I began the conversion of my laptop that was running Windows 8.1.  A handful of error messages and four hours later and it was finally done.  A nice quick Microsoft fix. (more sarcasm)  I let you know in a week or so just how stupendous Windows 10 is or isn’t.  I’m not holding my breath.

I’ve been attempting in the few years to fight the powers-that-be to regain some control over my life.  I dumped Time Warner because they were big fat liars and then signed up with Dish Network.  Then after the first year at Dish they turned into the little brother of Direct TV and started jacking up their prices.  They seem to think they have the moral high ground because they lie a little less than Direct TV.  It’s a small difference to those of us who are the screwee’s (my made up word).

A few years ago I went through the same process with the cell phone carriers. It  never seems to end with these companies who appear to have the government regulators in their pocket.  They have us by the throat in a government regulated death grip and they never stop squeezing. Network upcharges, surcharges, taxes, fees, and anything else they can think of. “Land of the Free” has no meaning for me any longer.

The golden rule, "Do unto others what you want them to do unto you”, has always been meaningful but I think it now needs a bit of rewording.

“Shut the hell up, bend over, and like it.”

01-14-2015 A Dose of Useless Crap!   Leave a comment

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I’m really tired of talking about Maine’s winter weather and I’m just as sure your tired of hearing about it.  I’ll take a few steps back into the past and try to entertain you with some unusual trivia.  It’s been a while since I delved into my bag of useless crap but I feel like sharing today. I’ll try to keep things interesting and not weather related.  Let’s go . . . .

  • Murphy’s Oil Soap is the chemical most commonly used to clean elephants.
  • For over forty years, Herbert Hoover gave all of his political earnings to charity, including his wages and pension as president.
  • America’s last professional bare-knuckle boxing bout, in 1889, went to seventy-five rounds. The fight was between John I. Sullivan and Jake Kilrain – Kilrain lost. The famous lawman Bat Masterson was the timekeeper.
  • Butter was the first food product allowed by law to have artificial coloring.  It is totally white in it’s natural state.
  • The average person laughs thirteen times a day.
  • Forty-five percent of cat owners buy a holiday gift for their pet.
  • Honeybees maintain a temperature of 94 degrees in their hives year round.
  • Your thumb is the same length as your nose.
  • If you were locked in a completely sealed room you would die of carbon dioxide poisoning before  oxygen deprivation.
  • In 1976 the swine flu vaccine caused more deaths than the illness it was intended to prevent.
  • It would take seven billion particles of fog to fill a teaspoon.

And one quote: “God gave men a penis and a brain, but unfortunately not enough blood supply to run both at the same time.”  ROBIN WILLIAMS

That’s enough for today.  I do love trivia but a steady diet of it seems to be a sad commentary on my life as it currently exists.  If you take these weird facts and use them properly you can amaze and surprise your friends with your vast knowledge of totally useless information.  I have to say my friends were never all that impressed but the hell with them too.  I can tell you one fact that you might not have figured out just yet.  The last place you ever want to be is in a bar on trivia night with me sitting next to you.  You’ll be so tempted to just walk over and give me a smack and truthfully I wouldn’t blame you.

I’m done for today but more of this stuff is in your future if you continue to read this blog.

10-07-2014 More Useless Boring Things!   Leave a comment

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It’s raining, it cloudy, it’s gray, and I’m suffering from a total lack of interest in just about everything.  This change of seasons gets me down every year and has done so for as long as I can remember.  It’s sort of become a really annoying tradition for me.  I’ve always been told by others that traditions are the backbone of everything and with that in mind I guess I’ll celebrate that tradition with this new tradition.

You know what that means . . . .  more totally useless information.  There’s really no way to categorize this kind of stuff and I won’t even try. I’ll just put it out there for your enjoyment and you can decide if it’s worth your time or not.  So, there will be no photographs today because I’m too preoccupied with being bored to be taking pictures.  Let’s get started.

  • 28% of Africa is wilderness while 38% of North America is wilderness.
  • On November 29, 2000, Pope John Paul II was made an honorary Harlem Globetrotter.
  • Heavyweight boxing champion, Ken Norton, was rejected for the role of Apollo Creed in the 1976 film Rocky because he made the star Sylvester Stallone look too small.
  • The largest fruit crop on earth is grapes – followed by bananas.
  • No one knows exactly why a duck’s quack doesn’t echo.

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I’m on my third cup of coffee, still in bed, and munching on a miniature lemon/poppy seed muffin.  I just don’t get these small versions of normal muffins.  People are only kidding themselves if they think it’s healthier to only eat these tiny little useless muffins instead of the real thing.  Give me a big full sized, fat, sugary, crunchy muffin with two inches of frosting on it any day of the week.  If you’re going to eat something sinful don’t mess around, go for it. Revel in the wickedness of your evil deeds.  Forgive me but I seem to have wandered off the reservation a little due to the influences of this destructive and dangerous sugar I just ingested.  Back to the point of this posting which as you should know is "there is no point".

  • Actress Farrah Fawcett had a tap named after her – the gold plated Farrah Fawcet.
  • The snow scenes in the film It’s a Wonderful Life were shot during a record heat wave in southern California.
  • As of 2002, rats in New York outnumbered humans by twelve to one.
  • A pigs orgasm lasts for thirty minutes.
  • When press tycoon William Randolph Hearst sent a telegram to a leading astronomer asking if there was life on Mars and to please cable a thousand words on the subject, he received the reply, “Nobody knows,” repeated five hundred times.

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It’s only proper when posting some useless information to end that posting with a big bang or three.  There’s nothing better than a few really raunchy and bawdy limericks to kick start your day. Enjoy.

The derriere Doris displays

In the park never fails to amaze;

She flounces and bounces

Those wonderful ounces,

And old men are ecstatic for days.

* * *

There was a young virgin named Jeanie

Whose dad was an absolute meanie;

When he’d fashioned a hatch,

With a latch, for her snatch –

She could only be had by Houdini!

* * *

I’d rather have fingers than toes.

I’d rather have ears than a nose.

And, a happy erection

Brought just to perfection

Makes me terribly sad when it goes.

HAVE A GREAT DAY

08-14-2014 A Load of Useless Information!   Leave a comment

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After a little reflection it occurred to me that many of you have heard enough about gardens, canning, and other assorted foolishness I’m involved with. There will certainly be more of that soon enough but not today.

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This blog was named Every Useless Thing for a reason.  I love odd facts and facts that aren’t commonly known.  I’ve drifted away from that of late and that needs to be remedied.  I’ve been collecting sources of  useless information for many years and still have a lot to pass on to all you.

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As I sit here trying to concentrate I keep praying that this Novocain my dentist shot me full of wears off soon.  I’m afraid to drink any hot coffee for fear of scalding my mouth.  He said it’s effects should pass after an hour or so.  It’s not that I think he doesn’t know what he’s talking about but dammit it’s already been two and half hours.  I‘m sure you’ll be glad to know that after his fine work this morning I’m beautiful again. The world can once again rest easy.

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Let’s get to the good stuff.  More things you could care less about unless you hope to win a trivia contest or a few bar bets.

  • In case anyone ever asks, here are the seven Japanese gods of luck:

Bishamon, Daikoku, Ebisu, Fukurokuju, Jurojin

  • Neil Armstrong stepped onto the moon using his left foot first.
  • President Andrew Jackson’s pet parrot had to be removed from his funeral in 1845 because it was swearing.
  • Lee Harvey Oswald was dyslexic.
  • Joseph Stalin, whose  left arm was noticeably shorter than his right, also had webbed toes on his left foot.
  • In the eight year period Ronald Reagan was president, the White House bought 12 tons of his favorite jelly beans.

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I know you’ve missed this stuff no matter what you tell me.  It just keeps getting more interesting and exciting. (sarcasm off)

  • The difference between a nook and a cranny is that the nook is a corner and the cranny is a crack.
  • Race car is a palindrome.
  • Mick Jagger turned down a 3.5 million pound advance offer on his memoirs from a publisher because, he said, “couldn’t remember” enough significant details from his own life.
  • Idiot quote: “Everything that can be invented has been invented.” U.S. Patent Office 1899
  • A cat has four rows of whiskers.

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I’m almost finished so hang in there for a minute. It’s not really as boring as you seem to think.

  • The license number of the General Lee in The Dukes of Hazard was CNH 320.
  • There are 1,943 names listed in the closing credits of The Matrix Reloaded.
  • Virginia Woolf wrote all her books standing up.
  • “Most cars on our roads have only one occupant, usually the driver.” –Carol Malia, BBC TV presenter.
  • Pasta vermicelli means “little worms”.

All finished, another installment of useless crap has been distributed. Use it at your own risk, it can sometimes piss people off. You’ve been warned.

04-27-2014 People, Duct Tape and Lake Sharks!!!   2 comments

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People are strange. The things they do are strange, puzzling, amazing, and sometimes truly stupid. Today is just a day of musings and questions.  There doesn’t seem to be logical answers for some of the things I see and hear every day.

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I was shopping recently and discovered something odd and surprising.  I found a rack of "duct tape" for sale in many and varied colors and patterns.  There was some with  tiger stripes and another covered with green shamrocks. Cool right? What’s the effing point?

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My first reaction was why fancy duct tape?, and is it really "duct tape" or it is just "duck tape". I was always sure it was "duct tape" until I saw a recent TV commercial selling "Duck Tape".  It looked the same as the good old standby stuff  but it had a flashy and cool cartoon duck as it’s logo.  So what do  I ask for at Home Deport?  Where do I find the Duck Tape? I’m then forced to deal with that stupid blank stare you get when one of their employees has no clue. Most people love duct tape and use it for damn near everything.  But why? That leads me into my next unanswered question.

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Have you ever skydived?  Everyone knows that it’s one of those things that’s just so damn exciting and dangerous that everyone says they’d like to try it.  I thought that at one time years ago and set out to try it myself.  I spent a portion part of a day being trained on how to jump out of a plane.  Stand in the door, look down, pee your pants , and jump . . . asshole.  It wasn’t a college course but it was required by our local politicians and insurance companies before you do something stupid. That way everyone is protected if and when you hit the ground at full speed. I went up, jumped, came back down and rode an adrenaline high for hours.  Just guess what the two things my memory has retained about that entire experience. The first thing was something I noticed as I climbed into one of the worst looking aircraft on earth. The entire interior surface of the plane was covered in duct tape (not duck tape).  It looked like the pilot preferred using duct tape instead of doing regular maintenance.  I thought at the time this was done specifically to help motivate idiots like me to jump out of that freaking death trap.  It was apparently done so you didn’t snag anything like your chute as you moved to the open door to jump. Silly me.

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The second thing that stuck with me was the young blond Scandinavian women with the tight purple skydiving outfit who was hanging around the airfield that day.  After my extensive two hours of training she approached me with a business proposition.  She offered to skydive with me wearing a camera helmet and to tape my entire jump from start to finish for only $150.00.  She was extremely hot and I wanted to appear courageous so I signed up and gave her the cash.  She slithered into the plane with us and sat across from me all smiles and moist hotness.  During the flight to 14,0000 feet I fantasized about first doing the jump, surviving, and then possibly jumping her later. I knew I’d need help  to drain away all of  that excess adrenaline and she could certainly take care of that. That fantasy ended rather quickly when she cut the loudest and most disgusting fart I’ve ever heard, looked at me and smiled.  Even the pilot of the little two seater turned around to see what all the noise was about.  It took a few hours to get that stench out of my nostrils and it was just the additional motivation I needed to get the hell out that plane.  She took a pretty good video of me on the way down and strutted away from the landing never to be seen again. Those are my two main memories of that day, duct tape (not duck tape) and blond bombshell farts. What a life.

My last inquiry into people calls into question their ability to recognize and identify when someone is feeding them a line of BS.  As I’ve mentioned in the past, in another lifetime I was a state police officer in Pennsylvania.  One of the downsides to being a rookie cop is being stuck with all of the crap traffic details the more senior officers don’t want to do.  There’s a state park called Moraine Lake near Butler, Pennsylvania that is a huge tourist draw during the summer months.  Unfortunately the only entrance and exit to the public beaches is from a nearby interstate highway.  It became so congested at times on Saturdays that the backed up traffic would become a public hazard.  This required a few of us rookies to spend our day standing in the hot sun telling citizens to keep moving because the beaches were full and there was no place to park. This required them to drive five additional miles to the next exit just so they could turn around and drive back for another try.  There weren’t  many happy folks after that and on a normal Saturday the station would receive hundreds of complaint calls from pissed off beach goers.

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On one specific Saturday I was sent out to the park in mid afternoon after traffic had already been rerouted for hours. There was a veteran cop there which was unusual and he seemed to be in charge. I found out later he was there on a punishment detail for some infraction he’d committed a few days before.  For the first time in history there were almost no complaint calls being received at the station.  I found out why just after my arrival  at the park. That veteran officer was telling each and every car that came by that "there were sharks found in the lake and the beaches were closed, keep moving please."  Not one person questioned him or called the station  to verify his story. The funniest thing was the rumor about lake sharks being mentioned in a local newspaper the next day. I was amazed then and still am. 

That’s it….I just had to ask these question and I honestly never expected a reasonable answer to any of them.

11-26-2013 More Useless Information   2 comments

I think you all need another dose of this blogs specialty, Useless Information. After working all day at the office or as a homemaker your head is filled with numbers, To-Do lists, and nasty thoughts about your boss or other co-workers.  Even though your mind is racing with all this stuff it’s now my job to slow things down, make you smile, and begin the relaxation process that’s so badly needed by us all.

These facts are sometimes funny but always interesting and I forward them along to you because I feel your mental well being is now my responsibility. Pour yourself a beer or glass of wine, put your feet up, turn on some mellow music and just relax.  Unwind totally, pet the dog or cat, kiss the kids, and a big wet one for your spouse.  Here they are:

  • Elvis Presley’s favorite amusement park ride was the bumper cars.
  • Albert Einstein slept 10 hours a night.
  • The game of badminton was once called “poona”.
  • Some obsessed fan paid $14,000.00 for the bra worn by Marilyn Monroe in the move Some Like It Hot.
  • Sammy Davis Jr. was originally known professionally as “Silent Sam, the Dancing Midget.”
  • About a quarter of the oxygen in your blood is used by the brain.
  • Sigmund Freud had a morbid fear of ferns.
  • According to mathematicians, the billionth digit of pi is 9.
  • Millie the White House pet dog earned more than four times as much as her owner, President Bush, in 1991.
  • Astronaut Buzz Aldrin claims to have been the first man to “piss in his pants on the moon.”
  • There are more plastic flamingos in the United States than real ones.
  • Alexander the Great was buried in a vat of honey.
  • The Hundred Years War lasted 116 years.
  • In 1992 Lee Harvey Oswald’s cadaver tag was sold at auction for $6,600.
  • The average U.S. student attends school 180 days; in China, it’s 251 days.
  • 40% of people killed from falling off a horse are drunk.
  • Most of the villains in the Bible have red hair.
  • You can make 11 1/2 omelets with one ostrich egg.
  • Captain Kangaroo won five Emmy awards.
  • Sherlock Holmes kept his tobacco in the toe of a Persian slipper.

There, do you feel more relaxed now.  I certainly hope so.  There’ll be more of this useless information coming your way very soon.