Sunday, August 9, 2009

Interesting Facts about Indiana

Santa Claus, Indiana, receives more than one-half million letters and requests at Christmas time.

Five men from Indiana have been elected as vice president: Schuyler Colfax, Thomas A. Hendricks, Charles W. Fairbanks, Thomas Marshall and Dan Quayle. They have earned Indiana the nickname "Mother of Vice Presidents."

The first successful goldfish farm in the United States was opened in Martinsville, Indiana, in 1899.

In June 1972, Lowell Elliot of Peru, Indiana, was said to have found $500,000 in cash on his farm. It appeared as if the money had fallen from the sky. And in fact, it did. A skyjacker parachuting out of a plane had dropped his stolen profits over Elliot’s farm. Elliot returned the money to the authorities.

In a typical year, almost half of all cropland in Indiana is planted in corn.

Abraham Lincoln moved to Indiana at the age of 7.

Explorers Lewis and Clark set out from Fort Vincennes on their exploration of the Northwest Territory.

Did you know the movie "Hard Rain" was filmed in Huntingburg?!

The first professional baseball game was played in Fort Wayne on May 4, 1871.

The Indiana Dunes region provides habitat for many unusual plants, including prickly pear cactus, lichen mosses, bearberry, and more than 20 varieties of orchids.

During second world war, the P-47 fighter-plane was manufactured in Evansville at Republic Aviation.

Marcella Gruelle who was from Indianapolis created the Raggedy Ann doll in 1914.

The small town of Warsaw, Indiana, is home to three major manufacturers of artificial joints--Zimmer Holdings, Biomet, Inc. and DuPuy.

Source: Interesting Facts Blog

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Facts about Monkeys

Here are some really interesting facts about monkeys. There are many features of this mammal worth discussing, thus the long list of facts.

Monkeys make up two of the three groups of simian primates, Old World monkeys and New World monkeys. The other group is the apes.

The origins of the word monkey are unclear. It could come from Moneke, the name of the son of Martin the Ape in a medieval animal story. It appears also to be related to manikin, from the Dutch manneken (little man).

Most primates share six basic features: forward-facing eyes, eye sockets, grasping hands, nails, fingerprints, and large brains.

Monkeys are most easily distinguished from apes by their tails. Apes have no tails.

Brazil has more kinds of primates than any other country, with 16 genera and 77 species. The Democratic Republic of the Congo is second, with 18 genera and 37 species.

A monkey is any primate that is not a human, prosimian, or ape.

The prosimians include lemurs, sifakas, lorises, pottos, bushbabies, and other primitive primates.

A group of monkeys is called a troop.

Monkeys use vocalizations, facial expressions, and body movements to communicate.

Grinning or pulling the lip is a sign of aggression in monkeys, along with yawning, head bobbing, and jerking the head and shoulders forward.

Monkeys express affection and make peace with others by grooming each other.

Monkeys live in trees, grasslands, mountains, forests, and on high plains.

All of Madagascar's native primate species are endemic.

As of 1999, 92 of the world's 192 nations have wild primate populations.

Twenty-one primate species are listed as critically endangered on the 2007 Red List of Threatened and Endangered Species. Forty-seven are endangered and 46 are vulnerable to extinction.

Apes and spider monkeys swing arm-to-arm in trees, but most monkeys don’t. Instead, they run across branches.

Monkeys peel their bananas and do not eat the skins.

Monkeys can grasp with both their fingers and their toes.

Most Old World monkeys have small, curved nostrils set close together. Most New World monkeys have round nostrils set far apart on flat noses.

Ten New World monkey species have been classified as nocturnal. All known Old World monkeys are diurnal.

Monkeys are seriously threatened by habitat loss--especially those that live in tropical forests, a habitat that is quickly disappearing.

The Pygmy Marmoset is the world's smallest monkey. It measures 117-159 millimeters (four and a half to six inches) in length and weighs 85 to 140 grams (three to five ounces).

The male Mandrill is the largest monkey. It is almost 1 meter (3.3 feet) long and weighs about 35 kilograms (77 pounds).

It is common for monkeys to carry tuberculosis, hepatitis, and simian herpes B.

Most monkeys eat both animals and plants. Some also eat dirt.

Some Old World monkeys, such as Drills, have sitting pads on their rumps, but New World monkeys do not.

Old World monkeys have 32 teeth. New World monkeys have 36.

There are 96 species of Old World monkeys.

Old World monkeys are divided into two subfamilies, generalists and specialists. Generalists eat almost anything, and specialists eat mainly leaves.

Old World monkeys often have large cheek pouches that enable them to feed rapidly and store their food, then chew and swallow it later.

As of 2008, there are 81 species of New World monkeys in the Amazon basin, and new ones are continually being discovered.

Many New World monkeys have prehensile tails, a feature not shared by any of their Old World cousins. Prehensile tails are used for grasping objects, swinging, and steadying the monkey by grasping limbs and branches when the hands and feet are being used in progression.

The Olive Colobus monkey and certain Red Colobus species are hunted for food by humans and chimpanzees.

Howler monkeys are the loudest monkeys. Their howls can be heard for about two miles in the forest and almost three miles in an open area.

Howler monkeys spend up to 80% of their time resting.

Many New World Monkeys, including the spider monkey, do not have thumbs. Capuchins and squirrel monkeys are the only New World monkeys with pseudo-opposable thumbs.

Proboscis monkeys are best known for the long noses of males, which grow larger as the monkeys age. Females have smaller, pointed noses. This distinctive feature might help to resonate the male's loud vocalizations.

Capuchins are skilled tool users. They smash nuts with rocks, insert branches into crevices to capture food, remove spines and hairs from caterpillars by rubbing them against a branch, protect their hands with leaves, and use large branches to club snakes.

Capuchin monkeys use different vocal sounds to identify different types of predators. They have also been seen banging stones together to warn each other of approaching predators.

As the name indicates, silvered leaf monkeys are silver to dark gray in color. Infants, however, are bright orange.

Twenty different vocalizations have been noted in squirrel monkeys.

Male squirrel monkeys sometimes assert dominance by urinating on subordinates.

Adult male guenon monkeys will sometimes rush after an eagle that has caught a family member, sometimes intimidating the bird enough that it lets go of its prey.

When a troop of guenon monkeys gets a new leader, the new alpha-male will sometimes kill all babies who are still being suckled, an evolutionary behavior known as kin selection, where the male protects his own offspring by killing the offspring of other males.

The Barbary Macaque is the only free-living species of monkey in Europe, which was once home to many monkeys.

South American Titi monkeys are rare among primates because they are monogamous. They mate for life and become distressed when separated. They show affection by remaining close, grooming each other, intertwining their tails, holding hands, nuzzling, cuddling, and lip smacking.

Source: , The Facts Blog

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Facts about Oregon

Here are some really interesting facts about Oregon. I liked them so sharing them with you all readers...

Oregon’s state flag is the only state flag to carry two separate designs, with a beaver on its reverse side.

In 1905, the largest log cabin in the world was built in honor of the Lewis and Clark expedition.

In 1971 Oregon became the first state to ban the use of non-returnable bottles and cans.

The Carousel Museum contains the world’s largest collection of carousel horses.

Formed more than 6,500 years ago, Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the United States. It is the only lake to be formed in the remains of a volcano and its crystal-blue waters are known around the world.

The Tillamook Cheese Factory is the largest cheese factory in the world.

At 8,000 feet deep Hells Canyon is the deepest river gorge in North America.

Mill Ends Park in Portland, the world’s smallest official park, measures two feet across. It was created in 1948 for the leprechauns, and a place to hold snail races on St. Patrick’s Day.

During the 1820s Englishman John McLoughlin presided over a vast beaver trapping network centered at Fort Vancouver near the Columbia River.

Eugene was the first city to have one-way streets, and is quoted by “Bicycling Magazine” as one of the top ten cycling communities in the United States.

Oregon residents own one-fourth of the country’s total llama population.

The Klamath Mountains in southwestern Oregon are composed of volcanic rocks, which originally erupted under the ocean.

Source: , The Facts Blog

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Thanksgiving Facts

Here are some really interesting facts about the Thanksgiving...

According the U.S. Department of Agriculture, more than 45 million turkeys are cooked and eaten in the United States at Thanksgiving. That number represents one sixth of all the turkeys sold in the U.S. each year!

Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey to be our national bird.

President Abraham Lincoln established the original date for America's National Thanksgiving Day celebration in 1863.

President Thomas Jefferson scoffed at the idea of establishing a national “Thanksgiving Day.”

Congress did not declare Thanksgiving a national holiday until 1941.

Domesticated turkeys cannot fly, however wild turkeys can fly up to 55 miles per hour over short distances.

Only male (tom) turkeys gobble. Females make a clicking noise. The famous gobble is actually a seasonal mating call.

Americans feast on 535 million pounds of turkey on Thanksgiving.

A turkey's field of vision is 270 degrees--one of the main reasons they're able to elude some hunters.

The average age of the Mayflower passenger was 32. The oldest Mayflower passenger was 64.

The heaviest turkey ever raised weighed in at 86 pounds – about the size of a German Shepherd! (But turkeys are normally not used as police animals.)

A turkey under 16 weeks of age is called a fryer. A five to seven month old turkey is called a roaster.

The Turkey Trot, a ballroom dance in the 1900s, was named for the short, jerky steps of the turkey. It became popular mainly because it was denounced by the Vatican as "suggestive."

Contrary to popular belief, the Pilgrims did not have big buckles on their clothing, shoes, or hats.

Buckles did not come into fashion until the late 1600s – more appropriate for the Salem Witchcraft trial time period.

The average person consumes 4,500 calories on Thanksgiving Day. (Now that's a lot of turkey!)

There was no milk, cheese, bread, butter or pumpkin pie at the original Thanksgiving Day feast.

The cranberry got its name because the pale pink blossoms on the plant resembled a crane’s head and neck. The name craneberry stuck, eventually becoming cranberry.

Fresh cranberries are ideal for cranberry sauce. Cranberries of the highest quality will always bounce! (If you try this at home, please wash the cranberries before eating.)

Source: , Interesting Facts

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Facts about TV

Here is a bunch of some really interesting facts about television. I found these fun facts about TV really interesting and therefore I am sharing them with you.

In year 1926, J.L. Baird first displayed television which had only 30 lines and gave coarse image. Currently the digital signal of the television sends pictures with 1080 lines.

A 103-inch plasma TV from Panasonic is the largest plasma TV currently available in the market, costing approximately around $70,000 .

In 2008, the cost of 30 seconds advertisement was $2.7 million in the Super Bowl broadcast. It is the world’s most costly airtime.

NASA has announced that they have lost all of their original tapes of Apollo 11’s TV transmission in August, 2006.

The television advertisement first broadcasted on 1st July, 1941 in New York. The advertisement was for Bulova Watch for 20 seconds. It was aired before a game of baseball played between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Brooklyn Dodgers. The cost of air buy during that time was only $9.

Queen Elizabeth II has launched her own YouTube channel after fifty years when she first address for the Christmas to the public of UK.

The Late Late Show of Ireland which started in 1962 and The Tonight Show which started in 1954 are the longest running talk show in the world.

Sony began selling VCRs in 1970 that was capable of recording the television shows. However, Sony was sued by the film studios for copyright piracy. Later on, the Supreme Court backed Sony.

By the time the American child reaches 14, on an average they have seen around 11,000 murders on television.

Source: , facts

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Facts about Washington State

While Surfing the web I stumbled upton some interesting facts about Washington. I gathered them and put them together her for my readers. Hope you will like these interesting facts about the Washington state.

It is America’s coffee capital, with more coffee bean roasters per capita than any other state.

“The Wave”, a popular fan cheer for the past 25 years, was started by Husky fans at the University of Washington.

Washington leads the country in technology industry employment.

Washington is home to thelarg est land mollusk in North America, a foraging banana slug that grows up to 9 inches long.

Petrified wood is the state’s gem, and there’s a petrified forest here that’s considered the most unusual fossil forest in the world.

Adam Morrison, a Washington State native and Gonzaga University basketball star, led the NCAA Division I in scoring last season.

The state is the nation’s largest exporter, representing $34 billion and 5 percent of all U.S. exports: forest products, aerospace products, apples, tulips, hops, mint, wheat and several other quality food products.

Leading innovators — Microsoft’s Bill Gates and Paul Allen, Starbucks’ Howard Schultz, wireless pioneers the McCaw family, and the Boeing family — live in Washington State.

Washington State is America’s gateway to the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, B.C.

Washington State defines innovation. Some of the leading employers include Microsoft, Amazon.Com, Nordstrom, Boeing, Costco and Starbuck’s.

Washington has hosted the World’s Fair twice: 1962 in Seattle and 1974 in Spokane.

Washington produces 70 percent of the nation’s hops used to brew beer. Co incidentally, to overcome beer breath, the majority of the nation’s mint is also grown in the state.

In Washington, a Seahawk is an athlete, not a bird. The closest thing to a Seahawk is an osprey hawk.

Grand Coulee Dam, the largest concrete structure in North America, is in Washington State.

Washington’s residents are educated; it’s the state with most residents holding high school diplomas.

Father’s Day was founded in Washington in 1910.

The state is home to the world’s largest private car collection featuring over 3,000 vehicles.

Washington’s entrepreneurial climate has made it the leading state for both startup and gazelles, or fast growing young companies.

Washington, the 42nd state in the union, is the only state named for a president.

Seattle gets less rainfall annually than Atlanta, Boston, New York, Houston, Miami, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Washington D.C. and Miami, with 37 inches.

Seattle has the highest concentration of aerospace jobs in the world, led by Boeing’s 50,000 workers.

The longest accessible beach is Long Beach, WA.

Source: valleybugler , Facts

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Facts about West Virginia

Here are soe really interesting facts about West Virginia...

Marshall University, located in Huntington, was named for Chief Justice John Marshall of the United States Supreme Court. Justice Marshall served as Chief Justice from 1801- 1835 and served as the presiding justice over the Aaron Burr treason trial in 1807.

West Virginia University, located in Morgantown, has had 26 students to receive Rhodes Scholarships to study at Oxford University in England.

Charles Town, in Jefferson County, was where slave abolitionist John Brown was convicted of treason, conspiracy and murder following his raid on Harpers Ferry, also in Jefferson County.

The world famous Greenbrier Hotel and Resort, in White Sulphur Springs, Greenbrier County, was used as an Army Hospital during World War II.

Tourism is the state's leading industry. For many years, coal was the leading industry.

The New River Gorge Bridge, in Fayetteville, is the longest steel-arch bridge in the United States spanning 1, 815 feet across the New River Canyon.

The total cost for construction of our capitol building was nearly $10 million in 1932.

The dome on the capitol is 292 feet high, higher than the dome on the Nation's Capitol building in Washington, D.C.

The Greenbrier Hotel is also the home of the famous springs which were rumored to cure various ailments.

West Virginia was admitted to the Union on June 20, 1863, by proclamation signed by President Abraham Lincoln.

Ironic to its name, the New River is actually one of the oldest rivers in the World and flows south to north, opposite from most rivers because it was formed before the mountains.

At 4, 861 feet above sea level, Spruce Knob, located in Pendleton County, is the highest point in the Mountain State. Dropping down to 247 feet above sea level, Harpers Ferry, Jefferson County, marks lowest point in the state.

On January 3, 1921, and four buildings later, West Virginia's Capitol burned to the ground. A temporary office building, known as the "Pasteboard Capitol," and other Charleston buildings served as temporary offices for state government.

Cass Gilbert was selected as the architect to design the capitol building. Gilbert, whose offices were located in New York, designed other notable buildings such as the capitol buildings of Minnesota and Arkansas, as well as the United States Treasury Annex and the United States Chamber of Commerce Building.

On June 20, 1932, eleven years after the destruction of the downtown capitol building, West Virginia's permanent capitol building was dedicated.

West Virginia's first Capital city was located in Wheeling, Ohio County. It was later moved to Charleston, then back to Wheeling, and then back to Charleston.

Washington Hall, located in Wheeling, is known as the "Birthplace of West Virginia."

The first capitol building is known as the Linsley Institute Building, built in 1858 and served as West Virginia's capitol for seven years.

The first Charleston Capitol, built in 1869-1870, was located at Capitol and Lee Streets. Charleston remained the Capitol City until 1875 when the Legislature decided to return to Wheeling.

In the fall of 1877, as a result of a statewide election, Governor Jacob issued a proclamation declaring Charleston the permanent seat of government.

Source: , The Interesting Facts Blog

Facts about Louisiana

Here are some really interesting facts about Louisiana. I found them interesting, hope you will like them and find them interesting.

Louisiana's salt domes produce 24 percent of the nation's salt, making it the highest producing state in America.

The Superdome, located in New Orleans is the worlds largest enclosed stadium.

The longest over-water bridge in the world is located just outside of New Orleans. At 23.87 miles long, the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway is definitely one of Louisiana's greatest accomplishments.

Natchitoches, Louisiana, is the oldest city in the Louisiana Purchase Territory, and was founded in 1714.

The state capitol building in Baton Rouge, is the tallest state capitol building in America, standing 450 feet tall.

Baton Rouge was the only site of an American Revolution battle that was fought outside of the original 13 colonies.

The term "Uncle Sam" originated on the wharfs of New Orleans before Louisiana became a U.S. territory. Even then, New Orleans was a major docking port, and the goods that came through the New Orleans docks and labeled U.S. were referred to as "Uncle Sam."

Steen's Syrup Mill, located in Abbeville, LA, is the world's largest plant producing sugar cane syrup.

The Konkriko Co. in New Iberia, Louisiana, is America's oldest rice mill.

Louisiana is home to 6.5 million acres of wetlands that hold the honor of being the greatest wetland in America.

In 1813, the game of craps was invented in New Orleans.

At 514 Chartres Street in the French Quarter of New Orleans, lies the oldest pharmacy in America, established in 1823. The New Orleans Pharmacy, is now the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum.

The staircase located in the Chretien Point plantation home in Sunset, Louisiana was copied and used in Tara in the movie "Gone with the Wind."

The Tabasco company, found by E. A. McIlhenny in 1868 in Avery Island, Louisiana, is the second oldest food trademark in the United States Patent Office.

New Orleans is the birthplace of Jazz, which is considered the only true American art form.

During the time when states had their own individual currencies, the favored currency in Louisiana was the Louisiana Dix. (Dix is French for ten.) English speakers referred to these as Dixies, which eventually coined the phrase, Dixieland.

Source: , Facts

Facts about Ice Cream

I know you all love ice-cream. Here are some really interesting and fun facts about ice-cream...

The most avid ice cream eaters in the U.S. don't live in Hawaii, the South, California, or any other hot clime. Instead, in 1999, it was reported that the good citizens of Omaha, Nebraska, ate more ice cream per person than any other Americans.

Vanilla is the most popular flavor in this country, snagging anywhere from 20 to 29 percent of sales. Chocolate comes in a distant second, with about 9 to 10 percent of the market.

Legend has it that the Roman emperor Nero used to send his slaves scurrying to the mountains to collect snow and ice to make flavored ices, the precursors to ice cream, in the first century.

The first written mention of ice cream in this country can be found in a letter from the 1700s, which admiringly describes the ice cream and strawberry dessert a Maryland governor served at a dinner party. Initially, just a treat for the elite (including George Washington, who is said to have consumed enormous quantities), the first ice cream parlor in this country opened in New York City in 1776. In 1845, the hand-cranked freezer was invented, allowing Americans to make ice cream more easily at home.

Among the most unusual flavors of ice cream ever manufactured are avocado, garlic, azuki bean, jalapeno, and pumpkin. Perhaps the weirdest of all: dill pickle ice cream , which was marketed to expectant mothers. Sales were disappointing.

One out of every five ice cream eaters share their treat with their dog or cat. (Can the day of liver- or tuna-flavored ice cream be far behind?)

In 1984, President Ronald Reagan declared July as National Ice Cream Month, citing the food's "nutritious and wholesome" qualities. He decreed that patriotic Americans should mark the month with "appropriate ceremonies and activities."

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the biggest ice cream sundae in the world was made in Alberta, Canada, in 1988. It weighed nearly 55,000 pounds. The same year, a baking company and a sheet-metal firm in Dubuque, Iowa, teamed up to produce the world's largest ice cream sandwich, which tipped the scales at nearly 2,500 pounds. And, in 1999, Baskin-Robbins created an ice cream cake at a beach hotel in the United Arab Emirates that weighed just under 9,000 pounds.

Americans consume the most ice cream in the world per capita, with Australians coming in second. In 1924, the average America ate eight pints a year. By 1997, the International Dairy Foods Association reported that the figure had jumped to 48 pints a year.

Immigrants at Ellis Island were served vanilla ice cream as part of their Welcome to America meal.

While popular lore claims that the ice cream cone was invented at the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis, a New York City ice cream vendor actually seems to have created the cone in 1896 to stop customers from stealing his serving glasses. He patented the idea in 1903 and it took off in popularity at the World's Fair the next year.

One of the major ingredients in ice cream is air. Without it, the stuff would be as hard as a rock.

Ice cream novelties such as ice cream on sticks and ice cream bars were introduced in the 1920s. Seems like kid stuff, but today, adults consume nearly one-half of all such treats.

Source: , facts

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Plactic Bottles and ther recycling

Here are some interesting facts about Plastic bottles and their recycling...

Americans buy an estimated 28 billion plastic water bottles every year.

Nearly eight out of every 10 bottles will end up in a landfill.

It is estimated that the production of plastics accounts for four percent of the energy consumption in the U.S.

In 2006, it took more than 17 million barrels of oil (excluding the oil used in transporting the plastic) to produce plastic bottles.

The manufacturing process of creating bottled water created more than 2.5 million tons of carbon dioxide.

It also takes more than three liters of water to create one liter of bottled water.

There is a large amount of energy needed to fill plastic bottles with water, transport them to the store, keep them cool and dispose of them. It is estimated that the total amount of energy used to bottle water is equivalent of filling a bottle a quarter full of oil.

The amount of oil used to produce plastic water bottles in America is enough to fuel about 100,000 cars for a year.

Only 13 percent of water bottles are recycled.

About 80 percent of all municipal solid waste ends up in a landfill, while 10 percent is incinerated and only 10 percent is recycled. Because about less than one percent of all plastics is recycled, almost all plastics are incinerated or end up in a landfill.

Recycling a single plastic bottle can conserve enough energy to light a 60-watt light bulb for up to six hours.

Source: earth911 , facts

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Facts about Newgrange

Here are some really interesting facts about Newgrange...

Newgrange is one of the best examples in Ireland and in Western Europe, of a type of monument known to archaeologists as a passage-grave or passage-tomb.

It was constructed around 3200BC, according to the most reliable Carbon 14 dates available from archaeology. This makes it more than 600 years older than the Giza Pyramids in Egypt, and 1,000 years more ancient than Stonehenge.

Newgrange was built in a time when there was only stone, not metal, used as an everyday material for tools and weapons. According to Clare O'Kelly, who assisted her husband Michael O'Kelly in the excavations of Newgrange, no metal has yet been found in a primary context in an Irish passage-grave.

Considerable damage was caused to the stones in the chamber of Newgrange in times past due to "evily-disposed visitors" who carved their names onto the stones. This graffiti can still be seen to this day.

More damage was done during the construction of nearby roads. Pownall said that large quantities of stones had been removed and the roads paved with them, and archaeologists found that the flat-topped mound had a number of hollows and craters as a result of the removal of stones.

In 1993, Newgrange and its sister sites Knowth and Dowth were designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO because of their outstanding cultural legacy.

Newgrange was "rediscovered" in 1699. The landowner at the time, Charles Campbell, needed some stones and had instructed his labourers to carry some away from the cairn. It was at this time the entrance to the tomb was discovered.

Newgrange sits on the top of an elongated ridge within a large bend in the Boyne River about five miles west of the town of Drogheda. This area has great eminence thoughout Irish history - legend tells us the foundations of Christianity were laid here. Two miles or so downstream is Oldbridge, where the Battle of the Boyne took place in 1690.

Access to Newgrange is through the Brú na Bóinne Visitors' Centre at nearby Donore, just across the river Boyne. In recent times, there have been as many as 200,000 visitors to Newgrange each year, making it the most visited archaeological monument in Ireland.

The name "Newgrange", or New Grange, is relatively modern. The area around Newgrange was once part of the lands owned and farmed by the monks of Mellifont Abbey, and would have been known as a "grange".

Source: mythicalireland , facts

Interesting Facts about Diamonds

I am back with more interesting facts about diamonds. Hope you liked the previous ones I posted about diamonds. I think you will like these more than the diamond facts I posted earlier.

Most diamonds are over three billion years old, two-thirds the age of the Earth. There are a few "youngsters," though, which are only 100 million years old.

Most diamonds were formed more than 100 miles below the surface of the Earth, some from perhaps 400 miles down.

The most recent kimberlite volcano eruption was approximately 53 million years ago - just a few ticks of the geologic clock - but there is no reason to believe there will not be more in the future.

Although diamonds are perceived as a white—actually colorless—gem, they come in a spectrum of colors; colored diamonds are called "fancies."

India was the only known source of diamonds before the sixth century and the predominant source for over 2,000 years, until the mid-eighteenth century.

Romans believed that diamonds had the power to ward off evil and wore them as talismans. They inherited this belief from Indian mythology.

A law in thirteenth-century France decreed that only the king could wear diamonds.

Diamonds were not used as gems in European jewelry until the late 13th century. They were initially used for such purposes as engraving other gems, such as sapphire cameos, and for drilling holes in hardstone beads (such beads drilled by diamonds have been dated to archaeological sites as early as 400 BCE).

The most recent diamond discoveries have been made in North America—in the Northwest Territories of Canada and in Colorado—where explorers found diamond pipes in 1990.

Some diamonds are composed of carbon, that is recycled organic matter, previously incorporated in marine organisms.

"One-hour eyeglasses" have only become possible with the use of diamond tools, which can quickly and accurately shape the lenses.

Because diamonds can withstand extremely high temperatures and corrosive conditions, and because they are transparent to most forms of light and electromagnetic radiation, they are ideal for use as windows in industry and in space probes, including the 1978 Pioneer space probe to the surface of Venus.

Every copper wire in your computer, television, and house has been shaped with a die—the device that squeezes wire to the desired diameter—made from diamond.

Diamond scalpels are particularly effective because their sharp, hard edges never dull, and, because diamond's hydrophobic surface—its resistance to being wetted—ensures that wet tissue does not adhere to the blade.

The largest rough diamond ever found was the Cullinan, 3,106 carats, discovered on January 26, 1905 in the Premier mine of South Africa. It was cut into nine major stones, including the largest gem diamond, the Cullinan 1, or Star of Africa, 550.20 carats. This is mounted in the British Royal Scepter and housed in the Tower of London.

In the 1950s, Gemological Institute of America developed the first internationally accepted diamond grading system. This system provides unbiased opinions of the quality of polished diamonds by applying uniform criteria to their grading.

The GIA Gem Trade Laboratory Diamond Grading Report has become the benchmark for the international gem and jewelry industry, and can be found accompany diamonds worldwide.

Source: ,

Cinco de Mayo Facts

Here are some cool facts about Cinco de Mayo...

US states including Texas and California celebrate Cinco de Mayo as well, with some huge events where everyone (not just those of Mexican descent) joins in. Parades, traditional music and clothing, delicious Mexican food, Mexican dances; the events are numerous and always fun.

Many people think that it's the same day as Mexican Independence Day, but that's not true. The very name of Cinco de Mayo belies that false fact, however. "Cinco de Mayo" means "Fifth of May" in Spanish.

People wear red, white and green, the Mexican national colours, and traditional clothes. For the women, this means long and wide flowing skirts.

If the Battle of Puebla had not been won by the Mexicans, France would have aided the South in the American Civil War, and US history might look quite different.

The largest Cinco de Mayo event in the world is actually in Los Angeles, where over 600,000 participants celebrate. Other large festivals that draw hundreds of thousands of participants are located in St. Paul's, Minnesota, and Denver, Colorado.

You're sure to see the Mexican flag everywhere on this day! The flag has three colors, each of which actually symbolizes something. Green is the color of hope and the resistance, while the red represents Spain and unity. The white stands for purity and religion. The symbols of the eagle and snake in the center of the flag are based on a Mexican legend.

Some nontraditional events held to celebrate Cinco de Mayo include a skydiving event near Vancouver, BC and an air guitar competition in the Cayman islands.

Over 29 million Americans, or 10 percent of the total American population, are of Mexican origin as of 2007. Perhaps this is why Cinco de Mayo is so widely celebrated in the USA!


Beetham Tower Facts

Here are some really interesting facts about the Beetham Tower...

The Beetham Tower cost over £150 million to build.

It is exactly 168.87 metres high.

The Beetham Tower has 47 floors.

It has over 528,000 square feet of space.

The Beetham Tower is the 7th tallest building in England.

The Beetham Tower has a 4 metre overhang on the 23rd floor.

This Tower is the tallest residential development in Europe.

The Beetham Tower has 219 luxury apartments and 16 penthouses.

The Beetham Tower is home to the Hilton Hotel.

The most expensive penthouse in the Beetham Tower cost £3 million and is owned by designer of the Beetham Tower, Ian Simpson.


Interesting Facts about Strawberries

Here are some really interesting facts about strawberries...

Strawberries are the only fruit with seeds on the outside.

The average strawberry has 200 seeds.

The ancient Romans believed that strawberries alleviated symptoms of melancholy, fainting, all inflammations, fevers, throat infections, kidney stones, bad breath, attacks of gout, and diseases of the blood, liver and spleen.

To symbolize perfection and righteousness, medieval stone masons carved strawberry designs on altars and around the tops of pillars in churches and cathedrals.

In parts of Bavaria, country folk still practice the annual rite each spring of tying small baskets of wild strawberries to the horns of their cattle as an offering to elves. They believe that the elves, who are passionately fond of strawberries, will help to produce healthy calves and an abundance of milk in return.

Madame Tallien, a prominent figure at the court of the Emperor Napoleon, was famous for bathing in the juice of fresh strawberries. She used 22 pounds per basin. Needless to say, she did not bathe daily.

The fruit size of the very early strawberries was very small.

Strawberries are the first fruit to ripen in the spring.

There is a museum in Belgium just for strawberries.

Strawberries are a member of the rose family.

Ninety-four percent of U.S. households consume strawberries.

Americans eat 3.4 pounds of fresh strawberries each year plus another 1.8 pounds frozen per capita.

Over 53 percent of seven to nine-year-olds picked strawberries as their favorite fruit.

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Sydney Opera House Facts

These are some really interesting facts about the Sydney Opera House...

The original indigenous people of the area were the Gadigal clan.

The Aboriginal name for the Point was Tu-bow-gule meaning meeting of the waters.

Sydney Opera House sits on Bennelong Point. The Point was first developed as afort, named after Governor Macquarie. It was later used as a tram shed.

233 designs were submitted for the Opera House design competition held in 1956.

In January 1957, Jørn Utzon was announced the winner. He won 5000 for hisdesign.

The original estimate to build Sydney Opera House was $7 million.

The final cost of Sydney Opera House was $102 million.

Sydney Opera House was largely paid for by a State Lottery.

It was originally estimated that building Sydney Opera House would take four years.

Work commenced on Sydney Opera House in 1959 and 10,000 construction workerswere engaged.

Sydney Opera House was opened by Queen Elizabeth II on 20 th October, 1973.

Many of the world’s best known construction companies were involved in buildingSydney Opera House including Arups Structural Engineering, Hornibrook and RiderHunt.

The Sydney Opera House sails were built using three tower cranes made in Francefor this job, costing $100,000 each. Sydney Opera House was one of the firstbuildings constructed in Australia using tower cranes.

6,223 sq metres of glass were used.

The topaz coloured glass used in the building was made to order by Boussois-Souchon-Neuvesel in France in a shade unique to Sydney Opera House.

350 kilometres of tension cable was laid during construction of Sydney OperaHouse. If laid end-to-end this would stretch to Canberra.

There are 1,056,006 roof tiles covering an area of approximately 1.62 hectares thatsit over the structure. They were made by a Swedish tile company, Höganas.

The concrete ceiling beams change shape as they rise from a T shape to a Y andthen a U shape, depending on where the level of stress is greatest. These foldedbeams replace the need for columns to support the weight of the structure.

The sails sit on top of a heavy podium, which is believed to be the biggest pillar orcolumn free chamber in the world.

The highest roof shell of Sydney Opera House is 67 metres above sea-level, theequivalent of a 22 storey building.

The building is 187 metres in length

The building is 115 metres wide.

The entire site covers an area of 5.798 hectares.

Eight Boeing 747s could sit wing to wing on the site.

The building’s footprint is 1.75 hectares.

There are 2,679 seats in the largest venue, the Concert Hall.

The Concert Hall Grand Organ is the largest mechanical organ in the world, with10,154 pipes.

It took 10 years complete the Grand Organ.

Two mechanical stage-lifts move scenery and props from the scenery dock to theOpera Theatre. Unlike most theatres, scenery is stored two floors below the stage.

In one day, a stage hand working in the Opera Theatre walks an average of 18,681steps or 13 kilometres.

15,500 light bulbs are changed annually.

Sydney Opera House is open to the public 363 days a year - closed on ChristmasDay and Good Friday. Staff work every day of the year, 24/7.

There are seven performance venues at Sydney Opera House – the Concert Hall,the Opera Theatre, Playhouse, Drama Theatre, The Studio, the Forecourt and theUtzon Room.

Since the building opened in 1973 until June 2005, 87,839 performances andevents have been staged at Sydney Opera House.

57, 273,728 people have attended performances and events since Sydney OperaHouse opened in 1973 until June 2005.

Paul Robeson was the first person to perform at Sydney Opera House. In 1960, heclimbed the scaffolding and sang Ol’ Man River to the construction workers as theyate their lunch.

The Playhouse was originally used as a cinema and in the late 1970s was a popularvenue for surfing movies.

In the Concert Hall, Arnold Schwarzenegger won his final Mr Olympia body buildingtitle in 1980.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has visited Sydney Opera House five times.

A net was installed above the orchestra pit in the Opera Theatre during the 1980sfollowing an opera (Boris Godunov) featuring live chickens when one of the birdswalked off the stage and landing on top of a cellist.

The Studio is a licensed venue and patrons can take alcohol into the theatre.

The biggest crowd to ever attend a performance at Sydney Opera House was in1996 for the Farewell to the World concert of the band, Crowded House, which wastelevised around the world.

The crime novel, Helga’s Web, by Jon Cleary, was set at Sydney Opera House witha body found in the building’s basement. In 1975, the book was made into a filmcalled Scobie Malone, starring Jack Thompson.

Sydney Opera House has its own opera written about it, called The Eighth Wonder.

In May 2003, Sydney Opera House architect Jørn Utzon was awarded theprestigious Pritzker Prize – the Nobel Prize of the architectural community.

In October 2003, Sydney Opera House celebrated its 30 th Birthday.

Four generations of the Utzon family have been architects – Aage (Jørn’s father),Jørn, his son Jan, plus Jan’s son Jeppe and daughter Kickan.

The recently refurbished Utzon Room is the first Utzon-designed interior at SydneyOpera House. Due to changes made to the building after Utzon left the project in1966, this will be the only ever 100% authentic Utzon interior.

It took four weavers more than 8 months to create the new Utzon Room tapestry.

If unravelled, the wool in the Utzon Room tapestry, Homage to CPE Bach, wouldstretch 4,500 kilometres.

Source: , Blog of Interesting Facts

Interesting Newfoundland Facts

Here are some really interesting facts about Newfoundland. I am sure you will enjoy reading these facts.

Showy Lady's Slipper orchid (Cypripedium reginae) , the largest and most beautiful northern orchid in North America is found in western Newfoundland. Because of its rarity, this orchid is imperiled in the wild.

The ocean around Newfoundland is home to more than 20 species of whales at one time of the year or another, making Newfoundland one of the best whale viewing locations in the world. Humpback whales, Fin whales, Minke whales, and Sperm whales, are some the common whales around Newfoundland.

Contrary to much popular opinion, Newfoundland is not a part of northern Canada. Corner Brook, Newfoundland, in terms of latitude, is a little distance south of Vancouver, British Columbia. Corner Brook is on the same latitude as Paris, France. St. Anthony, on the northern tip of Newfoundland, is on the same latitude as London, England.

The first known St. John's Regatta was held on September 22, 1818 to celebrate the coronation of King George III in 1761. Mention of the race was made in the 'Mercantile Journal.' The Custom House won the race of 2 miles in 25 minutes.

The producing oil fields off eastern Newfoundland are so profitable that the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador is now off of the Canadian equalization plan (the equalization plan, made possible by the Canadian Constitution, allows the Federal Government to send money from financially richer provinces to financially poorer provinces) .

The MV Caribou, which plies the waters between Newfoundland and Nova Scotia, is named in honour of the S.S. Caribou which was torpedoed and sunk by a Nazi submarine on October 14, 1942.

Shortly after the United States was attacked on September 11, 2001, air traffic controllers at Gander airport, Newfoundland, used their emergency Y2K plans to help safely land dozens of transatlantic aircraft that were headed toward North America. The Y2K emergency plans had been ridiculed as unnecessary when no major problem occurred after clocks changed from 1999 to 2000 (midnight, December 31, 1999), but the Y2K plans may have saved lives at Gander on September 11, 2001.

The population of Newfoundland in 1800 was approximately 10,000 (ten thousand) people.

Shannon Tweed, Playboy's Playmate of the Year for 1982, was born in Newfoundland, in 1957. Since 1983, Shannon Tweed has lived with Gene Simmons, former lead performer with the rock band KISS.

The ceilings of the Council Chamber and the Assembly Room in the Colonial Building in St. John's were painted by Polish fresco painter Alexander Pindikowski in 1880. Mr. Pindikowski had been serving a 15 month prison sentence for passing forged cheques - his sentence was reduced by 1 month for his work. In 1940, the ceiling work was restored by local painter Clem Murphy.

The Black Spruce (Picea mariana) was proclaimed the Provincial Tree of Newfoundland in May, 1991. The Black Spruce has had a significant social and economic impact on the provincial economy: it is the favoured tree of the pulp and paper industry, it has played a prominent role in the lives of aboriginal people and in local folk medicine, and it is very hardy and grows well throughout the province.

The Pitcher Plant (Sarracenis purpurea) is the official flower of Newfoundland and Labrador. It was chosen as the provincial flower in 1954 by the Newfoundland Cabinet. Queen Victoria chose the Pitcher Plant to be engraved on the Newfoundland penny in the late 1800s.

In terms of phonetic differences (spoken accents), with the exception of Newfoundland, the English speaking regions of Canada have much more in common than the English speaking regions of the United States (see The Atlas of North American English).

During the War of 1812, at the naval Battle of Lake Erie (September 10, 1813), 28% of British casualties (39 men) were suffered by Newfoundlanders (Google 'Newfoundland Regiment of Fencible Infantry').

Newfoundlanders received a special commendation from Major-General Issac Brock on the fall of Detroit during the War of 1812 (Google 'Newfoundland Regiment of Fencible Infantry').

The Long Range Mountains in southwestern Newfoundland are part of the Appalachian Mountains. They are now eroded down to the root of the original mountains which were as high as the Himalayan Mountains in their day.

There isn't one homeless person, or one person living on the streets, in Newfoundland and Labrador. This is likely because of strong social ties (people generally know each other), strong community churches, provincial government programs to help the disadvantaged, and ages old respect among people (it's shameful to have homeless people in a community, so something is done about it).

Newfoundland forms an almost perfect equilateral triangle on a map. Port aux Basques to L'Anse aux Meadows to St. John's are all nearly the same distance apart.

Prince Charles and Princess Diana visited Newfoundland in 1983. Princess Diana planted a tree on Government House grounds in St. John's.

About 4000 years ago, people of the Maritime Archaic Tradition occupied the entire coastline of Newfoundland and Labrador. A cemetery of these people has been excavated by archaeologists at Port aux Choix on the Great Northern Peninsula. In this cemetery have been found a wealth of artifacts including more than 100 human skeletons, domestic dog skeletons, great auk (Pinguinus impennis) remains, wolf remains, musical instruments, a specimen of native copper, fire-making sets, hunting equipment, artifact manufacturing equipment, religious objects, etc.

The first train from St. John's to Port aux Basques arrived on June 30, 1898. Railroading ended in Newfoundland on October 1, 1988.

Bonfire Night (or Guy Fawkes Night), the evening of November 5, is still celebrated in many parts of Newfoundland. The bonfires are generally lit as part of a community event to mark the escape (deliverance) of King James I of England (James VI of Scotland) from a plot to kill him, his family, most of the British aristocracy, and both Houses of Parliament (King and company) in November 1605. Guy Fawkes was discovered with explosives (red handed) in the basement of the Houses of Parliament before the explosives could be detonated. He was later executed.

It has been illegal to hunt Pine Marten (Martes americana atrata) on the island of Newfoundland since 1934 because of low population numbers. The total population is approximately 300 animals.

There are 18 trees that are native to Newfoundland: Red Pine, White Pine, Black Spruce, White Spruce, Balsam Fir, Tamarack/Larch, Trembling Aspen, Balsam Popular, Showy Mountain Ash, American Mountain Ash, Mountain Maple, Red Maple, Pin Cherry, Choke Cherry, Speckled Alder, Yellow Birch, White Birch, and Black Ash (rare).

Many non-native (exotic) trees also grow in Newfoundland. These exotic trees are mostly found in private collections. Among the exotic trees growing in Newfoundland are Douglas Fir, Korean Fir, Siberian Fir, Nordmann Fir, Black Locust, Ponderosa Pine, Sitka Spruce, and Garry Oak.

Arctic Hares are native to Newfoundland, but Snowshoe Hares were introduced from Nova Scotia in 1864 and 1876. They were released at the same time by local Magistrates. Hares are often erroneously called rabbits.

The Newfoundland Timber or Grey Wolf became extinct on the island of Newfoundland in the 1930s.

The coyote arrived in Newfoundland during the winter of 1985, when heavy ice in the Gulf of St. Lawrence allowed passage from Nova Scotia.

There are no snakes, skunks, deer, porcupines or groundhogs on the island of Newfoundland. Chipmunks were introduced to Newfoundland from Nova Scotia in 1962 and 1964, and today they are plentiful in the Codroy Valley of southwestern Newfoundland where cultivated (farm) oats are a favourite treat. There is no ragweed pollen on the island either (a very common allergen).

The motto of Newfoundland and Labrador is "Seek ye first the Kingdom of God" from Matthew 6:33 in the Holy Bible.

Newfoundland is actually 3.5 hours west of Greenwich, and hence has its own proper time zone. The Newfoundland Standard Time Act of 1935 enshrined this time zone before Newfoundland joined Canada in 1949.

Newfoundland routinely has one of the lowest crime rates in Canada.

44 species of orchids are native to Newfoundland.

Traditionally, Newfoundlanders watched the black bear on February 2 since there are no groundhogs on the island.

The only authenticated Viking site in North America is located at L'Anse aux Meadows, north of St. Anthony, on Newfoundland's Great Northern Peninsula. The remains of the sod houses used by the Vikings can still be seen there, along with some of their artifacts.

Newfoundland is the 16th largest island in the world. Visitors should keep this in mind when planning a visit; it is not possible to see the whole island in just a few days and at least 10 days are needed for even a brief look around.

Squirrels were introduced to Newfoundland in 1963 (The Canadian Field Naturalist, Volume 90, pp. 60-64) and they have now colonised the whole island.

Moose are not native to Newfoundland, but today there are more than 100,000 on the island. 1 pair was introduced in 1878 from Nova Scotia (not thought to have survived). 2 pairs of moose were introduced on May 14, 1904 from New Brunswick. All of the moose in Newfoundland today are descended from the 1904 moose and possibly also from the 1878 moose.

For bird-watchers, the Piping Plover (Charadrius melodus) can be seen along the coast from Port aux Basques to Cape Ray during the summer months (until August). Dozens were seen in 1997. Nesting areas are marked.

Between 1857 and 1949 Newfoundland issued its own postage stamps. They are still valid for mail posted anywhere in Canada.

Not all of Newfoundland was covered with glaciers during the last ice age. Parts of the Codroy Valley in southwestern Newfoundland were largely ice free.

The ski resort at Marble Mountain, near Corner Brook, has nearly 30 ski runs; the highest run has a vertical drop of almost 1600 feet (485 metres). Corner Brook hosted the Canada Winter Games between February 20 and March 6, 1999.

The Hibernia oilfield, off the east coast of Newfoundland, contains more oil than 40 of the 44 oilfields in the North Sea. Combined, the Hibernia and Terra Nova oilfields contain more than 1 billion barrels of recoverable oil. In 1999, the Hibernia oilfield was the most profitable oilfield in Canada.

The Mayflower stopped in at Renews (eastern Newfoundland) in 1620, to pick up supplies, during its voyage to present day Massachusetts, U.S.A.

Source: , Interesting Facts Blog

Interesting Facts about Mount Fuji

Here are some fun and interesting facts about Mount Fuji. You will enjoy reading these facts about the second most popular suicide point.

The Japanese characters for Fuji, mean 'wealth' or 'abundance' and 'a man with a high status'.

Every summer, more than 200,000 people climb to the top of Fuji. Some years, about a quarter of all of the climbers on the mountain are foreign residents and tourists.

In the Japanese language, there is a dedicated word that describes the sunrise at the top of Fuji, namely goraiko.

The summit of Fuji is high enough to induce altitude sickness (kouzanbyou), though it's possible to buy bottles of oxygen along the climbing route.

Mount Fuji has been regarded by the Japanese as a sacred moumtain since the earliest recorded history on the archipelago.

An anonymous monk first reached the summit of the mountain in 663. However, it was forbidden for women to climb until the Meiji Era (1868-1912).

The first ascent of Fuji by a foreigner was in 1860 by Sir Rutherford Alcock, the first British diplomatic representative in Japan.

Gotemba 5th Station, located between Subashiri and Houei-zan peak on the south side of the mountain, is one of Japan's most famous take-off spots for paragliding.

In feudal times, the town of Gotemba was used by the samurai as a remote wilderness training camp.

Fuji is an active volcano, though it is classified as having a low risk of eruption. The last recorded eruption started on December 16, 1707, and ended on New Year's Day of 1708.

Fuji's eruption during the Edo Period is known as the 'The Great Houei Eruption,' which resulted in cinder and ash raining down across the surrounding countryside.

Mount Fuji is located at the point where the Eurasian Plate meets the Okhotsk and Philippine Plates (think lots and lots of earthquakes!).

The forest at the base of Fuji, which is known as Aokigahara, is reported to be the world's second most popular suicide location after the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.

In the ancient days of Japan, people believed that Aokigahara was haunted by evil demons. Poor families used the forest as a place of abandonment for the very young and the very old.

While long lines occasionally form near the summit along the Kawaguchiko route, the Yoshida route is so remote that bears are occasionally spotted by hikers.

Want some tips for climbing Fuji, Japan's most iconic mountain peak? Check out this past Wednesday's installment of Big in Japan, entitled 'How to Climb Mount Fuji.'

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Interesting Facts about Mexico

Here are some really interesting facts anout Mexico...

The three colors of Mexico’s flag hold deep significance for the country and its citizens: green represents hope and victory, white stands for the purity of Mexican ideals and red brings to mind the blood shed by the nation’s heroes.

The flag’s dramatic emblem is based on the legend of how the Mexicas (or Aztecs) traveled from Aztlán to find the place where they could establish their empire. The god Huitzilopochtli advised them that a sign—an eagle devouring a serpent atop a Nopal cactus—would appear to them at the exact spot where they should begin construction. On a small island in the middle of a lake, the Mexicas came upon the scene exactly as Huitzilopochtli had described it. They immediately settled there and founded the city of Tenochtitlán, which is now Mexico City, the country’s capital.

Mexico is the third-largest country in Latin America after Brazil and Argentina.

At the beginning of the 21st century, Mexico's population surpassed 100 million.

Mexico has the largest population of Spanish speakers in the world.

With almost 25 million residents, Mexico City is one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world.

Mexico has the world’s second-highest number of Catholics after Brazil.

At nearly 2,000 miles, the border between Mexico and the United States is the second-longest in the world, after the border between the United States and Canada.

Mexicans comprise the largest group of legal immigrants in the United States.

Mexico is located in an area known as the Pacific “Ring of Fire.” This region, one of Earth’s most dynamic tectonic areas, is characterized by active volcanoes and frequent seismic activity. The highest point in the country, Citlaltépetl (also called Orizaba) and the active volcano Popocatépetl are among the many volcanic peaks in Mexico.

The Great Ball Court at Chichén Itzá Mexico, which was used for ritualistic sports by the ancient Mayans, is the largest such court the world, measuring 166 by 68 meters (545 by 232 feet). The game, which involved elements similar to those of soccer and basketball, was played by two teams whose number varied according to region.

Tequila, a liquor for which Mexico is famous, is made from the native blue agave plant. Named after the city where it originated, Tequila is primarily manufactured near Jalisco, which is 65 kilometers (40 miles) northwest of Guadalajara.

Mexico is the world’s leading producer of silver. An area called the Silver Belt—which encompasses Guanajuato and Zacatecas in the Mesa Central, Chihuahua in the Mesa del Norte and San Luis Potosi farther east—saw significant mining activity during the colonial period.

Mexico hosted the Summer Olympics in 1968 and the FIFA World Cup soccer championship in 1970 and 1986.

The Mexico City Arena—one of the largest bullfighting arenas in the world—seats 50,000. Another 35 arenas are located throughout the country.

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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Madagascar Hissing Cockroach Facts

Here are some fun, interesting and amazing facts about Madagascar hissing Cockroach...

These hissing cockroaches are native only to the island of Madagascar, and if you see them anywhere else on earth … someone brought them there.

The males are territorial, and they fight intruders. Some may say that a Madagascar hissing cockroach is as stubborn as a goat because they fight ‘butting heads’ similar to a goat’s behavior.

Baby Madagascar hissing cockroaches are called ‘nymphs’.

Female Madagascar hissing cockroaches only breed once in a lifetime, but can have as many as three litters annually.

Madagascar hissing roaches grow to reach 3-4 inches in length.

Like dogs and cats have fleas, Madagascar hissing cockroaches carry mites but they cannot hurt or live on humans. A good way to remove them from a Madagascar hissing cockroach is to place the little creature in a plastic bag with a teaspoon of flour, and gently shake.

The Madagascar hissing cockroach lives as an important scavenger in their native habitat by keeping the jungle floor clean, but in captivity a good meal is a serving of dog or cat food and a piece of fresh fruit.

Baby Madagascar hissing cockroaches (nymphs) are about the length of a small watermelon seed and they are flat.

Momma Madagascar hissing cockroaches carry their babies for exactly sixty days.

The Madagascar hissing cockroach produces the famous hissing sound by forcing air out of tiny places on the sides of their bodies called ’spiracles’. They use the hissing sound for communication with other Madagascar hissing cockroaches, during mating, while fighting or when they feel threatened.

A Madagascar hissing cockroach’s feet are sticky.

A Madagascar hissing cockroach has lots of enemies. Some insects, mammals, birds, and reptiles would love to eat them.

The Madagascar hissing cockroach is nocturnal, meaning that they are more active at night. They are actually afraid of light.

The Madagascar hissing cockroach may be a member of the roach family but unlike others roaches, they have no wings.

Nymphs go through seven stages of growth before reaching adulthood, molting six times.

The average life span of a Madagascar hissing cockroach is anywhere from two to three years.

A nymph can mature faster in warmer climates.

When a Madagascar hissing cockroach sheds its exoskeleton, they eat it because it’s filled with nutrients.

Scientists tell the males and females apart by their horns, actually they are called pronatal humps, but they appear hornlike. These pronatal humps are more pronounced in the male species.

Out of all of the species in the cockroach family researchers believe that the Madagascar hissing cockroach is most like the prehistoric cockroaches that roamed the earth long before the dinosaurs. They are also called ‘living fossils’ for this reason.

Source: avivadirectory , factsnfacts

Interesting Facts about Skateboarding

Here are some really interesting facts about skateboarding...

How much do you really know about skateboarding? Test out your knowledge by reading these fun facts. If you know them all, you can dedicate more of your time to learning new tricks! If you didn’t know many of them you can feel better now that you have brushed up on your knowledge of this sport.

In the United States, there are more than 18 million people own a skateboard. 85% of these individuals are less than 18 years of age. 74% of them are males. Yvonne Dowlen still competes though and he is 81 years old! There are children as young as three years old that can do the basics on one as well.

Tony Hawk has a deal with Kohl’s to sell shoes due to having his own line of footwear. Hawk agreed to do so only if they were affordable – never over $40 so that everyone can afford them. He is also responsible for the creative designs on this signature line of shoes.

One of the crazy ways in which professional skaters have helped to raise money for skate parks is by taking part in golf fundraising tournaments. While their fans don’t see it as enough action, these events definitely generate plenty of income for the cause.

The culture of skateboarding emerged in California. It was mainly designed as the ground equivalent of surfing in the water. The first skateboards actually had handles on them that allowed a person to move them.

Approximately 800,000 people are seen by medical professionals annually due to skateboarding injuries. Less than 40% of individuals that do this sport where the proper safety equipment for it.

There are some famous movies out there that depict skateboarding. One is called Gleaming the Cube with Christian Slater. This film debuted in 1989 and is still one of the best with this type of action portrayed in it.

The Tony Hawk video games are among the most popular in the world. There are many versions of them to check out. He has spent hours being videotaped so that movements are very realistic to what he is known to do in real life.

With the cost of gas continually increasing, more people are using skateboards for transportation than before. It is no longer just for fun! Many students use them on campus to be able to quickly get around.

It is illegal to own a skateboard in Norway. The ban was implemented in 1989 due to the number of people being injured while riding them. Skateboarding has only started to get a following in Portugal with the highest number of owners of boards being reported in 2008.

The military began using skateboards for some indoor maneuvers in 1997.

Skateboarding is actually good for your health. It can help a person to improve in the areas of balance, flexibility, and coordination. It also helps to tone up muscles and to strengthen the heart.

Concentration and hand/eye coordination improves when a person skateboards. It can help a person to be able to focus their attention for a longer span of time on other activities in their life as well.

One of the biggest failures in marketing for Levi brand of jeans was when they tried to appeal to the style of skateboarders.

There are new facts about skateboarding all the time so take some time for it. When it is too cold outside to skateboard, don’t let it get you down. Go online and find some new facts to get you by until you can ride your board once again! You can impress your friends too with the information you learned about skateboarding in the mean time.

Source: articlebiz , factsnfacts

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Facts about Loisiana

Here are some really interesting, useful, informative and amazing facts about Louisiana...

The Superdome, located in New Orleans is the worlds largest enclosed stadium.

Louisiana is home to 6.5 million acres of wetlands that hold the honor of being the greatest wetland in America.

The longest over-water bridge in the world is located just outside of New Orleans. At 23.87 miles long, the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway is definitely one of Louisiana's greatest accomplishments.

Natchitoches, Louisiana, is the oldest city in the Louisiana Purchase Territory, and was founded in 1714.

The state capitol building in Baton Rouge, is the tallest state capitol building in America, standing 450 feet tall.

Baton Rouge was the only site of an American Revolution battle that was fought outside of the original 13 colonies.

The staircase located in the Chretien Point plantation home in Sunset, Louisiana was copied and used in Tara in the movie "Gone with the Wind."

Louisiana's salt domes produce 24 percent of the nation's salt, making it the highest producing state in America.

The Tabasco company, found by E. A. McIlhenny in 1868 in Avery Island, Louisiana, is the second oldest food trademark in the United States Patent Office.

Steen's Syrup Mill, located in Abbeville, LA, is the world's largest plant producing sugar cane syrup.

The Konkriko Co. in New Iberia, Louisiana, is America's oldest rice mill.

The term "Uncle Sam" originated on the wharfs of New Orleans before Louisiana became a U.S. territory. Even then, New Orleans was a major docking port, and the goods that came through the New Orleans docks and labeled U.S. were referred to as "Uncle Sam."

In 1813, the game of craps was invented in New Orleans.

At 514 Chartres Street in the French Quarter of New Orleans, lies the oldest pharmacy in America, established in 1823. The New Orleans Pharmacy, is now the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum.

New Orleans is the birthplace of Jazz, which is considered the only true American art form.

During the time when states had their own individual currencies, the favored currency in Louisiana was the Louisiana Dix. (Dix is French for ten.) English speakers referred to these as Dixies, which eventually coined the phrase, Dixieland.


Facts about Maryland

Here are some really interesting facts about Maryland...

William Nuthead started the first printing business in St. Mary’s City in 1685. When he died his wife Diana inherited the business. She was the first female licensed as a printer in the colonies.

The Maryland Gazette founded in 1727 is the oldest continuously published newspaper in the United States.

Charles Mason and Jeremiah surveyed the Mason-Dixon Line in 1763 to determine the border between Pennsylvania and Maryland. In 1767 the Mason-Dixon Line was established as Maryland’s northern border.

William Goddard inaugurated the first Post Office system in the United States in Baltimore in 1774.

In 1784 the first balloon ascension in the United States took place in Baltimore. The balloon was designed by Peter Carnes, but the ascent was made by thirteen year old Edward Warren.

Georgetown Prep in Bethesda, founded in 1789 by the society of Jesuits, is the oldest Catholic secondary school in the United States.

The Baltimore Water Company, the first water company in the United States, was chartered in 1792.

Mary Pickersgill designed the flag that flew over Ft. McHenry during the War of 1812.

Francis Scott Key wrote “The Star-Spangled Banner” after seeing the flag still waving during a battle in 1814.

In 1828 St. Francis Academy was the first dental school in the world. This became the Baltimore College of Dental Surgery in 1839.

In 1844 the first telegraph line in the world was established between Washington and Baltimore.

In 1856 Charles Benedict Calvert created the first agricultural research college in the United States. The Maryland Agricultural College became the University of Maryland at College Park.

The USS Constellation docked in Baltimore is the last ship to survive from the Civil War.

The B&O Railroad was incorporated in 1827 by Charles Carroll. Today the railroad is part of CSX.

The Carrollton Viaduct in Baltimore was named in honor of Charles Carroll of Carrollton and is the oldest railroad bridge still in use.

The Thomas Viaduct in Relay was the longest bridge in the United States on completion in 1835 and is still in use.

Dr. Florence Rina Sabin of Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore became the first female professor of medicine in 1901.

Source: , Interesting Facts

Facts about Dragonfly

Here are some really interesting facts about dragonfly...

Dragonfly eyes contain up to 30,000 individual lenses. Human eyes only have one.

They have two sets of wings. They don’t have to beat their wings in unison like other insects do. Their front wings can be going up while their backs ones are going down.

They only flap their wings at about 30 beats per second (bps) compared to a bee’s 300 bps.

Excellent and strong fliers, they can loop-the-loop, hover, and fly backwards.

An Australian variety has been clocked at 36 miles per hour.

Dragonfly nymphs (the first stage after hatching) live in the water for about a year.

While underwater they eat mosquito nymphs, tiny fish, and pollywogs. When they have matured to airborne insects, they catch mosquitoes and gnats in mid-air before devouring them.

After leaving the water and becoming flying insects, they only live for about a month.

Their natural predators are birds.

Among the many names for dragonflies around the world are Old Glassy from China, Water Dipper from England and Big Needle of Wings from the ancient Celts.

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Friday, June 12, 2009

Facts about Butterflies

Here are some really interesting facts about butterflies...

Butterflies range in size from a tiny 1/8 inch to a huge almost 12 inches.

Butterflies can see red, green, and yellow.

Some people say that when the black bands on the Woolybear caterpillar are wide, a cold winter is coming.

The top butterfly flight speed is 12 miles per hour. Some moths can fly 25 miles per hour!

Monarch butterflies journey from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico, a distance of about 2,000 miles, and return to the north again in the spring.

Butterflies cannot fly if their body temperature is less than 86 degrees.

Representations of butterflies are seen in Egyptian frescoes at Thebes, which are 3,500 years old.

Antarctica is the only continent on which no Lepidoptera have been found.

There are about 24,000 species of butterflies. The moths are even more numerous: about 140,000 species of them were counted all over the world.

The Brimstone butterfly (Gonepterix rhamni) has the longest lifetime of the adult butterflies: 9-10 months.

Some Case Moth caterpillars (Psychidae) build a case around themselves that they always carry with them. It is made of silk and pieces of plants or soil.

The caterpillars of some Snout Moths (Pyralididae) live in or on water-plants.

The females of some moth species lack wings, all they can do to move is crawl.

The Morgan's Sphinx Moth from Madagascar has a proboscis (tube mouth) that is 12 to 14 inches long to get the nectar from the bottom of a 12 inch deep orchid discovered by Charles Darwin.

Some moths never eat anything as adults because they don't have mouths. They must live on the energy they stored as caterpillars.

Many butterflies can taste with their feet to find out whether the leaf they sit on is good to lay eggs on to be their caterpillars' food or not.

There are more types of insects in one tropical rain forest tree than there are in the entire state of Vermont.

In 1958 Entomologist W.G. Bruce published a list of Arthropod references in the Bible. The most frequently named bugs from the Bible are: Locust: 24, Moth: 11, Grasshopper: 10, Scorpion: 10, Caterpillar: 9, and Bee: 4.

People eat insects – called "Entomophagy"(people eating bugs) – it has been practiced for centuries throughout Africa, Australia, Asia, the Middle East, and North, Central and South America. Why? Because many bugs are both protein-rich and good sources of vitamins, minerals and fats.

Many insects can carry 50 times their own body weight. This would be like an adult person lifting two heavy cars full of people.

There are over a million described species of insects. Some people estimate there are actually between 15 and 30 million species.

Most insects are beneficial to people because they eat other insects, pollinate crops, are food for other animals, make products we use (like honey and silk) or have medical uses.

Butterflies and insects have their skeletons on the outside of their bodies, called the exoskeleton. This protects the insect and keeps water inside their bodies so they don’t dry out.

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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Facts about Dolphins

These are some really interesting facts about these beautiful creatures. I found them different from the normal ones available on the web.

There are 32 species of marine dolphins, four types of river dolphins, and six types of porpoises. The distinction between dolphin and porpoises is often blurred, but generally porpoises have spade-shaped teeth and blunt rounded faces. Dolphins have teeth shaped like rounded cones set in jaws that extend in a snout or beak.

The term “dolphin” is from the Greek delphis which is related to delphys (such as the Delphic Oracle) meaning “womb.” The term “porpoise” is from the Old French porpais which means “pork fish,” perhaps because the porpoise snout resembles the snout of a pig.

Called “re-entrants,” dolphins once lived on land and looked and behaved something like a small wolf but with five hoof-like toes on each foot instead claws. Some dolphins still have hair on their heads and the Amazon River dolphin has hair on its beak. Dolphins also have remnant finger bones in their flippers, a forearm, wrists, and a few remnant leg bones deep inside their bodies.

Killing a dolphin in ancient Greece was considered sacrilegious and was punishable by death. The Greeks called them hieros ichthys “sacred fish,” and the sun god, Apollo, assumed the form of a dolphin when he founded his oracle at Delphi at Mount Parnassus.

In Rome, dolphins were thought to carry souls to the “Islands of the Blest,” and images of dolphins have been found in the hands of Roman mummies, presumably to ensure their safe passage to the afterlife.

Famous philosophers such as Pliny, Herodotus, Aelian, and Aristotle comment on the compassion, friendly, and almost moral nature of the dolphin.

Images of dolphins have been found carved far within the desert city of Petra, Jordan.

The killer whale is the largest dolphin (true whales don’t have teeth but sift their prey through plates of baleen). The smallest dolphin is the Hector or Maui Dolphin, of which only 150 are left today.

The narwhal dolphin has a large ivory tusk (like a unicorn) which is often poached. The only remaining populations are in the Greenland Sea and Baffin Bay.

Dolphin teeth are used for grasping, not chewing. They have no jaw muscles for chewing.

While the brains of most mammals have a relatively smooth surface, the brains of humans are extremely convoluted. The dolphin brain is even more “folded” than humans and was this way millions of years before the first appearance of humans. Scientists often measure intelligence by the number of brain “folds.”f

Some dolphins can understand as many as 60 words, which can make up 2000 sentences. They also show signs of self-awareness.

Just a tablespoon of water in a dolphin’s lung could drown it. A human could drown if six teaspoons of water were inhaled into the lungs.

A baby dolphin is born tail-first to prevent drowning. After the mother breaks the umbilical cord by swiftly swimming away, she must immediately return to her baby and take it to the surface to breathe.

A baby dolphin must learn to hold its breath while nursing.

A female dolphin will assist in the birth of another's baby dolphin, and if it is a difficult birth, the “midwife” might help pull out the baby. Other dolphins, including bulls, will swim around the mother during birth to protect her.

The blowhole is an evolved nose that has moved upward to the top of the dolphin’s head.

Air can be expelled from a dolphin’s blowhole at speeds topping 100 mph.

A dolphin’s body has adapted to avoid the bends (the formation of air bubbles in blood and tissue as a diver returns to the surface of the water) by completely collapsing its ribcage, forcing the air under pressure out of its lungs and into the windpipe and the complex air chambers that lie below the blowhole.

Dolphins don’t have a sense of smell, but they do have a sense of taste and, like humans, can distinguish between sweet, sour, bitter, and salty tastes.

Unlike a fish, which moves its tale from side to side, a dolphin swims by moving its tale (made up of flukes) up and down. And a dolphin carries more oxygen in its blood than a fish and can swim longer than a fish...hence, dolphins are better adapted to the sea than are any fish.

The eyes of a dolphin produce “dolphin tears,” a slippery secretion which protects the eye against foreign objects and infection and reduces friction between the surface of the eye and surrounding sea water. Marine dolphins see quite well both below and above the water.

Dolphins also “see” with sounds. They emit a series of clicks and pings that travel long distances through water. When the sound hits an object, echoes are bounced back to the dolphin, enabling it to literally hear distance, shape, density, movement, and texture of an object.

With their “echo-location,” dolphins can distinguish between types of fish the same size, between aluminum and brass, and between a steel ball that is two and one-half inches in diameter and one that is two and one-fourth inches in diameter.

A dolphin’s “sonar” or echo-location is rare in nature and is far superior to either the bat’s sonar or human-made sonar.

Blocking off a dolphin’s ears with suction cups hardly affects it hearing, yet if its lower jaw is covered with a rubber jacket, a dolphin will have trouble hearing...leading scientists to believe sound may be carried from the water to its inner ear through a different route than the ear canal, such as the lower jawbone or even its entire body.

A dolphin can produce whistles for communication and clicks for sonar at the same time, which would be like a human speaking in two voices, with two different pitches, holding two different conversations.

A 260 lb. dolphin eats approximately 33 lbs. of fish daily without gaining weight, which is akin to a human eating 15-22 lbs. of steak a day.

Unlike most wild animals, dolphins spend a lot of time enjoying sex and foreplay that is not determined by being “in season” or the urge to procreate.

No one knows exactly why dolphins beach themselves. But because dolphins may use the magnetic field of the earth to navigate their way, some scientists believe that some places where dolphins strand have an abnormal magnetic field.

Dolphins typically do not live alone, but rather in schools or pods. They have a complex social structure and seem to have a wide range of emotions, including humor.

Dolphins may kill sharks by ramming them with their beaks.

Dolphins often practice “fishwacking,” swatting its victim with its broad flukes as the fish tries to evade capture. Some scientists think that dolphins can also use their high-pitched sounds to stun or paralyze fish while hunting.

Unlike most wild animals, wild dolphins have been known to play with humans, especially children

While most wild animals avoid contact with humans, wild dolphins are known to play and associate with humans, especially children.

In 1971, the Navy dispatched a team of dolphins “armed” with large carbon-dioxide filled hypodermic needles strapped to their beaks to guard a US Navy base in Vietnam. The dolphins had been taught to hunt humans swimming in the water and prod them with their beak, delivering a fatal injection in the humans’ lungs or stomachs.

Dolphins do not breathe automatically as humans do and will die if given a general anesthetic. They must sleep at the surface of the water with their blowholes exposed. Dolphins shut down only half of their brain while they sleep to stay alert and breathing.

The dolphin’s most dangerous enemy is humans.

Dolphin sonar seems not to detect the fine threads of fishing nets, and millions of dolphins have drowned as a result of becoming entangled.

Dolphins play around boats, surfing the bow waves and even helping fisherman by signaling when it’s the best time to cast their nets...nd then herding the fish into them.

Public outrage over the death of millions of dolphins in the 1960s prompted the introduction of the Marine Mammals Protection Act (MMPA) by the U.S. in 1972, which was substantially updated in 1994 with the addition of the Zero Mortality Rate Goal (ZMRG). The ZMRG required fisheries to reduce incidental mortality and serious injuries to marine mammals to levels approaching level zero.

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Facts about Snakes

Here are some more really interesting facts about snakes...

There are 2700 species and subspecies of SNAKES in the world.

As a group, they lack legs, hearing, and movable eyelids. Having evolved from lizards, some snakes still possess skeletal remnants of legs.

Snakes have a large number of vertebrae (180 to 435), most of which have ribs attached.

There are 4 families of snakes: Boidae (boas and pythons), Colubridae (racers, garter snakes, rat snakes and many others), Elapidae (cobras, mambas, and their relatives), Viperidae (rattlesnakes and other vipers).

Snakes have no movable eyelids or external ears.

Snakes are the world's most effective natural control on rodent population.

Most snakes can swallow prey that is 3 times or more their own body diameter.

Less than one-third of the world's snake species are venomous and less than 10% are dangerously venomous. However, in Australia 65% of all snake species are venomous, in the United States only 10% of the snake species are venomous.

You can't tell the age of a rattlesnake by counting its rattles because it gets a new rattle each time it sheds its skin, which can occur 1 to 6 times per year.

The world's longest snake (by reliable documentation) is the reticulated python, with a maximum length of, perhaps, 30 feet.

Common Cobra venom is not on the list of top 10 venoms yet it is still 40 times more toxic than cyanide.

The venom of the Australian Brown Snake is so powerful only 1/14,000th of an ounce is enough to kill a human.

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Facts about Australia

These are some really interesting facts about Australia. I found these quite different from the normal ones available on the internet...

The UK fits into Australia thirty-three and a third times.

The platypus is only found in Australia.

The World’s longest mail run in a single day is the flying postman’s route. From Cairns to Cape York the postie covers 1450km over nine hours with ten stops.

Tasmania has the cleanest air in the world and its rainwater is so pure 5.5 tonnes of it was shipped to Seoul to quench the thirsts of Australia’s Olympic athletes.

Hyams Beach in Jervis Bay, NSW, has the whitest sand on Earth according to the Guinness Book of Records.

Sydney has the deepest natural harbour in the world with 504,00 mega litres of water.

Australians drive on the left-hand side of the road like us.

Australians celebrate the Queens birthday with a public holiday. Alright for some!

Perth has more cafes per capita than any other city in the world.

South Australia is the driest state on the World’s driest continent.

Half of Australia’s total wine production comes from South Australia.

Western Australia is Australia’s largest State. At 2,525,500 sq km, Western Australia is about the same size as Western Europe, and possesses cattle stations (ranches) the size of England.

Approximately 200,000 camels roam Australia’s deserts representing the largest herd of wild camels on earth.

There are over 60 national parks and reserves in the Northern Territory including Kakadu National Park, Litchfield National Park, Uluru - Kata Tjuta National Park (Ayers Rock), West MacDonnell National Park, Nitmiluk National Park (Katherine Gorge), and Davenport Ranges National Park (Tennant Creek).

Melbourne has been twice voted the most liveable city in the world by the London based Economist Intelligence Unit.

Australia’s longest running soap, Neighbours, celebrated its 20th anniversary last year (2005) having broadcast 4,635 episodes. Visitors to Melbourne can take an official Neighbours tour to Ramsay street (real name Pin Oak Court) in Vermont South, you can also see an authentic Neighbours set in the Melbourne Museum. Look closely and you will see that cast members of the soap have signed the back of the set. Check out the Neighbours Trivia Night, held every Monday evening at the Elephant and Wheelbarrow pub in trendy St Kilda, where you can mingle with the stars and get your photos taken with the likes of Dr. Karl Kennedy and Toadie.

The Australian Surf Life Savers set up beach life guarding in the UK with the RNLI in 1953.

Fraser Island in Queensland is the largest sand island in the World.

Australia is the only continent on Earth occupied by only one nation.

Australia has a tradition of building giant, quirky structures that can often be spotted by the road side. New South Wales is home to the Big Banana, Queensland has the Big Apple, the Big Tasmanian Devil can be found in Tasmania, you can find the Big Scotsman in South Australia, the Big Koala in Victoria, the Big Crocodile in Western Australia and the Big Stubby in The Northern Territory.

Source: , Interesting Facts

Interesting Facts about Pizza, especially in U.S.

Here are some really interesting facts about pizza, especially pizza in the U.S.A.

Since 1987, October has been officially designated National Pizza Month in the United States.

Approximately three billion pizzas are sold in the United States every year, plus an additional one billion frozen pizzas.

Pizza is a $30 billion industry in the United States.

Pizzerias represent 17 percent of all U.S. restaurants.

Ninety-three percent of Americans eat pizza at least once a month.

Women are twice as likely as men to order vegetarian toppings on their pizza.

About 36 percent of all pizzas contain pepperoni, making it the most popular topping in the United States.

The first known pizzeria, Antica Pizzeria, opened in Naples, Italy, in 1738.

More pizza is consumed during the week of the Super Bowl than any other time of the year.

On average, each person in the United States eats around 23 pounds of pizza every year.

The first pizzeria in the United States was opened by Gennaro Lombardi in 1895 in New York City.

The record for the world's largest pizza depends on how you slice it. According to Guinness World Records, the record for the world's largest circular pizza was set at Norwood Hypermarket in South Africa in 1990. The gigantic pie measured 122 feet 8 inches across, weighed 26,883 pounds, and contained 9,920 pounds of flour, 3,968 pounds of cheese, and 1,984 pounds of sauce. In 2005, the record for the world's largest rectangular pizza was set in Iowa Falls, Iowa. Pizza restaurant owner Bill Bahr and a team of 200 helpers created the 129 X 98.6-foot pizza from 4,000 pounds of cheese, 700 pounds of sauce, and 9,500 sections of crust. The enormous pie was enough to feed the town's 5,200 residents ten slices of pizza each.

Source: , Interesting Facts

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Noodles & Rice Facts

Here are some really interesting and fun facts about "Noodles & Rice"...

Australians consume more than 18 million kilograms of noodles every year – that's almost one kilogram per person!

In Japan, it is considered good form to loudly slurp your noodles as a way of telling your host that you are enjoying the meal.

Australians eat approximately 3.5 billion rice crackers or 55 million packets each year – that's approximately 184 crackers per person!

Noodles symbolise longevity in China.

Noodles have been created from flour and water since 1000BC and today they are more popular than ever.

Noodles are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals including thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and iron. Iron helps transport oxygen throughout the body and thiamin, riboflavin and niacin help convert carbohydrates into energy.

Noodles are low in fat and have a very low sodium content.

If the packets of rice crackers sold in Australia each year were placed end to end they would stretch four times further than the River Murray or five times as high as Mount Kosciusko.

NSW consumers are the nation's biggest fans of rice crackers, munching through 17.6m packets each year, followed by Victorians who consume 11.3m packets each year.

Source: , Interesting Facts

Interesting Facts about Pasta

Here are some really interesting and delicious facts about pasta...

The Chinese are on record as having eaten pasta as early as 5,000 B.C.

Contrary to popular belief, Marco Polo did not discover pasta. The ancient Italians made pasta much like we do today. Although Marco Polo wrote about eating Chinese pasta at the court of Kubla Khan, he probably didn't introduce pasta to Italy. In fact, there's evidence suggesting the Etruscans made pasta as early as 400 B.C. The evidence lies in a bas-relief carving in a cave about 30 miles north of Rome. The carving depicts instruments for making pasta - a rolling-out table, pastry wheel and flour bin. And further proof that Marco Polo didn't "discover" pasta is found in the will of Ponzio Baestone, a Genoan soldier who requested "bariscella peina de macarone" - a small basket of macaroni. His will is dated 1279, 16 years before Marco Polo returned from China.

Christopher Columbus, one of Italy's most famous pastaphiles, was born in October, National Pasta Month.

Legend has it that noodles were first made by 13th century German bakers who fashioned dough into symbolic shapes, such as swords, birds and stars, which were baked and served as bread.In the 13th century, the Pope set quality standards for pasta.

Thomas Jefferson is credited with introducing macaroni to the United States. It seems that he fell in love with a certain dish he sampled in Naples, while serving as the U.S. Ambassador to France. In fact, he promptly ordered crates of "macaroni," along with a pasta-making machine, sent back to the States.

The Spanish explorer Cortez brought tomatoes back to Europe from Mexico in 1519. Even then, almost 200 years passed before spaghetti with tomato sauce made its way into Italian kitchens.

The first American pasta factory was opened in Brooklyn, New York, in 1848, by a Frenchman named Antoine Zerega. Mr. Zerega managed the entire operation with just one horse in his basement to power the machinery. To dry his spaghetti, he placed strands of the pasta on the roof to dry in the sunshine.

During the 1980s, macaroni, which was traditionally considered a "blue-collar" down-home meal, was transformed into the more upscale "pasta." As more and more people began to have fun with it and romanticize it throughout the '60s and '70s, its image began to change along with its name.

Pasta is a good source of carbohydrates. It also contains protein. Carbohydrates help fuel your body by providing energy that is released slowly over time.

One cup of cooked spaghetti provides about 200 calories, 40 grams of carbohydrates, less than one gram of total fat, no cholesterol and only one gram of sodium when cooked without salt. Read more about pasta nutrition.

All pasta is made by essentially the same equipment using the same technology. Also, in independent taste tests conducted by Consumer Reports, Cook's Illustrated and The Washington Post, U.S. pasta either was found superior to Italian imports or the judges were unable to discern a difference between them.

To cook one billion pounds of pasta, you would need 2,021,452,000 gallons of water - enough to fill nearly 75,000 Olympic-size swimming pools.

One billion pounds of pasta is about 212,595 miles of 16-ounce packages of spaghetti stacked end-to-end -- enough to circle the earth's equator nearly nine times.

Speaking of spaghetti...and meatballs: the Italians only ate meat a few times a month. So, when they came to America, where meat was so plentiful, they incorporated meat into their cooking more often, making meatballs an American invention.

Most pasta is made using wheat products mixed with water. Other types of pasta are made using ingredients such as rice, barley, corn, and beans.

Egg noodles contain egg; almost all other dry pasta shapes do not. By federal law, a noodle must contain 5.5 percent egg solids to be called a noodle. So without egg, a noodle really isn't a noodle.

Cooked al dente (al-DEN-tay) literally means "to the tooth," which is how to test pasta to see if it is properly cooked. The pasta should be a bit firm, offering some resistance to the tooth, but tender.

Pasta comes in many different colors. Most pasta is cream-colored, but some is made using spinach making it green, red pasta that is made using tomato, gray pasta that is made using squid ink, and some pasta is called "cellophane" because it becomes transparent when cooked.

The average person in Italy eats more than 51 pounds of pasta every year. The average person in North America eats about 15-1/2 pounds of pasta per year.

Pasta is one of America’s favorite foods. In 2000, 1.3 million pounds of pasta were sold in American grocery stores. If you lined up 1.3 million pounds of 16 oz. spaghetti packages, it could circle the Earth’s equator almost nine times!

Top-quality pasta is made from durum wheat. According to the North Dakota Agricultural Statistics Service, about 73% of the durum wheat grown in the U.S. is grown in North Dakota. American-grown durum wheat is considered among the best in the world and the pick of the crop is earmarked for domestic use, ensuring a finished pasta product second to none in the world.

Approximately 2.75 million tons of pasta is made in Italy each year, while the United States produces nearly 1.9 million tons per year

There are more than 600 pasta shapes produced worldwide.

Source: , Interesting Facts