Friday, May 29, 2009

Interesting Facts about Mars

Here are some extremely interesting facts about the planet Mars. Read these and I am sure that our dear planet Mars is certainly going to impress you.

Mars is the fourth planet from the sun.

Mars is the seventh largest planet in our solar system.

Mars is referred to as the Red Planet, due to its red soil made up of iron oxide, more commonly known as rust.

Mars is named after the Roman god of war.

The equatorial radius of Mars is 3,397 km.

The diameter of Mars measures 6,794 km.

The mass of Mars is 641,850,000,000,000,000,000,000 kg.

Surface temperature on Mars can range from the maximum of 310 K to a minimum of 150 K.

Atmospheric components on Mars consists of 95% carbon dioxide, 3% nitrogen, 1.6% argon

Recently, scientists discovered enough water ice just under the surface of Mars to fill lake Michigan twice.

Due to its dry and dusty surface, dust storms have been known to cover the whole planet at times.

Mars is home to Olympus Mons, perhaps one of the largest volcanoes in our solar system. Olympus Mons is three times taller than Mount Everest and as wide as the state of New Mexico.

Valles Marineris is a canyon on Mars that is about as long as the United States of America is wide.

Mars has two moons. Both were discovered by Asaph Hall in 1877 after a long and frustrating search for Martian moons. The two moons are Deimos and Phobos.

It is possible that the two moons may actually be asteroids caught in Mars’ gravity.

After a close examination by NASA’s Mariner 9 spacecraft, it was found that Phobos had a crater about 10 km (about 6 miles) wide. The crater was named after Hall’s wife’s maiden name, Stickney.

According to NASA, “Mars' moons are among the smallest in the solar system. Phobos is a bit larger than Deimos, and orbits only 6,000 km (3,700 miles) above the Martian surface. No known moon orbits closer to its planet. It whips around Mars three times a day, while the more distant Deimos takes 30 hours for each orbit. Phobos is gradually spiraling inward, drawing about 1.8 meters closer to the planet each century. Within 50 million years, it will either crash into Mars or break up and form a ring around the planet.”

Mars is further away from the sun than Earth. Mars’ average distance from the sun is 142 million miles while Earth’s average distance from the sun is only 93 million miles.

Mars is slower to orbit the sun, traveling at a speed of 14.5 miles per second versus Earth’s 18.5 miles per second.

The temperature on Mars is much colder than Earth. The average Mars temperature is –87 degrees F with Earth’s average temperature being 57 degrees F.

A year on Mars (i.e. how long it takes for Mars to orbit around the sun) is 687 Earth days, versus Earth’s 365 days per year while a day on Mars is equivalent to 1.026 Earth days.


Spain: Food & Drink

Here are some really interesting facts about food and drink in Spain. See how Spain is such an important place when you talk about food...

Spain makes 44% of the world's olive oil, more than twice that of Italy and four times that of Greece. More than a quarter of Spain's oil (10% of the total world production) comes from Jaen.

Nearly three-quarters of the world's saffron is grown in Spain.

The original paella was not considered a seafood dish but had chicken, rabbit and pork (and sometimes snails). There is some debate over the origin of the word.

Tapas is not a type of food but a way of eating it. Tapa means cover and was traditionally a slice of cheese or ham placed over a drink.

The Spanish (in particular, the people of Cadiz) claim to have invented fried fish. Great Britain had links to Cadiz in the eighteenth century and it is thought that the British imported the idea of fish 'n' chips from there.

'Dominations of Origin', common in wine labeling, is also used in Spain to guarantee the quality of ham, olive oil and even paprika.

Though Spain is more famous for its red wine than white, the majority of its vineyards have white grapes.

The fortified wine sherry comes from the city of Jerez in Andalusia. 'Sherry' is a corruption of Shariz, the Persian name for the city. In Spanish, sherry is simply called 'vino de Jerez' (Jerez wine).

Tomatoes, potatoes, avocadoes, tobacco, and cacao (for chocolate) were all imported into Europe by Spain.

Spain is one of the top five importers of Scotch whiskey in the world.


Thursday, May 28, 2009

Facts about Dogs

Read these Informative and interesting little known facts about dogs...

It is a myth that dogs are color blind. They can actually see in color, just not as vividly as humans. It is akin to our vision at dusk.

Dogs DO have better low-light vision than humans because of a special light-reflecting layer behind their retinas.

A German Shepherd guide dog led her blind companion the entire 2100-mile Appalachian Trail.

If never spayed or neutered, a female dog, her mate, and their puppies could produce over 66,000 dogs in 6 years!

Dogs' only sweat glands are between their paw pads.

Like human babies, Chihuahuas are born with a soft spot in their skull, which closes with age.

The breed Lundehune has 6 toes and can close its ears.

Teddy Roosevelt's dog, Pete, ripped a French ambassador's pants off at the White House.

President Lyndon Johnson had two beagles named Him and Her.

Franklin Roosevelt spent $15,000 for a destroyer to pick up his Scottie in the Aleutian Islands.

In Roman times, Mastiffs donned light armor and were sent after mounted knights.

The Russians trained dogs during WWII to run suicide missions with mines strapped to their backs.

A dog's mouth exerts 150-200 pounds of pressure per square inch with some dogs exerting up to 450 pounds per square inch.

A one-year-old dog is as mature, physically, as a 15-year-old human.

The U.S. has the highest dog population in the world.

France has the 2nd highest.

The average city dog lives 3 years longer than a country dog.

18. 87% of dog owners say their dog curls up beside them or at their feet while they watch T.V.

Dogs can be trained to detect epileptic seizures.

15 people die in the U.S. every year from dog bites.

In 2002 alone, more people in the U.S. were killed by dogs than by sharks in the past 100 years.

Gidget is the name of the Taco Bell dog.

Newfoundlands are great swimmers because of their webbed feet.

Basset Hounds cannot swim.

Greyhounds are the fastest dogs on earth, with speeds of up to 45 miles per hour.

Bingo is the name of the dog on the side of the Cracker Jack box.

The bible mentions dogs 14 times.

Three dogs survived the sinking of the Titanic - a Newfoundland, a Pomeranian, and a Pekingese.

The Labrador Retriever is the #1 favorite breed in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K.

Obesity is the #1 health problem among dogs.

An estimated 1,000,000 dogs in the U.S. have been named as the primary beneficiaries in their owner's will.

An American Animal Hospital Assoc. poll found that 33% of dog owners admit to talking to their dogs on the phone and leaving answering machine messages for them while away.

Dog's nose prints are as unique as a human's fingerprints and can be used to accurately identify them.

At the end of the Beatles' song "A Day in the Life", a high-pitched dog whistle was recorded by Paul McCartney for his sheepdog.

70% of people sign their pet's name on greeting and holiday cards.

58% put pets in family and holiday portraits.

There are only 350 Cisky Terriers in the world - perhaps the rarest breed.

The phrase "raining cats and dogs" originated in 17th century England when it is believed that many cats and dogs drowned during heavy periods of rain.

Dogs have no sense of "time".

Humans have kept dogs as pets for over 12,000 years.

The largest breed of dog is the Irish Wolfhound.

The world's smallest dog breed is the Chihuahua.

The St. Bernard is the heaviest.

Only dogs and humans have prostates.

But dogs do not have an appendix.

Every dog on earth likely descended from a species knows as the Tomarctus - a creature that roamed the earth over 15 million years ago.

The oldest known breed is likely the Saluki - originally trained by Egyptians to help them track game.

In 1957, Laika became the first living being in space via an earth satellite, while JFK's terrier, Charlie, father 4 puppies with Laika's daughter.

An African wolf dog known as the basenji is the only dog in the world that cannot bark.

There are 703 breeds of purebred dogs.

Dachshunds were originally bred for fighting badgers.

The world's smartest dogs are thought to be (1) the border collie, (2) the poodle, and (3) the golden retriever, while the dumbest dog is believed to be the Afghan hound.

A dog's smell is more than 100,000 times stronger than that of a human's, which they need because their eyesight is not as keen as a human's.

Dogs judge objects first by their movement, then by their brightness, and lastly by their shape.

Chocolate contains a substance known as theobromine (similar to caffeine), which can kill dogs or at the very least make them violently ill.

George Washington had thirty-six dogs - all foxhounds - with one-named Sweet lips.

All dogs are identical in anatomy - 321 bones and 42 permanent teeth.

Smaller breeds mature faster than larger breeds.

Female dogs are only ready to mate - "in heat" - twice a year for a total of roughly 20 days.

Puppies sleep ninety percent of the day for their first few weeks.

Rin Tin Tin was the first Hollywood Dog Star and he really signed his movie contracts - all 22 of them - with a paw print.

The Wizard of Oz's Toto was played by a female Cairn Terrier named Terry.

Up until the late 1800's, Collies were known as Scottish Sheepdogs.

Dogs have two times as many muscles to move their ears as people.

The longer a dog's nose, the more effective it's internal cooling system.

An elderly woman was saved by her 12-pound Yorkshire Terrier who fought off an 80-pound Akita and survived with only 9 stitches.

U.S. Customs dogs "Rocky" and "Barco" were so good at patrolling the border that Mexican drug lords put a $300,000 bounty on their heads.

Dogs are all direct descendants of wolves.

Wolves and dogs can mate to produce fertal offspring.

Female wolves have been known to travel great distances to regurgitate full meals for their hungry pups.

Cerberus was the tri-headed dog that guarded the underworld in Greek mythology.

Female dogs bear their young for 60 days before they're born.

Dogs' sense of hearing is more than ten times more acute than a human's.

Humans can detect sounds at 20,000 times per second, while dogs can sense frequencies of 30,000 times per second.

The earliest dog-fossil dates back to nearly 10,000 B.C.

Bloodhounds are prized their ability to single out and identify a number of scents simultaneously.

Dalmatian puppies are born completely white.

The Ancient Chinese carried Pekingese puppies in the sleeves of their robes.

Boxers are so named because of their manner of playing with their front paws.

All breeds of dog have been found to attack livestock - from 3-month-old puppies, all the way up to thirteen-year-old poodles.

A dog's heart beats up to 120 times per minute, or 50% faster than the average human heartbeat of 80 times per minute.

The oldest dog on record - a Queensland "Heeler" named Bluey - was 29 years, 5 months old.

Davy Crockett had a dog named Sport.

Dogs were first domesticated by cavemen.

Dogs live 15 years on average.

Many foot disorders in dogs are simply an issue of long toenails.

More than 5,000,000 puppies are born in the U.S. every year.

More than 1 in 3 American families own a dog.

Average body temperature for a dog is 101.2 degrees.

The Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts both offer merit badges in dog care.

Dogs are natural pack animals.

They are naturally submissive to any creature with higher pack status - human or canine.

Dogs instinctively require the pack leader's approval.

Dogs with little human contact in the first three months typically don't make good pets.

The Chihuahua was named after the state in Mexico where they were discovered.

After birth, puppies' eyes do not fully open until they're about 12 days old.

Their vision is not fully developed until after the 1st month.


San Fransisco Facts

Here are some interesting facts about San Fransisco...

The Chinese Fortune Cookie was invented by Makato Hagiwara whose family operated the Japanese Tea Garden from 1895 to 1942.

Denim jeans were invented in San Francisco for the Gold Rush miners who needed tough, comfortable clothing

Irish coffee was invented in San Francisco.

Francis Ford Coppola famously wrote large portions of The Godfather Trilogy in Caffe Trieste, the first San Francisco coffee shop, established in 1956

There are over three hundred coffee houses within the city boundaries of San Francisco

The original United Nations charter was drafted and signed in San Francisco.

Al Capone spent five years in prison in Alcatraz.

The original Spanish name for San Francisco was Yerba Buena, meaning "good herb" or"good grass".

Nicknames include "Baghdad by the Bay", coined by columnist Herb Caen, and "The City that Knows How".

The first plans of the city were drawn by Jean-Jacques Vioget (Swiss) and Jasper O' Farell ( Irish)

The first construted street was Grant Street, originally named " Calle De La Fundacion "

Chop Suey was created in 1878 during a banquet or Li Hung-Chung, the first Chinese Viceroy to visit our city.

There are over 250 wineries in the nearby Napa Valley.

Muir Woods, an unspoiled stand of giant redwoods, is just across the Golden Gate bridge.

In Star Trek, Star Fleet HQ is located just north of San Francisco.

"I Left My Heart In San Francisco" was written by a gay couple, Douglass Cross and his partner George Cory in 1954. Tony Bennett's recording in 1962 made the song famous.

San Francisco is built on 43 hills.

The crookedest street is not Lombard Street , Vermont Avenue between 22nd and 23rd is the "crookedest,".

Filbert between Hyde and Leavenworth is the steepest street at 31.5 degrees.

The population of San Francisco at the end of 2004 was 744,230 people

San Francisco has the highest number of homeless inhabitants per capita of any major city in the United States.

Washington Square Park at Columbus & Union is not actually a square because it has five sides. But then North Beach isn't a beach and the statue in the middle of the park is Ben Franklin not George Washington.

Behind New York, Moscow and London, San Francisco is 4th in the world in terms of numbers of billionaires living within its city limits, while having less than 10% the population of the the other three cities.

On Mar 14,1896, 7000 people gathered at San Francisco's Ocean Beach to celebrate the official opening of the Sutro Baths, an extravagant public bathhouse envisioned and developed by the eccentric one-time mayor of San Francisco, Adolph Sutro. He also built the Cliff House.

Soon after the Golden Gate Park opened in 1890, John McLaren, the park's designer added a free-range zoo that was home to elk, bears, goats, and buffalo. The buffalo are the only ones that remain.

On Mar. 21, 1963, Alcatraz federal prison island in San Francisco Bay was emptied of its last inmates at the order of Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy.

San Francisco Bay is considered the world's largest landlocked harbor.


Stephenie Meyer Facts

Here are some interesting facts about Stephenie Meyer...

She was born December 24, 1973 in Connecticut.

She moved to Arizona at age 4.

She got her names’ unusual spelling from her Dad, Stephen.

She has 5 siblings – Emily, Heidi, Jacob, Paul, and Seth.

She attended Brigham Young University in Utah on a scholarship.

She is married to a man named Pancho (His real name is Christiaan).

She met Pancho when she was 4.

She has three kids – Gabe, Seth, Eli.

She is Mormon.

Twilight came to her in a dream on June 2, 2003.

Source: twilightguide

Interesting Facts about Microbes

Here are some really interesting facts about microbes. I can bet most of you didn't know most of these.

Microbes first appeared on earth about 3.5 billion years ago. They are critically important in sustaining life on our planet.

Microbes outnumber all other species and make up most living matter.

Less than .5% of the estimated 2 to 3 billion microbial species have been identified.

Microbes comprise ~60% of the earths biomass.

Microbes drive the chemistry of life and affect the global climate.

Microbial cycling of such critical chemical elements as carbon and nitrogen helps keep the world inhabitable for all life forms.

Microbes generate at least half the oxygen we breathe.

Microbes thrive in an amazing diversity of habitats in extremes of heat, cold, radiation, pressure, salinity, acidity, and darkness, and often where no other life forms could exist and where nutrients come only from inorganic matter.

Microbes offer unusual capabilities reflecting the diversity of their environmental niches. These may prove useful as a source of new genes and organisms of value in addressing bioremediation, global change, biotechnology, and energy production.

Microbial studies will help us define the entire repertoire of organisms in specialized niches and, ultimately, the mechanisms by which they interact in the biosphere.

Diversity patterns of microorganisms can be used for monitoring and predicting environmental change.

Microbes are roots of life's family tree. An understanding of their genomes will help us understand how more complex genomes developed.

Microbial genomes are modest in size and relatively easy to study (usually no more than 10 million DNA bases, compared with some 3 billion in the human and mouse genomes).

Microbial communities are excellent models for understanding biological interactions and evolution.

Most microbes do not cause disease.

Source: microbialgenomics


Here are little known interesting facts about the snakes...

King Cobras make nests. Generally snakes show little or no parental care. But a pair of King Cobra will cooperate to find a suitable nesting spot. Nests are built usually in the month of April. Despite having no limbs, the female remarkably constructs her nest of dead leaves by scooping them up with her large body. Females then lay approximately 20-50 eggs, two months after mating, with an incubation period ranging from 60 to 80 days. The female will then lie on the nest until just before the eggs hatch, at which point instinct will cause the mother to leave the young so as to prevent her from eating them. The male king cobra is similarly unique in that he stays to guard the nesting area, until the young hatch, patrolling a large area around the nest for threats. Such complex nesting and rearing behavior is unique among snakes. No other snake shows any parental care.

King cobras eat other snakes. King Cobras eat almost all other snakes with the rat snake being it’s favourite. The King Cobra is peculiar in that it feeds almost exclusively on other snakes, which is reflected in its genus name of Ophiophagus (Snake-eater). The King Cobra is known to attack larger snakes, including Pythons. The King Cobra's diet is mainly composed of other Snakes. When food is scarce though, King Cobras will also feed on other small vertebrates, such as Lizards. After a large meal the snake may live for many months without another meal due to its very slow metabolic rate.

Snakes can survive without eating food for several days. Snakes have a slow metabolic rate and thus can survive without eating for many days at a stretch, after a sumptuous meal. Snakes like King cobras can survive many months without food.

Snakes are cold blooded. Snakes are cold blooded like all reptiles, with the exception of the Leatherback Sea Turtle, a reptile that elevates its body temperature well above that of its surroundings. Though cellular metabolism produces some heat, reptiles do not generate enough heat to maintain a constant body temperature and are therefore referred to as "cold-blooded". Instead they rely on heat from the environment to regulate their internal temperature, e.g. by moving between sun and shade, or by preferential circulation - moving warmed blood into the body core, while pushing cool blood to the periphery. While this lack of adequate internal heating imposes costs relative to temperature regulation through behavior, it also provides a large benefit by allowing reptiles to survive on much less food as compared to similarly sized mammals and birds, who burn much of their food for warmth.

Pit vipers use a thermal sensitive nasal pit to detect pray. Pit Vipers are named after their specialized thermo receptors; heat-sensitive organs, located on either side of the head that look like small pits. These pits contain membranes sensitive to infrared radiation and allow the snakes to locate their prey based on temperature differences with their environment. To a pit viper, rodents and birds that are only fractionally warmer than the background stand out even in complete darkness. Like a primitive pair of eyes, these pits even give them depth perception, allowing them to strike accurately under such conditions.

Snake’s tongue is used to sense the surroundings. Snakes smell by using its forked tongue to collect airborne particles then passing them to the Jacobson's Organ, a special organ in the mouth for examination. The fork in the tongue gives the snake a sort of directional sense of smell.

Young snakes break out of their egg with the help of special “teeth”. A snake does not look after its eggs or take care of the young ones but leaves the eggs to be hatched on their own. The hatchlings or the young snakes therefore have special teeth to break open the eggs and come out.

Most snakes can climb trees. Rat Snakes and Pythons are excellent examples.

Snakes shed skin on a regular basis and it is a part of its growth. The process is called moulting. This is usually achieved by the snake rubbing its head against a hard object, such as a rock or piece of wood, causing the already stretched skin to split. At this point, the snake continues to rub its skin on objects, causing the end nearest the head to peel back on it, until the Snake is able to crawl out of its skin, effectively turning the moulted skin inside-out. This is similar to how one might remove a sock from your foot by grabbing the open end and pulling it over itself. The Snake's skin is often left in one piece after the moulting process. It is a usual process, essential for a snake’s growth.

All snakes are carnivorous. Snakes do not chew their food and have a very flexible lower jaw, the two halves of which are not rigidly attached, and numerous other joints in their skull, allowing them to open their mouths wide enough to swallow their prey whole, even if it is larger in diameter than the snake itself. It is a common misconception that snakes actually dislocate their lower jaw to consume large prey. Snakes do not normally prey on people, unless startled or injured, preferring instead to avoid contact. In fact, the majority of snakes are either non-venomous or possess venom that is not harmful to humans.

Snake venom is a complex mixture of proteins and is produced by venom glands. Snake venom is highly modified saliva that is produced by special glands. Snake venom is a combination of many different proteins and enzymes. Many of these proteins are harmless to humans, but some are toxins. Snake venoms are generally harmless when ingested, and are therefore not technically poisons.

Snake venom is used to make anti venom & many other life saving drugs. An anti-venom serum is actually a small quantity of the venom itself which when injected into an animal or human affects only slightly triggering an allergic reaction to it. The allergic reaction will allow anti bodies to be formed and thus immunity to the venom is developed.

There is no visible difference between a male and female snake. Snakes of either sex would look identical, the only difference being that of a hemipenis (plural-hemipenes) in a male and a cloaca in a female which is visible only on a deeper study.

Vipers have fold-able front fangs. When not in use, the fangs are folded backward against the roof of the mouth. Vipers have a very affective system of injecting venom into its prey’s body. The hinged fangs are more intricate system that allows the snake to instantaneously strike, inject and withdraw from a struggling prey. The fangs are enclosed in a membranous sheath and can be folded backwards and upwards against the roof of the mouth. During a strike the fangs can swing forward and the mouth can open to 180 degrees.

Flying snakes only glide in the air, they can’t fly. They virtually swim through the air and can glide a distance of 100m. It can only glide by extending its ribs and pulling in the underside.


Interesting Alcohol Facts

Here are some really interesting and fun facts about Alcohol. Hope you enjoy reading them.

The word “toast,” which means wishing good health originated in ancient Rome. A piece of toasted bread was literally dropped into wine back then.

The soil of one of the vineyards in France is considered so precious that it is mandatory for workers to scrape the soil off their shoes before they leave.

Anyone under the age of 21 should be careful of taking out trash bags in Missouri. If you are under 21 and the garbage contains an empty bottle of alcohol, you can be charged with illegal possession of alcohol.

Most people think that drinking alcohol raises the body temperature. Alcohol actually lowers the body temperature.

Here is a little surprise : The national anthem of United States “The Star Spangled Banner,” was written to the tune of a drinking song.

Although “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog” is considered to be the shortest sentence that includes all the letters of the alphabet, alcohol lovers came up with one of their own “Pack my box with five dozen liquor jugs.”

Most vegetable and almost all fruits contain a small amount of alcohol in them.

The first Thanksgiving Day didn’t include mashed potatoes, turkey and all other foods that we usually eat on this particular day. However, there was beer, brandy, gin and wine.

Bourbon, the official drink of United States takes its name from Bourbon County in Kentucky.

The pressure in a champagne bottle is 90 pounds per square inch, that is three times the pressure in automobile tires.

Adolf Hitler was one of the world’s best known abstainers from alcohol.

Sir Winston Churchill was one of the world’s heaviest drinkers.

The longest permanent bar is 405 feet and 10 inches. It is located in Ohio. Some suggest that the longest bar is in Illinois which is 684 feet.

The first recruiting station of the U.S. Marines was a bar.

The world’s oldest known recipe is for beer.

It is illegal to run a “tab” in Iowa (source that we used says running a “tab” in Iowa is illegal. Iowa residents say it is legal. We will go with Iowa residents and rule this one out)

United States has the highest minimum drinking age in the entire world.

The alcohol content of a typical beer, wine or spirits are virtually identical. To a breathalyzer, a drink is a drink is a drink.

Brandy, rum and whisky can be either aged too long or not long enough.

It is estimated that there are 49,000,000 (forty-nine million) bubbles in a bottle of champagne.

Human body produces its own supply of alcohol naturally, 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.

Beer started selling in bottles starting 1850 and in cans starting 1935.

In the 1600’s thermometer used to be filled with brandy instead of mercury.

The term “Dipsomania” refers to abnormal cravings for alcohol.

There is a cloud of alcohol in the outer space which is enough to make four trillion-trillion drinks.

It is illegal to feed alcohol to Moose in Alaska and fish in Ohio.

In some European countries McDonald’s serves alcohol. Some parents like to drink alcohol while kids munch on fries and chicken nuggets. McDonald’s decided they needed all the customers they can get.

Many high school cafeterias in Europe serve alcohol to students who choose to drink

Distilled spirits such as brandy, gin, rum, tequila, etc. contain no carbohydrates, no fats and no cholesterol of any kind.

A mixed drink that contains carbonated drink is absorbed into the body more quickly than straight shots.

Abraham Lincoln held a liquor license and operated several taverns.

All spirits (unlike beer and wine) are originally clear and colorless. The golden brown and other colors are achieved due to the aging process.

The French Wine “Fat Bastard” is banned in Ohio and Texas. (although the articles we referred to suggested that this was true, many readers have said that you can buy “Fat Bastard” in Texas)

Here is another one we found that relates to Texas : Texas state law prohibits taking more than three sips of beer at a time while standing.

The BATF (Bureau of Alcohol,Tobacco and Firearms) prohibits the use of word “refreshing” to describe any alcoholic beverage.


Interesting Facts about Japan

In mainland of Japan and in Okinawa there are approximately 90 US military bases, 37 which are in Okinawa, occupying 20% of the landsize.

Japan does not have atomic weapon. USA, France, China, India, Russia, United Kingdom, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea has atomic weapon.

Japan is the only country in the world ever attacked by atomic weapon.

Okinawans have more people over 100 years old per 100,000 population than anywhere else in the world.

Japanese food is considered most healthiest in the world.

Crime is lower in Japan than in many other first world countries.

Firearms are almost non-existent in the hands of civilians in Japan. The process of obtaining licence of firearm is lengthy. Crimes committed by using firearms are very rare.

Japan is exercising death penalty.

Japan's literacy rate is almost 100%.

Officially the first novel of Japan, The Tale of Genji in 1007 was written by a Japanese woman Murasaki Shikibu.

Vandalism is almost non-existent in Japan.

Japanese constitution has Article 9 which defines renunciation of war.

It is very hard for usual Japanese to obtain Japanese historical item, katana. Special permission is needed, and it is only granted for special individuals.

Japanese is the only language in the world which has a word for "death from overwork", Karoshi.

Japanese still rarely use seatbelt while riding backseat of a car.

Although Tokyo was destroyed in firebombing during the World War two, there are no popular movies about bombing of Japan. The Grave of Fireflies is only film depicting realistically a firebombing of Japanese city. New York has been frozen, destroyed, bombed, meteoritized several times in American films.

Compulsory English lessons start from the first grade of elementary school in Japan.

"Korede iinoda" is a popular Japanese phrase. It means in English "Everything is going to be all right". It was written by manga artist Akatsuka, in "Tensai Bakabon". It is usually respected as a phrase of peace.


Global Warming Facts

Here are some interesting and scary facts about the global warming. Read and take measures to stop it from happening.

Your food is harmed and made more expensive by earlier thaws and later freezes. Thaw and freeze dates are occurring a week earlier and later than they did 150 years ago. This affects our society’s agriculture by potentially damaging the food supply, making crops pricier, and even making global warming worse.

The U.S. will turn into a dustbowl as the agricultural belt moves northward into Canada. Global warming is happening faster at northern latitudes, so these areas will have longer growing seasons in the future as places like the American Midwest become too hot and dry to grow as many crops.

Catastrophic hurricanes are more likely to hit your home. Between 1970 and 2004, the number of category 4 and 5 hurricanes worldwide has nearly doubled. In the 2000s, there were as many dangerous category 5 hurricanes as the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s combined.

You will suffer from a longer, more intense allergy season than before. Research has shown that the higher carbon dioxide levels in the air, plus the warmer temperatures, force plants to bloom earlier and produce more pollen.

You may not have enough water to drink. In the western U.S., mountain snowpacks provide up to 75% of the water supply. Huge cities like Phoenix, Las Vegas, and Denver totally depend on this snow, and as global warming gets worse, the existing snow will melt and less new snow will be falling.

Deadly smallpox could re-emerge as permafrost melts. This layer of permanently frozen soil beneath the ground’s surface is thawing. Not only could this destroy buildings and railroad tracks, but as the ground thaws, corpses buried long ago could get discovered and end up infecting you with a devastating disease.


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Interesting Facts about Canada

Some interesting facts about the second biggest country i.e. Canada.

Canada is the second largest country in the world, with 9,971,000 square kilometres of land.

The baseball glove was invented in Canada in 1883.

With only three people per square kilometer, Canada has the fourth lowest population density in the world.

Vancouver Canada is tied with Zurich Switzerland for the highest quality of life of any city in the world.

The world's smallest jail is believed to be in Rodney, Ontario, Canada. It is only 24.3 square meters (about 270 square feet).

Canada has the ninth biggest economy of the world

According to the United Nations Human Development Index, Canada has the highest quality of life in the world.

Contrary to popular opinion, Canada does not own the North Pole. In fact, the North Pole is not owned by any country. It is believed, however, that Santa Claus is from Canada.

Canada is the world's eighth biggest trader.

Of all of the world's producers of natural gas, copper, zinc, nickel, aluminum, and gold, Canada is in the top five.

Canada is the home of many great inventions, including: basketball, the electric light bulb, the electric range, the electron microscope, standard time, the television, the telephone, and the zipper.

Canada is the fifth largest energy producer.

Canada has the world's highest tertiary education enrolment.

Source: vec

Interesting Facts about Coffee

Below are some really interesting facts about coffee

Coffee is the second-most traded commodity in the world economy, after oil.

The global coffee industry earns $60 billion annually. Coffee farmers earn as little as 4 cents a pound for the coffee they pick by hand.

Most of the world's coffee is grown by small-scale coffee farming families.

25 million families around the world work in the coffee-fields and totally depend on the coffee crop as their only source of income.

One coffee tree yields slightly less than 1 pound of coffee per year.

For every pound of gourmet coffee sold, small-coffee farmers receive between 12¢ and 25¢.

When shopping for perfume, take some coffee with you in your bag and have a good sniff in between smelling each perfume to refresh your nose!

Sprinkle spent coffee grounds around the base of your garden plants and it will stop snails and slugs from munching them!

A mixture of coffee grounds and sugar, fed to a potted plant and watered regularly, will revive houseplants that have turned yellow in winter.

Some of the worlds most powerful business, including Lloyds of London and the New York Stock Exchange, started life as a coffee house.

In December 2001 Brazil produced a scented postage stamp to promote its coffee - the smell should last between 3 and 5 years.

A coffee tree has a lifespan of about 50 to 70 years.

When it is in bloom, the coffee tree is covered with 30,000 white flowers which begin to develop into fruit after 24 - 36 hours.

A coffee tree can flower eight times in any one year - depending on rainfall.

Coffee is consumed at the rate of 1400 million cups per day.

Coffee is the world's second most popular drink after water.


Interesting Facts about Rabbits

Here are some really interesting facts about the rabbits. Read and I am sure you will get to know more about the rabbits.

A girl bunny is called a doe.

A boy bunny is called a buck.

A baby bunny is called a kit.

A bunch of baby bunnies is a litter.

Domestic rabbits are born naked, deaf and blind while jack rabbits are born fully furred ready to run!

Mother only nurse the young once a day for the first two weeks.

A rabbit has 18 toenails: 4 on each of the back feet, and 4 on each of the front plus a dew claw.

There are over 150 different rabbit coat colors, but only 5 eye colors (brown, blue-grey, blue, marbled, and pink).

President Lincoln allowed his sons to keep many pets in the White House, including pet rabbits.

A rabbit can see behind himself, without turning his head, but has a blind spot in front of his face.

Rabbits are not rodents. They belong to a family called "lagomorphs.

Rabbits are nocturnal and therefore are most active between dusk and dawn

The world record for the rabbit high jump is 1 meter.

The world record for the record long jump is 3 meters. That's over 9 feet!

The largest litter of baby rabbits is 24. It has happened twice. Once in 1978 and again in 1999.

The longest ears are 31.125 inches long. They belong to an American rabbit, Nipper's Geronimo.

The longest-lived rabbit was nearly 19 years old when he died.

Biggest bunny: 26 lbs., 7 oz.!

Rabbits cannot vomit.

Rabbits do not like loud noises and sudden movements.

Rabbits eat their own night droppings, known as cecotropes.

Rabbits need to eat hay, in order to assist their digestive system and prevent fur balls in their stomach.

The droppings of a rabbit are high in nitrogen make an excellent garden fertilizer.


Interesting Facts about Cell Phones

Martin Cooper was the first man to make a mobile call.

It was his vision that today we enjoy reaching each other within no time and without any hurdle. The 1st call made publically enjoyed its 30th anniversary on 3rd April, 2003.

Martin Cooper was Manager of Motorola’s Communication Systems Division when the mobile came in public held in his hands. Now he is CEO & Co founder of ArrayComm Inc. The mobile set he used was as big as a brick and weighed about 30 ounces.

The historic first call was made to Cooper’s rival AT&T’s Bell Labs while walking in streets of New York City. After that the handset took 10 years time to reach the market and from there to people. Before that there were portable telephones but none was a wireless portable mobile. The 1st one used without the entangling copper wire was in Cooper demonstration.

Before the launch of mobiles, there were two way radios known as ‘mobile rigs’, installed in the cars for communication. They were good tools for communication but were not at all mobiles as they were not normally connected to the telephone network. Initially the mobiles were also installed in vehicles only. Their advanced versions were called ‘bag phones’ with ‘cigarette lighter plug’ so they can be carried anywhere and used as two way radios.

Now with the progression in the mobile technology, today it is possible to reach anyone anywhere in the world not only through voice communication but also texting; SMS. Besides text messages, picture messages can be sent and received too; MMS. The technologies used now for mobiles are known as 0G i.e. zero generation, proceeding to 4G.

With the ongoing innovative developments in mobiles, significantly interesting developments have been made, because it was unthinkable before that task like these can be accomplished through a tiny handset. Its functions and options have made it more than a mobile set and more of an operational gadget pack and an organizer.

Like SMS and MMS, another common but interesting features now in mobiles is connectivity to internet and sending emails. Radio, MP3, songs and ringtones, taking pictures, making videos with the help of built in cameras featuring up to 5mega pixels is a common feature for almost all the handsets that are available at the market.

Video call, connectivity through Bluetooth and Infrared, Push-To-Talk; PTT, extended memories, call logs, phone books, and on the top, ability to connect and share data with a computer.

Some interesting facts include the possibility to unlock your car if you have forgotten the keys inside the car. You can actually take help from someone at home, conditional of having an additional security remote at home. You can stand at a distance of a foot from your car while the person at home presses the unlock button. In this amazing way your car will be unlocked and you can get your keys back.

If at some point of time your mobile service provider is not giving network coverage and you need to call an emergency service, then no need to panic. Just dial 112 and you will be connected to the emergency service through any available network.

For Nokia, dialing the code *3370# can upgrade your battery up to 50% using a built-in reserve battery. This is practicable in situations when your mobile has eaten up the battery and you have no means to charge it for an urgent call.

Innovation is a nonstop process and we can’t say to what extent it will change the workability of mobiles and what further tasks will we be able to accomplish with mobiles.


Interesting Facts about Green Cars

Here are some really interesting facts about the green cars.

25 percent: The percentage increase in MPG you can create by keeping up on your cars’ maintenance by doing things like: regular oil changes, air-filter changes, and spark plug replacements.

4 tons: The amount of carbon released into the atmosphere when producing a single car, in addition to 700 pounds of other pollutants.

2 million gallons: The amount of biodiesel produced in the US in the year 2000; in 2005 it produced around 75 million gallons. In September of 2006, sixty-five companies reported having plants currently under construction and thirteen more are planning expansions.

22.1 MPG: The peak fuel economy of the average passenger car, which was reached in 1987. The EPA estimates that 2006 average fuel economy, despite two decades of improvements in automobile technology, is 21 mpg.

11 percent: The percentage increase each year in the amount of traffic congestion in small urban and rural areas, a growth rate twice as fast as in urban areas.

159,000: The number of trips to the emergency room attributed to high smog pollution, in addition to 53,000 hospital admissions and 6 million asthma attacks.

13 MPG: The peak fuel economy of the average passenger car, which was reached in 1987. The EPA estimates that 2006 average fuel economy, despite two decades of improvements in automobile technology, is 21 mpg.

62 hours: The amount of time the average rush-hour commuters spent in traffic in the year 2000.

$4,826 to $9,685: The estimated average yearly cost of driving a single-occupant car. In comparison, the average cost of a year’s worth of public transportation is between $200 and $2000.


Interesting Facts about Cristmas Trees

Here are some interesting facts about the Christmas trees.

Every year about 25 to 30 million Christmas trees are being sold across the United States.

The best selling trees are Scotch pine, Douglas fir, Noble fir, Fraser fir, Virginia pine, Balsam fir and white pine.

About 100,000 people are employed in the Christmas tree industry.

More than 2,000 trees are usually planted per acre and almost all trees require shearing to have Christmas tree shape.

It takes several minutes to shear each tree.

Shearing gives the bush the beautiful shape of Christmas tree.

Trees are ready for harvest at a height of 6 to 7 feet.

Growing Christmas trees provides a habitat for wildlife.

Christmas trees remove dust and pollen from the air.

The top branch of the Christmas tree, where the angel goes, is called the leader. The length of the leader determines the actual shape of the tree and quite often it is responsible for the sale of tree.

After surviving heavy rains, hail storms and drought, a Christmas tree takes 6 to 10 years to mature.

98 percent of all Christmas trees are grown on farms.


Interesting Facts about New York City

Below are some really interesting facts about this amazing city i.e. New York City.

Dutch explorer Peter Minuit purchased the island of Manhattan (really its southern tip) from the Algonquin tribe for trinkets and tools worth about $24.

The first known name for Manhattan was New Amsterdam, which referred to the southern tip of Manhattan, a Dutch trading port.

New York City was the U.S. capital from 1789 to 1790

New Yorkers travel an average of 40 minutes to work each day.

More than 47 percent of New York City's residents over the age of 5 speak a language other than English at home.

New York's Central Park is larger than the principality of Monaco.

The New York City Council consists of 51 members and is the legislative branch of city.

According to Crain's New York Business, the average sale price of an apartment in Manhattan during the 4th quarter of 2007 was a whopping $1.49 million.

New York's Yellow Cabs are yellow because John Hertz, the company's founder, learned from a study that yellow was the easiest color for the eye to spot. He was right.

The Federal Reserve Bank on New York's Wall Street contains vaults that are located 80 feet beneath the bank and hold about 25 percent of the world's gold bullion.

In 2007, 46 million international and domestic visitors came to New York City. They spent approximately $28 billion while there.

The average daily room rate in New York hotels in 2006 was $267.

More than 250 feature films are shot on location in New York City each year.

An average of 4.9 million people ride the New York City subway each weekday.

The New York City subway system runs 26 routes with 6,200 subway cars that stop at 468 different subway stations.

More than 12,700 licensed medallion taxis work the streets of New York City.

More than 18,600 restaurants and eating establishments do business in New York City, and the average cost of a dinner in 2006, according to the Zagat Survey, was $39.43. That includes a drink, tax and the tip.

As of the 2000 Census, 8,008,278 people live in New York City.

Approximately 790,000 companies operate in New York City.

Although many legends exist about the origin of New York City's nickname, the Big Apple, most historians agree that it can be traced back to a writer who covered horse racing in the 1920s. In The Morning Telegraph, he wrote that stable hands often referred to New York as the Big Apple, meaning that any thoroughbred that raced in New York had reached the pinnacle of racing.


Interesting Facts about Emperor Penguins

Here are some interesting facts about one of the most amazing living beings i.e. the emperor penguins.

The emperor penguin is the tallest and heaviest of all known penguins. They reach up to 122 cm in height and weigh anywhere from 22 to 45kg. Heavier than that, they are put on a strict diet.

Though it’s considered a bird and has wings - highest feather density of any bird species, it cannot fly. Sneaking up behind one allows it to wish it could fly, however …

The emperor penguin is a great traveler. Every year, adults take exhausting journeys to mate and feed their offspring. Kind of like parents of all species, no?

Must be a great lover, too. They manage to breed in the coldest environment possible with air temperatures reaching -40 °C.

The female emperor lays one single egg and then leaves for the sea to feed.

During the incubation period, the male emperors prove to be great babysitters. Their job is to keep the egg warm.

The Emperor Penguin chick is typically covered with silver-grey down and has a black head and white mask. They don’t get their tuxedos till a bit later on.

To escape wind and conserve warmth, the Emperor Penguins huddle together. Once it has warmed, others will take its place moving to the inside of the group. They learn to share like this in penguin kindergarten.

An Emperor Penguin can hold its breath anywhere up to 20 minutes, and dive over 550 meters (1,800 ft).

Emperor Penguins rely only on vocal calls for individual recognition between parents, offspring, and mates.

Used to the cold, at over 20 °C the emperor penguin becomes agitated and lifts its wings to expose more parts of the body. Well, when I get warm, I want to show my body parts, too…but I refrain.

When they’re not tobogganing - sliding over the ice on its belly, the Emperor Penguin walks with a wobbling gait or proves its swimming talents (its average swimming speed is 6–9 km/h). That’s faster than I can run.

Emperor penguins feed on fish, squid, krill and crustaceans, except when they violate number one above.

They can only be found in the Southern Hemisphere.

The emperor penguin’s enemies are the killer whales, leopard seals, and walrus.

Source: greenpacks

Interesting Facts About Marsupials especially Kangaroos

Here are some interesting facts about kangaroos and other marisupals. Read and get amused by the facts about these interesting creatures.

The name marsupial comes from the marsupium, or pouch, in which these animals carry and nurse their young.

Marsupials have very short gestation periods (the time the young spend in the mother's tummy). The Virginia opossum (the only marsupial in Michigan) has a gestation period of only 13 days, and the young are only the size of a question mark when they are born. The Red Kangaroo, native to Australia, has a 30 day gestation period and the single baby weighs only 1 gram (.035 ounces) when it is born. The baby kangaroo, called a joey, spends about 235 days in the mother's pouch.

Australia has about 120 species of marsupials, New Guinea has 53 species of marsupials, South and Central America have 90 species of marsupials, and North America has only two species of marsupials.

Marsupials range in size from tiny shrew-like creatures (5 grams) to large kangaroos (over 200 pounds). There are marsupials that have occupied every available niche from tiny insect eaters to large plant eaters. There are even marsupial moles!

Marsupials first evolved in South America about 100 million years ago. At that time, South America, Australia and Antarctica were connected together in one big continent. Australia and Antarctica gradually moved away from South America and both continents became isolated. Marsupial mammals were free to evolve in isolation, and evolution produced the characteristics found in present day Australian mammals.

Most marsupials are night creatures so their most important senses are their sense of smell and their hearing. Most marsupials have extra scent glands which tell their neighbors whether they are boys or girls, if they are a stranger to the group, or if they are frightened or angry.

The largest marsupial in the world is the Red Kangaroo, like the one you see in the Card Center. Red Kangaroos can weigh 200 pounds, hop up to 30-40 miles per hour, and leap over obstacles up to 10 feet high. Kangaroos move more efficiently at high speeds than at low speeds because the tendons in their hind legs store energy and their tail acts like a pendulum. They can hop long distances because their body motion pumps air in and out of their lungs like a bellows.

There are over 40 species of kangaroos. The smaller kangaroos are called wallabies.

Kangaroos are grass eaters that live in grasslands that can be very dry with little rainfall. They may be able to go several months without water because they are capable of getting water from the food they eat.

A male kangaroo is called a boomer, a female kangaroo a flyer, and a baby kangaroo a joey. The name kangaroo came from the Aborigines through a mistake. An early European explorer asked an Aborigine what these strange hopping animals were, and the Aborigine replied kangaroo, meaning "I don't understand." The explorer thought he was naming the animal.

Kangaroos usually eat during late afternoon or in the evening when it is cooler.

Kangaroos fight with each other by boxing with their front paws, but defend themselves with powerful kicks from their hind legs. When danger approaches, they warn other kangaroos by stomping the ground with their hind feet or thumping it with their tail.

Source: ferris

Interesting Facts about Croatia

Here are some interesting facts about Croatia. These facts contain some really interesting and useful information about the country.

The Dalmatian dog from the film "101 Dalmatians" was named after Dalmatia, in which most of the Croatian Adriatic is located.

The first public theatre in Europe was opened in 1612 on the island of Hvar, in the town which "Conde Nast Traveler Magazine" entered at the fifth place on its Top Ten list of best island towns in the world.

By the end of the third century AD, the Roman emperor Diocletian decided for construction of his palace the place where the city of Split is located today. The Palace of Diocletian is one of the best known integral architectural and cultural constructions in the world, which, due to its preservation and beauty, UNESCO entered in its registry of World Cultural Heritage in 1979.

In the small town of Trogir, 30 km away from Split, founded in 3rd century BC, there is one of the best preserved Romanesque-Gothic complexes in the world. Trogir is an excellent example of a medieval town built on and conforming with the layout of a Hellenistic and Roman city and it is therefore also on the World Cultural Heritage list of UNESCO.

Before Newton's discovery, the town of Dubrovnik, which has been on the World Cultural Heritage list of UNESCO since 1979, owned a telescope which was constructed by Marin Getaldic (1568-1626), the greatest Croatian scientist of that time.

The necktie has its origin in Croatia (in Croatian: Kravata, English: Cravat, French: Cravate, German: Krawatte, Italian: Cravatta, Spanish: Corvatta) and that the word "cravat" came from the word "Croat" (Hrvat in Croatian); so called because worn by Croats in the French army during the Thirty Years' War. In their own way, with the cravat, the Croats have started conquering the world from the coasts of the Adriatic Sea from 17th century. The consequences of that conquering are today felt around the necks by 600 million businessmen worldwide.

Marco Polo (1254-1324), an adventurer, merchant and one of the best known world travelers, whose book "The Travels of Marco Polo" is the first tourist book in the world, comes from Korcula on Korcula island in Croatia.

In 1458 Benko Kotruljevic from Dubrovnik wrote one of the first books on world economic literature, "On Trading and the Perfect Merchant", and that he was the first to establish the basis of modern double-entry book-keeping.

Shakespeare's Twelfth Night was staged in Dalmatia.

The writer Vladimir Nabokov always spent his summers in Opatija as a boy.

Agatha Christie spent her second honeymoon in Dubrovnik and Split.

James Joyce was a teacher of English in Pula from 1904 and 1905, in the town that has existed for three millennia with one of the best preserved Roman amphitheatres worldwide.

The Duke of Windsor and Wallis Simpson spent their vacations in Dalmatia.

Luka's pit ("Lukina jama"), the tenth by depth in the world (1392 m), is located in Croatia on Velebit Mountain.

The founder of San Marino, a small independent republic in the northeast of Italy, was the sculptor Marin from the village Lopar from the island of Rab.

The ball-point pen was invented by a Croat, Eduard (Slavoljub) Penkala (1871-1922), that it bears his name and is in daily use.

The names of two Croats are on the map of the Moon - names of scientists J. R. Boskovic and A. Mohorovicic.

Two winners of the Nobel Prize in chemistry came from Croatia - Lavoslav Ruzicka (1939) and Vladimir Prelog (1975).

Nikola Tesla (1856-1943), the father of alternative current electricity and technology of wireless communications, after which the unit for magnetic induction is named, was born in Croatia, and that he refused to receive the Nobel prize he had to share with T. A. Edison.

Anthony Maglica, the owner of the well-known company Mag-Lite, comes from Zlarin island from Dalmatia. Mag-Lite flashlights are among the ten most famous American export products, used by astronauts and deep sea explorers, amongst others.

Source: henleyglobal

Interesting Facts about George Washington

Here are some interesting facts and information about the America's first president

George Washington was the oldest son of his father’s second marriage. He grew up with nine brothers and sisters.

When George was three years old his family moved to a large tobacco plantation, which they called Mount Vernon. Despite his lengthy travels and many temporary homes, George considered Mount Vernon to be his true home until the day he died.

Though he believed strongly in virtues of education, his own schooling ended at the age of 14. This is a fact that haunted Washington throughout his life, even though this was not uncommon in his day and age.

George joined the British Royal Navy at age 14.

Once during battle, a cannonball almost hit him and his men. Everyone hid, except George, who kept on fighting.

By the time he was president of the United States, George only had one original tooth left. He spent the rest of his life in constant pain from ill-fitting dentures that distorted the shape of his mouth.

George’s first set of dentures were made from cow’s teeth. Later, he had a second pair made of hippopotamus ivory.

His favorite foods were pineapples and Brazil Nuts. It was said by John Adams that George lost all his teeth by cracking Brazil nuts between his jaws.

George never had any children of his own, though his wife Martha had two from a previous marriage.

George always preferred the quiet solitude of farming to politics, and often felt miserable living such a public life. Upon his election as president, he blurted out to a close friend that he must, “bid adieu to happiness,” as “public life will be a more distressing one than any I have known yet.”

He is the only president in history to have been unanimously elected, receiving all 69 votes of the electoral college. At the time, there was no popular vote for the presidency.

He was the only president who did not live in Washington, D.C.

Contrary to popular belief, George Washington never wore a wig.

Washington gave his name to 1 U.S. state, 1 capital city, 33 counties, 7 mountains, 9 colleges, and 121 post offices.

George Washington is the only one of America’s founding fathers to free his slaves. He freed all 124 of his slaves in his will, and left enough money in his estate to care for all of them for decades after his death.

According to Newsweek, 14 percent of all pre-school children think George Washington is still sitting in the oval office.

Source: trcabc

Interesting Facts about ants

Here are some interesting and astonishing facts about ants. Read them and see what this little creature has got...

If a man could run as fast for his size as an ant can, he could run as fast as a racehorse.

Ants can lift 20 times their own body weight.

With their combined weight greater than the combined weight of all humans, ants are the most numerous type of animal.

The abdomen of the ant contains two stomachs. One stomach holds the food for itself and second stomach is for food to be shared with other ants.

An ant brain has about 250 000 brain cells. A human brain has 10,000 million so a colony of 40,000 ants has collectively the same size brain as a human. Ant brains are largest amongst insects. An ant's brain may have the same processing power as a Macintosh II computer. Thousands of years ago, King Solomon wrote: "Go to the ant, consider its ways and be wise".

The average life expectancy of an ant is 45-60 days.

Adult ants cannot chew and swallow solid food. They rely on juice which they squeeze from pieces of food.

There are over 10000 known species of ants.

Some worker ants are given the job of taking the rubbish from the nest and putting it outside in a special rubbish dump.

Some birds put ants in their feathers because the ants squirt formic acid which gets rid of the parasites. The Slave-Maker Ant (Polyergus Rufescens) raids the nests of other ants and steals their pupae. When these new ants hatch,they work as slaves within the colony.

If a worker ant has found a good source for food, it leaves a trail of scent so that the other ants in the colony can find the food.

Army Ants are nomadic and they are always moving. They carry their larvae and their eggs with them in a long column.

The Army Ant (Ecitron Burchelli) of South America, can have as many as 700,000 members in its colony. The Leaf Cutter Ants cut out pieces of leaves which they take back to their nests.

Wood ant workers live seven to ten years.

The queen ant lives up to ten or twenty years.

The wood ant can threaten the enemy with open jaws.

There are thirty-five thousand kinds of ants in the world.

Some ants sleep seven hours a day.

Ants are normally from 2 to 7 mm long, although carpenter ants can stretch to 2 cm, or almost an inch.

Some ants care for and "farm" other insects.

Source: thaibugs

Interesting Facts about Reptiles

Here are some interesting facts about reptiles. Although there can be thousands of interesting facts on the topic but here are few.

There are more than 8,000 species of reptiles on the planet, and the live on every continent except Antarctica (where it is too cold).

"Cold-blooded" is not the best way to describe reptiles. Their blood is not necessarily cold by itself. But they are ectothermic, which means they get their body heat from external sources. Reptiles cannot regulate their body temperature internally as humans do.

Reptiles are among the longest-lived species on the planet. For example, large tortoises such as the Aldabra tortoise can live for more than 150 years. Alligators can live nearly 70 years. Ball pythons, a popular type of pet snake, can live up to 40 years (consider that before getting one as a pet).

Most of the world's snakes (nearly two-thirds) are non-venomous. Only about 500 snake species are venomous, and of those only 30 - 40 are considered harmful to humans. In other words, less than 2 percent of all snakes are considered harmful to humans.

With regard to reptile fact #4 above, the opposite is true in Australia. There are actually more venomous snakes in Australia than non-venomous snakes. The inland taipan is one of the most popular of these venomous Australian snakes. Australia is the only continent where venomous snakes outnumber non-venomous snakes.

It is a fact that more Americans die each year from bee stings than from snake bites.

Certain types of snakes can go months without eating. This is especially true of the big constrictors, such as the Anaconda and the reticulated python. Snakes eat large meals (relative to their body size), and they have much slower metabolisms than we humans have. This partly explains how they can go so long between meals.

Most kinds of reptiles do not tolerate the cold very well. But the Blanding's turtle (Emydoidea blandingii) is sometimes found swimming under the ice in the Great Lakes region of the United States.

Snakes and lizards flick their tongues in the air to capture scent particles. They don't smell through their noses like you and I. Instead, the use their tongues to collect scent particles and then pass the particles over something called a Jacobson's organ to decipher the air around them. This is partly how reptiles hunt for food.

True to its name, the African egg-eating snake (of the genus Dasypeltis) prefers to dine on the eggs of other animals. It will swallow the egg whole, and then use tiny "spikes" extending internally from its spine to crack the egg open and swallow the nutritious contents. Lastly, it will regurgitate the unneeded egg shell in a neatly folded piece.

Contrary to popular belief, chameleons do not change their color to blend in with different backgrounds. Chameleons are naturally camouflaged with their surroundings (most are predominantly green to match their treetop environment). The fact is that chameleons change their color in limited ways, usually by brightening or darkening their skin. But these color changes are related to temperature regulation and emotional changes. A frightened or angry chameleon, for example, will become extremely bright in color.

The skulls of snakes are made up of many small bones that are interconnected in a flexible fashion. This is entirely different from a human skull, which is one solid piece. This allows snakes to expand their jaws and heads in order to eat prey items larger than their heads. A common garter snake, for example, could swallow a frog more than twice the size of its head. Large constrictors such as the anaconda can expand their jaws to an almost alarming degree!

Many people think that reptiles are slimy. But the fact is that reptiles do not have sweat glands like you and I have, so their skin is usually cool and dry. I have several pet snakes for example, and people who touch them for the first time always say the same thing: "Oh wow, they're not slimy at all."

The scales of all snakes (and many lizard species) are made of keratin, which is the same substance that makes up the hair and fingernails of humans.

Snakes shed their skin in relation to their growth rate. A young snake will shed more often because they typically grow fastest during the first two years of their lives. An older snake will shed less often as its rate of growth slows down.

The world's longest snake species is the reticulated python, which can exceed 30 feet (10 meters) in length. While reticulated pythons typically grow longer, the anaconda could be considered the largest snake by overall size and weight. The anaconda is a heavy-bodied snake and can weigh well over 300 pounds. Learn more about types of big snakes.

While the reticulated python and anaconda are the largest snakes in general, the king cobra is by far largest of the venomous snakes. It can grow to lengths of more than 18 feet (6 meters) can weigh in excess of 20 pounds.

Some species of gecko use their tails as a defensive tool. When attacked, the gecko will wiggle its tail to lure the attacking creature. When the animal bites onto the tail, the gecko can detach the tail and make its escape. In most cases, a new tail will grow in place of the old one.

Most snake species lay eggs. But about one-fifth of all snakes bear live young instead. Rattlesnakes and boa constrictors are examples of snakes that bear live young.

Many states such as Georgia and Texas still engage in "rattlesnake roundups," in which rattlesnakes are gathered from the wild and slaughtered by the hundreds. These activities are mostly practiced by ignorant rednecks who think that rattlesnakes are somehow evil or malicious. Eventually (one can hope), such practices will be outlawed ... ideally before yet another species of animal goes extinct on this planet.

Reptiles are the oldest type of animal on the planet. Turtles, for example, have been on the planet for more than 200 million years, in basically the same form as we see them today. For this reason and many more, reptiles deserve respect from us humans. They do not deserve fear or persecution!


Interesting Facts about Birds

The oldest bird was known as an Archaeopteryx and lived about 150 million years ago. It was the size of a raven, was covered with feathers, and had wings.

The most yolks ever found in a single chicken's egg is nine.

An ostrich egg needs to be boiled for 2 hours to get a hard-boiled egg.

The Royal Albatross' eggs take 79 days to hatch.

The egg of the hummingbird is the world's smallest bird's egg; the egg of the ostrich, the world's largest.

The now-extinct elephant bird of Madagascar laid an egg that weighed 27 pounds.

Precocial birds like chickens, ostriches, ducks, and seagulls hatch ready to move around. They come from eggs with bigger yolks than altricial birds like owls, woodpeckers, and most small songbirds that need a lot of care from parents in order to survive.

Air sacs may make up 1/5 of the body volume of a bird.

A bird's normal body temperature is usually 7-8 degrees hotter than a human's. Up to three-quarters of the air a bird breathes is used just for cooling down since they are unable to sweat.

A bird's heart beats 400 times per minute while resting and up to 1000 beats per minute while flying.

The world's only wingless bird is the kiwi of New Zealand.

Migrating ducks and geese often fly in V-shape formations. Each bird flies in the upwash of its neighbor's beating wings and this extra bit of supporting wind increases lift, thereby saving energy.

Pigeons can reach speeds up to 100 mph.

Swifts, doves, falcons, and sandpipers can approach 200 mph.

Penguins, ostriches, and dodo birds are all birds that do not fly.

Hummingbirds eat about every ten minutes, slurping down twice their body weight in nectar every day.

The homing pigeon, Cher Ami, lost an eye and a leg while carrying a message in World War I. Cher Ami won the Distinguished Service Cross. Its leg was replaced with a wooden leg.

The only known poisonous bird in the world is the hooded pitohui of Papua, New Guinea. The poison is found in its skin and feathers.

The American turkey vulture helps human engineers detect cracked or broken underground fuel pipes. The leaking fuel smells like vulture food (they eat carrion), and the clustered birds show repair people where the lines need fixing.


Interesting Facts about George Washington’s Mount Vernon

Mount Vernon is located in Virginia; it overlooks the Potomac River as well as the low hills of Maryland. It is considered to be America’s “first home.”

George Washington’s great grandfather John Washington was granted five thousand acres from King Charles II with the stipulation that he pay an annual rent and “seat and plant” the land within the span of three years. This tract of land was divided with John Spencer.

Before the estate became known as Mount Vernon it was called Hunting Creek Plantation. Much of the early history of the plantation has been gathered from legal documents such as deeds and wills.

Under George Washington’s ownership, the estate was expanded from 2,126 acres to above eight thousand.

Like other eighteenth century plantations, the estate boasted an array of beautiful gardens, a greenhouse and a kitchen garden.

The mansion is considered an excellent example of colonial architecture. The home’s high-columned piazza is considered the standout feature of the mansion. It extends the entire length of the house.

The cupola, another notable feature of the mansion, was added in 1778. Washington added his “dove of peace” weathervane in 1787.

The Banquet Hall contains an engraving of Louis XVI, Sheraton side chairs, and a moonlight river scene above an exquisite mantel. This room was where Washington received the news that he had been elected to the Presidency.

The Central Hall contains a key to Paris’ infamous Bastille-a present from General Lafayette in 1790.

The mansion’s Little Parlor boasts an elegant harpsichord and was the room where the family enjoyed music together.

The West Parlor contains the family’s Coat-of-Arms. This room dates from Washington’s first enlargement of the mansion. It also contains two portraits of Washington and his wife Martha.

The family dining room today contains a mahogany dining table that is believed to have belonged to Martha’s daughter Nelly Custis Lewis.

The second floor of the mansion contains five bed chambers. Historians believe the mansion was continually peopled by family and guests putting a strain on the accommodations. Mrs. Washington arranged low beds in the bedrooms to accommodate extra guests.

After her husband died, Martha Washington closed the master bedroom and resided in a garret bedroom across from her grandson’s bedroom.

The library contains a Mount Vernon original-a terrestrial globe. The room also contains busts of George Washington and John Paul Jones. At the time of Washington’s death, the library contained 884 bound books. Washington considered this room his private sanctuary. After the Revolutionary War the library could not be visited without an invitation from Washington.

Historians have found that although the plantation produced a profit, it did not leave Washington a wealthy man. He did not have an extensive income as much of the plantation’s yield supported the estate. His service to his country prevented him from acquiring the wealth he might otherwise have.

The Washingtons of Mount Vernon were revered for their simple hospitality. Washington said, “A glass of wine and a bit of mutton are always ready, and such as will be content to partake of them are always welcome.”

During his presidency Washington was only able to visit Mount Vernon fifteen times. Washington died in 1799. The terms of his will stipulated that the estate was not to be divided until after the death of his wife Martha. She died in 1802.

The home also contains stables, tomb, colonnade, various outbuildings such as the kitchen (off the courtyard) and store rooms.

Washington left the mansion house to his nephew Bushrod Washington. The rest of the estate was divided amongst other relatives.

Interestingly, the estate has been preserved by the nation’s first women’s patriotic organization founded by Miss Pamela Cunningham of South Carolina in 1858 and called the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association.


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Interesting Facts About South Africa

South Africa has the oldest meteor scar in the world, just across the Vaal River near Parys, called the Vredefort Dome. The meteor plummeted to Earth nearly two billion years ago (Earth is said to be 4,5 billion years old), predating the heady days of oxygen and multi-celled life.

The rocks around Barberton in Mpumalanga are some of the most ancient in the world - over three billion years old. Because they are also the most accessible such formations, NASA scientists come here to gain an idea of how life might form on distant planets.

The Tugela Falls is the second highest waterfall in the world, where the water tumbles down 850 metres. First place goes to the Angel Falls in Venezuela at 979 metres.

There are 18 000 indigenous vascular plant species in South Africa of which 80% are uniquely South African.

Blyde River Canyon is the third largest canyon in the world - and the largest green one. The Grand Canyon in the US is the biggest, and the Fish River Canyon in Namibia the second, but both are dry as bones.

South African grasslands have 30 species per square kilometre, greater than the biodiversity of rainforests.

Can mountains be folded? Yes they can, and you can see such wonders in the Western Cape at the Cederberg and the Swartberg mountains.

South Africa and its neighbours are some of the most generously endowed geographic solar hotspots in the world, soaking up just over half of the world’s highest category of solar wattage per square metre of land.

Therapsids are the true ancestors of mammals, and lived over 200 million years ago, long before the upstart dinosaurs of the Jurassic Age (which ended abruptly 65 million years ago). Most of the world’s proto-mammalian fossils are found in the Karoo - along with a 280 million year old fossilized shark.

According to recent studies, the star-watching town of Sutherland in the Northern Cape is one of the most geologically stable places on Earth, yet it has a 66-million year old volcano, not yet officially extinct.

Kimberley may have the biggest man-made hole in the world, but did you know that the southern Free State town of Jagersfontein has the deepest vertical man-made hole (and that a pair of Verreaux’s Eagles breed in it?

South Africa is home to the world’s smallest succulent plants (less than 10 mm) and the largest (the baobab).

Lake Fundudzi in Venda is possibly the world’s only inland freshwater lake formed by a landslide.

The only street in the world to house two Nobel Peace prize winners is in Soweto. Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu both have houses in Vilakazi Street in Soweto.

Walt Disney serves South African wine exclusively at its 73-acre Animal Kingdom Lodge in the United States.

South Africa has the longest wine route in the world, the R62 wine route.

South Africa is the world’s largest producer of macadamia nuts and the nuts and oils are exported to countries across the world.

South Africa is the only country in the world where you can order something called monkey gland steak at a restaurant without the risk of a real internal organ being placed before you. It was invented many decades ago by overseas chefs as a pointed insult, aimed at the brash inhabitants of Johannesburg who poured Worcestershire and tomato sauce over everything.

No other country eats as much kingklip as South Africans do (also known as Congrio, Ling and Rockling in other parts of the southern hemisphere).

The world’s first heart transplant was done in South Africa in 1967 by South African Dr Chris Barnard.

South Africa’s Dr Percy Amolis invented the Retinal Cryoprobe used successfully on former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher to repair a detached retina. He also removed a cataract from Nelson Mandela’s eye that enabled the former president to, for the first time, read a speech without glasses.

Where else is an entirely new species being recreated from scratch? The quagga vanished in a frenzy of hunting in the 1800s, but after finding that the DNA is almost identical to the common Burchell’s zebra, the species is being brought back from beyond the brink by careful breeding of stripe-challenged zebras.

There are only 12 countries in the world that supply tap water that is fit to drink, and South Africa is one of them. Our tap water quality is third best overall in the world.

South Africa also has the world’s most progressive and admired water legislation, and it is making a real difference on the ground. Since 1998 when the so-called “Blue Revolution” began, four million more poor people have access to clean water.

South Africa, Zimbabwe and Mozambique are tearing down fences between the countries’ game parks to create a 35 000km2 game park which will become the largest conservation area in the world. It will be bigger than Switzerland, Belgium or Taiwan.

South Africa is ranked number one in the world for its floral kingdom.

South Africa’s Coastal Management policy is one of the best in the world with the country being the first outside Europe to gain Blue Flag status for its coastal management.

South Africa has the third highest level of biodiversity in the world.

South Africa is the sole producer of the Mercedes Benz, C Class, right hand drive vehicles.

General Motors South Africa will be the only manufacturing site outside of the United States to build the Hummer H3 vehicle.

South Africans are natural inventors, giving the world those breakwater dolosse and the automatic pool cleaner.

South Africa also came up with the first, largest and most viable oil-from-coal refinery (which supplies 40% of our petrol). And did you know that a South African physicist co-developed the CAT-scan, that South Africa makes the seats for Concorde, and also designs and creates flight control technology for Britain’s fighter jets.


Interesting Facts about the Human Brain

Here are some interesting and informative facts about your brain...

Your brain is the most energy-consuming part of your body. The brain represents only 2% of the body weight, but it uses up to 20 percent of the body’s energy production. The energy is used for cell-health maintenance and to fuel electrical impulses that neurons employ to communicate with one another.

Your brain contains about 100 billion neurons which is about 16 times the number of people on Earth. Each of them links to as many as 10,000 other neurons. This huge number of connections opens the way to massive parallel processing within the brain.

The neocortex (a section of the brain involved with language and consciousness) accounts for about 76% of the mass of the human brain. Human neocortex is much larger than any animals. It gives humans unique mental capacities although its brain architecture is similar to that of more primitive species.

Humans do not use only 10% or less of their brain. This is a common misconception. Even though many mysteries of brain function persist, every part of the brain has a known function.

Neurons multiply at a rate 250,000 neurons per minute during early pregnancy.

750ml of blood pumps through your brain every minute which is 15-20% of blood flow from the heart.

The human brain is about 75% water.

Your brain consumes 25 watts of power while you’re awake. This amount of energy is enough to illuminate a lightbulb.

It is estimated that the human brain has a raw computational power between 1013 and 1016 operations per second. It is far more that 1 million times the number of people on Earth.

Our brain often fools us. It often perceives things differently from the reality. For instance, check the following picture.


Interesting Facts about the Deaf

Here are some interesting facts about the deaf...

There are approximately 22 million hearing-impaired persons in the U.S.

Deaf people have safer driving records than hearing people nationally.

The huddle formation used by football teams originated at Gallaudet University, a liberal arts college for deaf people in Washington, DC, to prevent other schools from reading their sign language.

The man who invented shorthand, John Gregg, was deaf.

Carl Anderson, a deaf cartoonist, is the creator of "Henry."

A deaf center-fielder for the Cincinnati Reds, William Hoy, invented the hand signals for strikes and balls in baseball.

Phyllis Frelich won the Tony Award for Best Actress of 1980 in the Broadway play "Children of a Lessor God". Ms. Frelich is profoundly deaf.

Two of the Osmond brothers and Nanette Fabray all have hearing impairments.

When Beethoven composed his ninth symphony, he was profoundly deaf.

Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of the telephone, was originally an instructor for deaf children and invented the telephone to help his deaf wife and mother to hear.

Scuba divers often use sign language under water. Deaf people can sign/talk at great distances without the use of amplification through the use of sign language.

Deaf people have created a language known as American Sign Language which has been linguistically defined as a separate language such as English, French, and German.

Statistics prove that deaf people live longer than hearing people.

Some positions held by present-day deaf persons are: lawyers, dentists, doctors, chemists, inventors, artists, sculptors, writers, architects, poets, newspaper editors, clergy, actors, and teachers, to name just a few!

Deaf people develop keener senses of observation, feeling, taste and smell to compensate for their loss of hearing.

Deaf people appreciate advice or warnings regarding any noises that bother hearing people.

Deaf people vote, pay taxes, drive cars, attend business, social, and religious events.


Interesting Facts About Turkey

Here are some interesting facts about Turkey...

The famous Trojan Wars took place in Western Turkey, around the site where the Trojan horse rests today.

The first church built by man (St. Peter’s Church) is in Antioch (Antakya), Turkey.

The oldest known human settlement is in Catalhoyuk, Turkey (7th Millenium B.C.)

Ephesus and Halicarnasus (the place for the two of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world) are in Turkey.

St. Nicholas, also known as Santa Claus, was born in Patara and became the bishop of Demre, on Turkey’s Mediterranean Coast.

Noah’s Ark landed on Mount Ararat (Agri Dagi) in Eastern Turkey.

The last meal on Noah’s Ark, a pudding of sweet and sour taste (asure), is still served throughout Turkey.

Turks introduced coffee to Europe.

Turks gave the Dutch their famous tulips.

Istanbul is the only city in the world built on two continents.

Tradition in Turkey says that a stranger at one’s doorstep is considered "God’s guest" for at least three days.

Turkey is noted for having one of the three most famous and distinctive traditional cuisines in the world.

The First Ecumenical Council was held in Iznik, Turkey.

Writing was first used by people in ancient Anatolia. The first clay tablets in the ruins of Assyrian Karum (Merchant Colony) date back to 1950 B.C.

The oldest tin mine was found in Göltepe, 60 miles south of Tarsus.

The first Neolithic paintings found on man-made walls are in Catalhöyük, Turkey.

Anatolia is the birthplace of historic legends, such as Homer (the poet), King Midas, Herodotus (the father of history), and St. Paul the Apostle.

Julius Caesar proclaimed his celebrated words, "Veni, Vidi, Vici (I came, I saw, I conquered)" in Turkey when he defeated the Pontus, a formidable kingdom in the Black Sea region of Turkey.

Female goddesses like Cybele dominated the Central Anatolian pantheon for thousands of years before these supernatural powers were transformed to male gods.

The Hittites sold Abraham the cave where he buried his wife Sarah, when the Israelites came to Palestine.

The first church dedicated to Virgin Mary is in Ephesus.

Cherry was first introduced to Europe from Giresun (Northern Turkey)

Turkey has hundreds beaches and marinas which have the "Blue Flag" (A European award for the best clean water) on the Mediterranean and Aegean.

The first recorded international treaty in the world was the Treaty of Kadesh between the Hittite and Egyptian Empires, Hattusilis III and Ramses II, in c.1275 BC.

The oldest known shipwreck on Earth was found and excavated in Uluburun near Kas, in the Mediterranean region of Turkey.

In 640 BC, for the first time in history, coins made of electrum were used by the Lydian king Croesus in Sardis, in Aegean region of Turkey.

King Midas lived in Gordion, capital of Phrigia.

Alexander the Great cut the Gordian knot near Ankara. The double knotting technique used in Turkish rugs is also called as Gordian Knot.

The Garden of Eden in the Book of Genesis was said to be watered by a river which separated into four streams as it left the garden; two of them the Tigris (Dicle) and Euphrates (Firat) rise from the mountains of Eastern Turkey.

Early Christians escaping from Roman persecutions found shelter in Cappadocia.

The Seven Churches of Apocalypse are all situated in the Aegean region of Anatolia; Ephesus, Smyrna (Izmir), Pergamum, Thyatira (Nazilli), Sardis, Philadelphia (Alasehir) and Laodicea.

Sultan Beyazit II dispatched the Ottoman Navy to bring the Jewish people who were expelled from Spain in 1492 and they were brought safely to the Ottoman lands.

Istanbul has the historical building of Sirkeci Train Station. This was the last stop of the Simplon-Orient Express - "kings of trains and train of kings" - between Paris and Constantinople (Istanbul) from 1883 to 1977. Agatha Christie was one of the passengers of this famous train.

The number of species of flowers in Turkey is approximately 9,000, of which 3,000 are endemic. In Europe for instance there are 11,500 species. This shows the richness of flora and fauna in Anatolia.


Monday, May 25, 2009

My First Post

This is my first post. On this blog I will be posting some really interesting facts for your amusement and knowledge.