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.

Source: associatedcontent.com

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: mdkidspage.org , 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.

Source: chevroncars.com , Interesting Facts

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.

Source: thebutterflysite.com , factsnfacts.com

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.

Source: facts.randomhistory.com , factsnfacts.com

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.

Source: all-creatures.org , factsnfacts.com

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: embraceaustralia.com , 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: recipes.howstuffworks.com , 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: fantasticsnacks.com.au , 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: ilovepasta.org , Interesting Facts

Friday, June 5, 2009

Interesting Facts about Horses

Hare are some really interesting facts about horses. These facts are quite useful (not useless) and informative...

Emerging 60 million years ago, the first horse was called Eohippus (The Dawn Horse) and was tiny, weighing only 12 pounds and standing just 14 inches high. In contrast to the modern one-toed horse, the Eohippus had four toes on its front feet and three on its hind feet.

The term “horse” is derived from the Old English hors, which is related to the Proto-Indo-European (PIE) kurs, which is the source of the Latin currere, “to run.” This replaced the original PIE root ekwo from which the Greek hippos and Latin equus derived, both meaning “horse.” This dual etymology is perhaps due to the reluctance of ancient cultures to utter the actual root or name of an animal held sacred for the Indo-European religion.

Horses that seem wild today (such as Mustangs) are actually feral horses, usually descendants of horses that were imported to America from Spain in the sixteenth century. The only true wild horse is the Asian Wild Horse.

No horses existed in Australia until settlers brought them during the eighteenth century, and no early horse fossils have ever been found in Australia.

Before being domesticated in the Middle and Far East around 4000 B.., horses were hunted for their skin and meat, usually by being clubbed or driven over a cliff.

After horses became domesticated around 4000 B.., many Indo-European cultures regarded horses as a supreme sacrifice to their gods and often ritually entombed horses. People in the Caucasus practiced horse sacrifice as late as the 1800s.

Famous owner/horse partnerships that helped change world history include Alexander the Great and his horse Bucephalus (“ox head”), El Cid and Babieca (“stupid”), and Napoleon and Marengo (named after a battle) who after its death, had its skeleton displayed in London.

A horse’s teeth are a good indicator ofits age. Hence, St. Jerome (A.. 400), who never accepted payment for his writings, penned the famous adage “Never inspect the teeth of a gift horse,”b which became the more familiar “Never look a gift horse in the mouth.”

Though most horses live for 25-30 years, the oldest horse on record is “Old Billy,” who was a barge horse born in England and lived to the age of 62. The first year of a horse’s life is roughly comparable to 12 human years, the second year is comparable to 7 human years, the next 3 years are comparable to 4 human years a piece, and subsequent years are comparable 2.5 human years. That means Old Billy was roughly 173.5 horse years.

Horses have five highly developed senses: taste, touch, hearing, smell, and sight. They also have an enigmatic sixth sense, heightened perception, which is very rare in humans.

The eyes of a horse are larger than most other animals', and they can move independently, giving the horse a shallow panoramic vision. Because its lenses are inflexible, a horse will focus on an image by moving its head to direct light rays to the central part of the retina. Horses can also see in color.

A horse has an acute sense of smell that allows it to detect nervousness in a handler, and old-time horsemen would smear aromatic fluid on their hands when dealing with a difficult horse. Horses also become nervous around the smell of blood.

There are nearly 160 distinctive breeds and types of horses around the world, but the Arabian horse is unique in that it is the purest of all of the breeds.

Persians were excellent horsemen and their dominance in the east was largely due to the Nisean horse, the “superhorse” of antiquity. The horse was a status symbol in the Persian Empire, and only aristocrats could own them. Horses were also used to play early forms of polo.

Islam is said to have been “founded on the hoof prints of the Arabian horse,”b and horse care was even incorporated into the sacred Hadith. The Prophet Mohammed is reportedly to have ascended to heaven in a halo of fire on a horse-like creature.

The goddess Demeter (the goddess of fertility, grain, and the pure) had as her image a black mare’s head, and her priestesses were considered her “foals.”b

White horses were sometimes drowned in honor of Poseidon, the god of the sea and creator of horses.

The Hindus associate the horse with the cosmos, and a white horse was considered the last incarnation of Vishnu.

In literature, art, and dream theory, the horse is often a symbol imbued with various meanings, ranging from power to beauty and even sexual prowess. The coloring of a horse is also often symbolic (black: mystery, danger; white: messenger of birth), and the Bible specifically lists the colors of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (White, Red, Black, and Pale).

Some horses are able to figure out how to undo the doors of other horses and let them out.

Horses can differentiate between emotions in the human voice.

Horses experience two kinds of sleep, SWS (short wave sleep) and REM (rapid eye movement), and they most likely dream. They need about four hours of sleep out of every 24 and can sleep standing up by a special arrangement of locking joints.

Horses like music but are selective in their taste. They prefer calming or cheerful instrumental music, but are agitated by loud music such as rock.

A horse’s hoof is extremely complex and sensitive. When a horse puts pressure on its hoof, the blood is squeezed up the leg into the veins, thus acting as a type of pump.

While the mare primarily cares for her newborn, occasionally a sibling, the sire, or other mares will shelter and protect youngsters.

In a herd, one gender is not always dominant of another; for example, a female may rank higher than a male in some cases, and a male may rank higher than a female in other cases.

Any marking on a horse's head is called a star, even if it is not shaped like a star.

Horses have a strong band of muscles around their esophagus. This band is so strong that a horse’s stomach would typically burst before it would vomit.

The Pony Express (1860-1861) didn’t just use ponies; it also used many horses. The differences between ponies and horses are often blurred, but generally, ponies are smaller than horses and can be smarter and more stubborn.

Though the word “hippopotamus” means “river horse,” a hippo is actually more closely related to the pig than the horse.

There are many crazy horse laws, including one in Bluff, Utah, where an unmarried woman could be jailed for riding a horse on Sunday. And in several cities throughout the United States, newly married men were not allowed to ride alone, unless he had been married longer than 12 months.

Source: facts.randomhistory.com , Interesting Facts

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Amphibian Facts Especially Frogs

Here are some really interesting and fun facts about amphibians, especially frogs...

Because frogs swallow their food whole, the size of their meal is only limited by the size of their mouth and their stomach.

Tree frogs have adhesive pads on their toes for clinging to smooth surfaces.

Frogs cannot live in the sea or any salt water.

The eyes and nose of a frog are on top of its head so it can breathe and see when most of its body is under the water.

Certain frogs can jump up to 20 times their own body length in a single leap.

Some say that you will get warts from touching frogs and toads, but that is a myth. You get warts from human viruses, not from frogs and toads!

In Japan frogs are symbols of good luck.

Amphibians have been around for nearly 400 million years.

In ancient Egypt, frogs were symbols of resurrection and were even mummified with the dead.

Frogs don't drink water but absorb it through their skin.

Some frogs and salamanders have tongues 10x the length of their body.

The red-eyed tree frog lays its eggs on leaves over water so the tadpoles can drop right in.

Most frogs can change their color somewhat to match their surroundings.

Salamanders can re-grow their toes and tails.

Many frogs and salamanders take care of their young, either by guarding their eggs, transporting their young or feeding their tadpoles.

The paradoxical frog of South America has tadpoles up to 10 in. long while the mature adults are only 3 in. long. They get smaller as they age!

In most species of frogs only the male croaks. Croaking attracts female frogs during mating season and lets other males know that this is HIS territory and others should back off!

Bullfrogs stay tadpoles for about 2 years before they become frogs. Some frogs remain tadpoles for only 8 days.

The Bullfrog is the largest frog native to North America. It can grow to 18 in. and weigh 1.2 pounds!

Source: clemetzoo , Interesting Facts

Interesting Diamond Facts

These are some really interesting facts about diamonds...

Diamonds are the hardest substance on earth.

Diamonds are carbon.

Only 20% of the world’s diamonds are suitable for use in jewelry.

The largest diamond ever found to date was the Cullinan at an astounding 3,106 carats!

Diamonds are formed from extreme temperatures and pressure in the earth’s crust.

Mother Nature is only capable of making diamonds. Man has yet to find a way to reproduce extreme heat and pressure like that found in the earth’s crust.

Most of the diamonds found in nature are anywhere from one to three billion years old.

The first recorded use of a diamond used for the purpose of a marriage proposal happened in 1477 when Archduke Maximillian of Austria offered Mary of Burgundy a diamond as a betrothal gift.

Diamond engagement rings are worn on the third finger of the left hand because the Egyptians believed the vein in that finger ran straight to the heart.

Source: Aviva Directory , Interesting Facts

Interesting Gold Facts

Here are some really interesting facts about gold...

Gold may have been the first metal to be used by humans, probably in ceremony and for decoration.

The Latin word for gold, aurum means “shining dawn.”

An Egyptian king from 2600 bce described gold as “common as dust.”

Some historians believe that the exploration of the Americas was in part to confirm reports that native peoples had large amounts of gold.

75% of the gold ever extracted from the earth has been since 1910.

Estimates put all the gold ever extracted into a cube just 66 feet wide on each side.

Alchemy, or the archaic “science” which sought to turn ordinary objects into gold, was the forerunner of modern chemistry.

Most of the gold already mined is still in circulation.

Large deposits of gold were discovered during the 19th Century, which resulted in gold rushes to Klondike, California, Colorado, and Australia.

Source: Aviva Directory , Interesting Facts , Interesting Facts

Coffee & Espresso Facts

Some more really interesting facts about coffee...

When Coffee first arrived in Europe it was called “Arabian Wine.”

The first people to brew coffee were the Arabs. The word “coffee” originates from the Arabic word qahwa which is pronounced as either “Qahweh,” Kahwe” and “Ahwi.”

In the 1680’s a French physician recommended that Cafe au Lait be used for medicinal purposes. This is when adding milk to coffee began to become popular.

In 1689 Cafe Procope was the first Parisian cafe to serve coffee.

In 1732 Bach wrote a coffee cantata. The coffee cantata was considered a satirical comedy with the amusing story of coffee addiction. At the time coffee addiction was considered a social problem in the eighteenth century.You can watch this YouTube video to hear the Bach Coffee Cantata

In the year 1763, Venice, Italy had over 200 coffee shops.

In 1773 the heavy tea tax imposed on the American colonies caused the “Boston Tea Party.” This resulted in America switching from tea to coffee. Drinking coffee was seen as an statement of freedom.

During the American Revolutuon the founding fathers of the U.S. developed their national strategies in local coffeehouses.

In early America, coffee was drunk between meals and after dinner. It was not part of the meal as is customary today.

In 1790, there were two coffee firsts that happened in the United States: 1) the first wholesale coffee roasting company began business, and the first newspaper advertisement featuring coffee.

In 1822 France created the first espresso machine prototype.

By 1850, the manual coffee grinder was found iin most upper-middle class kitchens in the United States.

During the Civil War in the United States soldiers went to battle with coffee beans as part of their rations. This elevated the popularity of coffee to new heights.

In 1900, horse and wagon delivered coffee door-to-door in the United States.

In 1906 Italy Pavoni manufactured the first commercial espresso machine.

In Italy, coffee and espresso are synonymous as they are so much part of the culture. Drip coffee is not as popular in Italy as it is in the rest of the Western world.

The average age of an Italian barista is 48 years old. In Italy being a “Barista” is a respected job title. The average age requirement for a Starbuck barista is 17.

It is not common for Italians to drink espresso during meals. It is considered to be a separate event and is given its own time.

In Italy the government regulates the price of espresso as it is deemed an essential element of daily life.

A recent “census” shared that Italy now has over 200,000 coffee bars/cafes and this number is still growing.

In Greece and Turkey, the oldest person is generally served coffee first.

In the ancient Arab world coffee was a staple in family life. One of the reasons allowed for marital separation was a husband’s refusal to make coffee for his wife.

In parts of Africa raw coffee beans are soaked in water and spices. These are then chewed like candy.

During the last three centuries, it is estimated that 90% of people in the Western world have switched from drinking tea to coffee.

In the United States coffee represents 75% of all the caffeine consumed.

Source: Aviva Directory , Interesting Facts , Interesting Facts

Interesting Facts about Frogs

Here are some interesting and little known facts about frogs...

A frog’s eye can see in almost any direction.

A frog’s tongue is attached at the front of the mouth instead of the rear, and is covered with a sticky substance to catch and trap its prey.

When a frog eats food that is too large to swallow, it will leave it sticking out of its mouth and ingest it gradually. The frog may even choke or regurgitate it.

Frogs have something similar to teeth. They have small cone like teeth around the upper edge of the jaw and roof of their mouth.

Frogs do not have any teeth on their lower jaw.

A frog can launch itself over 20 times its own body length.

The common frog (native to mainland Britain) can breathe through its skin.

Frogs legs are a culinary delicacy in France.

The worlds biggest frog, the Goliath can be found in Cameroon in Africa.

The Goliath frog can grow up to one foot long and weigh more than seven pounds.

The poison dart frog secretes from its skin one of the most poisonous substances known to man.

Frog fossils as old as 190 million years have been found.

Frogs shed their skin regularly and then eat the skin carcass.

A group of frogs is called an army of frogs.

The Gastric Brooding Frog, incubates its’ young inside its stomach. When the baby frog develops past the tadpole stage, it hops out of its mother’s mouth.

Frogs absorb water and air through their skin.

If you suffer from Ranidaphobia, you have a fear of frogs.

Frogs are a symbol of good luck in Japan.

Source: Aviva Directory , Interesting Facts , Interesting Facts