PHIL BRODIE BAND'S FUN PAGE . . ENJOY
for April 2014
LOTS OF USELESS INFORMATION !!
ONE EVERY MONTH
unless PC is in a mood
If you would like
to contribute to this page I am only an email
Did You Know . .
Baden-Württemberg, southern Germany has 3 unusual cities ...
the city of Freudenstadt is built in form of the board game Nine Men's
Morris, also it has the largest market square in Germany; the city of
Karlsruhe where the roads follow the layout of a hand-held fan with the
castle being at the juncture and the city of Mannheim with its streets
and avenues laid out in a grid pattern, just like a chessboard hence it's
nickname "Quadratestadt", "City
of Squares", and this is where the world's first bicycle was built
by Karl Freiherr von Drais in 1817.
* American professional baseball
outfielder and pitcher, Babe Ruth, a larger-than-life figure in the "Roaring
Twenties", during games he kept a wet cabbage leaf under his cap
to keep cool. He used to change it every 2 innings.
* Stairs in the home can be one
of the most dangerous places for anyone, not just the elderly, handicapped
and young children. Incidents related to stairs are only second to automobile
crashes as the major cause of unintended injuries. The two steps at the
top and the two at the bottom are the four most dangerous steps in a stair
* Noke is a culinary term used by
the Maori of New Zealand to refer to earthworms, some types of native
worms are local delicacies. According to Maori legend, the trickster Maui
once transformed himself into a Noke Worm in order to crawl into the womb
of the underworld goddess and gain everlasting life.
* The average human brain weighs
3 pounds, but it consumes 25% of bodys oxygen, 25% of the bodys
nutrients, 70% of the bodys glucose is burned up by the brain, there
are 100,000 miles of blood vessels, capillaries and other transport systems
in the brain, it also contains 100 billion neurons and there are 1 quadrillion
connections in the adult brain.
* A gaggle is the term for a group
of at least five of geese, that is NOT in flight; in flight, the group
is called a skein. A skein is the V-shaped flight formation of flights
of geese, ducks and other migratory birds. The V formation greatly boosts
the efficiency and range of flying birds, particularly over long migratory
routes. Among other things a gaggle is also a measure of salt, a gaggle
of salt is equal to eight, fifty pound bags of salt.
* The practice of dressing up in
costumes and begging door to door for treats on holidays dates back to
the Middle Ages and includes Christmas wassailing. Trick-or-treating (started
USA & Canada in the 1940s) resembles the late medieval practice of
souling, when poor folk would go door to door on Hallowmas - Nov 1st,
receiving food in return for prayers for the dead on All Souls Day - Nov
2nd. Souling originated in Ireland and Britain, although similar practices
for the souls of the dead were found as far south as Italy. Shakespeare
mentions the practice in his comedy The Two Gentlemen of Verona in 1593,
when Speed accuses his master of "puling [whimpering or whining]
like a beggar at Hallowmas".The custom of wearing costumes and masks
at Halloween goes back to Celtic traditions of attempting to copy the
evil spirits or placate them, in Scotland for instance where the dead
were impersonated by young men with masked, veiled or blackened faces,
dressed in white.
the British Royal Navy, the officers' noon mess typically began with the
loyal toast, followed by a toast distinctive for the day of the week:
Monday: Our ships at sea.
Tuesday: Our sailors (formerly Our men but changed to include women).
Wednesday: Ourselves. ("As no-one else is likely to concern
themselves with our welfare," is often the retort and not part of
Thursday: A bloody war or a sickly season (meaning the desire and
likelihood of being promoted when many people die: during war or sickness.)
Friday: A willing foe and sea room. (meaning the payment of prize money
after a successful engagement)
Saturday: Our families (formerly Our wives and sweethearts with
the retort of "may they never meet")
Sunday: Absent friends.
* A Bastard sword, from the French
'epee batarde', refers to a 'hand and a half sword' or 'long sword'. The
blade could be as long as a single hand sword but the tang and the grip
were long enough to accommodate two hands providing better leverage and
more power, so it could be used as a single or double handed weapon. Thus
the word bastard was given to this sword type meaning something irregular
or inferior or of dubious origin, having a misleading appearance.
* A Georgia company Eternal Reefs,
will mix your loved one's ashes with cement and drop it into the ocean
to form an artificial reef. The concrete reefs began as an ecological
project, said founder Don Brawley. He and some friends who are snorkelers
developed the hollow reef balls to help restore the underwater habitat.
Now more than 500,000 reef balls rest on the ocean floor off 48 countries.
In 1998, Brawley's father-in-law, Carleton Palmer, who was dying of cancer,
said he'd like to be cremated and have his remains mixed in one of the
reef balls, making him the first Eternal Reef. With more than 100 of the
underwater memorials, Sarasota has become the largest site for Eternal
Reefs. Another 100 reefs are scattered along the Gulf of Mexico and up
the East Coast.
* The majority of snail species
are right-handed and their shells coil clockwise. But did you know some
snails are lefties, and have shells that coil counterclockwise
change the death penalty for rape, in 1778 Thomas Jefferson authorised
the Bill for Proportioning Crimes and Punishments ... "Whosoever
shall be guilty of Rape, Polygamy, or Sodomy with man or woman shall be
punished, if a man, by castration, if a woman, by cutting thro' the cartilage
of her nose a hole of one half inch diameter at the least"
* During the 2nd World War, Chrysler
built the B-29s that bombed Japan; Mitsubishi built the Zeros that tried
to shoot them down. The two companies went on to built cars together.
* Melanesia is a subregion of Oceania
extending from the western end of the Pacific Ocean to the Arafura Sea,
and eastward to Fiji. The region comprises most of the islands immediately
north and northeast of Australia. There are a staggering 1,319 known languages
in Melanesia, scattered across a small amount of land. The proportion
of 716 sq. kilometers per language is by far the most dense rate of languages
in relation to land mass in the earth, this is almost three times as dense
as in Nigeria, a country famous for its high number of languages in a
* In June of 1974, the first U.P.C.
scanner was installed at a Marsh's supermarket in Troy, Ohio. The first
product to have a bar code included was a packet of Wrigley's Gum.
first company to produce bar code equipment for retail trade use (using
UGPIC) was the American company Monarch Marking in 1970, and for industrial
use, the British company Plessey Telecommunications was also first in
1970. UGPIC evolved into the U.P.C. symbol set or Universal Product Code,
which is still used in the United States. George J. Laurer is considered
the inventor of U.P.C. which was invented in 1973.
Year is the oldest of all holidays, it was first observed in ancient Babylon
as many as 4000 years ago. The tradition of making New Year resolution
also dates back to the early Babylonians. In Sri Lanka, New Year's Eve
is celebrated on April 13 or 14 and in Ethiopian, New Year called Enqutatash,
is celebrated on September 11 or September 12 based on the leap year.
In Japan, Buddhist temples ring their bells 108 times, in Spain they eat
12 grapes at the final countdown and in Italy, people wear red underwear
on New Year's Day as a symbol of good luck for the upcoming year.
* In the 2000 film "How the
Grinch Stole Christmas", everything in the film revolves around a
swirl, the same as in the original drawings of the book. This includes
the clouds, if you look closely at them in some of the scenes, several
times the initials "J.C.", "C.H.", and "R.H."
briefly form as the clouds move. This stands for actor Jim Carrey - The
Grinch, actor Clint Howard - Whobris, and director Ron Howard.
* There are no three legged animals;
because of the way legs evolved
and how they are used by animals they always develop in pairs. It looks
like the starfish might have 5 legs, but they are just "bits of body";
and underneath each one it has hundreds of tiny tenticles or feet which
it uses to get about.. and yes.. there is an even number of them!
The names of the four
wise monkeys are: Mizaru who sees no evil, Kikazaru who hears no evil
, Iwazaru who speaks no evil, and Shizaru
who does no evil. This Japanese proverb was made popular in the 17th century,
but it's actual origin is far far older. In China, a very similar proverb
exists in the ancient Analects of Confucius 2nd to 4th century B.C. :
"Look not at what is contrary to propriety; listen not to what is
contrary to propriety; speak not what is contrary to propriety; make no
movement which is contrary to propriety"
* Firearms were invented in the
12th century in China, after the Chinese had invented gunpowder in the
9th century. The direct ancestor of the firearm is the fire lance, a gunpowder-filled
tube attached to the end of a spear and used as a flamethrower; shrapnel
was sometimes placed in the barrel so that it would fly out together with
the flames. The earliest depiction of a gun is a sculpture from a cave
in Sichuan dating to the 12th century of a figure carrying a vase-shaped
bombard with flames and a cannonball coming out of it. The oldest surviving
gun, made of bronze, has been dated to 1288 because it was discovered
at a site in modern-day Acheng District where the Yuan Shi records that
battles were fought at that time
* Most ancient language is still
spoken is Aramaic, it is the language of Assyrian, Syriac, Mandic, Soryoyo,
Turyoyo, Western Aramaic, etc which are actually all dialects of the one
language. Its a tongue that
has been in constant, uninterrupted use for well over 3000 years, both
as a spoken and written language. The
first language ever written was Sumerian, followed by Egyptian, then Akkadian,
which modern Assyrian-Aramaic replaced, then Ugaritic, Hittite, Hurrian,
Luwian, Mittani, Urartian .... all dead now.
* The hottest, most sultry days
of summer are called "Dog Days". Northern Hemisphere 'dog days'
of summer are experienced in July and August, in the Southern Hemisphere
in January and February. The name comes from the ancient belief that Sirius,
also called the Dog Star, in close proximity to the sun was responsible
for the hot weather. The Dog Days originally were the 30ish days when
Sirius rose just before or at the same time as sunrise, (which is no longer
true, owing to precession of the equinoxes). The ancient Romans sacrificed
a brown dog at the beginning of the Dog Days to appease the rage of Sirius.
The term Dog Days goes back even earlier to the ancient Greeks and Egyptians.
*Early Britain had a Princess Sexburga,
the eldest daughter of King Anna of East Anglia, she married King Erconbert
of Kent and became Queen Sexburga of Kent. Sexburga built a religious
house at Sheppey, where holy virgins could attend divine service for her,
day & night. She lived to a considerable age, dying on 6th July AD
699 and was she sainted, St Sexburga. Traveling fast-forward through the
mists of time, in honor of Queen Sexburga, the local chippy in Minster
used to serve Sexburgers until some humourless local kicked up a fuss.
*Much of the beautiful white sand
beaches of the tropical coral islands are made up of the excrement of
the parrotfish. The Parrotfish, whose teeth grow throughout their life,
eats around 5 tons of coral (mostly dead) per year and each fish excretes
roughly 1 ton of droppings every year, which washes up to the coast line
as very fine white sand.
*On 14 July 1797, Rear-Admiral Horatio
Nelson sailed for the Canaries on
his flagship HMS Theseus, arriving in the vicinity of Santa Cruz, Tenerife
on 17 July. He launched his attack on Tenerife on July 23rd; the assualt
was defeated and Nelson lost the Battle of Santa Cruz de Tenerife. The
Spanish suffered 30 dead and 40 injured, while the British lost 250 dead
and 128 wounded. This was the battle in which Nelson also lost his right
arm, after being wounded in battle
*The UK's death toll from alcohol-related
illness is equivalent to a jumbo jet crashing every 17 days, figures show.
A new report, Feb 2012, from the British Liver Trust reveals there were
8,664 alcohol-related deaths in 2009, over double the figure recorded
in 1992. More than 80 per cent of deaths from liver disease are caused
by alcohol and experts believe the prevalence of liver disease could overtake
that of stroke and coronary heart disease within the next 10 to 20 years.
*The first mention of 'chips' in
Britain came in an 1854 recipe book, "Shilling Cookery", in
which chef Alexis Soyer referred to a recipe with 'thin cut potatoes cooked
in oil'. In the 19th century, fish and chip fryers were social outcasts
because of the strong odour of frying stayed on their clothes. Chippies
officially remained an offensive trade until 1940, if the fat wasn't changed
everyday the shops smelt really aweful and they were mainly confined to
the poorer parts of towns; but as fish and chips became more popular,
the equipment and premises became more sophisticated.
*There are 8 mediterranean
seas; Five mediterranean seas of the Atlantic Ocean - 1)The Eurafrican
Mediterranean Sea which includes the Mediterranean Sea, the Black Sea,
the Sea of Azov, the Aegean Sea, the Adriatic Sea, the Ligurian Sea, the
Balearic Sea, the Tyrrhenian Sea, the Ionian Sea, and the Sea of Marmara.
2) The Arctic Mediterranean Sea or the Arctic Ocean, considered an ocean
by many. 3)The American Mediterranean Sea: the combination of the Gulf
of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. 4) The Baltic Sea. and 5) Baffin Bay.
Two mediterranean seas of the Indian Ocean - 1) The Persian Gulf and 2)
The Red Sea. Lastly the Australasian Mediterranean Sea: the sea enclosed
by the Sunda Islands and the Philippines, including the Banda Sea, the
Sulu Sea, the Sulawesi Sea, the Java Sea, etc.
*The custom of erecting a Christmas
tree can be historically traced to 15th century Livonia , now Estonia
and Latvia and 16th century Northern Germany. According to the first documented
uses of a Christmas tree in Estonia, in 1441, 1442, and 1514 the Brotherhood
of Blackheads erected a tree for the holidays in their brotherhood house
in Reval now Tallinn. At the last night of the celebrations leading up
to the holidays, the tree was taken to the Town Hall Square where the
members of the brotherhood danced around it.
*Short-tailed shearwaters are marvellous
migratory seabirds. They make a round trip of 32,000km each year, a feat
managed in only six weeks. The adults breed in Australia, arriving there
in September and leaving in April with their fledgling chicks following
a month later. The birds migrate northwards all the way to the Arctic!
They are also Australias most abundant seabird numbering over 23
million. Sadly though, 100s of 1000s of the chicks are commercially harvested
for their feathers and oil and have become known as muttonbirds
*Most know the word "cat"
is from Late Latin catus, cattus, catta meaning "domestic cat",
as opposed to feles - 'European wildcat'. But the term puss, as in pussycat,
many say comes from Dutch poes or from Low German Puuskatte, dialectal
Swedish kattepus, or Norwegian pus, pusekatt, all of which primarily denote
a woman and, by extension, a female cat.
*The names of Popeye's four nephews
are Pipeye, Peepeye, Pupeye, and Poopeye
*Coral attack Jellyfish!! Scientists
think that due to the climate change, jellyfish are over populating coral
reefs and it seems that nature found a way to balance a large number of
jellyfish. An amazing new discovery in Israel, in the city of Eilat in
the Red Sea, scientists caught coral sucking in a large jellyfish. "During
the survey we were amazed to notice several mushroom corals actively feeding
on the moon jellyfish" This is the first time ever reported that
coral is feeding on a large jellyfish.
*Sneezing or sternutation cannot
occur during sleep - due to REM atonia - a bodily state when motor neurons
are not stimulated and reflex signals are not relayed to the brain ...
Also did you know snatiation is a medical disorder characterized by uncontrollable
bursts of sneezing brought on by fullness of the stomach, and typically
observed in sufferers immediately after a large meal. It is thought to
be passed along genetically as an autosomal dominant trait.
*About 90% of the worlds population
now kisses; kissing in Western cultures is a fairly recent development
and is rarely mentioned even in Greek literature. In the Middle Ages it
became a social gesture and was considered a sign of refinement of the
upper classes. The act of kissing was very rare among the lower and semi-civilized
races, but was fully established as instinctive in the higher societies.
Yet even among higher civilizations while the kiss seems to have been
still unknown to ancient Egypt, it was well-established in Assyria and
*May is the official Zombie Awareness
Month of the Zombie Research Society. Supporters of Zombie Awareness Month
wear a gray ribbon to signify the undead shadows that lurk behind our
modern light of day. Also many films important to the evolution of the
modern Zombie are set in the month of May, from the original Night of
the Living Dead, 1968, to the Dawn of The Dead remake of 2004.
*Presently there are about 500 active
volcanoes in the world the majority following along the Pacific
'Ring of Fire' and around 50 of these erupt each year. The United
States is home to 50 active volcanoes. There are more than 1,500 potentially
active volcanoes, and an estimated 500 million people live near active
* The Great Barrier Reef formed
around 18 million years ago, is made up of approximately 900 islands and
3000 coral reefs, and is visited or home to 30 species of whales, 215
species of beautiful birds, 6 species of sea turtles, 125 species of sharks
and stingrays, 49 species of pipefish, 17 species of sea snakes and around
1,500 types of fish! Also some of the largest populations of Dudongs visit
the Great Barrier Reef, Dudongs are classified as marine mammals and are
related to the elephants.
*In ancient times January and February
didn't exist, since the Romans originally considered winter a monthless
period. They were added by Numa Pompilius about 713 BC. .
*Sir Winston Churchill, KG, OM,
CH, TD, FRS, PC, statesman and Prime Minister was offered the Dukedom
of London, but declined in order to remain in the House of Commons.
*The Killer Whale, commonly referred
to as the Orca, and less commonly as the blackfish, is the largest member
of the Dolphin family.
the complex internet organism has complicated name, "Yahoo"
is shortcut for "Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle".
It was coined by PhD candidates at Stanford University: David Filo and
pressure of the crocodile's bite is more than 5,000 pounds per square
inch (30,000 kPa), compared to just 335 pounds per square inch (2,300
kPa) for a rottweiler, 400 pounds per square inch (2,800 kPa) for a large
great white shark, 800 pounds per square inch (6,000 kPa) to 1,000 pounds
per square inch (7,000 kPa) for a hyena, or 2,000 pounds per square inch
(10,000 kPa) for a large alligator. However the jaws are opened by a very
weak set of muscles, therefore
can be subdued for study or transport by taping their jaws.
has the most cinemas with 23,662, while India (the country that produces
the most movies - about 800 a year, twice as many as Hollywood) has about
9,000 cinemas and China has approximately 5,000 cinemas. - 300,000 people
*All these independence milestones
happened in an August .. Singapore separated from the Federation of Malaysia
and became independent; Ecuador became an independent country; Pakistan
became independent, including East Bengal region as a whole; Korea became
an independent country; India became an independent country; Indonesia
became an independent country; Estonia regains its independence; Uruguay
became independent from Brazil; Federation of Malaya, now Malaysia, became
an independent country; and Bolivia's independence day is in August too.
*The oldest known written fairy
tales stem from ancient Egypt, c. 1300 BC , eg The Tale of Two Brothers,
and fairy tales appear in written literature throughout literate cultures,
as in The Golden Ass, which includes Cupid and Psyche, Roman, 100200
AD, or the Panchatantra, India 3rd century BCE, but it is unknown to what
extent these reflect the actual folk tales even of their own time.
*In 1937 brothers Dick and Mac McDonald
open a hamburger stand called "The Airdrome" at the airport
in Monrovia, California.
On May 15th
1940 the McDonalds
opened their first McDonald's restaurant, on U.S. Route 66, at 14th and
E St. In 1972, The McDonald's system generated $1 billion in sales through
2200 restaurants; in
1980 the 6000th McDonald's restaurant opened in Munich, Germany; by 2009
McDonalds had 31,000+ outlets worldwide.
*A World Toilet Summit has been
held every year since 2001; also in 2001, the World Toilet Organization
aka WTO, declared
its founding day, November 19th,
as World Toilet Day
(The venue for the 2010 World Toilet Summit has yet to be announced)
*In London on June 13th 2009 over
1,000 cyclists stripped off to take part in the World Naked Bike Ride.
The sixth annual protest against oil dependency and car culture saw riders
stage nude rallies in more than 40 locations around the world. In London,
the naked cyclists, some painted with anti-oil slogans, followed a six-mile
(10km) route from Hyde Park Corner past the Houses of Parliament and through
the West End.
*In the United Kingdom, where the
use of scarecrows as a protector of crops dates from time immemorial,
they are called a Mommet in Somerset, Murmet in Devon, Hodmedod in Berkshire,
Tattie bogle or Bodach-rocais in Scotland and a Bwbach in Wales
Eddie Arcaro, who won more American Classic Races than any other jockey
in history and is the only rider to have won the U.S. Triple Crown twice,
rode 250 losers before winning his first race. (In 1962, he
ended his career having competed in 24,092 races and having won 4,779
with record setting earnings of $30,039,543.)
the word kyanos (cyan) was used for dark blue enamel, the Ancient
Greek lacked a word for blue and Homer called the colour of the sea "wine
'Allegedly' the earliest identified
use of the exact phrase "the
whole 9 yards"
dates from 1942, in the Investigation of the National
Defense Program: Hearings Before a Special Committee Investigating the
National Defense Program, by Admiral Emory Scott Land, who said "You
have to increase from 7.72 to 12 for the average at the bottom of that
fifth column, for the whole nine yards". This use refers to the total
output statistics for the nine new shipyards that produced "Liberty
Ships" with unprecedented speed, crucial to the course of World War
II. I don't know what gave rise to the phrase.
The most frequently
quoted explaination of the term "the whole 9 yards" came from
WWII fighter pilots in the South Pacific. When arming their airplanes
on the ground, the .50 caliber machine gun ammo belts measured exactly
27 feet, before being loaded into the fuselage. If the pilots fired all
their ammo at a target, it got "the whole 9 yards."
are several claims for this phrase.
yard is quite an old measurement.
whole 9 yards... In early
Scotland, a gentleman wore a kilt. There were two types of kilts, one
for casual wear, and one for formal affairs. The formal one took 9 yards
of tarten. The tailor would inquire to which kilt was needed, and the
if it was for a formal one was Ill take the whole
This one could be fairly old.
*When looking at statues of a person
on a horse, if the horse has both front hooves in the air, the person
died in battle. If the horse has one front hoof in the air the person
died as a result of wounds received in battle. If the horse has all four
hooves on the ground, the person died of natural causes. This
is a myth .. shame really, I like the idea.
*Out of 268 stations, there are
only two stations on the London Underground that have all five vowels
in them - Mansion House and South Ealing.
*A scallop has 35 eyes and they
are all blue. Their
eyes can't see shapes, but can detect light and motion.
*Some 30% of local residents in
Shanghai say cycling is their main means of transport and 60% of locals
pedal to work every day. With the possible exception of China, the Netherlands
boasts more bicycles per capita than any other country - at least 16-million
bikes for the 16-million Dutch. Roughly 30% of all urban trips in the
Netherlands are on bicycles, compared with 2% in the UK.
*Their are at least 250,000 species
of insects constituting the order Coleoptera or beetles, making it the
largest order in the animal kingdom. Among
the approximately 5,000 widely distributed beetles of the family Coccinellidae
is the Ladybird; the name originated in the Middle Ages, when this little
beetle was dedicated to the Virgin Mary and called "beetle of Our
*In the nursery rhyme Jack and Jill
, Jack represented the French King, Louis XVI who "Lost his Crown"
in the Revolution, while Jill who (or rather her head) came tumbling after,
was Marie Antoinette