A PHIL BRODIE BAND'S FUN PAGE . . ENJOY
updated for november 2014
.Send us anything FUNNY!!.AMAZING FACTS
AND
LOTS OF USELESS INFORMATION !!

NEW ONE EVERY MONTH
unless PC is in a mood
If you would like to contribute to this page I am only an email away.

Did You Know . . . ???
* For thousands of years, until 1883, hemp was the world’s largest agricultural crop, from which the majority of fiber, fabric, soap, lighting oil, paper, incense, and medicines were produced. In addition, it was a primary source of essential food oil and protein for humans and animals. Hemp seeds contain all the essential amino acids necessary for health. The oil from hemp seeds has the highest percentage of essential fatty acids and the lowest percentage of saturated fats. An acre of hemp produces more paper than an acre of trees. Paper made from hemp lasts for centuries, compared to 25-80 years for paper made from wood pulp. The US Declaration of Independence was written on hemp paper.
* Back in the mists of time, the Celtics celebrated New Year's Day on November 1st. This large festival lasted three days, and the people paraded around in costumes made from the skins and heads of their animals. It marked the end of the "Season of the Sun" and the beginning of the "Season of Darkness and Cold". On their New Year's Eve, October 31st, it was believed that Samhain, the Lord of the Dead, summoned all the dead people, who would take different forms, with the evil spirits taking the form of animals, especially cats. On this night the Celtic priests would meet on a hilltop in a sacred Oak Forest where they would light new fires, offer sacrifices of crops and animals, and dance the night away. In the morning the Druids would give a burning coal from their fires to each family, to start their fires that would heat their homes in the season of darkness and protect them from the evil spirits. The festival was named after Samhain, and honored both, the sun god and Samhain.
* In 2010 a house set on fire once every 82 seconds in the US of A and sadly 2,640 people died in those fires .

* Coca Cola sells its soft drink to more countries around the world than any other company. Currently, there are only two countries where Coca Cola cannot be bought
(well not officially anyway!), that is Cuba, where it has been banned from selling Coca Cola since 1962 after the Cuban Revolution, when Fidel Castro's government began seizing private assets and in North Korea where people have not been able to buy the soft drink since the Korean War in 1950
. Notably, Cuba was one of the first countries outside the US where it did business, opening operations there in 1906. The Coca Cola company has never operated in North Korea.

* In ancient Egypt the cat was central to their religion and was considered to be sacred. Many animals in Egypt were linked to gods and goddesses, but only the cat was considered to be semi-divine in its own right. If the household cat died, the whole family would go into mourning and shave off their eyebrows and the cat would be mummified, wrapped in fine linen and buried along with jewellery and other grave goods which were normally only the preserve of wealthy people
.
* A human body is comprised of 100 thousand billion cells, i
nside each cell there is a nucleus, in which our DNA resides. The DNA contained in the nucleus of a human cell is two yards long. So, inside each human body there are 125 billion miles of DNA!
* The death-head hawk moth, common in Europe and Africa, derives it's name from the fancied facsimile of a human skull on the upper surface of the body, but this rather large moth produces frighteningly loud chirping and squawking noises when it feels threatened.

* 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 case .
* 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 body’s oxygen, 25% of the body’s nutrients, 70% of the body’s 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.

* In 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 the toast)
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

* To 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 compact area
.
* 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.
The 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.
* New 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 Australia’s 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 India.
*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 volcanoes
.
* 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.
*Ya
hoo 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 Jerry Yang.
*The 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 crocodiles can be subdued for study or transport by taping their jaws
.
*America
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 per cinema

*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, 100–200 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

*American
jockey 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.
)
*Except that 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 dark"

* '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." There are several claims for this phrase. The yard is quite an old measurement.
*The 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 reply…if it was for a formal one was “I’ll take the whole 9 yards” 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
. (year 2009)
*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 Lady".
*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

*Fish or fishes?? Though often used interchangeably, these words actually mean different things. Fish is used either as singular noun or to describe a group of specimens from a single species. Fishes describes a group containing more than one species
*Ten countries border Brazil in South America; Equador and Chile are the only two countries in South America that do not share a border with Brazil.
*One out of every 25 coffins from the 16th century were found to have scratch marks on the inside
. This is a Myth. Some did get buried alive, but not that many! It is a 10 year old internet joke.
*AIDS was first 'reported and recognised' June 5, 1981, when the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recorded a cluster of Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia in five homosexual men in Los Angeles.
It had no name, the term "GRID" was used first followed by “the 4H disease”, by September 1982 the CDC started using the name AIDS, and properly defined the illness.
(update because of confusion: Later research by the CDC (Center for Disease Control) finds .. In 1966, a widely traveled Norwegian sailor died with AIDS-like symptoms. When his blood was tested later, it turned out HIV positive. A 1959 blood sample kept from a man living in Kinshasha in Zaire turned out to be HIV positive when tested, according to the CDC. According to Laurie Garrett (1994), the CDC lost this blood sample and the positive test results were never confirmed by anyone else. The HIV that researchers claimed the blood of a sailor from Manchester, U.K., who died of AIDS-like symptoms in 1959, when tested it had was tainted with the modern virus, and a Saint Louis teenager who died in the 60's of AIDS-like symptoms the HIV virus was never found in his blood, the CDC say if either of them had died from Aids, they had a variety that is not known today, that has died off or evolved into a more modern form).

*The 1912 Olympics were the last games that gave out gold medals made entirely of gold. Absolute pure gold, is so soft, it can be moulded on your hands.. okay if you get fed up with it and want something else round your neck!!! On a more serious note I think this well used fact should be phrased differently.
*In the Andes, time is often measured by how long it takes to smoke a cigarette

*More than 20 million seahorses are harvested each year for folk medicinal purposes. The world seahorse population has dropped 70 per cent in the past 10 years
.
*It takes 20,000 light bulbs to make the Eiffel Tower sparkle at night and
there are 2,500,000 rivets holding it together; the total weight of the tower is 10,100 tons. They use 60 tons of paint each repainting campaign, every 7 years in it's entirety. 1,665 steps in the East pillar take you to the top, the hieght to the top of the flage pole is 312m, if including the antennas it is 324 m
.
*According to research women are enticed to buy more if they hear the clicking of heels on the floor ~ I wonder??!

*In Aztec mythology, a pantheon of 400 rabbit gods known as Centzon Totochtin, led by Ometotchtli or Two Rabbit, represented fertility, parties, and drunkenness.

*Scarlett O'Hara, the heroine of Margret Mitchell's 'Gone With The Wind'
was originally named Pansy.

*In ancient China, criminals who attacked travellers had their noses cut off.
*In the early days of film making, the people who worked on the sets were called movies. The films were called motion pictures.

*Hyperpolysyllabicomania is a fondness for big words
.
*The first genuine French kiss in a Hollywood movie was between Warren Beatty and Natalie Wood in the film "Splendor In The Grass". (allegedly)

*The Great Barrier Reef is composed of roughly 3,000 individual reefs, 900 islands stretching for 2,600 kilometres
and
has more than 1,500 species of fish living on it.
*Tottenham Hotspur didn't have a single player sent off in a Football League match between October 27th 1928 and December 4th 1965
.
*The words moonbeam, generous & to champion were all invented by Shakespeare. There are 200 plus words that you will see scattered around claiming "invented by Shakespeare". These words were not all invented by Shakespeare but the earliest citations for them in the OED from Shakespeare.
*If you suffer from geophagia then you have a compulsive urge to eat soil.
*The African baobab tree (adansonia digitata)
blossom opens only to moonlight and it is pollinated by bats .. the fruit bats.

*Clint Eastwood's roll of Dirty Harry was turned down by Paul Newman, John Wayne, Robert Mitchum and Frank Sinatra
.
*According to sales,
17,000 individual 'smarties' are eaten every minute in the UK. (2006)
*The life of an eyelash is about 6 weeks.
*Iceland, Europe's second largest island following Great Britain, boasts of having the world's oldest 'active' parliamentary body, Althing, which first met in 930AD.
*The Turkish football club, Galatasaray, has an A for every other letter.
*The tongue of a mature Blue Whale has approximately the same mass as that of an entire adult elephant.
*The study, which tested telephones, desks, water coolers, doorknobs, and toilet seats, compiled 7,000 samples from major centers across the country. What they found, was that while phones ranked highest in bacteria levels, the office desk was a close second.
*In England during World War I, many German names and titles were changed and given more English-sounding names, including the royal family's from Saxe-Coburg-Gotha to Windsor. Kaiser Wilhelm II countered this by jokingly saying that he was off to see a performance of 'The Merry Wives of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha.'

*Both t
urdoid and turdine mean "belonging to the family turdus," Turdus musicus is the song thrush & Turdus viscivorus is the mistletoe thrush.
*Nearly a quarter of all mammals can fly; with a huge 985 known species, bats make up 23.1% of all known mammals by species.
*January is National Soup Month in the United States, January is the seasonal equivalent to July in the Southern Hemisphere; & on Jan 14th, 90% of New Year resolutions will be broken!

*You use an average of 43 muscles for a frown and you use an average of 17 muscles for a smile, and they say
every two thousand frowns creates one wrinkle.

*Baby robins eat 14 feet of earthworms in the first 14 nestling days of their life and that is not even their main food on the menu (14 feet a day is wrong) But parent robins make around 100 food visits to the nest every day!

*The first man to die during planning & construction of the Hoover Dam was the father of the last man to die during its construction. December 20, 1922 with J.G. Tierney a Bureau of Reclamation employee who was part of a geological survey and drowned when he fell from a barge. Exactly 13 years later, in 1935, his son Patrick W. Tierney, fell to his death from an intake tower.
* You will have to walk 80 kilometers for your legs to equal the amount of exercise your eyes get daily.
*The Chinese used fingerprints as a method of identification back in 700.

*Sound travels 15 times faster through steel than it does through the air
.
*A greenfly born on a Tuesday can be a grandparent by Friday.

*There are more mobile phones in UK than there are people.

*Termites are affected by music; the termites will eat your house twice as fast if you play them loud music
.
*Paraskavedekatriaphobia is the extreme fear of Friday the 13th
.
*One gallon of used motor oil can ruin approximately one million gallons of fresh water!

*Christopher Trace, the first presenter of Blue Peter, was the body double for Charlton Heston in the film Ben-Hur.
*Thomas Edison got patents for a method of making concrete furniture and a cigar which was supposed to burn forever
.
*A cubic mile of ordinary fog contains less than a gallon of water.
*If you think of the Milky Way as being the size of the continent of Asia, our solar system would be the size of a penny.
*The chicken is the closest living relative to the Tyrannosaurus Rex
Myth or fact??
*
The average driver will be locked out of their car nine times during their life time (yes, men are in the stats).
*A Boeing 767 airliner contains 3,100,000 parts.
*
Belief in the existence of vacuums used to be punishable under Church law.
* Your skin weighs twice as much as your brain.
*An owl can see a mouse moving from over 150ft away by a light no brighter than candlelight.

*The average person has walked 100,000 miles by the time they reach the age of 85.
*Your hearing is less sharp after eating too much.
*In the course of a lifetime, the average person spends 2 years on the phone (I bet cell phones/mobiles were not taken into consideration when that fact was worked out!!).
* Henry VIII was once served a loin of beef while visiting the house of a noble. He was so impressed with the beef that he asked for a sword and knighted it! Ever since, that particular cut of beef has been known as sirloin. ("Sir Loin").. This is a MYTH
*In a lifetime, the average clean-shaven man will spend five months shaving and will remove 28ft of hair.
*Beethoven was extremely particular about his coffee , he always counted 60 beans per cup.
*In 1943, Navy officer Grace Hopper had to fix a computer glitch caused by a moth, hence the term 'computer bug'.
*Jupiter is large enough to contain the other major 7 planets in our solar system.
*The water pressure inside every onion cell would be sufficient to explode a steam engine.
*Film stars originally wore sunglasses, not to look mysterious, but to relieve their eyes from the dazzling glare of the early studio lights.
*If you take any number, double it, add 10, divide by 2, and subtract your original number, the answer will always be 5.
*Over a 12 day period your body generates a whole new set of taste buds. (This process continues until you are in your 70's.)

*Greyhounds can reach their top speed of 45 mph in just 3 strides
*There is more sugar in 1kg of lemons than in 1kg of strawberries.
*Paraskevidekatriaphobia, is a morbid, irrational fear of Friday the 13th. Therapist Dr. Donald Dossey, whose specialty is treating people with irrational fears, coined the term. He claims, when you can pronounce the word you are cured. Friggatriskaidekaphobia has the same meaning.
*American Airlines saved $40,000 in 1987 by eliminating one olive from each salad served in first class
*Titan arum is probably the world's smelliest flower. Originating in the tropical rain forests of Sumatra, this huge, extremely rare flower is a giant lily. It seldom blooms, but when it does the smell is described as something like the dead carcass of an animal
*A Viking tribe once raided England because they had run out of beer

*Walt Disney World generates about 120,000 pounds of garbage every day.
*Turtles can breath through their bottoms.

*Barbie's full name is Barbara Millicent Roberts.
*The buzz generated by an electric razor in America is in the key of B flat. In the UK, it is in the key of G.
*Some of the most popular lipstick shades in Renaissance England were named, Rat, Horseflesh, Turkey, Blood and Puke.

*When Thomas Eddison died in 1941, Henry Ford captured his dying breath in a bottle.
*Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho" was the first Hollywood film that showed a toilet flushing - thereby generating many complaints
.
*The first flying-trapeze circus act was performed by Frenchman Jules Leotard at the Circus Napoleon on
Nov 12th 1859. He invented the garment now known as the leotard.
*In 1972 when Gordon Brown (British Chancellor of the Excheque) was 21, he won a Daily Express competition for "A Vision of Britain In The Year 2000."
*It is said, grapefruit scent makes middle age women seem six years younger to men (but it does not work the other way round).
*The average elephant produces 50lb of dung a day.
*The dinosaur noises in Jurassic Park came from slowing down
the sounds of elephants, geese and horses.
*The French invented the pop of the Christmas Cracker in the 19th century
(Tom Smith bought the idea back to UK after holidaying in France)
*The chances of hitting 2 holes-in-one during the same round of golf is one in 8 million

*Victorian ladies tried to enlarge their boobs by bathing in strawberries
*Until the 18th century, India produced almost all the world's diamonds
*The ancient Egyptians thought it was good luck to enter a house left foot first
*During their marriage, Angelina Jolie and Billy Bob Thornton bought an electric chair for their dining room
*
The average single man is one inch shorter than the average married man
*Lightning strikes about 6,000 times per minute on this planet of which 80% are in-cloud flashes and 20% are cloud-to-ground flashes.
*When screen lover Rudolph Valentino married Jean Acker (on Bonfire Day), she locked him out of their bedroom, the marriage lasted
only six hours
*160 cars can drive side by side on the Monumental Axis in Brazil, the world's widest road. On paper they can, as the road (actually it's an avenue) is 865 feet wide, but in reality they can't.
*When a female horse and a male donkey mate, the off-spring is called a mule; but when a male horse and a female donkey mate, the off spring is called a HINNY
*On average women speak 7000 words per day, where as men speak just over 2000
*Intelligent people have more zinc and copper in their hair
*While in Alcatraz, Al Capone was inmate No.85
*Disney World is bigger than the world's 5 smallest countries
*A house fly hums in the middle octave key of F
*Adolf Hitler's mother seriously considered having an abortion but was talked out of it by her doctor
*In one gram of soil, about ten million bacteria live in it
*A single ounce of gold can be beaten into a thin film covering 100 square feet
*Before the 1800, there were no separately designed shoes for left and right feet
*Paper was invented early in the second century by Chinese eunuch
*The first person to receive a singing telegram was singer Rudy Vallee, in honour of his 32nd birthday, July 28th 1933.
* The longest one-syllable word in the English language is screeched
*In Shakespeare's time, mattresses were secured on bed frames by ropes when you pulled on the ropes the mattress tightened, making the bed firmer to sleep on. Hence the phrase, "Goodnight, sleep tight."
*There are 336 dimples on a regulation golf ball
*A 75-year-old male driver received ten traffic tickets, drove on the wrong side of the road four times, committed four hit-and-run offenses and caused six accidents, all within 20 minutes, in McKinney, TX on 15 Oct 1966 [Worst driver: G. B. of Records]
*Wilma Flintstone's maiden name was Shaghoopal

*The word "trivia" comes from the Latin "trivium" which is the place where three roads meet. People would gather and talk about all sorts of matters.
Also in medieval universities, the trivium comprised the three subjects taught first, grammar, logic, and rhetoric, AND the Roman Goddess, Trivia, is the goddess of crossroads, witchcraft and the harvest moon.
*In 1935, the police in Atlantic City, New Jersey, arrested 42 men on the beach. They were cracking down on topless bathing suits worn by men.
*During lunch breaks in Carlsbad, New Mexico no couple should engage in a sexual act while parked in their vehicle, unless their car has curtains
.
*The distance between cities are actually the distances between city halls. When you see a sign "Sheffield - 40 miles" it means it is 40 miles to the city hall of that city sign
(and I expect town halls too!!)
*
The name of Canada is believed to come from the Iroquois Indian word "Kanata", meaning "village" or "community". The word Canada was first used in a 1534 text written by Jacques Cartier describing the Indian village of Stadacona.
*The longest non-medical word in the English language is floccipausinihilipilification (29 letters), which means "the act of estimating as worthless."
*Dominica, Mexico, Zambia, Kiribati, Fiji and Egypt all have birds on their flags.
*Bees visit over 2,000 flowers and fly over 55,000 miles to produce just 1lb. of honey
*Four out of every ten people who come to a party in your home will look in your bathroom cabinet
*The taboo against whistling backstage comes from the pre-electricity era when a whistle was the signal for the curtains and the scenery to drop. An unexpected whistle could cause an unexpected scene change!
*The sound you hear when macho people crack their knuckles is actually the sound of nitrogen gas bubbles bursting.
*Francis Bacon died of hypothermia while trying to freeze a chicken by stuffing it with snow
*Captain Jean-Luc Picard's (Star Trek) fish was named Livingston
*The WD in WD40 means "water displacement." The 40 in WD40 comes from the 40 attempts at creating this product.
*Beethoven dipped his head in cold water before he composed.
*Mice, whales, elephants, giraffes and man all have seven neck vertebra.
*The name for Oz in the "Wizard of Oz" was thought up when the creator,
Frank Baum, looked at his filing cabinet and saw A-N, and O-Z, hence "Oz."
*American car horns beep in the tone of F.
*The only food cockroaches won't eat are cucumbers.
*China has more English speakers than the U.S.
*Hong Kong has the world's largest double-decker tram fleet in the world
*The words silent and listen have the same letters. Santa and Satan do too
*You can tell the sex of a turtle by the sound it makes, A male grunts, A female hisses.
*There are no public toilets in Peru.

*Samuel Clemens [aka Mark Twain] was born in 1835 when Haley's Comet came into view. When he died in 1910, Haley's Comet came into view again
*The pound sign is called a 'octothorp.'
*In 1963, baseball pitcher Gaylord Perry remarked, "They'll put a man on
the moon before I hit a home run." On July 20, 1969, a few hours after Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon, Gaylord Perry hit his first, and only, home run
*"Dreamt" is the only word in the English language to end in "mt."
*The Queen termite can live up to 50 years and have 30,000 children every day
*The term, "It's all fun and games until someone loses an eye" is from Ancient Rome. The only rule during wrestling matches was, "No eye gouging," eveything else was allowed.

*A Dalmatian is the only dog that can get gout
*The male gypsy moth can smell the virgin female up to 1.8 miles away
*A male emperor moth can smell a female emperor moth up to 7 miles away
*The human heart creates enough pressure to squirt blood 30 feet out of the body.
*A puff of smoke, such as when someone is smoking a cigarette or a pipe
is called " a lunt "

*The name "Pinocchio" is from Tuscany, Italy and means "pine nut" or "kernel".
*Gilligan of Gilligan's Island had a first name that was only used once, on the never-aired pilot show. His first name was Willy

*It was the left shoe that Aschenputtel (Cinderella) lost at the stairway, when the prince tried to follow her. It was originally the right, but the translator messed up again.
*Cinderella's slippers were originally made out of fur. The story was changed in the 1600's by a translator.
*Banging your head against a wall uses 150 calories an hour & if you yelled for 8 years, 7 months and 6 days, you would have produced enough sound energy to heat one cup of coffee
*For 47 days in 1961, the painting "Matisse's Le Bateau (The Boat)" was hanging upside down in the Museum of Modern Art in New York. None of the over 116,000 visitors seem to have noticed.
*Walt Disney named Mickey Mouse after Mickey Rooney, whose mother he dated.
*Lorne Greene had one of his nipples bitten off by an alligator while he was host of "Lorne Greene's Animal Kingdom."
*The magic word 'Abracadabra' was originally intended for the specific purpose of curing hay fever.
*The phrase "rule of thumb" was popularized by an old English law which stated that you couldn't beat your wife with anything wider than your thumb top to first joint. (a thumb measurement is an inch)
*More redheads are born in Scotland UK than in any other part of the world
*The Sanskrit word for 'war' means - "desire for more cows".
*
The average bed is home to over 5 billion dust mites.
*Only female wasps, bees, and mosquitoes sting.
*
Las Vegas means "The Meadows" in Spanish.
*Born on November 2, 1718, British politician, John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich, is credited with naming the 'sandwich.' He developed a habit of eating beef between slice of toast so he could continue to play cards uninterrupted.
*Ice hockey was first played in 1885 by British soldiers stationed in Canada
*Armored knights raised their visors to identify themselves when they rode past their king. This custom has become the modern military salute.
*
Your fingernails grow 4 times faster than your toe nails
*
Pain travels faster than 3000 feet per second
*
A cow produces 200 times more gas a day than a person
*
About 10,000,000 people have the same birthday as you
*The snail mates only once in it's entire life, also a snail has 4 noses
*The Coca-Cola company is the biggest consumer of sugar in the world
*
The dot that appears over the letter "i" is called a tittle.
*All major league baseball umpires must wear black underwear while on the job (in case their pants split)
*
Captain Kirk never said "Beam me up, Scotty," but he did say, "Beam me up, Mr. Scott"
*The word gymnasium comes from the Greek word gymnazein which means to
exercise naked. Etymology: Latin, exercise ground, school, from Greek gymnasion, from gymnazein to exercise naked, from gymnos naked
*Everyone thought Albert Einstein suffered from dyslexia, because he couldn't speak properly until he was 9 years old.
*Mel Blanc (the voice of Bugs Bunny) was allergic to carrots
*The nation of Monaco on the French Riviera, is smaller than Central Park in New York. Monaco is 370 acres and Central Park is 840 acres
*Gweneth Paltrow's nickname for Steven Speilberg is "Uncle Morty." Steven Speilberg calls Gweneth Paltrow "Gwynnie the pooh."
*You can't kill yourself by holding your breath.
*The sorcerer's name in Disney's Fantasia is Yensid, which happens to be Disney backwards.
*Armadillos are the only animal besides humans that can get leprosy
*The world's longest name is: Adolph Blaine Charles David Earl Frederick Gerald Hubert Irvin John Kenneth Lloyd Martin Nero Oliver Paul Quincy Randolph Shermasn Thomas Uncas Victor William Xerxes Yancy Zeus Wolfeschlegelsteinhausenbergerdorft Sr.
*Shirly Temple received 135,000 presents on her 8th birthday.
*
When Christopher Columbus and crew landed in the New World they observed the natives using a nose pipe to smoke a strange new herb. The pipe was called a "tabaka" by the locals, hence our word tobacco.
*Americans on the average eat 18 acres of pizza every day.
*The sound of E.T. walking was made by someone squishing her hands in jelly.
*Hitler and Napoleon both had only one testicle.
*
Every time you lick a stamp, you're consuming 1/10 of a calorie.
*
In ancient China, people committed suicide by eating a pound of salt.
*Queen Victoria [UK 1837-1901] eased the discomfort of her monthly cramps by having her doctor supply her with marijuana.
*The average human eats 8 spiders in their lifetime at night. [usually in our sleep] ~ this is a MYTH
*
If you fart consistently for 6 years and 9 months, enough energy is produced to create an atomic bomb
*
Sugar was first added to chewing gum in 1869 by a dentist (William Semple). One way to assure business!!
*The Ramses brand condom is named after the great phaoroh Ramses II who fathered over 160 children.
*
The names of the three wise monkeys are: Mizaru: See no evil, Mikazaru: Hear no evil, and Mazaru: Speak no evil.
*
The Spanish word esposa means "wife." The plural, esposas, means "wives," but also "handcuffs."
*
23% of all photocopier faults worldwide are caused by people sitting on them and photocopying their butts.
*
There was one U.S. state that no longer exists? In 1784 the U.S. had a state called Franklin, named after Benjamin Franklin. But four years later, it was incorporated into Tennessee.
*
The clinical term for a hairy buttocks is "daysypgal."
*
A duck's quack doesn't echo, and ... no one knows why.~ MYTH everything echoes. University students have recorded a ducks echo. It is usually so quiet we cannot hear it.
*"The sixth sick sheik's sixth sheep's sick" is said to be the toughest tongue twister in the English language. ??? Maybe if said fast... Dubious.
*Clans, many many years ago that wanted to get rid of their unwanted people without killing them, burnt their houses down - hence the expression " to get fired." !!

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