More Little Known Facts

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Pain is measured in units of “dols”. The instrument used to measure pain is a “dolorimeter”.

In a nod to astronauts, Texas is the only state that permits residents to cast absentee ballots from space.

Eleven top executives of the Direct Marketing Association (the telemarketers’ group that is trying to kill the federal “Do Not Call” list) have registered for the list themselves.

An iceberg the size of Long Island, New York, has broken off Antarctica and has blocked sea lanes used by both ships and penguins.

In 2003, the Transportation Security Administration dropped a requirement that air marshals pass a marksmanship test. Some applicants were even hired after they repeatedly shot flight attendants in mock hijacking episodes.

As of January 2004, the United States economy now borrows $1,500,000,000 each day from foreign investors.

A Costa Rican worker who makes baseballs earns about $2,750 annually. The average American pro baseball player earns $2,377,000 per year.

Former keyboard player for Jethro Tull David Palmer is now a woman named Dee Palmer. He waited until his wife died before going through with his longtime desire for a sex change.

During Bill Clinton’s entire eight year presidency, he only sent two e-mails. One was to John Glenn when he was aboard the space shuttle, and the other was a test of the e-mail system.

The only state with a one syllable name is Maine.

Albert Einstein never knew how to drive a car.

The UK’s best selling hiking magazine published faulty coordinates for descending Scotland’s tallest peak (Ben Nevis), and recommended a route that leads climbers off the edge of a cliff.

The Mars Rover “Spirit” is powered by six small motors the size of “C” batteries. It has a top speed of 0.1 mph.

Zeppo Marx (the unfunny one of the Marx Brothers) had a patent for a wristwatch with a heart monitor.

The entire town of Capena, Italy (including children as young as 2 years old) lights up cigarettes each year in honor of St. Anthony’s Day. This tradition is centuries old.

The Amish a diet high in meat, dairy, refined sugars and calories. Yet obesity is virtually unknown among them. The difference is since they have no TVs, cars or powered machines, they spend their time in manual labor.

Microsoft threatened 17 year old Mike Rowe with a lawsuit after the young man launched a website named MikeRoweSoft.com.

As of January 1, 2004, the population of the United States increases by one person every 12 seconds. There is a birth every eight seconds, an immigrant is added every 25 seconds, but a death every 13 seconds.

There is a Starbucks in Myungdong, South Korea that is five stories tall.

Astronauts cannot burp in space. There is no gravity to separate liquid from gas in their stomachs.

There has been no mail delivery in Canada on Saturday for the last thirty five years.

The weight of air in a milk glass is about the same as the weight of an aspirin tablet.

Finland has the greatest number of islands of any country in the world: 179,584.

The world’s smallest winged insect is the Tanzanian parasitic wasp. It’s smaller than the eye of a housefly.

Two-thirds of the world’s eggplant is grown in New Jersey.

The winter of 1932 was so cold that Niagara Falls froze completely solid.

The glue on Israeli postage stamps is certified kosher.

If you have three quarters, four dimes and four cents, you have $1.19. But you cannot make exact change for a dollar.

There are more plastic flamingoes in the United States than real ones.

The chance that you will die on the way to buy your lottery ticket is greater than the chance of you winning the big prize in most lotteries.

Winston Churchill was born in a ladies’ room during a dance.

Dolly Parton once lost a Dolly Parton Look-Alike contest.

An average of 100 people choke to death on ball point pens each year.

The National Anthem of Greece has 158 verses.

Barbie’s full name is Barbara Millicent Roberts.

The liquid inside young coconuts can be used as a substitute for blood plasma.

The highest point in Pennsylvania is lower than the lowest point in Colorado.

The Bible has been translated into Klingon.

Toto was paid $125 per week while filming the “Wizard of Oz”.

All polar bears are left handed.

Fidgeting can burn about 350 calories a day.

In the early 1940s, Heinz produced a version of Alphabetti Spaghetti especially for the German market that consisted only of little pasta swastikas.

To help reduce budget deficits, several states have begun reducing the amount of food served to prison inmates. In Texas, the number of daily calories served to prisoners was cut by 300, saving the state $6,000,000 per year.

The only member of the band ZZ Top without a beard has the last name Beard.

Pope John Paul II was the world’s Scrabble champion in the over-70 category.

Montpelier, Vermont is the only state capitol without a McDonald’s.

If the population of China walked past you in single file, the line would never end because of the rate of reproduction.

Wearing headphones for an hour increases the bacteria in your ear 700 times.

In 1993, the board of governors at Carl Karcher Enterprises voted (5 to 2) to fire Carl Karcher. Carl Karcher is the founder of Carls Jr. restaurants.

The little hole in the sink that lets the water drain out, instead of flowing over the side, is called a “porcelator.”

The wingspan of a Boeing 747 jet is longer than the Wright Brothers’ first flight.

Ted Turner owns 5% of New Mexico.

Over 8 years, this happened 284 times: “Cosmo” Kramer went through Jerry Seinfeld’s apartment door.

The cruise liner Queen Elizabeth 2 moves only six inches for each gallon of diesel fuel that it burns.

There are more 100 dollar bills in Russia currently than there are in the United States.

Maine has no venomous snakes.

It is physically impossible for pigs to look up into the sky.

65% of Elvis impersonators are of Asian descent.

More people are killed annually by donkeys than die in air crashes.

Burt Reynolds was originally cast to be Han Solo in the first Star Wars film. He dropped out before filming.

Pope John Paul II was named an “Honorary Harlem Globetrotter” in 2000.

Woodward Avenue in Detroit, Michigan carries the designation M – 1, named so because it was the first paved road anywhere.

There are only three types of snakes on the island of Tasmania and all three are deadly poisonous.

It is believed that Shakespeare was 46 around the time that the King James Version of the Bible was written. In Psalms 46, the 46th word from the first word is “shake” and the 46th word from the last word is “spear”.

The California Department of Motor Vehicles has issued six driver’s licenses to six different people named Jesus Christ.

Michael Jordan makes more money from Nike each year than all the Nike factory workers in Malaysia combined.

Chicago is closer to Moscow than it is to Rio de Janeiro.

Dogs have two sets of teeth, just like humans. They first have 30 “puppy” teeth, then 42 adult teeth.

In 1950, President Harry Truman threw out the first ball twice at the opening day Washington DC baseball game; once right handed and once left handed.

A Swiss ski resort announced it would combat global warming by wrapping its mountain glaciers in aluminum foil to keep them from melting.

The chameleon has a tongue that is one and a half times the length of his body.

Beethoven dipped his head in cold water before he composed.

There once was a town named “6″ in West Virginia.

Ten years ago, only 500 people in China could ski. This year, an estimated 5,000,000 Chinese will visit ski resorts.

A Nigerian woman was caught entering the UK with 104 kg of snails in her baggage.

Profanity is typically cut from in-flight movies to make them suitable for general audiences. Fox Searchlight Pictures has substituted “Ashcroft” for “A**hole” in the movie Sideways when dubbed for Aerolineas Argentinas flights.

Author Hunter S. Thompson, who committed suicide recently, wanted to be cremated and his ashes to be shot out of a cannon on his ranch.

Sports Illustrated magazine allows subscribers to opt out of receiving the famous swimsuit issue each year. Fewer than 1% choose this option.

There is a company that will (for $14,000) take your ashes, compress them into a synthetic diamond to be set in jewelry for a loved one.

The RIAA sued an 83 year old woman for downloading music illegally, even though a copy of her death certificate was sent to the RIAA a week before it filed the suit.

Two 1903 paintings recently sold at auction for $590,000 – the paintings were in the famous “Dogs Playing Poker” series.

Russian scientists have developed a new drug that prolongs drunkenness and enhances intoxication.

Romanian firefighters could not get their trucks close enough to a burning building, so they put out the fire by throwing snowballs at it.

A perfect SAT score is 1600 combined. Bill Gates scored 1590 on his SAT. Paul Allen, Bill’s partner in Microsoft, scored a perfect 1600. Bill Cosby scored less than 500 combined.

Motorists traveling outside Salem, Oregon saw one of the “litter cleanup” signs crediting the American Nazi party. Marion County officials had no choice but to let that group into the adopt-a-road program. The $500 per sign was picked up by Oregon taxpayers. The Ku Klux Klan is also involved in the adopt-a-road program in the state of Missouri.

Spam filters that catch the word “cialis” will not allow many work-related e-mails through because that word is embedded inside the word “specialist”.

McDonald’s restaurants will buy 54,000,000 pounds of fresh apples this year. Two years ago, McDonald’s purchased 0 pounds of apples. This is attributed to the shift to more healthy menu options.

The biggest dog on record was an Old English Mastiff that weighed 343 pounds. He was 8 feet, 3 inches from nose to tail.

Mailmen in Russia now carry revolvers after a recent decision by the government.

All of Queen Anne’s 17 children died before she did.

There are over 87,000 Americans on waiting lists for organ transplants.

American made parts account for only 1% of the Chrysler Crossfire. 96% of the Ford F-150 Heritage Truck is American.

A Dutch court ruled that a bank robber could deduct the 2,000 Euros he paid for his pistol from the 6,600 Euros he has to return to the bank he robbed.

Only 6% of the autographs in circulation from members of the Beatles are estimated to be real.

The time spent deleting SPAM costs United States businesses $21.6 billion annually.

60.7 percent of eligible voters participated in the 2004 presidential election, the highest percentage in 36 years. However, more than 78 million did not vote. This means President Bush won re-election by receiving votes from less than 31% of all eligible voters in the United States.

John Quincy Adams, sixth president of the United States, loved to skinny dip in the Potomac River.

La Paz, Bolivia has an average annual temperature below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. However, it has never recorded a zero-degree temperature. Same for Stanley, Falkland Islands and Punta Arenas, Chile.

41% of Chinese people eat at least once a week at a fast food restaurant. 35% of Americans do.

A Wisconsin forklift operator for a Miller beer distributor was fired when a picture was published in a newspaper showing him drinking a Bud Light.

So many Americans decided not to get a flu shot in winter 2004/2005 that there is now a surplus of flu immunizations; if more people don’t get flu shots soon, there will be thousands of doses that will go to waste.

G-rated family films earn far more money than any other rating. Yet only 3% of Hollywood’s output is G-rated.

Richard Hatch, winner of the first “Survivor” reality series, has been charged with tax evasion for failing to report his $1,000,000 prize.

The entire fleet of Unicoi County Tennessee’s salt trucks was rendered out of commission in one accident. All three trucks were badly damaged when one of them began skidding down a road, causing a chain reaction accident. Officials blamed road conditions.

More people study English in China than speak it in the United States of America (300 million).

Fast food provider Hardee’s has recently introduced the Monster Thickburger. It has 1,420 calories and 107 grams of fat.

More than 2,500 left-handed people are killed each year from using products that are made for right-handed people.

For every person on earth, there are an estimated 200 million insects.

There are 2,000,000 millionaires in the United States.

1.5 million Americans are charged with drunk driving each year.

A Georgia company will mix your loved one’s ashes with cement and drop it into the ocean to form an artificial reef.

The Washington Times newspaper is owned by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon.

The busiest shopping hour of the holiday season is between 3:00 pm and 4:00 pm on Christmas Eve.

In 2002, women earned 742,000 bachelor’s degrees. Men earned only 550,000 during the same year. The difference is growing so large that many colleges now practice (quietly) affirmative action for male applicants.

Most of the deck chairs on the Queen Mary 2 have had to be replaced because overweight Americans were breaking them.

Actor Bill Murray doesn’t have a publicist or an agent.

The day after President George W. Bush was reelected, Canada’s main immigration website had 115,000 visitors. Before Bush’s re-election, this site averaged about 20,000 visitors each day.

Only 30% of stolen artwork worth more than $1,000,000 each is recovered.

The typical American child receives 70 new toys a year, most of them during the holiday season.

90% of Canada’s 31,000,000 citizens live within 100 miles of the U.S. border.

Costco is the largest wine retailer in the United States. Annual wine sales are about $700 million.

The worst air polluter in the entire state of Washington is Mount St. Helens.

There are less than 100 surviving American World War I veterans.

Actor Bruce Willis has filed a lawsuit against the movie studio that produced his film “Tears of the Sun”, alleging he was struck in the forehead by a fake bullet. Since 2002 (when the movie was in production), the lawsuit claims he has endured “extreme mental, physical, and emotional pain and suffering”.

A ten year old mattress weighs double what it did when it was new, because of the -ahem- debris which is absorbed through the years. That debris includes dust mites (their droppings and their decaying bodies), mold, millions of dead skin cells, dandruff, animal and human hair, secretions, excretions, lint, pollen, dust, soil, sand and a lot of perspiration, of which the average person loses a quart per day. Good night!

About 20% of gift card recipients never redeem the full value of the card.

SUVs, pickup trucks, light trucks and minivans make up 54% of all vehicles sold in the first nine months of 2004, up from 52% in 2003.

John Kerry’s hometown newspaper, the Lowell Sun, endorsed George W. Bush for president. Bush’s hometown newspaper, the Lone Star Iconoclast, endorsed John Kerry for president.

Only 939 of the 1,400,000 high school seniors who took the SAT in 2004 got a perfect score of 1600. Two of them are twin brothers Dillon and Jesse Smith from Long Island, NY.

Billboard magazine has recently launched a top 20 chart of cell phone ringtones.

The US Army is handing out $2,500 to Fallujah residents whose property was destroyed by US planes and artillery.

George W. Bush, who presents himself as a man of faith, rarely goes to church. Yet he won nearly two out of three voters who attend church at least once a week.

In 2015, it is estimated that half the federal budget will be spent on programs for the elderly.

Dolly Parton is planning on having breast reduction surgery soon to relieve the pain on her back.

A private elementary school in Alexandria, Virginia, accidentally served margaritas to its schoolchildren, thinking it was limeade.

The Chicago Cubs are suing former Hartford Courant newspaper carrier Mark Guthrie to get back $301,000 in pay that was intended to go to a Cubs pitcher with the same name. The Tribune Company owns both the Hartford Courant and the Chicago Cubs.

In February 2004, a Disneyland employee was killed when he fell from a parade float and was trapped between two float sections. OSHA termed this a serious workplace violation, but Disney was fined only $6,300.

Even today, 90% of the continental United States is still open space or farmland.

The second Saturday in September is usually a popular time for weddings. Not in 2004, as most couples did not want their anniversaries on September 11.

Mel Gibson has personally earned almost $400,000,000 from his movie “The Passion of the Christ”.

Austin High School in Texas has removed candy from its vending machines. Now some enterprising students are earning $200 per week dealing in black market candy.

In 2004, Virgin Atlantic Airlines introduced a double bed for first class passengers who fly together.

The world’s largest book, “Bhutan: A Visual Odyssey” is in a Chicago public library. The book measures 5 feet tall by 7 feet wide when open. It weighs 133 pounds.

If the recent U.S. election was held in Canada, John Kerry would have beaten George Bush in a landslide – 64% to 19%.

Oprah Winfrey and Elvis Presley are distant cousins.

55% of Americans claim they would continue working even if they received a $10,000,000 lottery prize.

The company that manufactures the greatest number of women’s dresses each year is Mattel. Barbie’s got to wear something.

All radios in North Korea have been rigged so listeners can only receive a North Korean government station. The United States recently announced plans to smuggle $2,000,000 worth of small radios into the country so North Koreans can get a taste of (what their government calls) “rotten imperialist reactionary culture”.

La Paz, Bolivia is the world’s most fireproof city. At 12,000 feet about sea level, the amount of oxygen in the air barely supports a flame.

The estates of 22 dead celebrities earned over $5 million in 2004. These celebrities include Elvis Presley, Dr. Seuss, Charles Schulz, J.R.R. Tolkien and John Lennon.

George Washington spent about 7% of his annual salary on liquor.

Each year, more people are killed by teddy bears than by grizzly bears.

If you disassembled the Great Pyramid of Cheops, you would get enough stones to encircle the earth with a brick wall twenty inches high.

Nearly one third of New York City public school teachers send their own children to private schools.

The New York City Police Department has a $3.3 billion annual budget, larger than all but 19 of the world’s armies.

CBS’s fine for Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction” in the 2004 Super Bowl show was $550,000. This could be paid with only 7.5 seconds of commercial time during the same Super Bowl telecast.

In September 2004, a Minnesota state trooper issued a speeding ticket to a motorcyclist who was clocked at 205 mph.

Al Gore’s roommate in college (Harvard, class of 1969) was Tommy Lee Jones.

In her later years, Florence Nightingale kept a pet owl in her pocket.

The New York Jets were unable to find hotel rooms for a game in Indianapolis recently because they had all been booked up by people attending Gencon, a gaming convention.

China is the world’s largest market for BMW’s top of the line 760Li. This car sells for $200,000 in China – more than almost all people in China make in a lifetime.

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About the author

Jason Donner

Jason Donner devoured the universe and you are all living inside him.