View Full Version : did you know?

02-21-2008, 10:15 PM
this is the thread of amazing facts..feel free to add on


Thomas Cook, the world's first travel agency in the world, was founded in 1850.
In the West the most popular male names are James and John. The most popular female name is Mary.
The name Wendy was first used in JM Barrie's Peter Pan.
There are about 5,000 prince and princesses in each Saudi Arabian royal.
Lady Peseshet of Ancient Egypt (2600-2100 BC) is the world's first known female physician.
The 16th century Escorial palace of King Phillip II of Spain had 1,200 doors.
Adriaan van der Donck was the first and only lawyer in New York City in 1653.
A Duke is the highest rank you can achieve without being a king or a prince.
The British royal family changed their surname (http://www.didyouknow.org/royals.htm) (last name) from Saxe-Coburg-Gotha to Windsor, the name of their castle, in 1917.
Before writing 007 (http://www.didyouknow.org/bond.htm) novels, Ian Fleming studied languages at Munich and Geneva universities, worked with Reuters in Moscow, and then became a banker and stockbroker.
Julius Caesar was known as a great swimmer.
There are more than 600 million telephone lines today, yet almost half the world's population has never made a phone call.
When Alexander Graham Bell passed away in 1922, every telephone served by the Bell system in the USA and Canada was silent for one minute.
The people killed most often during bank robberies are the robbers.
Orville Wright numbered the eggs (http://www.didyouknow.org/eggs.htm) that his chickens produced so he could eat them in the order they were laid.
On New Year's Day, 1907, Theodore Roosevelt shook hands with 8,513 people.
The oldest person on record is Methuselah (969 years old).
An exocannibal eats only enemies. An indocannibal eats only friends.
Alexander Graham Bell never phoned his wife or mother because they were deaf.
Burt Reynold's father was the chief of police in West Palm Beach, Florida.
On 5th October 1974, four years, three months and sixteen days after Dave Kunste set out from Minnesota, he became the first man to walk around the world (http://www.didyouknow.org/aroundtheworld/aroundtheworld.htm), having taken more than 20 million steps.
English sailors came to be called Limeys after using lime juice to combat scurvy.
English soldiers were called Tommies because the example name on the soldier forms was Thomas Atkins. (The example name on US forms is John Smith.)
The word "Machiavellian" is named after Niccolo Machiavelli, who was friends with Leonardo da Vinci.
Queen Isabella of Castile, who dispatched Christopher Columbus to find the Americas, boasted that she had only two baths in her life - at her birth and before she got married.
Leonardo da Vinci could write with the one hand and draw with the other simultaneously.
Until he was 18, Woody Allen read virtually nothing but comic books but did show his writing skills. He sold one-liners for ten cents each to gossip columnists.
In the 18th century Dr Monsey of Chelsea, England tied a piece of catgut around a patient's tooth, threaded the other through a hole drilled in a bullet, loaded the bullet into his revolver and pulled the trigger.
Thomas Jefferson wrote his own epitaph without mentioning that he was US President.
Winston Churchill was a stutterer. As a child, one of his teachers warned, "Because of his stuttering he should be discouraged from following in his father's political footsteps."
The 17th-century French Cardinal Mazarin never traveled without his personal chocolate-maker.
King Louis XIV of France established in his court the position of "Royal Chocolate Maker to the King."
Napoleon (http://www.didyouknow.org/napoleon.htm) reportedly carried chocolate (http://www.didyouknow.org/chocolate.htm) on all his military campaigns.
The word "electric" was first used in 1600 by William Gilbert, a doctor to Queen Elizabeth I.
In 1973, Swedish confectionery salesman Roland Ohisson was buried in a coffin made entirely of chocolate.
There are four types of marriages: monogamy, polygyny (polygymy), polyandry, and group marriage. Monogamy is one wife, one husband. Polygyny is one husband, several wives. Polyandry is one wife, several husbands. Group marriage is by far the rarest and has never been the prevailing form of marriage in any known society.

Hamilton-Burr duel

The guy on the US ten-dollar bill is, of course, Alexander Hamilton and he was killed in a duel by Vice President Aaron Burr.
Hamilton was a revolutionary war hero and leading architect of the new American government. He co-authored the Federalist Papers, considered one of the most important contributions to American political thought. As Washington's right-hand man and the first US Secretary of the Treasury, he formulated an economic policy that got the then-new nation on its feet.
Aaron Burr was a colonel in the Continental Army and briefly served - as Hamilton did - with Washington at Valley Forge. In the election of 1800, he was in a deadlock with Thomas Jefferson for the presidency, with 73 votes each. The election went to the House of Representatives to be decided. There Federalist votes kept the election deadlocked until the 36th ballot, when Hamilton's influence gave the presidency to Jefferson. Burr, a Republican, became vice president.
Many at the time thought that the political mudslinging of Burr by Hamilton may have cost him the election. The animosity between the two men would continue until July 1804 when Burr challenged Hamilton to a duel, and as was customary, was accepted.
The fateful day came on July 11, 1804 at Weehawken, New Jersey. Vice President Aaron Burr and former Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton faced off, and Hamilton was mortally wounded. He was dragged from the duelling area and died the next day. While the nation mourned, Burr returned to complete his term as vice president but his success in the duel proved to be to his detriment. There was some talk of murder charges being brought against him, but as the rules of the duel were followed, no indictment was carried forward. He would later go on to be charged for treason for his ill-fated attempt to establish his own empire in the South.
Aaron Burr (1756-1836) served as US Vice President from 1801-05. He disliked Hamilton, accusing him of competing for political positions and the favours of married women in New York's high society. Aaron Burr biography (http://gi.grolier.com/presidents/ea/vp/vpburr.html)
Alexander Hamilton (1755-1804) was mortally wounded in a duel with Aaron Burr. Hamilton disliked Burr because the orphan Burr came from a relatively privileged background while he was the unacknowledged illegitimate son of a Jamaican planter. Alexander Hamilton biography (http://xroads.virginia.edu/%7ECAP/ham/hamintro.html)


The human head contains 22 bones

The human head contains 22 bones, consisting the cranium and the facial bones. The cranium is formed by 8 bones: the frontal bone, two parietal bones, two temporal bones, the occipital bone in the back, the ethmoid bone behind the nose, and the sphenoid bone. The face consists of 14 bones including the maxilla (upper jaw) and mandible (lower jaw). (The skull has many little holes in its base which allow the cranial nerves to travel to their destinations.)
The cranium protects the brain, which, for an average adult male weighs about 1400 gram (49oz). The brain of Russian novelist Turgenev, weighed 2021g (71oz), Bismarck's brain weighed 1807g (64oz), while that of famous French statesman Gambetta was only 1294g (46oz). Female average brain mass is slightly less than that of males. The largest woman's brain recorded weighed 1742g (6oz). Einstein's brain was of average size.
An elephant's brain weighs 5000g (176oz or 11 lb), a whale's 10000g (352oz or 22lb). In proportion to the body, the whale has a much smaller brain than man. This seem to give man the edge, until it was discovered that the dwarf monkey has 1g of brain per 27g (0.95oz) of body, and the capuchin monkey has 1g of brain per 17,5g body, whereas man has 1 gram of brain to 44g of body.
Most scientists believe that "photographic memory" is a myth. Clever people train their brains to remember well. In fact, as humans we simply do not remember things well. Of the three beings known to be able to recognise themselves in the mirror, the orangutan, the dolphin and the human, only the latter turns around and instantly cannot remember what his/her own face looks like. (Try drawing a picture of yourself without looking in the mirror:)
Brain power

The human brains consists of more than 100 billion neurons (nerve cells) through which the brain's commands are sent in the form of electric pulses. These pulses travel at more than 400 km/h (250 mph), creating enough electricity to power a lightbulb. The brain consumes more energy than any other organ, burning up a whopping one-fifth of the food we take in.
It is estimated that the mental capacity of a 100-year old human with perfect memory could be represented by computer with 10 to the power of 15 bits (one petabit). At the current rate of computer chip development, that figure can be reached in about 35 years. However, that represents just memory capacity, not the extremely complex processes of thought creation and emotions.
But consider this: for all the complexity of the brain, you still have only one thought at a time. Make it a positive thought.
One-quarter of the brains in used to control the eye. We actually see with our brains, with the eyes basically being cameras.
You're born with 300 bones, but when you get to be an adult, you only have 206.

02-21-2008, 10:16 PM
In 1750 there were about 800 million people in the world. In 1850 there were a billion more, and by 1950, another billion. Then it took just 50 years to double to 6 billion.
Half the world's population earns about 5% of the world's wealth.
There are more than 600 million telephone lines, yet almost half the world's population has never made a phone call on a land line. However, more than half the world's population has made a cell phone call. There are more than 2 billion cell phones in use.
More personal telephone calls are made on Mother's Day in the USA than on any other day in any other country.
One in ten people in the world live on an island (http://www.didyouknow.org/islands.htm).
The opposite sides of a dice cube always add up to seven.
In the US, murder is committed most frequently in August and least frequently in February.
In 1870 there were more Irish living in London than in Dublin.
In 1870 there also were more Catholics living in London than in Rome.
The chance of being born on Leap Day is about 684 out of a million, or 1 in 1461. Less than 5 million people have their birthday on Leap Day.
The odds of being struck by lightning are about 600,000 to one.
About 27% of food in developed countries are wasted each year. It's simply thrown away.
Almost 1,2 billion people are underfed - the same number of people that are overweight to the point of obesity.
The world average of egg (http://www.didyouknow.org/eggs.htm) consumption per capita is 230.
In the US, about 280 million turkeys are sold for the Thanksgiving (http://www.didyouknow.org/thanksgiving.htm) celebrations.
Half the world's population is under 25 years of age.
On average in the West, people move house every 7 years.
US Post Office handles 43% of the world's mail. Its nearest competitor is Japan with 6%.
In the developed countries, the proportion of adults married has declined from 72% in 1970 to 60% in 1996. The chance of a first marriage ending in divorce is between 50% and 67%. The chance that a second marriage will end in divorce is about 10% higher than for the first marriage.
The world's average school year is 200 days per year. In the US, it is 180 days; in Sweden 170 days, in Japan it is 243 days.
Since 1972, some 64 million tons of aluminum cans (http://www.didyouknow.org/cans.htm) (about 3 trillion cans) have been produced. Placed end-to-end, they could stretch to the moon about a thousand times. Cans represent less than 1% of solid waste material.
More than a billion transistors are manufactured... every second.
92% of Chinese belong to the Han nationality, which has been China's largest nationality for centuries. The rest of the nation consists of about 55 minority groups.
According to the US Census Bureau, 19% of US children live in poverty. (1999)
In 1998, US states spent $30 billion in funds on correctional services and $24 billion on social welfare.
In 1998, American people, foundations and corporations gave more than $175 billion to charities and churches. Churches received 40% of the contributions, while public charities and educational organizations received the remainder.
According to the US Weather Service, their one day forecasts are accurate more than 75% of the time. They send out 2 million forecasts a year.
There are more than 150 million sheep in Australia, a nation of 17 million people.
New Zealand is home to 4 million people and 70 million sheep.

02-21-2008, 10:18 PM
n 1894, Lord Kelvin predicted (http://www.didyouknow.org/predictions.htm) that radio had no future; he also predicted that heavier-than-air flying machines were impossible. The word "sneaker" was coined by Henry McKinney, an advertising agent for N.W. Ayer & Son.
Charles Macintosh invented the waterproof coat, the Mackintosh, in 1823.
Air-filled tyres were used on bicycles (http://www.didyouknow.org/bicycles.htm) before they were used on motorcars.
The paperclip (http://www.didyouknow.org/paperclips.htm) was invented by Norwegian Johann Vaaler.
Music was sent down a telephone line for the first time in 1876, the year the phone was invented.
The can (http://www.didyouknow.org/cans.htm) opener was invented 48 years after cans were introduced.
Traffic lights (http://www.didyouknow.org/trafficlights.htm) were used before the advent of the motorcar.
Optical fibre was invented in 1966 by two British scientists called Charles Kao and George Hockham working for the British company Standard Telecommunication.
The first neon sign was made in 1923 for a Packard dealership.
The first fax (http://www.didyouknow.org/firstfax.htm) process was patented in 1843.
The Monopoly game was invented by Charles Darrow in 1933. He sold the rights to George Parker in 1935, then aged 58. Parker invented more than 100 games, including Pit, Rook, Flinch, Risk and Clue.
One hour before Alexander Graham Bell registered his patent for the telephone in 1876, Elisha Gray (http://www.didyouknow.org/music/gray.htm) patented his design. After years of litigation, the patent went to Bell.
The hair perm was invented in 1906 by Karl Ludwig Nessler of Germany.
The first vending machine was invented by Hero of Alexandria around 215 BC. When a coin was dropped into a slot, its weight would pull a cork out of a spigot and the machine would dispense a trickle of water.
Leonardo da Vinci never built the inventions he designed.
Thomas Edison filed 1,093 patents, including those for the light bulb, electric railways and the movie camera. When he died in 1931, he held 34 patents for the telephone, 141 for batteries, 150 for the telegraph and 389 patents for electric light and power.
Count Alessandro Volta invented the first battery in the 18th century.
During the 1860s, George Leclanche developed the dry-cell battery, the basis for modern batteries.
Joseph Niepce developed the world's first photographic image in 1827.
The very first projection of an image on a screen was made by a German priest. In 1646, Athanasius Kircher used a candle or oil lamp to project hand-painted images onto a white screen.
In 1894 Thomas Edison and W K L Dickson introduced the first film camera.
In 1895 French brothers Auguste and Louis Lumiere demonstrated a projector system in Paris. In 1907 they screened the first public movie.
The first electronic mail, or "email", was sent in 1972 by Ray Tomlinson. It was also his idea to use the @ sign to separate the name of the user from the name of the computer.
In 1889, Kansas undertaker Almon B. Strowger wanted to prevent telephone operators from advising his rivals of the death of local citizens. So he invented the automatic exchange.

02-21-2008, 10:40 PM
the first email was in 1972? wow thats pretty far back