Friday, September 3, 2010

Top 25 Short Facts, 9/4

  1. Q-Tip Cotton Swabs were originally called Baby Gays.
  2. If you put a raisin in a fresh glass of champagne, it will rise and fall continuously.
  3. It’s a common practice in southern India for a man to marry his elder sister’s daughter.
  4. The average tastebud lives only 10 days before it dies and is replaced by a new one.
  5. The average housefly lives only two weeks.
  6. There are 293 ways to make change for a dollar.
  7. More than 6,000 people with pillow-related injuries check into U.S. emergency rooms every year!
  8. A chicken will lay bigger and stronger eggs if you change the lighting in such a way as to make them think a day is 28 hours long!
  9. Rats can't vomit, that's why rat poison works.
  10. If you were to roll a lung from a human body and out flat it would be the size of a tennis court.
  11. The word 'Indiana' is Native American for 'Land of the Indians', yet less than 16,000 Native Americans live there.
  12. Avocados have more protein than any other fruit.
  13. Chained dogs are 3 times more likely to bite than unchained dogs.
  14. The oil used by jewelers to lubricate clocks and watches costs about $3,000 a gallon.
  15. When nobody else is around, 47% of people drink straight from the carton.
  16. The IRS employees tax manual has instructions for collecting taxes after a nuclear war.
  17. When you correct for weight differences, men are proportionately stronger than horses.
  18. All the platinum ever mined would fit into an average-sized living-room!
  19. Because metal was scarce; the Oscars given out during World War II were made of plaster.
  20. 85% of men don't use the slit in their underwear.
  21. The first two years of a dog's life are equal to 24 human years.
  22. Nearly 10% of American households dress their pets in Halloween costumes.
  23. In 1897, Bayer, who is the maker of Aspirin, marketed the drug heroin.
  24. Technically speaking, crystal glass is actually a Liquid that flows very slowly.
  25. 7,000 new insect species are discovered every year.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Origin of Common Punctuation Marks


Question Mark

Origin: When early scholars wrote in Latin, they would place the wordquestio – meaning "question" – at the end of a sentence to indicate a query. To conserve valuable space, writing it was soon shortened to qo, which caused another problem – readers might mistake it for the ending of a word. So they squashed the letters into a symbol: a lowercased q on top of an o. Over time the o shrank to a dot and the q to a squiggle, giving us our current question mark.


Exclamation Point

Origin: Like the question mark, the exclamation point was invented by stacking letters. The mark comes from the Latin word io, meaning "exclamation of joy." Written vertically, with the i above the o, it forms the exclamation point we use today.

Equal Sign

Origin: Invented by English mathematician Robert Recorde in 1557, with this rationale: "I will settle as I doe often in woorke use, a paire of paralleles, or Gmowe [i.e., twin] lines of one length, thus : , bicause noe 2 thynges, can be more equalle." His equal signs were about five times as long as the current ones, and it took more than a century for his sign to be accepted over its rival: a strange curly symbol invented by Descartes.


Origin: This symbol is stylized et, Latin for "and." Although it was invented by the Roman scribe Marcus Tullius Tiro in the first century B.C., it didn’t get its strange name until centuries later. In the early 1800s, schoolchildren learned this symbol as the 27th letter of the alphabet: X, Y, Z, &. But the symbol had no name. So, they ended their ABCs with "and, per se, and" meaning "&, which means ‘and.’" This phrase was slurred into one garbled word that eventually caught on with everyone: ampersand.



Origin: The odd name for this ancient sign for numbering derives from thorpe, the Old Norse word for a village or farm that is often seen in British placenames. The symbol was originally used in mapmaking, representing a village surrounded by eight fields, so it was named the octothorp.


Dollar Sign

Origin: When the U.S. government begin issuing its own money in 1794, it used the common world currency – the peso – also called the Spanish dollar. The first American silver dollars were identical to Spanish pesos in weight and value, so they took the same written abbreviations: Ps. That evolved into a P with an s written right on top of it, and when people began to omit the circular part of the p, the sign simply became an S with a vertical line through it.

Listed Short Facts, Top 25 for 8.31.2010

  1. Second Street' is the most common street name in the U.S.; 'First Street' is the sixth! "
  2. 160 cars can drive side by side on the Monumental Axis in Brazil, the world's widest road.
  3. 20252 is Smokey the Bear's own zip code.
  4. 68 percent of a Hostess Twinkie is air!
  5. 80% of millionaires drive used cars.
  6. 85% of all Valentine's Day cards are purchased by women!
  7. 97% of all paper money in the US contains traces of cocaine.
  8. A fire in Australia has been burning for more than 5,000 years!
  9. A jiffy is an actual unit of time for 1/100th of a second. Thus the saying, I will be there in a jiffy.
  10. A million dollars' worth of $100 bills weighs only 22 pounds!
  11. A pipe 2 feet in diameter will allow four times more fluid to pass through it than a pipe 1 foot in diameter.
  12. A quarter has 119 grooves on its edge, a dime has one less groove!
  13. A real estate agent's rule of thumb: To estimate what a house will sell for, ask the owner what its worth and subtract 10%.
  14. A sneeze travels out your mouth at over 100 m.p.h.!
  15. A survey reported that 12% of Americans think that Joan of Arc was Noah's wife.
  16. All the gold ever mined could be molded into a cube 60 feet high and 60 feet wide.
  17. Americans are responsible for generating roughly 20% percent of the garbage in the world.
  18. An iceberg contains more heat than a lit match.
  19. An olive tree can live up to 1,500 years!
  20. An ounce of platinum can be stretched 10,000 feet.
  21. Babies are born without knee caps.
  22. Babies start dreaming even before they're born.
  23. Babies who wear disposable diapers are five times more likely to develop diaper rash than those that wear cotton diapers.
  24. Bamboo plants can grow up to 36 inches in a day.
  25. Barbie's full name is Barbara Millicent Roberts.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Volleyball Through the Years

  • 1895: William G. Morgan (1870-1942) created the game of volleyball.
  • 1900: a special ball was designed for the sport.
  • 1916: in the Philippines, an offensive style of passing the ball in a high trajectory to be struck by another player (the set and spike) were introduced.
  • 1917: the game was changed from 21 to 15 points.
  • 1920s: there are unconfirmed whispers of men’s teams playing on the beach in Hawaii, but most accounts place the sport's origin in Santa Monica, California where the first Volleyball courts are put up on the beach at the Playground. Families play 6 vs. 6..
  • 1920: three hits per side and back row attack rules were instituted.
  • 1922: the first YMCA national championships were held in Brooklyn, NY. 27 teams from 11 states were represented.
  • 1928: it became clear that tournaments and rules were needed, the United States Volleyball Association (USVBA, now USA Volleyball) was formed. The first U.S. Open was staged, as the field was open to non-YMCA squads.
  • 1930s: the first two-man beach volleyball game is played in Santa Monica, California..
  • 1934: the approval and recognition of national volleyball referees.
  • 1937: at the AAU convention in Boston, action was taken to recognize the U.S. Volleyball Association as the official National Governing Body (NGB) in the U.S.
  • 1947: the Federation Internationale De Volley-Ball (FIVB) was founded.
  • 1948: the first two-man beach tournament was held.
  • 1949: the initial World Championships were held in Prague, Czechoslovakia.
  • 1964: Volleyball was introduced to the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
  • 1965: the California Beach Volleyball Association (CBVA) was formed.
  • 1974: the World Championships in Mexico were telecast in Japan.
  • 1975: the U.S. National Women's team began a year-round training regime in Pasadena, Texas (moved to Colorado Springs in 1979, Coto de Caza and Fountain Valley, CA in 1980, and San Diego, CA in 1985).
  • 1977: the U.S. National Men's team began a year-round training regime in Dayton, Ohio (moved to San Diego, CA in 1981).
  • 1983: the Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP) was formed.
  • 1984: the U.S. won their first medals at the Olympics in Los Angeles. The Men won the Gold, and the Women the Silver.
  • 1986: the Women's Professional Volleyball Association (WPVA) was formed.
  • 1988: the U.S. Men repeated the Gold in the Olympics in Korea.
  • 1989: the FIVB Sports Aid Program was created.
  • 1990: the World League was created.
  • 1995: the sport of Volleyball was 100 years old! This Web site - Volleyball.Com goes live!
  • 1996: 2-person beach volleyball debuted as an Olympic Sport.
  • 1997: Dain Blanton (with Canyon Ceman) becomes the first African-American professional beach volleyball player to win a tournament on the Miller Lite/AVP Tour.
  • 1998: For the first time in the FIVB World Tour, men and women players are rewarded at the same level with $170,000 in total prize money per Open event.
  • 1999: For the first time beach volleyball was included in the Pan American Games which were held in Canada.
  • 2000: Olympic Beach Volleyball Men's Gold medallists: Eric Fomoimoana & Dain Blanton (USA). The women's Beach Volleyball America (BVA) announces their inaugural season of play.
  • 2001: Christopher "Sinjin" Smith plays the final match of his impressive career, a 21-19 and 24-22 loss with George Roumain to Dax Holdren and Todd Rogers in the 4th round of the contender's bracket at the AVP Manhattan Beach Open. Sinjin retires as the leader in tournaments played with 416, 2nd in all-time victories with 139, and 4th in all-time winnings with over US$1.6 million earned.
  • 2002: Beach volleyball court dimensions reduced to 8m x 8m per side.
  • 2003: Karch Kiraly becomes the first player to earn US$3M in prize money and oldest player to win an AVP tournament at age 42 years, 9 months and 14 days. (You're never too old for volleyball!)
  • 2004: Kerri Walsh and Misty May Win the Women's Olympic Beach Volleyball Title
  • 2005: Olympic gold medalists Kerri Walsh and Misty May-Treanor win their second Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP) Open women's title and the 2005 overall women's championship.
  • 2006: Elaine Youngs' second place finish (with Rachel Wacholder) in Seaside Heights pushes her career earnings past $1 million. She becomes the third American woman to achieve that mark.
  • 2006: In Seaside Heights, both Casey Jennings (with Matt Fuerbringer) and Kerri Walsh (with Misty May-Treanor) won titles, becoming just the second husband-wife duo to win pro beach events on the same weekend. They join Mike and Patty Dodd, who accomplished the feat four times in 1989, but each time in different locations.
  • 2006: Kerri Walsh and Misty May-Treanor win in Chicago as Walsh joins the millionaire club. She is the 18th person worldwide to win over $1 million in her career, and did so in fewer events (90th tournament) as well as being one of just four to reach the mark before turning 28 years old.
  • 2007: Misty May-Treanor passes Brazilians Adriana Behar and Shelda Bede as the winningest player since the women's competition on the international beach volleyball circuit began in 1992.
  • 2007: Misty May-Treanor becomes the women's all-time wins leader by capturing her 73rd victory, surpassing Holly McPeak's record by winning with Kerri Walsh in Hermosa Beach. She reached this total in just 123 tournaments -- winning 57.5% of her events.
  • 2007: In a championship match that lasted 1:41, Nicole Branagh and Elaine Youngs defeat Jennifer Boss and April Ross 21-19, 18-21, 16-14 in Seaside Heights. The marathon set the record for the longest match in rally scoring, men or women, in domestic or international play.
  • 2007: Karch Kiraly retires to close an impressive career on the beach, leaving as the all-time wins leader and money earner. His longevity was marked by the fact he won a tournament in 24 different years, and he advanced to the semifinals in over 75% of all the events he ever played and was named as the AVP's MVP a record-most six times.
  • 2008: Hot Winter Nights, a series of 19 events in January and February, kicks off in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma marking the first ever indoor beach volleyball tour. Mark Williams and Nancy Mason are the first winners in the "King of the Beach format" events.

Listed Short Facts, Top 25 for 8.30.2010

  1. In the U.S., more than 10% of lottery prizes go unclaimed!
  2. Womens' hearts beat faster than mens'.
  3. Frogs cannot swallow without blinking.
  4. One barrel of petroleum holds 42 gallons.
  5. Each day, more than $40 Trillion Dollars changes hands worldwide.
  6. Boys who have unusual first names are more likely to have mental problems than boys with conventional names. Girls don't seem to have this problem.
  7. President George W. Bush and Playboy founder Hugh Hefner are cousins!
  8. Termites eat wood twice as fast when listening to heavy metal music.
  9. A spider's silk is stronger than steel.
  10. The most powerful electric eel is found in the rivers of Brazil, Columbia, Venezuela, and Peru, and produces a shock of 400-650 volts.
  11. Parrots have 500 pounds per square inch of pressure in their beaks.
  12. No one knows how many people died during the sinking of the Titanic.
  13. The U.S. motto, 'In God We Trust', was not adopted as the national slogan until 1956.
  14. Pollen never deteriorates. It is one of the few natural substances that lasts indefinitely.
  15. The Japanese liquor, Mam, uses venomous snakes as one of its main ingredients.
  16. The weight of a carat (200 milligrams), standard unit of measurement for gemstones, is based on the weight of the carob seed.
  17. Any space vehicle must move at a rate of 7 miles per second in order to escape the earth's gravitational pull.
  18. The practice of identifying baseball players by number was started by the Yankees in 1929.
  19. Contrary to popular belief, there are almost no Buddhists in India, nor have there been for about a thousand years.
  20. Females learn to talk earlier, use sentences earlier, and learn to read more quickly than males.
  21. Originally, Du Pont, Inc. was a tiny gun powder mill in New Jersey.
  22. According to studies, men change their minds two to three times more often than women.
  23. The state of Wyoming is named after a valley in Pennsylvania.
  24. Fingernails grow nearly 4 times faster than toenails.
  25. To escape the grip of a crocodile's jaws, push your thumbs into its eyeballs. It will let you go instantly.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

History of Porsche

The origins of Porsche reach back more than a century, to the year of 1900, when a vehicle called the Lohner-Porsche electric car was unveiled at the Paris Auto Show. It was the first in a long line of vehicles, leading up to the current year, that would bear the Porsche name.

That first vehicle at the Paris Auto Show was equipped with wheel hub motors devised by a young German engineer named Ferdinand Porsche. Porsche's legendary career would continue into the 1920s, when he developed the Mercedes SS and SSK supercharged sports car, and into the 1930s, when he designed and produced the first Volkswagens. 

After the war, Porsche's son, also named Ferdinand but called Ferry, first envisioned a car that would carry the Porsche badge. The result, introduced in the late 1940s, was the Porsche 356. Essentially, the 356 was Ferry's two-seat version of the Volkswagen Beetle, which had been designed by his father. It proved to be so popular that it was sold into the early 1960s.

Ferry followed that with the 500 Spyder, which was produced through the 1950s, and the 911 sport coupe, which made its debut in 1964. The 911 was originally conceived as a four-seat follow-up to the 356, but Ferry Porsche eventually decided to make it a two-seater with an air-cooled rear engine, just like the Beetle, although with larger dimensions, more interior room, and more power than the 356. The 911 was an instant hit. In 1970, a turbocharged version of the 911 was introduced, and the 911 continues in production to this day.

Other models followed the introduction of the 911 in the 1960s. The 912, for example, made its debut in 1965 as a replacement for the 356. In an effort to make it affordable, it was built on the 911's platform but used the four-cylinder engine from the 356. The 914 mid-engined sports car replaced the 912 in the late 1960s.

The 924 and the 928 followed in the 1970s, while the 944 made its debut in 1982. Also produced for a short run in the late 1980s was the high-performance, all-wheel-drive 959, which was a precursor of the Carrera.

Introduced in 1992, the 968 was actually a continuation of the 944, which itself was a continuation of the 924. The two-seat, open-top Boxster roadster was added to Porsche's lineup in 1997 as the automaker's entry-level vehicle, while the Cayenne SUV made its debut in 2003.

Listed Short Facts, Top 25 for 8.29.2010

  1. Switching letters is called spoonerism. For example, saying jag of Flapan, instead of flag of Japan.
  2. The average person laughs 13 times a day!.
  3. The attachment of the human skin to muscles is what causes dimples.
  4. There are 1,792 steps to the top of the Eiffel Tower.
  5. The sound you hear when you crack your knuckles is actually the sound of nitrogen gas bubbles bursting.
  6. Human hair and fingernails continue to grow after death.
  7. It takes about 20 seconds for a red blood cell to circle the whole body.
  8. The plastic things on the end of shoelaces are called aglets.
  9. Most soccer players run 7 miles in a game.
  10. The only part of the body that has no blood supply is the cornea in the eye. It takes in oxygen directly from the air.
  11. Every day 200 million couples make love, 400,000 babies are born, and 140,000 people die.
  12. In most watch advertisements the time displayed on the watch is 10:10 because then the arms frame the brand of the watch (and make it look like it is smiling).
  13. Colgate faced big obstacle marketing toothpaste in Spanish speaking countries. Colgate translates into the command “go hang yourself.”
  14. The only 2 animals that can see behind itself without turning its head are the rabbit and the parrot.
  15. Intelligent people have more zinc and copper in their hair.
  16. The average person laughs 13 times a day.
  17. Do you know the names of the three wise monkeys? They are:Mizaru(See no evil), Mikazaru(Hear no evil), and Mazaru(Speak no evil)
  18. Women blink nearly twice as much as men.
  19. German Shepherds bite humans more than any other breed of dog.
  20. Large kangaroos cover more than 30 feet with each jump.
  21. Whip makes a cracking sound because its tip moves faster than the speed of sound.
  22. Two animal rights protesters were protesting at the cruelty of sending pigs to a slaughterhouse in Bonn. Suddenly the pigs, all two thousand of them, escaped through a broken fence and stampeded, trampling the two hapless protesters to death.
  23. If a statue in the park of a person on a horse has both front legs in the air, the person died in battle; if the horse has one front leg in the air, the person died as a result of wounds received in battle; if the horse has all four legs on the ground, the person died of natural cause.
  24. The human heart creates enough pressure while pumping to squirt blood 30 feet!!
  25. In an average humans life time they will breath in 44 pounds of dust.