Friday, December 26, 2014

Did You Know? #1

Q: How old is the fruitcake recipe? 
A: Fruitcake was made by ancient Romans; they called it ‘satura,’ and our word ‘satire’ derives from it. 

Q: Since truffles grow underground, how do people search for them? 
A: Hogs are used for this purpose, as they have an odor of male testosterones.

Q: Why domestic cats bring dead animals back home? 
A: Cats are actually trying to provide for their human masters. 

Q: What to do if you’re concerned of getting struck by lightning? 
A: The best thing would be to crouch, with your feet joined – this will make the electricity circuit through your feet, as opposed through your entire body. 

Q: Why do we have eyebrows? 
A: Eyebrows prevent sweat, rain and other moisture from entering your eyes, and they’re essential in non-verbal communication. 

Q: Where did the ampersand symbol come from? 
A: From a graffiti on Pompeii wall – it was a combinations of ‘E’ and ‘T’ letters forming ‘et’ – Latin word for ‘and.’ 

Q: How many mistakes occur due to poor handwriting of doctors? 
A: In the US alone, around 1.5 million injuries a year occur due to pharmacists and hospital workers misreading the prescriptions.

Q: What was the first successful video game? 
A: The first video game to popularize the medium was Pong that was published in 1972, although there were other games before it, like Computer Space (1971) and Galaxy Game (1971). 

Q: Where does the expression ‘seven seas’ come from? 
A: It comes from a hymn to Sumerian goddess Inanna, and is connected to the concept of seven planets and seven heavens. 

Q: What are the most and least diverse cities in the United States? 
A: The most diverse would be Oakland, California (about equal share of whites, blacks, Hispanics and Asians); the least diverse would be Detroit, Michigan (80% of blacks and about 5% each of whites and Hispanics). 

Q: Why oranges aren’t allowed to pass US borders? 
A: Different fruits and vegetables carry diseases that can damage crops – oranges and other citruses are scrutinized especially due to fear of citrus canker disease. 

Q: Are there any other famous Mona Lisa paintings? 
A: Leonardo da Vinci actually painted two Mona Lisas. One is located in Louvre; the other one is called “The Isleworth Mona Lisa.” 

Q: What color is the Sun? 
A: Our Sun is actually white in color; atmospheric scattering makes it to appear yellow to human eye. 

Q: What are the murderibillia? 
A: Murderibillia are collectibles that relate to murders, murderers or victims. Some people even make their living by selling them. 

Q: Why do the crocodiles swallow stones? 
A: Crocodiles swallow stones as it helps their balance, and it helps them chew their food.

Q: What is a leap second? 
A: A leap second is a one-second adjustment that is occasionally applied to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) in order to keep its time of day close to the mean solar time. The most recent one happened on June 30, 2012 at 23:59:60 UTC. 

Q: How old is ice cream? 
A: First recorded ice cream was eaten by Persians, who would mix snow with grape juice concentrate and eat the mixture as a treat. 

Q: Who made the first remote control device? 
A: Nikola Tesla demonstrated his radio controlled boat during an electrical exhibition in 1898. 

Q: Why some popcorn kernels don’t pop? 
A: They lack the necessary moisture to pop, and rehydrating them before popping will prevent this. These unpopped kernels are usually called ‘old maids’ or ‘spinsters.’ 

Q: Where is the world’s longest escalator located? 
Ref: It is found in Saint Petersburg Metro. It is 137 m (449 ft). 

Q: If left unprotected, how long would a human being survive in space? 
A: An average adult human could survive up to two minutes in space.

Q: How common are lightning strikes world wide? 
A: It is estimated that there are around 8.6 million lighting strikes a day.

Q: Are tectonic plates important for life on Earth? 
A: Yes – without them, Earth would overheat, much like Venus, and no life would be possible. 

Q: Just how big is the heart of the Earth? 
A: Earth’s core is an iron ball 1500 miles wide. The pressure on it is so high that it cannot melt, despite its extreme temperature. 

Q: What is Earth’s daily ratio of deaths and births? 
A: Two people die every second; and every day, there is around 200,000 births.

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