Good things to know

Saturday 2 July 2011, 1.35am HKT


[1] If you are right-handed, you will tend to chew your food on the right side of your mouth. If left-handed, you will tend to chew on the left.

[2] To make half a kilo (1.1 lb.) of honey, bees must collect nectar from over 2 million individual flowers.

[3] Heroin was the brand name of morphine once marketed by German pharmaceutical company Bayer AG.

[4] Communications giant Nokia was founded in 1865 as a woodpulp mill by Fredrik Idestam.

Trivia: In the 1970s and early 1980s (especially in the UK), Nokia was well-known as a maker of rubber wellingtons.

[5] Tourists visiting Iceland should know that tipping at a restaurant is considered an insult! In America, on the other hand, tipping is forced upon customers at 15% to 18%.

[6] People in nudist colonies play volleyball more than any other sport.

[7] Albert Einstein was offered the presidency of Israel in 1952, but he declined.

[8] Astronauts can’t belch — there is no gravity to separate liquid from gas in their stomachs.

[9] Ancient Roman, Chinese and German societies often used urine as mouthwash.

[10] The average person who quits smoking requires one hour less sleep a night.

Comment: Probably because ex-smokers require two cups more coffee than usual.

* * *

[11] The Mona Lisa has no eyebrows. In the Renaissance era, it was fashionable to shave them off!

[12] Because of the speed at which Earth moves around the Sun, it is impossible for a solar eclipse to last more than 7 minutes 58 seconds.

[13] The night of 20th January is Saint Agnes’s Eve, which is regarded as a time when a young woman dreams or have visions of her future husband.

[14] There are over 25 million bubbles waiting to burst out of each bottle of champagne.

[15] Google (more accurately, gogol) was actually the common name for a number with a million zeros.

[16] Glass takes one million years to decompose, which means glass never wears out and can be recycled an infinite amount of times!

[17] The ‘heat’ (i.e. hotness) of peppers is rated on the Scoville scale.

[18] Gold is the only metal that doesn’t rust or corrode, even if it’s buried in the ground for thousands of years.

[19] Your tongue is the only muscle in your body that is attached at only one end.

[20] If you stop getting thirsty, you need to drink more water. When the human body is dehydrated, its thirst mechanism shuts off.

* * *

[21] Each year 2 million smokers worldwide either quit smoking or die of tobacco-related diseases.

[22] When it originally appeared in 1886, Coca Cola was billed as an “esteemed brain tonic and intellectual beverage.”

[23] Zero is the only number that cannot be represented by Roman numerals.

[24] Kites were used in the American Civil War to deliver letters and newspapers.

[25] The song Auld Lang Syne is sung at the stroke of midnight in almost every English-speaking country in the world to bring in the new year.

[26] For every real Christmas tree harvested, two to three seedlings are planted in its place.

[27] Drinking water after eating reduces the acid in your mouth by 61%.

[28] Peanut oil is used for cooking in submarines because it doesn’t smoke unless it’s heated above 232°C (450°F).

[29] The Shell Oil Company originally began as a novelty shop in London that sold seashells.

[30] The roar that we hear when we place a seashell next to our ear is not the ocean — it’s the sound of blood surging through the veins in the ear.

* * *

[31] Nine out of every 10 living things live in the ocean.

[32The banana cannot reproduce itself. It can be propagated only by the hand of man.

[33] Airports at higher altitudes require a longer airstrip due to lower air density.

[34] Selling fish and chips officially remained an offensive trade in the UK until 1940 due to the smell it produces.

[35] The University of Alaska spans four timezones.

[36] The tooth is the only part of the human body that cannot heal itself.

[37] In ancient Greece, tossing an apple to a girl was a traditional proposal of marriage. Catching it meant she accepted.

[38] 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).

[39] Warner Communications paid $28 million for the copyright to the song Happy Birthday. The song is still under copyright.

[40] Intelligent people have more zinc and copper in their hair.

* * *

[41] A comet’s tail always points away from the Sun.

[42] The swine flu vaccine developed for us in 1976 caused more death and illness than the disease it was intended to prevent.

[43] Caffeine increases the power of Aspirin and other painkillers — that is why it is found in some medicines.

[44] The military salute is a motion that evolved from medieval times, when knights in armour raised their visors to reveal their identity.

[45] If you get into the bottom of a well or a tall chimney and look up, you can see stars, even in the middle of the day.

[46] When a person dies, hearing is the last sense to go. The first sense lost is sight.

[47] Trivia in Roman mythology was the goddess who haunted crossroads and graveyards. She was also the goddess of sorcery and witchcraft. She wandered about at night and was seen only by the barking of dogs who told of her approach.

[48] In ancient times, strangers shook hands to show that they were unarmed.

[49] Strawberries are the only fruits whose seeds grow on the outside.

[50] Avocados have the highest calories of any fruit, at 167 calories (698.728 joules) per 100 grammes.

* * *

[51] Vending machine theft cost the soft-drinks industry US$100 million every year.

[52] The Moon moves about two inches away from the Earth each year.

[53] The Earth gets 100 tons heavier every day due to falling space dust.

[54] Due to Earth’s gravity, it is impossible for mountains to be higher than 15,000 metres.

[55] Men’s shirts have buttons on the right, and women’s shirts on the left.

[56] Mickey Mouse is known as ‘Topolino’ in Italy.

Corollary: Topo Gigio is Italy’s answer to Mickey Mouse, and much more endearingly lovable.

Trivia: There used to be an Italian restaurant in London called Ristorante Topo Gigio on Lexington Street (just off Shaftesbury Avenue in West End London) that served a really, really nice Italian-style beefsteak. The restaurant is now called VaBene Restaurant and, it seems from reviews, a very pale shade of its former self. Sob!

[57] When going across bridges, soldiers are ordered to break step and space themselves out because marching in step sets up a vibration (correctly, resonance and oscillation) that could be sufficient to knock the bridge down.

[58] The painting that won second place in a competition held by the U.S. National Academy of Design was hanging upside down when it was judged.

[59] Everything weighs 1% less at the Equator.

[60] For every extra kilogramme carried on a space flight, 530kg of excess fuel are needed at liftoff.

BONUS

[61] The letter J does not appear anywhere on the Periodic Table of Elements.

(via Fred L., o1 July 2011)

© The Naked Listener’s Weblog, 2011.

Images: Nokia wellington via The Daily Telegraph ♦ Mona Lisa via imageboard c4c ♦ Coca Cola bottles via imageboard c4c ♦ Three Wise Monkeys by Only Fabrizio via Shutterstock.com ♦ Saluting girls via Sharenator ♦ Topo Gigio via Grab the Champagne!

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