Showing posts from March, 2005

Interesting Animals - Whales

A blue whale's tongue is as big an an elephant.

(Seemingly 50 brave people could stand on a blue whale's tongue.)

Interesting Words - Jiffy

A jiffy is a measurable unit of time.

("In a jiffy." How many times have you said, or heard that?  When someone says "I'll be with you in a jiffy", they actually mean "a moment or a short amount of time".

The etymology of the word 'jiffy' is uncertain. The Oxford English Dictionary says "Origin unascertained". The earliest use it gives is from Munchhausen's Travels (1785): "In six jiffies I found myself and all my retinue . . . at the rock of Gibralter [sic]". One dictionary of etymology says that it was originally thieves' slang for 'lightning'.

I have also read that the term was taken into the scientific community late in the 20th century and was actually applied as a unit of time; however the unit seems to vary from discipline to discipline! It may refer to one computer clock cycle, 1/100 of a second, one millisecond, approximately one nanosecond, one nanosecond, one AC power cycle, or an indetermina…

Interesting Fact - History

The early Church declared that alcohol was an inherently good gift of God to be used and enjoyed. While individuals might choose not to drink, to despise alcohol was heresy.

(Well I wouldn't want to be accused of heresy - hic!)

Interesting Fact - Easter Fact - Easter Eggs

An average Easter egg consists of about 20% chocolate and 80% packaging.

(What a swizz! That's why I buy chocolates and package them myself, in something decorative that can be reused.)

Interesting Animals - Cats and Dogs

Cats can make over 100 vocal sounds, while dogs can only make 10.

(They obviously haven't met my guys!)

Interesting Food - Fruit

In the mid-1700's, grapefruit was known as the "Forbidden Fruit."

(If they called it that nowadays sales would soar!)

Interesting Fact - History

In ancient Greece, tossing an apple to a girl was a traditional proposal of marriage; catching it was acceptance.

(An apple a day keeps the marriage counsellor in work!)

Interesting Fact - Darts

The bulls-eye on a dartboard must be 5 feet 8 inches off the ground.

(It doesn't matter where it is, I'll never hit it!)


Did you know that today is World Water Day (WWD). It is the starting day for the International Decade for Action, "Water for Life" 2005 - 2015, proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in its resolution A/RES/58/217.

It is a call to reach out beyond the community and to link with worldwide efforts of international agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), governments and the community-at-large. In order to achieve a common goal: to bring global and local attention and to galvanize action, so that every person on the planet is less vulnerable to water stress, water-related disasters and poor water quality.

Here are some water facts:-

Water and sanitation
1.1 billion people lack access to safe drinking water. 2.2 billion people lack access to improved sanitation (latrines, hand washing, etc.). Safe drinking-water and basic sanitation help prevent water-related disease, including diarrhoeal diseases, schistosomiasis, filariasis, trachoma and helminths. The reliab…

Interesting Words - Queueing

The word queueing has five consecutive vowels:-


(They sound suspiciously like a football chant when pronounced singly - yew ee yew ee eye.)


Interesting Food - What Americans Eat

In a normal lifetime an American will eat 200 pounds of peanuts and 10,000 pounds of meat.

(Statistics say that about 9 million children and adolescents in the U.S. are overweight or obese - I wonder why?)

Interesting People - Caligula

Roman Emperor Caligula made his horse a senator.

(Of course nowadays it just happens to a horse's ass.)

Interesting Fact - Bar Code

The first product to be given a bar code was Wrigley's gum.

(Chew on that!)

Interesting Place - Australia

Australia was once called New Holland.

(Does that mean they started calling Holland 'Old Holland'? Oh no, of course they decided to call it the Netherlands.)

Interesting Words - Pronouncing 'ough' - Podcast

This sentence contains nine ways in which the letter combination "ough" can be pronounced.

"A rough-coated, dough-faced, thoughtful ploughman strode through the streets of Scarborough; after falling into a slough, he coughed and hiccoughed. You can listen to me reading this on YouTube."

Interesting Fact - The Human Body

Did you know that the human body produces its own supply of alcohol naturally on a continuous basis, 24 hours a day, seven days a week?

(Imagine how much I will save on wine and beer!)

Interesting Words - Toast

The word "toast", meaning a wish of good health, started in ancient Rome, where a piece of toasted bread was dropped into wine.

(To toast - to make bread or other food warm, crisp and brown by putting it near a high heat.

To toast - to hold up your glass and then drink as an expression of good wishes or respect.

At weddings in the UK people toast the bride and groom. Luckily it is the second meaning not the first.)

Interesting Animal - Spiders

A tarantula can live up to two years without food.

(I bet they cheat.)

Interesting Words - Belonephobia

Belonephobia is the fear of needles.

(I wonder if that covers all needles and pins too. Knitting needles, darning needles, beading needles, sewing needles, pine needles? The list could go on.)

Interesting Animals - The Iguana

An iguana can stay under water for 28 minutes.

(Some of these animal facts are really beginning to worry me!)

Interesting Food - Pizza

On average Americans eat 18 acres of pizza every day.

(That's over 72,843 square meters! Every day! I wonder if that includes the crust.)

Interesting Food - Bananas

Bananas don't grow on trees, as is commonly believed.

(They grow on compacted, water-filled leaf stalks that grow up to 25 feet high. They are considered the world's largest herb!)

Interesting Words - Pineapple

The word pineapple comes from the Spanish "pina," meaning pine cone.

(Pineapples are still known to Latin Americans as pina.)

Interesting Fact - Human Body

Your nose and ears continue to grow throughout your life.

(Now I am really scared!)

Oh and for those doubting Thomases out there:-

"Nonarticular cartilage grows throughout life; eg, the ears and nose
tend to grow larger relative to the face as a person ages."

The Merck Manual of Geriatrics

Interesting Words - Shortest Sentence

The shortest sentence in the English language is, I am.

(Or is it? See Interesting Words # 26)

Interesting Fact - Mickey Mouse

The first non-human to win an Oscar was Mickey Mouse.

(Or should this go under interesting animals?)

Interesting Animals - Donkeys

Every year more people are killed by donkeys, than in aircraft crashes.

(It's all a plot - they are going to take over the world, along with the chickens!)

Interesting Words - The letters 'mt'

'Dreamt' is the only English word that ends in the letters 'mt'.

(Dreamt is the past participle or past tense of to dream. If you're playing Scrabble, some other words end in dreamt, like daydreamt, outdreamt, redreamt, and believe it or not undreamt (as in it was undreamt of that one day man would land on the moon.))

Interesting Animals - Chickens

There are more chickens in the world than people.

(It's all a plot - they are going to take over the world!)

Interesting Food - Ostrich Eggs

An ostrich egg takes four hours to hard boil.

(Got to get up early for breakfast then.)