Did you Know?

---Human saliva has a boiling point three times that of water.

---Distracted driving continues to be the number one leading cause of car accidents in America. Talking on the phone, texting, eating, reading, grooming, and talking are just some of the ways drivers get distracted behind the wheel.

---Swiss electrical engineer George de Mestral invented his first touch fastener when, in 1941, he went for a walk in the woods and wondered why Burdock seeds cling to his coat and dog. Velcro, a combination of the words "velvet" and "crochet," was formally patented it in 1955. Though the first Velcro was made out of cotton, de Mestral soon discovered that nylon worked best because it didn't wear with use.

---When you put a container of hot water and an equal container of cold water into a freezer, the hot water freezes first.

---According to Toyota, The process of making a car can be roughly divided into stamping, welding, painting, assembly and inspections, which takes about 17-18 hours in total.

---A 2012 Bureau of Land Management memo estimated that between 500,000 and 1 million birds die in US oil fields each year. Specifically those causes are :Open Pits and Tanks Containing Freestanding Liquids;Chemical Tank Secondary Containment; Various Pit, Tank, and Trench Entrapment Hazards;Exhaust Stacks; and Wire Exclosure Fences for Well Pads or Production Facilities and Associated Rights-of-way. https://www.blm.gov/policy/im-2013-033

---The decline of US steel manufacturing had nothing to do with unfair trade practices, but an unwillingness by steel companies to spend the money to switch to lower cost and more efficient basic-oxygen furnaces. LINK For more on the process, visit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basic_oxygen_steelmaking To see this in respect to US steel making, visit this link.

---In 1886, sailors on a German barque called Paula tossed a gin bottle with a message inside into waters hundreds of miles off the western coast of Australia. One hundred and thirty-one years later, a Perth resident stumbled upon the bottle on Australia's Wedge Island. It's believed to be the oldest-known message in a bottle, in terms of the amount of time that has passed between when it was written and when it was found. Before this discovery, Guinness World Records said that the oldest was 108 years old, found in Germany in 2015.

---True addiction is characterized by compulsive behavior (that’s the “you can’t stop doing it” part), physical dependence, and withdrawal on cessation of the addiction.

---Each twilight phase is defined by the solar elevation angle, which is the position of the Sun in relation to the horizon. During nautical twilight, the geometric center of the Sun's disk is between 6 and 12 degrees below the horizon. In clear weather conditions, the horizon is faintly visible during this twilight phase. Many of the brighter stars can also be seen, making it possible to use the position of the stars in relation to the horizon to navigate at sea. This is why it is called nautical twilight.

---Twilight is the time between day and night when the Sun is below the horizon but its rays still light up the sky.

---About 15% of those living in the United States are 6 feet tall or more.

---Robert Wadlow, the Alton giant, was the world's tallest person at 8'11'' and still growing when he died at age 22.

---The main reason why the Eastern Roman Empire lasted for nearly 1000 years after the fall of the west is because it was simply impossible to breach the walls of Constantinople until the advent of gunpowder artillery.

---Alexander the Great  invented a spying technique still used today: he had his soldiers write letters home, which he then intercepted and read to discover who was against him.

---"The face that launched a thousand ships"  is a reference to Helen of Troy. She was said to be so beautiful that, when she was abducted, a fleet of a thousand ships set sail to win her back from Paris, sparking the Trojan Wars.

---Teruo Tojo, the second son of Prime Minister Hideki Tojo, became chairman of Mitsubishi Motors.

---You don't use boiling water with green tea. Optimal temperature is 160-180F.

--- As late as1850 most shoes were made on absolutely straight lasts, with no difference between the right and the left shoe.

---According to Greek historian Plutarch, in his “Life of Lycurgus,” the Spartans used long and heavy iron rods as their currency in hopes that it would discourage them from pursuing large amounts of wealth. This unusual currency was called “obeloi” and was supposedly so cumbersome that carrying multiple rods would require oxen.

---Despite the severity with which some contemporary English-speakers vehemently attack “incorrect” uses of the language, English used to belong to the people. In the formative years of the language, it was only spoken by “commoners,” while the English courts and aristocracy mostly spoke in French. 

--- From 1912 to 1948, the Olympics held competitions in the fine arts, with medals being awarded for architecture, literature, music, painting and sculpture.

---Humans started wearing shoes about 40,000 years ago, much earlier than previously thought, new anthropological research suggests.

---According to the WHO, Libya has the greatest number of traffic fatalities per 100,000 at over 73 per year.

---Polydactyly (extra digits) overall runs about one in 500 live births. 

---Smallpox, one of the deadliest diseases in history, was fortunately eradicated by 1980 as a result of worldwide vaccination campaign. It is impossible to tell how many people died from smallpox but only during the 20th century, the disease is estimated to have claimed from 300 to 500 million lives.

---Research by some scholars provides population estimates of the pre-contact Americas to be as high as 112 million in 1492, while others estimate the population to have been as low as 8 million.  

---Although many think of bed-wetting as a childhood problem, about 26 million American adults are affected by urinary incontinence.

---Finland has the highest percentage of female doctors at a bit over 50%.

---Montana has the highest road fatality rate in the US at 22 per 100,000

---The Yamato dynasty (the current line of emperors in Japan) is at least 1,500 years old, and much older if the first 29 Emperors actually existed.

---The city of Uruk, today considered the oldest in the world, was first settled in c. 4500 BCE and walled cities, for defence, were common by 2900 BCE throughout the region. This city is thought to have given its name to the nation in which it is currently located; Iraq.

---While the US has the greatest amount of debt than any other nation, as a percentage of GDP Japan leads that listing at 225% (US News and World Report)

---The greatest consumers of cheese are the French, who average 26.3 Kg per person per year.

---According to an article in the 11 January Washington Post, telemarketing was first used by Ford Motor Company who, in 1976, had a small army of 15,000 call over 20,000,000 numbers, resulting in the sale of 40,000 cars.

---Carlo Maria Cipolla, an economic historian, is famous for his essays about human stupidity, such as "The Basic Laws of Human Stupidity". He viewed stupid people as a group, more powerful by far than major organizations such as the Mafia and the industrial complex, which without regulations, leaders or manifesto nonetheless manages to operate to great effect and with incredible coordination.

These are Cipolla's five fundamental laws of stupidity:

  1. Always and inevitably each of us underestimates the number of stupid individuals in circulation.
  2. The probability that a given person is stupid is independent of any other characteristic possessed by that person.
  3. A person is stupid if they cause damage to another person or group of people without experiencing personal gain, or even worse causing damage to themselves in the process.
  4. Non-stupid people always underestimate the harmful potential of stupid people; they constantly forget that at any time anywhere, and in any circumstance, dealing with or associating themselves with stupid individuals invariably constitutes a costly error.
  5. A stupid person is the most dangerous type of person there is.