Archive for the ‘Facts’ Category

A First-Time for Everything!

June 24, 2017

In addition to this being one of my older brothers’ birthday (Happy Birthday Jim!), and some friends’ anniversary (Happy Anniversary Tanya and Bob), and, the ninth anniversary of the creation of my blog, today also represents the day that the first European (after the Vikings) to set foot on the North American continent (John Cabot, 1497).   Cabot embarked from Bristol, England, on May 24th and arrived on the coast of either Newfoundland or Maine on June 24th.

In addition, June 24th was the day for several other “firsts,” such as the first . . .

  • Christian religious service in English on the Pacific Coast  (San Francisco Bay, CA, 1579)
  • woman in America to appeal for the right to vote (Margaret Brent, 1647)
  • tethered balloon flight (Baltimore, MD, 1784)
  • Episcopal bishop who was African-American (Reverand Samuel David Ferguson, 1885)
  • Army officer killed in battle in the Spanish-American war (Captain Allan Kissam Capron, 1898)
  • land battle in the Spanish-American war (Las Guasimas, Cuba, 1898
  • federal law requiring radios on ships (Wireless Ship Act, 1910)
  • radar detection of airplanes (Dr. Alberte Hoyt Taylor and Leo C. Young [Naval Aircraft Radio Laboratory], 1930)
  • federal administrator who was an African-American woman (Mary Jane McLeod Bethune, 1936)
  • political convention to be televised (22nd Republican Convention, 1940)
  • Presidential candidate who was renominated after a defeat (Thomas Edmund Dewey, 1948)
  • picturephone commercial service (New York, Chicago, Washington, DC, 1964)
  • cabinet member to serve in four different capacities (Elliott Lee Richardson, 1976)
  • internet camera showing the site of a presidential assassination (Dallas, TX, 1999

Source: Famous First Facts by Joseph Nathan Kane, Steven Anzovin, and Janel Podell.

Fun Fact Friday, Number Twenty-Nine!

June 23, 2017

The category for today’s trivial imponderable is “names.”  Do you know from which animal the Canary Islands got their name?

Nope, it was not the canary birds.  Rather, they derived their name from a now extinct race of large dog (Canis in Latin) that freely roamed the island.

On the flip side, the canary bird is so named because they actually did come from the Canary Islands.

Source: Sorry, Wrong Answer: Trivia Questions That Even Know-It-Alls Get Wrong, by Dr. Rod L. Evans.

Fun Fact Friday, Number Twenty-Eight!

June 16, 2017

Today’s real facts (courtesy of http://www.snapple.com) are all about mangoes.  Did you know that . . .

  • mangoes are the most-consumed fruit in the world? (Real Fact #717)
  • mangoes have noses? (Real Fact #1415)
  • mangoes can get sunburned?  (Real Fact #1416)

And were you aware that . . .

  • the paisley pattern, which originated in India, is based on the shape of a mango?
  • mangoes are related to cashews and pistachios?
  • a mango tree can grow as tall as 100 feet?

Source: http://www.snapple.com/real-facts

Fun Fact Friday, Number Twenty-Seven!

June 9, 2017

Today’s fact is under the category of astronomy.  Do you know which planet in our solar system has the highest mean surface temperature?

If you guessed “Mercury” (based solely on the fact that it is the planet closest to our sun), you would have guessed incorrectly.  The planet with the highest mean surface temperature is actually Venus, whose gases (mostly carbon dioxide) actually trap the heat making its surface hotter than Mercury.  Who knew?

Source: Sorry, Wrong Answer: Trivia Questions That Even Know-It-Alls Get Wrong, by Dr. Rod L. Evans.

 

Fun Fact Friday, Number Twenty-Six!

June 2, 2017

Allow me to be a bit “catty” today as my facts will center around cats.  Did you know that…

  • cats have over 100 vocal chords? (Real Fact #13)
  • cats can hear ultrasound? (Real Fact #48)
  • Napoleon suffered from a fear of cats? (Real Fact #303)
  • a group of cats is called a clowder? (Real Fact #450)
  • a cat can make about 100 different sounds? (Real Fact #685 — dogs can only make about 10 sounds)
  • cats have two sets of vocal chords?  One for purring and one for meowing. (Real Fact #777)
  • more Presidents have had pet birds than cats? (Real Fact #1215)

Source: http://www.snapple.com/real-facts

Fun Fact Friday, Number Twenty-Five!

May 26, 2017

This week’s fact comes under the category of “Literature.”  Do you happen to know what the “wherefore,” from “wherefore art thou, Romeo?” means? Hint: it doesn’t mean where.

The short answer: it means why?

The longer answer: spoken by Juliet whilst on the balcony, she is lamenting the antagonism between their two families (Juliet’s Capulets and Romeo’s Montagues).  Juliet is basically asking Romeo “why did you have to be a Montague?

Source: Sorry, Wrong Answer: Trivia Questions That Even Know-It-Alls Get Wrong, by Dr. Rod L. Evans.

Grand Expedition!

May 24, 2017

Did you know that on this day, May 24th (in 1869), was the beginning of the first exploration of the Grand Canyon of the Colorado by a man other than a Native American?  Major John Wesley Powell left Green River City (above the head of the Colorado River) with nine men and proceeded through the canyon and emerged from the lower end on August 29, 1869.  Only five of the nine men who started the trip completed the trip.

Some other “firsts” for today throughout history include:

  • Commercial telegraph service (1844)
  • State adoption law to consider the interests of the child (1851)
  • Civil War combat action that earned the Medal of Honor (1861)
  • Union Officer killed in the Civil War (1861)
  • Artillery fire to be directed from the air (1862)
  • Army field telegraph used in warfare (1862)
  • Steel arch bridge (1874)
  • National banking association (1875)
  • Anti-saloon organization (1893)
  • Public garage (1899)
  • Oil journal (1902)
  • Strike settlement mediated by the federal Department of Labor (1913)
  • Air combat arm of the Army (1918)
  • Croix de Guerre awarded to an American (1918)
  • Air-conditioned train (1931)
  • Baseball game at night by major league teams (1935)
  • Food-O-Mat (1945)
  • House with a built-in nuclear bomb shelter (1959)
  • Spy satellite (1960)
  • Transatlantic supersonic jet service (1976)
  • Senator to change political control of the Senate by switching parties (2001)

Source: Famous First Facts (6th ed.) by Joseph Nathan Kane, Steven Anzovin, and Janet Podell.

Fun Fact Friday, Number Twenty-Four!

May 19, 2017

Today’s fun fact(s) revolve around camels.  Did you know that . . .

  • camels have three eyelids? (Real Fact #5)
  • camels’ milk does not curdle? (Real Fact #14)
  • despite its hump, a camel has a straight spine? (Real Fact #49)
  •  a camel can drink 25 gallons of water in less than three minutes? (Real Fact #714)
  • wild camels once roamed Arizona’s wild deserts? (Real Fact #848)

Source: http://www.snapple.com/real-facts

Fun Fact Friday, Number Twenty-Three!

May 12, 2017

This week’s fact comes under the category of “Science.”  Do you happen to know the source of the bubbles in champagne?  No, it is not carbon dioxide.

The short answer: dirt, dust, or lint!

The longer answer: carbon dioxide molecules would evaporate without something causing the bubbles to form.  This something was originally believed to be the slight imperfections with the very glass itself.  However, it has since been discovered that the bubbles form on microscopic particles of dust/dirt within the glass which act as condensation nuclei for the dissolved carbon dioxide.

Who knew!  Even straight out of the dishwasher, my glasses are filthy!

Source: Sorry, Wrong Answer: Trivia Questions That Even Know-It-Alls Get Wrong, by Dr. Rod L. Evans.

Fun Fact Friday, Number Twenty-Two!

May 5, 2017

Did you know that the largest pyramid in the world in not located in Egypt?  Do you know which country in the has the most pyramids?  Again, it would not be Egypt (the country “known” for its pyramids).

The world’s largest pyramid is actually in Mexico (Real Fact #174)!  (Happy Cinco de Mayo!)  The Great Pyramid of Cholula, also known as Tlachihualtepetl, represents a huge complex located in Cholula, Puebla, Mexico.  This pyramid is 63 miles south-east of Mexico City and stands nearly 180 feet tall with a 1,300′ x 1,300′ base.

Source: http://www.snapple.com/real-facts/

And, the country of Sudan has 220 pyramids still in existence, nearly three-times tEgypt Monument Pyramids Giza Archeologyhe number of pyramids in Egypt.  Egypt only has about eighty (80) pyramids, but includes one of the largest and best preserved: the Great Pyramid of Giza which is considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

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