Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Trivia – allegedly

Why am I so cynical about some of these “facts” sites. Even so, they are fun. Here are some alleged facts...
• The mushroom, Ganoderma applanatum can live for fifty years and grow to be two feet in diameter.
• Mark Twain held a patent for a self-pasting scrapbook. The blank pages were coated with gum.
• Benjamin Franklin was not entrusted with the drafting of the Declaration of Independence as it was feared he might conceal a joke in it.
• Opium was so easy to acquire in the 19th century that a group of Chicago schoolgirls imitated the Confession of an Opium Eater but were disappointed at not experiencing the visions described by Thomas de Quincey.
• The Hunza people of northwest Kashmir are believed to be totally free of any form of cancer. The Hunza are also known for their longevity.
• A piece of the rare metal gallium being held in human hands will melt.
• Mosquitos have forty-seven teeth.
• England and Portugal have never been at war against each other. The longest unbroken peace between any nations.
• The Cape of Good Hope is not the most southerly tip of the African continent. Cape Agulhas extends 65 kilometres further south.
• Cape Horn is not the most southerly tip of the South American continent. Cape Horn is on the island of Tierra del Fuego. Fuerte Bulnes, nearly 250 kilometres further north, is the actual tip of the continent.
• The concept of a left and right shoe only occurred after shoe manufacture became a machine process in the 1850s. (I’m not sure I believe this – I think hand-made shoes and boots for the aristocracy were individually measured and made before this date. However, the ‘fact’ may be ‘true’ for most shoes before that date.)
• 123 456 787 654 321 is 11 111 111 squared.
• The only part of the human body that has no blood supply is the cornea. It gains oxygen directly from the air.
• Up to 150 meteorite fragments hit Earth each year. There are only seven reported cases of people being hit by these fragments.
• A committee of the first US Senate selected "His Highness the President of the United States of America and the Protector of the Rights of the Same" as the official title for the President. The House of Representatives disagreed.
• Morocco was the first country to officially recognise the United States.
• Rain contains vitamin B12.

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