Wednesday, May 11, 2005

B'golly and B'gosh, if it ain't ANOTHER ...

... 31 -- no, wait! There's a further list!! -- 62 completely useless facts

01. Scissors were invented by Leonardo da Vinci
02. The Great Wall of China took 1,700 years to build
03. Before the 19th century there were no separate shoes for the right and left feet
04. A syzygy is what happens when three astronomical bodies become aligned. (oh come on! EVERYONE who plays Scrabble knows THAT)
05. According to Judaic laws, it is officially sunset when you can no longer tell the difference between a red thread and a black thread
06. A jiffy is 1/100th of a second
07. There is no word to rhyme with Orange, Purple, Silver or Month (eh? Wot about "oneth" as in "Oneth ith not enough," said the lisping nymphomaniac.)
08. The Japanese word for sex is “sekkusu”
09. Pac Man was originally supposed to be named “Puck Man”, from the puck-shaped character. But the name was changed at the last minute for fear of mispronunciation, unintentional or otherwise
10. Before jets were invented, jet lag was known as “boat lag”
11. November 19th is “Have a Bad Day Day”
12. When a film-maker doesn’t want his or her name to be featured in the film’s titles, they use the name Smithee 13. A full moon always rises at sunset
14. The word “honeymoon” goes back to ancient Babylon, where it was the custom for the bride’s parents had to supply the groom honey-flavoured wine for one month after the marriage
15. The word “bogeyman” comes from the Bugis people of Indonesia, who were pirates feared by early European sailors
16. Breathing on a copper penny can make a breathalyzer test score zero
17. The origin of the term “Son of a gun” was this: in the old days, when women were allowed on board British naval ships, they gave birth behind a canvas screen erected near the midship gun. If the child’s paternity was uncertain, it was entered in the ship’s log as “Son of a gun” (and if it's a daughter?)
18. More Russians were killed in World War II than English, Americans, French, Germans, Japanese, Italians, Canadians, Australians and Indians, all put together
19. e.g. stands for “exempli gratia”
20. The slinky was invented by an aircraft mechanic who got the idea while he was playing with an aircraft spring 21. Until 1896 all the world’s diamonds came from India (Source: the Gemological Institute of America)
22. The game of badminton was originally called “Poona” (... and is now known as "Pune")
23. The term “the whole nine yards” originated with World war II fighter pilots, whose 50 calibre machine gun bullet belts were 27 ft long. If a pilot finished a belt on a target, he said that “it got the whole nine yards”
24. The most difficult tongue-twister, according to research, is “The sixth sick sheikh’s sixth sheep’s sick” (make that "The sixth sick Sikh's sixth sheep's sick" for South Asian readers, maybe?)
25. The four suites of cards in a pack were named after the four pillars of medieval economy. Spades represented Agriculture; Clubs represented the Army; Diamonds represented the Merchants and Hearts represented the Church
26. The Sukhoi SU 34 is the first fighter aircraft with a toilet
27. The origin of the term “naked truth” was this: Falsehood and Truth once went for a bath. Falsehood emerged first and stole Truth’s clothes. Truth refused to wear Falsehood’s clothes and so came out naked
28. A ¼ inch silicon chip has as much computing power as ENIAC, the world’s first computer, which occupied an entire city block
29. Motorola’s first product was an automobile record player. And hence the name “Motorola”, because the most popular record player at the time was named Victrola”
30. In cookery, one “dash” is equal to four drops
31. The four kings on playing cards commemorate real, historical kings: The King of Clubs is Alexander the Great, The King of Diamonds is Julius Caesar, The King of Hearts is Charlemagne, The King of Spades is King David

Okay, some of these Factoms (-- which, BTW, I am considering renaming as FACTICULES. Wodja think? It seems to me the second name is more appropriate, seeings as it's based on MOLECULES, which are combinations of atoms. Course, I notice that a large proportion of those who visit this blog behave like students in an Indian classroom -- i.e., the huge majority NEVER put their hands up to answer questions when asked for responses, preferring to leave the entire burden of leaving comments ... errrm ... answering questions, I mean, to the one or two SMART, ARTICULATE and INTELLIGENT ones ... *sigh* Ahh, nemmind. Don't let it bother you. I visit other blogs and don't leave comments EITHER. --) have already appeared in the other list. Can't be helped. THIS list was sent to me by a friend from a completely different sector of my buddy-galaxy, someone I've known for at least 200 years, who has been circulating jokes since long before the Internet was invented. I will refer to him here as Unvarium -- because he is bashful and probably does not like being referred to directly.

The following list is also from him. Together, that makes 62. See? I can add and everything.

01. Coca-Cola was originally green
02. The F-word was first uttered on screen in the 1968 movie, I’ll Never Forget Whatshisname, (Marianne Faithful was the actor)
03. The words “assassination”, “bump” and “lonely” were invented by Shakespeare
04. Britain is the only country whose name doesn’t appear on its postage stamps, because it was the first country to issue them
05. Any Rubik’s Cube combination can be solved in 17 moves
06. The shortest complete sentence in the English language is “I am.”
07. Mickey Mouse was named after child actor Mickey Rooney, whose mother Walt Disney had once dated
08. Pokemon is short for “Pocket Monster”
09. Most people button their shirts from the bottom upwards (okay, now I KNOW I'm not a person! I button top down)
10. Mosquito repellents block the mosquito’s sensors, so it doesn’t know you are there
11. The average pencil draws a line 35 miles long
12. Barbie’s full name is Barbara Millicent Roberts
13. If Barbie was 5’9” she would measure 33-18-31 ½
14. KGB stands for Komitet Gozudarstvennoy Bezopasnos
15. A “walla-walla scene” in the movies is one where the extras keep saying “Walla-walla” to pretend they’re talking
16. The sounds F, P, T, D, S are the sounds that are the greatest spreaders of infection
17. It is easier for a Japanese speaker to learn Spanish than English. It is easier for an English speaker to learn Spanish than Japanese. (olé!)
18. According to research conducted in Denmark, beer tastes better when drunk to the accompaniment of a certain tone or frequency. The optimal frequency is different for each beer. For example, the optimal frequency for Carlsberg is 510-520 cycles per second
19. Brian de Palma’s Scarface had 206 F-words in it, averaging one every 29 seconds
20. According to the Bible, the chicken came before the egg (Genesis 1:20-22)
21. The last shot of the day in a film shooting is called the Martini shot. The second-last shot is called the Abby Singer.
22. Beer foam goes down if you lick your finger and stick it in the beer
23. You can throw an object further west than east … because of the earth’s rotation
24. The strength of early lasers was measured in “Gillettes”, depending on the number of Gillette blades they could penetrate
25. The ice-cream sundae was invented because back in 1875 it was against the law to serve soda on a Sunday
26. Honey is the only food that doesn’t spoil (spoil what?)
27. The Bloody Mary was invented in Harry’s Bar in Paris in 1934 (why wasn't it Bloody Marie?)
28. There are 2,000,000 possible combinations from a Subway sandwich menu
29. A town becomes a city only after it gets a cathedral. Likewise, a hamlet becomes a village only after it gets a church (and a city becomes a metropolis only after it has a minimum number of traffic jams per day)
30. The most preferred bathroom reading in the USA is Reader’s Digest (read by 66% of people who claimed they read in the bathroom)
31. Bic pens were originally called Bich. The name was first changed for the American market, because of the fear that it would be mispronounced


vAgue said...

hmmm... I see now what you mean about them being useful...very...

Marginalien said...

And meanwhile, feeling the inescapable weight of a challenge, I have devised a limerick (with apologies to North Indian pronunciations) based on "silver":

A nervous young bandit named Wilbur
Asked a North Indian lass for her silver.
She rose up and spat
"I'm pregnant, you rat!
"Don't get me upset, or I'll dilver!"

Prithi Shetty said...

07. Mickey Mouse was named after child actor Mickey Rooney...
I thought it was the other way round. Now we know.

Bangalore qualifies to be a mega-metropolis

Marginalien said...

Lol! My sympathies about Bangalore, Prithi! It used to be a beautiful city.

Anonymous said...

06. The shortest complete sentence in the English language is “I am.”
Technically using any two letter command such as "go!" would be a sentence because you is the understood subject and go is the predicate.
and honey isnt a food its a liquid which makes it a drink.
(i scoff at ur mistaken feeling of intelligence im sure if i tried i could find more mistakes but good luck with finding more facts.

Anonymous said...

directors dont use smithee 13 they use allen smithee,and the ENIAC only took up 167 sq. meters or .9 X 2.4 X 30 Meters. again my superior intellect prevails.

anomalous4 said...

Leonardo DaVinci didn't invent scissors.

The first shears - a pair of crossed blades connected by a spring hinge into a u-shape - date back at least 3500 years and maybe as far as 4500. Sheep shearers in many parts of the world still use them.

"Modern" scissors with the center pivot date back to Roman times, 100 a.d. or so.

Leonardo's notebooks do include a drawing of
a grinding-wheel device for sharpening scissors. Maybe that's why the confusion.

See and inventors.about com for more info.