50 Fascinating Factoids – Part 1

My mate Mort, a true gentleman of Pittsburgh, sent me most of these tidbits. Surely a distinguished statesman from the good ol’ US of A wouldn’t fib?

1.) If you are right handed, you will tend to chew your food on the right side of your mouth. If you are left handed, you will tend to chew your food on the left side of your mouth.
If you are ambidextrous does that mean you dribble?

2.) To make half a kilo of honey, bees must collect nectar from over 2 million individual flowers.
No wonder the little buggers always look exhausted.

3.) Heroin is the brand name of morphine once marketed by ‘Bayer‘.
And to think, this was 1895 – way before Woodstock.

4.) People in nudist colonies play volleyball more than any other sport.
Hopefully they also wear a lot of sunscreen.

5.) Albert Einstein was offered the presidency of Israel in 1952, but he declined.

6.) Astronauts can’t belch – there is no gravity to separate liquid from gas in their stomachs.
They can flatulate though, and there’s nothing more horrid than a fart in a space suit.

7.) Ancient Roman, Chinese and German societies often used urine as mouthwash.
Ugh

8.) The Mona Lisa has no eyebrows. In the Renaissance era, it was fashion to shave them off!

9.) Because of the speed at which Earth moves around the Sun, it is impossible for a solar eclipse to last more than 7 minutes and 58 seconds.

10.) The night of January 20 is “Saint Agnes’s Eve”, which is regarded as a time when a young woman dreams of her future husband.
It is also a poem by Keats

11.) A googol (not Google) is actually the common name for a number with one hundred zeros.
A googolplex is 1 followed by a googol of zeros, or 1 with a million zeros following it. It has nothing to do with a popular search engine.

12.) It takes glass one million years to decompose, which means it never wears out and can be recycled an infinite amount of times!

13.) Gold is the only metal that doesn’t rust, even if it’s buried in the ground for thousands of years.
Hmm, I didn’t think that any precious metals actually rusted. Rust is peculiar to iron and compounds made with iron. Regardless, I will not be burying my vast stash of gold bars any time soon 😉

14.) Your tongue is the only muscle in your body that is attached at only one end.

15.) If you stop getting thirsty, you need to drink more water. When a human body is dehydrated its thirst mechanism shuts off.

16.) Each year 2,000,000 smokers either quit smoking or die of tobacco-related diseases.

17.) Zero is the only number that cannot be represented by Roman numerals.
i – i = ?

18.) Kites were used in the American Civil War to deliver letters and newspapers.
That must have been one long piece of string.

19.) The song, Auld Lang Syne, is sung at the stroke of midnight in almost every English-speaking country in the world to bring in the new year.
Not sure why though. It is a stupid song.

20.) Drinking water after eating reduces the acid in your mouth by 61 percent.

21.) Peanut oil is used for cooking in submarines because it doesn’t smoke unless it’s heated above 160°C.
However, if you’re allergic to peanuts do not become a submariner.

22.) Airports at higher altitudes require a longer airstrip due to lower air density.

23.) The banana cannot reproduce itself. It can be propagated only by the hand of man.
So how did it get here in the first place?

24.) The roar that we hear when we place a seashell next to our ear is not the ocean, but rather the sound of blood surging through the veins in the ear.
Really! I just figured the little crab had his tiny television turned up too loud.

25.) Nine out of every 10 living things live in the ocean.
Like crabs with loud television sets.

Tune in next week for more Mort madness with, Fascinating Factoids – Part 2

For The Love of God – Enough With The Bloody Trivia?!

Like a bad movie franchise (think Saw 2 onwards) we’re back with another round of trivial trash, beginning with:

Of Licking Toads and Elbows.

The vast majority of the population cannot lick their elbows.

Pause whilst the reader attempts the impossible.

What many people don’t know is that elbow skin is actually toxic. There is a tiny gland in your lateral epicondyle that exudes a mild narcotic when stimulated. The drug, called Imtal Kingru Bish (or IKB for short) was first discovered by long-tongued hippies in the late 1970’s and is a form of bufotoxin similar to that found in the skin of the Colorado River Bullfrog and the Australian Cane Toad.

The ingestion of this type of hallucinogenic tryptamine has been known to cause psychedelic episodes leading to a voyage on a Yellow Submarine, a Magic Carpet Ride, sleepovers in Itchycoo Park or a Misty Mountain Hop. Those that imbibed too much often experienced a dangerous encounter with Hoppity Hooper and to this day cannot stand the sight of poor Kermit.

Coined the Peace Frog by the Lizard King, overdosed users were left as Thick as a Brick. Even renowned astronaut Major Tom, struggled with the fact that planet Earth was blue and there was nothing he could do.

Eventually the authorities banned the partaking of polliwog potion and less conventional methods, such as smoking banana skins, was attempted by the drug crazed desperados still waiting for the epic song ‘In a Gadda Da Vida’ to finish.

Then in 1978, notable walrus and occasional eggman, Philbert Q TieDye discovered the fun of IKB whilst slurping hummous off his elbow. Endowed with an unusually large sixteen centimetre proboscis, Philbert quickly decided that ‘elbow grease’ was good for business. Unfortunately for the Q-man the psychedelic effects of IKB only works on the person who produces the hallucinogen. So, after a string of beatings from Mellow Yellow fans whom Phil had tried to convert with a sample ‘suck on his wenis,’ he eventually gave up and spent his remaining days wandering the rooms of the Hotel California, frequently checking out, but never able to leave.

Many other unhappy discoveries began to pepper the free-love landscape as other long-tongued larrikins locked lips with their funny bones. Gorging on the ginglymis resulted in a succession of poorly acted Police Academy movies, an achy breaky heart, the Macarena, too many Baldwins and The Attack of the Killer Tomatoes.

Although it is sometimes called the ‘funny bone’, hitting the humerus is no laughing matter. So, even if you do have a Gene Simmons sized appendage, please do not try this at home.

Shark Tales.

It’s a known fact that sharks close their eyes when they come in for the kill. With their other senses heightened to the extreme, eyesight becomes superfluous and the soulless black orbs roll back into the sockets as the intoxicating aroma of severed flesh and gushing blood fills the boiling sea.

Ron and Valerie Taylor have spent years documenting this phenomenon, whilst remaining ‘in love’ with the shark. However, Matt Hooper (Richard Dreyfus character in the movie Jaws) described the creature best.

“[Sharks are] an eating machine that is a miracle of evolution. It swims and eats and makes little baby sharks, that’s all.”

Unlike our friend the crocodile, sharks don’t cry when they bite you. The only reason they shut their eyes is so that they don’t end up with a piece of your rib cage lodged in the iris.

Do not be fooled by their names.

A Grey Nurse is not going to Dettol your detached limb.

A Hammer Head will not help you repair the hull of your boat.

Bull sharks don’t lie.

Gummy sharks have teeth.

And the only thing great about a Great White is the size of its gaping maw and its insatiable appetite.

They are the alpha predator of the ocean, and you are the side-serving of fries in the buffet of life.

Admit it, you’re hooked. You want more trivia? Well we got more trivia. Check out the following posts:

Interesting Trivia?! 

More Interesting Trivia?!

Even More Interesting Trivia?!

Even More Interesting Trivia?!

From the people that brought you Interesting Trivia and More Interesting Trivia, comes the latest trivial sensation:

Even More Interesting Trivia?! – woo hoo, yay, big round of applause.

Crocodile Tears.

Did you know that crocodiles cry when eating? Its true!

Crocodiles, and their cousins the alligator, are deeply sensitive beasts who often spend hours at a time rationalising the forthcoming slaughter and mastication of the baby zebra playing at the edge of the waterhole. Taking a life does not come natural to natures ‘gentle lizard’.

You see, crocodilia are ancient creatures from the late cretaceous, a time when life was simple. A time when Raptors ran through the rapeseed, Gallimimus galloped through the grass, Diplodocus danced in the daisies and Tyrannosaurs tip-toed through the tulips. Volcanoes announced their eruptions weeks in advance and asteroids waved hello as they passed by at a safe distance.

Weekly meetings of Predators Anonymous were held amongst the heather to assist those poor unfortunate individuals who were born without molars. Many a despondent Deinonychus was counselled by a caring caiman during those early days. It was a peaceful time, a happy time, until a fuzzy little biped with opposable thumbs began sharpening sticks and throwing stones.

Nowadays the old croc is all alone in the world. His ancient acquaintances are either extinct or evolved into birds, and whenever he tries to smile at a human he gets shot in the head. There is no support group, no outlet for his emotions. So when he kills, and kill he must, he sheds a little tear.

So please try and remember this story when you meet our scaly friend. And if he happens to have a little nibble on your bum well, as Homer Simpson once said, ‘its just like going to sleep – in a blender’.

Dead Ringer.

A ring, a ring o’ roses,
A pocket full o’posies
Atishoo atishoo
We all fall down.

What a cute, nonsensical nursery rhyme – NOT!!! Its actually an evil little ditty about death and decay, dating back to the first outbreak of bubonic plague in England in the 1300’s

Old Mother Goose, the wicked witch of Westfarthing penned the poisoned words in the basement of her thatched hut where she brewed the black-death in a blood soaked cauldron. Scared yet? You should be!

Ring-a-Rosie refers to the raised round welts and weeping lesions that initially infected the doomed individual.

As their skin decayed and began to slough off the their bones, a fetid reek would begin to effuse the environment. Victims would stuff their pockets with herbs and wildflowers to ward off the stench. The most common flora available being posies, hence the second line of the rhyme.

Sneezing helped to spread the disease, as did coughing up blood and the lack of an adequate sewerage system.

We all fall down – You’re dead!

Nowadays we read this poem to our children in complete ignorance of its insidious meaning, but pityriasis rosea still exists people and it’s an itchy legacy of the Goose woman.

More Interesting Trivia?!

For Your Edification and Entertainment – Matts Notes is Proud to Present More Interesting Trivia?!

Leaping to a Ludicrous Leap Year Conclusion – aka Were The Mayans The Original Douchebags?

There have been approximately 514 leap years since Julius Caesar created the Julian Calendar in 46BC. The Mayan calendar, which forms the underlying premise of the movie ‘2012’ with John Cusack; released in plenty of time so the producers could raise the millions of Euros required to secure their safe passage on board the American ark 😉 – did not use leap years to synchronise the months to the seasons. In fact, the Mayans had several calendars, one of which was known as the Long Count.

History tells us that,

The Mayan civilization existed from 250-900 A.D. in the current geographical location of southern Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador and some of Honduras. Archaeologists studying this fascinating culture have been able to decipher their many calendars, but their longest period calendar — the “Long Count” — is what set alarm bells off in the fertile minds of a few conspiracy theorists, doomsayers and guys looking to make a fast buck.

According to Quantum expert and Sleek Geek, Dr. Karl Kruszelnicki,

“[the Long Count] was set up around 355 BCE, and had as its chosen starting date 0.0.0.0.0, which corresponds to 11 August 3114 BCE. And on 21 December 2012, the Mayan Long Count calendar will read 13.0.0.0.0.

Now here’s how it works. Our numbering system is based on 10. But the Mayans had a counting system based on 20, so most of the ‘slots’ in their calendar had 20 potential numbers (0 to 19). The calendar read a little like the odometer in your car’s speedo (which run from 0 to 9). The extreme right slot (of five slots) would count through the days, and when it got to 19 days (0.0.0.0.19) would reset to zero, and the next slot across to the left would increase by one (to 0.0.0.1.0).

So 0.0.0.0.1 was one day, and 0.0.0.1.0 was 20 days. Then 0.0.1.0.0 was about one year, 0.1.0.0.0 was about 20 years and with 1.0.0.0.0, you’ve clocked up about 400 years. And on 21 December 2012, the Mayan Long Count calendar will read 13.0.0.0.0.”

Therefore, if you subscribe to a conspiracy theory centered around the number 13 you may feel inclined to splurge on ‘buy now, pay later’ items, knowing that you will never have to cough up on the horrendous credit card interest rate. Go for it, Gerry Harvey won’t mind.

However, Dr. Karl continues to say,

“By the way, the time between 0.0.0.0.0 and 13.0.0.0.0 is about 5126 years. Now some Mayan archaeo-astronomers reckon that the calendar should reset back to zero and start again. But others disagree and say it should continue to 20, and then reset again.”

Hmm, hands up all those of you scared of the number 20!

So, bearing in mind that we only started using leap days 2,059 years ago, and the Mayans never used leap days when they set up their calendar to begin in 3114BC, the math that calculated the End of Days is flawed – sorry Arnie.

Add to that the fact that even the experts on Mayan culture cannot agree and there’s a good chance doomsayers, that you’re already dead 🙂

Check back on Thursday for Even More Interesting Trivia?!