Sunday, April 22, 2007

10 things I didn't know until last week

1. About 75% of the pencils sold in the US are painted yellow. Pencils were first painted yellow in the 1890s to signify the use of Chinese graphite, which was considered superior to ordinary graphite.
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2. Barology is the science of weight or gravitation.
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3. Minnesota is called the land of 10,000 lakes. That is no exaggeration - the state, in fact, has close to  12,000 lakes that are ten acres or larger.
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4. Reykjavik literally means Smoky bay.
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5. The hyoid bone in the neck is the only bone in the human skeleton not connected to any other bone. It is supported by the muscles of the neck and in turn supports the root of the tongue.
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6. Although Scotland and England had shared the same monarch since 1603, in was only in 1707 that the Act of Union united both states to create Great Britain. The Act dissolved the countries’ separate sovereign parliaments and replaced them the new Parliament of Great Britain based at Westminster.
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7. The distress callsign ‘Mayday’ is derived from the French words ‘m’aider' meaning 'aid me' or 'help me'.
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8. Because the brain has no pain receptors, open brain surgery is possible using only local anesthetics.
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9. The koala bear doesn’t belong to the bear family and in fact is a marsupial - like a kangaroo.
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10. There are approximately 100,000 hair on the average person’s scalp. Blondes tend to have more hair (about 120,000 strands) and redheads usually have less (about 80,000). People with brown or black hair fall in the middle, with about 100,000 hair strands.
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