Here are some interesting facts you won't be able to hear on our show!
"Fortnight" is a contraction of "fourteen nights." In the US "two weeks" is more commonly used.
A bathometer is an instrument for indicating the depth of the sea beneath a moving vessel.
A 'jiffy' is an actual unit of time for 1/100th of a second.
A Sphygmomanometer measures blood pressure.
A typical lightning bolt is two to four inches wide and two miles long.
A wind with a speed of 74 miles or more is designated a hurricane.
Any month that starts on a Sunday will have a Friday the 13th in it.
At 4,145 miles, the Nile River is the longest in the world.
Each unit on the Richter Scale is equivalent to a power factor of about 32. So a 6 is 32 times more powerful than a 5!
Easter is the first Sunday after the first Full Moon after March 21.
England and the American colonies adopted the Gregorian calendar on September 14th, 1752. 11 days disappeared.
Flying from London to New York by Concord, due to the time zones crossed, you can arrive 2 hours before you leave.
If the sun stopped shining suddenly, it would take eight minutes for people on earth to be aware of the fact.
If you add up the numbers 1-100 consecutively (1+2+3+4+5 etc) the total is 5050.
In 1947, heavy snow blanketed the Northeast, burying New York City under 25.8 inches of snow in 16 hours; the severe weather was blamed for some 80 deaths.
Light travels at the rate of 186,200 miles a second.
More than 99.9% of all the animal species that have ever lived on earth were extinct before the coming of man.
Nearly 50% of all bank robberies take place on Friday.
Ten inches of snow equals one inch of rain in water content.
The anemometer is an instrument which measures the force, velocity, or pressure of the wind.
The base of the Great Pyramid of Egypt is large enough to cover 10 football fields.
The greatest snowfall ever in a single storm was 189 inches at the Mount Shasta Ski Bowl in February, 1959.
The Gregorian calendar was introduced by Pope Gregory in 1582 AD, and was adopted by Great Britain and the English colonies in 1752.
The highest point of the earth, with an elevation of 29,141 feet, is the top of Mt. Everest in Tibet.
The highest temperature ever recorded in the continental US was 134 degrees on July 10, 1913 in Death Valley, California.
The highest temperature ever recorded in the world was 136.4 degrees Fahrenheit at El Azizia, Lybia, on September 13, 1922.
The highest waterfall in the world, Angel Falls in Venezuela, has a total drop of 3,121 feet.
The linen bandages that were used to wrap Egyptian mummies averaged 1,000 yards in length.
The lowest temperature ever recorded in the world was 129 degrees below 0 at Vostok, Antarctica, on July 21, 1983.
The metal instrument used in shoe stores to measure feet is called the Brannock device.
The monastic hours are matins, lauds, prime, tierce, sext, nones, vespers and compline.
The most snow accumulation in a one-day period was 75.8 inches at Silver Lake, Colorado, in April 1921.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced in 1978 that it would alternate men's and women's names in the naming of hurricanes. It was seen as an attempt at fair play. Hurricanes had been named for women for years, until NOAA succumbed to pressure from women's groups who were demanding that Atlantic storms be given unisex names.
The world's first speed limit regulation was in England in 1903. It was 20 mph.
The wristwatch was invented in 1904 by Louis Cartier.
There are 31,557,600 seconds in a year.
Though it goes to 10, 9 is estimated to be the point of total tectonic destruction from an earthquake (2 is the smallest that can be felt unaided.)
And Did You Know....?
Married with Children is the longest running sitcom.
A goldfish has a memory span of three seconds.
Approximately 2,300 children are reported missing each day.
When the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers play football at home, the stadium becomes the third largest city.
Sweat glands can produce up to three gallons of sweat each day.
Safe Ride closes at 11:00 p.m. Smart.
Al Capone’s business card said he was a used furniture dealer.
Hot fudge has no fudge – it’s mostly corn syrup.
One in ten Americans have spent at least one night in jail.
An ostrich’s eye is bigger than its brain.
Peanuts are one of the ingredients in dynamite.
In England, the Speaker of the House is not allowed to speak.
John Lennon’s first girlfriend’s name was Thelma Pickles.
There are 336 dimples on a regulation golf ball.
Hummingbirds cannot walk.
A rat can last longer without water than a camel.
There are more nutrients in the cornflake package itself than there are in the actual cornflakes.
Earth is the only planet not named after a god.
If you put a raisin in a glass of champagne, it will keep floating to the top and sinking to the bottom.
Non-dairy creamer is flammable.
Snails can sleep for three years without eating.
The launching mechanism of a carrier ship that helps planes take off could throw a pickup truck over a mile.
Almonds are members of the peach family.
Acupuncture was first used as a medical treatment in 2700 BC by Chinese emperor Shen-Nung.
Armored knights raised their visors to identify themselves when they rode past their king. This custom has become the modern military salute.
At the height of its power, in 400 BC, the Greek city of Sparta had 25,000 citizens and 500,000 slaves.
Bock's Car was the name of the B-29 Bomber that dropped the Atom Bomb on Nagasaki.
Britain's present royal
was originally named Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. The name was changed in
during WW1 because of German connotations. The name Windsor was
by one of the staff. At the same time the Battenberg family name of the
to the Windsors was changed into
Canada declared national beauty contests canceled as of 1992, claiming they were degrading to women.
Captain Cook lost 41 of his 98 crew to scurvy (a lack of vitamin C) on his first voyage to the South Pacific in 1768. By 1795 the importance of eating citrus was realized, and lemon juice was issued on all British Navy ships.
Chicago's Lincoln Park was created in 1864. The original 120 acre cemetery had most of its graves removed and was expanded to more than 1000 acres for recreational use.
Christmas became a national holiday in the US in 1890.
During the US Civil war, 200,000 blacks served in the Union Army; 38,000 gave their lives; 22 won the Medal of Honor.
Everyone in the Middle Ages believed -- as Aristotle had -- that the heart was the seat of intelligence.
Former President Cleveland defeated incumbent Benjamin Harrison in 1892, becoming the first (and, to date, only) chief executive to win non-consecutive terms to the White House.
Fourteenth century physicians didn't know what caused the plague, but they knew it was contagious. As a result they wore an early kind of bioprotective suit which included a large beaked head piece. The beak of the head piece, which made them look like large birds, was filled with vinegar, sweet oils and other strong smelling compounds to counteract the stench of the dead and dying plague victims.
From the Middle Ages up until the end of the 19th century, barbers performed a number of medical duties including bloodletting, wound treatment, dentistry, minor operations and bone-setting. The barber's striped red pole originated in the Middle Ages, when it was a staff the patient would grip while the barber bled the patient.
Grand Rapids, Michigan was the 1st US city to fluoridate its water in 1945.
In 1810 US population was 7,239,881. Black population at 1,377,808 was 19%. In 1969 US population reached 200 million.
In 1865, several veterans of the Confederate Army formed a private social club in Pulaski, Tennessee, called the Ku Klux Klan.
In 1892, Italy raised the minimum age for marriage for girls - to 12.
In 1947, Toys for Tots started making the holidays a little happier for children by organizing its first Christmas toy drive for needy youngsters.
In England and the American colonies they year 1752 only had 354 days. In that year, the type of calendar was changed, and 11 days were lost.
Reasons why the English language is so hard to learn:
1) The bandage was wound around the wound.
2) The farm was used to produce produce.
3) The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.
4) We must polish the Polish furniture.
5) He could lead if he would get the lead out.
6) The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.
7) Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.
8) A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.
9) When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.
10) I did not object to the object.
11) The insurance was invalid for the invalid.
12) There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.
13) They were too close to the door to close it.
14) The buck does funny things when the does are present.
15) A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.
16) To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.
17) The wind was too strong to wind the sail.
18) After a number of injections my jaw got number.
19) Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.
20) I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.
21) How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?
Let's face it - English is a crazy language. There is no egg in eggplant nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins weren't invented in England or French fries in France. Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren't sweet, are meat.
We take English for granted. But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig. And why is it that writers write but fingers don't fing, grocers don't groce and hammers don't ham?
If the plural of tooth is
teeth, why isn't the plural of booth beeth?
Sometimes I think all the English speakers should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane. In what language do people recite at a play and play at a recital? Ship by truck and send cargo by ship? Drive on parkways and park on driveways? Have noses that run and feet that smell? How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites?
You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out and in which an alarm goes off by going on. English was invented by people, not computers, and it reflects the creativity of the human race (which, of course, isn't a race at all). That is why, when the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible.
Even More Facts You Might Not Know:
More than 20,000 men were killed, wounded, or missing in action in the battle of Antietam, September 17, 1862. This was the bloodiest one-day fight during the Civil War.
Napoleon took 14,000 French decrees and simplified them into a unified set of 7 laws. This was the first time in modern history that a nation's laws applied equally to all citizens. Napoleon's 7 laws are so impressive that by 1960 more than 70 governments had patterned their own laws after them or used them verbatim.
Nevada was the first state to sanction the use of the gas chamber, and the first execution by lethal gas took place in February, 1924.
New Orleans' first Mardi Gras celebration was held in February, 1826.
New York's first St. Patrick's day parade was held on March 17, 1762.
Of the 262 men who have held the title of pope, 33 have died by violence.
On April 12, 1938, the state of New York passed a law requiring medical tests for marriage license applicants, the first state to do so.
On August sixth, 1945, during World War Two, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, killing an estimated 140,000 people in the first use of a nuclear weapon in warfare.
On Dec. 10th 1901 the 1st Nobel prizes were awarded. Literature - Rene Sully-Prudhomme; Physiology - Emil von Behring; Chemistry - Jacobus van't Hoff; Physics - Wilhelm Roentgen; Peace - Jean Henri Dunant Frederic Passy.
On December 20, 1860, South Carolina was the first state to secede from the Union.
On June 26th, 1945, the charter of the United Nations was signed by 50 countries in San Francisco. (The text of the charter was in five languages: Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish.)
Only two people signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, John Hancock and Charles Thomson. Most of the rest signed on August 2, but the last signature wasn't added until 5 years later.
President George Washington created the Order of the Purple Heart in 1782. It's a decoration to recognize merit in enlisted men and non-commissioned officers.
President Lincoln proclaimed the first national Thanksgiving Day in 1863.
Richard Nixon was the 1st US president to visit China in February, 1972.
Seven of the eight US presidents who have died in office - either through illness or assassination - were elected at precisely 20-year intervals.
The "Spruce Goose" flew on November 2, 1947, for one mile, at a maximum altitude of 70 feet. Built by Howard Hughes, it is the largest aircraft ever built, the 140-ton eight-engine seaplane, made of birch, has a wingspan of 320 feet. It was built as a prototype troop transport. Rejected by the Pentagon, Hughes put the plane into storage, never to be flown again.
The 1st 20 African slaves were brought to the US, to the colony of Virginia in 1619, by a Dutch ship.
The 1st nuclear-powered submarine, the Nautilus, commissioned by the United States Navy in 1954, made her maiden voyage on Jan. 17, 1955.
The 1st US federal holiday honoring Martin Luther King, Jr. was in 1986.
The 1st US federal legislation prohibiting narcotics (opium) was enacted in 1909.
The 1st US federal penitentiary building was completed at Leavenworth, Kansas in 1906.
The 1st US Minimum Wage Law
was instituted in 1938. The minimum wage was
The ancient Egyptians slept on pillows made of stone.
The Black Death reduced the population of Europe by one third in the period from 1347 to 1351.
The dollar was established as the official currency of the US in 1785.
The first coin minted in the United States was a silver dollar. It was issued on October 15, 1794.
The first country to abolish capital punishment was Austria in 1787.
The first losing candidate in a US presidential election was Thomas Jefferson. He lost to John Adams. George Washington had been unopposed.
The first modern Olympiad was held in Athens in 1896. 484 contestants from 13 nations participated.
The first US Marines wore high leather collars to protect their necks from sabres, hence the name "leathernecks."
The first-known contraceptive was crocodile dung, used by Egyptians in 2000 BC.
The House of Lancaster, symbolized by the red rose, won England's 'War of the Roses.'
The Hundred Year War actually lasted 116 years (1337 to 1453).
The longest reigning monarch in history was Pepi II, who ruled Egypt for 90 years; 2566 to 2476 BC. The second longest was France's Louis XIV, who ruled for 72 years, 1643 to 1715.
The Miss America Contest was created in Atlantic City in 1921 with the purpose of extending the tourist season beyond Labor Day.
The name of the first airplane flown at Kitty Hawk by the Wright Brothers, on December 17, 1903, was Bird of Prey.
The only repealed amendment to the US Constitution deals with the prohibition of alcohol.
The peace symbol was created in 1958 as a nuclear disarmament symbol by the Direct Action Committee, and was first shown that year at peace marches in England. The symbol is a composite of the semaphore signals N and D, representing nuclear disarmament.
The Republic of Israel was established April 23, 1948.The seven wonders of the ancient world were:
1. Egyptian Pyramids at Giza ...
The supersonic Concorde jet made its first trial flight on January 1, 1969.
The Titanic was the first ship to use the SOS signal. It was adopted as the international signal for distress in 1912, and the Titanic struck the iceberg in April of that year.
The total number of Americans killed in the Civil War is greater than the combined total of Americans killed in all other wars.
The Union ironclad, Monitor, was the first U.S. ship to have a flush toilet.
The USSR set off the largest nuclear explosion in history, detonating a 50 megaton bomb (2600 times the Hiroshima bomb) in an atmospheric test over the Novaya Zemla Islands, October 30 1961.
The very first bomb dropped by the Allies on Berlin during World War II killed the only elephant in the Berlin Zoo.
The White House, in Washington DC, was originally gray, the color of the sandstone from which it was built. After the War of 1812, during which it had been burned by Canadian troops, the outside walls were painted white to hide the smoke stains.
The worldwide "Spanish Flu" epidemic which broke out in 1918 killed more than 30 million people in less than a year's time.
There are more statues of Sacajewa, Lewis & Clark's female Indian guide, in the United States than any other person.
Until 1965, driving was done
on the left-hand side on roads in Sweden. The conversion to right-hand
done on a weekday at 5 p.m. All traffic stopped as people switched
This time and day were chosen to prevent accidents where drivers would
gotten up in the morning and been too sleepy to realize
Vermont, admitted as the 14th state in 1791, was the 1st addition to the original 13 colonies.
Wyoming was the first state to allow women to vote.
Yellowstone is the world's 1st national park. It was dedicated in 1872.A cough releases an explosive charge of air that moves at speeds up to 60 mph.
A fetus acquires fingerprints at the age of three months.
A fingernail or toenail takes about 6 months to grow from base to tip.
A human being loses an average of 40 to 100 strands of hair a day.
A person will die from total lack of sleep sooner than from starvation. Death will occur in about 10 days without sleep, while starvation can take much longer.
A sneeze can exceed the speed of 100 mph.
According to German researchers, the risk of heart attack is higher on Monday than any other day of the week.
After spending hours working
at a computer display, look at a blank piece of
An average human drinks about 16, 000 gallons of water in a lifetime.
An average human scalp has 100,000 hairs.
An average person uses the bathroom 6 times per day.
Babies are born with 300 bones, but by adulthood we have only 206 in our bodies.
Beards are the fastest growing hairs on the human body. If the average man never trimmed his beard, it would grow to nearly 30 feet long in his lifetime.
Blondes have more hair than dark-haired people.
By age sixty, most people have lost half of their taste buds.
By the time you turn 70, your heart will have beat some two-and-a-half billion times (figuring on an average of 70 beats per minute.)
Each square inch of human skin consists of twenty feet of blood vessels.
Every human spent about half an hour as a single cell.
Every person has a unique tongue print.
Every square inch of the human body has an average of 32 million bacteria on it.
Every time you lick a stamp, you're consuming 1/10 of a calorie.
Fingernails grow faster than toenails.
Fingerprints serve a function - they provide traction for the fingers to grasp things.
Humans shed about 600,000 particles of skin every hour - about 1.5 pounds a year. By 70 years of age, an average person will have lost 105 pounds of skin.
Humans shed and regrow outer skin cells about every 27 days - almost 1,000 new skins in a lifetime.
If it were removed from the body, the small intestine would stretch to a length of 22 feet.
If you are locked in a completely sealed room, you will die of carbon dioxide poisoning first before you will die of oxygen deprivation.
If you go blind in one eye, you'll only lose about one-fifth of your vision (but all your depth perception.)
In a lifetime the average US resident eats more than 50 tons of food and drinks more than 13,000 gallons of liquid.
In the late 19th century, millions of human mummies were used as fuel for locomotives in Egypt where wood and coal was scarce, but mummies were plentiful.
It takes 17 muscles to smile --- 43 to frown.
Jaw muscles can provide about 200 pounds of force to bring the back teeth together for chewing.
Lab tests can detect traces of alcohol in urine six to 12 hours after a person has stopped drinking.
Laughing lowers levels of stress hormones and strengthens the immune system.
Six-year-olds laugh an average of 300 times a day. Adults only laugh 15 to 100 times a day.The average human body contains enough: iron to make a 3 inch nail, sulfur to kill all fleas on an average dog, carbon to make 900 pencils, potassium to fire a toy cannon, fat to make 7 bars of soap, phosphorous to make 2,200 match heads, and water to fill a ten-gallon tank.
The average human produces 25,000 quarts of spit in a lifetime, enough to fill two swimming pools.
The average person releases nearly a pint of intestinal gas by flatulence every day. Most is due to swallowed air. The rest is from fermentation of undigested food.
The body's largest internal organ is the small intestine at an average length of 20 feet
The feet account for one quarter of all the human bodies' bones.
The human body has enough fat to produce 7 bars of soap.
The human body has over 600 muscles, 40% of the body's weight.
The human brain is about 85% water.
The largest cell in the human body is the female ovum, or egg cell. It is about 1/180 inch in diameter. The smallest cell in the human body is the male sperm. It takes about 175,000 sperm cells to weigh as much as a single egg cell.
The largest cell in the human body is the female reproductive cell, the ovum. The smallest is the male sperm.
The largest human organ is the skin, with a surface area of about 25 square feet.
The left lung is smaller than the right lung to make room for the heart.
The little lump of flesh just forward of your ear canal, right next to your temple, is called a tragus.
The longest muscle in the human body is the sartorius. This narrow muscle of the thigh passes obliquely across the front of the thigh and helps rotate the leg to the position assumed in sitting cross-legged. Its name is a derivation of the adjective "sartorial," a reference to what was the traditional cross-legged position of tailors (or "sartors") at work.
The most common blood type in the world is Type O. The rarest, Type A-H, has been found in less than a dozen people since the type was discovered.
The Neanderthal's brain was bigger than yours is.
The only bone in the human body not connected to another is the hyoid, a V-shaped bone located at the base of the tongue between the mandible and the voice box. Its function is to support the tongue and its muscles.
The permanent teeth that erupt to replace their primary predecessors (baby teeth) are called succedaneous teeth.
The sound of a snore (up to 69 decibels) can be almost as loud as the noise of a pneumatic drill.
The tips of fingers and the soles of feet are covered by a thick, tough layer of skin called the stratum corneum.
There are 45 miles of nerves in the skin of a human being.
Three-hundred-million cells die in the human body every minute.
Women burn fat more slowly than men, by a rate of about 50 calories a day.
Women's hearts beat faster than men's.