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Monday, December 31, 2012

Useless Facts Of The Year - Part Four

We have made it to the final installment of the year for the Useless Facts series. I hope you have been enjoying the recaps. Have a very safe and Happy New Year!!!

-- The first box of crayons sold by Crayola in 1903 contained 8 colors (brown, blue, green, yellow, black, orange, red, and violet). It sold for 5 cents.  

-- The term "autobiography" is said to have been coined by the poet Robert Southey (August 12, 1774- March 21, 1843) in 1809 when he predicted "an epidemical rage for autobiography" in the Quarterly Review.

-- A medium-large owl, the Ural Owl, is smaller than The Great Grey Owl and larger than a Tawny Owl (whom it closely resembles). The 15 subspecies of this owl live in Europe and Asia. These nocturnal birds have no ear tufts and dark eyes. They are gray or gray with streaks of brown. All have a whitish-grey underside. 

For more info, please check out: Wikipedia  and National Geographic

-- The theremin was invented in October 1920 by a Russian physicist named Lev Sergeevich Termen, aka Leon Theremin, after the outbreak of the Russian Civil War. It was originally the product of Russian government-sponsored research into proximity sensors. After touring Europe with his invention, where he showed it to packed houses, Theremin made his way to the United States and patented it in 1928.

-- Did you know that the opossum is the only marsupial native to North America? Their prehensile tail helps them climb. Babies can hang upside down on trees for a short period of time. They have an excellent sense of hearing and smell. Their eyesight is poor. Opossums have 52 teeth. This is more than any other North American mammal. 

-- Trees: Did you know that there are over 400 species of Eucalyptus trees? The palm tree family has over 3000 species. 

-- Moose:  The antlers of a male moose can grow up to about 6 feet from end-to-end. Also, did you know that they can run at speeds up to 35 mph for short distances and can trot at a steady rate of 20 mph for an hour? Despite their size, they are also known to be good swimmers and can swim for miles. 

-- Pigeons: Pigeons have lived alongside man for thousands of years. The first images of pigeons was found by archaeologists in what is now modern Iraq, then known as Mesopotamia, dating back to 3000 BC. Throughout history pigeons have served many different roles like symbols for gods and goddesses, messengers, and pets. 

-- Hurricanes: The term "hurricane" comes from the Taino Native American word, "hurucane", which translates to evil spirit of the wind. 

The first person to give hurricanes names was an Australian weather forecaster named Clement Wragge in the early 1900s.

The first US hurricane was (unoffically) named George in 1947.

-- Did you know that men are 50% more likely than women to snore? While snoring is not generally dangerous, it could be a symptom of something more serious. If you are experiencing any problems please see a doctor.

-- It is estimated that there are 2,000 species of geckos. It is believed that there may be more that are yet to be discovered. 

For more on geckos, check out the web-footed gecko - here

-- Did you know that turkeys can turn their heads almost all the way around? They have much better vision than humans and by moving their necks around can have a field view of nearly 270 degrees. Turkeys also hear very well. They have small holes on the sides of their heads near their eyes and are believed to be able to pinpoint sounds from a mile away. 

Did you know that the Oriental Fire-Bellied toad has pupils that are triangular? 

-- These toads excrete toxins from their skin and when threatened they rise up on their front legs, arch their back, and sometimes flip over to show the bright red and black colors of their underside. They do this to show potential predators that eating them is not a good idea. 

For more on the Oriental Fire-Bellied Toad : ADW

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