May 3, 2002
NOTE FROM CHRIS:
Today, we're going to drop our normal list format because we're doing something out of the ordinary. Something we've never yet attempted. Something mischievous. A sociological experiment of sorts.
Here's how it works...
We've all gotten e-mail lists of fun "facts," such as: "A duck's quack doesn't echo, and nobody knows why." They're almost always false, but that doesn't stop people from forwarding them all over the place. So we've come up with our own such list, chock full of absolutely absurd "facts" -- and are asking you, our beloved readers, to forward this to your friends. Then we'll kick back and see how long before this is in wide circulation.
Be sure to delete this top section, as well as any unsubscribe information from the bottom of this message before forwarding it on.
If anyone receives a forwarded copy of this at any point in the next few months, sent by some clueless person who believes it to be factual, please let us know.
Ready? Here we go...
Sixty Amazing-but-True Facts!
* In the weightlessness of space a frozen pea will explode if it comes in contact with Pepsi.
* The increased electricity used by modern appliances is causing a shift in the Earth's magnetic field. By the year 2327, the North Pole will be located in mid-Kansas, while the South Pole will be just off the coast of East Africa.
* The idea for "tribbles" in "Star Trek" came from gerbils, since some gerbils are actually born pregnant.
* Male rhesus monkeys often hang from tree branches by their amazing prehensile penises.
* Johnny Plessey batted .331 for the Cleveland Spiders in 1891, even though he spent the entire season batting with a rolled-up, lacquered copy of the Toledo Post-Dispatch.
* Smearing a small amount of dog feces on an insect bite will relieve the itching and swelling.
* The Boeing 747 is capable of flying upside-down if it weren't for the fact that the wings would shear off when trying to roll it over.
* The trucking company Elvis Presley worked at as a young man was owned by Frank Sinatra.
* The only golf course on the island of Tonga has 15 holes, and there's no penalty if a monkey steals your golf ball.
* Legislation passed during WWI making it illegal to say "gesundheit" to a sneezer was never repealed.
* Manatees possess vocal chords which give them the ability to speak like humans, but they don't do so because they have no ears with which to hear the sound.
* SCUBA divers cannot pass gas at depths of 33 feet or below.
* Catfish are the only animals that naturally have an odd number of whiskers.
* Replying more than 100 times to the same piece of spam e-mail will overwhelm the sender's system and interfere with their ability to send any more spam.
* Polar bears can eat as many as 86 penguins in a single sitting.
* The first McDonald's restaurant opened for business in 1952 in Edinburgh, Scotland, and featured the McHaggis sandwich.
* The Air Force's F-117 fighter uses aerodynamics discovered during research into how bumblebees fly.
* You can get blood from a stone, but only if contains at least 17 percent bauxite.
* Silly Putty was "discovered" as the residue left behind after the first latex condoms were produced. It's not widely publicized for obvious reasons.
* Approximately one-sixth of your life is spent on Wednesdays.
* The skin needed for elbow transplants must be taken from the scrotum of a cadaver.
* The sport of jai alai originated from a game played by Incan priests who held cats by their tails and swung at leather balls. The cats would instinctively grab at the ball with their claws, thus enabling players to catch them.
* A cat's purr has the same romance-enhancing frequency as the voice of singer Barry White.
* The typewriter was invented by Hungarian immigrant Qwert Yuiop, who left his "signature" on the keyboard.
* The volume of water that the Giant Sequoia tree consumes in a 24-hour period contains enough suspended minerals to pave 17.3 feet of a 4-lane concrete freeway.
* King Henry VIII slept with a gigantic axe.
* Because printed materials are being replaced by CD-ROM, microfiche and the Internet, libraries that previously sank into their foundations under the weight of their books are now in danger of collapsing in extremely high winds.
* In 1843, a Parisian street mime got stuck in his imaginary box and consequently died of starvation.
* Touch-tone telephone keypads were originally planned to have buttons for Police and Fire Departments, but they were replaced with * and # when the project was cancelled in favor of developing the 911 system.
* Human saliva has a boiling point three times that of regular water.
* Calvin, of the "Calvin and Hobbes" comic strip, was patterned after President Calvin Coolidge, who had a pet tiger as a boy.
* Watching an hour-long soap opera burns more calories than watching a three-hour baseball game.
* Until 1978, Camel cigarettes contained minute particles of real camels.
* You can actually sharpen the blades on a pencil sharpener by wrapping your pencils in aluminum foil before inserting them.
* To human taste buds, Zima is virtually indistinguishable from zebra urine.
* Seven out of every ten hockey-playing Canadians will lose a tooth during a game. For Canadians who don't play hockey, that figure drops to five out of ten.
* A dog's naked behind leaves absolutely no bacteria when pressed against carpet.
* A team of University of Virginia researchers released a study promoting the practice of picking one's nose, claiming that the health benefits of keeping nasal passages free from infectious blockages far outweigh the negative social connotations.
* Among items left behind at Osama bin Laden's headquarters in Afghanistan were 27 issues of Mad Magazine. Al Qaeda members have admitted that bin Laden is reportedly an avid reader.
* Urine from male cape water buffaloes is so flammable that some tribes use it for lantern fuel.
* At the first World Cup championship in Uruguay, 1930, the soccer balls were actually monkey skulls wrapped in paper and leather.
* Every Labrador retriever dreams about bananas.
* If you put a bee in a film canister for two hours, it will go blind and leave behind its weight in honey.
* Due to the angle at which the optic nerve enters the brain, staring at a blue surface during sex greatly increases the intensity of orgasms.
* Never hold your nose and cover your mouth when sneezing, as it can blow out your eyeballs.
* Centuries ago, purchasing real estate often required having one or more limbs amputated in order to prevent the purchaser from running away to avoid repayment of the loan. Hence an expensive purchase was said to cost "an arm and a leg."
* When Mahatma Gandhi died, an autopsy revealed five gold Krugerrands in his small intestine.
* Aardvarks are allergic to radishes, but only during the summer.
* Coca-Cola was the favored drink of Pharaoh Ramses. An inscription found in his tomb, when translated, was found to be almost identical to the recipe used today.
* If you part your hair on the right side, you were born to be carnivorous. If you part it on the left, your physical and psychological make-up is that of a vegetarian.
* When immersed in liquid, a dead sparrow will make a sound like a crying baby.
* In WWII the US military planned to airdrop over France propaganda in the form of Playboy magazine, with coded messages hidden in the models' turn-ons and turn-offs. The plan was scrapped because of a staple shortage due to rationing of metal.
* Although difficult, it's possible to start a fire by rapidly rubbing together two Cool Ranch Doritos.
* Napoleon's favorite type of wood was knotty chestnut.
* The world's smartest pig, owned by a mathematics teacher in Madison, WI, memorized the multiplication tables up to 12.
* Due to the natural "momentum" of the ocean, saltwater fish cannot swim backwards.
* In ancient Greece, children of wealthy families were dipped in olive oil at birth to keep them hairless throughout their lives.
* It is nearly three miles farther to fly from Amarillo, Texas to Louisville, Kentucky than it is to return from Louisville to Amarillo.
* The "nine lives" attributed to cats is probably due to their having nine primary whiskers.
* The original inspiration for Barbie dolls comes from dolls developed by German propagandists in the late 1930s to impress young girls with the ideal notions of Aryan features. The proportions for Barbie were actually based on those of Eva Braun.
* The Venezuelan brown bat can detect and dodge individual raindrops in mid-flight, arriving safely back at his cave completely dry.