FANTASTIC FACTS

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I want some amazing facts. Please.
Cool facts. Interesting facts.
Does anyone know any facts that make you go "ooooooh" or maybe even "Ahhhhhh", stuff like Ben and Jerry's ice cream is the most requested last meal on Death row, or that the first ever Custard Pie thrown in a movie was by Mabel Normand in "Noise from the Deep" (1913).

Debord (Debord), Monday, 12 December 2005 17:13 (fourteen years ago) link

The name of Alexander the Great's horse was Busephellus.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Monday, 12 December 2005 17:16 (fourteen years ago) link

Spelling correction: Bucephelus

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Monday, 12 December 2005 17:17 (fourteen years ago) link

Fred Rogers (aka Mr. Rogers) had over 100 confirmed kills as a sniper in the Korean War.

andy --, Monday, 12 December 2005 17:18 (fourteen years ago) link

Did you know that in "Casablanca", no one ever says 'Play it again Sam'????

Also, in the popular group ZZ Top, two of the men had beards, yet the drummer did not... and his name was... Frank BEARD!!!!!!!!!!!! Amazing.

Furthermore, a couple of years ago, George Bush led the world to invade Iraq because they had loads of weapons of mass destruction, only it turned out... that they didn't have any!!!!!!

DV (dirtyvicar), Monday, 12 December 2005 17:24 (fourteen years ago) link

"Amputation of the private areas is the cheapest, and most life-changing, way to remove the fish."

Candiru

StanM (StanM), Monday, 12 December 2005 17:27 (fourteen years ago) link

fact!

Fred Rogers, the founder and host of the popular U.S. children's television program Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood never served in the military.

svend (svend), Monday, 12 December 2005 17:32 (fourteen years ago) link

So he was just a cold-blooded killer with a children's program. Fits the profile.

D.I.Y. U.N.K.L.E. (dave225.3), Monday, 12 December 2005 17:36 (fourteen years ago) link

(I've been diligently spreading the myth of his sniper antics for years! Can't we just keep it going?)

andy --, Monday, 12 December 2005 17:39 (fourteen years ago) link

FACT: J.R. Ewing was based on the Sultan of Brunei, with key events in the Sultan's life being mirrored by J.R.'s antics in "Dallas". Confusingly, the other members of the case were in no sense modelled on the Sultan of Brunei's family.

DV (dirtyvicar), Monday, 12 December 2005 17:39 (fourteen years ago) link

Fred Rogers always wore long-sleeved shirts and sweaters on his show to conceal the tattoos on his arms he obtained while serving in the military.

andy --, Monday, 12 December 2005 17:42 (fourteen years ago) link

Fred Rogers began his television career as a result of his being convicted of child molestation; one condition of his sentence was that he fulfill a community service obligation by performing a television show for children on a local public station. This circumstance explains the lack of children on his program and the presence of adult characters with suggestive names, such as Mr. McFeely

andy --, Monday, 12 December 2005 17:43 (fourteen years ago) link

Did you know that in "Casablanca", no one ever says 'Play it again Sam'????

Not only that, but Hamlet doesn't actually hold a skull whilst saying "To be or not to be..."!! OMG!!!

Tuomas (Tuomas), Monday, 12 December 2005 17:47 (fourteen years ago) link

I used to have a book of these. "1001 Fantastic Facts", I think it was called. I used to drive my parents crazy reading them facts out of that book.

o. nate (onate), Monday, 12 December 2005 17:48 (fourteen years ago) link

The two states that share the most borders with other states are Tennessee and Missouri - eight border states apiece, including each other.

The only state on the eastern seaboard that is partially located within the Central Time Zone is Florida.

Also, in the popular group ZZ Top, two of the men had beards, yet the drummer did not... and his name was... Frank BEARD!!!!!!!!!!!! Amazing.

In my trio, I was nicknamed "Frank Chesthair".

Pleasant Plains /// (Pleasant Plains ///), Monday, 12 December 2005 17:48 (fourteen years ago) link

Fred Rogers has served in every armed conflict involving the USA between 1913 and 1981, disposing of hundreds of enemy combatants in each war. "I am proud to be an American and to have done my duty" he has commented, "and my only regret is not getting a crack at the Hun in Beirut".

DV (dirtyvicar), Monday, 12 December 2005 17:49 (fourteen years ago) link

Florida is further west than any part of South America.

andy --, Monday, 12 December 2005 17:50 (fourteen years ago) link

Hun Attila?

Tuomas (Tuomas), Monday, 12 December 2005 17:51 (fourteen years ago) link

I was going to post the Lincoln/Kennedy coincidences, and then I read Snopes's article about it, and their "pffft" toward the whole thing made me sad...

jaymc (jaymc), Monday, 12 December 2005 17:51 (fourteen years ago) link

The correct plural of octopus is octopodes and not octopi as it has a greek root, rather than a latin one. Octopi has become accepted theough common mis-use.

"Although it is often supposed that octopi is the 'correct' plural of octopus, and it has been in use for longer than the usual Anglicized plural octopuses, it in fact originates as an error. Octopus is not a simple Latin word of the second declension, but a Latinized form of the Greek word oktopous, and its 'correct' plural would logically be octopodes."

hmmm (hmmm), Monday, 12 December 2005 17:52 (fourteen years ago) link

Missouri was never officially admitted into the union. Look it up!

D.I.Y. U.N.K.L.E. (dave225.3), Monday, 12 December 2005 17:53 (fourteen years ago) link

so do you say that "OCT o pods" or "oc TOP o dees" ?

D.I.Y. U.N.K.L.E. (dave225.3), Monday, 12 December 2005 17:54 (fourteen years ago) link

fantastic my ass.

nein Socken (nein Socken), Monday, 12 December 2005 17:58 (fourteen years ago) link

http://www.physorg.com/news8953.html

The findings toss new uncertainty into a long-studied question that some scientists considered largely settled, the researchers say: how humans themselves recognize faces.

The results also may help lead to better face-recognition software, developed through study of the insect brain, the scientists added.

Many researchers traditionally believed facial recognition required a large brain, and possibly a specialized area of that organ dedicated to processing face information. The bee finding casts doubt on that, said Adrian G. Dyer, the lead researcher in the study.

He recalls that when he made the discovery, it startled him so much that he called out to a colleague, telling her to come quickly because “no one’s going to believe it—and bring a camera!”

Dyer said that to his knowledge, the finding is the first time an invertebrate has shown ability to recognize faces of other species. But not all bees were up to the task: some flunked it, he said, although this seemed due more to a failure to grasp how the experiment worked than to poor facial recognition specifically.

In any cases, some humans also can’t recognize faces, Dyer noted; the condition is called prosopagnosia.

In the bee study, reported in the Dec. 15 issue of the Journal of Experimental Biology, Dyer and two colleagues presented honeybees with photos of human faces taken from a standard human psychology test. The photos had similar lighting, background colors and sizes and included only the face and neck to avoid having the insects make judgments based on the clothing. In some cases, the people in the pictures themselves looked similar.

The researchers, with Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany, tried to train the bees to realize that a photo of one man had a drop of a sugary liquid next to it. Different photos came with a drop of bitter liquid instead.

A few bees apparently failed to realize that they should pay attention to the photos at all. But five bees learned to fly toward the photo horizontally in such a way that they could get a good look at it, Dyer reported. In fact, these bees tended to hover a few centimeters in front of the image for a while before deciding where to land.

The bees learned to distinguish the correct face from the wrong one with better than 80 percent accuracy, even when the faces were similar, and regardless of where the photos were placed, the researchers found. Also, just like humans, the bees performed worse when the faces were flipped upside-down.

“This is evidence that face recognition requires neither a specialised neuronal [brain] circuitry nor a fundamentally advanced nervous system,” the researchers wrote, noting that the test they used was one for which even humans have some difficulty.

Moreover, “Two bees tested two days after the initial training retained the information in long-term memory,” they wrote. One scored about 94 percent on the first day and 79 percent two days later; the second bee’s score dropped from about 87 to 76 percent during the same time frame.

The researchers also checked whether bees performed better for faces that humans judged as being more different. This seemed to be the case, they found, but the result didn’t reach statistical significance.

The bees probably don’t understand what a human face is, Dyer said in an email. “To the bees the faces were spatial patterns (or strange looking flowers),” he added.

Bees are famous for their pattern-recognition abilities, which scientists believe evolved in order to discriminate among flowers. As social insects, they can also tell apart their hivemates. But the new study shows that they can recognize human faces better than some humans can—with one-ten thousandth of the brain cells.

This raises the question of how bees recognize faces, and if so, whether they do it differently from the way we do it, Dyer and colleagues wrote. Studies suggest small children recognize faces by picking out specific features that are easy to recognize, whereas adults see the interrelationships among facial features. Bees seem to show aspects of both strategies depending on the study, the researchers added.

The findings cast doubt on the belief among some researchers that the human brain has a specialized area for face recognition, Dyer and colleagues said.

Neuroscientists point to an area called the fusiform gyrus, which tends to show increased activity during face-viewing, as serving this purpose. But the bee finding suggests “the human brain may not need to have a visual area specific for the recognition of faces,” Dyer and colleagues wrote.

That may be helpful to researchers who develop face-recognition technologies to be used for security at airports and other locations, Dyer noted. The United States is investing heavily in such systems, but they still make many mistakes.

Already, the way that bees navigate is being used to design “autonomous aircraft that can fly in remote areas without the need for radio contact or satellite navigation,” Dyer wrote in the email. “We show that the miniature brain can definitely recognize faces, and if in the future we can work out the mechanisms by which this is achieved,” this might suggest ideas for improved face recognition technologies.

Dyer said that if bees can learn to recognize humans in photos, then they reasonably might also be able to recognize real-life faces. On the other hand, he remarked, this probably isn’t the explanation for an adage popular in some parts of the world—that you shouldn’t kill a bee because its nestmates will remember and come after you.

Francis Ratnieks of Sheffield University in Sheffield, U.K., says that apparent bee revenge attacks of this sort actually occur because a torn-off stinger releases chemicals that signal alarm to nearby hivemates. Says Dyer, “bees don’t normally go around looking at faces.”

latebloomer: Deutsch Bag (latebloomer), Monday, 12 December 2005 18:04 (fourteen years ago) link

In the stories by Conan Doyle, Holmes often remarked that his logical conclusions were "elementary", in that he considered them to be simple and obvious. However, the complete phrase "Elementary, my dear Watson" does not appear in any of the 60 Holmes stories written by Doyle. The beginning of The Crooked Man is the closest that "Elementary" and "my dear Watson" ever appear in the text, but the two phrases are separated by a paragraph-- and are in the wrong order.

StanM (StanM), Monday, 12 December 2005 18:05 (fourteen years ago) link

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/12/08/AR2005120802156.html

The two women, both named April and with the middle name Dawn, lived in different parts of Fairfax County and dated 22-year-old men. Now, both women have been charged in separate murder-for-hire plots with trying to have those boyfriends killed, police said yesterday.

In what authorities called a bizarre coincidence, police charged April Dawn Shiflett, 33, with plotting the slaying of her 22-year-old boyfriend and charged April Dawn Davis, 27, with soliciting the murder of her former significant other, also 22. Police released the information yesterday, though the two were charged a week ago.

Murder for hire is an unusual charge, and Fairfax police said announcing two separate plots on the same day, involving two women with the same first name, is extraordinary.

latebloomer: Deutsch Bag (latebloomer), Monday, 12 December 2005 18:08 (fourteen years ago) link

It is weird. We checked and double-checked to make sure they are, in fact, two separate incidents. We actually woke up the detectives,'' said Lt. Richard Perez, a police spokesman.

He called the common thread of the name April "a freaky coincidence.'' The undercover officer was the same in each case.

Shiflett, of the Alexandria section of Fairfax, was charged Nov. 29 with solicitation to commit murder and arraigned the next day. Davis, of the Fairfax City area, was arrested on the same charge Dec. 2 at the Lone Star Steakhouse in Fairfax City, where she worked as a waitress. She was arraigned Monday.

Police said the cases involved different motives but declined to say what they were. They also declined to say how Shiflett and Davis wanted the killings to happen.

Attorneys for Shiflett and Davis did not return telephone calls yesterday. A man who answered the phone at Shiflett's home declined to comment, as did a manager at the Lone Star Steakhouse.

A woman who said she is Davis's grandmother declined to comment.

James Alan Fox, a professor of criminal justice at Northeastern University in Boston, said the cases are inherently uncommon because crime statistics show that men kill nine times as often as women do.

But when women are charged with trying to kill someone, they are more likely to have hired someone to do the job, he said. "Women, when they kill, generally like to keep their distance, physically and psychologically,'' said Fox, who has written six books about homicide. "They don't particularly want to get their hands bloody.''

Fairfax police said Shiflett, who is unemployed, met with an undercover officer about 9:30 p.m. Nov. 29 in the county. Perez said Shiflett paid the officer to have her Alexandria-area boyfriend killed, though he declined to reveal how much she gave. Shiflett was arrested and taken to the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center, where she is being held without bond.

Davis met with an undercover officer about 8 p.m. Nov. 15 and indicated she wanted to hire someone to kill her former boyfriend, police said. After a second discussion of the proposed slaying Nov. 30, officers from Fairfax County and Fairfax City arrested her at the steakhouse.

A bond hearing for Davis is scheduled for today. If convicted, the women would face five to 40 years in prison.

Despite the similarities in how the women were arrested, Perez said no specific crackdown is underway on murder-for-hire schemes. "This is simply information that came to the attention of our undercover officers, and they followed up on it,'' he said.

latebloomer: Deutsch Bag (latebloomer), Monday, 12 December 2005 18:08 (fourteen years ago) link

Florida is further west than any part of South America.

Well, holy shit.

The Galapagos are further west, but that's still a mean fucking fact.

Pleasant Plains /// (Pleasant Plains ///), Monday, 12 December 2005 18:42 (fourteen years ago) link

so do you say that "OCT o pods" or "oc TOP o dees" ?

Oct O poe dees

as far as I am aware

hmmm (hmmm), Monday, 12 December 2005 19:33 (fourteen years ago) link

Sex Therapist Dr. Ruth was a sniper in the Arab-Israeli war. This is actually true.

Annabelle Lennox (Arachne), Monday, 12 December 2005 20:23 (fourteen years ago) link

Dodgy facts + comedy?
This thread is becoming Wikipedia.
But facts are fun though.

Debord (Debord), Tuesday, 13 December 2005 00:47 (fourteen years ago) link

raindrops travel at 44 miles / hour

remy (x Jeremy), Tuesday, 13 December 2005 01:19 (fourteen years ago) link

Fred Rogers (aka Mr. Rogers) had over 100 confirmed kills as a sniper in the Korean War.

Wow....that is an amazing fact, if true.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Tuesday, 13 December 2005 02:06 (fourteen years ago) link

But it's not.

Michael Daddino (epicharmus), Tuesday, 13 December 2005 02:18 (fourteen years ago) link

this is actually crack reporting on miccio's part but i cant help but repost:

Amy Grant once choked a man to death with her thighs.

For an entire concert in 1996, Alan Jackson's mustache seemed an unusual shade of brown. He later swore it was chocolate milk.

Glen Campbell wanted to record a track called "Gallstone Cowboy" about his 1989 ailment but his label would not release it.

Cletus T. Judd has been employed as a song doctor for Robert "Mutt' Lange since 1998.

Trace Adkins once fucked a mother-daughter team in front of his road crew.

Clint Black said he would shoot Bill Clinton if he knew he wouldn't go to jail.

If John Michael Montgomery could have one superpower, it would be flight.

2/5ths of the original line-up of Alabama has questioned their sexual preference at least once in their life.

Hank Williams Jr. does not actually like any songs by Kid Rock.

Randy Travis is a Nazi.

Garth Brooks will not admit to having successfully finished the 72 oz. Steak Dinner at The One And Only Big Texan Steak Ranch, but he did.

After several failed attempts at e-mail correspondence with Christina Aguilera, LeAnn Rimes had a dream about kissing her at the American Music Awards and stabbing her in the face.

Shirley Hallman of Nashville, TN owns the only topless photo of Jon Brennan from MTV Real World Los Angeles. If Jon knew, he would have her killed.

Shania Twain doesn't understand why Ann Coulter is considered controversial.

Kris Kristofferson told Willie Nelson that "being snowballed" meant receiving oral sex from someone with ice in their mouth. Nelson's lack of awareness led to a confusing & traumatic experience with a groupie, who consequently spent the night in the local emergency room. Nelson broke up the Highwaymen, refusing to speak to Kristofferson again. Johnny Cash never quite understood what happened, and really didn't want to.

Woody Guthrie would have really liked "Wango Tango" had he been alive to hear it.

Uncle Tupelo actually disbanded because they sucked.

Tim McGraw has only had anal sex with Faith Hill once. It was his birthday.

dabnis coleman's ghost (dubplatestyle), Tuesday, 13 December 2005 02:22 (fourteen years ago) link

So all raindrops travel at 44 mph?

Debord (Debord), Tuesday, 13 December 2005 10:41 (fourteen years ago) link

In the stories by Conan Doyle, Holmes often remarked that his logical conclusions were "elementary", in that he considered them to be simple and obvious. However, the complete phrase "Elementary, my dear Watson" does not appear in any of the 60 Holmes stories written by Doyle. The beginning of The Crooked Man is the closest that "Elementary" and "my dear Watson" ever appear in the text, but the two phrases are separated by a paragraph-- and are in the wrong order.

Also, at no point in the Conan Doyle stories does Watson actually say "No shit, Sherlock"

Joe Kay (feethurt), Tuesday, 13 December 2005 21:51 (fourteen years ago) link

fourteen years pass...

CDC Hygiene Fast Facts

The average individual swimmer contributes at least 0.14 grams of fecal material to the water, usually within the first 15 minutes of entering.

forgotten even to the sea (Sanpaku), Thursday, 13 February 2020 22:35 (two weeks ago) link

great revive

Homegrown Georgia speedster Ladd McConkey (bizarro gazzara), Thursday, 13 February 2020 22:38 (two weeks ago) link

i was just talking about this because a pool/hot tub situation in my short term rental has very graphic signs about not getting in the water if you have bowel leakage or discharge. People are disgusting. I am fine with these signs.

Yerac, Thursday, 13 February 2020 22:40 (two weeks ago) link

Very graphic? I want to see that stick figure.

forgotten even to the sea (Sanpaku), Thursday, 13 February 2020 22:52 (two weeks ago) link


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