Monday, July 23, 2012

10 Interesting Facts

1. Cricket chirps are related to air temperature.  Count of the number of times a field cricket chirps in 15 seconds, add 40, and the result will give you the approximate temperature in Fahrenheit.

2. The U.S. penny is made mostly of zinc, with just a copper coating.  Copper accounts for only about 2% of the penny's total make-up.

3. It takes the earth about 365 days and 6 hours to make one full orbit around the sun.  For this reason, we add one extra day every four years to balance the calendar (6 hours x 4 = 24 hours every four years).  However, this is not precise because that additional time each year is really only about 5 hours and 49 minutes.  What this means is that over long periods of time, adding a full 24 hours every four years gives us too many extra hours.  To solve this, we skip a leap year on every century year.  Thus, 1900 was NOT a leap year.  However, even this doesn't fully solve the problem, and takes us too far back the other way.  Therefore, every 400 years, we do not skip the leap year.  This is why the year 2000 was a normal leap year.

4. Jesus's name was not Jesus.  Translated directly into English, his name was Joshua.  We get Jesus because "Joshua" is first translated into Greek, and then from Greek into English.

5. The longest Interstate in the U.S. is I-90, which goes from Boston to Seattle and spans more than 3,000 miles.  The Interstate system was developed during the Eisenhower administration in response to the Cold War, as a way to move military equipment and soldiers quickly, in case of invasion.  It was projected to cost $25 billion and take 12 years to complete.  In the end, it cost nearly $115 billion and took 35 years to complete.

6. During the War of 1812, the British attacked Washington, D.C., burned down the White House and the Congressional buildings, and forced president Madison and all his cabinet to flee the city.  Later, the final battle of the war - the Battle of New Orleans - took place more than two weeks after the peace treaty had been signed.

7.  Of the fifteen highest-paying professions in the United States, thirteen are in the medical industry, including the top eight.  The highest paid profession is anesthesiology, with the average anesthesiologist making about $235,000 per year.  The lowest-paying profession belongs to fast food cooks.

8. Due to continental drift, New York moves about one inch farther from London every year.

9. Oil companies make up six of the ten largest corporations on earth, including the top two.  The biggest retailer on earth is Walmart.  Among fast food chains, Subway is the largest, with McDonald's a close second.  Thanks to its Happy Meal, McDonald's is the largest distributor of toys in the world.

10. The most venomous animal on land is the Inland Taipan snake of Australia.  The most venomous in the sea is the Sea Wasp Box Jellyfish, also found near Australia.  The animal responsible for the most deaths worldwide is the mosquito.  In the U.S., the animal responsible for the most annual deaths is the deer.

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