Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Victor Mair and His Discovery

www.inquiring-mines.com/strange_beings_curse_of_the_redheaded_mummy.htm

Red-Headed Mummy From the Mummy Congress

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Until he first encountered the mummies of Xinjiang, Victor Mair was known mainly as a brilliant, if eccentric, translator of obscure Chinese texts, a fine sinologist with a few controversial ideas about the origins of Chinese culture, and a scathing critic prone to penning stern reviews of sloppy scholarship. Mair's pronouncements on the striking resemblance between some characters inscribed on the Dead Sea Scrolls and early Chinese symbols were intensely debated by researchers. His magnum opus on the origins of Chinese writing, a work he had been toiling away at for years in his office at the University of Pennsylvania, was eagerly anticipated. But in 1988, something profound happened to Mair, something that would touch a nerve in both the East and the West, raising troubling questions about race, racism, and the nature of history itself. That year, Mair had led a group of American travellers through a small museum in Ürümchi, the capital of China's remote northwesternmost province, Xinjiang. Mair had visited the museum several times before, but on this occasion a new sign pointed to a back room. "It said something like 'Mummy Exhibition,' " recalled Mair, "and I had the strangest kind of weird feeling because it was very dark. There were curtains, I think. Going in, you felt like you were entering another world." In a glass display case so poorly lit that visitors needed to use flashlights to look at its contents, Mair spied a bizarre sight. It was the outstretched body of a man just under six feet tall, dressed in an elegantly tailored wool tunic and matching pants, the colour of red wine. Covering the man's legs were striped leggings in riotous shades of yellow, red, and blue, attire so outrageous it could have come straight from the pages of Dr. Seuss. But it was not so much the man's clothing that first riveted Mair's attention. It was the face. It was narrow and pale ivory in colour, with high cheekbones, full lips, and a long nose. Locks of ginger-coloured hair and a greying beard framed the parchment-like skin.

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He looked very Caucasian: indeed he resembled someone Mair knew intimately. "He looked like my brother Dave sleeping there, and that's what really got me. I just kept looking at him, looking at his closed eyes. I couldn't tear myself away, and I went around his glass case again and again and again. I stayed in there for several hours. I was supposed to be leading our group. I just forgot about them for two or three hours." Local archaeologists had come across the body a few years earlier while excavating in the Tarim Basin, an immense barren of sand and rock in southern Xinjiang. The region was not the kind of place that generally attracted well-dressed strangers. At the height of summer, temperatures in the basin soared to a scorching 125 degrees Fahrenheit, without so much as a whisper of humidity, and in winter, they frequently plunged far below freezing. The desert at the basin's heart was one of the most parched places on Earth, and its very name, the Taklamakhan, was popularly said to mean "go in and you won't come out." Over the years, the Chinese government had found various uses for all this bleakness. It had set aside part of it as a nuclear testing range, conducting its blasts far from prying eyes. It had also built labour camps there, certain that no prisoner in his right mind would try to escape. The Taklamakhan's merciless climate had one advantage, however. It tended to preserve human bodies. The archaeologists who discovered the stranger in the striped leggings marvelled at the state of his cadaver. He looked almost alive. They named him Cherchen Man, after the county in which he was found, and when they set about carbon dating his body, they discovered that he was very, very old. Indeed, the tests showed that he had probably roamed the Tarim Basin as early as the eleventh century bc. When Mair learned this, he was astonished. If the mummy was indeed European in origin, this would undermine one of the keystones of Chinese history. Scholars had long believed that the first contacts between China and Europe occurred relatively late in world history -- sometime shortly after the mid-second century bc, when the Chinese emperor Wudi sent an emissary west. According to contemporary texts, Wudi had grown tired of the marauding Huns, a nomadic people whose homeland lay in what is now southwest Mongolia. The Huns were continually raiding the richest villages of his empire, stealing its grain and making off with its women. So Wudi decided to propose a military alliance with a kingdom far to the west, beyond Mongolia, in order to crush a common foe. In 139 bc, the emperor sent one of his attendants, Zhang Qian, on the long trek across Asia. Zhang Qian failed to obtain the alliance his master coveted, but the route he took became part of the legendary Silk Road to Europe. In the years that followed, hundreds of trading caravans and Caucasians plied this route, carrying bundles of ivory, gold, pomegranates, safflowers, jade, furs, porcelain, and silk between Rome and the ancient Chinese capital of Xi'an.

Nationalists in China were very fond of this version of history. It strongly suggested that Chinese civilization, which had flowered long before Zhang Qian headed west, must have blossomed in isolation, free of European influence, and it cast early Chinese achievements in a particularly glorious light. In one popular book, The Cradle of the East, Chinese historian Ping-ti Ho proudly claimed that the hallmarks of early Chinese civilization -- including the chariot, bronze metallurgy, and a system of writing -- were all products of Chinese genius alone. According to Ping-ti Ho, those living in the ancient Celestial Kingdom had never stooped to borrowing the ideas of others and their inventive genius surpassed that of the West. Mair, a professor of Chinese in the department of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, had long doubted this version of history. He suspected that the Chinese had encountered Westerners from Europe long before the emperor Wudi dreamed up his military alliance. Several early Chinese books, for example, described tall men with green eyes and red hair that resembled the fur of rhesus monkeys. Most scholars dismissed these accounts as legendary, but Mair wasn't so sure. He thought they were descriptions of Caucasian men. During his studies of Chinese mythology, he had found stories strikingly similar to those in early Greek and Roman tales. The parallels were too frequent to be mere coincidences. And he kept stumbling across words in early Chinese texts that seemed to have been borrowed from ancient languages far to the west. Among these were the words for dog, cow, goose, grape, and wheel. But though Mair repeatedly argued the case for early trade and contact between China and the West, he had no hard archaeological evidence of contact, and no one took him very seriously. "People would laugh at me. I said that East and West were communicating back in the Bronze Age and people just said, 'Oh yeah? Interesting, but prove it.' " Never for a moment did Mair expect to find the kind of flesh-and-blood vindication that Cherchen Man promised. Still, he was wary of a hoax. The man's tailored woollen clothing, with all the complex textile technology it implied, was unlike anything Mair had ever seen from ancient Asia, let alone a remote outpost like Xinjiang. The mummy itself seemed almost too perfectly preserved to be true. "I thought it was part of a wax museum or something, a ploy to get more tourists. How could they have such advanced textile technology three thousand years ago? I couldn't put it into any historical context. It didn't make any sense whatsoever." Mair began asking his Chinese colleagues about Cherchen Man. He learned that European scholars had unearthed several similar bodies in the Tarim Basin almost a century before but had regarded them as little more than oddities. In 1895, for example, the British-Hungarian scholar Marc Aurel Stein exhumed a few Caucasian bodies while searching for antiquities and old Central Asian texts in the Tarim Basin. "It was a strange sensation," noted Stein in his later writings, "to look down on figures which but for the parched skin seemed like those of men asleep."

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However, Stein and the Europeans who followed him were far more interested in classical-era ruins than in mummified bodies, and failed to investigate further. Early Chinese archaeologists in the region also came across some of the bodies, but they were no more interested than the Europeans. They thought it likely that a few ancient foreigners had strayed into this outlying territory of ancient China by chance. But in the 1970s, while surveying along proposed routes for pipelines and rail lines in Xinjiang, Chinese archaeologists happened upon scores of the parched cadavers, so many that they couldn't excavate them all. Most of the bodies were very Caucasian-looking -- a major discovery that went unreported outside a small circle of archaeologists in China. The mummies had blond, red, or auburn hair. They had deep-set eyes, long noses, thick beards, and tall, often gangly, frames. Some wore woollens of what looked like Celtic plaid and sported strangely familiar forms of Western haberdashery: conical black witches' hats, tam-o'-shanters, and Robin Hood caps. Others were dressed only in fur moccasins, woollen wraps, and feathered caps, and buried with small baskets of grain. This last group, it transpired, contained the oldest of the Caucasians. According to radiocarbon-dating tests, they roamed the northwestern corner of China in the twenty-first century bc, the height of the Bronze Age, just as Mair had long been suggesting. Not only had they wandered the Tarim Basin, they had also settled there for a very long time. Cherchen Man had walked the Tarim deserts in the eleventh century bc, a millennium after the earliest Caucasians. Moreover, murals from the region depict people with fair hair and long noses in the seventh century ad, while some local texts of the same era are inscribed in a lost European language known as Tocharian. If the writers were descendants of the Caucasian-looking people who arrived in Xinjiang nearly 2,800 years earlier, one can only conclude that this was a very successful colony. Convinced now of the authenticity of the mummies, Mair began puzzling over their meaning. Who were these ancient invaders, he wondered, and where exactly had they come from? Victor Mair is a big, rugged- looking man in his mid-fifties, a shade over six foot one, with size-fourteen feet and the clean-cut good looks that one often sees in former pro-football players.

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The American-born son of an Austrian immigrant, he stands nearly a head taller than most of his colleagues in China, a physical advantage that he often tries to minimize in group photographs by stepping down off a curb or onto a lower step. He has short, neatly combed grey hair, a large aquiline nose, observant blue eyes, and a jesting wit he uses to particularly good effect, laughter being the best way of bridging any awkward cultural gap. He neither smokes nor drinks, and never did, and is, by his own admission, a born leader. Possessed of an uncommon self-confidence, which sometimes comes across as arrogance, he is also a man of many surprising quirks. I got my first glimpse of this quirkiness in a downpour in Shanghai, in June of 1999. I had arranged to meet Mair in the Chinese city, where, eleven years after first seeing the mummies, he was hoping to begin a new round of dna testing on them. In our early phone conversations, Mair had told me that he would be travelling with a geneticist who hoped to take tissue samples from the Tarim Basin mummies stored at the Natural History Museum in Shanghai. It sounded as if everything had been arranged. But as I quickly discovered upon my arrival in Shanghai, Mair was still a long way from gathering the samples. Housed in a small guest house for foreign lecturers at Fudan University, he strode the hallways like a weary giant. He had just spent two full days in meetings with his Chinese colleagues, trying to hammer out a deal. But the talks were stalling. To clear his head, Mair invited me to join him for a walk. In the downpour, I struggled to keep up with him, dodging flocks of cyclists in their shiny yellow rain slickers, and black pools of nearly invisible potholes. Mair wove around them absently. Instead of a raincoat, he wore two long-sleeved plaid shirts, one inside the other. He didn't seem to care that he was getting soaked. Nothing, he explained as we walked in the rain, was ever simple when it came to the Xinjiang mummies. Dead as they had been for thousands of years, they still managed to stir strong feelings among the living. In China, a restive ethnic minority known as the Uyghurs had stepped forward to claim the mummies as their own. Numbering nearly seven million, the Uyghurs viewed the Tarim Basin as their homeland. Largely Muslim, they had become a subjugated people in the late nineteenth century. During the 1930s and 1940s, their leaders managed to found two brief republics that later fell under Chinese control. But Uyghur guerillas continued fighting stubbornly, until their last leader was executed in 1961. Since then, the Chinese government has dealt harshly with any sign of separatist sentiment. Amnesty International's 1999 report for Xinjiang made grim reading. "Scores of Uyghurs, many of them political prisoners, have been sentenced to death and executed in the past two years," it noted. "Others, including women, are alleged to have been killed by the security forces in circumstances which appear to constitute extra-judicial executions."

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Still the Uyghurs refused to give up, and when they caught wind of mummies being excavated in the Tarim Basin, they were keenly interested. Historians had long suggested that the Uyghurs were relative latecomers to the region, migrating from the plains of Mongolia less than two thousand years ago. But Uyghur leaders were skeptical. They believed that their farmer ancestors had always lived along the thin but fertile river valleys of the Tarim, and as such they embraced the mummies as their kin -- even though many scholars, Mair included, suspected that Uyghur invaders had slaughtered or driven out most of the mummies' true descendants and assimilated the few that remained. Still, in Xinjiang, Uyghur leaders picked one of the oldest mummies as an emblem of their cause. They named her, with some poetic licence, the Beauty of Loulan and began printing posters with her picture. That she was so Caucasian-looking was not a problem in Uyghur eyes: some Uyghurs had Caucasian features. People in Ürümchi, the province's capital, were captivated. Musicians began writing songs about her that subtly alluded to the separatist cause. This sudden outburst of mummy nationalism alarmed the Chinese government. Before long, everything related to the Xinjiang mummies was considered a matter of state security. No one in government was in any hurry to authorize a genetic test on them. If the mummies' dna revealed even a partial link to the Uyghurs -- a not unlikely prospect, given the Uyghurs' mixed heritage -- it would further strengthen the separatists' claims to the region in the eyes of the world. This was something the Chinese wished to avoid, especially after the international condemnation of their treatment of another ethnic minority, in Tibet. Adding to the problem was the Chinese sensitivity to any matter touching on the Tarim Basin. Beyond the wispy river valleys and beneath the Tarim's bleak desert plains lay immense oil fields. According to Chinese geologists, they contained nearly 18 billion tons of crude, six times more than the known reserves of the United States. Chinese officials were not the only ones worried about genetic testing. Western scholars fretted, too. Some hated the thought that Europeans could have succeeded in planting settlements so far into Asia thousands of years ago. Not only did such a migration threaten the Chinese version of history; it seemed vaguely to smack of ancient colonialism, a notion that many historians abhor. "There's a lot of Western guilt about imperialism and sensitivity about dominating other people," said Mair. "It's a really deep subconscious thing, and there are a lot of people in the West who are hypersensitive about saying our culture is superior in any way, or that our culture gets around or extends itself. So there are people who want to make sure that we don't make mistakes in our interpretation of the past." Certainly, the presence of ancient Europeans in China -- even in its outer reaches -- could be twisted and distorted to political ends: people with racial agendas had long been searching for just such evidence. During the 1930s, for example, Adolf Hitler and Heinrich Himmler had taken an unhealthy interest in Genghis Khan, the most famous leader of the Mongols, who in the thirteenth century had conquered vast stretches of Central Asia, from southern Siberia to Tibet, and from Korea to the Aral Sea. "Our strength," observed Hitler in a thundering speech to the commanders of Germany's armed forces in 1939, "is in our quickness and brutality. Genghis Khan had millions of women and children killed by his own will and with a gay heart. History sees in him only a great state builder. . . ." But Hitler's admiration of the ancient Mongol presented a serious problem for a party that placed great stock in racial purity. Genghis Khan, after all, was not Caucasian. He belonged to an Asian race that the Nazis heartily despised as inferior. Himmler, who fancied himself a historian, finally came up with a solution based on pure whimsy. He told one anthropologist that Genghis Khan and his elite Mongol followers were actually Caucasians, descended from the citizens of Atlantis who had decamped from their mythical island home before it sank, cataclysmically, beneath the waves. These Mongol Caucasians, Himmler claimed, were a special kind of Caucasian: German blood flowed through their veins. One recent book suggests that Himmler went so far as to request a collection of mummies from Central Asia. But Mair doubted it. "In all of my reading of works emanating from these expeditions," he said, "I have never come across any indication that they brought such corpses back to Europe." Even so, the bizarre racial ideas of the Nazis troubled Western scholars. They worried about where genetic testing of the Xinjiang mummies might lead, and worse still, about who might ultimately try to profit from the research. Testing the mummies was like taking a stroll through a minefield: there was no telling what might explode in the traveller's face. "It would be especially bad news if any of the mummies were German," observed Mair later, in the guest house where he was staying. "They've had two world wars in which they were the perpetrators and if any of these mummies were even remotely Germanic, forget it. People just wouldn't want to talk about it." As amazed as Mair had been by the mummies back in 1988, he hadn't had the time to study them. In September, 1991, however, he picked up a newspaper and read about the discovery of a frozen, partially preserved corpse of a 5,300-year-old man in a glacier along the Austrian-Italian border. This became Europe's famous iceman, known as Ötzi. The news startled Mair.

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His own father had grown up in Pfaffenhoffen, a small Austrian village just a short distance away from where scientists had dug the iceman from a glacier. His father's family had grazed their herds in the same alpine meadows where Ötzi had probably wandered. The iceman, he realized, might well be a distant relative. Might he also have had some connection to the ancestors of Cherchen Man, who looked so much like Mair's own brother? "I saw the headlines and I jerked," Mair recalls. "I looked at that iceman and I said, 'These guys out in the Tarim are just like him.' One's in ice and the others are in sand. It didn't take half a second." Austrian scientists planned on performing sophisticated scientific tests, including dna analysis, on the iceman. It occurred to Mair that similar tests on Cherchen Man and his kin could do much to trace the ancestry of the mummies. He immediately wrote to Wang Binghua, one of the foremost archaeologists in Xinjiang, outlining the project that was forming in his mind. He also called Luigi Cavalli-Sforza, a distinguished geneticist at Stanford University who was an expert on ancient dna. Cavalli-Sforza instantly saw the possibilities. He recommended that Mair contact one of his former students, Paolo Francalacci, at the University of Sassari, in Italy. Mair did just that, and working closely with Wang over the next months he managed to hammer out a deal with the Chinese government. Beijing finally gave the team a green light in 1993. Francalacci thought it best to collect samples from mummies left in the ground, as opposed to bodies already stored in museums. This would reduce the possibility of contamination with modern dna. So in Ürümchi, he set off, along with Mair and Wang Binghua, for the well-documented grave sites found during the Chinese pipeline and railway surveys of the 1970s and in archaeological studies since. Dozens of these mummies, many lying in relatively shallow underground tombs, had been left alone because of the enormous cost of curating them.

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At each chosen grave, the young geneticist donned a face mask and a pair of latex gloves, and docked tiny pieces of muscle, skin, and bone from the mummies, often choosing tissue along the inside of the thighs or under the armpits because these regions had been less exposed to the excavators. He sealed each sample in a plastic vial. After several days, he had collected twenty-five specimens from eleven individuals, enough for a modest study. But there was little time for celebration. In a stunning about-face, Chinese authorities suddenly demanded Francalacci's samples, refusing to allow them out of the country. Then a mysterious thing happened. Just shortly before Mair departed for home, a Chinese colleague turned up with a surreptitious gift. He slipped five of the confiscated, sealed samples into Mair's pocket. These had come from two mummies. The grateful Mair passed the samples on to Francalacci, who began toiling in Italy to amplify the dna. For months, the Italian geneticist laboured on the mummy samples, trying to extract enough dna for sequencing. The nucleic acids had badly degraded, but still, Francalacci kept trying various methods, and in 1995 he called Mair with a piece of good news. He had finally retrieved enough dna to sequence, and his preliminary results were intriguing. The two Xinjiang mummies belonged to the same genetic lineage as most modern-day Swedes, Finns, Tuscans, Corsicans, and Sardinians. The genetic studies were promising, but they only whetted Mair's curiosity. It was not just that Cherchen Man bore an uncanny resemblance to his own brother Dave (whom he had taken to calling Ur-David), it also had to do with Mair's own deeply rooted beliefs. "Everything that I've done," he explained, "even though it's been running all over the map, it's all been tied into making things accessible to the everyday guy, the worker. That's what it's all about and that's why I looked at these mummies. They were just everyday guys, not famous people." Mair had acquired this outlook at an early age. His immigrant father, whom he adored and deeply admired, was a lathe operator for a ball-bearing company in Canton, Ohio. His mother was a poet and songwriter. Growing up in a working-class family, Mair was continually reminded of the importance of ordinary people, who sweated on the assembly lines or who bent over mops and brooms at night. These were the kinds of people history tended to ignore. Now, with this same instinct for the common man, Mair redoubled his efforts to trace the mummies' ancestry. In Xinjiang, a Chinese colleague had slipped him another parting gift: a swatch of blue, brown, and white cloth taken from a twelfth-century-bc mummy. The fabric looked like a piece of Celtic plaid. Mair passed it over to Irene Good, a textile expert at the University of Pennsylvania Museum. Good examined it under an electron microscope. The style of weave, known as a "two over two" diagonal twill, bore little resemblance to anything woven by Asian weavers of the day. (Indeed, it would be almost another two millennia before women in central China turned out twill cloth on their looms.)

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But the weave exactly matched cloth found with the bodies of thirteenth-century-bc salt miners in Austria. Like the dna samples, the mysterious plaid pointed straight towards a European homeland. Excited by the textile connection, Mair organized a new expedition to Xinjiang with Good, her fellow textile expert Elizabeth Barber, and her cultural anthropologist husband, Paul Barber. As the two women pored over the mummies' clothing, Barber examined the bodies themselves, studying their mummification. Mair hoped this might offer clues to the origins of the people themselves. But the ancient desert dwellers, he discovered, had not taken any of the elaborate measures favoured by the Egyptians or other skilled morticians. Instead, they had relied on nature for a few simple tricks. In some cases, family members had buried their dead in salt fields, whose chemistry preserved human flesh like a salted ham. Often, they had arranged the cadaver so that dry air flowed around the extremities, swiftly desiccating the flesh. Cherchen Man, for example, had benefited from both techniques. Mair, too, assisted in the work. In his spare time, he translated key Chinese reports on the mummies and published them in his own journal, The Sino-Platonic Papers. This gave Western archaeologists access to the scientific findings for the first time. He wanted to make the mummies the focus of a lively scientific and scholarly investigation. So he set about organizing a major international scientific conference on the mummies, bringing leading archaeologists, anthropologists, linguists, geneticists, geographers, sinologists, historians, ethnologists, climatologists, and metallurgists to the University of Pennsylvania to discuss their ideas. After everyone left, Mair dutifully edited and translated two large volumes of their papers, clarifying their arcane prose until everyone interested in the field could understand it. "If I have grey hair," he joked, "it was because I was sitting there slaving over this stuff." When he had finally finished, he sat down in his office with a pad of paper and a pen. He sifted through hundreds of studies on matters as diverse as linguistics, pottery styles, methods of tomb construction, and metallurgy across Eurasia over the past seven thousand years, searching for cultures whose core technologies and languages bore clear similarities to those of the ancient Caucasian cultures of Xinjiang. These he recognized as ancestral societies. Slowly, patiently, he worked his way back through time and space, tracing the territories of these ancestral groups. Eventually, after months of work, he sketched a map of what he concluded was their homeland. The territory stretched in a wide swath across central Europe, from northern Denmark to the northwestern shore of the Black Sea. But its heart, some six thousand years ago, lay in what is now southern Germany, northeastern Austria, and a portion of the Czech Republic. "I really felt that that fit the archaeological evidence best," Mair later told me.

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When he finally showed his map to some of his colleagues, though, they were deeply dismayed. Elizabeth Barber, one of his closest collaborators, angrily demanded that he redraw it, insisting that linguistic evidence, particularly the ancestry of ancient words for looms, pointed to a homeland much farther east. Realizing that he had gone too far for the comfort of his colleagues, and that he had yet to find the proof he needed, he bowed to their pressure. He redrew the map, placing the homeland in a broad arc stretching from eastern Ukraine and southern Russia to western Kazakhstan. Then he published it in the conference proceedings. "I thought, for this book, it wouldn't be too bad," he confessed, shaking his head. "I decided I wouldn't go against the flow that much, because that is a big flow with some really smart people." Then he looked down at the map in front of him. "But in my own integrity and honesty, I'd want to put it in here." He sketched a narrow oval. Its centre fell near the Austrian city of Salzburg. All of which brought us to Shanghai, and the rain, and the final arbiter, hopefully, of more dna testing. Convinced he was right, and desperately wanting to find the proof that would dispel all doubt, Mair believed genetics still offered the best hope of vindication. If dna testing was sufficient to convict or exonerate men in a court of law, it would surely be strong enough to persuade even the most skeptical of his colleagues. He needed samples for another, more powerful type of dna testing, but as he had just discovered, the Chinese officials had upped the ante again. Japanese researchers had recently paid $100,000 to acquire samples of the ancient matter for dna testing, and officials at Shanghai's Museum of Natural History now wanted a similar sum from Mair. Mair didn't have it, and he was running out of time. Still, he remained surprisingly upbeat. During a break in the negotiations one afternoon, he invited me to follow Xu Yongqing, the head of the Shanghai Museum of Natural History's anthropology department, down the stairs to a basement room in the museum. Unlocking the door to a small room behind the employees' bicycle racks, Xu led the way inside. Along three of the walls, mummies in glass cases reclined luxuriously on red velvet cloth. Stacked three high in spots, they looked much like train passengers bedded down for the night in their berths. Mair stood quietly, scanning the room. Then he saw what he wanted to show me. In one of the lower glass cases, a young woman lay stretched out on her back, stripped of her fine woollens. Her knees were pressed demurely together, her arms rested comfortably at her sides, and her breasts lay round and full, as if she had perished in the midst of nursing a child. But it was the hair that caught my attention. A long wavy golden-brown mane twisted down her back. Standing in that room, I felt an unexpected sense of kinship with her, surrounded as she was by strangers. And I wondered just what had prodded her ancestors to exchange the cool greenness of Europe for the scorching barrens of the Tarim Basin. As always, mair had some ideas. He believed a new invention had spurred this woman's forebears to embark on this eastern exodus: horseback riding. Some 5,700 years ago, he explained, Eurasians had begun rounding up wild horses, and sometime later they started sliding bits into their mouths and swinging their bodies onto their backs. These seemingly simple acts led them to conquer terrestrial space. For the first time ever, human beings were able to travel swiftly over immense distances, an accomplishment so exhilarating and adrenalin-charged that they suddenly gave full rein to their wanderlust.

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So equipped, Mair went on with growing enthusiasm, early Europeans had easily spread out across Eurasia, their brisk progress recorded in the ancient campsites they left behind. Some of the invaders swept northward, becoming the Germanic tribes; others journeyed west to become the Celts of the British Isles. But the ancestors of the Xinjiang people had headed east across the grassy steppes of Asia, repelling any who tried to bar their path, and four thousand years ago, a small group of latecomers rode into the vacant river valleys of the Tarim Basin. Finding sufficient land to make a life there, they stayed, passing on their love and knowledge of fine horses to their descendants. When mourners buried Cherchen Man, they arranged a dead horse and a saddle atop his grave, two essential things he would need in the next life. In all likelihood, observed Mair, some of these European invaders rode even further to the east and north, beyond the reach of desiccating deserts. And there they brought with them such new Western inventions as the chariot, a high-performance vehicle designed for warfare and sport, and bronze metallurgy, which made strong weapons that retained their killing edge. Very possibly, a few of these invaders carried with them the secret of writing. While examining the hand of an ancient woman exhumed near Cherchen Man, Mair had noticed row upon row of a strange tattoo along her hand. Shaped like a backward S, it clearly resembled the early Phoenician consonant that gave us our modern S. Mair has also found the identical form of S -- which resembles an ancient Chinese character -- along with other alphabetiform signs, on artifacts of this era from western China. Chinese scholars, it occurred to me, were unlikely to take much comfort in the thought of these invaders. And they were unlikely to be pleased by the pivotal role these intruders may have played in ancient Chinese life. Western inventions, after all, shaped the course of history. Fleet chariots enabled Chinese armies to vanquish their enemies, and sturdy bronze swords reinforced dreams of empire. And a secret system of writing bequeathed Chinese officials the means to govern the conquered lands effortlessly. But invention is only one small part of the story. What societies make of technological leaps forward is as important as the act of creation itself. It was the genius of others, after all, who unwittingly made the West strong. It gave Europeans the compasses that guided mariners overseas to Asia and America. It provided the printing presses that disseminated knowledge of these new lands to the masses. It bestowed the gunpowder that fuelled conquest. Indeed, all these came from Chinese inventors. There are many ironies joining East and West in the inseparable embrace of history. Mair savours them. His trip to Shanghai in the rain ended in disappointment. He left China empty-handed. But he is now raising funds and fervently seeking permission to conduct further dna tests on the mummies of Xinjiang. Until that day, Ur-David waits in a museum storage room in China, unclaimed as a long- lost brother.

By Heather Pringle
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Anyone Seen These Facts?

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Barbie's measurements if she were life size: 39-23-33. The dollar symbol ($) is a U combined with an S (U.S.) Our eyes are always the same size from birth, but our nose and ears never stop growing. The Statue of Liberty's tablet is two feet thick. There are two credit cards for every person in the United States. The slogan on New Hampshire license plates is 'Live Free or Die'. These license plates are manufactured by prisoners in the state prison in Concord. The straw was probably invented by Egyptian brewers to taste in-process beer without removing the fermenting ingredients which floated on the top of the container. David Prowse, was the guy in the Darth Vader suit in Star Wars. He spoke all of Vader's lines, and didn't know that he was going to be dubbed over by James Earl Jones until he saw the screening of the movie. The United States government keeps its supply of silver at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, NY There are only thirteen blimps in the world. Nine of the thirteen blimps are in the United States. The existing biggest blimp is the Fuji Film blimp. Naugahyde, plastic "leather" was created in Naugatuck, Connecticut. The Swiss flag is square. The word 'pound' is abbreviated 'lb.' after the constellation 'libra' because it means 'pound' in Latin, and also 'scales'. The abbreviation for the British Pound Sterling comes from the same source: it is an 'L' for Libra/Lb. with a stroke through it to indicate abbreviation. Sames goes for the Italian lira which uses the same abbreviation ('lira' coming from 'libra'). So British currency (before it went metric) was always quoted as "pounds/shillings/pence", abbreviated "L/s/d" (libra/solidus/denarius). The three largest land-owners in England are the Queen, the Church of England and Trinity College, Cambridge. The monastic hours are matins, lauds, prime, tierce, sext, nones, vespers and compline. If you come from Manchester, you are a Mancunian.

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No animal, once frozen solid (i.e., water solidifies and turns to ice) survives when thawed, because the ice crystals formed inside cells would break open the cell membranes. However there are certain frogs that can survive the experience of being frozen. These frogs make special proteins which prevent the formation of ice (or at least keep the crystals from becoming very large), so that they actually never freeze even though their body temperature is below zero Celsius. The water in them remains liquid: a phenomenon known as 'supercooling.' If you disturb one of these frogs (just touching them even), the water in them quickly freezes solid and they die. The white part of your fingernail is called the lunula. Madrid is the only European capital city not situated on a river. The name for fungal remains found in coal is sclerotinite. The Boston University Bridge (on Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts) is the only place in the world where a boat can sail under a train driving under a car driving under an airplane. Emus cannot walk backwards. It is believed that Shakespeare was 46 around the time that the King James Version of the Bible was written. In Psalms 46, the 46th word from the first word is shake and the 46th word from the last word is spear. The shopping mall in Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada has the largest water clock in North America. Both writer Edgar Allen Poe and LSD advocate Timothy Leary were kicked out of West Point. The word posh, which denotes luxurious rooms or accomodations, originated when ticket agents in England marked the tickets of travelers going by ship to the Orient. Since there was no air conditioning in those days, it was always better to have a cabin on the shady side of the ship as it passed through the Mediterranean and Suez area.

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Since the sun is in the south, those with money paid extra to get cabin's on the left, or port, traveling to the Asia, and on the right, or starboard, when returning to Europe. Hence their tickets were marked with the initials for Port Outbound Starboard Homebound, or POSH. The top layer of a wedding cake, known as the groom's cake, traditionally is a fruit cake. That way it will save until the first anniversery. The German Kaiser Wilhelm II had a withered arm and often hid the fact by posing with his hand resting on a sword, or by holding gloves. The forward pass was created by the football team at Saint Louis University. In every show that Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt (The Fantasticks) wrote, there is at least one song about rain. A kind of tortoise in the Galapagos Islands has an upturned shell at its neck so it can reach its head up to eat cactus branches. The only city whose name can be spelled completely with vowels is Aiea, Hawaii, located approximately twelve miles west of Honolulu. Parthenogenesis is the term used to describe the process by which certain animals are able to reproduce themselves in successive female generations without intervention of a male of the species. At least one species of lizard is known to do so. Cats have over one hundred vocal sounds, while dogs only have about ten. The word "Checkmate" in chess comes from the Persian phrase "Shah Mat", which means "the king is dead". The ship, the Queen Elizabeth 2, should always be written as QE2. QEII is the actual queen. "Quisling" is the only word in the English language to start with "quis." All of the cobble stones that used to line the streets in New York were originally weighting stones put in the hulls of Belgian ships to keep an even keel.

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Nepal is the only country without a rectangular flag (it looks like two pennants glued on on top of the other) Libya has the only flag which is all one color with no writing or decoration on it The only borough of New York City that isn't an island (or part of an island) is the Bronx. The 1957 Milwaukee Braves were the first baseball team to win the World Series after being relocated. The tune for the "A-B-C" song is the same as "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star." When a coffee seed is planted, it takes five years to yield it's first consumable fruit. The common goldfish is the only animal that can see both infra-red and ultra-violet light. Linn's Stamp News is the world's largest weekly newspaper for stamp collectors. Tennessee is bordered by more states than any other. The eight states are Kentucky, Missouri, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia. Des Moines has the highest per capita Jello consumption in the U.S The Western-most point in the contiguous United States is Cape Alava, Washington. There are only three animals with blue tongues, the Black Bear, the Chow Chow dog and the blue-tongued lizard. The first fossilized specimen of Austalopithecus afarenisis was named Lucy after the palentologists' favorite song, Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds, by the Beatles. Pinocchio is Italian for "pine head." The geographical center of North America is near Rugby, North Dakota. The infinity sign is called a lemniscate. Hacky-sack was invented in Turkey. If you stretch a standard Slinky out flat it measures 87 feet long.

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There are six five words in the English language with the letter combination "uu." Muumuu, vacuum, continuum, duumvirate and duumvir, residuum. The "Calabash" pipe, most often associated with Sherlock Holmes, was not used by him until William Gillette (an American) portrayed Holmes onstage. Gillette needed a pipe he could keep in his mouth while he spoke his lines. Most Americans' car horns beep in the key of F. Dirty Harry's badge number is 2211. The pupil of an octopus' eye is rectangular. The shortest French word with all five vowels is "oiseau" meaning bird. Camel's milk does not curdle. "Mr. Mojo Risin" is an anagram for Jim Morrison. The ball on top of a flagpole is called the truck. A person from the country of Nauru is called a Nauruan; this is the only palindromic nationality. The word "modem" is a contraction of the words "modulate, demodulate." Oliver Cromwell was hanged and decapitated two years after he had died. In the last 4000 years, no new animals have been domesticated. Iowa has more independent telephone companies than any other state. Many hamsters only blink one eye at a time. Hamsters love to eat crickets. The only "real" food that U.S. Astronauts are allowed to take into space is pecan nuts. The word "queueing" is the only English word with five consecutive vowels. The first Eagle Scout west of the Mississippi is buried in San Marcos, Texas. In every episode of Seinfeld there is a Superman somewhere. Roberta Flack wrote "Killing Me Softly" about singer Don McLean. The Greek version of the Old Testament is called the Septuagint.

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Spencer Eldon was the name of the naked baby on the cover of Nirvana's album All three major 1996 Presidential candidates, Clinton, Dole and Perot, are left-handed. The Madagascan Hissing Cockroach is one of the few insects who give birth to live young, rather than laying eggs. The book of Esther in the Bible is the only book which does not mention the name of God. Sheriff came from Shire Reeve. During early years of feudal rule in England, each shire had a reeve who was the law for that shire. When the term was brought to the United States it was shortned to Sheriff. An animal epidemic is called an epizootic. Dracula is the most filmed story of all time, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is second and Oliver Twist is third. The silhouette on the NBA logo is Jerry West. The silhouette on the Major League Baseball logo is Harmon Killebrew. The name Jeep came from the abbreviation used in the army for the "General Purpose" vehicle, G.P. The little lump of flesh just forward of your ear canal, right next to your temple, is called a tragus. Soweto in South Africa ws derived from SOuth WEst TOwnship. Murphy's Oil Soap is the chemical most commonly used to clean elephants. The Andy Griffth Show was the first spin-off in TV history. It was a spin-off of the Danny Thomas Show. Goat's eyes have rectangular pupils. Walt Disney's autograph bears no resemblance to the famous Disney logo. Other than humans, black lemurs are the only primates that may have blue eyes. The United States has never lost a war in which mules were used. The two longest one-syllable words in the English language are "screeched" and "strengths." Great Britain was the first county to issue postage stamps. Hence, the postage stamps of Britain are the only stamps in the world not to bear the name of the country of origin. However, every stamp carries a relief image or a silhouette of the monarch's head instead. Images for picture stamps in the United States are commissioned by the United States Postal Service Department of Philatelic Fulfillment. Artist Constantino Brumidi fell from the done of the U.S. Capitol while painting a mural around the rim. He died four months later. Since 1896, the beginning of the modern Olympics, only Greece and Australia have participated in every Games.


There were no squirrels on Nantucket until 1989. Cathy Rigby is the only woman to pose nude for Sports Illustrated. (August 1972) Blueberry Jelly Bellies were created especially for Ronald Reagan. Will Clark of the Texas Rangers is a direct descendant of William Clark of Lewis and Clark. When ocean tides are at their highest, they are called "spring tides." When they are at their lowest, they are call "neep tides." February 1865 is the only month in recorded history not to have a full moon. The last NASCAR driver to serve jail time for running moonshine was Buddy Arrington. Many Japanese golfers carry "hole-in-one" insurance, because it is traditional in Japan to share one's good luck by sending gifts to all your friends when you get an "ace." The price for what the Japanese term an "albatross" can often reach $10,000. The difference between male and female blue crabs is the design located on their apron (belly.) The male blue crab has the Washington Monument while the female apron is shaped like the U.S. Capitol. It takes a lobster approxiamately seven years to grow to be one pound. The ridges on the sides of coins are called reeding. The lot numbers for the cyanide-tainted Tylenol capsules scare back in 1982 were MC2880 and 1910MD. Montpelier, Vermont is the only U.S. state capital without a McDonalds. The Roman emperor Caligula made his horse a senator. At latitude 60 degrees south you can sail all the way around the world. A Chinese checkerboard has 121 holes. The hyoid bone, in your throat, is the only bone in the body not attached to another bone. Mice, whales, elephants, giraffes and man all have seven neck vertebra. Sunbeams that shine down through the clouds are called crespucular rays. Very small clouds that look like they have been broken off of bigger clouds are called scuds. On a dewy morning, if you look at your shadow in the grass, the dew drops shine light back to your eye creating a halo called a heilgenschein (German for halo.)

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The correct response to the Irish greeting, "Top of the morning to you," is "and the rest of the day to yourself." Giraffes have no vocal cords. Joe DiMaggio had more home runs than strikeouts during his career. All porcupines float in water. Hang On Sloopy is the official rock song of Ohio. A-1 Steak Sauce contains both orange peel and raisins. Many northern parishes (counties) of Louisiana did not agree with the Confederate movement. To show their disapproval, they changed their names. That's why there is a Union Parish, Jefferson Parish, etc. The Pentagon, in Arlington, Virginia, has twice as many bathrooms as is necessary. When it was built in the 1940s, the state of Virginia still had segregation laws requiring separate toilet facilities for blacks and whites. Residents of the island of Lesbos are Lesbosians, rather than Lesbians. (Of course, lesbians are called lesbians because Sappho was from Lesbos.) The Chinese ideogram for 'trouble' symbolizes 'two women living under one roof'. German has a wood for the peace offerings brought to your mate when you've committed some conceived slight. This is "drachenfutter" or dragon's food. In Chinese, the words for crisis and opportunity are the same. No word in the English language rhymes with month. Clans of long ago that wanted to get rid of their unwanted people without killing them use to burn their houses down - hence the expression "to get fired." The poisonous copperhead smells likefresh cut cucumbers. In Disney's "Fantasia", the Sorcerer's name is "Yensid" (Disney backwards.) The smallest mushroom's name is "Hop-low." Anne Boleyn had six fingernails on one hand. Mustard gas was invented in the McKinley Building on the American University campus. Additionally, preliminary work on the Manhattan Project was done in that building. The government used the McKinley Building because of its unusual archticture. If there would be any type of large explosion inside the building, the building would implode onto itself, containing any lethal gas or nuclear material. The building now houses the Physics Department. When angered, the ears of Tazmanian devils turn a pinkish-red. The cruise liner, Queen Elizabeth II, moves only six inches for each gallon of diesel that it burns. The naval rank of "Admiral" is derived from the Arabic phrase "amir al bahr", which means "lord of the sea". The Les Nessman character on the TV series WKRP in Cincinnati wore a band-aid in every episode. Either on himself, his glasses, or his clothing. A coat hanger is 44 inches long if straightened The roads on the island of Guam are made with coral. Guam has no sand. The sand on the beaches is actually ground coral. When concrete is mixed, the coral sand is used instead of importing regular sand from thousands of miles away.

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Mt. Vernon Washington grows more tulips than the entire country of Holland. Jamie Farr (who played Klinger on M*A*S*H) was the only member of the cast who actually served as a soldier in the Korean war. The southern most city in the United States is Na'alehu, Hawaii. Alaska was the only part of the United States that was invaded by the Japanese during WWII. The territory was the island of Adak in the Aleutian Chain. Woodward Ave in Detroit, Michigan carries the designation M-1, named so because it was the first paved road anywhere. Michigan was the first state to plow it's roads and the first to adopt a yellow dividing line. Canada is an Indian word meaning "Big Village". The longest chapter in the Bible is Psalm 119. The shortest verse in the Bible is "Jesus wept." Way back when they were using marble columns, the people selling the columns would carve out the centers and fill it with wax.So the people buying them started asking "Is it without wax?" Or in other words "Are you sincere?" Zaire is the world leader in cobalt mining, producing two-thirds of the world's cobalt supply. No modern language has a true concept of "I am." It is always used linked with are in reference of another verb. Little known Cathedral Caverns near Grant, Alabama has the world's largest cave opening, the largest stalagmite (Goliath), and the largest stalagmite forest in the World. The only person ever to decline a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction was Sinclair Lewis for his book Arrowsmith. Maine is the only state that borders on only one state. There are almost twice as many people in Rhode Island than there are in Alaska. Kudzu is not indigenous to the South, but in that climate it can grow up to six inches a day. Did you know that there are coffee flavored PEZ? The word 'byte' is a contraction of 'by eight.'

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The word 'pixel' is a contraction of either 'picture cell' or 'picture element.' Ralph Lauren's original name was Ralph Lifshitz. Bananas do not grow on trees, but on rhizomes. Astronauts in the Space Shuttle are weightless not because there is no gravity in space, but because they are in free fall around the Earth. St. Augustine was the first major proponent of the "missionary" position. Lizzie Borden was acquitted. Alexander Hamilton was shot by Aaron Burr in the groin. Isaac Asimov is the only author to have a book in every Dewey-decimal category. Roger Ebert is the only film critic to have ever won the Pulitzer prize. A scholar who studies the Marquis de Sade is called a Sadian, not a Sadist (of course). Tribeca in Manhattan stands for TRIangle BElow CAnal street. Soho stands for SOuth of HOuston street. Columbia University is the second largest landowner in New York City, after the Catholic Church. Theworld's largest wine cask is in Heidleberg, Germany. Lorne Greene had one of his nipples bitten off by an aligator while he hosted "Lorne Greene's Wild Kingdom." Cat's urine glows under a blacklight. Seven Olympic gold medal winners eventually went on to win the Heavyweight Championship of the World Kerimski Church in Finland is world's biggest church made of wood.The St. Louis Gateway Arch had a projected death toll while it was being built. No one died. The average ear of corn has eight-hundred kernels arranged in sixteen rows. A cat has four rows of whiskers. Vincent Van Gogh comitted suicide while painting Wheat Field with Crows. An iguana can stay under water for 28 minutes.

Jelly Belly jelly beans were the first jelly beans in outer space when they went up with astronauts in the June 21, 1983 voyage of the space shuttle Challenger (the same voyage as the first American woman in space, Sally Ride). Baseballer Connie Mack's real name was Cornelius McGilicuddy. If you were standing in the northernmost point in the contiguous (48) states, you'd be standing in Minnesota. Only thirty percent of the famous Maryland blue crabs are actually from Maryland, the rest are from North Carolina and Virginia. Back in the mid to late 80's, an IBM compatible computer wasn't considered a hundred percent compatible unless it could run Microsoft's Flight Simulator. Not all of West Virginia voted to go with the North. When the State of West Virginia was formed from Virginia in 1863 the three western counties in Virginia voted to go with West Virginia, but West Virginia didn't take them because they were poor. Instead they took three counties that voted to stay with Virginia, because they were richer and they had the B&O railroad. Those counties since split and are 5 Jefferson, Hampshire, Berkley, Mineral, and Morgan. The first Ford cars had Dodge engines. The Dodge brothers Horace and John were Jewish, that's why the first Dodge emblem had a star of David in it. Studebaker was the only major car company to stop making cars while making a profit from them. Studebaker still exists, but is now called Worthington. Chrysler built B-29's that bombed Japan, Mitsubishi built Zeros that tried to shoot them down. Both companies now build cars in a joint plant call Diamond Star. On the new hundred dollar bill the time on the clock tower of Independence Hall is 4:10. The top three cork-producing countries are Spain, Portugal and Algeria. (Cork comes from trees.) In the Wizard of Oz Dorothy's last name is Gail. It is shown on the mail box. If you bring a raccoon's head to the Henniker, New Hampshire town hall, you are entitled to receive $.10 from the town New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner and the late M*A*S*H star McLean Stevenson were both once assistant football coaches at Northwestern University. The letter W is the only letter in the alphabet that doesn't have 1 syllable... it has three. All swans and all sturgeons in England are property of the Queen. Messing with them is a serious offense. Michael Di Lorenzo, who plays Eddie Torres on New York Undercover is one of the lead dancers in Michael Jackson's "Beat It" video. Only two people signed the Decleration of Independence on July 4th, John Hancock and Charles Thomson. Most of the rest signed on Augest 2, but the last signature wasn't added until 5 year later. October 4, 1957 is a historic date to be remembered, it is the day both "Leave it to Beaver" and the Russian satellite Sputnik 1 were launched. Leonardo Da Vinci invented the scissors. It takes about a half a gallon of water to cook macaroni, and about a gallon to clean the pot. The antifungal, nystatin, which is sometime used for treating thrush, is named after New York State Institute for Health (Acronym) QANTAS, the name of the Australian national airline, is a (former) acronym, for Queensland And Northern Territories Air Service. The world's largest four-faced clock sits atop the Allen-Bradley plant in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Almonds are members of the peach family. The first video ever played on MTV Europe was "Money For Nothing" by Dire Straits. If you add up the numbers 1-100 consecutively (1+2+3+4+5 etc) the total is 5050 The "Grinch" singer and voice of Tony the Tiger is a charming man named Thurl Ravenscroft.

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The famous split-fingered Vulcan salute is actually intended to represent the first letter ("shin," pronounced "sheen") of the word "shalom." As a small boy, Leonard Nimoy observed his rabbi using it in a benediction and never forgot it; eventually he was able to add it to "Star Trek" lore. The symbol on the "pound" key (#) is called an octothorpe. Ham radio operators got the term "ham" coined from the expression "ham-fisted operators", a term used to describe early radio users who sent Morse code (i.e. pounded their fists). While the Chinese invented gunpowder, they were not the first to develop firearms. Sam Colt invented the "revolving pistol." Therefore, all revolvers are correctly called pistols. A 12 gauge "rifled slug" does not spin, even though there are grooves on it's bearing surface. A slug actually travels like a dart. Revolvers cannot be silenced, due all the noisy gasses which escape the cylinder gap at the rear of the barrel. A bullet fired from the 7.62x51mm NATO cartridge (also called the .308 Winchester) is still supersonic at 1000 yards. The term "the whole 9 yards" came from WWII fighter pilots in the South Pacific. When arming their airplanes on the ground, the .50 caliber machine gun ammo belts measured exactly 27 feet, before being loaded into the fuselage. If the pilots fired all their ammo at a target, it got "the whole 9 yards."

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The home team must provide the referee with 24 footballs for each National Football League game. The maximum weight for a golf ball is 1.62 oz. A flea expert is a pullicologist. A bear has 42 teeth. M&M's stands for the last names of Forrest Mars, Sr., then candymaker, and his associate Bruce Murrie. The only domestic animal not mentioned in the Bible is the cat. The dot over the letter 'i' is called a tittle. Table tennis balls have been known to travel off the paddle at speeds up to 105.6 miles per hour. In Irian Jaya exists a tribe of tall, white people who use parrots as a warning sign against intruders. In the Dutch province of Twente people live on average half a year shorter than in the rest of the Netherlands. Spiral staircases in medieval castles are running clockwise. This is because all knights used to be right-handed. When the intruding army would climb the stairs they would not be able to use their right hand which was holding the sword because of the difficulties in climbing the stairs. Left-handed knights would have had no troubles except left-handed people could never become knights because it was assumed that they were descendants of the devil. Duddley DoRight's Horses name was "Horse." If the Spaceship Earth ride at EPCOT was a golf ball, to be the proportional size to hit it, you'd be two miles tall. On Sesame Street, Bert's goldfish were named Lyle and Talbot, presumably after the actor Lyle Talbot. The word "hangnail" comes from Middle English: ang- (painful) + nail. Nothing to do with hanging. Louis IV of France had a stomach the size of two regular stomachs. Samuel Clemens aka Mark Twain smoked forty cigars a day for the last years of his life. Samuel Clemens aka Mark Twain was born on a day in 1835 when Haley's Comet came into veiw. When He died in 1910, Haley's Comet came into view again. Pepsi originally contained pepsin, thus the name. Babies are born without knee caps. They don't appear until the child reaches 2-6 years of age. The highest point in Pennsylvania is lower than the lowest point in Colorado. If you were born in Los Alamos, New Mexico during the Manhattan project (where they made the atomic bomb), your birthplace was listed as a post office box in Albequerque. Robert Kennedy was killed in the Ambassador Hotel, the same hotel that housed Marilyn Monroe's first modelling agency. Ronald Regan sent out the army phoyographer who first discovered Marilyn Monroe.

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Carbonated water, with nothing else in it,can dissolve limestone, talc, and many other low-Moh's hardness minerals. Coincidentally, carbonated water is the main ingredient in soda pop. Ethernet is a registered trademark of Xerox, Unix is a registered trademark of AT&T. The newest dog breed is the Bull Boxer, first bred in the United states in 1990-91. The first hard drive available for the Apple ][ had a capacity of 5 megabytes. South of Tucson, Arizona, all road signs are in the Metric System. In many cases, the amount of storage space on a recordable CD is measured in minutes. 74 minutes is about 650 megabytes, 63 minutes is 550 megabytes. The real name of Astro (the dog fromThe Jetsons) is "Tralfaz" -- his real owner appeared one day to claim him but wound up giving him back to the Jetsons. Charlie Brown's father was a barber. The original story from Tales of 1001 Arabian Nights begins, "Aladdin was a little Chinese boy." Nutmeg is extremely poisonous if injected intraveinously When a film is in production, the last shot of the day is the "martini shot", the next to last one is the "Abby Singer".

Of the six men who made up the Three Stooges, three of them were real brothers (Moe, Curly and Shemp.) Ohio is listed as the 17th state in the U.S., but technically it is number 47. Until August 7, 1953, Congress forgot to vote on a resolution to admit Ohio to the Union. It is a misdemeanor to kill or threaten a butterfly -- so says City Ordinance No. 352 in Pacific Grove, California. If you have three quarters, four dimes, and four pennies, you have $1.19. You also have the largest amount of money in coins without being able to make change for a dollar. Other than fruit, honey is the only natural food that is made without destroying any kind of life! What about milk, you say? A cow has to eat grass to produce milk and grass is living! When Saigon fell the signal for all Americans to evacuate was Bing Crosby's "White Christmas" being played on the radio. The Fort George Point in Belize City was formed by the silt runoff of Hurricane Hattie. If you lace your shoes from the inside to the outside the fit will be snugger around your big toe. Only 1/3 of the people that can twitch their ears can twitch only one at a time. The expression "What in tarnation" comes from the original meaning: "What in eternal damnation" Gary Burgough who played Walter Radar O'Reily on M*A*S*H has a deformed left thumb. If you watch closely you will see that he never shows his left hand. Only two states' names begin with double consonants: Florida and Rhode Island. The volume of the Earth's moon is the same as the volume of the Pacific Ocean Ingrown toenails are hereditary.

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The Cincinnati Reds baseball team name was officially changed to the Redlegs during the anti-communist movement. Winston Churchill was born in a ladies' room during a dance. "Xmas" does not begin with the Roman letter X. It begins with the Greek letter "chi," which was used in medieval manuscripts as an abbreviation for the word "Christ" (xus = christus, etc.) The ampersand (&) is actually a stylised version of the Latin word "et," meaning and." The largest city in the United States with a one syllable name is Flint, Michigan. The most common name in the world is Mohammed. Michael Jordan makes more money from Nike annually than all of the Nike factory workers in Malaysia combined. On the cartoon show 'The Jetsons', Jane is 33 years old and her daughter Judy is 15. In Mel Brooks' 'Silent Movie,' mime Marcel Marceau is the only person who has a speaking role. Only humans and horses have hymens. No NFL team which plays it's home games in a domed stadium has ever won a Superbowl. (Texas Stadium, home of the Cowboys, is not a dome, there is a large hole in the roof.)

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The word "set" has more definitions than any other word in the English language. The first toilet ever seen on television was on "Leave It To Beaver". Wally and Beaver had a baby alligator which they kept in the toilet. In the great fire of London in 1666 half of London was burnt down but only 6 people were injured The most eastern part of the western world is located in Ilomantsi, Finland. "Hara kiri" is an impolite way of saying the Japanese word "seppuku" which means, literally, "belly splitting." The term the "Boogey Man will get you" comes from the Boogey people,who still inhabit an area of Indonesia. These people still act as pirates today and attack ships that pass. Thus the term spread "if you don't watch out the Boogey man will get you." The Saturn V moon rocket consumed 15 tons of fuel per second. The state with the longest coastline in the US is Michigan. Race car is a palindrome. We will have four consecutive full moons making two blue moons in 1999 (January 2 and 31, March 2 and 31.) The only other time it happened this century was in 1915 (January 1 and 31, March 1 and 31.)

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The Basset Horn, a kind of alto clarinet, was named after its inventor -- a man named Horn. "Basset" is from "Basetto," or "little bass" in Italian. There are more bald eagles in the province of British Columbia then there are in the whole United States. Lincoln Logs were invented by Frank Lloyd Wright's son. The "second unit" films movie shots that do not require the presence of actors. Pulp Fiction cost $8 million to make - $5 million going to actor's salaries. The world's second largest pipe organ is located at the Organ Grinder on 82nd avenue in Portland, Oregon. Games Slayter, a Purdue graduate, invented fiberglass. One of the reasons marijuana is illegal today because cotton growers in the 30s lobbied against hemp farmers -- they saw it as competition. It is not chemically addictive as is nicotine, alcohol, or caffeine. Olympic Badminton rules say that the bird has to have exactly fourteen feathers The music group Simply Red is named because of its love for the football team, Manchester United, who have a red home strip. In case you ever find yourself piloting a dogsled, shout "Jee!" to make the dogs turn left and "Ha!" to go right. Richard Nixon left instructions for "California, Here I Come" to be the last piece of music played at his funeral ("softly and slowly") were he to die in office. The earliest document in Latin in a woman's handwriting (it is from the first century A.D.) is an invitation to a birthday party. Spot, Data's cat on Star Trek: The Next Generation, was played by six different cats. Captain Jean-Luc Picard's fish was named Livingston.


Hydrogen gas is the least dense substance in the world, at 0.08988 g/cc Hydrogen solid is the most dense substance in the world, at 70.6 g/cc The longest U.S. highway is route 6 starting in Cape Cod, Massachusetts going through 14 states, and ending in Bishop, California... The movie "Paris, Texas" was banned in the city of Paris, Texas, shorty after its box office release. The 'y' in signs reading "ye olde.." is properly pronounced with a 'th' sound, not 'y'. The "th" sound does not exist in Latin, so ancient Roman occupied (present day) England use the rune "thorn" to represent "th" sounds. With the advent of the printing press the character from the Roman alphabet which closest resembled thorn was the lower case "y". Pickled herrings were invented in 1375. The number of the trash compactor in Star Wars (20th Century Fox, 1977) is 3263827. Each year there is one ton of cement poured for each man, woman, and child in the world. At McDonalds in New Zealand, they serve apricot pies instead of cherry ones. The word "samba" means "to rub navels together." The only two days of the year in which there are no professional sports games (MLB, NBA, NHL, or NFL) are the day before and the day after the Major League Baseball All-Star Game. The international telphone dialing code for Antarctica is 672. A byte, in computer terms, means 8 bits. A nibble is half that: 4 bits. (Two nibbles make a byte!) A full seven percent of the entire Irish barley crop goes to the production of Guinness beer. Bank robber John Dillinger played professional baseball.

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If you toss a penny 10000 times, it will not be heads 5000 times, but more like 4950. The heads picture weighs more, so it ends up on the bottom. The airport in La Paz, Bolivia is the world's highest airport. The glue on Israeli postage stamps is certified kosher. The housefly hums in the middle octave, key of F. Chicago is closer to Moscow than to Rio de Janeiro. Original copy of the Declaration of Independence is lost. The copy in Washington D.C. is what is referred to as a holograph. That is a term for a handmade copy of a document and is not the same as a laser produced hologram. Singpore is the only country with one train station. The little bags of netting for gas lanterns (called 'mantles') are radioactive--so much so that they will set of an alarm at a nuclear reactor. When measuring fonts 'point size' refers to the height of capital letters (one point being one 72nd of an inch). 'Pitch' is a horizontal measurement of the number of letters which can be printed in an inch.

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The only capital letter in the Roman alphabet with exactly one endpoint is P. In the movie "the Right Stuff" there is a scene where a government recruiter for the Mercury astronaut program (played by Jeff Goldblum) is in a bar at Muroc Dry Lake, California. His partner suggests Chuck Yeager as a good astronaut candidate. Jeff proceeds to badmouth Yeager claiming they need someone who went to college. During the conversation the real Chuck Yeager is playing a bartender who is standing behind the recruiters eavesdropping. General Yeager is listed low in the movie credits as 'Fred.' "Speak of the Devil" is short for "Speak of the Devil and he shall come". It was believed that if you spoke about the Devil it would attract his attention. That's why when your talking about someone and they show up people say "Speak of the Devil" Maine is the only state whose name is just one syllable. There are only four words in the English language which end in "-dous": tremendous, horrendous, stupendous, and hazardous. Nauru is the only country in the world with no official capital. (Its government offices are all in Yaren District, but there's no official capital.) South Africa is the only country with three official capitals: Pretoria, Cape Town, and Bloemfontein. Lucy Ricardo's maiden name was McGillicudy. Mickey Mouse is known as "Topolino" in Italy.

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The red giant star Betelgeuse has a diameter larger than that of the Earth's orbit around the sun. If your eyes are six feet above the surface of the ocean, the horizon wil be about three statute miles away. The one-hundred eleventh element is known as "unnilenilenium" The longest muscle name is the "levator labii superioris alaeque nasi" and Elvis popularized it with his lip motions. The longest time someone has typed on a typewriter continuously is 264 hrs., set by Violet Gibson Burns. The Dutch town of Leeuwarden can be spelled 225 different ways. There was once a town named "6" in West Virginia. Only one person in two billion will live to be 116 or older A cat has 32 muscles in each ear An ostrich's eye is bigger than it's brain. The oldest word in the English language is "town" The sea wasp is half an inch long at best and more poisonous than any other jellyfish known to man. Tigars have striped skin, not just striped fur. Gerald Ford pardoned Robert E. Lee posthumously of all crimes of treason. The band Duran Duran got their name from an astronaut in the 1968 Jane Fonda movie Barbarella.

There are 22 stars surrounding the mountain on the Paramount Pictures logo. After human death, post-mortem rigidity starts in the head and travels to the feet, and leaves the same way it came -- head to toe. Police dogs are trained to react to commands in a foreign language; commonly German but more recently Hungarian or some other Slavic tongue. A Laforte fracture is a fracture of all facial bones. It would allow one to pull on another face and remove it like a mask if not held on by skin. Debra Winger was the voice of E.T. Winston Churchill, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Theodore Roosevelt and Eleanor Roosevelt were all cousins through one connection or another. (FDR and Eleanor were about five times removed.) The Earth-Moon size ratio is the largest in the our solar system, excepting Pluto-Charon. 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! Though it goes to 10, 9 is estimated to be the point of total tetonic destruction (2 is the smallest that can be felt unaided.) Most snakes have either only one lung, or in some cases, two, with one much reduced in size. This apparently serves to make room for other organs in the highly-elongated bodies of snakes. A twelve-foot anaconda can catch, kill, and eat a six-foot caiman, a close relative of crocodles and alligators. While these snakes are not usually considered to be the *longest* snake in the world, they are the heaviest, exceeding the reticulated python in girth.

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Cinderella's slippers were originally made out of fur. The story was changed in the 1600s by a translator. It was the left shoe that Aschenputtel (Cinderella) lost at the stairway, when the prince tried to follow her. Cinderella is known as Tuhkimo in Finland. If you come from Birmingham, you are a Brummie. The names of all the continents end with the same letter that they start with, e.g. Asia, Europe. There is a word in the English language with only one vowel, which occurs six times: Indivisibility. The dome on Monticello, Thomas Jefferson's home, conceals a billiards room. In Jefferson's day, billiards were illegal in Virginia. According to Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity, it is possible to go slower than light and faster than light, but it is impossible to go at the speed of light. In most advertisments, including newspapers, the time displayed on a watch is 10:10 because then the arms frame the brand of the watch. Cleo and Caesar were the early stage names of Cher and Sonny Bono. Ben and Jerry's send the waste from making ice cream to local pig farmers to use as feed. Pigs love the stuff, except for one flavor: Mint Oreo. The "heat" of peppers is rated on the Scoville scale. Until 1965, driving was done on the left-hand side on roads in Sweden.

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The conversion to right-hand was done on a weekday at 5pm. All traffic stopped as people switched sides. This time and day were chosen to prevent accidents where drivers would have gotten up in the morning and been too sleepy to realize *this* was the day of the changeover. In left hand drive countries, such as the UK, Ireland, Japan, and Australia, drivers sit on the right hand side of the car. Except for Sweden, where drivers sat on the left, as in North-America. Japan is the third most densely populated country in the world. First is the Netherlands, followed by Belgium. Alfred Hitchcock didn't have a belly button. It was eliminated when he was sewn up after surgery. The "D" in D-day means "Day". The French term for "D-Day" is "J-jour". Female orcas live twice as long as male orcas. The larger numbers of female orcas in a pod are because of the female's longer lifespan, not because the males have collected a harem. Most spiders belong to the orb weaver spider family, Family Aranidae. This is pronounced "A Rainy Day." The Mongol emperor Genghis Khan's original name was Temujin. Genghis Khan started out life as a goatherd. The type specimen for the human species is the skull of Edward Drinker Cope, an American paleontologist of the late 1800's. A type specimen is used in paleontology as the best example of that species. The first word spoken by an ape in the movie Planet of the Apes was "Smile". The two lines that connect your top lip to the bottom of your nose are known as the philtrum. Facetious and abstemious contain all the vowels in the correct order. The name Wendy was made up for the book "Peter Pan" Hummingbirds are the only animals able to fly backwards All the dirt from the foundation to build the World Trade Center in NYC was dumped into the Hudson River to form the community now known as Battery City Park. The Holland and Lincoln Tunnels under the Hudson River connecting New Jersey and New York are an engineering feat. The air circulators in the tunnels circulate fresh air completely every ninety seconds.

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The dirt road that General Washington and his soldiers took to fight off General Clinton during the Battle of Monmouth was called the Burlington Path. The only social fraternity founded during the Civil War was Theta Xi fraternity, at Rensselear Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York in 1864. The Hudson River along the island of Manhattan flows in either direction depending upon the tide. Several buildings in Manhattan have their own zip code! The World Trade Center has several. Lucifer is latin for "Light Bringer". It is a translation of the Hebrew name for Satan, Halael. Satan means "adversary", devil means "liar". A cat's jaws cannot move sideways. Geller and Huchra have made three-dimensional maps of the distrubution of galaxies. In each layer of the map some galaxies are grouped together in such a way that they resemble a human being. Avocado is derived from the Spanish word 'aguacate' which is derived from 'ahuacatl' meaning testicle. The company providing the liability insurance for the Republican National Convention in San Diego is the same firm that insured the maiden voyage of the RMS Titanic. Telly Savalas and Louis Armstrong died on their birthdays. Donald Duck's middle name is Fauntleroy. Al Capone's business card said he was a used furniture dealer. The smallest port in Canada is Port Williams, Nova Scotia. The Canadian province of Newfoundland has its own time zone, which is half an hour behind Atlantic standard time. Cats in Halifax, Nova Scotia, have a very high probability of having six toes. The second longest word in the English language is "antidisestablishmenterianism". Rats like boiled sweets better than they like cheese. Big Ben was slowed five minutes one day when a passing group of starlings decided to take a rest on the minute hand of the clock. The Velvet Underground was named after a book on the S&M culture. The Velvet Underground's first manager was Andy Warhol, who also produced their first album and designed the cover artwork.

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The cover artwork for the album (called "The Velvet Underground and Nico") featured a bright yellow banana that could be peeled off to reveal a bright pink banana underneath, with the label "Peel Slowly and See." "Peel Slowly and See" is the title of the Velvet Underground comprehensive boxed set, which is the only currently-available Velvet Underground recording to feature a peelable banana. The peelable banana caused substantial delays in the production of the VU's first album and contributed to Lou Reed's firing Andy Warhol as the group's manager. The "wild" horses of western North America are actually feral, not wild. Native speakers of Japanese learn Spanish much more easily than they learn English. Native speakers of English learn Spanish much more easily than they learn Japanese. New Zealand kiwis lay the largest eggs with respect to their body size of any bird. Elephants have been found swimming miles from shore in the Indian Ocean. When two words are combined to form a single word (e.g., motor + hotel = motel, breakfast + lunch = brunch) the new word is called a "portmanteau." Sting got his name because of a yellow-and-black striped shirt he wore until it literally fell apart. Every photograph of an American atomic bomb detonation was taken by Harold Edgerton. The topknot that quails have is called a hmuh. Dr. Samuel A. Mudd was the physician who set the leg of Lincoln's assassin John Wilkes Booth ... and whose shame created the expression for ignominy, "His name is Mudd." The longest recorded flight of a chicken is thirteen seconds. The muzzle of a lion is like a fingerprint -- no two lions have the same pattern of whiskers. There is a type of parrot in New Zealand that likes to eat the rubber strips that line car windows. New Zealand is also the only country that contains every type of climate in the world. Cockroaches' favorite food is the glue on envelopes and on the back of postage stamps In 1969, the last Corvair was painted gold. Ralph Kramden made 62 dollars a week.

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The only way to stop the pain of the flathead fish's sting is by rubbing the same fish's slime on the wound it gave you. Betsy Ross was born with a fully formed set of teeth. Betsy Ross's other contribution to the American Revolution, beside sewing the first American flag, was running a munitions factory in her basement. Devo's original name was going to be De-evolution. They shortened it to Devo. Steely Dan got their name from a sexual device depicted in the book 'The Naked Lunch'. Bob Dylan's real name is Robert Zimmerman. Andy Warhol created the Rolling Stone's emblem depicting the big tongue. It first appeared on the cover of the 'Sticky Fingers' album. Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr were the two left-handed Beatles. Chris Ford scored the first ever NBA three-point shot. Of all the East Coast States, New Hampshire has the shortest coastline, about fourteen miles. New Hampshire is also the only State name the has four consecutive consonants in it (in the same word). Ontario is the only Canadian Province that borders the Great Lakes. Alaska has the longest border with Canada of all the fifty states. Montana has the longest border with Canada of the lower forty-eight States. Montana also borders the most Canadian Provinces of all the fifty states. It borders three of them. Arkansas is the only US State that begins with "a" but does not end with "a". All the other States that begin with "a", Arizona, Alabama and Alaska, also end with "a". Only three angels are mentioned by name in the Bible: Gabriel, Michael, and Lucifer. Dr. Seuss pronounced "Seuss" such that it rhymed with "rejoice." Wilma Flinestone's maiden name was Wilma Slaghoopal, and Betty Rubble's Maiden name was Betty Jean Mcbricker. Lenny Kravitz's mother played the part of "Helen" on "The Jeffersons." The term "devil's advocate" comes from the Roman Catholic church. When deciding if someone should become a saint, a devil's advocate is always appointed to give an alternative view. Compact discs read from the inside to the outside edge, the reverse of how a record works. The term "Mayday" used for signaling for help (after SOS), it comes from the French term "M'aidez" which is pronounced "MayDay" and means, "Help Me" Grapes explode when you put them in the microwave.

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The Great Chicago Fire of 1871 did start in a barn belonging to Patrick and Katherine O'Leary. The O'Leary's house was one of the few that survived the fire. The O'Leary's house had to be guarded by soldiers for weeks afterwards, however, because many enraged residents wanted to burn it down. The biggest bell is the "Tsar Kolokol" cast in the Kremlin in 1733. It weighs 216 tons, but alas, it is cracked and has never been rung. The bell was being stored in a Moscow shed which caught fire. To "save" it the caretakers decided to throw water on the bell. This did not succeed in -- the water hit the superheated metal and a giant piece immediately cracked off, destroying the bell forever. A pregnant goldfish is called a twit. The smallest mountain range in the world is outside of Marysville, California and is named the Sutter Buttes. The Ramses brand condom is named after the great phaoroh Ramses II who fathered over 160 children. Many species of bird copulate in the air. In general, a couple will fly to a very high altitude, and then drop. During their descent, the birds mate. Sometimes the couple gets too involved and SPLAT! If NASA sent birds into space they would soon die because they need gravity to swallow. There is a seven letter word in the English language that contains ten words without rearranging any of its letters, "therein": the, there, he, in, rein, her, here, here, ere, therein, herein. You would have to count to one thousand to use the letter "A" in the English language to spell a whole number. The only member of the band ZZ Top without a beard has the last name Beard. Ants cannot chew their food, they move their jaws sidewards, like a scissor, to extract the juices from the food. The letters H I O X in the latin alphabet is the only ones that look the same if you turn them upside down or see them from behind. The little hole in the sink that lets the water drain out, instead of flowing over the side, is called a "porcelator". When the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers play football at home to a sellout crowd, the stadium becomes the state's third largest city. In Casablanca, Humphrey Bogart never said "Play it again, Sam." Sherlock Holmes never said "Elementary, my dear Watson." Captain Kirk never said "Beam me up, Scotty," but he did say, "Beam me up, Mr. Scott". Duelling is legal in Paraguay as long as both parties are registered blood donors. More people are killed annually by donkeys than die in air crashes. The metal part of a lamp that surrounds the bulb and supports the shade is called a harp. The metal part at the end of a pencil is twenty percent sulfur. John Larroquette of "Night Court" and "The John Larroquette Show" was the narrator of "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre." Vietnamese currency consists only of paper money; no coins. Vincent Van Gogh sold exactly one painting while he was alive, Red Vineyard at Arles.

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A pig's orgasm lasts for 30 minutes. A pig's penis is shaped like a corkscrew. It is physically impossible for pigs to look up into the sky. Skin is thickest is at the back -- 1/6 of an inch. The most sensitive finger is the forefinger. Alaska is the most northern, western and eastern state; it also has the highest latitude,the most eastern longitude and the most western longitude. Some of Beethoven's symphonies were performed in Kentucky before they were performed in Paris, France. The word denim comes from 'de Nimes', or from Nimes, a place in France. Dublin comes from the Irish Dubh Linn which means Blackpool Scottish is the language called Gaelic, whereas Irish is actually called Gaeilge. The characters Bert and Ernie on Sesame Street were named after Bert the cop and Ernie the taxi driver in Frank Capra's "Its A Wonderful Life" A penguin only has sex twice a year. Mr. Spock's (of Star Trek) blood type was T-Negative The Dutch town of Abcoude is the only reasonably sized town/city in the world whose name begins with ABC. A dragonfly has a lifespan of 24 hours. A goldfish has a memory span of three seconds. New Jersey has a spoon museum featuring over 5,400 spoons from every state and almost every country. Eleven square miles of southwest Kentucky (Fulton County) is cut off from the rest of the state by the Mississippi River. If you wish to travel from this cut off section to the rest of the state or vice-versa, you must first cross a bordering state. Point Roberts in Washington State is cut off from the rest of the state by British Columbia, Canada. If you wish to travel from Point Roberts to the rest of the state or vice versa, you must pass through Canada, including Canadian and U.S. customs A quarter has 119 grooves around the edge. A dime has 118 ridges around the edge. The only city in the United States to celebrate Halloween on the October 30 instead of October 31 is Carson City, Nevada. October 31 is Nevada Day and is celebrated with a large stret party. On an American one-dollar bill, there is an owl in the upper left-hand corner of the "1" encased in the "shield" and a spider hidden in the front upper right-hand corner. No words in the English language rhyme with orange, silver or purple.

A peanut is not a nut; it is a legume. It's impossible to sneeze with your eyes open. "Evian" spelled backvards is naive. The plastic things on the end of shoelaces are called aglets. Maine is the toothpick capital of the world. "Bookkeeper" and "bookkeeping" are the only words in the English language with three consecutive double letters. Paul McCartney's mother was a midwife. The flag of the Philippines is the only national flag that is flown differently during times of peace or war. The phrase "sleep tight" originated when mattresses were set upon ropes woven through the bed frame. To remedy sagging ropes, one would use a bed key to tighten the rope. It was discovered on a space mission that a frog can throw up. The frog throws up it's stomach first, so the stomach is dangling out of it's mouth. Then the frog uses it's forearms to dig out all of the stomach's contents and then swallows the stomach back down again. The A&W of root beer fame stands for Allen and Wright. A baby eel is called an elver, a baby oyster is called a spat. Bingo is the name of the dog on the Cracker Jack box. The arteries and veins surrounding the brain stem called the "circle of Willis" looks like a stick person with a large head. Welsh mercenary bowmen in the medieval period only wore one shoe at a time. On a trip to the South Sea islands, French painter Paul Gauguin stopped off briefly in Central America, where he worked as a laborer on the Panama Canal. The Ganges River in India boasts the only genuine fresh-water sharks in the entire world. The gene for the Siamese coloration in animals such as cats, rats or rabbits is heat sensitive. Warmth produces a lighter color than does cold.

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Putting tape temporarily on Siamese rabbit's ear will make the fur on that ear lighter than on the other one. There are only 12 letters in the Hawaiian alphabet. Charles de Gaulle's final words were, "It hurts." The words 'sacrilegious' and 'religion' do not share the same etymological root. "John has a long moustache" was the coded-signal used by the French Resistance in WWII to mobilize their forces once the Allies had landed on the Normandy beaches. Gatorade was named for the University of Florida Gators where it was first developed. Brooklyn is the Dutch name for "broken valley" There are four states where the first letter of the capital city is the same letter as the first letter of the state: Dover, Delaware; Honolulu, Hawaii; Indianapolis, Indiana; and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. There are four cars and eleven lightposts on the back of a ten-dollar bill. Venetian blinds were invented in Japan. The Battle of Bunker Hill was fought at neighbouring Breed's Hill. Former US Senator Barry Goldwater attended the opening night ceremonies and festivities at Bugsy Siegel's famous Las Vegas casino. They left him out of the movie Bugsy. He is pissed. Armored knights raised their visors to identify themselves when they rode past their king. This custom has become the modern military salute. ABBA got their name by taking the first letter from each of their first names (Agnetha, Bjorn, Benny, Anni-frid.) The first electric Christmas lights were created by a telephone company PBX installer. Back in the old days, candles were used to decorate Christmas trees. This was obviously very dangerous. Telephone employees are trained to be safety concious. This installer took the lights from an old switchboard, connected them together, strung them on the tree, and hooked them to a battery.

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White Out was invented by the mother of Mike Nesmith (Formerly of the Monkees) The "huddle" in football was formed due a deaf football player who used sign language to communicate and his team didn't want the opposition to see the signals he used and in turn huddled around him. There is no such thing as naturally blue food, even blueberries are purple. In the 1983 film "JAWS 3D" the shark blows up. Some of the shark guts were the stuffed ET dolls being sold at the time. Walt Disney had wooden teeth. The hundred billionth crayon made by Crayola was Perriwinkle Blue. Montana mountain goats will butt heads so hard their hooves fall off. The coast line around Lake Sakawea in North Dakota is longer than the California coastline along the Pacific Ocean Sylvia Miles had the shortest performance ever nominated for an Oscar with "Midnight Cowboy." Her entire role lasted only six minutes. The legbones of a bat are so thin that no bat can walk. Kitsap County, Washington, was originally called Slaughter County, and the first hotel there was called the Slaughter House. Seattle, Washington, like Rome, was built on seven hills. Dinosaur droppings are called coprolites, and are actually fairly common. School busses in the United States are Chrome Yellow and used to be Omaha Orange. The Beatles song "Dear Prudence" was written about Mia Farrow's sister, Prudence, when she wouldn't come out and play with Mia and the Beatles at a religious retreat in India. The tailless dinner jacket was invented in Tuxedo Park, New York. Thus it is called the "tuxedo dinner jacket" and is named after the town...not the other way around.

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The state of Maryland has no natural lakes. Cranberries are sorted for ripeness by bouncing them; a fully ripened cranberry can be dribbled like a basketball. The giant squid has the largest eyes in the world. Rhode Island is the smallest state with the longest name. The official name, used on all state documents, is Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. The chemical formula for Rubidium Bromide is RbBr. It is the only chemical formula known to be a palindrome! St. Paul, Minnesota was originally called Pigs Eye after a man who ran a saloon there. The first letters of the months July through November, in order, spell the name JASON. The first letters of the names of the Great Lakes spell HOMES. The numbers '172' can be found on the back of the U.S. $5 dollar bill in the bushes at the base of the Lincoln Memorial. Soldiers from every country salute with their right hand. Moisture, not air, causes superglue to dry. Charles Lindbergh took only four sandwiches with him on his famous transatlantic flight. Sarsaparilla is the root that flavors root beer. The U.S. Mint in Denver, Colorado is the only mint that marks its pennies. A full moon always rises at sunset. If you are locked in a completely sealed room, you will die of carbon dioxide poisoning first before you will die of oxygen deprivation. Moon was Buzz Aldrin's mother's maiden name. (Buzz Aldrin was the second man o n the moon in 1969.) The only two Southern state capitals not occuppied by Northern troops during the American Civil War were Austin, Texas and Tallahasse, Florida. Rabbits love licorice. Ogdensburg, New York is the only city in the United States situated on the St. Lawrence River. Rene Descartes came up with the theory of coordinate geometry by looking at a fly walk across a tiled ceiling.

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Kelsey Grammar sings and plays the piano for the theme song of Fraiser. Alan Thicke, the father in the TV show GrowingPains wrote the theme songs for The Facts of Life and Diff'rent Strokes. If a statue in the park of a person on a horse has both front legs in the air, the person died in battle; if the horse has one front leg in the air, the person died as a result of wounds recieved in battle; if the horse has all four legs on the ground, the person died of natural causes. In 1963, baseball pitcher Gaylord Perry remarked, "They'll put a man on the moon before I hit a home run." On July 20, 1969, a few hours after Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon, Gaylord Perry hit his first, and only, home run. The language Malayalam, spoken in parts of India, is the only language whose name is a palindrome. Panama hats come from Ecuador not Panama. Urea is found in humnan urine and dalmatian dogs and nowhere else. Human birth control pills work on gorillas. The Earl of Condom was a knighted personal physician to England's King Charles II in the mid-1600's. The Earl was requested to produce a method to protect the King from syphillis.(Charles the II's pleasure-loving nature was notorious.) The result should be obvious. Cheryl Ladd (of Charlie's Angels fame) played the voice, both talking and singing, of Joise in the 70s Saturday morning cartoon "Josie and the Pussycats." Lynyrd Skynard was the name of the gym teacher of the boys who went on to form that band. He once told them, "You boys ain't never gonna to nothin'." M & M's were developed so that soldiers could eat candy without getting their fingers sticky. Richard Nixon's favorite drink was a dry martini. The Grateful Dead were once called The Warlocks. The license plate number of the Volkswagon that appeared on the cover of the Beatles Abbey Road album was 281F. Pinocchio was made of pine. An ant lion is neither an ant nor a lion. Jethro Tull is not the name of the rock singer/flautist responsible for such songs as "Aqualung" and "Thick as a Brick." Jethro Tull is the name of the band. The singer is Ian Anderson. The original Jethro Tull was an English horticulturalist who invented the seed drill. Gilligan of Gilligan's Island had a first name that was only used once, on the never- aired pilot show. His first name was Willy. The skipper's real name on Gilligan's Island is Jonas Grumby. It was mentioned once in the first episode on their radio's newscast about the wreck. The Professor's real name was Roy Hinkley, Mary Ann's last name was Summers and Mrs. Howell's maiden name was Wentworth. Neck ties were first worn in Croatia. That's why they were called cravats (CRO-vats). Alma mater means bountiful mother.

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A Holstein's spots are like fingerprints -- no two cows have the same pattern of spots. Glass flutes do not expand with humidity so their owners are spared the nuisance of tuning them. Jersey (in the Channel Islands, UK) was the only place that the Nazi's occupied in Great Britain during World War II. Top English soccer club Liverpool were formed because their local enemies, Everton, couldn't pay the rent for their stadium. Therefore Liverpool took over at the stadium (Anfield) and became England's top soccer team ever. The male gypsy moth can "smell" the virgin female gypsy moth from 1.8 miles away. In England, the Speaker of the House is not allowed to speak. Playing cards were issued to British pilots in WWII. If captured, they could be soaked in water and unfolded to reveal a map for escape. The "Hallelujah Chorus" fits into the Easter portion of Handel's Messiah, not Christmas. Over 30 million people in the US "suffer" from Diastima. Diastima is having a gap between your front teeth. In 1976 Sarah Caldwell became the first woman to conduct the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. Carnivorous animals will not eat another animal that has been hit by a lightning strike. Reindeer milk has more fat than cow milk.

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The "L.L." in L.L. Bean stands for Leon Leonwood. Libya is the only country in the world with a solid, single-colored flag -- it's green. Seoul, the South Korean capital, just means "the capital" in the Korean language. Ivory bar soap floating was a mistake. They had been overmixing the soap formula causing excess air bubbles that made it float. Customers wrote and told how much they loved that it floated, and it has floated ever since. The original fifty cent piece in Australian decimal currency had around $2.00 worth of silver in it before it was replaced with a less expensive twelve sided coin. "Studies show that if a cat falls off the seventh floor of a building it has about thirty percent less chance of surviving than a cat that falls off the twentieth floor. It supposedly takes about eight floors for the cat to realise what is occuring, relax and correct itself. At about that height it hits maximum speed and when it hits the ground it's rib cage absorbs most of the impact. So throw your cat off a building today!" There are eight different sizes of champagne bottle and the largest is called a Nebuchadnezzar (after the Biblical king who put Daniel's three friends into the oven). The letters KGB stand for Komitet Gosudarstvennoy Bezopasnosti.

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The female ferret is referred to as a `jill'. The word rodent comes from the Latin word `rodere' meaning to gnaw. Australian Rules Football was originally designed to give cricketers something to play during the off season. Alexander the Great was an epileptic. The lead singer of The Knack, famous for "My Sharona," and Jack Kevorkian's lead defense attorney are brothers, Doug & Jeffrey Feiger. Elizabeth Bacon Custer, wife of "The Boy General" is one of the few women buried at the U.S. Military academy at West Point, New York. "Freelance" comes from a knight whose lance was free for hire, i.e. not pledged to one master.) The only bone not broken so far during any ski accident is one located in the inner ear. The name for Oz in the "Wizard of Oz" was thought up when the creator, Frank Baum, looked at his filing cabinet and saw A-N, and O-Z, hence "Oz." There are ten human body parts that are only three letters long: Eye, Ear, Leg, Arm, Jaw, Gum, Toe, Lip, Hip and Rib. Michigan was the first state to have roadside picnic tables. Elvis had a twin brother named Jesse Garon, who died at birth, which is why Elvis' middle name was spelled Aron; in honor of his brother. Fitchburg, Massachusetts is the second hillest city in the US. During WWII the city of Leningrad underwent a seventeen month German seige. Unable to access the city by roads, the Russians built a railroad across the ice on Lake Lagoda to get food and supplies to the citizens. The microwave was invented after a researcher walked by a radar tube and a chocolate bar melted in his pocket.


Thomas Edison got patents for a method of making concrete furniture and a cigar which was supposed to burn forever Elton John's real name is Reginald Dwight. Elton comes from Elton Dean, a Bluesology sax player. John comes from Long John Baldry, founder of Blues Inc. They were the first electric white blues band ever seen in England--1961 Elton John's uncle was a professional soccer player. He broke his leg playing for Nottingham Forest in the 1959 English FA Cup Final. The saying "it's so cold out there it could freeze the balls off a brass monkey" came from when they had old cannons like ones used in the Civil War. The cannonballs were stacked in a pyramid formation, called a brass monkey. When it got extremely cold outside they would crack and break off... Thus the saying. Horses cannot vomit. Rabbits cannot vomit. The word "Boondocks" comes from the Tagalog (Filipino) word "Bundok," which means mountain.

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Your stomach has to produce a new layer of mucus every two weeks otherwise it will digest itself. The "chapters" of the New Testament were not there originally. When monks in medieval times translated it from the Greek, they numbered the pages in each "book." Coca-Cola contains neither coca nor cola. Yucatan, as in the peninsula, is from Maya "u" + "u" + "uthaan," meaning "listen to how they speak," what the Maya said when they first heard the Spaniards. The term, "It's all fun and games until someone loses an eye" is from Ancient Rome. The only rule during wrestling matches was, "No eye gouging." Everything else was allowed, but the only way to be disqualified is to poke someone's eye out. The original plan for Disneyland included a Lilliputland. S.O.S. doesn't stand for "Save Our Ship" or "Save Our Souls" -- It was just chosen by an 1908 international conference on Morse Code because the letters S and O were easy to remember and just about anyone could key it and read it, S = dot dot dot, O = dash dash dash.. The word "moose" was originally Algonquin. The Sanskrit word for "war" means "desire for more cows." The "ZIP" in Zip Code stands for "Zone Improvement Plan." Pocahontas appeared on the back of the $20 bill in 1875. When a female horse and male donkey mate, the offspring is called a mule, but when a male horse and female donkey mate, the offspring is called a hinny. The way to get more mules is to mate a male donkey with a female horse. A donkey will sink in quicksand but a mule won't. Crickets hear through their knees. Turnips turn green when sunburnt. Pigs, walruses and light-colored horses can be sunburned. A type of jellyfish found off the coast of England is the longest animal in the world. When Voyager 2 visited Neptune it saw a small irregular white cloud that zips around Neptune every sixteen hours or so now known as "The Scooter". Crows have the largest cerebral hemispheres, relative to body size, of any avian family. Martha's Vineyard once had its own dialect of Sign Language. One deaf person arrived in 1692 and after that there was a relatively large genetically deaf population that had their own particular dialect of sign language. From 1692-1910 nearly all hearing people on the island were bilingual in sign language and English. Mr. Rogers is an ordained minister. Hugh "Ward Cleaver" Beaumont was an ordained minister. Sir Isaac Newton was an ordained priest in the Church of England. St. Bernard is the patron saint of skiers.

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The Old English word for "sneeze" is "fneosan." John Lennon's first girlfriend was named Thelma Pickles. According to the ceremonial customs of Orthodox Judaism, it is officially sundown when you cannot tell the difference between a black thread and a red one. A 'jiffy' is an actual unit of time for 1/100th of a second. Woodpecker scalps, porpoise teeth and giraffe tails have all been used as money. Cyano-acrylate glues (Super glues) were invented by accident. The researcher was trying to make optical coating materials, and would test their properties by putting them between two prisms and shining light through them. When he tried the cyano-acrylate, he couldn't get the prisms apart Most of the little schoolhouses in the U.S. of yesteryear were painted red because red was the least expensive paint color. Elizabeth I of England suffered from anthophobia, a fear of roses. Almost half the bones in your body are in your hands and feet. A flamingo can eat only when its head is upside down. Dalmatian dogs are born pure white, they don't start getting spots until they are three or four days old. The growth rate of some bamboo plants can reach three feet (91.44 cm) per day. The Los Angeles Rams were the first U.S. football team to introduce emblems on their helmets. The average person falls asleep in seven minutes. The average garden variety caterpillar has 248 muscles in its head. An elephant can be pregnant for up to two years. The two quickest goals scored in the NHL were three seconds apart. Dartboards are made out of horsehairs. Your left lung is smaller than your right lung to make room for your heart. 'Crack' gets it name because it crackles when you smoke it. (This useless fact is dedicated, with love, to A.G.) Heroin is the brand name of morphine once marketed by Bayer. Marijuana is Spanish for 'Mary Jane.' One of the many Tarzans, Karmuela Searlel, was mauled to death on the set by a raging elephant. Slinkys were invented by an airplane mechanic; he was playing with engine parts and realized the possible secondary use of one of the springs. U.S. Interstates which go north-south are numbered sequentially starting from the west with odd numbers, and Interstates which go east-west are numbered sequentially starting from the south with even numbers. Today's cattle are descended from two species: wild aurochs -- fierce and agile herd animals that populated Asia, North Africa and Europe -- and eotragus -- an antelope-like, Asian forest creature. Ballroom dancing is a major at Brigham Young University.

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Professional ballerinas use about twelve pairs of toe shoes per week. The anteater, aardvark, spiny anteater (echidna), and scaly anteater (pangolin) are completely unrelated - in fact, the closest relatives to anteaters are sloths and armadillos, the closest relative to the spiny anteater is the platypus, and the aardvark is in an order all by itself. There are 336 dimples on a regulation golf ball. Octopi have gardens. The Beatles song "Martha My Dear" was written by Paul McCartney about his sheepdog Martha. "Ever think you're hearing something in a song, but they're really singing something else? The word formis-heard lyrics is 'mondegreen,' and it comes from a folk song in the '50's. The singer was actually singing "They slew the Earl of Morray and laid him on the green," but this came off sounding like 'They slew the Earl of Morray and Lady Mondegreen.'" A walla-walla scene is one where extras pretend to be talking in the background -- when they say "walla-walla" it looks like they are actually talking. The phrase "rule of thumb" is derived from an old English law which stated that you couldn't beat your wife with anything wider than your thumb. The youngest letters in the English language are "j," "v" and "w." The Australian $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 notes are made out of plastic. Cranberry Jello is the only jello flavor that comes from real fruit, not artificial flavoring. The oldest exposed surface on earth is New Zealand's south island. John Lennon's assassin was carrying a copy of "The Catcher in the Rye" when he shot the famous Beatle in 1980. Don MacLean's song "American Pie" was written about Buddy Holly, The Big Bopper, and Ritchie Valens. All three were on the same plane that crashed. A game of pool is referred to as a "frame." Impotence is legal grounds for divorce in 24 American states. The Declaration of Independence was written on hemp paper. Some biblical scholars believe that Aramaic (the language of the ancient Bible) did not contain an easy way to say "many things" and used a term which has come down to us as 40. This means that when the bible -- in many places -- refers to "40 days," they meant many days. 101 Dalmatians and Peter Pan (Wendy ) are the only two Disney cartoon features with both parents that are present and don't die throughout the movie.

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The Soviet Sukhoi-34 is the first strike fighter with a toilet in it. They Might Be Giants is the first modern band with an Accordion and a Glockenspiel Napoleon constructed his battle plans in a sandbox. 'Strengths' is the longest word in the English language with just one vowel. 'Stewardesses' is the longest word that is typed with only the left hand. One of the longest English words that can be typed using the top row of a typewriter (allowing multiple uses of letters) is 'typewriter.' When a giraffe's baby is born it falls from a height of six feet, normally without being hurt. Virgina Woolf wrote all her books standing. The tango originated as a dance between two men (for partnering practice). Leon Trotsky, the seminal Russian Communist, was assassinated in Mexico with an ice-pick. The Bronx, New York got its name from explorer Henry Bronk. The Kentucky Derby is the oldest continually held sports event in the United States (1875); the second oldest is the Westminister Kennel Club Dog Show (1876.) "Video Killed the Radio Star" was the very first video ever played on MTV. The pitches that Babe Ruth hit for his last-ever homerun and that Joe DiMaggio hit for his first-ever homerun where thrown by the same man. The native tribe of Tierra del Fuego has a language so guttural it cannot have an alphabet. A family of six died in Oregon during WWII as a result of a Japanese balloon bomb. AM and PM stand for "Ante-Meridian" and "Post-Meridian," respectively, and A.D. actually stands for "Anno Domini" rather than "After Death." The penguins that inhabit the tip of South America are called jackass penguins. To "testify" was based on men in the Roman court swearing to a statement made by swearing on their testicles. During conscription for WWII, there were nine documented cases of men with three testicles. Avocado is derived from the Spanish word 'aguacate' which is derived from 'ahuacatl' meaning testicle. Benito Mussolini would ward off the evil eye by touching his testicles. Both Hitler and Napoleon were missing one testicle Stalin was only five feet, four inches tall. Stalin's left foot had webbed toes, and his left arm is noticably shorter than his right. Scientists found a whole new phylum of animal on a lobster's lip. The Baby Ruth candy bar was actually named after Grover Cleveland's baby daughter, Ruth. Grover Cleveland's real first name is Stephen, Grover is his middle name. Every two thousand frowns creates one wrinkle. During WWII, Americans tried to train bats to drop bomb. Swans are the only birds with penises. A whale's penis is called adork. Some carnivores, rodents, bats and insectivores have a penis bone, called a baculum. A barnacle has the largest penis of any other animal in the world in relation to its size. Iguanas, koalas and Komodo dragons all have two penises. "I'd like clarify the comment about iguanas and komodo dragons having two penises. In fact, they have a single penis, but it is split in two (pretty much 'Y'-shaped.) This organ is known as a hemipenes. Snakes also share this interesting feature. Apparently, the dual penis is for ease of left-handed or right-handed mating.

Opossums have forked penises. Some female hyenas have a pseudo-penis. A winged penis was the city symbol of Pompeii, the ancient Roman resort town destroyed by Mt. Vesuvius' eruption. One way to tell seals and sea lions apart is that, sea lions have external ears and testicles. Swahili is a combination of African tribal languages, Arabic and Portuguese. A person from Glasgow, is called a Glaswegian. An enneahedron is solid with nine faces. Most armadillos seen dead on the road did not get hit by the wheels. When an armidillo is frightened it jumps straight into the air. Armadillos can be housebroken. Armadillos have four babies at a time, always all the same sex. They are perfect quadruplets, the fertilized cell split into quarters, resulting in four identical armadillos. Armadillos get an average of 18.5 hours of sleep per day. Armadillos can walk underwater. Armadillos are the only animal besides humans that can get leprosy. Jet lag was once called boat lag, back before jets existed. Sirimauo Bandranaike of Sri Lanka became the world's first popularly elected female head of state in 1960. There are more beetles than any other kind of creature in the world. Velcro was invented by a Swiss guy who was inspired by the way burrs attached to clothing. The hieroglyph for 100,000 is a tadpole. The Phillips-head screwdriver was invented in Oregon. Tomb robbers believed that knocking Egyptian sarcophagi's noses off would and therefore forstall curses. The allele for six fingers and toes is dominant in humans. (Watch out Inigo Montoya...) Polar bears' fur is not white, it's clear. Polar bear skin is actually black. Their hair is hollow and acts like fiber optics, directing sunlight to warm their skin. Polar bears camouflage themselves more completely during a hunt by covering their black noses with their paws. The amount of tropical rainforest cut down each year is an area the size of Tennessee. The face of a penny can hold about thirty drops of water. Medieval knights put sharkskin on their swordhandles to give them a more secure grip; they would dig the sharp scales into their palms. Orcas (killer whales) kill sharks by torpedoing up into the shark's stomach from underneath, causing the shark to explode. The only planet without a ring is earth. Wayne's World was filmed in two weeks. Cleopatra used pomegranate seeds for lipstick. Cleopatra's last name was Ptolemy, and she was Greek rather than Egyptian. The Red sea in the Bible is a long-perpetuated mistranslation of the Reed sea.

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If you feed a seagull Alka-Seltzer, its stomach will explode. The raised reflective dots in the middle of highways are called Botts dots. The Amazon rainforest produces half the world's oxygen supply. The concerti on the two Voyager probes' information discs are performed by famed Canadian pianist Glenn Gould. Reindeer like to eat bananas. Chia Pets are only sold in December. Between 1947 and 1959, 42 nuclear devices were detonated in the Marshall Islands. Boris Karloff is the narrator of the seasonal television special "How the Grinch Stole Christmas." A group of unicorns is called a blessing. Twelve or more cows are known as a "flink." A group of frogs is called an army. A group of rhinos is called a crash. A group of kangaroos is called a mob. A group of whales is called a pod. A group of geese is called a gaggle. A group of ravens is called a murder. A group of officers is called a mess. A group of larks is called an exaltation. A group of owls is called a parliament. Hershey's Kisses are called that because the machine that makes them looks like it's kissing the conveyor belt. The physically smallest post office in the United States is in Ochopee, Florida in the heart of the everglades. Physicist Murray Gell-Mann named the sub-atomic particles known as quarks for a random line in James Joyce, "Three quarks for Muster Mark!" Samuel Clemens's pseudonym "Mark Twain" was the nickname of a riverboat pilot about whom Clemens wrote a needless nasty satirical piece.

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Apparently, Clemens felt guilt later and adopted the name as a nom de plume as some sort of expiation. The phrase does not mean measuring the depth of the river; it means a specific depth, to wit, two fathoms (twelve feet.) Steve Young, the San Francisco 49ers quarterback, is the great-great-grandson of Mormon leader Brigham Young. Money is made of woven linen, not paper A rhinoceros's horn is made of hair. Every time you lick a stamp, you're consuming 1/10 of a calorie. The 80s song "Rosanna" from the Eighties was written about Rosanna Arquette, the actress. Warren Beatty and Shirley MacLaine are brother and sister. Jean Harlow was the first actress to appear on the cover of Life magazine. Sylvia Plath was a famous poet who killed herself at age 31 by sticking her head in an oven. Sylvia Plath's husband, Ted Hughes, was married three times, and two of the women he married committed suicide. Jesus Christ died at age 33. Starfish don't have brains. Shrimps' hearts are in their heads. The derivation of the word trivia comes from the Latin "tri-" + "via", which means three streets. This is because in ancient times, at an intersection of three streeets in Rome (or some other Italian place), they would have a type of kiosk where ancillary information was listed. You might be interested in it, you might not, hence they were bits of "trivia." The first couple to be shown in bed together on prime time television were Fred and Wilma Flintstone. Coca-Cola was originally green. Every day more money is printed for Monopoly than the US Treasury. Hawaiian alphabet has 12 letters. Men can read smaller print than women; women can hear better. City with the most Rolls Royce's per capita: Hong Kong State with the highest percentage of people who walk to work: Alaska Percentage of Africa that is wilderness: 28% Percentage of North America that is wilderness: 38% Barbie's measurements if she were life size: 39-23-33 Cost of raising a medium-size dog to the age of eleven: $6,400 Average number of people airborne over the US any given hour: 61,000. Intelligent people have more zinc and copper in their hair. The world's youngest parents were 8 and 9 and lived in China in 1910.

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The youngest pope was 11 years old. First novel ever written on a typewriter: Tom Sawyer. The San Francisco Cable cars are the only mobile National Monuments Each king in a deck of playing cards represents a great king from history: Spades - King David, Clubs - Alexander the Great, Hearts - Charlemagne, and Diamonds - Julius Caesar. If a statue in the park of a person on a horse has both front legs in the air, the person died in battle; if the horse has one front leg in the air, the person died as a result of wounds received in battle; if the horse has all four legs on the ground, the person died of natural causes. 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. Hershey's Kisses are called that because the machine that makes them looks like it's kissing the conveyor belt. No NFL team which plays its home games in a domed stadium has ever won a Superbowl. (Guess that explains the Saints!) The nursery rhyme Ring Around the Rosey is a rhyme about the plague. Infected people with the plague would get red circular sores ("Ring around the rosey..."), these sores would smell very badly so common folks would put flowers on their bodies somewhere (inconspicuously), so that it would cover the smell of the sores ("...a pocket full of posies..."), People who died from the plague would be burned so as to reduce the possible spread of the disease ("...ashes, ashes, we all fall down!")

Now the Test- Write Down Your Answers to Check Them at the End

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On a standard traffic light, is the green on the top or bottom?

How many states are there?

In which hand is the Statue of Liberty's torch?

What 6 colors are on the classic Campbell's soup label?

What 2 letters don't appear on the telephone dial?

What 2 #'s on the telephone dial don't have letters by them?

When you walk does your left arm swing w/ your right or left leg?

How many matches are in a standard pack?

On our flag, is the top stripe red or white?

What is the lowest # on the FM dial?

Which way does water go down the drain, clockwise or counter-clockwise?

Which way does a "no smoking" sign's slash run?

How many channels on a VHF TV dial?

Which side of a woman's blouse are the buttons on?

On a NY license plate, is New York on the top or bottom?

Which way do fans rotate? Whose face is on a dime?

How many sides does a stop sign have?

Do books have even # pages on the right or left side?

How many lug nuts are on a standard car wheel?

How many sides are there on a standard pencil?

Sleepy, Happy, Sneezy, Grumpy, Dopey, Doc. Who's missing?

How many hot dog buns are in a standard package?

On which card in a deck, is the cardmaker's trademark?

On which side of a venetian blind is the cord that adjusts the opening between the slats?

On the back of a $1 bill, what is in the center?

There are 12 buttons on a touch tone phone. What 2 symbols bear no digits?

How many curves are in a standard paper clip?

Does a merry-go-round turn clockwise or counter-clockwise?

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Answers:

Bottom

50

Right

Blue, red, white, yellow, black, and gold

Q,

Z 1,

0

Left

20

Red

88

Counter-clockwise (unless you happen to be south of the equator)

Towards the bottom

right

12

(no #1)

Left

Top

Clockwise as you look at it

Roosevelt

8

Left

5 6

Bashful

8

Ace of spades

Left

ONE *,

# 3

Counter-clockwise

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Scoring:

30-28 .............Genius...Mensa is calling!

25-27 .............Not too shabby!

20-24 .............You could do better!

16-19 .............McDonald's is calling!

15 or below ... Being blind wouldn't affect you one bit!!

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You said nepal is the only country without a rectangular flag, but the swiss flag is square :)

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The hyoid bone, in your throat, is the only bone in the body not attached to another bone, i dont understand this...

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I saw on Mythbusters -they sneezed with their eyes open

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The part about the boat sailing under a train car and airplane isn't true. There's a place outside of anderson, sc near sandy springs like that too.

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You spelt the word 'travellers' the US way. I passionately loved that spelling because I thought that I would never see it used. Please apologise and forgive me; I am obsessed with the English language.

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Lenardo Davichi (who wasnt really named davinchi, that was just where he was from, Vinchi) invented the revolver for protecting the pope.

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Wow! is this what you do in the summer months? shouldn't you be making toys or something?? Nice to see you though.

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Timothy Leary is my hero

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Interesting, but I would have preferred it in installments...

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I've seen SOME of the facts. It was a daunting task trying to read all of the facts, but I managed to pick out some misleading "facts."" The cruise liner, QEII, moves only six inches for each gallon of diesel that it burns.

www.snopes.com/inboxer/trivia/qe2.asp

Winston Churchill was born in a ladies' room during a dance.

www.snopes.com/history/world/churchill.asp

The following two "facts", I think aren't true. I can't remember where I read/heard the falsity of these "facts." If anyone else knows it, please lead readers to it."The name Wendy was made up for the book 'Peter Pan'. "Wendy is a nickname for Gwendolyn. "Leonardo Da Vinci invented the scissors. "Vikings have been using scissors to shear sheep. Also, being in the northern or southern hemisphere doesn't affect the way water swirls down the drain. What does affect the way water swirls down the drain is the design of the sink.

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That's a very loooooooooooooooooooooong list!

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Wow, how can you write that much in one go

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HA!! I THOUGHT I'D DO BETTER THAN THAT

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Another inaccurate fact is origin of the word POSH. Etymologists know acronyms are a recent invention. They did not appear until around 1910 or 1920 or later. When someone tells you a very old word ie For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge or Gentleman Only Ladies Forbidden is an acronym, the story is not true. True acronyms are modern words such as Radar, Sonar, Scuba

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Thanks, I'll pass that on!

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To answer your question, no. I don't think anyone has seen all those "facts." ...probably not even you. I agree with the above poster citing some as inaccurate as well. I didn't do any research, but U + S = $ is highly suspicious. It looks more like I + S = $. After that, I stopped reading. It can't be interesting when there is large doubt to its authenticity.

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Yea, seen it many times on here. Why don't you stop posting crap like this?

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I didn't read all of your "facts", but I know of 1 that is incorrect. Roberta Flack did not write "Killing Me Softly With His Song". It was written from a poem by Lori Lieberman after she saw Don McLean in concert. Check your facts. How many more are wrong?

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Interesting. But way too long.

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Thanks for sharing Santa! Can't wait to show this to my friends at football practice! AI

Did Aliens Create the Earliest Civilizations or Otherwise Interfere in Our Evolution?

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I think the aliens did not create the earliest civilizations or interfere with or evolution I do believe in them, I think there curious about us, some say they maybe even living amongst us,,and yes we all now about the top secret place wow! I just moved here from las vegas I'm not so sure how TOP SECRET it is ankleman* and I'm sorry the film is ridiculous,,,,also if you take any of our belief system what ever way you choose to believe in meaning the way we all got here: the beginning always sounds ridiculous to even the believers at some point,,,I just don't get the caveman theory I mean e-mail me sell it to me who knows as a christian if it's that good who knows maybe I'll buy it,,,I'm not going to shove mine down your throat,,,but really where did the cave men come from christian don't deny that they were here, I'm actually a baby christian who's 3/4 Jewish by descent (talk about confused ) Yeah! I heard one belief said we came from a leaf that washed up in the ocean from one cell of bacteria, but bacteria is alive,,,how did that come alive? do share? please?

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I'm 99.99% sure we where genetically modified by aliens to autonomously harvest resources for them or/and a genetic experiment on a planet wide scale. The proof is out there it's just not going to get fed to you through the mainstream media. Please before you say there is no evidence do some research people! Most religions where created by aliens to control us. Most goverments are well aware of the constant contact we have had with aliens throughout history, today and tomorrow. The Anunnaki are heavily reported through several civilizations in the history of this planet. This is just one race of aliens that we know about. It's funny seeing the people saying NO without any argument to back it up, brainwashed little sheepies :). The nephilim are also reported a lot, they are giants, Goliath from the David and Goliath story in the bible was based upon the nephilim half-alien species do some research. The truth is too much for some people.

Source(s): These are by far not the best pieces of evidence, books are better. However these pictures are good enough for anyone who uses there head.http://www.egiptologia.pl/gal3/3sakd.jpg

Nephilim bones found www.alien-ufo-pictures.com/gg11.j...

Egyptian painting/carving showing a alien teaching us how to operate a horse and cart. http://specialfarm.net/images/nephilim.j...

alien skull http://www.martianrocker.com/images/alie...

alien skull http://www.alien-ufo-pictures.com/skulls...

alien skulls http://teon.blog.com.mk/system/files?fil...

5000 year old Wandjina petroglyphs from Kimberley, Australia. http://www.bibleufo.com/uabruge.jpg

Summer's Triumph tapestry it was created in Bruges in 1538. Look at the top left of the picture, you can clearley see flying saucers dipicted in the sky. http://www.20kweb.com/weird_stuff/wimage...

A disk shaped object is shining beams of light down on John the Baptist and Jesus. Painted in 1710 by Flemish artist Aert De Gelder. It depicts a classic, hovering, silvery, saucer shaped UFO shining beams of light down on John the Baptist and Jesus. What could have inspired the artist to combine these two subjects? http://www.crystalinks.com/maryufoclose....

This painting is called "The Madonna with Saint Giovannino". It was painted in the 15th century by Domenico Ghirlandaio (1449-1494) and hangs as part of the Loeser collection in the Palazzo Vecchio. Above Mary's right shoulder is a disk shaped object. Below is a blow up of this section and a man and his dog can clearly be seen looking up at the object. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I97miIH4G...

Mexican goverment disclose millitary footage of ufo's and urge Bush to come clean on the matter of alien contact. We are not crazy, the ones who rule out the possibility of intelligent life somewhere else in this vast universe are the crazy ones. If we have the technology to go to space, i believe other planets far more advanced then ours have the technology to travel between solar systems, or even galaxies. Aliens do exist and they have been watching/supervising us since the beginning of OUR time. www.youtube.com/watch?v=O88tqxdMZ...

And finally here is a intresting video from a recent place called "The White House" and a man called "George Bush" standing infront of a alien, this was picked up by several different media companys, while GWB was making his speach, EXCUSE THE POOR MUSIC YOU MAY WANT TO TURN THE SOUND OFF!

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There is no reason to believe that such an interference ever happened. There are no huge gaps in the fossil record, or massive changed in our genetic structure that would require such explanation. The gradual development of our technology and culture, from the earliest stone tools and choppers through more sophisticated stone tools, early metal tools, and eventually increasingly technical developments in metal work (copper, bronze, iron, steel, etc.) all fit a natural progression, without any sudden leaps (i.e. no neolithic adobe villages that suddenly turn into prefab houses with cell phones and running water) until the modern age, when we can easily see exactly which 'alien' culture did the interference. With absolutely no evidence to support such an alien interference model, and no evidence to even support the existence of these aliens, there's no reason to assume that such a hypothesis is true.

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This is such an interesting topic, I personally believe life does exist out in Space, The Universe is too vast to believe otherwise, Manned expeditions is a good way to find out the truth which I would Jump at the chance for, I may know nothing about the Subject but its naive to think we are the only intelligent lifeforms, Maybe I played too much mass effect, but i have a feeling something will show itself, Can someone tell me what you would call the topic of space study and E.t life. I would like to get involved in it, It probably Requires lots of qualification but lifes short and id love to Study it!! plus would the discovery of Alien life make Religion obsolete, I also think this earth has something to hide underneath its exterior, only time will tell and lets hope we all dont get messed up!!!

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No, why can't people just accept we evolved into what we are without it having to be a god or aliens that made us.

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Ankleboo... - its top secret, but there has been a programme on tv about it years ago, lol

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Nope

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This is the FOURTH TIME a civilization has inhabited this planet... at least that's what the people who study these things, say. So it's entirely possible extraterrestrials created at least one or two of the earlier civilizations on this planet.

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The simple answer is no..

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Well in USA there is a section of desert, not disclosed but habours a hanger, inside this hanger is a UFO, and a body long dead preserved of a extra terrestrial being, its top secret, but there has been a programme on tv about it years ago, so maybe that sole life form tryed but died due to our atmosphere not being suitable to his blood, respiratory system.

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Was there some intelligence around that guided our adventure into the goop so that we would come out all individual and genetically so perfect for this role? Who knows? Some of our intuitional brothers and sisters think so and have taken bold steps to determine such an outcome in their thinking. Me? I am a bit confused by the whole thing.

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It would appear so. Unless you believe that a giant being took some clay and moulded a man from it, then taking a rib from that, fashioned a woman.

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I see no evidence to indicate that is true, but if it makes one feel better, it makes as much sense as the all powerful invisable being.

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There is no good evidence for that. The "evidence" that is offered turns out to either be pictures of some sort that we interpret as showing "alien" influence, but are really part of that culture, or is a "I can't believe people so "primitive" could have done this, so it must have been aliens" sort of reasoning.

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Why not,it makes more sense than the religious theory, There has to be something up there, why not other life form?

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The oldest recorded civilisation only goes back 5,000 years ago. Some claim that modern man has been around for 1.5 million years. Where is the history of those civalisations? Some say there is a common ancestor that man and the ape came from. Problem is, there are no skeletons to prove it. There should be thousands of them dug up by now if they are there. If Dino skeletons stayed together for 200 million years, why can't pre human skeletons be found and displayed. Remember the Nebraska man? One tooth, which was later found to be of a pig. In a frantic attempt, they made a whole skeleton from a tooth. I don't trust liers.

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Is It True That Lemon Grass Prompt Cancer Cells to Commit Suicide?

A drink with as little as one gram of lemon grass contains enough citral to prompt cancer cells to commit suicide in the test tube. Seems to come from some Israeli researchers. Can be trusted?

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A drop of gasoline will kill cancer cells in a test tube. The list of test tube cancer cures is very long. Unfortunately what happens in a test tube often, in fact usually, does not translate to what happens in the human body. Here is the abstract of the study you are probably refering to:

Planta Med. 2005 May;71(5):484-8. Links

Citral is a new inducer of caspase-3 in tumor cell lines.Dudai N, Weinstein Y, Krup M, Rabinski T, Ofir R.

Hazeva Research and Development Center, Jacob Blaustein Institute for Desert Research, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva, Israel.

Citral, 3,7-dimethyl-2,6-octadien-1-al, a key component of the lemon-scented essential oils extracted from several herbal plants such as lemon grass (Cymbopogon citratus), melissa (Melissa officinalis), verbena (Verbena officinalis) is used as a food additive and as a fragrance in cosmetics. In this study, we investigated the anti-cancer potential of citral and its mode of action. Concentrations of 44.5 muM, comparable to the concentration of citral in a cup of tea prepared from 1 g of lemon grass, induced apoptosis in several hematopoietic cancer cell lines. Apoptosis was accompanied by DNA fragmentation and caspase-3 catalytic activity induction. Citral activity (22.25 microM) was compared to a reference compound like staurosporine (0.7 microM), in respect to DNA fragmentation and caspase-3 enzymatic activity. The apoptotic effect of citral depended on the alpha,beta-unsaturated aldehyde group.

PMID: 15931590

Looks like citral might cause cancer, lymphoma, in female mice fed citral in their food. What this means, who knows?

Natl Toxicol Program Tech Rep Ser. 2003 Jan;(505):1-268. Links

NTP toxicology and carcinogenesiss studies of citral (microencapsulated) (CAS No. 5392-40-5) in F344/N rats and B6C3F1 mice (feed studies).[No authors listed] National Toxicology Program, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709, USA

Citral is used primarily as lemon flavoring in foods, beverages, and candies. It is also used as a lemon fragrance in detergents, perfumes, and other toiletries. Citral was nominated by the National Cancer Institute for study because of its widespread use in foods, beverages, cosmetics, and other consumer products and its structure as a representative beta-substituted vinyl aldehyde. Male and female F344/N rats and B6C3F1 mice were exposed to microencapsulated citral (greater than 96% pure) in feed for 14 weeks or 2 years. Genetic toxicology studies were conducted in Salmonella typhimurium, cultured Chinese hamster ovary cells, mouse bone marrow cells, and mouse peripheral blood erythrocytes.

14-WEEK STUDY IN RATS:

Groups of 10 male and 10 female F344/N rats were fed diets containing starch microcapsules with a load of 31.3% citral. The concentration of citral in the diet was 3,900, 7,800, 15,600, or 31,300 ppm microencapsulated citral (equivalent to average daily doses of approximately 345, 820, 1,785, and 1,585 mg citral/kg body weight to males and 335, 675, 1,330, and 2,125 mg/kg to females) for 14 weeks. Additional groups of 10 male and 10 female rats received untreated feed (untreated controls) or feed containing placebo microcapsules (vehicle controls). In the second week of the study, all rats in the 31,300 ppm groups were killed moribund. Mean body weights of exposed males and females that survived to the end of the study were generally significantly less than those of the vehicle controls. Feed consumption by 15,600 and 31,300 ppm males and females was less than that by the vehicle controls during the first week of the study. Males and females in the 31,300 ppm groups exhibited listlessness, hunched posture, absent or slow paw reflex, and dull eyes. Exposure of rats to citral may have been associated with forestomach epithelial hyperplasia and hyperkeratosis, bone marrow atrophy and hemorrhage, and nephrotoxicity.

14-WEEK STUDY IN MICE:

Groups of 10 male and 10 female B6C3F1 mice were fed diets containing 3,900, 7,800, 15,600, or 31,300 ppm microencapsulated citral (equivalent to average daily doses of approximately 745, 1,840, 3,915, and 8,110 mg/kg to males and 790, 1,820, 3,870, and 7,550 mg/kg to females) for 14 weeks. Additional groups of 10 male and 10 female mice received untreated feed (untreated controls) or feed containing placebo microcapsules (vehicle controls). In the second week of the study, four males in the 31,300 ppm group were killed moribund. Mean body weights of all exposed groups of males and females were significantly less than those of the vehicle controls. Feed consumption by females exposed to 7,800 ppm or greater was less than that by the vehicle controls during the first week of the study. By the end of the study, feed consumption by all exposed groups was greater than that by the vehicle controls. Mice in the 15,600 and 31,300 ppm groups were generally thin and lethargic; a few males in the 7,800 ppm group were also thin. The incidences of ovarian atrophy were significantly increased in females exposed to 15,600 or 31,300 ppm.

2-YEAR STUDY IN RATS:

Groups of 50 male and 50 female F344/N rats were fed diets containing 1,000, 2,000, or 4,000 ppm microencapsulated citral for 2 years. Additional groups of 50 male and 50 female rats received untreated feed (untreated controls) or feed containing placebo microcapsules (vehicle controls). Dietary concentrations of 1,000, 2,000, and 4,000 ppm delivered average daily doses of approximately 50, 100, and 210 mg/kg to males and females. Survival of all exposed groups of males was significantly greater than that of the vehicle control group. Mean body weights of rats exposed to 4,000 ppm were generally less than those of the vehicle controls from week 49 (males) or 25 (females) to the end of the study. Feed consumption by exposed groups was similar to that by the vehicle controls. No neoplasms or nonneoplastic lesions were attributed to exposure to citral.

2-YEAR STUDY IN MICE:

Groups of 50 male and 50 female B6C3F1 mice were fed diets containing 500, 1,000, or 2,000 ppm microencapsulated citral for 2 years. Additional groups of 50 male and 50 female mice received untreated feed (untreated controls) or feed containing placebo microcapsules (vehicle controls). Dietary concentrations of 500, 1,000, and 2,000 ppm delivered average daily doses of approximately 60, 120, and 260 mg/kg to males and females. Survival of exposed males and females was similar to that of the vehicle control groups. Mean body weights of mice exposed to 1,000 or 2,000 ppm were generally less than those of the vehicle controls throughout the study, and mean body weights of 500 ppm females were less from week 30 to the end of the study. Feed consumption by the exposed groups was similar to that by the vehicle controls. The incidences of malignant lymphoma occurred with a positive trend in female mice, and the incidence in 2,000 ppm females was significantly greater than that in the vehicle control group. Tissues most commonly affected by malignant lymphoma were the spleen, mesenteric lymph node, thymus, and, to a lesser extent, the ovary.

GENETIC TOXICOLOGY:

Citral was not mutagenic in S. typhimurium strain TA98, TA100, TA1535, or TA1537 with or without induced rat or hamster liver S9 enzymes. In cytogenetic tests with cultured Chinese hamster ovary cells, citral induced sister chromatid exchanges with and without S9, but chromosomal aberrations were not significantly increased after exposure to citral, with or without S9. Negative results were obtained in an in vivo bone marrow micronucleus test in male B6C3F1 mice treated by intraperitoneal injection with 250 to 750 mg/kg daily for 3 days. Likewise, no increases in the frequencies of micronucleated erythrocytes were observed in peripheral blood samples collected from male and female mice within 24 hours of the final exposure in the 14-week study. In conclusion, citral gave negative results in in vitro and in vivo tests for genotoxicity, with the exception of the in vitro mammalian cell test for sister chromatid exchange induction

CONCLUSIONS:

Under the conditions of these 2-year feed studies, there was no evidence of carcinogenic activity of citral in male or female F344/N rats exposed to 1,000, 2,000, or 4,000 ppm. There was no evidence of carcinogenic activity of citral in male B6C3F1 mice exposed to 500, 1,000, or 2,000 ppm. There was equivocal evidence of carcinogenic activity in female B6C3F1 mice based on increased incidences of malignant lymphoma.

PMID: 12637974

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I dont believe it. If you have cancer and are undergoing medical treatment, you should not interfere with chemotherapy by using dietary or alternative therapies as they may interfere with the chemical mechanisms of the chemotherapy drugs. NEVER, NEVER, NEVER take anything during cancer treatment without first discussing it with your oncologist.
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Which One Came First, the Chicken or the Egg?

I really need a good answer! This will help me much! Thanks

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Chicken. Evolution states that all animals are created from the starting single-celled organism. Which never laid eggs. Chickens came from Dhinosours which were well before the Chicken egg. so the anwser is Evolution shows the animal to be here before the produced.

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This question belongs in a section on philosophy, as this would classify as that, however, the chicken would theoretically have come first, as something had to lay the egg, but as was pointed out, evolution, states that mutations in a creatures offspring are adaptations that come of necessity, be it genetic necessity, or environmental or any host of other reasons, therefore, the chicken in its current form would have theoretically hatched from an egg, that was laid by its parent, that was NOT a chicken as we know it in the current form, so, that would mean that the Egg indeed came first.

Source(s): Im kinda smart... and know a little bit about evolution and the theories that its based on

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I believe in evolution, so technically the egg would come first because it would be a mutation of a chicken-like creature that lays the mutated egg that contains the modern-day chicken. by the chicken surviving, it goes on to produce more and more chickens, therefore the egg would have to come first to carry the mutation that would lay the eggs of more chickens.

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The bacteria came first . the evolution of bacteria created a chicken over thousands and millions of years the chicken bacteria began as a microscopical prokaryotic cell which developed into a eukaryotic cell, this cell divided and split to form a multi cellular organisational unit of life, over time this unit has changed and developed to adapt to it changing climate till it reached a point where it no longer needed to develop. the evolution is a mutation in a new generation, the egg is simply a reproducing strategy as the cells reproduced by dividing, eukaryotes can not divide. the advantages of reproducing through sexual reproduction is that there are different genetic codes which help keep a species alive as some of the species will have the chromosomes to fight off bacteria. the egg never came first out of no where. however it is indeed the first in its generation to be holding a mutation which can benefit the species long term and bring along more evolution. EG) if some chickens were born really fast runners, and due to this change they were the strongest and healthiest in a bunch they would win the right to mate and pass thier fast genes onto a younger generation and so theres evolution: if it was born really slow moving, this would not go far into evolution as the animal would probably be eaten and not have the chance to mate, or this change could spawn a new development of means of protection . sorry if its so long but thats how long it takes to briefly describe evolution

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The egg. Dinosaurs laid eggs long before chickens were around. All right, I'll be serious. My opinion, egg. Some animal laid an egg. As the animal was being born, it had a mutation in its DNA and the chicken was born. For some reason, the chicken was well adapted for its environment and it survived and more chickens were born.

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There actually is no "definite" egg or chicken. I base my answer in the theory of evolution, so basically, another animal that lays eggs slowly turn into chickens. So none really "came first".

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I believe that the chicken came first. Because when God created the world, he made animals who were already old.

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You will not find a good answer for a childish question.

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Egg. The mutations that led to change and eventually led to a chicken hatching out occured at the cellular level in development, happening in the egg.

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We Are All Going to Die One Day - So Why Do We Bother Doing Anything?

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Best Answer - Chosen by Asker

If you cannot find any meaning in existence, then you have no reason to do anything or to not do anything. If it doesn't matter whether we live or die, then either choice makes just as much sense. Calvin once complains about this to Hobbes. In response to the question about what there is in life that is worth living for, Hobbes says "There's always seafood." So why not take his example and just live for something you really like? And if life is too painful, and you have no family or friends to be hurt by it, you could always commit suicide. I am not trying to be rude by this--I am sincere. But, it is very unlikely that you have no family or friends, and they would be hurt by that, so just live for pleasure. Have lots of sex and eat good food!

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I think we do so much and with such excess because we are trying to avoid the notion of death, which I believe is after all just an idea that we have woven around something that we perceive as being the ultimate threat to ourselves, and as we, like other animals, are instinctively geared towards survival, this terrifies us. Because, unlike other animals, we seem to have built up complex 'selves' around our bodies that have attachments in the form of families, relationships, material possessions, ambitions, and so on, and that allow us to use words like "us" and "them" or "you" and "me" and effectively segregate ourselves from everything. I think that "we are all going to die one day" is just another idea. If we really inquired into what the thing we call death is, then perhaps we would see things differently? I don't know. Maybe I need a hobby! ;)Source(s): My insane teenage brain (or lack thereof.)

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Easy, we cant. Its not like you can easily fly forward in time and stop us from dying. If we keep poulouting theres a BIG! chance we will die sooner, dont poulote, dont die.....well you would but not for a wee while =D starred

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Just because life is finite doesn't make it meaningless. If anything,it adds value to each day. If we were all going to live forever,we would probably all be putting off important things for later,life wouldn't be so precious.

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Because that's what we are meant to do. Everything has it's place (we are forbidden to understand it or we are too shallow) and things somehow continue on regardless. Bad days are always followed by good days. And visa versa. Every little thing you do or don't do counts. Even the simple thing as your birth has a perpose all of it's own. And when you die that too has it's own perpose. I don't see why you feel the need to question mother nature. She has never lied to us.
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Try doing nothing for somedays. Just imagine what it would be if it was the same with every one on the earth, and you would get your answer. Or its just this simple---- We know that we are going to die someday so let us do something by which we could leave our impression on the earth and also make life better and easy for are future generations.

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The interest is an inspiration

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I don't know.

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Your question: If there is an end, why have a start?
The answer: To love, enjoy, take part in everything that comes in between the start and end, It's the only time we have, It's not very long but we have emotions and passions good and bad to drive us through it all!

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We must not count how many days we are going to live but rather we must count that how many days we lived and never died.

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Do you want to die without doing any fight or being in a battle?

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OK, can you spend your life doing exactly nothing?? If yes, then dont bother doing anything.. been trying to do nothing, but it doesnt lasts long, so I do do something, now that I am here.

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We bother doing things because we should want to enjoy the time we have here on earth. If you do nothing, you will be unhappy, poor, etc. Why not enjoy life as much as you can and do things so that when you die, you will have lived.

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Life is precious and death is not. Even the religious leaders who claim that after death, righteous people will get their reward, are in no hurry to get there.

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Assuming Creation is not a theory, we are safe to say that eternity is in our psyche and does not depend on our belief...it is because it just is. If that is the case, the understanding that we are more than the body is innate and though it can be denied it can never be obliterated. Perhaps we bother partly for physical well-being but strife to do the right thing for eternities sake.

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True. It's just that most people refuse to really, truly internalize that they will die... People think that, by doing something, they can understand something, and this understanding will bring them fulfillment, an option rather than birth, pointless action, death

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For some or other day we will die

Why these ego and jealousy

For some or other day we will die

Why to feel this sorrow burning inside

For some or other day we will die

Why this angry on our loved ones

For some or other day we will die

why these disappointments make you insane

For some or other day we will die

Why to feel insecure by crying

For some or other day we will die

Lets hope for the best and leave the rest

For some or other day we will die

Lets live happily and drown our problems

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So before we die we can say we accomplished something worthwhile ? ? ?

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Sit and do nothing for an hour and you will know why. It include not thinking or sleeping. This is not a joke. Its call meditation. If it don't work, try it everyday

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Yes, we all will drop the body, but then go forward with the growth we have gained in this life.

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That's just the way you view it. You can turn the question around and say... If life is the only thing we're ever going to do, we might aswell live it.

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Depends if you believe death is the end I suppose. And also life is there to be lived.

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Because it is the process of dying that gives life it's meaning!

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Try doing nothing for somedays,,just imagine what it would be if it was the same with every one on the earth. And you would get your answer. or its just this simple---- We know that we are going to die someday so let us do something by which we could leave our impression on the earth and also make life better and easy for are future generations.

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Enjoy the ride

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I think we should enjoy life while we have it god gave it to us now use it Suka!

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So we can enjoy ourselves!!! Also to halp others in future generations...ie inventing something, discovering and sharing knowledge

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Because you'll starve if you don't do anything, and it's going to be unpleasant! And because we're all basically afraid of death, so we're trying to put it off as long as possible!

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Because humans have the illusion that by working hard you will be happy and successful. Happiness is an illusion.

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Life is full of choices. Even the decision to stop eating, sit down and let your organs shut down is a choice until the instant that you become too weak to move. In this instance, the options are :

1. Kill yourself.
2. Do nothing and let your body shut down.
3. Meander through life.
4. Act, take hold of your life.

1 is just as futile as any other action, and it (as far as I know, I have no idea if there is an afterlife or not) removes all of the other choices. 2 is similar to 1, but more boring. 3 is as boring as hell. That leaves 4.
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Do We Have an Unconscious Mind?

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Best Answer - Chosen by Asker

There is an unconscious or sub-conscious mind in all humans and YOU can prove it to yourself. The conscious mind is YOU, the part of you that is aware of its existence, its sensory experiences and plans and acts. The unconscious mind is not aware so that YOU know it but is aware as if it were another being and acts. It may be what acts when you dream. YOU can prove to yourself the unconscious mind's existence by realizing that when YOU resign yourself to sleep YOU become unconscious, have no sense experiences and no power to will your self back to a conscious state. You are for all practical purposes in a state not unlike death. But something is there aware (but not so YOU know it) and if your mother calls or YOU have set an alarm clock it somehow senses this (YOU do not hear it at first until some degree of awareness returns) and brings YOU back to an aware conscious state. It will do this also naturally after a time with out an external awakener but YOU don't will it to do this YOU just trust it to do this. YOU have been "reborn"in a very real sense. Good luck with your awakening, good mental health, peace and Love!

Source(s): An old man (75 yrs) who thinks this is one of the great mysteries of existence.

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Indefinately. In Astrology, the 12th house is the dimension of the Psyche that refers to the workings of the Unconscious Mind. These represent archetypal energies that run counter to our conscious awareness of the world and ourselves, and are goverened inwardly. Carl Jung coined the term in his studies, and believed that our collective Subconscious minds create what is known as the Superconscious, the storehouse of memory and a great colaboration of everything that has ever occurred, been thought of, or created, in the history of the universe. These are also refered to as the Akashic Records. Unfortunately there is no 'Scientific' evidence to physically 'Measure' the occurance or existence of such a concept, because it exists on a level of pure feeling, energy in motion. The concept of the Unconscious runs counter to the Scientific paradigm that requires physical evidence to prove the existence of something. Science is ill-equipt to define subterraneaous feelings and impulses as anything but a conglamoration of neural firings and synapses. I would say Sunshine is a metaphor for the conscious or Light forces of the Psyche (conscious awareness, that which is known, the light of day) and leaving one's tears in the unconscious (dark, veiled aspects of the Psyche) for the Sunshine to take, could be likened to the image of an iceberg rising above water level (rising to consciousness or day), to materialise and then melt under the heat of the sun, once again becoming one with the water (unconscious).

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Every person has subconscious mind which works without knowledge of human mind. One doesn't know what's going on in such a mind and without knowing, such person acts, thinks and is surprised on such actions or thoughts.

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I don't know about you but the only time I am unconscious is if I have been hit in the head with a board or am drunk out of my gourd. You me subconscious mind, we all have them. It is the really deep thinking and storage (memory) area of your brain, your brain works on worries or problems all the time even though you might not be conscious of them.

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According to Sigmund Freud, we have all have a unconscious, subconscious, preconscious, and conscious mind. They are different layers of consciousness with unconscious being the deepest or hardest to access and conscious being what's at the surface and what we are completely aware of using. I put them in order (Freud's order). Freud describes the unconscious mind as containing repressed desires and memories and which cannot be easily brought into the conscious mind. I interpret this as the things we have learned in life that influence behavior and thought usually without our realizing. Perhaps if your youTube singer is leaving her tears in her unconscious mind for the sunshine to take she means that she has a generally happy and/or well-adjusted disposition that this sadness won't tarnish. As for personal experience, I have had 'eureka' moments when I wasn't actively (in a mental sense) seeking a solution to a problem. I know my mind works when it is 'off' too because I have woken from a seemingly peaceful slumber to have one of these moments. Even a science teacher in middle school instructed the class to read every test question before answering any because the mind is always working. If that is the unconscious mind working, I don't know. I think that according to Freud that would be closer to the surface, but it's not like Freud could prove his theories. And the mind is different than the brain. I attribute involuntary or reflexive activities like breathing or the heart's works or blinking an eye to physical sources like sensations and chemical reactions. Thoughts and emotions are less easily defined and more linked to the theoretical mind. Though there is a mind-body connection as far as I'm concerned.

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We all have an unconscious mind. How do you think we move our arms and legs, blink our eyes? We don't even think about it--We just do it. I don't know about leaving your tears there because mine are real but I definitely know we all have unconscious minds! :)

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Well each person has a conscious that hold all actions in life. That sometimes explain some peoples perplexing behaviors.
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Some People Says Humans Evolved From Monkeys, So Why is that We Cannot See Monkeys Turning into Humans Now?

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To learn more about evolution, follow the New York Times link below. They have a short video also. If you are interested mainly on human evolution, try the second link. We see bacteria evolving as its environment changes. We also see evolution in agricultural plants. Evolution in human is slower since the rate of evolution is dependent on the age of reproduction (and natural selection pressures). Bacteria under optimal conditions can double every 10 minutes. People need at least 12 years to be able to pass on genes -- good or bad. Some could argue that with modern medicine, natural selection is no longer as strong of an influence, that even "unfit genes" are allowed to be passed on.

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In order to evolve, the animals would have to actually have a complete change of DNA. That is not possible under any circumstances conceivable to mankind, either laboratory, or naturally based. The DNA strands would have to be broken in such a way that it would kill the creature. Also, in the order of clasification, it is impossible for one species to become another. From Kingdom, to phylum, to class, to order,to family there is some cross-overs, granted, but once you get to species, it is impossible to transition from any one species to any other. (For example, it would be hard to turn a cat into a dog, wouldn't it?) A species, by the way, is often classified as a group within a family that doesn't mate outside of that group. Therefore, and this last part is a little personal opinion, it would be physically impossible for any evolution to have ever occured. Mutations? sure. Natural selection? granted. But evolution? I reiterate, by any logical or scientific standpoint, evolution is not possible.

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Your question intrigues me... please add more detail

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That's not how it works. Please, please, read a book.

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Humans have evolved over 5 million years! We are still evolving to this day. Some people are born without wisdom teeth or appendix, this is an evolutionary step. Our jaws can no longer support the third molar, thus more people are being born without wisdom teeth. This is also true about the appendix. There have been many different lines of hominids over the past 5 million years and it takes lots of time for species to evolve not just in one person's lifetime but over many millenium.

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Your first mistake is to assume that humans are the pinnacle of evolution. They are not. They are simply a well adapted bipedal naked ape that is pretty intelligent. A chimp is far more suited to its environment than a human. You could not keep up with chimps in the forest and certainly not in the trees. They wouldn't do so well in ours either. The point is every animal is nearly ideally adapted to its particular niche, humans included. Monkeys don't evolve into people because they are well suited to survive being monkeys. Evolution happens in punctuated steps that proceed very slowly until the niche (environment) changes and then it proceeds more quickly. Particular features are favored in particular environments. Every step in the evolutionary process has to be extremely viable and well adapted or it will perish.

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See, this is what happens when kids are home schooled. Read a book and stop haunting anthropology.
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Can Any Nation Claim Land on the Moon or Mars? Are Those Areas Off-limited to Prospectors?

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I have already claimed Mare Imbrium and two craters, Copernicus and Plato. I saw them one night in my telescope, said they are "MINE" and went to my computer and printed a certificate of title. Afterwards, I googled to see if anyone else had claim to them, and came up with nothing. So, by maritime law, these areas of the Moon are mine! So, keeping with tradition, I am now recruiting an army and a team of contractors to build my new city, from which I will attack and dominate the Earth!

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The U.N long ago designated the Moon as "international territory", just like Antarctica. That means that countries can explore, work, and collect resources from the Moon, but cannot claim land there as sovereign territory. True, there would be no one to challenge a claim on the spot, but what good would it do the claimant? It would be similar to sitting on an acre of woods in the forest and yelling out, "I own this!"

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You can buy certificates of purchase for stars and I'm sure there are people who are selling certificates for plots of land on the moon. Given the fact that the moon landings were simulated in hollywood studios, I'm sure we will all be dead by the time the moon is colonized by future generations.

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The truth? Its b...s--hit. If somebody is fit to go, he will land anywhere he wants and claim its place as his- matter not the existence of any certificate or damn paper. Its a matter of propriety bussiness. If you have it, 90% of the possession is yours. Whoever has the resources to go will have the resources to keep it. At the end, if some precious value is found on the moon, war will be set, and at the end the stronger will keep it+ it happened before, will happen again.

Source(s): Yah right eskeptic. It was a fake, jajajajaaaaaa its the envy that talks. I saw it, and it wasn't fake

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The simple answer is No! The only countries that can claim parts of the Moon are, Fiji, Norway and San Marino. As for Mars, these rights are reserved for China and Andorra.

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The Moon is governed by an international treaty called the Outer Space Treaty.In effect it says that the moon is common property of all nations and no one nation has a right to claim any part of it exclusively for themselves. The treaty governing the continent of Antarctica is similar.

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As in the past the country with the biggest gun will lay claim. But it's no good unless u can go there and exploit it
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I Hear that When Drinking Goldschläger, the Small Gold Flakes Cut Your Throat, Is This True?

It has small gold flakes in it that I hear are in there to make small cuts on the inside of your throat to allow the alcohol to enter your bloodstream quicker. If this is true, is it hard to drink?

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Best Answer - Chosen by Asker

Hello Albinopolarbear ! Nope, it's not true at all; the tiny gold flakes will pass right through you, if you know what I mean ... However, Goldschlager tastes like a spicy cinnamon candy, so that's the only uncomfortable part... it's just like any other flavoured vodka, but with gold flakes ! Enjoy, and have a shot for me ! Love, light, and peace,

Asker's Comment: Thanks, I didn't think it was true, but after a few dozen people told me that over a couple years, I started to think I might be wrong about it so I asked here. I hate cinnamon, so this looks like it isn't my kind of drink. Erika R: It is real gold, I googled it. There's less than a tenth of an ounce, but it is actual gold none the less.

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Nope. That's just an urban myth. The gold really doen't ahve anything to do with the rate of absorbtion. Take if from an old booze hound. and it's no harder to drink than any other similar drink without the gold. Actually, I've never really been certain What the purpose of the gold flakes is. I suppose it is similar to the cakes that I have seen that are covered with gold leaf, doesn't really do anyting for the taste, but there is something about the idea of ingesting gold that is appealing.

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Goldschlager's gold flakes pass right through you system with no problems.

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Gold is too soft to cut you. If that was the desired outcome they would use glass or something, emerald dust or such.

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This is a ridiculous thought. It couldn't be sold for safety reasons if it were true!

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No ... that is just the bs that you were told Gold is good for you there are many meds that have gold in them given for lupus or arthritis

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Yes it's true, and it also cuts your booty pucker on the way out. If you drink enough of it it's also possible that you can poop a gold nugget.

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No, of course not...

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Not going down, but if you have too much it sure feels like it cuts your throat coming back up.

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Never bothered me any. Gold is a soft metal and wouldn't suffice to cut your skin

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That is NOT true, I have drank that alot of times, with no problems. It is 100 proof and strong, so be careful when drinking too much of it. Have fun!

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Can't say I've ever had that problem and back in the day I put away some bottles....you know..I have a bottle of blue nun wine in the collection that has 22k gold flakes in it ...

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Oh my! I would have been dead years ago!

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I think you have heard some propaganda or are starting some vicious rumor. Your concerns are totally unfounded.

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The "GOLD" is actually carmelized sugar. (You don'y REALLY think they'd put gold in liquor do you?) Come on deep thinkers .... argue that!

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Homo Sapiens Have Been Provably Around For a Minimum of 120,000 years? So How Can It Be That Civilization Only Got Started 7000 Years Ago?

Doesn't it seem rather unlikely that people who were in all probability smarter than we are today( Based on the premise that 100,000 years ago stupid people died, whereas now they breed like rabbits), sat around banging flints together for over 100,000 years. I think there must have been some catastrophe or "Global flood" that erased evidence of previous civilisations and that the evidence we are left with is that of the rebuilding of civilisation.

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Best Answer - Chosen by Asker

There are a number of submerged cities that date back to the ice age, but since they were coastal, are now under about 100m of water, due to the ice melting when the ice age ended. There's one off the Bay of Cambay, and there's a submerged stone temple off the coast of Okinawa. The oldest on-land town is Catal Huyuk in Turkey, at 9,500 years. The submerged city off India is tentatively dated to over ten thousand years old. Anything any older than that would be under about 100+ metres of melt water, and unlikely to be found. So any civilisations probably were disrupted by a global flood, in a sense. The European Trypillian civilization was working copper, and building cities about 7000 years ago, but since they were wood houses, they didn't leave much of a mark for us to see.

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Good movie coming out titled: 10,000BC and it explores some fictional ideas for civilizations before we had knowledge of them. They may not have had written records or they could be buried somewhere. Who knows? Very interesting. This concept of rebuilding an entire civilization after a prior one ending was covered in a novella by Dr Isaac Asimov, titled: Nightfall. Ingenious premise and story. It wowed the critics so much that they voted it the very best science fiction story ever written. You may want to pick it up, I think you will find it fascinating. In 1968, the Science Fiction Writers of America voted Nightfall the best science fiction short story ever written prior to the establishment of the Nebula Awards in 1965 and included it in The Science Fiction Hall of Fame Volume One, 1929-1964.

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Things like how the Eygyptians came up with a ready made and workable form of 'writing' (To use the term loosely for heiroglyphs) with no apparent developmental period. How suddenly the incas were able to build earthquake proof stone edifices that have stood for millenia and even now we still struggle. Same with the pyramids (bl@@dy Eygyptians again) in that the Great Pyramids actually appear to have heralded a DECLINE in building standards. Where did the Piri Reis (Turkish guy I think) map originate? It accurately depicts the landshape UNDER the Antarctic ice, which has been there for at least 20,000 years. Ooh, got loads of stuff like that.

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Yes, that happened. Without records, anything could have happened. I wonder if the myths and legends might be based on truth. Maybe technology was far beyond what we have today. They learned to think, some say. But what is thinking? I am not sure just what thinking is. My cat can think. You know, solves problems. Makes lots of decisions and adapts and make adjustments. Tries new ways to get what she wants. Is that thinking. She cannot do calculus or surf the web but she has no need. She only worries about the vicious tom cat that lurks outside. She provides a wonderful example for me to study. Keeping it simple is very appealing. I worry to much and she only worries about immediate threats and, otherwise, gets everything she wants. Am I better off or is she? Thinking and fretting over unnecessary things may be what thinking is. I think Buddha realized the same thing. Cravings for the unnecessary may be a curse. I wonder which of us has the most fun and contentment. She has good mental health but I am not sure about me.

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There were several catastrophes... The most noticable one, was the largest volcanic eruption in the past 2 million years, the Mt. Toba volcanic eruption, 74,000 years ago, which caused a 6-year "nuclear winter" (Mini-Ice Age), during which it's estimated, only 2-10,000 humans worldwide survived! The main reason though, was the discovery of agriculture. Civilization means "City" in Latin. Prior to that, humans were exclusively Hunter/Gatherers, and the earth was plentiful. At the end of the last Ice Age (Ca.10,000 years ago), wild game was sparse, and surviving populations had to be innovative. Planting grain required remaining in the same place for a few seasons. The storable food which resulted, allowed many people to live in one place. Houses were built. Engineering and sanitation were addressed. Field irrigation was discovered...The rest, is History!

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You need a large population to develop a civilization. The more people you have, and can support, the more chance you have of developing a culture. The factors affecting global human population are very simple. They are fertility, mortality, initial population, and time. The US Census Bureau has estimates of the world population throughout history :

10,000 years agoBetween 1 and 10 million
8000 years ago5 million
6500 years ago5 to 10 million
5000 years ago5 to 20 million
4000 years ago7 million
3000 years ago 14 million
2000 years ago27 million
1000 years ago 50 million

http://www.census.gov/

Until 1800, when improved medicine and sanitation was developed, the average lifespan of humans was between 20 and 35 years. Even the introduction of soap has impacted population. Much of the rise in life expectancy has been due to reducing infant mortality. For most of history, children often died, women died giving birth and it was a lucky few that reached old age. Consider the Black Death. It's estimated 40% of the population of Europe died during three years in the 1340s. Throughout history many other plagues likely swept through human populations. It's estimated 90% of the Native American population crash after 1492 was due to imported European diseases. Most human groups, up until the rise of cities, were extended families with perhaps 30 people. All had to work and often were nomadic so as not to exhaust the food resources. One agriculture started. the people became settled. They needed to build storage areas to protect the food crops, houses to live in and needed develop ways to function in larger groups. While agriculture lead to settlements and civilization, it was extremely hard on the people. Grinding grain on stone leaves rock dust in the food. This wears the teeth out. Cavities abounded. Children's bones often show malnutrition. Diseases such as Tuberculosis, yaws, osteroarthritis and syphilis appear. Dependence on crops can be dangerous. It's estimated that some 50% of the calories consumed by the worlds population is from wheat, rice and corn. The potential disaster is shown by the Irish potato famine in the 19th century killed over a million people. The Anasazi civilization fell apart after an extended drought in the Southwest. Sum it up; 100,000 years ago a few thousand (or hundred)modern humans leave Africa. No doubt many died from climate, and disease. The low numbers meant a slow population growth. Limited food resources kept numbers down. There wasn't much time for art and permanent buildings weren't feasible if you'd just be moving on. Agriculture helped produce more food and it lead to building permanent structures.You still need a surplus of food to support non-productive people (priest, soldiers, artists, laborers, don't grow food) Disease could wipe settlements out. Given, people were just as smart then as now. However, they used the first technologies and didn't have the resources we enjoy today. It was a long, hard slog to get to civilization.

Source(s):
http://desip.igc.org/populationmaps.html
http://www.globalchange.umich.edu/global...
http://www.beyondveg.com/nicholson-w/ang...
http://www.hyw.com/books/history/Black_D...
http://www.firstscience.com/SITE/ARTICLE...

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It is believed that there was a cultural barrier that needed to be passed before humans could create tools. Different civilizations took different times to break this barrier. In Africa it was broken somewhat 150k, the rest of the world 40k+. Fact is that while they were anatomically equivalent it took archaic sapiens a while to overcome some of the basic human condition qualities.

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Civilization as a term started that long ago, but humanity has been around for longer.. Civilization is just the organization of our societies. Its when we became "civil" and started forming governments, currency, etc. I love your rabbit line though... True huh?

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It was when agriculture developed to the point that large concentrated populations could be supported with crops that "civilization" started with the formation of cities and specialized production of the necessities of life.

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"Global flood" my 10 foot pole. Even stupid people, at a billion to one odds, can give birth to a Mozart. The beginning of the god problem started 100,000 yeas ago with Baal, and it has been hanging up progress ever since. We would have had the Internet by 1030 A.D. if it werent for the "A.D."

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The previous posters beat me to it. I've always been fascinated by anthropology, and if I weren't such a wimp, I would have gone into the field. But that's the trouble, I was afraid I'd have to go into the field and dig. I'm also lazy.

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INNIT, YA WAT?!! got lite? Me smoke.

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I ordered ham and eggs and what are you serving? Take 12 Tylenol and call me in the morning.....unless a flood shows and Jehovah's witnesses ring your bell again.

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Are you kidding? There's still "human slavery" going on in the world, not to mention savage wars between tribes wielding machetes and knives who attack each other in mass and slaughter thousands of people in one night... Sheesh! In my opinion...we still need to work a little more on getting civilization actually going the way it's suppose to work... We're just babies...and baby?!? We've got a long way to go...dontcha' know...

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Wow I wonder if our brains are any bigger now days than back then? I hope so some of us missed the larger brains of yester year but I get by pretty well I guess.

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If you've read McKenna, he thinks a magic mushroom spore fell from space 7,000yrs ago and the mushrooms gave us the ability to empathize and reason to become human. It would explain a lot these questions as to why so many civilizations and religions have the same starting date. RScott

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I agree that it seems unlikely that ancient civilizations were smarter than us . However for their day the Egyptians and the Inca's were advanced for their day . If not for the setbacks suffered by these earlier civilizations it makes one wonder where we would be today , perhaps a lot more advanced then we now are I would say . Since it's happened many times before the destruction of civilizations that is , the probability it may happen to us as well at some point looms large . For instance global warming or nuclear war may cause history to again repeat itself and all that may be left is a wondering band of survivors without means and quite dumbed down by current standards. This has likely happened many times over the millennium and likely will continue despite our greatest efforts . In essence I believe there will always be forces capable of our destruction which are far beyond our capabilities to stop, however a nuclear war would be an exception.

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I have just read all the previous answers. Now I have an image. A tall, round, Layer Cake. The layers are separated by an assortment of fillings. These fillings are civilizations destroyed, and melted down. The next layer is the new rebuilt civilization. There could be more, or maybe it is finally time, for the icing.

Source(s): The Layer Cake. By me. Veronica

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How Did 40,000 Satellites Get to Be orbiting the Earth?

Apparently there are something like 40,000 satellites orbiting the earth (according to news today about collision risks, when a 13 year old dicovered a gross error in NASAs calcs). Since rockets are not taking off like a bus timetable, how did they all get up there.

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I did read the new correctly, here on Yahoo, thank you - it said nothing about the satellites being space junk.

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Although at the moment it does seem that space junk has been included in this figure.

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They all got up there by being fired there!!

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Yes, good question. There's no way that there's that number of functional man-made satellites up there, so I suspect the confusion lies in the meaning of the word "satellite" - if you include space junk of all sorts, it may be an accurate approximation.

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I shot up an Estes rocket a few years ago that is still unaccounted for. do you think they included that? Or is it 40,001 satelites?

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Shocking isn't it? There are very very many people with access to that kind of technology, mostly business + gov. agencies, but some private institutions too. Its crazy how simple it can be done.

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700 intentionally man-made satellites, the rest is debris and space junk - but all are strictly defined as satellites to the earth, as is the Moon, I assume.

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You know the kids' game where I whisper a story to you, you whisper it to the next person, and so on around the circle until it ends up totally mangled? That's exactly how the news services operate. Here is, as far as I know, one of the earliest versions of this story:

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700 intentionally man-made satellites, the rest is debris and space junk - but all are strictly defined as satellites to the earth, as is the Moon, I assume.

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They must be speaking of substantial items as they were talking about one of these collisions diverting the path of a 200 million ton (metor?)

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A satellite is a mass orbiting the earth. The mass - if you read the news correctly - consists of space junk left by space missions - from gloves to spanners, nuts and bolts - even human waste!

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You know the kids' game where I whisper a story to you, you whisper it to the next person, and so on around the circle until it ends up totally mangled? That's exactly how the news services operate. Here is, as far as I know, one of the earliest versions of this story quite explicitly states: "Much of it is junk with telecommunications equipment that once cost millions now past its sell-by date yet still in orbit." "Collisions, explosions and lost or discarded material from space flights and rockets has resulted in the atmosphere resembling a junk yard with potentially millions of pieces of metal travelling in permanent orbit 20,000 miles above the Earth." These important facts had been edited out by the time you read it.

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When Did the Statue of Liberty Turn Green?

I understand that oxidation caused lady liberty to become what she is today, but can you tell me what year this happened? a secondary question would be: how long after it was shipped from france did it turn green?

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Best Answer - Chosen by Asker

Your question is as simple as how long it'll take copper to turn green. Now, a century ago copper would turn green in 5 to 7 years, due to the high acid content of the air. However, with today's cleaner air, copper loses its bright shine in about six weeks when it turns copper brown. It will take 10 to 15 years to develop a green patina. So, taking that into consideration as the Statue arrived in US around 1885, it should have started turning green around/amidst the 1890s... I believe. RSS Feed By 'cleaner' I meant less oxygen composition. :) Pardons for not realizing that it could be interpreted differently.

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What colour was it before?? I always just assumed it was always the same colour. Interesting question.

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Copper will turn green when exposed to salt air (like it is now in the New York area where it is now)

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About 25 years. Nowadays, it would have only taken about 10 years to achieve the same effect.

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Sheets of copper have been used for centuries for roofing material. I have seen it installed in its original shiny copper color but it turns green within a year. It is the patina, the green layer of copper oxide, that protects it. The S of L is also made of copper sheets, formed by hammering them from the back over shaped forms (a process called repousse). I believe they were painted with some chemical to make them turn green right away, before they were assembled. They do that today, it's called 'patination'. But it is possible they just formed them as bare copper panels, brought them here and riveted them together, and let nature do its job. When the statue was restored in the 1990s, I'm pretty sure they would have had to replace some of the exterior copper. And they would have used pre-patinated panels so they would all match in color.

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How Will the Human Race Extinct?

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Best Answer - Chosen by Voters

Within a million years, the average temperature will be 120 degrees Fahrenheit, which means the Polar Caps will melt, and eventually all the water will evaporate. Like the current conditions on Mars! That is, if we can manage to avoid getting hit by a major asteroid, before then!

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Global warming and how the earth itself will not be able to support human live any longer.

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Mainly because some of us cant do an elementary spell check

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They wont get "extinct" so to speak... but the world will come to an end during the second coming of Jesus..when every human being would be judged for the choices he made in his life..and the wrath of God would be poured out on the unsaved. Believe me it's true! PS. I like what the guy above me wrote...the spell check thingy..haha

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Why Are Northern Europeans (Germanic/Nordic) the Most Respected and Admired People, and Why are So Many of Them Anxious to Deny It?

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I know some northern european people who are absolutely horrible. Perhaps there is just an extreme, ie, they are either really nice or really horrid

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Why do some people think that Northern Europeans(Germanic/Nordic) the most respected and admired people?

I admire people that I know. But truthfully? I do wish I lived in Sweden. Or actually, any northern European state. Especially Austria and Switzerland. Hrm... We've been had! Haha I kid I kid, I want to live in many different places, including northern Europe. But definitely not excluding the rest of the world. Dont get an ego.

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I don't know that they really are the most respected and admired people...Some that I have met seem to believe they are...lol...They're anxious because they may have been brought up to feel particularly entitled...But know that that's not the right attitude...I agree with the other girl though--the ones I've met tend to tell you that you are not really white because you are not really white because you are not descendants of Germanic stock!

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Its not about bragging about being northern European because I am one. I am really comfortable with my place in the world but when you look at this asker's questions- he likes act of white terrorism and what he is really trying to say is that he feels white northern Europeans are somehow superior to other people, and he's wrong. We are all human and deserve respect.

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You're going to get answers to be horrible as nobody is allowed to say nice things about north Europeans. They will tell us that we aren't really white or something else to make us feel bad. The person below me who said north Europeans aren't of Germanic stock so not white. You need to get an education as that statement doesn't make sense in any way. Do you think the only white people in Europe come from the middle of Europe?

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That's news to me. Not that they are a bad bunch of people, of course.

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Since when was that a fact? I think you may be a little bit delusional. They are actually considered the ugliest of people in some cultures, and in others the most beautiful. It depends on the perspective. Beauty wise, in my opinion, I prefer darker more Mediterranean or Middle Eastern Caucasians. While I love Latinos because alot are mixed with Native American and Mediterranean. Though some Nordic types are actually very pretty like Kate Winslet and Cate Blanchett.

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Tall, lean, high percentage of blondes, and higher IQ averages, hmmm.... Its the height of good taste and modesty to downplay ones positive attributes so as to not make others insecure. Though I have to say I think they incure more envy than respect. And no I'm not Nordic/Germanic, just an admirer.

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Can Humans Get Any Calorie From Eating Grass?

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Grass is a green plant like vegetables and contains some nutrients, maybe carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals beside water. So , yes, it is not zero calories for sure.

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I'm sure grass has some energy content. However, humans can't digest grass.

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If an Astronaut is Lost in Space, Will He or She Ever Decompose?

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Depends on the shielding . Marooned in the space, there's a chance that some an-aerobical bacterias would take advantage of the remains. Oxygen- dependent bacterias won't take our body. the result of exposure to radiation will slowly dry the body, or at least a balance takes place, lets not forget that the suit is sealed. But radiation, Idont think so, because the suit is shielded at the end a body wil be momified

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Interesting!! I think the astronaut will die in his suit and will fly here and there. If it is attracted by any star, it would get nearer to it and will burn. Or it may reach a new planet where the aliens will study it or bury it with tears..lol

Source(s): My first assumption is better!

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The answer is, eventually, yes. However, it might take billions of years. The solar light contains very powerful photons (UV, X-rays, even the occasional gamma ray) from which our atmosphere protects us. These photons would eventually disrupt molecules back to the atoms (it's called disassociation). There are also high-energy charged particles which ionise any material they go through (thereby helping disassociation). Then there would be cycles of hot and cold (solar radiation on one side, the cold of space on the other) set up by the body's rotation. This could help in breaking down the resistance of the covering materials and, later, of the skin itself. Heat can change the molecular composition of subtances: it is called cooking Cold will 'freeze-dry' things that contain water (like muscles): the frozen water turns to crystals; the crystals are sharp and will (at a very small level) tear the tissue that contained it; when it thaws again, the pierced tissue can't contain the water and it evaporates away into space. And so on. Some of these processes will take lots of time. And then, in about 5 billion years, the Sun will go 'Red Giant' and the heat will disassociate any remaining molecules.

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A bacterium depends on water and oxygen to survive. All that would happen is that you would eventually be captured by another object's gravity.

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Well like everyone said , he'd be in his suit. Which protects against radiation, and is sealed. So we have to assume the astranaut didnt blow apart, because if he did then the answer would be a simple one.

  • (bare body in space); Would bake till dust from the sun radiation.

  • (sealed suit); Even though death would be from lack of oxygen. Once dead you still have oxygen in your body and millions of bacteria, all of which will be eating you because the suit will keep everything alive. ***You decompose completely, as if you was laying on the ground on earth (but with out the animal and extra critters helping***

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Is it Possible to Send a Satellite into Orbit Around the Moon? Does the Moon Have Enough Gravity to Hold a Weather Satellite?

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Of course it is. In fact there are two satellites in orbit around the Moon at present, one Japanese and one Chinese. But not a weather satellite. There is no atmosphere on the Moon, and hence no weather to observe.

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Yes it is. However, it must be a relatively low orbit, as too high an orbit would cause the gravitational effects of the Earth to pull the satellite out its orbit around the moon. This is because the Earth is a much more massive object than the moon, and so has a greater gravitational force.