Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Because I've got to keep it fresh...

Random facts that I find interesting, courtesy of the World Almanac and Book of Facts, 2005 edition. (Website is here, though it's not as comprehensive as the book itself.) I'll be taking a fact from every 30th page, starting on page 60 and working to the end. Much of the material before p. 60 is a review of events from 2004. With that...

-- The only Secretary of the Interior from Pennsylvania was Thomas M.T. McKennan, who served under Millard Fillmore starting in 1850.

-- People with special medical conditions can obtain emblems for emergency medical personnel by writing to the Medic Alert Foundation, 2323 Colorado Ave., Turlock, CA 95382.

-- The budget for the U.S. Department of Education nearly doubled between 1999-2004.

-- White males over age 55 have the highest median income, earning $862 per week.

-- As of press time, 1,824 animal and plant species were listed as threatened or endangered. Yet only 1,022 were listed as "species with recovery plans."

-- Two blowouts - one at the Ixtoc I oil well in the southern Gulf of Mexico in June 1979 and the other Nowruz oil field in the Persian Gulf in Feb. 1983 - accounted for the world's largest oil spills. Both were listed at 600,000 tons, though the Nowruz spill was an estimate. (Multiplying the tonnage by seven gives a close look at the number of barrels, and there are 42 gallons in a barrel. You do the math.)

-- The longest distance between two major U.S. cities is the Boston-San Francisco trip, which covers 3,095 miles. The only other trip greater than 3,000 miles is Boston to Portland, Ore.

-- Italian composer Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757) is known for his harpsichord compositions.

-- According to a 1998 survey of the 100 Best American Movies of All Time, the following were released in my lifetime: 9. Schindler's List (1993); 15. Star Wars (1977); 20. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975); 24. Raging Bull (1980); 25. E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982); 28. Apocolypse Now (1979); 31. Annie Hall (1977); 47. Taxi Driver (1976); 48. Jaws (1975); 53. Amadeus (1984); 60. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981); 62. Tootsie (1982); 64. Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977); 65. The Silence of the Lambs (1991); 66. Network (1976); 71. Forrest Gump (1994); 75. Dances With Wolves (1990); 78. Rocky (1976); 79. The Deer Hunter (1978); 83. Platoon (1986); 84. Fargo (1996); 94. Goodfellas (1990); 95. Pulp Fiction (1994); 98. Unforgiven (1992).

-- Toby Keith won four awards - Entertainer of the Year, Album of the Year, Top Male Vocalist, and Video of the Year (with Willie Nelson) at the 2004 Academy of Country Music Awards.

-- The average surface temp on Mars is -81 degrees Fahrenheit.

-- E-mail spam dates to 1978 and computer viruses have been around since 1988.

-- Corn, soybeans, wheat, sorghum and hay are Illinois' chief crops.

-- Philadelphia's tallest buildings are One Liberty Place (at 1650 Market St.) and Two Liberty Place (at 1601 Chestnut St.). Go figure.

-- Cap'n Crunch cereal is owned by Quaker Oats, which is a division of Pepsi.

-- Using the mobility of a cavalry, Genghis Khan built the largest land empire ever known.

-- The first U.S. Senators were elected on Sept. 30, 1788. Both were from Pennsylvania.

-- The 27th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was first proposed on Sept. 25, 1789. It was ratified on May 7, 1992.

-- Since 1948, only two Republican presidential candidates have carried Massachusetts: Ronald Reagan (1980 and 1984) and Dwight D. Eisenhower (1952 and 1960).

-- In 2002, Baltimore admitted 6,340 immigrants, more than Orlando, San Antonio and El Paso.

-- My hometown, Lehighton, Pa., lost 401 people since between the 1990 and 2003 Census. I would be one of the 401.

-- Associations and societies that begin with the letter "F" that are based in the DC metro area: Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (Reston, Va.); Farm Bureau, American (Washington); Feminists for Life of America (Washington); Financial Professionals, Association for (Bethesda, Md.); Financial Women International (Arlington, Va.); Fire Chiefs, International Association of (Fairfax, Va.); Fire Protection Engineers, Society of (Bethesda, Md.); Fisheries Society, American (Bethesda, Md.); Fleet Reserve Association (Alexandria, Va.); Food Industry Suppliers, International Association of (McLean, Va.); Foreign Trade Council Inc., National (Washington); Foresters, American Society of (Bethesda, Md.); 4-H Clubs (Washington); Freemasonry, Scottish Rite of, Supreme Council Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of, Southern Masonic Jurisdiction (Washington); Free Press Readership Council, American (Washington); Frozen Food Institute, American (McLean, Va.); Future Business Leaders of America/Phi Beta Lambda, Inc. (Reston, Va.).

-- Tuition at USC is greater than tuition at Vanderbilt; however, Vandy's room and board are $3,000 more. Both tuitions are well behind that of Vassar.

-- Buenos Aires, Cordoba and Rosario are the three biggest cities in Argentina.

-- Gold, timber, diamonds, bauxite, magnesium, fish, rubber and hydropower are all natural resources in Ghana.

-- Page 810 recaps, in color, some notable events of 2004.

-- Chernobyl, site of the world's worst nuclear power disaster, is in Ukraine.

-- Through 2004, the United States won 10 of 19 gold medals in the Olympic Women's 400-meter freestyle.

-- It's common knowledge that Cy Young's 511 wins are the most in Major League Baseball history. But his 316 losses are also a major-league record.

-- The only college football champions from outside the current BCS conferences (including Notre Dame) are Texas Christian (1938), Army (1944-45) and Brigham Young (1984).

-- In 2001-03, jockey Jerry Bailey piloted horses that won more than $22 million each year.

-- Homeschool information can be found on page 699.

Hope you enjoyed it...and learned something, too.

1 comment:

ME said...

Do you have any of the Uncle John's Bathroom Reader books? I can't recommend them highly enough for you.