The Battle of the Button Fly

The Battle of the Button Fly | eklectica.in
At some point over the past few years, every man has, in moments of fumbling, sausage-fingered despair, found himself wondering: Who the hell decided button fly jeans were a good idea and where have all the zippers gone? It’s not just an inane question born of bladder rage. Just a decade ago, aside from a few button fly bastions like Levi’s 501 jeans, the zipper reigned as the longstanding king of denim. And although button flies have made a swift recovery, especially in the finer jeans of the world, their rise has tracked to a good deal of fear and loathing, visible on forums across the internet’s varied dark and light corners alike. So really, whence the button fly?

Source: Button Fly Denim – Best Jeans for Men – Esquire




Rights to all content (text, images, videos etc.) with post source. If you think these are wrongly attributed email us

How the Himalayas Were Formed

How the Himalayas Were Formed | eklectica.in
The Himalayas, which stretch some 2,900 kilometres between India, Pakistan, China, and Nepal, is the world’s tallest mountain range. In addition to Mount Everest, the world’s tallest mountain by peak elevation standing at 8,848 meters tall, the range also features several other mountain peaks over 8,000 meters. It is the only mountain range to boast mountains over 8,000 meters—the runner-up is a mountain range in South America, whose tallest peak is just 6,962 meters tall.

Millions of years ago, these mountain peaks didn’t exist.


Source: How the Himalayas Were Formed

5 Useless Body Parts

The human body has a few unneeded parts. We no longer rely on these organs or structures for any serious function, or they have atrophied or degenerated to the point that they don’t serve the function they used to.

Charles Darwin pointed to these vestiges of anatomy in humans and other animals as evidence for evolution. Eventually, by noting how the vestigial organs in one species were similar to functioning organs in other species, biologists concluded two otherwise dissimilar creatures must have shared a common ancestor. Here are five of the most notable vestigial organs in humans:


The Appendix: This small pouch attached to your large intestine, at the junction of the small intestine, no longer aids in digestion, and none of the 1 in 20 people who have one removed seems to miss it. In plant-eating vertebrates, it remains part of the digestive system. And a study in 2009 found that the human appendix might be useful, serving as an important storehouse for beneficial bacteria, which can’t wait for a chance a case of diarrhea so they can rush to the gut and save you.

The Tailbone: Grandpa didn’t have a tail, but if you go back far enough in the family tree, your ancestors did. Other mammals find their tails useful for balance, but when humans learned to walk, the tail because useless and evolution converted it to just some fused vertebrae we call a coccyx.

Male Nipples: This one might surprise you. Men have nipples because early on in the womb, the gender of a fetus could go either way. Essentially, every fetus starts out female. Eventually, testosterone causes a fetus to veer toward male or female. It’s worth noting that some men have been known to lactate, and men can get breast cancer.

Erector Pili and Body Hair: Goose bumps aren’t just to alert you of cold. And in many creatures, fear and confrontation cause muscle fibers called erector pili to activate, forcing hairs to stand up and make the animal appear larger and more threatening. That would’ve been useful to your distant ancestors, those hairy beasts!

Wisdom Teeth: Little more than a pain for many people, wisdom teeth probably once served a function, scientists figure. But the human jaw has become smaller over time and the wisdom teeth just have nowhere to grow. It’s also possible that dental hygiene is partly to blame. Before tooth brushing, a young adult would have lost many or most of his teeth, and the incoming wisdom teeth would have been timely.

Source: 5 Useless Body Parts | Vestigial Organs | LiveScience

The Perfection of the Paper Clip

It was invented in 1899. It hasn’t been improved upon since.

The paper clip is something of a fetish object in design circles. Its spare, machined aesthetic and its inexpensive ubiquity landed it a spot in MoMA’s 2004 show Humble Masterpieces. This was a pedestal too high for design critic Michael Bierut, who responded with an essay called “To Hell with the Simple Paper Clip.” He argued that designers praise supposedly unauthored objects like the paper clip because they’re loath to choose between giving publicity to a competitor and egotistically touting their own designs. Bierut might be right about his colleagues’ motives, but he’s wrong about the paper clip: It’s not all that simple.

Most everyday objects—like the key, or the book, or the phone—evolve over time in incremental ways, and the 20th century in particular revolutionized, streamlined, or technologized the vast majority of the things you hold in your hand over the course of an average day. But if you could step into an office in 1895—walking past horse-drawn buses and rows of wooden telephone switchboard cabinets—you might find a perfectly recognizable, shiny silver paper clip sitting on a desk. What was then a brand-new technology is now, well over a century later, likely to be in the same place, ready to perform the same tasks. Why did the paper clip find its form so quickly, and why has it stuck with us for so long?

Before the paper clip, there was paper. When it was developed in China in the first century A.D., paper was made from cotton and linen. (Some contemporary paper is still made this way; most currency is printed on it.) This rag paper was expensive to produce, so it was primarily reserved for permanent writing and sewn into bound volumes. Temporary writing—tracking Sumerian accounts payable or inviting a friend to a birthday party in Pompeii—was done in clay or wax tablets that could be wiped clean and reused.

In the 19th century, the invention of wood pulping and industrial paper mills made inexpensive paper widely available; the rise of commerce, bureaucracy, and literacy transformed it into masses of loose sheets of paperwork. The figure most responsible for the creation and care of all this paperwork was the clerk. As Adrian Forty points out in Objects of Desire: Design and Society Since 1750, the clerk was a creature of uncertain status, someone who had attained a middle-class respectability but who frequently lacked both managerial responsibility and a middle-class salary: Think of Bob Cratchit in A Christmas Carol, working endless hours for a thankless boss. These clerks were often surrounded by papers that had to be sorted into cubbyholes or tied into bundles with string. This was a new sort of of urgent but essentially meaningless work. (No wonder Melville’s famously reticent scrivener, Bartleby, was forever intoning “I would prefer not to.”*) And in the shop of Mr. Snagsby, the law-stationer in Charles Dickens’ Bleak House, we get a glimpse of this tidal wave of 19th-century office supplies:

“Mr. Snagsby has dealt in all sorts of blank forms of legal process; in skins and rolls of parchment; in paper—foolscap, brief, draft, brown, white, whitey-brown, and blotting; in stamps; in office-quills, pens, ink, India-rubber, pounce, pins, pencils, sealing-wax, and wafers; in red tape and green ferret; in pocket-books, almanacs, diaries, and law lists; in string boxes, rulers, inkstands—glass and leaden—pen-knives, scissors, bodkins, and other small office-cutlery; in short, in articles too numerous to mention…”

Here in Mr. Snagsby’s inventory we find the most direct precursor to the paper clip: the straight pin. As Henry Petroski notes in his book The Evolution of Useful Things, the pin-making industry was illustrative of the industrialization taking place prior to mechanization. The first chapter of Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations features a passage describing the manner in which the manufacture of iron pins took advantage of the division of labor, with one man drawing the iron wire, another straightening it, a third cutting it, and so on. Smith noted that 10 individuals engaged in 10 different parts of the process could together make about 48,000 pins a day, whereas a single individual working by himself could not make even 20. By the end of the 19th century, this process was so efficient that a half-pound box of pins could be bought for 40 cents. But while iron pins were cheap, easy to use, and disposable, they had the obvious downsides of rusting and piercing, leaving stains and holes in the papers they pressed together.

120521_Design_Paperclip_image3_pinmaking
Plate II of Pin Making in The Encyclopedie, 1762.
Epinglier/Defehrt/Goussier via artoftheprint.com.
What enabled the shift from the pin to the clip was the development, in 1855, of low-cost, industrially produced steel, which has the right balance of strength and flexibility to make tracks, pipes, wire, and nearly every other piece of 20th-century metal infrastructure. Manufacturers could use the new supple steel wire to draw in space, making strong, rust-free hooks, safety pins, clothes hangers, and paper clips. And in the last quarter of the 19th century, patents were issued for nearly every shape of steel wire that could be imagined to be useful.
Cushman & Denison T Pins
Cushman & Denison T Pins patented in 1902.
Image of box via Officemuseum.com.

The paper clip we think of most readily is an elegant loop within a loop of springy steel wire. In 1899, a patent was issued to William Middlebrook for the design, not of the clip, but of the machinery that made it. He sold the patent to the American office-supply manufacturer Cushman & Denison, who trademarked it as the Gem clip, in 1904. Middlebrook’s rather beautiful patent drawing shows the clip not as an invention but as the outcome of an invention: the best solution to an old problem, using a new material and new manufacturing processes. Coiled in this form, the steel wire was pliant enough to open, allowing papers to nestle between its loops, but springy enough to press those papers back together. When the loops part too far from each other and the steel reaches its elastic limit, the clip breaks. This property, however, also belonged to the many other clip shapes developed around the same time.
replace paper clip
1899 US patent for paper clip machine/USPTO.
The Early Office Museum has collected a remarkable array of these. There was the simple and angular Fay clip which, at 1867, is probably the earliest patented paper clip. The slightly intestinal-looking Wright clip, patented in 1877. The Niagara clip—looking charmingly like two clips holding hands—patented in 1897. The more marketably named Common-Sense and Hold-Fast clips of the early 1900s. Some of these, like the bow-shaped Ideal paper clip and the two-eyed Owl clip, can still be found in supply cabinets today. Some of these clips were better for securing larger stacks of paper; some used less wire and were therefore cheaper; some are less likely to get tangled in the box. But the key to the success of the Gem clip can be found in the fact that it was patented first as a mechanism: the shape, which took only three gentle bends and a snip to produce, was easy to automate cheap to produce , and the resulting form, which tidily tucks the sharp ends of the wire away, was lightweight, easy to use, and unlikely to tear the paper it secured.
120521_Design_Paperclip_image4_abunchofclips
From left; the Fay clip, the Wright clip, the Niagara clip, the Common-Sense and Hold-Fast clips.
Patent images via Officemuseum.com.
Once the paper clip was in, the straight pin was out, abandoned to seamstresses and hat-makers. At the same time, its office habitat was in flux. In Forty’s book, he points out that the typical clerk’s desk of the 19th century was backed with rows of cubbyholes: “A clerk seated at a high-backed desk could see his work in from of him and a little to either side, but he could not see beyond his desk, nor could anyone else see what he was doing without coming to look over his shoulder. Such a desk,” Forty notes, “assumed that the clerk was responsible for its contents, and for his work; it represented a small private domain, perhaps with a roll top that could be closed down at any time to secure its privacy.” With the advent of scientific management, which applied the same division of labor found in pin manufacturing to the tasks of clerical workers, permanent filing was moved to a separate department. Paper clips could handle the rest. With cubbyholes no longer necessary, the flat-top desk, with more access to light and air but less privacy, became the standard.

In the years since, the Gem clip has faced competitors offering notches, points, and eyes, but it is still the best-selling form of paper clip. Many of these other paper clips improve on aspects of the Gem clip, but they also raise new problems. Ridged clips, first patented in 1921, grip paper more strongly, but also are more inclined to tear it. Clips with a bent-up lip are easier to slip on, but they make stacks bulky. Other competitors address problems that—frankly—aren’t that problematic. A “time-saving” clip patented in 1992 has two loops on either end, but the time lost by office workers locating the correct end of the clip doesn’t seem to be keeping anyone up nights. And the Gothic clip, patented in 1933, has a pointed inner loop and longer “legs” than the Gem clip, making it less likely to bend and tear paper. It is used by some libraries and archives, and it is in many ways a genuine improvement on the Gem shape, but for most of us, the occasional rip or indent in that top sheet of that stack of invoices just isn’t that important. Sometimes, the best design is the one that is—like the Gem—just good enough.
120521_Design_Paperclip_image5_gemads
An ad for Gem paper clips appearing in Office Appliances, Volume 36, 1922.
Minimal, relentlessly plain, and instantly familiar to a contemporary eye even in an advertisement from 1894, its persistence has made the paper clip the epitome of the disposable, anonymous, manufactured object. It is made for secretaries, for assistants, for subordinates and gofers. It only became most useful once there were millions of pieces of paper that had to be grouped, but that also had to be taken apart again. The staple may contain more potential for physical harm, but the threat of the paper clip is Sisyphean: once you’ve clipped the papers together, you’re probably going to have to unclip them, and then clip together some others, and then unclip those and keep going until you retire, or you get that break in your acting career. Perhaps if Microsoft had chosen an object less reminiscent of mindless toil, the optimism of its much-loathed Clippy office assistant would have seemed less demented, and thus less prime for ridicule. This unconscious association of the form of paper clips with the oppression of endlessness is at play in Sarah Morris’ Clip paintings.
120522_design_paperclips
Skrepkus by Sarah Morris, 2010.Courtesy of the artist and Friedrich Petzel Gallery, New York.
But if the paper clip can be a symbol for endless drudgery, it can also be twisted, pulled apart, and used as a tool. And in this capacity, many of the practices to which it is best suited are the opposite of the commercially productive, sanitary, and morally meaningless act of clipping together papers. Paper clips can be used to pick locks, clean under fingernails, and hack into phones. Straightened out, they are used by office workers to distract themselves from the monotony of their intended use. Nearly every reader of Joshua Ferris’ novel of office life, Then We Came to the End, becomes part of his collective narrator as they read the sentence, “If a stray paper clip happened to be lying around we were likely to bend it out of shape,” and every white-collar underling must find familiar David Foster Wallace’s description of office life in The Pale King: “The way hard deskwork really goes is in jagged little fits and starts, brief intervals of concentration alternated with frequent trips to the men’s room, the drinking fountain, the vending machine, constant visits to the pencil sharpener, phone calls you suddenly feel are imperative to make, rapt intervals of seeing what kinds of shapes you can bend a paperclip into, &c.” The paper clip, which possesses inexpensiveness, interchangeability and consistency, has also been used as a symbol for the numerous: a Tennessee school collected 6 million paper clips to symbolize the Jews killed during the Holocaust, a project documented in a 2004 Miramax film. And its affordability can be a symbol of humble beginnings: In 2005, a Canadian named Kyle McDonald took a red paper clip and began a series of online trades that eventually netted him a house (not to mention a blog, a book, and a lot of public speaking gigs). A philosophical conceit called the “paperclip maximizer” is an artificial intelligence that, programmed by humans solely to manufacture as many paper clips as possible, eventually takes over the Earth and increasing portions of space in its quest for material, leaving trillions of paper clips with no one to use them.

Finally, the simplicity of the paper clip has allowed it to become a graphic symbol on the digital desktop. For many a 21st-century office worker, it is more often encountered as the “attachment” icon in an email program than in the physical form of a bent steel wire. As we move further and further toward a paperless society, that loop-the-loop form might become more familiar in two dimensions than in three. But this semiotic doppelganger, like the clip’s colored plastic and novelty-shaped variants, is likely to accompany the original, not replace it. Office life, despite plane flights and email, just isn’t all that different than it was 100 years ago, and it’s likely to be largely similar in another 100 years. And the paper clip—which is just exactly good enough—is likely to be around to see it.

Did You Know?

In George Washington’s days, there were no cameras. One’s image was either sculpted or painted. Some paintings of George Washington showed him standing behind a desk with one arm behind his back while others showed both legs and both arms. Prices charged by painters were not based on how many people were to be painted, but by how many limbs were to be painted. Arms and legs are ‘limbs,’ therefore painting them would cost the buyer more. Hence the expression, ‘Okay, but it’ll cost you an arm and a leg.’ (Artists know hands and arms are more difficult to paint)

*******
As incredible as it sounds, men and women took baths only twice a year (May and October) Women kept their hair covered, while men shaved their heads
(because of lice and bugs) and wore wigs. Wealthy men could afford good wigs made from wool. They couldn’t wash the wigs, so to clean them they would carve out a loaf of bread, put the wig in the shell, and bake it for 30 minutes. The heat would make the wig big and fluffy, hence the term ‘big wig.‘ Today we often use the term ‘here comes the Big Wig’ because someone appears to be or is powerful and wealthy.

*******

In the late 1700s, many houses consisted of a large room with only one chair. Commonly, a long wide board folded down from the wall, and was used for dining. The ‘head of the household’ always sat in the chair while everyone else ate sitting on the floor. Occasionally a guest, who was usually a man, would be invited to sit in this chair during a meal. To sit in the chair meant you were important and in charge. They called the one sitting in the chair the ‘chair man.’ Today in business, we use the expression or title ‘Chairman‘ or ‘Chairman of the Board.

*******

Personal hygiene left much room for improvement. As a result, many women and men had developed acne scars by adulthood. The women would spread bee’s wax over their facial skin to smooth out their complexions. When they were speaking to each other, if a woman began to stare at another woman’s face she was told, ‘mind your own bee’s wax.’ Should the woman smile, the wax would crack, hence the term ‘crack a smile‘. In addition, when they sat too close to the fire, the wax would melt . . . Therefore, the expression ‘losing face.’

*******

Ladies wore corsets, which would lace up in the front. A proper and dignified woman, as in ‘straight laced‘. . Wore a tightly tied lace.

*******

Common entertainment included playing cards. However, there was a tax levied when purchasing playing cards but only applicable to the ‘Ace of Spades.’ To avoid paying the tax, people would purchase 51 cards instead. Yet, since most games require 52 cards, these people were thought to be stupid or dumb because they weren’t ‘playing with a full deck.’

*******

Early politicians required feedback from the public to determine what the people considered important. Since there were no telephones, TVs or radios, the politicians sent their assistants to local taverns, pubs, and bars. They were told to ‘go sip some ale’ and listen to people’s conversations and political concerns. Many assistants were dispatched at different times. ‘You go sip here’ and ‘You go sip there.’ The two words ‘go sip’ were eventually combined when referring to the local opinion and, thus we have the term gossip.’

*******
At local taverns, pubs, and bars, people drank from pint and quart-sized containers. A bar maid’s job was to keep an eye on the customers and keep the drinks coming. She had to pay close attention and remember who was drinking in ‘pints’ and who was drinking in ‘quarts,’ hence the term minding your ‘P’s and ‘Q’s

*******
One more and betting you didn’t know this!

In the heyday of sailing ships, all war ships and many freighters carried iron cannons. Those cannons fired round iron cannon balls. It was necessary to keep a good supply near the cannon. However, how to prevent them from rolling about the deck? The best storage method devised was a square-based pyramid with one ball on top, resting on four resting on nine, which rested on sixteen. Thus, a supply of 30 cannon balls could be stacked in a small area right next to the cannon. There was only one problem…how to prevent the bottom layer from sliding or rolling from under the others. The solution was a metal plate called a ‘Monkey’ with 16 round indentations.

However, if this plate were made of iron, the iron balls would quickly rust to it. The solution to the rusting problem was to make ‘Brass Monkeys.’ Few landlubbers realize that brass contracts much more and much faster than iron when chilled.

Consequently, when the temperature dropped too far, the brass indentations would shrink so much that the iron cannonballs would come right off the monkey. Thus, it was quite literally, ‘Cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey.‘ (All this time, you thought that was an improper expression, didn’t you.)

Some random facts

Here are some random facts for your fun:-

Karoke means “empty orchestra” in Japanese.

In the average lifetime, a person will walk the equivalent of 5 times around the equator.

Cats sleep 16 to 18 hours per day.

The most common name in the world is Mohammed.


President Kennedy was the fastest random speaker in the world with upwards of 350 words per minute.

Odontophobia is the fear of teeth.

The 57 on Heinz ketchup bottles represents the number of varieties of pickles the company once had.

In the early days of the telephone, operators would pick up a call and use the phrase, “Well, are you there?”. It wasn’t until 1895 that someone suggested answering the phone with the phrase “number please?”

The surface area of an average-sized brick is 79 cm squared.

According to suicide statistics, Monday is the favored day for self-destruction.

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 Eisenhower interstate system requires that one mile in every five must be straight. These straight sections are usable as airstrips in times of war or other emergencies.

The first known contraceptive was crocodile dung, used by Egyptians in 2000 B.C.

Rhode Island is the smallest state with the longest name. The official name, used on all state documents, is “Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.”

When you die your hair still grows for a couple of months.

There are two credit cards for every person in the United States.

Isaac Asimov is the only author to have a book in every Dewey-decimal category.

The newspaper serving Frostbite Falls, Minnesota, the home of Rocky and Bullwinkle, is the Picayune Intellegence.

It would take 11 Empire State Buildings, stacked one on top of the other, to measure the Gulf of Mexico at its deepest point.

The first person selected as the Time Magazine Man of the Year – Charles Lindbergh in 1927.

The most money ever paid for a cow in an auction was $1.3 million.

It took Leo Tolstoy six years to write “War & Peace”.

The Neanderthal’s brain was bigger than yours is.

On the new hundred dollar bill the time on the clock tower of Independence Hall is 4:10.

Each of the suits on a deck of cards represents the four major pillars of the economy in the middle ages: heart represented the Church, spades represented the military, clubs represented agriculture, and diamonds represented the merchant class.

The names of the two stone lions in front of the New York Public Library are Patience and Fortitude. They were named by then-mayor Fiorello LaGuardia.

The Main Library at Indiana University sinks over an inch every year because when it was built, engineers failed to take into account the weight of all the books that would occupy the building.

The sound of E.T. walking was made by someone squishing her hands in jelly.

Lucy and Linus (who where brother and sister) had another little brother named Rerun. (He sometimes played left-field on Charlie Brown’s baseball team, [when he could find it!]).

The pancreas produces Insulin.

1 in 5,000 north Atlantic lobsters are born bright blue.

There are 10 human body parts that are only 3 letters long (eye hip arm leg ear toe jaw rib lip gum).

A skunk’s smell can be detected by a human a mile away.

The word “lethologica” describes the state of not being able to remember the word you want.

The king of hearts is the only king without a moustache.

Henry Ford produced the model T only in black because the black paint available at the time was the fastest to dry.

Mario, of Super Mario Bros. fame, appeared in the 1981 arcade game, Donkey Kong. His original name was Jumpman, but was changed to Mario to honor the Nintendo of America’s landlord, Mario Segali.

The three best-known western names in China: Jesus Christ, Richard Nixon, and Elvis Presley.

Every year about 98% of the atoms in your body are replaced.

Elephants are the only mammals that can’t jump.

The international telephone dialing code for Antarctica is 672.

World Tourist day is observed on September 27.

Women are 37% more likely to go to a psychiatrist than men are.

The human heart creates enough pressure to squirt blood 30 feet (9 m).

Diet Coke was only invented in 1982.

There are more than 1,700 references to gems and precious stones in the King James translation of the Bible.

.
When snakes are born with two heads, they fight each other for food.

American car horns beep in the tone of F.

Turning a clock’s hands counterclockwise while setting it is not necessarily harmful. It is only damaging when the timepiece contains a chiming mechanism.

There are twice as many kangaroos in Australia as there are people. The kangaroo population is estimated at about 40 million.

Police dogs are trained to react to commands in a foreign language; commonly German but more recently Hungarian.

The Australian $5 to $100 notes are made of plastic.

St. Stephen is the patron saint of bricklayers.

The average person makes about 1,140 telephone calls each year.

Stressed is Desserts spelled backwards.

If you had enough water to fill one million goldfish bowls, you could fill an entire stadium.

Mary Stuart became Queen of Scotland when she was only six days old.

Charlie Brown’s father was a barber.

Flying from London to New York by Concord, due to the time zones crossed, you can arrive 2 hours before you leave.

Dentists have recommended that a toothbrush be kept at least 6 feet (2 m) away from a toilet to avoid airborne particles resulting from the flush.

You burn more calories sleeping than you do watching TV.

A lion’s roar can be heard from five miles away.

The citrus soda 7-UP was created in 1929; “7″ was selected because the original containers were 7 ounces. “UP” indicated the direction of the bubbles.

Canadian researchers have found that Einstein’s brain was 15% wider than normal.

The average person spends about 2 years on the phone in a lifetime.

The fist product to have a bar code was Wrigleys gum.

The largest number of children born to one woman is recorded at 69. From 1725-1765, a Russian peasant woman gave birth to 16 sets of twins, 7 sets of triplets, and 4 sets of quadruplets.

Beatrix Potter created the first of her legendary “Peter Rabbit” children’s stories in 1902.

In ancient Rome, it was considered a sign of leadership to be born with a crooked nose.

The word “nerd” was first coined by Dr. Seuss in “If I Ran the Zoo.”

A 41-gun salute is the traditional salute to a royal birth in Great Britain.

The bagpipe was originally made from the whole skin of a dead sheep.

The roar that we hear when we place a seashell next to our ear is not the ocean, but rather the sound of blood surging through the veins in the ear. Any cup-shaped object placed over the ear produces the same effect.

Revolvers cannot be silenced because of all the noisy gasses which escape the cylinder gap at the rear of the barrel.

Liberace Museum has a mirror-plated Rolls Royce; jewel-encrusted capes, and the largest rhinestone in the world, weighing 59 pounds and almost a foot in diameter.

A car that shifts manually gets 2 miles more per gallon of gas than a car with automatic shift.

Cats can hear ultrasound.

Dueling is legal in Paraguay as long as both parties are registered blood donors.

The highest point in Pennsylvania is lower than the lowest point in Colorado.

The United States has never lost a war in which mules were used.

Children grow faster in the springtime.

On average, there are 178 sesame seeds on each McDonalds BigMac bun.

Paul Revere rode on a horse that belonged to Deacon Larkin.

The Baby Ruth candy bar was actually named after Grover Cleveland’s baby daughter, Ruth.

Minus 40 degrees Celsius is exactly the same as minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

Clans of long ago that wanted to get rid of unwanted people without killing them used to burn their houses down — hence the expression “to get fired”

Nobody knows who built the Taj Mahal. The names of the architects, masons, and designers that have come down to us have all proved to be latter-day inventions, and there is no evidence to indicate who the real creators were.

Every human spent about half an hour as a single cell.

7.5 million toothpicks can be created from a cord of wood.

The plastic things on the end of shoelaces are called aglets.

A 41-gun salute is the traditional salute to a royal birth in Great Britain.

The earliest recorded case of a man giving up smoking was on April 5, 1679, when Johan Katsu, Sheriff of Turku, Finland, wrote in his diary “I quit smoking tobacco.” He died one month later.

“Goodbye” came from “God bye” which came from “God be with you.”

February is Black History Month.

Jane Barbie was the woman who did the voice recordings for the Bell System.

The first drive-in service station in the United States was opened by Gulf Oil Company – on December 1, 1913, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

The elephant is the only animal with 4 knees.

Kansas state law requires pedestrians crossing the highways at night to wear tail lights.

How Do Countries Choose Which Side They Drive On?

Samoa is the first nation since the 1970s to switch sides and did so, they say, to end their reliance on left-hand drive vehicles imported at great expense from America. All well and good, but the real question here is why do different nations drive on different sides of the roads? Here in England, where traffic comes from the right, it took me more than a few weeks to stop looking left every time I went to cross the street—training that was completely undone when I went to France for two weeks at the end of the summer.
Read On…