- Cats have five toes on each front paw, but only four toes on each back paw.
- An eagle can kill a young deer and fly away with it.
- Chickens can live up to eight years.
- The aphid’s reproductive cycle is so rapid that females are born pregnant.
- An eggshell may look solid, but it actually has about 8,000 pores that are large enough for oxygen to flow in and carbon dioxide to flow out.
- The average star in the sky has at least one planet.
- Apollo 11 had only 20 seconds of fuel left when it landed.
When I was in an artillery unit in Vietnam, we were told that each shell we fired cost the taxpayers several thousand dollars… We speculated that, considering the great number of rounds we fired, the United States could easily have instead built each Vietnamese a beautiful suburban house complete with swimming pool instead of spending the money trying to kill them. In that way we could have not only won the war but also the hearts and minds of the enemy. So I put it to you: if the cost in dollars of the Vietnam war were divided by the number of Vietnamese, how much could each have been paid to lay down their arms and live peacefully ever after?
— Stephen Wilhelm, New York
Best damn question I’ve had in months. Let’s take it step by step.
Estimates of the cost of the Vietnam war vary all over the place, with one analyst putting the figure as high as $900 billion… The Defense Department in the 1970s came up with a much more conservative figure — $140 billion in direct military outlays between 1965 and 1974… However, other estimates of “incremental” costs run anywhere from $112 billion to $155 billion, so we’re probably safe in going with 140.
The combined population of North and South Vietnam in 1969, the midpoint of substantial U.S. involvement, was somewhere around 39 million. That means that over 10 years we spent about $3,600 for every Vietnamese man, woman, and child. Today you could buy most of a Yugo with that kind of money. At first glance, hardly enough reason to abandon a war of national liberation.
But let’s put this in perspective. Per capita annual income in South Vietnam in 1965 by one estimate was $113. At $3,600 per, we could have kept those guys in rice and fish sauce for pretty much the rest of their lives, with color TV and a Barcalounger thrown in. As an added bonus, the country would not have suffered incalculable war damage, and 1.8 million more Vietnamese would not be dead (or at least they would have died other than by being shot, blown up, etc.).
I know, I know: millions for defense but not one cent for bribes. But considering how things actually turned out, maybe we should have given it a try.
— Cecil Adams [January 11, 1991]
[Excerpts taken from: The Straight Dope]
Lloyd’s bank of London kept track of 100,000 paper clips. Only about 20,000 were used to clip papers together. Of the others, 14,163 were twisted during conversations on the telephone, 19,143 were used as card game chips, 7,200 held clothing together, 5,423 were used to pick teeth or scratch ears, 5,308 cleaned fingernails, 3,916 unplugged tobacco pipes. The remaining 25,000 were swept into the trash after falling on the floor.
So most of the times, we only use less than quarter of the total paper-clips we have, and all the rest are wasted.
There is one Urdu verse which is quite renowned because of its theme, and this verse goes like:
تندئ بادِ مخالف سے نہ گھبرا اے عقاب
یہ تو چلتی ہے تجھے اونچا اڑانے کے لیے
Tundi-e baad-e-mukhalif se na ghabra ay uqaab
Ye tou chalti hai tujhay ooncha urranay ke liye”
Don’t fear the intensity of opposing-wind*, O’ Eagle
It only blows to help you fly even higher.
[*headwind: A wind blowing from directly in front, opposing forward motion]
Due to such fine theme and the presence of the metaphor “Uqaab“, the Eagle, many people confuse this verse and relate it to Dr. Allama Muhammad Iqbal.
This verse is actually written by Sayyed Sadiq Hussain Shah, and below is the photo of his tombstone in Islamabad.
Although readers familiar with Iqbal’s work already know this fact, but this is shared just to clarify the confusions in general circle.
Thanks to Mr. Aqeel Abbas Jafri for providing some missing pieces of the information, and Dr. Munir Ahmed Slatch for providing the photo.
Updated: 19 April, 2015
“After reading all the comments doubting the veracity of my claim, I did quite a bit of digging and was finally able to find the book containing poetry of Mr. Sadiq Hussain Kazmi (my great grandfather).
The book is titled Barg-e-Sabz and it does contain the poem of which the aforementioned verse is a part.
On the first page of the book, Sadiq Kazmi actually thanked those who attributed this verse to Allama because it inspired him to take a closer look at his poetry!
Blood flows in human arteries at 3 feet per second.
No two cornflakes look the same.
The billionth digit of pi is 9.
The cockroach’s favorite food is the glue on the back of stamps.
The shoes that Charlie Chaplin ate in “The Gold Rush” were made out of licorice.
Men sweat about 40% more than women.
If you toss a penny 10,000 times, it will not be heads 5,000 times, but more like 4,950. The heads picture weighs more, so it ends up on the bottom.
Banging your head against a wall uses 150 calories an hour.
In every deck of cards the King of Hearts is sticking his sword through his head. That’s why he’s often called the Suicide King.
A giraffe can clean its ear with its 21-inch tongue.
The Anaconda, one of the world’s largest snakes, gives live birth to its young instead of laying eggs.
There are 221,184 ways to order a Burger King whopper.
An ostrich’s eye is bigger than its brain.
Dolphins sleep with one eye open.
All Starbucks competitors combined do less than half the business of Starbucks.
Millipedes don’t have a thousand legs. They can have from a few dozen to several hundred, but never a thousand.
The city of Istanbul straddles two separate continents, Europe and Asia.
The word “samba” means to rub navels together.
The word “sir” is used 164 times in “A Few Good Men”.
Americans on average eat 18 acres of pizza everyday.
It takes about nine minutes for a snowflake to fall to Earth from a height of 1,000 feet.
There are 2 million sweat glands in the average human body.
Mosquito repellents don’t repel. They hide you. The spray blocks the mosquito’s sensors so they don’t know you’re there.
If the head of a cockroach is removed carefully, so as to prevent it from bleeding to death, the cockroach can survive for several weeks. When it dies, it is from starvation.
A group of hares is called a Husk.
A group of goats is called a Trip.
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.
It is made by layering and laminating a polycarbonate material between pieces of ordinary glass. This process creates a glass-like material that’s thicker than normal glass. The polycarbonate is a tough transparent plastic.
Bullet-resistant glass can be between 0.25″ to 3″ thick. A bullet fired at a sheet of bullet-resistant glass will pierce the outside layer of the glass, but the layered material is able to absorb the bullet’s energy and stop it before it exits the final layer. The stopping power is determined by the thickness of the glass. A rifle bullet will hit the glass with a lot more force than a bullet from a handgun.
There’s also one-way bullet-resistant glass that has one side able to stop bullets, while the other side allows bullets to pass through it unaffected. This gives a person being shot at the ability to shoot back. This type of bullet-resistant glass is made by laminating a brittle sheet of material with a flexible material. A bullet fired from outside would hit the brittle material which would shatter around the point of impact and absorb some of the energy over a large area. The flexible material would then absorb the remaining energy of the bullet, stopping it. A bullet fired from inside the same car would easily pass through the glass because the bullet’s force is concentrated on a small area, that causes the material to flex. This causes the brittle material to break outwards, allowing the bullet to pierce the flexible material.
Many people wonder what is this Tons in Air Conditioning, like you hear them say they have got a 1.5 Ton AC installed in their room…
It’s often funny when someone says that “Tons in Air Conditioning is actually Weight of that A.C unit…”
People usually argue about it… and prove this with stupid examples that Ton is a unit of weight and like.
The term TON is actually referred to the cooling capacity of that A.C.
Proper definition is:
The unit of measurement for air conditioning system capacity. One ton of air conditioning removes 12,000 BTU’s [British Thermal Unit] of heat energy per hour from a home. Central air conditioners are sized in tons. Residential units usually range from 1 to 5 tons.
… A “ton” is defined as the cooling capacity of one ton US (2000 pounds or 907 kilograms) of ice melting in a 24-hour period. This is equal to 12,000 BTU per hour, or 3.5 kilowatts. Residential central refrigeration cycle air conditioners can be 1 to 5 tons (3.5 to 17.5 kW).
So that’s a little piece of knowledge…
[Originally written on June 22, 2005]
Oh No… Not That Mars Chocolate… It was about that Red Planet – Mars.
See what’s been shared through internet:
!!!!!! NO ONE ALIVE TODAY, WILL EVER SEE THIS AGAIN !!!!
The Red Planet (MARS) is about to be spectacular! This month and next, Earth is catching up with Mars in an encounter that will culminate in the closest approach between the two planets in recorded history.
The next time Mars may come this close is in 2287. Due to the way Jupiter’s gravity tugs on Mars and perturbs its orbit, astronomers can only be certain that Mars has not come this close to Earth in the last 5,000 years, but it may be as long as 60,000 years before it happens again.
The encounter will culminate on August 27th when Mars comes to within 34,649,589 miles of Earth and will be (next to the moon) the brightest object in the night sky. It will attain a magnitude of -2.9 and will appear 25.11 arc seconds wide. By August 27, Mars will look as large as the full moon to the naked eye. Mars will be easy to spot.
At the beginning of August it will rise in the East at 10p.m. and reach its azimuth at about 3 a.m. by the end of August when the two planets are closest, Mars will rise at nightfall and reach its highest point in the sky at 12:30a.m. That’s pretty convenient to see something that no human being has seen in recorded history. So, mark your calendar at the beginning of August to see Mars grow progressively brighter and brighter throughout the month.
Mars is going to be a second moon of earth for a day.
So you can see the style of writing, especially those points I did in BOLD.
Some technical details and mathematical figures are enouogh to make it look real… and people thought it’s true and they spreaded it all over… Because “There’s no harm in spreading it”
That’s why we should at least try to get something from any valid source. No Space Website, No T.V Channel said that… but FWD emails said that.
Anyway, then this specified date came and nothing happened, no one bothered to look for that “One in a life time sight” either…
I received this very email for consecutive 2 years…
“Giant Mars rumour is an internet hoax
Boffins amazed that people can be that dumb” *
Yes, WE ARE DUMB, while talking about Spam eMails…
Those email guys should remove the “Forward” feature from their email systems…
[Originally written on Aug 30, 2005]