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Fact of the Day - ASTEROIDS

 

Did you know.... that the first asteroid was Ceres, discovered by Giuseppe Piazzi in 1801?  Asteroids are small, rocky objects that orbit the Sun.  There are currently over 600,000 known asteroids in our solar system.  Most asteroids are found orbiting in the Asteroid Belt, a series of rings located between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.  Asteroids are leftovers from the formation of our solar system about 4.6 billion years ago.  Early on, the birth of Jupiter prevented any planetary bodies from forming in the gap between Mars and Jupiter, causing the small objects that were there to collide with each other and fragment into the asteroids seen today.

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Fact of the Day - CANADA DAY

 

Did you know... that Canada Day is a federal statutory holiday and it’s the national day of Canada, celebrating the anniversary of July 1, 1867, when Canada signed the Constitution Act and became a new federation with its own constitution?  On this day, the British colonies of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia and the Province of Canada were united into one dominion under the name of Canada, and the colonies became the nation’s first provinces.  The Province of Canada was divided in the process and renamed into Quebec and Ontario.  On June 20, 1868, Canada’s Governor General proclaimed that Canadians should celebrate the anniversary of the confederation.  The holiday became a statutory holiday in 1879 and was originally known as Dominion Day.  On October 27, 1982, Dominion Day officially became Canada Day, and the new name symbolized a step away from Canada’s colonial past.  The year 2017 marks the 150th celebration of Canada Day!  Canada Day is celebrated each year on July 1st. If the holiday falls on a Saturday or Sunday, the following Monday will be off to observe the holiday.

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Fact of the Day - BLACK BEARS

 

Did you know... that black bears are masters of adaptation?  Hibernation is their way of surviving a long winter when there’s little food available.  They have few predators.  In fact, the biggest threat to their survival is starvation.  Bears are shy animals.  Even when they’re awake, they try to avoid humans – and they’re asleep for half the year, hidden away in their dens.  Bears are solitary animals.  The only time males and females get together is in June when they mate.  Through a survival adaptation called “delayed implantation,” the embryo doesn’t implant in the uterus until the fall – and then only if the female has gained enough body fat to see her through the winter months when she is hibernating.  

 

Bears give birth before emerging from hibernation.  In October or November, the female looks for a spot to hibernate, usually under a tree stump or log, which she lines with grass, twigs and leaves.  In January, she gives birth, typically to one or two cubs. The cubs nurse while she continues to doze periodically, and when they all emerge in April or May, the cubs have grown to weigh around five pounds each.  The cubs stay with their mother all summer and hibernate with her over the winter.  The following spring, she pushes them out of the den to be on their own.

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Fact of the Day - YAWNING

 

Did you know... that cleans your blood?  It turns out that there's not a simple answer for why we yawn.  When we're yawning, our body is doing ALL OF THE THINGS, including bringing more oxygen into our bloodstream while at the same time cleansing it of carbon dioxide.  It's almost like our bodies are creating a filter and our mouths are the giant opening. 

 

Also, yawning is (kind of) contagious.  According to scientists, yawns are contagious in about 60-70 percent of people, and this was discovered by testing susceptibility to contagiously yawning with performance on a self-face recognition task, several theory-of-mind stories, and on a measure of schizotypal personality traits.   Even animals can catch a yawn.  Proving that we're more closely related to animals than we think, most animals can succumb to contagious yawns just like we do.  In a series of experiments carried out dogs, their owners, and strangers, scientists tested whether or not dogs could catch a yawn from someone.  Scientists discovered that dogs could catch a yawn from someone, but it was less likely if the yawn was disingenuous. 

 

And for one last fact, did you know that yawning cools the bran?  It turns out that one of the many functions of yawning is to help "cool down" our brains. Interestingly enough, our yawns aren't affected by the seasons, or a heat wave, but rather the "optimal thermal zone of around 20°C [68°F]."   Jorg Massen and a team of scientists discovered that yawns cool the brain in order to achieve "arousal and mental efficiency," and that contagious yawning can improve group alertness. 

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Fact of the Day - GODIVA CHOCOLATE

 

Did you know... that in 1926, a man from Belgium by the name of Joseph Draps began making a variety of exquisitely divine chocolates?  He wanted to sell them under a name that was bold, but also passionate and graceful.  He chose the name Godiva.  Because mass production of chocolate was already prevalent at the time Draps began creating his, he quickly and successfully opened his first store of fine chocolates in Brussels in 1926.  Draps was also a thriving chocolatier not only because of the delicacies he made, but because of the hand crafted packaging they were sold in, which quickly became a staple of the Godiva brand.  After much success in Brussels, Draps was able to open a second Godiva store in 1958 on the famous Rue St. Honore in Paris, France.  Soon after this opening, Godiva was introducing stores all over Europe.  Finally, in 1966 Americans got a taste of this purveyor of fine chocolates when it was sold in lavish department stores.  By the year 1972, New York City’s 5th Avenue was the host of the first Godiva store to open in the United States.  North America is now home to over 275 Godiva boutiques.

 

Originally, Godiva sold nothing more than fancy chocolate gifts in fashionable packages.  Today, they have an extensive line of food that includes baked desserts, coffee, biscuits, ice cream, truffles, wedding favors and party favors.  Now, with over 450 boutiques worldwide, their chocolates being sold in specialty retail stores around the world, and the ability to buy Godiva online and over the telephone, it’s easier than ever to treat yourself and your loved ones to this delicacy.  Our personal favorite indulgence is the Godiva gift baskets, filled with unique treats like Godiva Gems, hot cocoa, and signature biscuits.

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Fact of the Day - BOBCATS

 

Did you know... that the bobcat is crepuscular, being most active at dawn and dusk, although they become more diurnal during autumn and winter in response to prey activity?  Each night bobcats travel along a habitual route, from 3 to 11 km long.  Like most cats, the bobcat is territorial and predominantly solitary.  Of all the wild cats in North America, the bobcat has the largest range, and is also the most abundant.  Although most commonly preying on rabbits, birds, small game and rodents, bobcats can kill prey much bigger than themselves (up to eight times their own weight). They will do this more often when prey availability is limited so that they can return to the carcass for future meals.  The bobcat is a stealthy hunter which pounces on its prey.  They can leap over 3 metres in length.  They can also chase down prey once they get close enough by reaching up to 50 km/h in short bursts, although they are unable to keep up such pace over longer distances.  Female bobcats find a secluded den to raise their young.  They have between 1 and 6 kittens, which remain with the mother for up to 12 months.  The mother cares for them, keeping them safe and fed, and helps teach them to hunt.  

 

It has been known for domestic cats to care for orphaned bobcat kittens.  The bobcat’s tail, which appears to be cut or “bobbed” is the reason for its common name.  The bobcat is the smallest of the four lynx species.  There are 12 subspecies of bobcat.  In Native American symbolism, the bobcat represents: clear vision in dark places, vigilance, patience and the ability to see through masks.  In Native American mythology, the bobcat is twinned with the coyote to represent the theme of duality.  Respectively they are associated with fog and wind, which are two elements representing opposites in Amerindian folklore.

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Fact of the Day - VIOLINS

 

Did you know... that the violin has ancestral ties to the Byzantine empire through its distant cousin, the lyra?  This archaic instrument evolved into the “rebec” and then the medieval fiddle, before finally transforming into the modern violin.  The violin has become an essential instrument in cultures all over the world, from Ireland to India.  Some of these cultures have developed different ways of playing the instrument.  One of the most interesting violin facts is that some Indian players sit cross-legged while playing, and rest the scroll on their feet with the bottom of the violin under their chin!  

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Great work @DarkRavie on keeping the topic alive !

 

Did you know... that based on research measuring the different levels of cognitive processing , violinists have shown to develop faster processing speeds compared to the average person who does not play an instrument ?

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@Grundy: Thank you!

 

Fact of the Day - FLAMINGOS

 

Did you know... that the word "flamingo" comes from the Spanish and Latin word "flamenco" which means fire, and refers to the bright color of the birds' feathers?  Not all flamingos are brightly colored, however, and some of the birds are mostly gray or white.  The strength of a flamingo's coloration comes from its diet.  Younger birds also have less coloration.  Flamingos are found around the world from the Caribbean and South America to Africa, the Middle East, and Europe.  They are also popular guests in many zoos, aviaries, aquariums, marine parks, and botanical gardens well outside their native ranges.  Occasional escaped flamingos often make headlines among birders.  Flamingos are strong but rare swimmers and powerful fliers, even though they're most often seen just wading.  Flamingos do fly very well, however, and many flamingos migrate or regularly fly between the best food sources and nesting grounds.  When flying in a flock, the top speed of a flamingo can be as high as 35 miles per hour (56 kilometers per hour).  They can seem ungainly or clumsy in flight, however, because their long necks stretch out in front of their bodies and their long legs dangle well past their short tails, giving them a wobbly appearance.

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Fact of the Day - ANIMAL EXTINCTION 

 

Did you know... that although many animals have gone extinct because of human poaching, other species are at risk for extinction because humans will not eat them?  For example, when people lost interest in eating the Guinea Hog as a source of bacon and ham, the species suddenly became threatened.  One effective (but controversial) way of bringing attention to endangered animals is by advertising their delicious taste, putting them in animal farms, and then supplementing their growth for commercial use.  

 

The hooded seal, now endangered because of climate change, has an inflatable skull hood and nasal passageway.  It can puff up its head to look like a 12-inch wide balloon.  In the last half-billion years, there have been only five waves of mass extinction. Many scientists believe we are now in a sixth, with dozens of species going extinct every day.

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Fact of the Day - BIRD NESTS

 

Did you know... that bald eagles build strong nests and use them year after year?  They make improvements and add to the nest, it can weigh over a ton!  The largest eagle nest was 20 feet deep and estimated to weigh 2 tons!  Some birds will use abandoned homes from other animals.  Burrowing owls have been known to use abandoned prairie dog burrows to raise young.  Unlike eagles,  great horned owls reuse nests built by other species and don’t make any improvements before moving in.  It’s not unusual for their nests to collapse.   

 

Blue-gray gnatcatchers makes their nests out of spiderwebs and lichen - and they didn’t even take basket weaving in college!  Ruby-throated hummingbirds have nests about the size of a thimble.  Red-cockaded woodpecker nest in cavities that can take years to construct in a living tree.  (But they sometimes have help.)  They live in groups and will have as many as four helpers. 
 

Gyrfalcons can use theirs for generations- one was discovered to be over 2,500 years old. They use rocky ledges or old raven nests.  Piping plovers make shallow depressions on the beach with a few twigs.  Despite the lack of coverage, their nests can still be hard to spot because they are so well-camouflaged.

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Sorry for the days I don't post.  I'm going back and forth to the hospital to see my husband and posting here doesn't come to mind when I get home and am tired.  Anyway, onto today's fact.

 

Fact of the day - HOTELS

 

Did you know... that the Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan in Yamanashi, Japan, holds the Guinness World Record for being the oldest hotel in the world?  The hot-spring hotel sits at the foot of the stunning Akaishi Mountains and has been in operation since it was founded by Fujiwara Mahito in 705 A.D.  Since then, it’s been in the hands of some 52 generations of the same family for more than 1,300 years.  The Keiunkan lies at the foot of the Akaishi Mountains. Since its foundation, the hotel has had all its hot water sourced directly from the local Hakuho Springs. The hotel was last renovated in 1997 and has 37 rooms.

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Fact of the Day - TYPEWRITERS

 

Did you know... that typewriters fall into five classifications?  The standard typewriter was the first kind manufactured.  It was too heavy (15-25 lb or 5.6-9.3 kg) to move often, so it was kept on a desk or typing table.  The standard typewriter had a wider platen (a rubber-covered, steel cylinder for absorbing typing impact) in the carriage (the part that moved the paper into place) that could hold oversized forms.  The portable manual typewriter was smaller in size, lighter in weight, and equipped with a carrying case for easier movement and storage.  Portable typewriters were popular for home and school use.  Electric typewriters were heavier than standard machines because of their motors and electrical parts.  Electric machines made typing easier because less effort was needed to strike the keys.  Electric portables were smaller and lighter than desktop machines, and they had carrying cases with storage for the power cord.  The most recent kind of typewriter to be produced—the electronic typewriter—eliminated many of the disadvantages of both standard and electric machines.  Circuit boards made the electronic typewriter much lighter (about 10 lb or 3.7 kg) than other models.  Personal word processors (PWPs) were closely related to computers.

 

Writing machines were built as early as the fourteenth century. The first patented writing machine was made in England in 1714 but never built.  The first manufactured typewriter appeared in 1870 and was the invention of Malling Hansen.  It was called the Hansen Writing Ball and used part of a sphere studded with keys mounted over a piece of paper on the body of the machine.  Christopher L. Sholes and Carlos Glidden developed a machine with a keyboard, a platen made of vulcanized rubber, and a wooden space bar. E. Remington & Sons purchased the rights and manufacture began in 1874.  To avoid jamming typebars with adjacent and commonly used pairs of letters, Sholes and Glidden arranged the keyboard with these first six letters on the left of the top row and other letters distributed based on frequency of use. Their "QWERTY" system is still the standard for arranging letters.  The first Remington typewriter only printed capital letters, but a model made in 1878 used a shift key to raise and lower typebars.  The shift key and double-character typeface produced twice as many characters without changing the number of typebars. By 1901, John Underwood was producing a machine that had a backspace, tab, and ribbon selector for raising and lowering the ribbon.

 

George Blickensderfer produced the first electric typewriter in 1902, but practical electric typewriters were not manufactured until about 1925.  In 1961, International Business Machines (IBM) introduced the Selectric electric typewriter.  From about 1960 to 1980, the standard typewriter industry in the United States withered away.  The IBM Selectric II debuted in 1984, but IBM stopped making electric models in favor of the electronic Wheelwriter in the early 1990s.  By this time personal computers were becoming more popular.  By the late 1990s, most of the manual typewriters supplied to the United States came from three firms.  Olympia in Germany makes standard portables, Olivetti in Italy makes a standard office typewriter and two portable models, and the Indian firm Godrej & Boyce Manufacturing Company is the largest producer of manual typewriters.

 

 

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Fact of the Day - GRAPES

 

Did you know...  that table and wine grapes are different?  It's natural to assume that wine is made from the type of grape that you see in your local grocery store.  According to Wine Spectator, this isn't the case.  Table grapes, or those you eat raw, are distinctly different.  They have a thin skin, and over the years, farmers have bred them to be seedless or have very small seeds.  Wine grapes, on the other hand, are smaller and have thicker skins and lots of seeds.  It requires about 90 pounds of grapes to make five gallons or about 25 bottles of wine, according to Wine Maker Magazine.  That equates to more than three and a half pounds of grapes per bottle.  Other uses for grapes include grape juice, grape jelly or jam, and drying grapes to make raisins.  Some people also use extracts from grape seeds for medicinal purposes.  Grapes are used to help cure asthma indigestion, migraine, kidnеy disease and fatigue.

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Fact of the Day - MUSIC HISTORY

 

Did you know... that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart composed over 600 pieces during his lifetime including his first opera written at the age of eleven?  He wrote his first symphony music at the age of 8 while an Opera at the age of 11.   Jingle Bells was first song to be performed in the outer space by Astronauts,  Walter Schirra and Tom Stafford using harmonica and bell (first musical instruments to be carried in space) on Gemini 6 in December 1965.  Telharmonium is an earliest known music synthesizer or “musical telegraph” that laid the foundation of modern day synthesizers.  Marine Scientist, Roger Payne once recorded an album titled “Songs of the Humpback Whale”. This album was popularized by National Geographic magazine by distributing it along with the magazine.

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Fact of the Day - PHOBIAS

 

Did you know... that children automatically develop parental phobias?  Although there is some evidence children are more likely to develop phobias if their parents have them, having one or both parents diagnosed with a phobia is just one of many risk factors.  You can also develop a phobia from watching a stranger have a bad experience, such as falling down a flight of stairs, or from seeing something unfortunate happen to someone in a movie.  As some believe both nature and nurture play a role in phobia development, it is not surprising that much depends on other adults' influence in the child's life, the child's individual personality and how parents present their phobia in the home.  Myths about phobias and other mental health disorders are rampant, and information gathered from family or friends may be inaccurate. If you have a fear affecting your life, consider seeking professional guidance. With proper treatment, you can successfully overcome most phobias.

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Fact of the Day - EMOJI

 

Did you know... that Apple is credited for emoji popularity?  Emoji have been around since 1999 when Japanese designer Shigetaka Kurita made the first emoji for cellphones, but they weren't fully embraced by the masses until 2012 when Apple released iOS 6.  iPhone users quickly learned they could activate the emoji keyboard in iOS 6 to add fun smileys and tiny icons in their text messages.  The emoji movement expanded into regular use on all social network sites, including Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and others.  Apple later introduced animoji, which are animated emoji in 2017.   Also, in 2017 the Unicode Consortium finalized 69 new ones including a vampire, a genie, a mermaid, and many more.  If your mobile device is still running on an older OS version, you'll want to update it as soon as a new version is released to make sure you get access to all these new and fun emoji.  New emoji are released each year. In 2018, 157 new emoji were added.

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Fact of the day - PIRATE FLAGS

 

Did you know... that The pirate flag was not flown at all times?  Pirate ships would fly flags of other nations to trick incoming vessels, and when the ships were close enough, only then would the crew raise their Jolly Roger as a warning to surrender.  Can you imagine a flag being so influential and feared that a person could be sentenced to death just by owning one?  During the Golden Age of Piracy, simply owning a pirate flag was illegal.  Since there was no reason for someone who wasn't a pirate to own the flag, the individual in question would be assumed a pirate, a crime for which the punishment was death.  

 

Early versions of pirate flags were actually solid red or black. Privateers would traditionally fly a red flag to let incoming ships know they were not associated with the Royal Navy.  Since many of these privateers eventually became pirates, it was only natural that they would choose to keep the red flag. Pirates were known to use red flags as a sign that they would show no mercy to their enemies.  Black flags, on the other hand, were a more welcoming sight to the pirates' victims. Although being attacked by pirates was never a good thing, a black flag signified that the pirates would allow their victims a peaceful surrender.

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Fact of the Day - SEVERUS SNAPE

 

Did you know... that his last name comes from a small village in England?  As most Harry Potter fans will have undoubtedly noticed, J.K. Rowling has a passion for etymology.  Often you can tell a lot about a character just by breaking down the meaning of their name.  Some names for things are purely invented, while others are taken from existing words.  “I also collect unusual names, and I take them from all sorts of different places,” she mentioned in a 2000 interview.  Such is the case with Severus Snape, whose last name Rowling took from an actual place in England.  A small village in Suffolk County, east of Cambridge and north of London, Snape boasts itself as the home of the British classical composer, Benjamin Britten.  It’s unclear why she chose that village’s name in particular; she may have just liked the alliteration along with Severus.  If you look up the origins of the word, however, it has an alternate spelling of "sneap" meaning "to be hard upon, rebuke, revile, snub.”  Sounds like she picked the right word after all.

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Fact of the Day - ROBOTIC SURGERY

 

Did you know... that Whenever robotic surgery is performed, it is done by the surgeon?  The robot is the assistant.   The da Vinci Si is a special kind of surgical platform whereby surgeons use small, precise and minimal invasive tools.  This type of surgical platform enables the surgeon to make movements that are more exact and offers him or her a wide variety of motions within the small surgical area.  Even though robotic surgery provides a 3D and HD vision system, optimum control and state-of-the art technology, the surgeon is still 100% in control of any movements.  

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