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Fact of the Day - TEA


Longjing green tea being infused in a gaiwan


Did you know... that tea is an aromatic beverage commonly prepared by pouring hot or boiling water over cured or fresh leaves of the Camellia sinensis, an evergreen shrub native to East Asia. After water, it is the most widely consumed drink in the world. (Wikipedia)



by Tiffany Boutwell  |  March 11, 2016


For nearly five thousand years, people have been enjoying tea. Discovered in China, it is currently the one of the most popular beverages worldwide, second only to coffee.  Sometimes it’s sipped on the go, and other times it’s prepared in traditional ways, with great ceremony. There are many different varieties to choose from, there is a lot of history behind this beloved drink as well, much of which you may not know.





Originally used for medicinal purposes such as detoxification, it was often chewed rather than being drunk from pretty painted china cups. According to folklore, the beverage was first discovered when the leaves from some tea bushes blew into the water that servants were boiling, to purify it for Emperor Shen Nong to drink. The leaves went unnoticed and the water was served to the emperor, who was also an herbalist. Upon drinking this accidental brew, which he very much enjoyed, the concept of drinking tea was born.




There are several different types including black, oolong, green, and white. They all come from the same plant, Camellia sinensis, but the difference lies in how the leaves are treated after they are harvested.


All tea leaves are withered, rolled, and heated. Different varieties are created depending on the additional steps, or in the timing of the steps, that are taken before the leaves are packaged.

  • Black- the most commonly consumed (about 84 percent of totals worldwide), it is also the most processed – but this doesn’t refer to the use of unhealthy sugary or artificial additives. Rather, the leaves are left to ferment until they turn black, then dried and packaged.
  • Oolong- follows a similar process to black tea, however, each individual stage is not as long.
  • Green- not put through any sort of fermentation process, it is either steamed or pan fried.
  • White- the least processed of the four. Picked earlier in the season and made from younger leaves, white tea leaves are typically only left to dry briefly in the sun before being prepared for packaging.



Brew temp matters too, and overboiling should be avoided. Combo coffee/tea makers like this one allow you to change that setting, to get the perfect cup. It’s also important to properly store your teas to avoid degradation by heat, moisture, and light. Take a look at our review of the top containers to store them!


Now that you have learned that there are only a few different types, you may be wondering about all of the other ones that you’re aware of, like peppermint or echinacea. Well, hold on to your hats, people: these herbal drinks are technically not teas at all, but rather, something called a tisane. Although the word tisane was originally used to describe a drink made from pearl barley, it now commonly refers to any tea-style herbal infusion. And it can be made from nuts, seeds, berries, flowers, leaves, or roots. Fresh or dried herbs like mint and lavender can be used to make a tisane, though you’ll find that all of these brewed or infused drinks are referred to as “tea,” more often than not. You can also combine the two, making flavorful infusions of tea leaves brewed with your favorite herbs and spices, like fruit in an iced tea or cardamom in a steaming cup of homemade chai. And don’t forget – the dried leaves can even be used to add enticing flavor to baked goods, like these Earl Grey cookies.




Grown in Darjeeling, India, the type of the same name is often referred to as the champagne of teas. It is a widely accepted belief that this particular black variety is the best of the best. Grown in the Himalayas where the perfect climate for growing Camellia sinensis exists, the rocky mountain terrain makes it difficult to harvest. To gather Darjeeling leaves, pickers must battle the cold, the steep terrain, mists, and heavy rains. These factors also contribute to the delectable, musky-sweet taste that Darjeeling connoisseurs know and love, as well as the high price that is commands. A pound of this can cost hundreds of dollars, though it typically sells for less. Many products packaged under the Darjeeling name are actually blends of this type and a much cheaper variety, so you have to be careful when you’re shopping. Read labels, and keep your eye out for the real thing!


While Darjeeling can be quite expensive, it is not actually the most costly type to brew. That prize goes to a rare Chinese variety called Tieguanyin. Named after the Buddhist Iron Goddess of Mercy, this oolong will cost you a pretty penny, at up to $1,500 per pound. But the good news is that the leaves can be brewed up to seven times before losing their unique flavor.


The reason for the high price lies in the fact that this type truly tickles each one of the five senses:

  • Sight- The leaves have a nice bright color.
  • Touch- They are also thick, and crisp to the touch.
  • Sound- When brewing loose-leaf Tieguanyin, it’s said to actually make a pleasant ringing sound when it’s being poured into the cup.
  • Smell– The nutty aroma makes it a one-of-a-kind oolong.
  • Taste- This variety also has a very rich flavor.

If you are able to enjoy a cup of Tieguanyin, consider yourself lucky, as this means you are not only wealthy enough to afford it, but also among the small percentage of people who will ever have such an experience.


In addition to external healing properties, green tea is known as a super food when it’s consumed. Though “super food” is a relatively new term for foods or drinks that are packed with nutrients, the potential benefits of drinking tea have been known for a long time. It is said that the green type can help to soothe a sore throat, regulate blood sugar levels, and reduce the risk of heart disease. Though it has been used medicinally for thousands of years, it is only recently that scientific studies have begun to confirm many of the widely held beliefs regarding its healing powers. 


There are many compounds in green tea that contribute to its potential healing benefits, such as flavonoids and catechins. These compounds offer antioxidant, antiviral, antibacterial, and even anticancer properties. Green tea has also shown positive results in aiding weight loss, preventing tooth decay, and alleviating depression. The reason that the green variety is superior when it comes to helping certain conditions is because the leaves are not fermented, allowing the maximum amount of beneficial compounds to remain intact.


The teabag was invented in the United States in the early 20th century. True lovers of this drink do not consider teabags to be a great invention, since they tightly pack the tea. This does not allow the leaves to expand while brewing, which enables the release of more of the compounds that are responsible for flavor, among other things. Teabags, which are generally made from filter paper or silk, do offer convenience, and this has brought the beverage to a wider audience than it may have ever had before they were created. 


The main advantage they have over infusers, which were used before bags were invented, is that they hold the leaves inside so they will not escape. They are also disposable, so they do not need to be cleaned like infusers do. While these may not be favored by true connoisseurs, they certainly have their place in the industry, and they’re used by many.


As of the time of this writing, the largest teabag recorded by Guinness World Records weighed in at just over 551 pounds, and measured 9.8 feet wide by 13 feet high. It could be used to brew over 100,000 cups. Ahmed Mohamed Saleh Baeshen & Co., owner of Rabea Tea in Saudi Arabia, set this record in 2014. Other world records recorded by Guinness that are related to tea include the Largest Cup (10 feet tall by 8 feet wide), and the Most Cups Made in One Hour (an astonishing 1,848 by a team of 12 people). 


Recordsetter.com, a website that allows users to create their own world records, offers many more record-breaking, tea-loving activities, such as Most Bags Held in One Hand and Longest Time to Balance a Cup on the Chin. Next time you have a cup, consider setting your own world record with your favorite drink (or just enjoy it)!


China, Sri Lanka, and Kenya export the most tea worldwide, shipping out about 1 million metric tons of it between the three countries. Thanks in large part to its huge population, China consumes the most of any country in total. However, per capita, Turkey, Ireland and the United Kingdom take the top three spots. Over 3 billion cups are consumed worldwide each year.


There are some very interesting uses for this product beyond brewing. One such remedy is to rub slightly damp leaves on uncovered areas of skin, in order to keep mosquitoes away. Tea has also been used for cleaning floors, naturally dyeing cloth, marinating meat, and for helping to patch up tiny nicks from shaving. It’s often used for gardening purposes, too. Roses love the leaves, absorbing the nutrients that they offer through the soil. This makes a great addition to a compost pile, as it can accelerate the process of decomposition.




Hot or iced, black or green, milk or lemon, honey or sugar, tea or tisane? There are so many different types and ways to delight in a cup that it can be overwhelming at first. However, there truly is a type out there for everyone, even if the drink doesn’t immediately strike you as your “cup of tea,” so to speak. Try as many different kinds as you like, and figure out what works for you. Challenge yourself to sample new infusions, like our golden turmeric tea, until you learn your preferences – you might be surprised to discover how enjoyable it can be!  You’ve already learned so much about this favored beverage, so what are you waiting for? Brew, pour, and sip away.


Source: Wikipedia - Tea  |  Facts About Tea


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Fact of the Day - EXTINCT ANIMALS


Did you know... that Earth is home to lots of wonderful wildlife, but sadly, some species that once called our planet home today no longer exist. These are known as extinct animals. And we’re not just talking about roar-some prehistoric dinosaurs! There are ‘recently extinct’ animals, too – animals that have died out since the 1500s. Join us as we travel back in time to discover the sad stories of eight of these incredible creatures…


(* The year of extinction)


Mauritius 1680s*



All that remains today of the dodo are a few bones and partial skeletons – so it’s no wonder we have the expression ‘dead as a dodo’! But these chubby, flightless birds were once alive and well in the forests of Mauritius. Their tragic tale began in the 16th century, when Dutch sailors arrived on the island and hunted this brilliant bird. The main cause of the dodo’s extinction, however, was the animals the sailors brought with them, such as cats, pigs and rats – they guzzled on dodo eggs and out-competed the birds for food, wiping them out by the 1680s.


Great Auk
Rocky islands off the North Atlantic coast (1844)


The black-and-white great auk was once found around the North Atlantic, waddling around on craggy coasts – including in the UK – or swimming in the waves using its short wings. But during the early 19th century, the great auk was killed in huge numbers for its feathers, meat and oils, and because people believed it had supernatural powers. Unafraid of humans, the flightless, defenseless birds were very easy to catch. Sailors would simply round them up and walk them onto ships, before bashing them on the head. Not an auk-some ending.


Tasmania, mainland Australia and New Guinea (1936)


Also known as the Tasmanian tiger, the thylacine was once the world’s largest meat-eating marsupial. It looked a bit like a wolf, but had yellow-brown fur, stripes on its back and a thick, long tail. Its scientific name Thylacinus cynocephalus is Greek for ‘dog-headed pouched one.’ Although populations suffered disease and habitat loss, it’s believed humans were to blame for the thylacine’s ultimate extinction. Since the fierce predators liked to feast on sheep and other livestock, European settlers were quick to kill them – in fact, the Tasmanian government even paid people to do so! The last known thylacine died in 1936, in Hobart Zoo, Australia.


Steller’s Sea Cow
Bering Sea, north Pacific Ocean (1768)


German naturalist Georg W. Steller first studied and described this amazing animal in 1741, in the north Pacific Ocean. Related to today’s manatees and dugongs, Steller’s sea cows were huge marine mammals that grew up to 10m long – that’s twice the length of a large family car! Living in peaceful herds, they grazed on sea grass, kelp and algae. Sadly, sailors and seal hunters soon realized the animal’s fatty meat provided a hefty food supply for their voyages and they began to hunt them, big time. The result? The Steller’s sea cow became extinct just 27 years after being discovered.


Europe and Asia (1627)


Turn the clocks back several centuries, and you’ll find huge, horned aurochs roaming the forests of Europe and parts of Asia – perfect hunting fodder for early humans. Today, all that remains of these colossal cattle are a few skeletons in museums, along with some prehistoric cave paintings of the big beasts in Lascaux Cave, France, which may date back 20,000 years! It’s highly likely that aurochs are the ancestors of today’s cows, but they were much, much bigger, growing up to 1.85m in height (way taller than the average man!). The last of the aurochs lived in Poland, where the bulky breed died out in 1627.


Gastric Brooding Frog
Australia (1980s)


Tadpoles swim in ponds, right? Not the incredible gastric brooding frog’s. The females would ‘eat‘ their own frogspawn, brooding the tadpoles in their stomachs for 6-7 weeks, having ‘turned off’ their digestive juices and stopped eating food. They then ‘gave birth‘ to a brood of baby frogs by projectile vomiting them out of their mouths. Wow! Sadly, the Australian amphibians were wiped out within a decade of being discovered in 1973. But we have exciting news… by taking cells from gastric brooding frogs frozen in labs years ago, and inserting them into the eggs of today’s living frogs, scientists hope to bring this super species back to life. Sick!


Tecopa Pupfish
California, USA (1981)


These fab little fish once swam in the waters of two hot springs in California’s Death Valley, USA. Tiny but tough, the Tecopa pupfish had adapted to withstand the 43°C waters. But in 1965, the springs where they lived were merged together to build a bathhouse, and the water became too hot and salty for the fish to survive. As a result, in 1970, the poor pupfish was added to the Endangered Species List – unfortunately, it was too late. By 1981, it was declared Extinct – another awful outcome of human development.


Baiji River Dolphin
China (2004)


In ancient Chinese folklore, the almost blind Baiji River dolphin was said to be the reincarnation of a princess who was drowned after refusing to marry a man she did not love. Sadly, the real-life story of the Baiji is just as tragic. Up until the 1950s, thousands of the small, pale grey aquatic animals splashed about in the murky waters of China’s Yangtze River. But, due to overfishing, collisions with ships and pollution, it’s believed these mammals are now Extinct. While they’re still listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List (see right), there have been no confirmed sightings of this spectacular swimmer since 2004.



The IUCN Red List…

We often hear about animals and plants being ‘Endangered’ or ‘Vulnerable’, but what does this actually mean? To help work out which species need most help, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), created the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species in 1964 – a system for classifying species according to the risk of extinction they face.


So, how does the Red List work? After scientists have thoroughly evaluated a certain animal, plant or fungus, they place it in one of several categories on the Red List…


Least Concern (LC)
Widespread and not in imminent danger of being threatened. Phew!


Near Threatened (NT)
A species that could in the near future be placed in a ‘threatened’ category (below).


Vulnerable (VU)
Facing a high risk of extinction in the wild.


Endangered (EN)
A species that’s facing a very high risk of extinction in the wild.


Critically Endangered (CR)
Facing an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild.


Extinct In The Wild (EW)
No longer found in the wild. Populations are only found in zoos, botanical gardens or breeding programs.


Extinct (EX)
No individuals exist in the wild, in captivity or cultivation.


Different factors are taken into account before selecting the correct category, including current population size, rate of decline and geographic range. Scientists around the world regularly reassess the different species to see if there are any changes to the status of the species on the list. In this way, we can help preserve and protect our world’s incredible nature. Fingers crossed!


Source: Kids National Geographic - Extinct Animals



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Fact of the Day - EXOSPHERE


Did you know... that The exosphere is a thin, atmosphere-like volume surrounding a planet or natural satellite where molecules are gravitationally bound to that body, but where the density is too low for them to behave as a gas by colliding with each other. (Wikipedia)


Exosphere Definition and Facts
The exosphere is a strange and wondrous place

By Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D.  |  Updated July 22, 2019





The exosphere is the outermost layer of the Earth's atmosphere, located above the thermosphere. It extends from about 600 km until it thins out to merge with interplanetary space. This makes the exosphere about 10,000 km or 6,200 miles thick or about as wide as the Earth. The top boundary of Earth's exosphere extends about halfway to the Moon.


For other planets with substantial atmospheres, the exosphere is the layer above the denser atmospheric layers, but for planets or satellites without dense atmospheres, the exosphere is the region between the surface and interplanetary space. This is called the surface boundary exosphere. It has been observed for the Earth's Moon, Mercury, and the Galilean moons of Jupiter.


The word "exosphere" comes from the Ancient Greek words exo, meaning outside or beyond, and sphaira, which means sphere.


Exosphere Characteristics
The particles in the exosphere are extremely far apart. They don't quite fit the definition of a "gas" because the density is too low for collisions and interactions to occur. Nor are they necessarily plasma, because the atoms and molecules aren't all electrically charged. Particles in the exosphere can travel hundreds of kilometers along a ballistic trajectory before bumping into other particles.




The Earth's Exosphere
The lower boundary of the exosphere, where it meets the thermosphere, is called the thermopause. Its height above sea level ranges from 250-500 km up to 1000 km (310 to 620 miles), depending on solar activity. The thermopause is called the exobase, exopause, or critical altitude. Above this point, barometric conditions do not apply. The temperature of the exosphere is nearly constant and very cold. At the upper boundary of the exosphere, the solar radiation pressure on hydrogen exceeds the gravitational pull back toward Earth. The fluctuation of the exobase due to solar weather is important because it affects atmospheric drag on space stations and satellites. Particles that reach the boundary are lost from the Earth's atmosphere to space.




The composition of the exosphere is different from that of the layers beneath it. Only the lightest gases occur, barely held to the planet by gravity. The Earth's exosphere consists mainly of hydrogen, helium, carbon dioxide, and atomic oxygen. The exosphere is visible from space as a fuzzy region called the geocorona.


The Lunar Atmosphere
On Earth, there are about 1019 molecules per cubic centimeter of air at sea level. In contrast, there are fewer than a million (106) molecules in the same volume in the exosphere. The Moon does not have a true atmosphere because its particles don't circulate, don't absorb much radiation, and have to be replenished. Yet, it's not quite a vacuum, either. The lunar surface boundary layer has a pressure of about 3 x 10-15 atm (0.3 nano Pascals). The pressure varies depending on whether it's day or night, but the entire mass weighs less than 10 metric tons. The exosphere is produced by outgassing of radon and helium from radioactive decay. The solar wind, micro-meteor bombardment, and the solar wind also contribute particles. Unusual gases found in the Moon's exosphere, but not in the atmosphere's of Earth, Venus, or Mars include sodium and potassium. Other elements and compounds found in the Moon's exosphere include argon-40, neon, helium-4, oxygen, methane, nitrogen, carbon monoxide, and carbon dioxide. A trace amount of hydrogen is present. Very minute quantities of water vapor may also exist.


In addition to its exosphere, the Moon may have an "atmosphere" of dust that hovers above the surface due to electrostatic levitation.




Exosphere Fun Fact
While the exosphere of the Moon is nearly a vacuum it's larger than the exosphere of Mercury. One explanation for this is that Mercury is much closer to the Sun, so the solar wind can sweep away particles more easily.


Source: Wikipedia - Exosphere  |  Exosphere Definition and Facts


Edited by DarkRavie
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Fact of the Day - TRANSLATION


King Charles V the Wise commissions

a translation of Aristotle. First square

shows his ordering the translation;

second square, the translation being

made. Third and fourth squares show

the finished translation being brought to,

and then presented to, the King.


Did you know... that translation is the communication of the meaning of a source–language text by means of an equivalent target-language text. (Wikipedia)



Translation Facts To Make You Think



What is history’s earliest recorded translation? Which book or website is the most translated in the world? What translations have had the greatest impact on society? If you’ve ever gazed out the window and pondered such questions about translation, join the club!

And look no further, because these translation facts will blow your mind and open your eyes to the amazing world of translation:


History’s First Translation was The Epic of Gilgamesh
First on the list of translation facts is the most ancient: The Epic of Gilgamesh is the oldest surviving literary work from the human endeavor. The authors wrote in Sumerian, using an ancient cuneiform writing system. Cuneiform writing emerged in Mesopotamia around 2700 BCE.


Translations of Gilgamesh into Asiatic languages are the oldest known translations from one writing system to another. They were translated into Asiatic languages around 2000 BCE. While that makes translation a pretty old profession, verbal interpretation predates even that.



A piece of tablet V of the Epic of Gilgamesh in the Sulaymaniyah Museum, Iraq


Translation Today is a Nearly $40 Billion Industry
An estimated 300,000 professional translators work in the world today. It’s hard to get an exact count, because many are freelance workers. Some, however, work for one of Earth’s 26,104 commercial language service providers. Last year’s estimates put the industry’s annual revenue at $40 billion worldwide, and growing fast.


The five most common target languages are:

  • German
  • French
  • Spanish
  • English
  • Japanese

And the top five origin languages are:

  • English
  • French
  • German
  • Russian
  • Italian

It looks like the Germans sure do love to read! There are a wealth of similar translation facts and statistics available at UNESCO’s amazing Index Translationum site.


The World’s Most Translated Website is the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ Homepage
You read that right. The most translated website isn’t a corporate leader like Apple, whose website serves customers in 128 languages and regional dialects. Nor is it Wikipedia, with its 43 million pages, which you can read in 286 languages. Or perhaps you thought it might be a world religious leader. The Vatican’s website, however, only translates into nine languages, including English and Latin.


The official website of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, an historically recent American sect, has more than all of these combined. Reports as recent as last year say the Jehovah’s Witnesses website translates into over 780 languages! At the time of this writing, they list 913 language options on their website. That’s including obscurities like Pennsylvania Dutch, which is a colonial American form of German (not Dutch); Zimbabwe Sign Language; and seven variations of Thai.


Though it’s a small and fairly new religion, Jehovah’s Witness groups are prominent in the world of translation facts. They’re on a mission to spread their faith to every corner of the globe. And they’re making active use of language translation to achieve their goals. Among translation facts, this one reveals a missionary zeal that might come off as laudably inclusive outreach or devastatingly colonial proselytizing, depending on your religious sympathies.




The World’s Most Translated Book is The Bible
With the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ love of languages, it should come as no surprise that their publications are some of the most translated in the world. Their publishing arm, the Watchtower Society, produces immense volumes of books and tracts. But did you know that of the top ten most translated texts in history, a full seven of them are Watchtower Society publications?


The remaining three in the all time top ten most published works are:

  • The Bible: the single most translated text in history, available in 554 languages (although some individual books of the Bible are translated into as many as 2,932 languages)
  • The UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights: translated into 462 languages
  • The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry: first published in 1943, it’s the world’s most translated novel, featured in 300 languages. But a drawing of an elephant inside a snake really needs no translation!

Translation facts about the most published works and authors are always fascinating. The most translated authors, by the way are:


The Feast of St. Jerome is International Translation Day
St. Jerome is a celebrated translator from Christian history. He translated the Old Testament into Latin directly from the original Hebrew. His feast day, which marks his death on September 30th, has also become International Translation Day. As the patron saint of translation, Jerome transcends religion. His prolific career was rich with written works and translation facts that make for an interesting story of their own.



St. Jerome in his study.

A painting by Domenico Ghirlandaio


Gabriel Garcia Marquez Loved the English Translation of One Hundred Years of Solitude
Here’s something you might not expect on a list of translation facts: an author who didn’t have a problem with their translation! Colombian literary giant Gabriel Garcia Marquez admired Gregory Rabassa’s English translation of his novel, One Hundred Years of Solitude. So much so, in fact, that he considered it a work of art in itself.


A good translation is always a re-creation in another language. That’s why I have such great admiration for Gregory Rabassa,” he told The Paris Review in 1981. “My books have been translated into 21 languages and Rabassa is the only translator who has never asked for something to be clarified so he can put a footnote in. I think that my work has been completely re-created in English.” Rabassa is responsible for the impeccable opening line of the English version: “Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendia was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice.”


In his memoir, If This Be Treason, Rabassa recounts how he chose “firing squad” instead of “firing party,” and how he faced criticism for translating conocer into “discover” instead of “experience” or “be familiar with.” He is even responsible for the immortal title, which he could just as easily have translated to a weaker rendition, like A Hundred Years of Solitude, or One Hundred Years of Loneliness. “I went for ‘solitude’ because it’s a touch more conclusive,” the translator said, “and also can carry the germ of ‘loneliness’ if pushed along those lines, as Billie Holiday so eloquently demonstrated.”



First edition of One Hundred Years

of Solitude: Editorial Sudamericana,

Buenos Aires, 1967


Nabokov Once Blamed His Translator For His Own Bad Writing
Vladimir Nabokov wrote his early novels and novellas, like Camera Obscura, in his mother tongue of Russian. A British translator named Winifred Roy translated Camera Obscura into English. Nabokov hated the Roy translation. He called it “sloppy” and “full of blunders.” In fact, he went so far as to write his own English version of Camera Obscura, editing it heavily and retitling it Laughter in the Dark. But the poor quality may not have been the translator’s fault, after all.


In 2015, journalist and Nabokov scholar John Colapinto uncovered Nabokov’s original draft of Camera Obscura, and said it was so bad–and heavily marked up in Nabokov’s own handwriting–that it showed Nabokov “was indeed capable of writing a second-rate novel. (He knew it, and rewrote it.)”  Colapinto added that the embarrassingly messy original “also exonerates, to a degree, poor forgotten Winifred Roy, whose supposed ineptitude has long been the accepted reason for Nabokov’s rewrite.” Thanks to Colapinto’s journalistic efforts, these translation facts finally saw the light of day. And luckily for Nabokov (and Roy), most of Camera Obscura was forgotten in the public mind when the author revisited its themes to write his most popular novel, Lolita. He wrote Lolita directly in English.


A Single Translation Mistake Cost a Multinational Bank $10 Million
In 2009, British multinational bank HSBC launched a marketing campaign under the slogan “Assume Nothing.” However, the there was a failure to localize for foreign markets. The slogan translated in many languages to “Do Nothing.” The mistake lead to an embarrassing scramble for the global financial leader. It cost them $10 million to do some emergency rebranding in the hopes of saving their image. This is one of those translation facts that makes you realize how important a single word can be. But it gets even more harrowing than that…




A One Word Mistranslation Lead to the Atomic Bomb Dropping on Hiroshima
At the end of World War II, allied forces demanded a full surrender from an already beaten Japan. When the Japanese prime minister sent his reply, English translators misinterpreted the word mokusatsu as an expression of stony contempt. The United States dispatched the bomb unnecessarily, not realizing that Japan was only trying to buy some time to gather a more formal response. Had they known the translation facts, they would’ve realized that a surrender was underway. But it was too late. This translation mistake cost 80,000 lives.


5 Known People on Earth Are the Last Speakers of Their Languages
In public schools we learn about Spanish, French, German and maybe Japanese. But there are over 7,000 living languages on Earth today. Many more have gone extinct, which is what happens when the last living native speaker of a language dies. There are a multitude of interesting translation facts about endangered languages. An endangered language is a language at risk of becoming extinct. When children stop learning a language, it’s moribund. Many endangered and moribund languages are indigenous, and a few have only one remaining speaker.


  • Christina Calderón, Yaghan

Cristina Calderón, born in 1928, is the last living speaker of Yaghan. Also, following the death of her sister in 2003, she is the last full blooded Yaghan, an indigenous people group from Tierra del Fuego at the southernmost reaches of South America. Chile’s National Council of Culture and the Arts has officially recognized Cristina Calderón as a living human treasure.


  • Charlie Mungulda, Amurdag

Charlie Mungulda, of Australia’s Northern Territory, is the last living speaker of Amurdag. Amurdag is an Indigenous Australian language. Before colonial invasion, Australia had over 200 nations and languages. Australian linguists have been working with Charlie Mungulda to preserve records of Amurdag for posterity.


  • Verdena Parker, Hupa

Verdena Parker, of Northern California’s Hupa tribe, is the last living speaker of Hupa. Her grandmother taught it to her, while much of the rest of her generation went to colonial boarding schools and lost contact with their language and culture. Verdena Parker has worked with UC Berkeley and Stanford researchers to create a historical record of the Hupa language.


  • Gyani Maiyi Sen, Kusunda

Gyani Maiyi Sen, born around 1937, is the last living speaker of Kusunda. A hundred or so Kusunda people still live in Western and Central Nepal, but deforestation has pushed them out of their forest homes. “The new generation doesn’t want to speak the language,” Gyani Maiyi Sen said in an interview. “They make fun of the language, and that it doesn’t make sense!” This is due in part to prejudice against the Kusunda people, and because younger tribal members like Gyani Maiyi Sen’s son, must spend their time farming to survive. He doesn’t feel he has the time or resources to help preserve the language. Kusunda is a language isolate, meaning it isn’t related to any other languages.


  • Marie Wilcox, Wukchumni

Marie Wilcox, born in 1933, is the last surviving speaker of Wukchumni. Wukchumni, in turn, is the last surviving dialect of the Tule-Kaweah language of the Yokutsan family. The Yokut people of Northern California, and their languages, were the victims of disease, missionaries, and colonial invasion, especially during California’s gold rush. Although she is the only fluent speaker of Wukchumni, Marie Wilcox teaches weekly language classes for other tribal members. She has also published a Wukchumni dictionary.



Marie Wilcox in 2016 (age 87)

Translation Facts Made You Think!
Translation plays a bigger part in history, culture and human life than we sometimes give it credit for. It’s easy to overlook the foundational and far-reaching impacts translation can have on our world. But now you know! And now that you’ve read these translation facts, the next time you meet a modern practitioner of this ancient and storied profession, you can shake their hand. Maybe you can even thank them for helping to bring the world together a little bit more.


Source: Wikipedia - Translation  |  Great Translation Facts

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Fact of the Day - DUCKS


Did you know... that ducks are often the most familiar types of birds to many beginning birders and non-birders, but even experienced birders or duck hunters may not know just how unique these birds can be. These duck facts are sure to surprise you!


Facts About Ducks
Quacking Good Duck Trivia!
Written by Melissa Mayntz  |  Updated 12/15/20


  • All types of ducks are part of the bird family Anatidae, which also includes swans and geese. There are between 140-175 birds in the Anatidae family, depending on how different subspecies are classified, though not all of them are considered ducks.



  • There are species of ducks found worldwide on every continent except Antarctica. Some duck species, such as the mallard, are found throughout the world, while others have very small, restricted ranges.


The Mallard is the archetypal "wild duck".




  • All ducks have highly waterproof feathers as a result of an intricate feather structure and a waxy coating that is spread on each feather while preening. A duck's feathers are so waterproof that even when the duck dives underwater, its downy underlayer of feathers right next to the skin will stay completely dry. The uropygial gland at the base of the tail produces the waxy oil that coats feathers so well, and many other birds also have the same gland.






  • A hen will lead her ducklings up to a half mile or more over land after hatching to find a suitable water source for swimming and feeding. As soon as a baby duck's down is dry after hatching, they will be able to swim. It isn't unusual to see very tiny ducklings swimming after their mother.
  • Male ducks have an eclipse plumage similar to females that they wear after the breeding season for about a month as their new feathers grow. During that month, they are completely flightless and more vulnerable to predators. At this time, many male ducks stay in isolated, remote areas or flock together for protection in numbers.



  • Most duck species are monogamous for a breeding season but they do not often mate for life. Instead, they will seek out new mates each year, choosing the healthiest, strongest, best mate who can help them pass on their genes to a new duckling generation.
  • When constructing her nest, a hen will line it with soft down feathers she plucks from her own breast. This gives the eggs the best possible cushioning and insulation, and exposes the hen's skin so she can keep the eggs warm more efficiently. Other duck nesting material includes grasses, mud, twigs, leaves, reeds, and other plant material.




Red-breasted Merganser (male)


  • A duck's bill is specialized to help it forage in mud and to strain food from the water. A hard nail at the tip of the bill helps with foraging, and the lamellae, a comb-like structure on the sides of the bill, strains small insects and crustaceans from water.



  • Most male ducks are silent and very few ducks actually "quack." Instead, their calls may include squeaks, grunts, groans, chirps, whistles, brays, and growls. Females can also make a wide range of different noises, and they are usually more vocal than males.
  • It is a myth that a duck's quack won't echo. This has been conclusively disproved through different scientific acoustic tests, and was even featured as "busted" on an episode of the Discovery Channel show Mythbusters.



  • Ducks have been domesticated as pets and farm animals for more than 500 years, and all domestic ducks are descended from either the mallard or the Muscovy duck. Mallards, especially, are easy to crossbreed with other types of ducks, and mallards often hybridize with all types of ducks at local ponds. This can lead to very unusual feather shapes and color patterns that can be confusing to identify.



  • There are more than 40 breeds of domestic duck. The all-white Pekin duck (also called the Long Island duck) is the most common variety raised for eggs and meat, especially on large commercial farms. Smaller organizations or individual farmers often try different duck breeds depending on their needs and tastes.


American Pekin duck




Source: Fun Facts About Ducks

Edited by DarkRavie
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Fact of the Day - BLACKSMITH


Did you know.... that a blacksmith is a metalsmith who creates objects from wrought iron or steel by forging the metal, using tools to hammer, bend, and cut. (Wikipedia)


Jean-Claude Dupont
Published Online: February 6, 2006
Last Edited: March 4, 2015


All these workers practiced a technology that came from the great French craft tradition; their highly skilled art derived from trade guild knowledge, instruction and scientific treatises.



Until the mid-18th century, few ironsmiths practiced their trade full-time. Those who repaired arms and tools in the forts and trading posts also engaged in the fur trade. During the same period other metalworkers became established in the towns and countryside. These craftsmen included locksmiths, gunsmiths, nailsmiths, cutlers, edge-tool makers and farriers, who shod draught horses and oxen, polished runners, put metal rims on wheels and repaired various objects.




All these workers practiced a technology that came from the great French craft tradition; their highly skilled art derived from trade guild knowledge, instruction and scientific treatises. Apprenticeship, usually lasting 3 years, was rigorous and entry to the trade was virtually restricted to the sons of ironsmiths, the descendants of other tradesmen, orphans under religious guardianship and the sons of protected habitants.




In English Canada, the first blacksmiths were brought to Canada by the HBC in the 1670s. Young journeymen were brought from England to help build trading posts and to make and repair goods that would be too costly to ship from England.


Metalworkers were important in society and set up business mainly in the major centers, clustering in the same parts of the town. At the end of the 17th century, they incorporated farming and animal husbandry into their trade. Around the mid-18th century, about one-quarter of these artisans changed occupations to become carpenters, masons, merchants or contractors.



Merchants engaged in international trade

began to develop a more outward-looking



The various craftsmen produced work of high aesthetic and technical quality: their products were as remarkable for their symmetry and proportional motifs as for their complex mortice-and-tenon joints, reinforced by dowels and flanges. Their work drew its inspiration from religious symbols or copies of well-known motifs. Their customers were mainly religious communities, factories, administrators, merchants and wealthy families.


In the early 19th century, most of the iron trades in rural areas tended to be performed by separate craftsmen. Around 1850 the blacksmith's shop became the new reality: here a single craftsman performed all the varied forms of ironwork that could no longer support those who practiced the individual crafts. Although the blacksmith made objects that were less refined than those of his predecessors, he built a unique technology based on knowledge derived from the various iron trades and from skilled habitants, blacksmiths from Ireland, Scotland and England, and artisans who had worked with metal in small American industries (eg, quarries, brickworks).




Blacksmiths were particularly important in the new towns that sprang up in the West along the railway lines. They were needed not only for shoeing horses and repairing wagon wheels but for making and repairing parts for the new farm machinery that was revolutionizing farming on the prairie.




The smith's basic means of working the metals were physical and chemical: air from the bellows, fire from the forge, water for tempering and tools operated by hand. Transformation processes were heating, hammering and tempering (mainly with water). Besides shoeing horses and sometimes trading in them as well, the blacksmith made and repaired all the tools needed for agriculture, cattle rearing, fishing, forestry, heating and transportation. He also fashioned objects with decorative motifs (eg, fleur-de-lys, rattail, leaf, heart, cross, sun, rooster).


Blacksmiths also practiced veterinary medicine and, in some areas, doctored humans as well. In rural Québec in the 19th and early 20th centuries, blacksmiths practiced a magico-religious medicine based on vaguely scientific notions, combined with folk beliefs and superstitions.



The Furnace Motif


The village smithy was always brimming with activity. It was a meeting place where men held their stag parties, learned to drink, played power and parlour games and discussed politics. The blacksmith indulged in certain popular practices: he was called to re-establish order in the village; he struck the new fire of Holy Saturday in his forge and carried it into the church; he headed the labour group and maintained the fire used in flax crushing; his horses drew the hearse. The blacksmith himself, the theme of tales, legends and songs, held a privileged place in folklore.



1916 illustration for the folk tale, ‘The Smith and the Devil'


The end of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century saw the development of the country blacksmith's role. At that time, there was an average of one blacksmith for every 100 families, 3-5 blacksmiths per village. The blacksmith enabled the community to save money. Inhabitants paid a fixed price for the year and could have their horses shod as often as they wished. Clients used a barter system and paid in kind with farm or forest products. Sometimes the blacksmith lent money at interest; sometimes he resold grains, vegetables, meats and other produce that he received in payment.




When the colony of New France was established, there was a movement to set up associations similar to those found in France; however, the best that could be done was to form societies of artisans that were more symbolic than corporate in nature. These associations had no control over the quality and conditions of work. The masterpiece required for entry to the trade was never a tradition in Québec; in the early days of the colony, the only requirement was an agreement between the master and his apprentice, drafted by a notary.


In the 19th and 20th centuries, the terms of engagement were less and less official. By the turn of the century, toolmaking machines had already been in use for a long time and complex implements were produced industrially. Gradually, horses were replaced by traction engines for most draught purposes. Blacksmiths became garage mechanics or wandering smiths, shoeing horses at forest work sites or setting up in an area where race or riding horses were found.




In the traditional shop, machine tools had been adopted by the mid-19th century to accelerate production and organize human energy; however, except for a general decline in knowledge of the trade and some diversity in manual tools, the physical nature of the blacksmithing trade changed little up to its final disappearance in the 1950s.


The country blacksmith has left behind him the memory of a strongly individualistic, boasting, swearing, noisy man who associated mostly with other men and worked with percussion tools. The urban smith, working first in a shop and then in industry as a worker, belongs to an era characterized by scientific knowledge. If he persisted in his trade, the city smith had to adapt to the evolving industrial process of working with cast iron and steel.


Source: Wikipedia - Blacksmith  |  Canadian Encyclopedia - Blacksmithing

Edited by DarkRavie
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Fact of the Day - COLOR


Did you know... that color, or colour, is the characteristic of visual perception described through color categories, with names such as red, orange, yellow, green, blue, or purple. This perception of color derives from the stimulation of photoreceptor cells by electromagnetic radiation. (Wikipedia)


Interesting Color Facts



About colors. The world around us is not black and white. It is beautiful, colorful, and it offers itself to us in a multitude of different colors. The human eye can distinguish between at least 2000 different shades of different colors and those also in many different combinations. We use and express ourselves with them. They serve as a tool for communication and help us as changing the welfare, surroundings. Using them, we also disclose our spiritual and cultural orientation. We can enrich our world with colors, making it more aesthetic and adjusted to your own needs and desires. It is also good to know something about the colors so that we do not spoil the climate in which we live.



There are three basic colors: yellow, red, and blue. These are called primary colors. They are basic because they can not be derived from other colors. When mixed, they form black. This is called subtraction of color mixtures. From the original primary colors mentioned above, they differ in that: we get them by the removal of light.


Primary Colors


When we mix the neighboring colors, the circle, we get secondary colors: orange, violet, and green.



Secondary Colors


And if we mix the primary and secondary colors, we get tertiary colors: red-violet, red-orange, blue-green, yellow-green, blue-violet, and yellow-orange.



Tertiary Colors


Harmonic colors are those who are the neighbors of the color circle. These are, for example: yellow, lemon yellow, orange-yellow, orange-brown. All 4 of these are originating from the area between yellow and orange, so they fit together nicely.



Harmonic Colors


Complementary colors are those that are lying on the opposite side from one another and are generating a voltage. Yellow is complementary to purple; orange is complementary to blue, and green is complementary to red.



Complimentary Colors


Warm colors are red, orange, and yellow. Cool colors are blue, green, and purple. Neutral colors are white, brown, and beige.



Color Wheel


We practically never see a single solitary color, not even if we want to isolate it on purpose. Each has its color tone, brightness, and saturation, and is more or less under the influence of the colors that surround it, or those that form its background:

– Brightness: color on a dark background seems to be brighter than on a lighter background.

– Tint: Cyan on a green background looks bluer and on a blue background looks greener.

– Saturation: any color is greyish on the background of pure, clean tone; however, if the background is bright, it looks greyish.




  • The white flag is a symbol of peace.
  • Pharaohs of Egypt wore a white crown.
  • A wedding in a white dress is supposed to bring good luck. Therefore, it is the traditional color of wedding dresses in the Western world and Japan.
  • Whitelist (opposite to blacklist) contains big things.
  • The knight in shining white armor is supposed to be the savior.
  • White Room is usually a clean room, dust-free, temperature-controlled, meant for Inhalt precise instruments.
  • Old Persians believed that all gods wore white clothes.
  • The white feather is a symbol of a coward.
  • Angels are mostly dressed in white.
  • White is the color of mourning in China and some parts of Africa. By the 16th century, it was also the color of mourning in Europe.
  • The ancient Greeks were dressed in white while sleeping due to dreams, more pleasant thoughts.




  • Yellow is the color of mourning in Egypt and Burma.
  • For holistic healers, it is the color of peace.
  • The yellow ribbon is a sign of support to the soldiers at the front.
  • If someone is said to have yellow lines, it means that a person is a coward.
  • Yellow can symbolize jealousy and deceit (France) and sadness (Greece).
  • Hindus in India wear yellow when celebrating the festival of spring.
  • In the 10th century, in France, criminals and traitors got their front door painted with yellow.
  • Executioners in Spain in the old days wore yellow.
  • In the US, taxis and school buses are yellow.
  • For old Aztecs, yellow symbolized food (corn).
  • The yellow flag means quarantine.
  • In India, it can symbolize farmers or traders.




  • Orange is Dutch national color from their War for Independence, which participated in the rebel “Orange” prince.
  • In China and Japan, the orange symbolizes happiness and love.




  • In South Africa, red is the color of mourning.
  • Red in Russia represents beauty.
  • In India, red is a symbol of a soldier.
  • “Red-shirts” were soldiers of the Italian leader Garibaldi, who united and founded modern Italy in the 19th century.
  • In Greece, Easter eggs are colored in red for good luck.
  • For old Romans, red was also a sign of conflict.
  • In England, telephone booths and double-decker buses are red.
  • The Aztecs associated red color with blood.
  • In China, red is the color of happiness and is used for weddings. Also, with Hindus and Muslims.
  • Red amulets prolong life for many cultures.
  • The highest arc in the rainbow is red.
  • In financial circles, red represents a negative outlook.
  • Bees can see all the colors except red.
  • In India, the red dot on the forehead of women is bringing good luck.
  • When you blush, it means that you feel embarrassed.
  • A red flag means danger.




  • Purple is the color of mourning in Thailand.
  • Violet’s heart is a reward for the injured and dead soldiers.
  • Purple gowns represent authority and high positions.




  • In Iran, blue is the color of mourning.
  • Pharaohs in ancient Egypt wore blue for protection against evil.
  • Blue blood means royal roots.
  • We believe that blue protect against witches.
  • Even in ancient Rome, public officials wore blue.




  • In the ancient Egyptians, the floor of the temple was painted green.
  • Green with envy means that jealous and envious.
  • In ancient Greece, green symbolized victory.
  • Greenhorn means a new man, a newcomer, someone fresh without experiences.
  • If anyone gets the green light means that a person can start with a task or project.
  • Green Room is a special room in concerts and theaters, where performers rest and relax before performing.
  • In Scotland’s Highlands, the green is worn as a sign of pride.
  • Green is the national color of the Irish people.
  • If you’re green, it means that you got sick.
  • Green means go.




  • Black Sheep is an outcast.
  • With the ancient Egyptians and Romans, the black was the color of mourning.
  • Black is often the color of secrets and mysteries.
  • A person who has “a black heart” is evil.
  • The black market stands for illegal trafficking in goods or money.
  • Blacklist is a list of people or organizations which are punished or boycotted.
  • If a business is in the black, it means it is doing well and brings in some money.
  • The ancient Egyptians believed that black cats possess divine power.
  • Experts in karate are wearing black belts.
  • The black flag in car racing means that the driver needs to drive into the boxes.


Source: Wikipedia - Color  |  Interesting Color Facts


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9 hours ago, DarkRavie said:


  • In China, red is the color of happiness and is used for weddings. Also, with Hindus and Muslims.


Correction: Muslims have nothing to do with red. Wearing red on a wedding is a Hindu thing, but gained popularity over the past 70 or so years among the whole of the sub-continent.

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8 hours ago, warriorpirate said:

Correction: Muslims have nothing to do with red. Wearing red on a wedding is a Hindu thing, but gained popularity over the past 70 or so years among the whole of the sub-continent.


Thank you for the correction.  I got this on a website but they don't go in-depth  on the colors, so it's always good to know when I get something off and someone corrects me!

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Fact of the Day - DRIFTWOOD


Driftwood provides a perch for a bald eagle

on Fir Island, Washington.


Did you know... that driftwood is wood that has been washed onto a shore or beach of a sea, lake, or river by the action of winds, tides or waves. In some waterfront areas, driftwood is a major nuisance. However, the driftwood provides shelter and food for birds, fish and other aquatic species as it floats in the ocean. (Wikipedia)


The Surprising Beauty and Benefits of Driftwood
By Russell McLendon  |  Updated August 15, 2018




Trees are pillars of their communities, a role they can maintain even in death. An upright dead tree offers vital habitat to certain birds and bats, for example, while a fallen tree is a bonanza for life on the forest floor, including future trees. Yet rotting in place is not the only natural afterlife for a tree. Sometimes, instead of giving back to its birth forest, a tree will embark on an odyssey to pay it forward, carrying its ecological wealth away from the only home it has ever known. These traveling trees don't mean to betray their roots; they're just going with the flow. They've become driftwood, a term for any woody remnants of trees that wind up moving through rivers, lakes or oceans. This journey is often brief, merely leading to a different part of the same ecosystem, but it can also send a tree far out to sea — and maybe even across it.


Driftwood is a common sight at beaches around the world, although many people dismiss it as unremarkable scenery or useless debris. And while some driftwood is a little short on mystique — like twigs from a nearby tree, or boards that fell off a fishing pier — it can also be a ghost from a distant forest or shipwreck, transformed by its adventures into something beautiful. Along the way, driftwood tends to return the favor by reshaping and enriching the environments it visits. In an age when oceans are plagued by plastic trash, driftwood is a reminder that natural marine debris can be benign, even beneficial. It embodies the fragile ecological links between land and water, as well as the subtle beauty commonly hiding in plain sight. In hopes of shedding more light on these qualities, here's a deeper look at why driftwood deserves more attention:


Windows of opportunity



Long before humans built boats from dead trees, the raw materials were out there exploring uncharted waters on their own. Driftwood may have even inspired our first wooden rafts and boats, as ancient people noticed its strength and buoyancy. Dead trees have always served as boats, though, just usually for smaller passengers. Driftwood not only feeds and shelters lots of tiny wildlife, but can also help them colonize otherwise unreachable habitats. And its arrival can benefit local residents, too, introducing new resources to sustain coastal wildlife and help buffer their exposed home from wind and sun.




Depending on the driftwood and where it washes up, seafaring trees can be valuable additions to waterfront habitats that lack the canopy and roots of live trees, such as rocky beaches or coastal sand-dune ecosystems. Even in places with plenty of trees, like the banks of a forested river, driftwood often plays an integral role in building up and shaping the habitat's infrastructure.


Logging off



The adventures of driftwood often begin in rivers, and many of them stay there. Driftwood is an important part of virtually all natural waterscapes around the world, including freshwater streams, rivers and lakes as well as oceans. Rivers that flow through or near forests tend to collect pieces of dead trees, sometimes resulting in accumulations of driftwood known as logjams. Over time, these clusters can help build up the banks of rivers and even shape their channels, influencing not only the way water moves through the ecosystem, but also what kind of solutes, sediments and organic matter it contains.


Driftwood also slows down the flow of a river, helping it retain more nutrients to nourish its native wildlife. And by forming lots of different microhabitats within a river channel, driftwood has a tendency to boost local biodiversity, too. Similar to long-lived beaver dams, driftwood logjams have been known to persist for centuries if left alone, eventually becoming huge, landscape-altering rafts. One such logjam, known as the Great Raft, may have been growing for 1,000 years before the Lewis and Clark expedition encountered it in 1806. The raft, reportedly sacred to the native Caddo people, held tens of millions of cubic feet of cedar, cypress and petrified wood, covering nearly 160 miles of the Red and Atchafalaya rivers in Louisiana.




The Great Raft may have been a natural wonder, but because it blocked navigation of the Red River, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers launched an effort to dismantle it. Initially led by steamboat captain Henry Shreve, the project kicked off in the 1830s and took decades to complete, inadvertently transforming the geology of the Lower Mississippi River watershed in the process. "The many lakes and bayous that the Red River had created in Louisiana and East Texas drained away," according to the Red River Historian. "The river shortened its path to the Mississippi. To stop the destabilization of the land surrounding the river, the Corps of Engineers had to implement billions of dollars in lock and dam improvements to keep the river navigable."


Even under natural conditions, however, rivers rarely hold onto all of their driftwood. Depending on the size of a waterway, it may let trees and woody debris keep flowing downstream, eventually reaching a new environment like a lakeshore, estuary or beach. Although driftwood often decays within two years, some pieces last much longer under certain conditions. The Old Man of the Lake, for one, is a 30-foot-tall (9-meter) tree stump that's been bobbing vertically in Oregon's Crater Lake since at least 1896.


Branching out



As streams and rivers carry driftwood seaward, large "driftwood depositories" sometimes collect at a waterway's mouth. These buildups have existed for roughly 120 million years, dating back almost as far as flowering plants themselves. Some of their driftwood may eventually continue out to sea, while other pieces stick around in a river delta, estuary or a nearby shoreline.


Click the link below ⬇️ to read more about Driftwood.


Source: Beauty and Benefits of Driftwood  |  Wikipedia - Driftwood


Edited by DarkRavie
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8 hours ago, DarkRavie said:


Thank you for the correction.  I got this on a website but they don't go in-depth  on the colors, so it's always good to know when I get something off and someone corrects me!

Hey no worries... I enjoy the stuff you post here. :D 

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Fact of the Day - BASKETBALL


James Naismith


Did you know... that the history of basketball began with its invention in 1891 in Springfield, Massachusetts by Canadian physical education instructor James Naismith as a less injury-prone sport than football. Naismith was a 31-year old graduate student when he created the indoor sport to keep athletes indoors during the winters. (Wikipedia)


Basketball in Canada
Article by Frank T. Butler  |  April 30, 2006
Updated by Tabitha Marshall  |  March 10, 2017


Basketball is a game played between two teams of five players each. The objective is to score by throwing a ball through a netted hoop located at each end of the court. Invented by Canadian James Naismith in 1891, while he was teaching at the YMCA in Springfield, Massachusetts, basketball is now one of the most popular sports in the world.



James Naismith, inventor of basketball


Invention of Basketball
Basketball was invented in 1891 by James Naismith at the YMCA International Training School (now Springfield College) in Springfield, Massachusetts. Naismith, an instructor at the school, responded to the need for an indoor winter recreational activity that could be easily learned and played in teams. Naismith wanted to develop a game that emphasized skill instead of force. The result was a team sport in which the object was to score by throwing a large ball into a (peach) basket placed about 3 m (or 10 feet) above the floor. Naismith also defined 13 basic rules, including prohibitions against running with the ball and “shouldering, holding, pushing, tripping, or striking in any way.”


Naismith's original rules

There were only thirteen rules of "basket ball":

  1. The ball may be thrown in any direction with one or both hands.
  2. The ball may be batted in any direction with one or both hands.
  3. A player cannot run with the ball, the player must throw it from the spot on which he catches it, allowance to be made for a man who catches the ball when running at good speed.
  4. The ball must be held in or between the hands, the arms or body must not be used for holding it.
  5. No shouldering, holding, pushing, tripping or striking in any way the person of an opponent shall be allowed. The first infringement of this rule by any person shall count as a foul, the second shall disqualify him until the next goal is made, or if there was evident intent to injure the person, for the whole of the game, no substitute.
  6. A foul is striking the ball with the fist, violation of rules 3 and 4, and such as described in rule 5.
  7. If either side makes three consecutive fouls it shall count a goal for opponents.
  8. A goal shall be made when the ball is thrown or batted from grounds into the basket and stays there. If the ball rests on the edge and the opponent moves the basket it shall count as a goal.
  9. When the ball goes out of bounds it shall be thrown into the field and played by the person first touching it. In case of a dispute, the umpire shall throw it straight into the field. The "thrower-in" is allowed five seconds. If he holds it longer it shall go to the opponent. If any side persists in delaying the game, the umpire shall call a foul on them.
  10. The umpire shall be the judge of the men and shall note the fouls, and notify the referee when three consecutive fouls have been made.
  11. The referee shall be the judge of the ball and shall decide when the ball is in play, in-bounds, and to which side it belongs, and shall keep the time. He shall decide when a goal has been made and keep account of the goals with any other duties that are usually performed by a referee.
  12. The time shall be fifteen-minute halves, with five-minute rests between.
  13. The side making the most goals in that time shall be declared the winner. In the case of a draw, the game may, by agreement of the captains, be continued until another goal is made


Graduates of the YMCA training school in Springfield helped to spread basketball throughout the world. By the 1930s, it was played in countries around the world, prompting its acceptance as an official Olympic men’s competition in 1936.



Basketball in Canada
Many students at the YMCA International Training School in Springfield were Canadian, and these young men (e.g., Lyman Archibald, J. Howard Crocker, William H. Ball) helped establish the new game across the country. By 1900, basketball was being played in Canada by both men and women at local YMCAs and YWCAs, and in schools and clubs.


In 1923, the Canadian Amateur Basketball Association (CABA) was formed in Port Arthur [Thunder Bay], Ontario. As the official governing body for basketball in Canada, its main function was to assist with national championships, but its programs, beyond men's and women's national championships, now include: men's and women's national team development; technical development with coaching; official and player certification; youth programs; a Hall of Fame; educational services; and promotion and revenue generation. In 1973, the organization voted to adopt the international playing rules of the Fédération Internationale de Basketball Amateur/International Amateur Basketball Federation (FIBA). The CABA was renamed Basketball Canada by 1980, and later became Canada Basketball.


Basketball is one of the most popular sports in Canada. According to the Canadian Youth Sports Report, around 354,000 youth (age 3–17) played basketball in 2014, making it the sixth most popular sporting activity for young Canadians after swimming, soccer, dance, hockey and skating. Among new Canadians (those whose parents were born outside Canada), basketball was second only to soccer.



The first basketball court: Springfield College


Professional Basketball in Canada
Canada’s first professional basketball teams began playing in the 1946–47 season. The Toronto Huskies played that season as part of the Basketball Association of America, a forerunner of the National Basketball Association. On 1 November 1946, Toronto hosted the league’s first game, playing the New York Knickerbockers at Maple Leaf Gardens. The Huskies lost to the Knickerbockers that evening and folded at the end of the season. On the West Coast, the Vancouver Hornets played in the Pacific Coast Professional Basketball League (1946–47 and 1947–48), before the league folded. It would be several decades until professional basketball returned to Canada. In the 1980s, Canadian teams began playing in minor professional leagues such as the Continental Basketball Association and the World Basketball League.


A new era in Canadian professional basketball began in 1994, when the National Basketball Association (NBA), the major professional league in the United States, awarded franchises to two Canadian cities. The Toronto Raptors and Vancouver Grizzlies, who both began play in 1995, brought major professional basketball to Canada for the first time. The Grizzlies were unsuccessful and moved to Memphis, Tennessee, in 2001. The Raptors continue as the league's only Canadian team. Support for the Raptors has grown, with increasing numbers watching or attending games. In 2005–06, the average attendance at Raptors home games was 17,056 (17th of 30 teams in the NBA), but by 2015–16, attendance had risen to 19,825 (4th of 30 teams). Between the 2010–11 and 2014–15 seasons, TV viewership for the Raptors more than doubled, from 108,000 to 246,000.


A growing number of Canadians have played on National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) teams in the United States, and in the professional National Basketball Association and Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA). Canadian NBA players include Bob Houbregs, Bill Wennington, Rick Fox, Steve Nash, Cory Joseph and Andrew Wiggins. In 2005, while playing for the Phoenix Suns, Nash won the league's MVP award, becoming the first Canadian to receive the honour.



Steve Nash


International Competition
Basketball appeared as a demonstration sport for male athletes at the 1904 Olympic Games in St Louis. The Edmonton Grads, a women's team, played a series of matches in conjunction with the 1924, 1928 and 1936 Olympic Summer Games. In 1936, men’s basketball first appeared as an official Olympic sport. Canada's team at the 1936 Berlin Olympiad, the Windsor Ford V8s, made up of players primarily from Windsor, Ontario, and strengthened by players from the West Coast, won the silver medal, losing in the final to the United States 19 to 8. Women’s basketball became an Olympic sport in 1976. Neither team has won an Olympic medal in basketball since 1936, but both have reached the podium at the Pan American Games and the FIBA Americas Championships. The women’s team has also won bronze medals at the FIBA World Championships.


Wheelchair Basketball
In 1946, about half a century after basketball was invented, American Second World War veterans played the first documented wheelchair basketball game. Two Canadian teams soon formed — the Vancouver Dueck Powerglides in 1950 and the Montréal Wheelchair Wonders in 1951. The game quickly became popular, and in 1968 the first Canadian championships were held in Edmonton, Alberta. Wheelchair basketball is now one of the most popular team sports for athletes with disabilities. The national men’s and women’s teams are among the best in the world, and since 1992 have won several Paralympic and world championships.




Source: Wikipedia - History of Basketball  |  Basketball in Canada

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Fact of the Day - ICE CREAM


Black Sesame Soft Ice Cream, Japan


Did you know... that ice cream is a sweetened frozen food typically eaten as a snack or dessert. It may be made from dairy milk or cream and is flavoured with a sweetener, either sugar or an alternative, and any spice, such as cocoa or vanilla. It can also be made by whisking a flavored cream base and liquid Nitrogen together. (Wikipedia)


Ice Cream facts You Might Not Know



The Introduction of Ice Cream is Unclear
No one really knows who invented ice cream. We have bits and pieces of information. It’s enough to put together a basic story, but we don’t have all of the answers. In Ancient Rome, Emperor Nero enjoyed mixing snow with fruit and honey. He frequently sent messengers out to gather snow from the mountains.


Some historians credit Marco Polo with being the first one to bring some type of ice cream to Europe. He had learned it from the Chinese, who had flavored snow with rice and milk to make a creamy dessert. From there, it progressed. Eventually, ice cream recipes reached the United States a few centuries after Christopher Columbus landed on American soil.


Ice Cream Sundaes Were Actually Made For Sundays
There are two competing stories about the invention of the ice cream sundae. Here is the most popular one.


Ice cream sodas were a popular drink you could buy at the local soda shop. However, religious laws forbade shop owners from selling them on Sundays because people were not allowed to indulge in the sugary treats on the Sabbath. The owner of Ed Berners’ Ice Cream Parlor, Edward Berners, decided to get around this law. One day, he served a customer ice cream soda without the actual soda part, so it was just ice cream and syrup. Soon, the concoction was sold on Sundays as an alternative to ice cream sodas. However, it became so popular it was sold every day. Berners changed the spelling to “sundae” to avoid associating it with the holy Sabbath.




The Waffle Cone Was Invented by Accident
In 1904, an ice cream vendor ran out of cones. He was at the World’s Fair in St. Louis, Missouri, and he was facing high demand from guests. Desperate for a solution, he turned to a waffle vendor nearby. Together, they came up with the idea to mold the waffles into cones and serve the ice cream in there. Customers loved the idea, and the waffle cone was officially born.




America Loves Ice Cream!
The United States is one of the top 3 countries in the world with the highest ice cream consumption. California is the country’s top ice cream producer. That’s no surprise, since it’s also the top dairy producer in the country. Can you guess what America’s favorite flavor is? If you guessed chocolate, rocky road, or cookies n’ crème, you’re wrong. It’s actually vanilla.




The Ingredients of the First Handwritten Ice Cream Recipe Will Disgust You
Sometime around 1668, English noblewoman Lady Anne Fanshawe wrote down the first official ice cream recipe. She originally called it “icy cream,” and it called for some pretty strange things. To prepare the ice cream, the recipe states to boil cream with mace. If that doesn’t throw you off, wait till you see what comes next. For flavor, Fanshawe wrote to use orange flower or ambergris with some sugar. If you don’t know what ambergris is, it is essentially whale vomit. Occasionally, sperm whales suffer from a buildup in their intestines, which ends up coming up in the form of a vomit-like substance. This is known as ambergris, and in the past it was commonly used to make things like candles or perfumes.


Which Came First: Chocolate or Vanilla?
If you thought the answer was vanilla, you’re wrong. Chocolate was actually invented first. We generally assume that vanilla ice cream came first because it’s the common base that creates many other flavors. However, it wasn’t always that way.


Ice Cream Used to be a Luxury
Back in the day, ice cream was seen as a luxurious dessert that only the elite could enjoy. It was considered rare and exotic, and remained this way until the late 1800s. The elite and rich upper-class society members were the only ones who could afford the imported ingredients and the cold storage. These were also the days before the commercialization and manufacturing of ice cream. Therefore, it wasn’t as easy to get for everyone, which led to the exclusivity.


There is an Ice Cream Fruit in Hawaii
That’s right. There’s a Hawaiian fruit that tastes exactly like vanilla ice cream. It’s called the Inga feuilleei, but locals call it the ice cream bean. It grows on perennial trees in hot climates, and it is enjoyed in many different ways by locals.



Astronaut Ice Cream Has Never Actually Been to Space
You’ve probably seen astronaut ice cream in a handful of gift shops and candy stores. It’s essentially freeze-dried ice cream. But astronaut ice cream is actually not used on space missions. In fact, astronaut ice cream has never been to space at all. Some reports have said it did once, on the Apollo 7 mission in 1968. However, those reports have been dismissed by Walter Cunningham, the only living astronaut on that mission, who claims that there was never such a thing. NASA scientists are now coming up with new inventions to help astronauts enjoy ice cream in space. However, this form of ice cream isn’t exactly the freeze-dried Neapolitan you might have tasted as a kid.



 Freeze-dried Neapolitan ice cream


There’s a Simple Trick to Help Brain Freeze
The real word for brain freeze is sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia. But you can keep calling it brain freeze or frozen headache. What is brain freeze? In simple terms, you have temperature sensors on the roof of your mouth. When cold objects hit it before your body has time to process, your nerves send a message to your brain that signal heat loss. This is what brings on that massive headache halfway through eating your ice cream. To combat brain freeze, hold your tongue against the roof of your mouth. This will help warm your sensors and get your brain out of panic mode.



Brain Freeze Cat


We Know How Many Licks it Takes to Get Through a Scoop
The magic number is 50. We’re just jealous we weren’t the person who got to do the taste test to get that data!





Source: Wikipedia - Ice Cream  |  Ice cream Facts

Edited by DarkRavie
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Fact of the Day - SKATEBOARDING


Lenna performs a 360 flip in front of the

Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY


Did you know.... that the first skateboards started with wooden boxes, or boards, with roller skate wheels attached to the bottom. Crate scooters preceded skateboards, having a wooden crate attached to the nose (front of the board), which formed rudimentary handlebars. The boxes turned into planks, similar to the skateboard decks of today. Skateboarding is an action sport that involves riding and performing tricks using a skateboard, as well as a recreational activity, an art form, an entertainment industry job, and a method of transportation. Skateboarding has been shaped and influenced by many skateboarders throughout the years. A 2009 report found that the skateboarding market is worth an estimated $4.8 billion in annual revenue, with 11.08 million active skateboarders in the world. In 2016, it was announced that skateboarding will be represented at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. Since the 1970s, skateparks have been constructed specifically for use by skateboarders, freestyle BMXers, aggressive skaters, and very recently, scooters. However, skateboarding has become controversial in areas in which the activity, although illegal, has damaged curbs, stoneworks, steps, benches, plazas, and parks. (Wikipedia)




History of Skateboarding

by SkateDelux.com


Skateboarding is more than just cruising around. Skateboarding is a lifestyle. Skateboarding is love. Over the past 60 years Skateboarding went through a kind of evolution. The main points of the story we clarified for you in our skateboarding history:


THE 1950S

By the early 1950s, surfing can be traced as the source of skateboarding. Some surfers had the idea to transfer the feeling of riding waves onto the streets to defy times of days with a gentle swell. Not without any reason these dudes were called “asphalt surfers”. At two spots in the world a kind of a skateboard was developed at the first time in the early 1950s: California and Hawaii. They used shorter surfboards and wheels made out of metal without some bearings. In the late 1950s, skateboarding had a first peak. During the post-war period, the U.S. economy boomed and this also affected the toy industry. During that time, the toy industry became aware of the board with wheels. In 1959, Roller Derby released the first official skateboard with some new technical developments. Thereby, the handling characteristics have been improved. For this reason, skateboarders were able to develop new tricks and maneuvers.




THE 1960S

Between the years 1959 and 1965, skateboarding became more and more popular in the United States. Particularly affected were the states on the east and west coasts. Due to the industrial development, the skateboard’s status changed from toy to sports equipment. In 1962, the surf shop “Val-Surf” in Hollywood sold the first self-produced skateboards. These boards featured a typical surfboard shape and roller skate trucks and were sold as complete boards. In the same year, the company Patterson Forbes developed the first industrially produced complete boards with more developed trucks. In 1963, the publisher of the “Surf Guide Magazine” Larry Stevenson released the first advertisement for skateboards in his magazine. Also the clothing industry specialized more and more on skateboarding. One of the most famous skateboarding shoe brand named Vans was established in 1966. From this day on, Vans supported skateboarders from all over the world. Especially shoe companies like Vans, Etnies, Converse and DC Shoes developed and manufactured skateboarding related footwear and streetwear.


Another landmark event in 1963 was the first skate contest in Hermosa Beach, California. Skateboarding was not just cruising anymore. Skateboarders showed their skills in different disciplines like slalom or freestyle and companies started to assemble a team to sponsor the riders. As the popularity of skateboarding began to expand, the first skateboarding magazine The Quarterly Skateboarder” was published in 1964.


A next big step was the further development of the shape of the boards. Larry Stevenson invented the “kicktail“, and with it came a lot more possibilities to ride a skateboard.




THE 1970S

The only consistent thing is change and so it came to a point where everything changed for skateboarding. Frank Nasworthy’ invention of polyurethane wheels in 1972 made it possible for skateboarding to come back. Nasworthy started the company Cadillac Wheels and with the new material it was possible to ride smoother, faster and more comfortable. A variety of disciplines such as freestyle, downhill and slalom experienced a real high point. New magazines like the “Skateboarder Magazine” from 1975 were published and new events were launched. In 1976, the first artificially created skate park was inaugurated and new parks emerged with new elements such as vertical ramps and kickers.


In the mid-1970s, skateboarding reached Germany. The American soldiers brought the trend with them and by 1976 Munich became the first German skateboard center. In Munich Neuperlach, the first skate park was built, first skateboard magazines followed and in 1978 the first German skateboard championships were held in Munich.


All the different riders with their individual styles enhanced lots of new tricks. Therefore, skateboarding hardware was developed further and further: Shapes changed, boards became wider, got more concave and they featured nose and tail.

Then in 1978, Alan Gelfand invented a maneuver that gave skateboarding another revolutionary jump: The “Ollie”, which counts as the greatest trick ever invented and completely revolutionized skateboarding. That was the birth of street skateboarding!




THE 1980S
Rodney Mullen was one of the first riders who transferred the Ollie for different maneuvers onto the streets and spread a new style of skateboarding. Next to other fun sport activities like BMX or inline skating, street skateboarding developed more and more and became very popular.


In 1981, the “Thrasher Magazine” was founded and since then, this magazine stands for street skateboarding, the core scene, punk rock and the lifestyle slogan “Skate And Destroy”. In 1983, another well-known magazine was founded, namely the “Transworld Skateboarding Magazine”. Next to these magazines, a few smaller ones were founded and more skate shops opened. Because of this, the popularity of skateboarding continued to grow. A global dissemination of new tricks and unseen skate maneuvers allowed the first skate videos on VHS. Videography has become increasingly important to the scene.


Titus Dittmann was instrumental in the development of skateboarding in Germany. He imported skate-related products from the US and organized contests and various skateboarding events. The “Münster Monster Mastership” became one of the biggest international skateboarding competitions in the 1980s. For that reason, skateboarding became more and more famous in Germany.


From the mid-1980s on, it was possible to earn good money as a professional skateboarder and the skateboard industry boomed in the US. In the late 1980s, companies like Powell Peralta, Santa Cruz and Vision dominated the international market of the scene. The fashion was mainly determined by shoes. Shoes by Vans, Converse or Vision became flagships for the skateboarding scene.


Skateboarding was now absolutely established the US and in Germany and vert skateboarding was replaced by street skateboarding. The number of skateboarders increased significantly and professional skateboarders became more and more famous just like baseball or football stars.




In the early 1990s, skateboarding went through a further depth phase due to the increase in various trend sports. So skateboarding went back to its roots. But because of the digitalization, skateboarding maintained its presence in public. From the mid-1990s, the modern skateboarding experienced a next high phase, which continues until today. Mega events like the “X-Games” were launched and televised. Due to numerous magazines, all the events, videos and last but not least the internet, skateboarding became common worldwide.


Because of brands like Chocolate, Girl Skateboards or Flip Skateboards, the skateboarding hardware was developed more and more and skateboarders could buy high-quality skateboards in every bigger city.


More indicators are the big and worldwide known events of “Street League”. “Street League Skateboarding” is a contest series for international pro skaters. Here, you only see the best street skateboarder you can think of like Nyjah Huston, Eric Koston, Paul Rodriguez, Andrew Reynolds, Ryan Sheckler or Torey Pudwill. Due to the cash prizes of 200.000 US Dollars or more for the winner and 10.000 visitors at the “Street League” stops, skateboarding has become a professional sport.



2012 Champion, Nyjah Huston


In Germany, street skating is the most popular discipline at contests just like in the USA. The European and German skate scene is independent, has its own industry, pros and a national contest series. This is an evidence of how big the role of skateboarding is in our society.


Skateboarding has become a job for a lot of people. Because of the increasing networking inside the skate scene, skateboarding will grow and bring more innovations in the future. But for the most of us, skateboarding is and will be a hobby and an attitude to life.


The only thing we have left to say is:


Thank you skateboarding!


Source: Wikipedia - Skateboarding  |  History of Skateboarding

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Fact of the Day - RANDOM TRIVIA


Did you know... that whether it's an interesting truth about blue whales or some mind-boggling facts about American food, it's always good to know some random trivia — and even more fun to quiz your friends and family with some crazy facts that are wildly unknown but still surprisingly true. The next time you're gathered around the table for some quality family dinner time, pull out one (or more) of these cool-but-unknown facts as an interesting conversation starter or a fun quizzing game — you'll even be sure to impress everyone with your knowledge and have tons of fun while you're at it, too!



Celebrate National Trivia Day with these fun facts.
BY CAROLINE PICARD  |  Dec 27, 2019


The hashtag symbol is technically called an octothorpe.

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the "octo-" prefix refers to the eight points on the popular symbol, but the "thorpe" remains a mystery. One theory claims that it comes from the Old English word for "village," based on the idea that the symbol looks like a village surrounded by eight fields!


The 100 folds in a chef's hat represent 100 ways to cook an egg.

Yes, that tall, pleated white hat that chefs wear — technically called a toque — has 100 folds for a reason! According to Reluctant Gourmet, the pleats used to signify a chef's level of experience, like the number of ways he or she knew how to prepare eggs.


The longest wedding veil was longer than 63 football fields.

If you thought Meghan Markle's wedding veil was long, get this: there's a woman in Cyprus who set the Guinness World Record for the longest wedding veil. How long was it, you ask? Nearly 23,000 feet, which is the same length as about 63.5 football fields.


Some cats are allergic to people.

FYI for all you people allergic to cats: they might be allergic to you, too! It's pretty uncommon due to the fact that we bathe ourselves more often than other species and don't shed as much hair or dead skin, but yes, it does happen.


Apple Pie isn't actually American at all.

The next time you call something "as American as apple pie," you might want to consider the fact that neither apple pies nor apples originally came from America. Apples are in fact native to Asia, and the first recorded recipe for apple pie was actually written in England.


The unicorn is the national animal of Scotland.

Yes, although it's a fabled creature, the national animal of Scotland is actually the mythical unicorn — chosen because of its association with dominance and chivalry as well as purity and innocence in Celtic mythology. BRB, moving to Scotland real quick.


The largest known living organism is an aspen grove.

Pando (Latin for "I spread out") is a group of genetically identical quaking aspens in Utah with an interconnected root system. It's an estimated 80,000 years old and takes up more than 100 acres.


M&M stands for Mars and Murrie.

Forrest Mars (son of the Mars Company founder) first spotted the British confection Smarties during the Spanish Civil War and noticed the candy shell prevented the chocolate from melting. He teamed up with Bruce Murrie (son of Hershey Chocolate's president) and the company later trademarked the "Melts in Your Mouth, Not in Your Hand" slogan.


Neil Armstrong didn't say "That's one small step for man."

The astronaut insists he actually stated, "That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind." "That's the only way the statement makes any sense," Armstrong told biographer James Hansen. And for the record, no real astronaut ever uttered "Houston, we have a problem" — Tom Hanks only said that in the movie Apollo 13.


You can hear a blue whale's heartbeat from more than 2 miles away.

The world's largest animal's heart weighs about 400 pounds — approximately the size of a small piano.


Click the link below ⬇️ to read more Random Trivia.


Source: GoodHousekeeping - Random Trivia



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Fact of the Day - RAIN



Did you know... that rain is liquid water in the form of droplets that have condensed from atmospheric water vapor and then become heavy enough to fall under gravity. Rain is a major component of the water cycle and is responsible for depositing most of the fresh water on the Earth. It provides suitable conditions for many types of ecosystems, as well as water for hydroelectric power plants and crop irrigation.


Weird Facts About Rain
Beth Dreher  |  Meghan Jones  |  Updated: Dec. 05, 2018



The least rainy place on earth isn’t in the desert


It may be covered with ice, but Antarctica gets only 6.5 inches of rain or snow per year, making it the continent with the lowest annual rainfall by far. On the other end of the spectrum, Lloró, Colombia, absorbs more than 500 inches of rainfall per year. North America is relatively dry by comparison, collecting 256 inches of rain annually. Find out some old wives’ tales about weather that just aren’t true.


Rain doesn’t always make the ground wet

In dry, hot places, rain sometimes evaporates before it hits the ground. Environmentalist Edward Abbey describesphantom rain” this way: “You see curtains of rain dangling in the sky while the living things wither below for want of water. Torture by tantalizing, hope without fulfillment. Then the clouds dissipate into nothingness.”



Not all raindrops are made of water


On Venus, and other moons and planets, rain is made of sulfuric acid or methane. Even stranger: On a planet 5,000 light years away, scientists found raindrops made of iron rather than water. For more watery wisdom, check out these facts you never knew about Earth’s oceans.


There’s a scientifically proven way to get less wet in the rain

Run! As Henry Reich, the brains behind the YouTube Channel MinutePhysics, explains, the faster you get out of the rain, the drier you’ll be, regardless of the additional raindrops you run into.


The shape and color of clouds can help you predict rain

Generally speaking, if you see a cumulonimbus cloud (a tall, puffy cloud that looks flat at the top), or a nimbostratus cloud (a flat low-level gray cloud), you can be fairly certain that rain is in the 24-hour forecast. Find out more ways to predict the weather just by looking at the clouds.


There’s a reason you love the smell of rain

Water doesn’t smell like anything, so why does rain produce a pleasant aroma after it falls? Well, it’s because of a molecule, called geosmin, created by soil-dwelling bacteria. When rain falls, it creates air pockets, which contain small amounts of geosmin. The rain traps and then releases these air pockets, dispersing geosmin into the air, where it’s free to travel to human sniffers. The smell of rain even has a name: “Petrichor.” Learn some surprising facts you never knew about lightning, too.


It’s not actually “drop”-shaped

The “raindrop” designation is actually a misnomer, since scientists have concluded that rain is not actually shaped like a teardrop. When water molecules condense and bind together in the atmosphere before falling, they form a more-or-less spherical shape. As they fall, they encounter air pressure, flattening the bottom of the drops, so that they end up taking on a shape more like a hamburger bun.


The United States record for 24-hour rainfall was just broken

In a single day in July 1979, Tropical Storm Claudette dropped a whopping 43 inches of rain on a small Texas town called Alvin. Alvin, which is just south of Houston, held the record for the most rainfall in the United States in 24 hours—until 2018. In April of that year, a rain gauge in the Hawaiian town of Hanalei recorded 49.69 inches of rainfall in one day. Learn about some more unbelievable weather phenomena you never knew happened in America.


Rain is money

In the African nation of Botswana, the currency is the Botswanan pula. The word “pula,” though, also means “rain,” and its use as the name of the primary currency demonstrates just how rare and precious rain is in this sub-Saharan country.


It’s been raining a long time

Scientists have discovered fossils containing indentations of raindrops dating back as far as 2.7 billion years ago. According to Scientific American, the early liquid rain fell on layers of ash from volcanic eruptions, and then more ash fell on top, preserving the miniature craters from the raindrops. Interestingly, it was erosion created by more rain that exposed the rain fossils for modern study. 


Source: Wikipedia - Rain  |  Reader's Digest - Rain Facts



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