Some interesting facts, and a few astounding items (data provided by Jennifer Carro)
It is estimated that 20% of all photocopier failures are caused by people sitting on them, and photocopying their buttocks.
About 20% of the total ground area of Los Angeles County is committed to automobiles (free ways, streets, roads, parking lots, sales lots, repair facilities, garages, driveways, museums, and junk yards).
At the time of the U.S. Revolutionary War, Philadelphia was the second largest English-speaking city in the world, surpassed only by London.
When Babe Ruth played baseball, home runs were called by an umpire. If a ball went over the fence, but curved into foul territory, the ball was declared foul. If a ball hit the foul post, it was ruled a double. Ruth hit 104 such balls. The rule was changed in 1932, but, in spite of strong protests, the commissioner refused to make the rule change retroactive. Had the rule been changed, Ruth would have been credited with 818 home runs.
Banana plants are the largest plants on earth without a woody stem. They are actually giant herbs of the same family as lilies, orchids and palms, and they die after fruiting like all herbs. Bananas are America's most popular fruit, and ripen best off the plant.
Because of Davy Jones's popularity as a member of The Monkees, another young singer in London, also named David Jones, changed his name to David Bowie.
As a world commodity, coffee is second only to oil.
The original name of Cotton Candy was "fairy fluff."
During his entire life, Vincent Van Gogh sold exactly one painting, "Red Vineyard at Arles".
Every day, about 7% of the people of the United States eat at a McDonald's store (the corporation’s usage instead of restaurant).
Coca-Cola was originally marketed as a medicinal drink. It was introduced in 1885, and was green in color. The name Coca-Cola was selected because its two main ingredients were Coca (whose active ingredient is cocaine) and an extract from Kola nuts. In 1903, the company changed the color, and eliminated the coca, but kept the name.
Prior to 1899, golfers set a golf ball on a small mound of dirt. George F. Grant disliked getting his hands dirty, and invented the golf tee (U.S. patent number 638,920).
Dr. Guillotin merely proposed the machine that bears his name; he never made a working model. When the machine attained infamy during the French Revolution, Dr. Guillotin protested the use of his name, and went to his grave claiming that the machine was unjustly named after him.
On 18 January 1943 during World War II, bakers in the United States were ordered to stop selling sliced bread for the duration of the war. Only whole loaves were made available to the public. It was never explained how this action was supposed to help the war effort.
Hostess Twinkies were invented in 1931 by James Dewar, manager of Continental Bakeries' Chicago factory. He envisioned the product as a way of using the company's thousands of shortcake pans which were otherwise used only during the strawberry season. Originally called Little Shortcake Fingers; they were renamed Twinkie Fingers, and finally Twinkies.
Two other uses for computers
1. In warm weather, 6th president of the United States John Quincy Adams customarily went skinny-dipping in the Potomac River before dawn.
2. 9th U.S. president William Henry Harrison was inaugurated on a bitterly cold day and gave the longest inauguration speech ever. The new president promptly caught a cold that soon developed into pneumonia. Harrison died exactly one month into his presidential term, the shortest in U.S. history.
3.John Tyler, 10th U.S. president, fathered 15 children (more than any other president)--8 by his first wife, and 7 by his second wife. Tyler was past his seventieth birthday when his 15th child was born.
4. Sedated only by brandy, 11th president of the United States James Polk survived gall bladder surgery at the age of 17.
5. 15th U.S. president James Buchanan is the only unmarried man ever to be elected president. Buchanan was engaged to be married once; however, his fiancée died suddenly after breaking off the engagement, and he remained a bachelor all his life.
6. Often depicted wearing a tall black stovepipe hat, 16th president of the United States Abraham Lincoln carried letters, bills, and notes in his hat.
7. 17th U.S. president Andrew Johnson never attended school. His future wife, Eliza McCardle, taught him to write at the age of 17. (Bonus fact about Andrew Johnson: He only wore suits that he custom-tailored himself.)
8.Ulysses S. Grant, 18th president of the United States, died of throat cancer. During his life, Grant smoked about 20 cigars per day.
9. Both ambidextrous and multilingual, 20th president of the United States James Garfield could write Greek with one hand while writing Latin with the other.
10.Grover Cleveland, 22nd and 24th president of the United States, underwent a secret operation aboard a yacht to remove his cancerous upper jaw in 1893.
11. The teddy bear derived from 26th U.S. president Theodore ("Teddy") Roosevelt's refusal to shoot a bear with her cub while on a hunting trip in Mississippi.
12.William Taft, 27th president of the United States, weighed more than 300 pounds and had a special oversized bathtub installed in the White House.
13.Warren Harding, 29th U.S. president, played poker at least twice a week, and once gambled away an entire set of White House china. His advisors were nicknamed the "Poker Cabinet" because they joined the president in his poker games.
14.Calvin Coolidge, 30th president of the United States, had chronic stomach pain and required 10 to 11 hours of sleep and an afternoon nap every day.
15.Herbert Hoover, 31st U.S. president, published more than 16 books, including one called Fishing for Fun-And to Wash Your Soul.
16. 32nd president of the United States Franklin D. Roosevelt was related, either by blood or by marriage, to 11 former presidents.
17. The letter "S" comprises the full middle name of the 33rd president, Harry S. Truman. It represents two of his grandfathers, both of whose names had an "S" in them.
18. Military leader and 34th president of the U.S. Dwight D. Eisenhower loved to cook; he developed a recipe for vegetable soup that is 894 words long and includes the stems of nasturtium flowers as one of the ingredients.
19. 40th president of the United States Ronald Reagan broke the so-called "20-year curse," in which every president elected in a year ending in 0 died in office.
20.George W. Bush, 43rd president of the United States, and his wife Laura got married just three months after meeting each other.