If you're gonna know it all - know it right
1. The liquid inside young coconuts can be used as a substitute for blood plasma!
According to multiple sites, including what appears to be the official web site on coconuts, in an emergency, the liquid inside a young coconut can be used as a substitute for blood plasma. It was done during World War II when blood supplies were low.
2. No piece of paper can be folded in half more than seven (7) times.
The claim is based on the mathematical concept of geometrical progression. On the seventh fold, there are 128 sheets (two on the first, four on the second, eight on the third, 16 on the fourth, 32 on the fifth, 64 on the sixth, 128 on the seventh). That would certainly be difficult to fold, but not impossible. One source claims to have folded a thin piece of plastic more than seven times. In January 2002, a high school junior, Britney Gallivan, folded paper in half 12 times. The problem and solution are discussed in detail at The Historical Society of Pomona Valley and Math World.
3. Donkeys kill more people annually than plane crashes.
There is no organization that keeps track of deaths per year by donkeys. Even the World Heath Organization, with its sophisticated mortality tables, does not quantify “death by donkey.” To make such a claim you would have to know how many people are killed each year by donkeys, and that figure is not available.
According to The National Transportation Safety Board, there were 62 fatalities in 1999 in airline accidents (including commuter airlines and air taxis) and 628 general aviation fatalities. Not even counting aviation fatalities worldwide that the NTSB does not investigate, you would have to document more than 690 donkey-related deaths to prove they are more dangerous.
4. You burn more calories sleeping than you do watching television.
According to MSNBC, which quotes as sources the American Heart Association and Johns Hopkins University, a 150-pound person burns 71 calories watching tv for an hour, and 64 calories sleeping for an hour. Even at eight hours, sleeping burns fewer calories.
5. Oak trees do not produce acorns until they are fifty (50) years of age or older.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the White Oak generally starts producing acorns at age 50. However, on good sites, it may produce seed as early as 20 years of age. The Northern Red Oak first bears fruit at age 25 or as early as 10 years on favorable sites. Seed production on the Chestnut Oak begins when the tree is about 20 years old. The Canyon Live Oak first flowers between 15 and 20 years of age. The California Black Oak, beginning at age 30.
6. The first product to have a bar code was Wrigley's gum.
It was the first product to be scanned, but not the first product to have a bar code.
According to various sources, including the Business Journal in Dayton, Ohio, home of the Uniform Code Council, on June 26, 1974, the first product ever scanned in a retail setting was a 10-pack of Wrigley's gum. It was moved across an NCR scanner in the checkout lane at Marsh's Supermarket in Troy, Ohio. The pack of gum, now on display at the Smithsonian Institution, just happened to be the first item lifted from the cart of the shopper. The Uniform Code Council assigns bar codes, also known as UPC symbols.
7. The King of Hearts is the only king WITHOUT A MOUSTACHE
According to The University of Manchester in the United Kingdom, the King of Hearts did originally have a moustache but it was lost by poor copying of the original design between 1567 and 1750. “These designs... were soon disfigured by uninformed and unskilled copying by block makers, particularly by incompetent English artisans, who produced the grotesque distortions from which our modern cards are ultimately descended.”
The Jack of Spades, incidentally, gained a moustache for the same reason. And obviously, we're assuming the reference is to English playing cards.
8. American Airlines saved $40,000 in 1987 by eliminating one (1) olive from each salad served in first-class.
Reached by telephone, American Airlines spokesperson Al Becker confirms this claim.
9. Venus is the only planet that rotates clockwise.
The rotation of Venus is retrograde, or clockwise when viewed from above its north pole. This, of course, is opposite of the earth's rotation and almost every other planet in our solar system. There is some debate among astronomers over Uranus, which would give it a retrograde rotation as well. According to an astronomy site sponsored by The University of Arizona, the battle is over which of Uranus' poles is its north pole.
10. Apples, not caffeine, are more efficient at waking you up in the morning.
The Michigan Department of Agriculture says, “Apples are more efficient than caffeine in keeping people awake in the morning. The sugar in apples, and the act of chewing, works better than a cup of coffee for keeping people alert.”
11. Most dust particles in your house are made from DEAD SKIN!
An article on airborne allergens by The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, quoted by WebMD, itemizes the contents of house dust as: fibers from different types of fabrics, cotton lint, feathers, other stuffing materials, animal dander, bacteria, mold and fungus spores, food particles, bits of plants and insects, and microscopic mites.
12. Walt Disney was afraid OF MICE!
In his book The Magic Kingdom: Walt Disney and the American Way of Life, Steven Watts says Disney was afraid of mice but found them “sympathetic.”
13. PEARLS MELT IN VINEGAR!
Technically, they dissolve. Numerous Web sites of pearl resellers, include J.C. Penney, warn not expose pearls to vinegar. An abstract published on the Web site of the American Philological Association says “the observable disintegration... occurs when calcium carbonate, which is the primary component of pearls, neutralizes the acetic acid in vinegar.” “Melt” suggests a physical process in which a solid becomes a liquid, rather than a chemical process.
14. The three most valuable brand names on earth: Marlboro, Coca Cola, and Budweiser, in that order.
The information is outdated. As of July 17, 2000, Interbrand/Citibank — as reported in the Financial Times — declared these the most valuable brand names:
#1 Coca-Cola ($72.5 billion); #2 Microsoft ($70.2 billion); #3 IBM ($53.2 billion)
Marlboro had wafted down to #11. Budweiser's ranking had gone flat at #26.
15. It is possible to lead a cow upstairs...but, not downstairs.
According to The National Agricultural Library, part of the Agricultural Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, “It is possible to lead a cow upstairs but not downstairs, because a cow's knees cannot bend properly in order to walk back down.” The National Agricultural Library (and numerous other web sites) may be quoting from a 1998 book, The Complete Cow. Although the exact text cannot be found online, a web page by a law firm in Nebraska that specializes in the dairy industry quotes the book's author, Sara Rath, as saying, “It is possible to lead a cow upstairs but not downstairs, because a cow’s knees cannot bend properly to walk back down.”
16. A duck's quack doesn't echo, and no one knows why.
Syndicated newspaper columnist Cecil Adams exposed this quackery in 1998.
“Sure, there's such a thing as destructive interference, in which colliding waveforms cancel each other out. But how this would cause 100 percent attenuation of an echo 100 percent of the time in uncontrolled conditions was beyond even me.” Working with a duck and a sound engineer, Adams conducted an experiment that confirmed a duck's quack does echo.
17. Dentists have recommended that a toothbrush be kept at least six (6) feet away from a toilet to avoid airborne particles resulting from the flush.
There's plenty of evidence that a toilet flush will propel germs into the air. The Clorox Company says germs can be spread “around your bathroom – on your sink, towels, even your toothbrush.”
But who exactly are these dentists, and why six feet? No sources on toothbrush hygiene, including the American Dental Association, go on record with a specific distance.
18. Turtles can breathe through their butts.
Turtles have extraordinary anaerobic capacity--they have survived up to 33 hours in a pure nitrogen atmosphere. (Most reptiles have a high anaerobic capacity compared to mammals, but even they can't survive much more than 30 minutes without oxygen.) Although basically air-breathing, many aquatic species have developed ways to pick up oxygen even when submerged. Of these the most remarkable, which some turtles share with dragonfly nymphs, sea cucumbers, and certain televangelists, is the ability to breathe through one's butt. You've heard the expression ‘Blow it out your after regions?’ It's no mere figure of speech. Many species have a pair of sacs (bursae) opening off the cloaca (combined digestive and urogenital chamber). These are heavily vascularized to facilitate the uptake of oxygen.