May 27, 2004

Ministry of Dubious Factoids
— Ace

A friend sent me this email. I can't really vouch for its accuracy, but then, I'm a blogger. I don't sweat accuracy.

Sort of like the New York Times.

Anyway, here's a list of "facts" which may either be true or false. Decide which are the true ones, and which are the fake ones.
1. Apples, not caffeine, are more efficient at waking you up in the morning.

2. Alfred Hitchcock didn't have a belly button.

3. A pack-a-day smoker will lose approximately 2 teeth every 10 years.

4. People do not get sick from cold weather; it's from being indoors a lot more.

5. When you sneeze, all bodily functions stop, even your heart!

6. Only 7 per cent of the population are lefties.

7. Forty people are sent to the hospital for dog bites every minute.

8. Babies are born without kneecaps. They don't appear until they are 2-6 years old.

9. The average person over 50 will have spent 5 years waiting in lines.

10. The toothbrush was invented in 1498.

11. The average housefly lives for one month.

12. 40,000 Americans are injured by toilets each year.

13. A coat hanger is 44 inches long when straightened.

14. The average computer user blinks 7 times a minute.

15. Your feet are bigger in the afternoon than any other time of day.

16. Most of us have eaten a spider in our sleep.

17. The REAL reason ostriches stick their head in the sand is to search for water.

18. The only two animals that can see behind themselves without turning their heads are the rabbit and the parrot.

19. John Travolta turned down the starring roles in "An Officer and a Gentleman" and "Tootsie."

20. Michael Jackson owns the rights to the South Carolina State anthem.

21. In most television commercials advertising milk, a mixture of white paint and a little thinner is used in place of the milk.

22 Prince Charles and Prince William NEVER travel on the same airplane, just in case there is a crash.

23. The first Harley Davidson motorcycle built in 1903 used a tomato can for a carburetor.

24. Most hospitals make money by selling the umbilical cords cut from women who give birth. They are used in vein transplant surgery.

25. Humphrey Bogart was related to Princess Diana. They were 7th cousins.

26. If coloring weren't added to Coca-Cola, it would be green.


ANSWERS IN WHITE FONT (Highlight to read): Supposedly, all of them are true, which I sora doubt. But what the heck.

Re: 19, I know Travolta turned down the roles for "Officer" and "An American Gigolo." I never heard Tootsie before.

But it's possible.

If you think from going from John Travolta to Dustin Hoffman is weird, how about going from Dustin Hoffman to Harrison Ford?

Dustin Hoffman was attached for quite a long time -- throughout most of the film's development, actually -- as the star of Blade Runner.

Yes. Dustin Hoffman. Blade Runner. Fighting androids.

And it wasn't even called "Blade Runner" at the time. It was called "Dangerous Days." They bought the title, and just the title, from a William "Naked Lunch" Burroughs novella called Blade Runner, which had nothing to do with robots.

Posted by: Ace at 01:25 PM | Comments (32)
Post contains 550 words, total size 3 kb.

1 Sniff, sniff. I think I smell a Top 10 "Little Known Facts" in our future. Keep up the good work, buddy.

(And you MUST check out the video of the chick losing her cellphone) -- click over for the link.


[Ace's Warning: If you go to son of nixon's site, you'll find links to stuff on Some of this stuff is funny, some of it isn't, and some of it is actually pornographic, as in hard-core.

So, it's not work-safe. Unless you work at, say, Juggs magazine.]

Posted by: sonofnixon at May 27, 2004 01:47 PM (LzJ7+)

2 P.S. "Abu Ghraib HQ" is a nice touch. Cute.

Posted by: sonofnixon at May 27, 2004 01:59 PM (LzJ7+)

3 Son of Nixon,

Thanks for the tip. (Nice site design, by the way.)

Try to give a warning, though, if the site you're linking to contains stuff that isn't safe for work.

Posted by: ace at May 27, 2004 02:03 PM (iog7U)

4 Re: #18
Chameleon's eyes "provide nearly 360 degree vision without turning the head, and allow the chameleon to see in front of and behind him."

Posted by: Terry Notus at May 27, 2004 02:10 PM (iFhUF)

5 Also,
"The highly developed [octopus] eyes have monocular vision but are so big that the field of view for both eyes reaches almost 360 degrees."

Posted by: Terry Notus at May 27, 2004 02:34 PM (iFhUF)

6 OK, last time and I swear I will give it a rest.
"Together, the ommatidia sample the surrounding visual environment, forming an almost complete picture (i.e., almost 4pi steradian)."

That means a blowfly can see behind itself without turning its head.

Posted by: Terry Notus at May 27, 2004 02:41 PM (iFhUF)

7 Pfft. My mom can see behind her without turning her head either. At least it always seemed that way growing up.

#2 must be at least marginally false, as one would at the very least have a scar from the umbilical cord.

#5 is an urban legend/old wives tale.

I don't buy #9. That would suggest that 10% of every day is spent in a line. From the day you're born.

#20 logically, I'm assuming that the state anthems of all 50 states are in the public domain, and as such, are not ownable. This would be especially true for a state as old as SC. He may have title to a specific RECORDING of the anthem, but couldn't possibly own complete rights to the song.

#21 is true, and what's more, when you see a Turkey coming out of an oven in a TV commercial, typically the turkey has been wrapped in duct tape and painted the desired "roasted looking" color. Also, any time a restaurant brings out a desert tray which includes ice cream, it's actually usually crisco, not real ice cream (to avoid melting).

Posted by: Beck at May 27, 2004 05:07 PM (fllfQ)

8 #24 is right out - it is highly illegal to sell human body parts.

Posted by: Jim at May 28, 2004 04:42 AM (IOwam)

9 10-4. Duly noted.

Posted by: sonofnixon at May 28, 2004 09:53 AM (LzJ7+)

10 #8 is False. Newborns do have kneecaps. Kneecaps form about the fourth month of fetal life. However, they don’t show up on x-ray very well because they’re not ossified, or bony. At this point in life, the kneecaps are made of a cartilaginous material. The growth centers surrounding the kneecap form late in developmental life in utero and may not appear until just before or just after the infant is born.

Posted by: Chad at June 21, 2004 05:44 AM (Deb2F)

11 #7 is Not True. According to a 1998 article in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), during a three-year study, there were 914 new dog bite injuries requiring emergency room visits per day. With 1,440 minutes in a day, that's less than one bite per minute.

Posted by: Chad at June 21, 2004 05:45 AM (Deb2F)

12 #9 is clearly false. This means that one tenth of ones life would have been wasted in line. An average of about 8 hours per night. We can assume that no one is waiting in line while they are home in bed. So now we have 16 hours per day x 50 years. This gives us 292000 hours of available waking time. 5 Years is 24 hours x 365 days. This works out to be 43800 hours. This means that 15% of our waking hours for 50 years would have to be spent in line. This means, every day of our lives for half a century we would have to have spent an averade of 3.6 hours in line. I have to call this one false.

Posted by: Chad at June 21, 2004 05:45 AM (Deb2F)

13 #24 False. The original formula called for caramel to give Coca-Cola its rich brown color, and although the recipe has undergone some changes through the years, none of them affected the ultimate color of the product.

Posted by: Chad at June 21, 2004 05:48 AM (Deb2F)

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