GENERAL KNOWLEDGE: DID YOU KNOW …

General knowledge enhancers: Entertainment:

  1. The first couple ever to be shown in bed together on
    prime-time television were Fred and Wilma Flintstone.
  2. General Knowledge Enhancers - Alexander the GreatBarbie's measurements if she were life size: 39-23-33 (she would topple over)
  3. Donald Duck comics were banned from Finland because he doesn't wear pants.
  4. In 1980, a Las Vegas hospital suspended workers for betting on when patients would die.
  5. Each king in a deck of playing cards represents a great king from history:
    Spades       -    King David
    Clubs          -    Alexander the Great
    Hearts        -    Charlemagne
    Diamonds -    Julius Caesar

General knowledge enhancers: Food & drink:

  • Green Coca-Cola (General Knowledge Enhancers)Coca-Cola was originally green.
  • Every time you lick a stamp, you're consuming 1/10 of a calorie.
  • Nearly all lipstick contains fish scales. Yeech...
  • A Saudi Arabian woman can get a divorce if her husband doesn't give her coffee.
  • Bubble gum contains rubber.
  • Most cows give more milk when they listen to music.
  • Research indicates that mosquitoes are attracted to people who have recently eaten bananas.

General knowledge enhancers: Numbers:General Knowledge Enhancers - Numbers

  1. Every day more money is printed for Monopoly than the US Treasury.
  2. 111,111,111 x 111,111,111
    = 12,345,678,987,654,321
  3. A 'jiffy' is an actual unit of time for 1/100th of a second.
  4. All the numbers on a roulette table add up to 666.

General knowledge enhancers: Language:

  • The Hawaiian alphabet has 12 letters.
  • General Knowledge Enhancers - LanguageMen can read smaller print than women; women can hear better.
  • First novel ever written on a typewriter: Tom Sawyer.
  • "I am." is the shortest complete sentence in the English language.
  • The phrase "rule of thumb" is derived from an old English law which stated that you couldn't beat your wife with anything wider than your thumb. (Read about the origins of more English phrases here).

General knowledge enhancers: People:

  1. Intelligent people have more zinc and copper in their hair.
  2. The world's youngest parents were 8 and 9 and lived in China in 1910.
  3. The youngest pope was 11 years old.
  4. The most popular first name in the world is Muhammad.

General knowledge enhancers: Famous people:

  • Thomas Edison was afraid of the dark.

Beethoven - General Knowledge Enhancers

  • Einstein couldn't speak fluently when he was nine. His parents thought he might be retarded.
  • Every time Beethoven sat down to write music, he poured iced water over his head. And he was rather deaf.
  • Sigmund Freud had a morbid fear of ferns.

General knowledge enhancers: History:

  1. If a statue in the park of a person on a horse has both front legs in the air, the person died in battle; if the horse has one front leg in the air, the person died as a result of wounds received in battle; if the horse has all four legs on the ground, the person died of natural causes.
  2. Only two people signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, John Hancock and Charles Thomson. Most of the rest signed on August 2, but the last signature wasn't added until 5 years later.

General knowledge enhancers: Vehicles:

Rolls Royce Phantom (image: bornrich.com)The name Jeep came from the abbreviation used in the army for the "General Purpose" vehicle, G.P.

The cruise liner, Queen Elizabeth II, moves only six inches for each gallon of diesel that it burns.

City with the most Rolls Royce's per capita: Hong Kong.

In Tokyo, a bicycle is faster than a car for most trips of less than 50 minutes.

Now you know everything :-)

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MOTHERS DAY: A brief history of Mothers Day

Ag sweet man

LIKE Valentines Day, Mothers Day has sadly become another blatantly commercialized holiday (which isn’t even a holiday) where gift stores capitalize on another opportunity to sell cheap crap to children to give to their mothers to show their love and appreciation for them.

I always used to write my mother dearest a poem on Mothers Day, and perhaps bring her a special instant cuppucinno in bed. That’s not because I’m cheap, but rather because it's something more personal. It is also something that my mother appreciates more than some plastic or edible gift that the dog would end up chocking on if the opportunity presented itself.

So rather than rush off and buy mommy some cheap Mothers Day gift that says “I love you mom”, rather tell her yourself. After all, everyday should be Mothers Day, and everyone should let their moms know how much they are appreciated and loved. I've had a mother for years now, so I know what I'm talking about.

Or you could present her with this: A brief history of Mothers Day, accompanied by coffee (or breakfast) in bed. (The disappointed dog will get over not having a new chew-toy over time).

A brief history of Mothers Day

The Mothers Day holiday was created by Anna Jarvis as a day for each family to honour its mother. It is now celebrated on various days in many places around the world, and takes place in South Africa on a Sunday in mid May.

This holiday is relatively modern, being created at the start of the 20th Century. It should not be confused with the early pagan and Christian traditions honouring mothers, or with the 16th Century celebration of Mothering Sunday, which is also known as Mothers Day in the UK.

A couple of years after being established, Anna became increasingly pissed off over the commercialization of Mothers Day, saying: "I wanted it to be a day of sentiment, not profit." She opposed the selling of flowers and also the use of greeting cards - dismissing them as "a poor excuse for the letter you are too lazy to write."

Anna Jarvis never had any children of her own, and died in 1948, blind and penniless. She was buried next to her mother in a cemetery in Philadelphia.

And that, I can promise you, will be truly appreciated (as sad as it is); because knowledge is the best gift that you can offer anyone, besides a winning lottery ticket or a free trip to the Seychelles.

Happy Mothers Day Mom.
I love and appreciate you more than you know.

Love, your favourite son
Galen xxxx

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QWERTY LAYOUT: The evolution of the QWERTY keyboard

STARING blankly at my keyboard the other day (as one does) I began pondering over the arrangement of the keys. “What’s up with that?” I heard the comedian within me say. I set forth on a cyber-galactic journey to discovery why my keyboard’s layout looks the way it does…

A brief history lessonAn old-assed typewriter

In the early days of the typewriter way-back-when (1860) the letters were initially arranged from A-Z along a metal bar. However, as the speed of typists increased, they found that particular ‘type bars’ would jam together. This created several complications, personal distress and making quite a mess of typed documents altogether.

Christopher SholesOne keen mind (American inventor Christopher Sholes) suggested that the most commonly used letters be equally spaced to reduce jams and increase typing speed and efficiency. Quite taken with Mr Sholes’ insightful idea, manufacturers gradually rearranged the layout of letters until fewer and fewer jams occurred.

A final rearrangement of the keys introduced the word QWERTY (made up of the first 6 letters along the top row of a keyboard). This has become the most commonly used, modern-day keyboard layout that we enjoy and love and take completely for granted today.

QWERTY and its opponents

QWERTY was patented by Mr Sholes in 1874 and fast became the most popular keyboard layout on English-language computers and typewriter keyboards. It managed to dominate the market after being sold to Remington and whence it became mass-produced in the U.S.

The QWERTY layout wasn’t without it opponents however. The early Blickensderfer's "Ideal" keyboard (1893) was non- QWERTY, instead having the sequence "DHIATENSOR" in the home row. These 10 letters are capable of composing 70% of the words in the English language yet were also met with the problem of clashing type bars when used speedily on a typewriter.

Quick & Qwerty Facts

  • Gradual adjustments to the QWERTY layout occurred over a period of several years. One particularly interesting adjustment included placing the "R" key in the place previously allotted to the period mark. This enabled typewriter salesmen to impress customers by pecking out the brand name "TYPEWRITER" using one row of keys. This was also the longest word in the English language that could be typed using only the top row of a keyboard until the word "proterotype" came into existence.Modern-day keyboard
  • Evidence of the original alphabetical layout of typewriters remains in the second row of a modern-day keyboard, with the letters F-L in alphabetical order (i.e. FGHJKL) - with the exception of the ‘I’ key, which was moved for type-bar jamming reasons.
  • The ‘W’ and ‘E’ keys were swapped around as the naughty (middle) finger is stronger than the ring finger and ‘E’ is the most commonly used letter in the English language.
  • Far more words can be spelled/typed using the left hand (i.e. the left-hand side of a keyboard) than the right hand. In fact, thousands of English words can be spelled using only the left hand, while only a couple of hundred words can be typed using the right. This is helpful for left-handed people, however, the combined use of a mouse makes up for the typing advantage of any lefties.

Now you know everything.

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MOSQUITOES: And why you should feel no remorse when killing them!

IF you live in big (or even not so big) city, then you would have felt the scorching summer rays that seem to have a worse effect than a grade A hangover. You can’t even go to the beach these days without looking like the Abominable Sunscreen Man. We may as well be living in the Sahara desert. At least the evenings would be cooler.

Although we must protect ourselves from the Global Warming, there is a bigger nuisance that spawns during summer time. I’m talking of course about the worst creature that ever evolved - the ever so deadly (and bloody annoying) household mosquito.

The mosquito simply wants to get you!

Mosquitoes don't care who you are or what you've done - they simply want to get you! If mosquitoes don’t already scare you shitless, then there are some things that you need to know about them:

1. The mosquito is the deadliest animal on the planet

The mosquito is responsible for the most human deaths throughout history. It has single-handedly killed more people throughout time than war. And when I say “single-handedly” I don’t mean with its hands – but rather with its mutant-like feelers and probiscus.

Mosquitoes are estimated to transmit disease to more than 700 million people annually in Africa, South America, Central America, Mexico and much of Asia with millions of resulting deaths.

2. It is the female mosquitoes that sap your blood and life force

The male mosquitoes (the large ones) live off tree sap, and are admirably vegetarians. The girls use your blood to lay their eggs and spawn their offspring. The females will also bite you up to 20 times before they find the right blood vessel and get their fill.

3. Breath of death

The females hunt down their prey by detecting carbon dioxide in the air from up to 40 metres away. This is why they always buzz around your face the split second you try and get to sleep.

4. Mosquitoes saliva

In order to fest on a blood meal, the mosquito injects its poisonous saliva into its victims. Mosquito saliva affects vascular constriction, blood clotting, platelet aggregation, inflammation, immunity, and angiogenesis.

Mosquitoes are a vector agent that carry disease-causing viruses and parasites from person to person without catching the disease themselves.

5. The night stalker

Most species of mosquito are nocturnal, and hide in cool places during the day – waiting until nightfall to attack. They are also adept at infiltration and have been known to find their way into residences via deactivated air conditioning units.

And now for the important bit: how to get rid of the bastards!

  • Mosquitoes lay their eggs in shallow water, usually in murky puddles around the garden that receive a good dose of sunlight. So step one is to roam your garden and empty all containers or other water-catching devices and turn them upside down. Or just chuck them away.
  • A mosquitos favourite place to chill inside a house and plot your death is inside bedroom cupboards. Simply lock them in for the night by closing all the cupboards in your bedroom.
  • A bedroom fan (preferably a ceiling fan) does wonders to keep the buggers off you while you sleep. The mosquito is a puny and weak demon-spawn that cannot compete with the powerful gush of a human-made fan.
  • The household gecko and fish – man’s new best friends
    If you're not really a gecko or a fish-person now might be a good time to become one. Keeping a well-stocked, open-topped fish tank in your house is not only aesthetically pleasing, but does wonders for mosquito control. Geckos are even more effective at chowing mosquitoes throughout the night.
  • If you prefer turning to science and drugs to help with your mosquito problem, there are several options here. But believe me I’ve tried them all. Probably the oldest product is Tabard – the pungent roll-on that makes your hairs fuse together. There are also those electrical plug-in jobs, but it’s hard to tell when these are used up and I’m sure it’s not good to inhale those fumes while you sleep.

The best mosquito repellent I’ve tried is the spray-version of Peaceful Sleep. It says that one shouldn’t simply spray this into the air but rather on your bod – which does make your bed-sheets pong a bit – but I’ve found it to be effective as an air-pray. You can pick up a bottle at Pick n Pay or other leading stores for about R32.

Lets all do our bit to save the fate of humankind this summer by killing as many mosquitoes as you possibly can!

Related post: 20 things you didn't know about mosquitoes

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