Ten Random Facts
Alaska has the longest shoreline of all the states in the United States. Its tidal shoreline wraps around 3/4s of the state, covering 34,000 miles. Another Alaskan coast, fronting the open sea, stretches for 6,600 miles.
The word "cockamamie," meaning of poor quality or inferior, is believed to be related to the word "cock-a-nee-nee," a nineteenth-century name in New York for a cheap molasses candy.
By age sixty, most people have lost half of their taste buds.
Flamingoes live remarkably long lives: up to 80 years.
Iowa has more independent telephone companies than any other state.
A device invented as a primitive steam engine by the Greek engineer Hero, about the time of the birth of Christ, is used today as a rotating lawn sprinkler.
The Sun's solar wind is so powerful, it has large effects on the tails of comets, and scientists have determined that it even has measurable effects on the trajectories of spacecraft.
Leaves, collected in the fall and spring, are the easiest material to compost, and they are the most common materials handled at yard waste facilities.
Human skulls had been used as drinking cups for hundreds of years. The muscles and flesh were scraped away, the bottom was hacked off and then they were suitable to hold any beverage.
Many hundreds of years ago when the well-known style of Irish dancing began in the country side of Ireland, most houses of the poor - and that means most houses - only had a dirt floor which was not a lot of use for dancing on if you were holding a ceildh (pronounced kay-lee and meaning party - more or less). So in order to make the dancing easier the owners of the house which was holding the party would take the doors off their hinges and lay them on the floor. There was just enough room on each door for two people to dance, providing they did not fling their arms about - hence the original name for Irish dancing - Door Dancing.
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