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Ten Random Facts

A grasshopper can leap over obstacles 500 times its own height. In relation to its size, it has the greatest jumping ability of all animals.
Animals » Insects

The first train was designed by Richard Trecithick and took its first run in England on February 21, 1804. It moved at a speed of 8 kilometers, or 5 miles per hour.
Inventions

The word "dreamt" is the only word in the English language that ends in the letters "mt."
Words and Numbers

To preserve their elaborate coiffures, geishas in ancient Japan slept with their heads on bags filled with buckwheat chaff.
History

The roar that we hear when we place a seashell next to our ear is not the ocean, but rather the sound of blood surging through the veins in the ear. Any cup-shaped object placed over the ear produces the same effect.
Miscellaneous

The timid kiwi of New Zealand is about the same size as a chicken.
Animals

Distinct bands of rainy weather and clouds can form up to 240 miles ahead of a warm front. These bands are parallel to the front, and are often about 125 miles long and 30 miles wide.
Environment

In 1939, Ernest Vincent Wright wrote a novel titled Gadsby whose 267 pages and 50,000 words do not contain a single letter “e.”
Miscellaneous

Hou Ji was originally a Chinese hero of royal descent. Tang, the founder of the Shang dynasty (c. 1600-1066 B.C.), made him Prince of the Millet. After bringing knowledge of agriculture to the Chinese, Hou Ji was worshipped as a god of the Earth and of cereals.
People

While the first American performance of the “Nutcracker” ballet occurred in 1944, and was produced by the San Francisco Ballet, it was the New York City Ballet's 1954 production, by George Balanchine, that served as the inspiration for the “Nutcracker” ballets performed across the country today.
Entertainment

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