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Technology Trivia

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Poison gas was used as a weapon for the first time, by Germany, during World War I in 1915.

There are two radios for every man, woman, and child in the United States.

Pollen grains are so tiny and uniform they have been used to calibrate instruments that measure in thousandths of an inch. Forget-me-not pollen grains are so small that 10,000 of them can fit on the head of a pin.

There were 6,600 traffic fatalities in the United States in 1913 for 2.5 million registered vehicles, or about 26.5 deaths per 10,000 vehicles. In 1999, with 41,3000 deaths and more than 218 million vehicles, the U.S. death rate has come down to about 1.9 deaths per 10,000 vehicles.

Prior to the invention of lawn mowers, lawns were cut with scythes, but this operation was ineffective unless the lawn was wet. The sale of lawn mowers got a great boost when lawn tennis came into vogue in England in 1870.

Thirty-two percent of computer data loss cases are due to human error.

Rob Glaser's new company, Progressive Networks, launched the RealAudio system on April 10, 1995, enabling anyone with point-and-click access to the Internet to have access to audio. Users needed a multimedia PC, a fast-for-the-time (14.4k) modem, and a direct connection to the 'Net.

ROV stands for remotely operated vehicle, and it dives in deep water to videotape or collect deep sea animals or other scientific data. An ROV doesn't carry people. It is operated from a research ship at the ocean's surface.

In 1911 there were a mere 303,000 telephones in use in Canada. These days there are more than 18 million.

In 1950, Aircall, Inc. of New York City became the first U.S. company to introduce a commercial radio paging service.

In 1952, CBS made computer history by being the first to use a computer, the UNIVAC I, to forecast the U.S. presidential election.

In 1953, Catherine and Carolyn Mouton became the first Siamese twins successfully separated by surgery.

In 1969, the Navy spent $375,000 on an "aerodynamic analysis of the self-suspended flare." The study's conclusion was that the frisbee was not feasible as military hardware.

In 1970, "MCI" stood for "Microwave Communications, Inc." No longer used as an acronym, it now stands alone.

In 1979, Namco released Pac-Man, the most popular arcade game of all time. Over 300,000 units were sold worldwide. More than 100,000 units were sold in the United States alone. Originally named "Puck Man," the game was retitled after executives saw the potential for vandals to scratch out part of the letter "P" on the game's marquee, which might discourage parents from letting their children play. Pac-Man became the first video game to be popular with both males and females.

In 1985 cassette sales peaked at 41 million units but as the 20th Century drew to a close, music lovers were buying less than 8 million a year. CD sales, meanwhile, have more than doubled since 1992.

In 1995, the average U.S. public school contained 72 computers.

In 2000, Internet use since 1998 has tripled in Hong Kong. According to the South China Morning Post, the time spent online averaged out to almost seven minutes for every Hong Kong resident.

To make a daguerreotype, an early photograph, required a 15-minute average exposure time.

Tokyo's expressways, built on a radial pattern dating from the eighteenth century, are so overloaded that traffic often grinds to a halt for 30 to 40 miles outside the city.

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