Friday, August 03, 2007

Education is a wonderful thing

More than half of the coastline of the entire United States is in Alaska .

The Amazon rainforest produces more than 20% the world's oxygen supply. The Amazon River pushes so much water into the Atlantic Ocean that, more than one hundred miles at sea off the mouth of the river, one can dip fresh water out of the ocean. The volume of water in the Amazon river is greater than the next eight largest rivers in the world combined and three times the flow of all rivers in the United States. The Amazon River or River Amazon (Portuguese: Rio Amazonas; Spanish: Río Amazonas) of South America is the largest river in the world by volume, with greater total river flow than the next eight largest rivers combined ...”

Antarctica is the only land on our planet that is not owned by any country. Ninety percent of the world's ice covers Antarctica . This ice also represents seventy percent of all the fresh water in the world. As strange as it sounds, however, Antarctica is essentially a desert. The average yearly total precipitation is about two inches Although covered with ice (all but 0.4% of it, i.e.), Antarctica is the driest place on the planet, with an absolute humidity lower than the Gobi desert. “Antarctica has the world's lowest rainfall average (Zero at the Geographic South Pole) and thus is the world's driest continent. Despite its zero rainfall, Antarctica has approximately 70% of the world's fresh water (as 90% of the world's ice).

Brazil got its name from the nut, not the other way around. “Named after the brazilwood tree, so-named because its reddish wood resembled the color of red-hot embers (brasil in Portuguese). The Tupi people call it "ibirapitanga", which means literally 'red wood'. The wood of the tree was used to color clothes and fabrics.”

Canada has more lakes than the rest of the world combined. Canada is an Indian word meaning " Big Village ." “The name Canada comes from a St. Lawrence Iroquoian word meaning "village" or "settlement." In 1535, inhabitants of the present-day Quebec City region used the word to direct explorer Jacques Cartier toward the village of Stadacona.[2] Cartier used the word 'Canada' to refer to not only that village, but the entire area subject to Donnacona, Chief at Stadacona.”

Next to Warsaw , Chicago has the largest Polish population in the world.


Woodward Avenue in Detroit , Michigan , carries the designation M-1, named so because it was the first paved road anywhere.

Damascus, Syria
Damascus, Syria , was flourishing a couple of thousand years before Rome was founded in 753 BC, making it the oldest continuously inhabited city in existence. “List of oldest continuously inhabited cities”
Damascus Syria 8,000 to 10,000 BC [11] Excavations at Tell Ramad on the outskirts of the city have demonstrated that Damascus has been inhabited as early as 8000 to 10,000 BC. It is due to this that Damascus is considered to be the oldest continually inhabited city in the world. However, Damascus is not documented as an important city until the coming of the Aramaeans which is the date used in the table above. See reference for presence of urban life among cattle herders at this date — also due to land fertility and constant water source, the same reference argues it unlikely that the site has been deserted since. Documentary evidence supporting continuous existence since c.2,000 BCE.

Istanbul, Turkey
Istanbul, Turkey, is the only city in the world located on two continents.

Los Angeles

Los Angeles's full name is El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora la Reina de los Angeles de Porciuncula --and can be abbreviated to 3.63% of its size: L.A. Los Angeles was founded in 1781 by Spanish governor Felipe de Neve as El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles de Porciúncula (The Village of Our Lady, the Queen of the Angels of Porciuncula).

New York City
The term "The Big Apple" was coined by touring jazz musicians of the 1930's who used the slang expression "apple" for any town or city. Therefore, to play New York City is to play the big time - The Big Apple. There are more Irish in New York City than in Dublin , Ireland ; more Italians in New York City than in Rome , Italy ; and more Jews in New York City than in Tel Aviv, Israel . The "Big Apple" is a nickname or alternate toponym for New York City used by New Yorkers. Its popularity since the 1970s is due to a promotional campaign by the New York Convention and Visitor's Bureau. Its earlier origins are less clear. One explanation cited by the New-York Historical Society and others is that it was first popularized by John Fitz Gerald, who first used it in his horse racing column in the New York Morning Telegraph in 1921, then further explaining its origins in his February 18, 1924 column. Fitz Gerald credited African-American stable-hands working at horseracing tracks in New Orleans: "The Big Apple. The dream of every lad that ever threw a leg over a thoroughbred and the goal of all horsemen. There's only one Big Apple. That's New York.''
In 1997, as part of an official designation of "Big Apple Corner" in Manhattan, former Mayor Rudy Giuliani summarizes the rest of the story:
A decade later many jazz musicians began calling the City "The Big Apple" to refer to New York City (especially Harlem) as the jazz capital of the world. Soon the nickname became synonymous with New York City and its cultural diversity. In the early 1970s the name played an important role in reviving New York's tourist economy through a campaign led by the New York Convention and Visitors Bureau.

There are no natural lakes in the state of Ohio , every one is manmade. has more than 2,500 lakes larger than 2 acres[1]. “ Am I to believe every one of those is man-made? JES

Pitcairn Island
The smallest island with country status is Pitcairn in Polynesia , at just 1.75 sq. miles/4,53 sq. km. The Pitcairn Islands (Pitkern : Pitkern Ailen), officially named the Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie, and Oeno Islands, are a group of four islands in the southern Pacific Ocean. … Only Pitcairn Island — the second largest — is inhabited. The islands are best known for being the home of the descendants of the Bounty mutineers and the Tahitians who accompanied them, … With only 48 inhabitants (from nine families), Pitcairn is also notable for being the least populated jurisdiction in the world (although it is not a sovereign nation). The United Nations Committee on Decolonisation includes the Pitcairn Islands on the United Nations list of Non-Self-Governing Territories.[1]

The first city to reach a population of 1 million people was Rome , Italy in 133 B.C. There is a city called Rome on every continent.

Siberia contains more than 25% of the world's forests. “Siberia has the world's largest forests.” No information regarding percentage of world’s forest. “In 1997, the World Resources Institute recorded that only 20% of the world's original forests remained in large intact tracts of undisturbed forest [4]. More than 75% of these intact forests lie in three countries - the Boreal forests of Russia and Canada and the rainforest of Brazil. “

The actual smallest sovereign entity in the world is the Sovereign Military Order of Malta (S.M.O.M.). It is located in the city of Rome, Italy, has an area of two tennis courts, and as of 2001 has a population of 80, 20 less people than the Vatican. It is a sovereign entity under international law, just as the Vatican is. “Although this state came to an end with the ejection of the Order from Malta by Napoleon, the Order as such survived. It retains its claims of sovereignty under international law and has been granted permanent observer status at the United Nations, although its claims of sovereignty are disputed by some scholars.[2]

Sahara Desert

In the Sahara Desert , there is a town named Tidikelt, which did not receive a drop of rain for ten years. Technically though, the driest place on Earth is in the valleys of the Antarctic near Ross Island . There has been no rainfall there for two million years. Tidikelt, aka Aoulef, is described as a region of the province of Adrar in the country of Algeria, not as a city.

Spain literally means 'the land of rabbits.'

St. Paul, Minnesota
St. Paul, Minnesota , was originally called Pig's Eye after a man named Pierre "Pig's Eye" Parrant who set up the first business there.,_Minnesota “By the early 1820s the area had become important as a trading center, a destination for settlers heading west, and was known as Pig's Eye Landing. In 1837, a treaty between Henry Schoolcraft and about 200 Dakota Indians displaced the natives from the site.[1] In 1841 Father Galtier established the Saint Paul Catholic Church and the name of the settlement was formally changed to Saint Paul in honor of the newly constructed church and Father Galtier's favorite saint.”

Chances that a road is unpaved in the U.S.A. : 1%, in Canada : 75%

The deepest hole ever made in the world is in Texas . It is as deep as 20 empire state buildings but only 3 inches wide. “The Kola Superdeep Borehole (KSDB) was the result of a scientific drilling project of the former USSR. The project attempted to drill as deep as possible into the Earth's crust. … The deepest, SG-3, was completed in 1989, creating a hole 12,262 metres (7.6 mi) deep [1], the deepest hole ever made by humans.
See also: “Depth of the Deepest Drilling”

United States
The Eisenhower interstate system requires that one-mile in every five must be straight. These straight sections are usable as airstrips in times of war or other emergencies. “Contrary to popular lore, Interstate highways are not designed to serve as airstrips. [4] ^

The water of Angel Falls (the World's highest) in Venezuela drops 3,212 feet (979 meters). They are 15 times higher than Niagara Falls . The ratio of heights is more like 19 not 15. Yet Niagra Falls is “larger” in that the volume of water going over the Falls is more than goes over Angel Falls.
So, didn't it feel good to learn something new today???

1 comment:

Patty said...

Thanks Gary, so interesting, and I have learnt something! Woot!