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Factoid Archive 1

Land of the Trash

The average American contributed 1,570 pounds of of solid trash to the world last year, along with 23 tons of hazardous waste and 3.613 pounds of sewage.
SOURCE: learner.org


Y2K, Ready or Not

From the smallest microprocessor to the biggest mainframe, the average American depends on over 264 computers per day.
SOURCE: Counting Down to Y2K


Survival of the Oddest?

The Kiwi, national bird of New Zealand, can't fly, lives in a hole in the ground, is almost blind and lays only one egg each year. Yet is has survived for 70 million years. SOURCE: San Diego Zoo


Neurologically Correct?

A support group for people with autism has coined a new term for those who are not autistic- "neurologically typical".
SOURCE: Independent Living


Share the Wealth?

The three wealthiest people (and their families) in the world have more assets than the combined wealth of the 48 poorest countries.
SOURCE: United Nations


Long Day's Journey

A Laysan albatross tracked by biologists has flown more than 24,843 miles in flights across the North Pacific to find food for its chick in just 90 days - flights equivalent to circling the globe.
SOURCE: Biologist David Anderson, Wake Forest University


Spending Money

Americans spend six times as much on home video games ($5.5 billion) as they do on school library materials for their children.
SOURCE: Kids Connect


Sickening

18 million courses of antibiotics are prescribed for the common cold in the US per year. Too bad colds are caused by viruses. 50 million unnecessary antibiotics are prescribed for viral respiratory infections.
SOURCE: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)


My Kind of Place

There are more public libraries in the US than McDonald's - a total of 15,946, including branches.
SOURCE: Kids Connect


Archaea-ology

About 500 species of archaea are now identified, but there may be a million others. The life form is thought to produce about 30 percent of the biomass on Earth, much of it in the Antarctic Ocean.
SOURCE: UC Berkeley


18 Million and Counting

Chemical Abstracts Service added the 18 millionth chemical substance to its database--the world's largest collection of chemical information. The substance, (1S-cis)-2-Phenyl-3-cyclohexene-1-carboxylic acid, , is an intermediate compound in the preparation of tachykinin receptor antagonists which may be useful in the treatment of inflammatory diseases, pain or migraine and other ailments.
SOURCE: American Chemical Society


Long Live the Queen

The evolution of social life in ants and termites has been accompanied by an extraordinary royal perk -- a 100-fold increase among queen ants in average maximum lifespan, with some queens surviving for almost 30 years.This longevity can be attributed in part to the sheltered and pampered life of the royal egg layer.
SOURCE: Drs. Keller and Genoud in Nature


3-D..NA

Researchers are developing an evidence-detection system that would, with the aid of a flashing lamp and a pair of modified 3-D video game goggles, make organic substances such as semen and hair appear to blink, allowing investigators to locate potential evidence more quickly.
SOURCE: Sandia National Laboratories


Cat Giving You Ulcers?

Domestic cats, long considered a reservoir for H. pylori, the bacterium that causes most ulcers, have been given a clean bill of health by recent studies.
SOURCE: The American College of Gastroenterology


Moving Experience

Bore-hole seismometry indicates that the land in Oklahoma moves up and down 25cm throughout the day, corresponding with the tides. Earth tides are generally about one-third the size of ocean tides.
SOURCE: Oklahoma Geological Survey


Ah So

An electric Japanese toilet seat newly available in the US offers deluxe comforts including heating, a water spray, fan and antibacterial glazing- all for only US$800.
SOURCE: Wall Street Journal


Hedgehog Heaven

The New World has no hedgehogs of its own, only porcupines. A Canadian firm now offers overnight shipping of Erinaceus europaeus (the European Hedgehog) anywhere in the world.
SOURCE: Fairview Hedgehog Farm


Stuff It, Honey

When female wasps return to the colony after foraging, they may initiate aggressive encounters with males and stuff them head first into empty nest cells. Cornell University researchers who observed the behavior call it "male-stuffing," and believe it contributes to the colony's fitness by making more food available to larvae.
SOURCE: Cornell University


Seven Choices

Two-thirds of cancer deaths can be prevented by healthy lifestyle choices. The American Cancer Society suggests seven choices:

Cut out tobacco
Hold the fat
Opt for high-fiber fruits, vegetables and grains.
Intake of alcohol: only in moderation.
Call your doctor for regular checkups
Exercise every day
Safeguard your skin from the sun.

SOURCE: American Cancer Society


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