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Factoid Archive 3

Solar Flow

The Ulysses Solar Mission revealed that matter flows outward from the South Pole of the Sun at a rate of one million tons per second.

Ozone Valley

Chinese scientists have identified an unusual "ozone valley'' over the western Tibet-Qinghai plateau with alarmingly low levels of atmospheric ozone, more than ten percent less than in other areas in the same latitude. Chinese and US researchers are evaluating the potential causes of the hole (probably pollution) and potential health problems, including skin cancer.

DDT Then

When DDT was first introduced during WW II, new recruits were given DDT-impregnated uniforms and entire city populations (e.g. Naples) were 'dusted' with the chemical.
SOURCE: Medical Research Council Reproductive Biology Unit.


Although banned in the developed world for more than 20 years, DDT is still widely used in the developing world, primarily for control of malaria. For example, Mexico and Brazil each used nearly 1,000 tons of DDT in 1992. The chemical has a half-life of more than 100 years and can be found in the tissues of almost all humans.
SOURCE: World Health Organization

African Water Shortage

Over the last 30 years, the availability of freshwater in Africa has halved. This can be attributed to a combination of climate change and poor resource management
SOURCE: Dr. Maurice Ndege, Africa Water Network

Upper Class Women

Rebecca Elizabeth Marier has become the first woman to graduate 'top of the class' at West Point, the US Military Academy. The rankings are based on academic, military and physical accomplishments. She now will go on to Harvard Medical School.

World's Largest Geyser

A new man-made fountain opposite the Gateway Arch in St. Louis is now the world's highest geyser, at 600 feet. The geyser's is powered by three 800 hp pumps and discharges water at up to 200 feet per second. The geyser will keep 1,100 gallons of water, weighing 9,200 pounds, in the air when in operation.
SOURCE: Gateway Center

Snake Invasion

Kurdish villages in northern Iraq are currently being overwhelmed by an invasion of thousands of poisonous snakes including rattlesnakes and yellow vipers. The snakes moved into buildings destroyed by Saddam Hussein's troops and proliferated following an unusually mild winter.
SOURCE Earthwatch

Please Hold

One third of 95 developing countries have a waiting period of six years or more for a telephone connection, compared with less than a month in developed nations.
SOURCE: World Bank

Ortho What?

Orthorhombic perskovite is the predominant mineral found in Earth's lower mantle and the most abundant mineral on Earth.
SOURCE: Science

Fat Figures

About one-third of American adults are at least 20 percent above their recommended weight.
SOURCE: Nature Genetics

Equine Atavism

The favorite horses of both Alexander the Great (Bucephalos) and Julius Caesar both had atavistic mutations- extra toes. Horses normally have only one toe per foot, but are descended from horses with three or four toes on each limb.

SOURCE: Nature Genetics

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