Thursday, October 24, 2013

Facts Extraordinaire (Part 1)

Did You Know???

Alaska:  More than 1/2 the coastline of the entire United States is in Alaska.

Amazon:  The Amazon rain forest produces more than 20% of the world's oxygen supply.  The Amazon River pushes so much water into the Atlantic Ocean that more than 100 miles at sea off the mouth of the river, one can dip fresh water out of the Ocean. The volume of the Amazon River is greater than the next 8 largest rivers in the world combined and 3 times the flow of all the rivers in the United States.

Antarctica:  is the only land on our planet that is not owned by any country. 90%  of the world's ice covers Antarctica.  The ice also represents 70% of all the fresh water in the world.  As strange as it sounds, however, Antarctica is essentially a desert!  The average yearly precipitation is about 2 inches, although covered with ice (all but 0.4% of it, ice).  Antarctica is the driest place on the planet with an absolute humidity lower than the Gobi Desert.

Brazil:  gets its name from the nut....not the other way around.

Canada:  has more lakes than the rest of the world combined. Canada is an Indian name for “Big Village”.

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

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

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.

Istanbul, Turkey:  is the only city in the world located on 2 continents (Europe and Asia).

Los  Angeles:  The full name is “El Pueblo de Nuestra Sanora la Reina de Los Angeles de Porciuncula...and can be abbreviated to 3.63 % of its size: L.A.

New York City:  The term “Big Apple” was coined by touring jazz musicians in 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”...and thus The Big Apple! There are more Irish in New York City than there are in Dublin, Ireland. There are more Italians in New York City than in Rome, Italy. There are more Jews in New York City than in Tel Aviv, Israel.

Ohio:  There are no natural lakes in the state of Ohio; every one is man made.

Pitcairn Island:  The smallest island with country status is Pitcairn in Polynesia at just 1.75 square miles/4.53 square meters.

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

Siberia:  (north of Russia) contains  more than 25%  of the world's forests.

S.M.O.M.  The actual smallest sovereign entity is the Sovereign Military Order of Malta. It is located in the city of Rome, Italy...has an area of 2 tennis courts and  has a population of 80 ...20 less than the Vatican. It is a sovereign entity under international law, just as the Vatican is.

Sahara Desert:  In the Sahara Desert, there is a town called Tidikelt, Algeria,  which did not receive a drop of rain for 10 years.  Technically, the driest place on Earth is in the valleys of Antarctica near Ross Island.  There has been no rainfall there for 2 million years! 

Spain:  literally means, “the land of rabbits”.
St.  Paul, Minnesota:  This city was originally called, “Pig's Eye” after a man named Pierre 'Pig's Eye' Parrant who set up the first business there.

Roads:  showing a picture  of narrow winding dirt road with sign,
                                                   “Rough Road next 165 km.
                                                     Maximum speed 70 km/h.”
Chances that a road is unpaved:  in United States = 1%
                                                      in Canada = .75%

Russia:  The deepest hole ever drilled by man is the Kola Superdeep Borehole in Russia.  It reached a depth of 12,261 meters (about 40,226 feet or 7.62 miles). It was drilled for scientific research and gave up some unexpected of which was a huge deposit  of hydrogen ~ so massive that the mud coming from the hole was boiling with it. 

United States:  The Eisenhower Interstate system requires that 1 mile in every 5 miles must be straight. These straight sections are usable as airstrips in time of war or other emergencies.

Waterfalls:  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.  Angel Falls is best seen by charter plane from a city along the Orinoco River.  For those seeking adventure, an 8-day/7-night hiking trek through jungles, grasslands and hidden canyons is available.

Closing Statement ... by Author of this Article:

I have always said, “You should learn something new every day.
Unfortunately, many of us are at that age...
Where  what we learn today ... we forget tomorrow.
But, give it a shot, anyway!

( Grateful  thanks to an ardent reader for sending these Extraordinary Facts to me)

“Pearls of Wisdom”

Go to foreign countries and you will get to know
the good things one possesses at  home.
(Johann Wolfgang von Goethe)

It might be a good idea if various countries of the world
would occasionally swap history booksjust to see
what other people are doing with the same set of facts.
(Bill Vaugh, journalist 1915-1977)

Even as individuals become families and families become communities ~
and  communities become nations, so eventually nations draw together in peace.
(Marjorie Watts)

Merle Baird-Kerr . . . written February 10, 2012
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  1. My son writes: "I will long remember that coastal jeep tour in Venezuela. I knew about Angel Falls from the encyclopedia set, for this was the picture for 'Waterfall.' It would be exciting to see Angel Falls, but the trouble is the political access to it. 'Buy the whey' Angel Falls happens to be the setting of this movie call UP...though it is called Paradise Falls in that show and its host country is not given."

  2. Thank you for the great memory of the Caribbean cruise we took as a family over Christmas several years ago. At each port, we took turns selecting a day tour...the choice was visiting Caracas, experiencing a rain forest or the open air jeep tour along the coast with a "fish fry lunch" at a local waterfall that streamed its way to the Sea. This rewarding choice had been Marcia's.