Friday, March 1, 2013

Trivia Odds & Ends for March 2013

Vice President Joe Biden's Advice To Women Falls Flat!




The $100,000 bill

Believe it or not, the highest-denomination note ever printed was worth $100,000.

The largest bill ever produced by the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing was the $100,000 gold certificate.


The currency notes were printed between December 18, 1934, and January 9, 1935, with the portrait of President Woodrow Wilson on the front.

Don’t ask your bank teller for a $100,000 bill, though. The notes were never circulated to the public and were used solely for transactions among Federal Reserve banks.

You won’t find a president on the highest-denomination bill ever issued to the public.

The $10,000 bill is the highest denomination ever circulated by the federal government.

In spite of its value, it is adorned not with a portrait of a president but with that of Salmon P. Chase, treasury secretary at the time of the passage of the National Banking Act.

Chase later served as chief justice of the Supreme Court.

The federal government stopped producing the $10,000 bill in 1969 along with these other high-end denominations: $5,000 fronted by James Madison, the $1,000 fronted by Grover Cleveland and the $500 fronted by William McKinley.

Although rare to find in your wallet, $2 bills are still printed periodically.

And no, no one can confirm whether or not a $1,000,000,000 (One Trillion) Barack Obama note will be circulated to the public so that we may be able to pay for ObamaCare next year. 





Monster Goldfish found in Lake Tahoe

February 22, 2013

Lake Tahoe is 191.6 sq miles (496.2 km²) big. It is a large freshwater lake in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of the United States. At a surface elevation of 6,225 ft, it is located along the border between California and Nevada. It lies just south of Truckee, California and west of Carson City, Nevada.

Lake Tahoe has Rainbow trout, Sockeye salmon, Brown trout, Largemouth bass, Bluegill, Mosquito-fish, Lake trout, Smallmouth bass, Brown bullhead, Lahontan cutthroat trout, Golden shiner, Mountain whitefish, Lahontan redside, and yes, Giant goldfish.

Gigantic goldfish, like the one below being held by University of Nevada, Reno, researcher Christine Ngai, have been found in the waters of Lake Tahoe.

Yes, a new kind of lake monster has been found in the depths of Lake Tahoe: gigantic goldfish.

Researchers trawling the lake for invasive fish species scooped up a goldfish that was nearly 1.5 feet long and 4.2 pounds.

"During these surveys, we've found a nice corner where there's about 15 other goldfish," environmental scientist Sudeep Chandra of the University of Nevada, Reno, told LiveScience. "It's an indication that they were schooling and spawning."

The arrival of the fish, which were probably dumped there by aquarium owners, has Chandra worried — goldfish are an invasive species that could interfere with Lake Tahoe's ecosystem.

It's unclear whether the giant fish were introduced as fully grown adults, or while they were still small, Chandra said. But even a small creature can have a big impact, if there are enough of them.

"We've found a nice corner where there's about 15 other goldfish."
- Environmental scientist Sudeep Chandra of the University of Nevada, Reno

The goldfish are just one of several species of invasive warm-water fishes in Lake Tahoe. "The invasion is resulting in the consumption of native species," Chandra said. What's more, the invasive fish excrete nutrients that cause algal blooms, which threaten to muddy Tahoe's clear waters.
Fish out of water

Aquarium dumping has become a common practice in the United States and elsewhere, and it's taking a toll on native wildlife.

A recent report on California's aquarium trade found that fish owners and importers are introducing hardy, nonnative aquatic species to California waters.

"Globally, the aquarium trade has contributed a third of the world's worst aquatic and invasive species," Williams, who was lead author of the report, told OurAmazingPlanet, a sister site of LiveScience, in January.

While the exact number of aquarium owners dumping fish is unknown, scientists know the practice is occurring because these species could not have ended up in these waters naturally.

Between 20 percent and 69 percent of fish keepers surveyed in Texas admitted to dumping, according to Williams.

Other ways that invasive species find their way into natural ecosystems include aquaculture, live seafood, live bait, and fishing and recreation vessels.

More than 11 million nonnative marine organisms representing at least 102 species arrive at ports in San Francisco and Los Angeles alone, Williams has found.

The invaders include tropical fish, seaweed and snails. One of the nastiest is a deadly type of seaweed known as Caulerpa.

A type of algae that produces toxic compounds that kill off fish, Caulerpa was eradicated in 2000 (at great expense) from lagoons in Southern California.

Aquarium owners should be more careful when disposing of unwanted fish and other animals, Williams cautioned.

"It's pretty simple: Don't dump your fish," she said. Instead, she suggests calling the pet shop that sold the fish or your state department of fish and wildlife. (Euthanasia is another option, but simply flushing fish down the toilet can be problematic — for the fish and for your plumbing.)

So why do people dump fish? Studies of dumping have shown that size and aggressiveness of the fish are two main factors, Williams said.

The largest pet goldfish, according to the BBC, was a fish named Goldie that was 15 inches long and weighed more than 2 pounds.


Democrat Party Tools

President Obama and the other Liberals of the Democrat Party have driven jobs away at record rates since they took over in January 2007.

The three options, the tools of their Political Party, that they believe will "help" the economy have been boiled down to three basic tools.

All hammers to beat the economy into the ground.





Skeleton found in parking lot construction identified as that of King Richard III of England

A skull found at the Grey Friars excavation in Leicester has been proven to be that of Richard III.

Feb. 4 2013: Remains found underneath a parking lot last September at the Grey Friars excavation in Leicester, which have been declared "beyond reasonable doubt" to be the long lost remains of England's King Richard III.

And yes, Richard was missing for 500 years.

He was king of England, but for centuries he lay without shroud or coffin in an unknown grave, and his name became a byword for villainy.

RichardSkull.jpg

On Monday, scientists announced they had rescued the remains of Richard III from anonymity -- and the monarch's fans hope a revival of his reputation will soon follow.

In a dramatically orchestrated news conference, a team of archaeologists, geneticists, genealogists and other scientists from the University of Leicester announced that tests had proven what they scarcely dared to hope -- a scarred and broken skeleton unearthed under a drab municipal parking lot was that of the 15th-century king, the last English monarch to die in battle.

Lead archaeologist Richard Butler said that a battery of tests proved "beyond reasonable doubt" that the remains were the king's.

"I don't think there is any question -- it is Richard III."
- Mike Pitts, editor of British Archaeology magazine

Lin Foxhall, head of the university's school of archaeology, said the discovery "could end up rewriting a little bit of history in a big way."

Few monarchs have seen their reputations decline as much after death as Richard III.

He ruled England between 1483 and 1485, during the decades-long battle over the throne known as the Wars of the Roses, which pitted two wings of the ruling Plantagenet dynasty -- York and Lancaster -- against one another.

His brief reign saw liberal reforms, including the introduction of the right to bail and the lifting of restrictions on books and printing presses.

But his rule was challenged, and he was defeated and killed by the army of Henry Tudor, who took the throne as King Henry VII and ended the Plantagenet line.

Britain's current monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, is distantly related to Richard, but is not a descendant.

After his death, historians writing under the victorious Tudors comprehensively trashed Richard's reputation, accusing him of myriad crimes -- most famously, the murder of his two nephews, the "Princes in the Tower."

William Shakespeare indelibly depicted Richard as a hunchbacked usurper who left a trail of bodies on his way to the throne before dying in battle, shouting "My kingdom for a horse."

King Richard III remains 2.jpg

The curved spine and other long lost remains of England's King Richard III, missing for 500 years. Richard was immortalized in a play by Shakespeare as a hunchbacked usurper who left a trail of bodies including those of his two young nephews, murdered in the Tower of London on his way to the throne.

That view was repeated by many historians, and Richard remains a villain in the popular imagination. But others say Richard's reputation was unjustly smeared by his Tudor successors.

Philippa Langley of the Richard III Society -- which seeks to restore the late king's reputation and backed the search for his grave-- said that for centuries Richard's story has been told by others, many of them hostile.

She hopes a new surge of interest, along with evidence from the skeleton about how the king lived and died -- and how he was mistreated after death -- will help restore his reputation.

"A wind of change is blowing, one that will seek out the truth about the real Richard III," she said.

Langley, who helped launch the search for the king, said she could scarcely believe her quest had paid off.

"Everyone thought that I was mad," she said. "It's not the easiest pitch in the world, to look for a king under a council car park."

The location of Richard's body was unknown for centuries. He died in August 1485 at the Battle of Bosworth Field in the English Midlands, and records say he was buried by the Franciscan monks of Grey Friars at their church in Leicester, 100 miles north of London.

The church was closed and dismantled after King Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries in 1538, and its location eventually was forgotten by most local residents.

There were tales that the king's bones had been dug up and thrown in a nearby river in the 16th century.

Then last year a team led by University of Leicester archaeologist Richard Buckley identified a possible location of the grave through map regression analysis, starting with a current map of the general area of the former church and analyzing earlier maps to discover what had changed and not changed.

Ground-penetrating radar was used to find the best places to start digging.

The team began excavating in a parking lot last August. Within a week they had located thick walls and the remains of tiled floors. Soon after, they found human remains -- the skeleton of an adult male who appeared to have died in battle.

He had been buried unceremoniously, with no coffin or shroud -- plausible for a despised and defeated enemy.

Increasingly excited, the researchers set out to conduct a battery of scientific tests, including radiocarbon dating to determine the skeleton's age, to see whether, against the odds, they really had found the king.

They found the skeleton belonged to a man in his late 20s to late 30s who died between 1455 and 1540. Richard was 32 when he died in 1485.

Archaeological bone specialist Jo Appleby, a lecturer in human bioarchaeology at Leicester, said study of the bones provided "a highly convincing case for identification of Richard III."

Appleby said the 10 injuries to the body were inflicted by weapons such as swords, daggers and halberds and were consistent with accounts of Richard being struck down in battle -- his helmet knocked from his head -- before his body was stripped naked and flung over the back of a horse in disgrace.

Appleby said two of the blows to the head could have been fatal. Other scars, including a knife wound to the buttock, bore the hallmarks of "humiliation injuries" inflicted after death.

The remains also displayed signs of scoliosis, a form of spinal curvature, consistent with contemporary accounts of Richard's appearance, though not the withered arm Shakespeare describes.

DNA from the skeleton matched a sample taken from Michael Ibsen, a distant living relative of Richard's sister.

The project's lead geneticist, Turi King, said Ibsen, a Canadian carpenter living in London, shares with the skeleton a rare strain of mitochondrial DNA.

The same DNA group also matches a second living descendant, who wants to remain anonymous.

King said that between 1 and 2 percent of the population belongs to this genetic sub-group, so the DNA evidence is not definitive proof in itself of the skeleton's identity. But combined with the archaeological evidence, it left little doubt the skeleton belonged to Richard.

Ibsen, a 17th great-grand-nephew of Richard's older sister, said he was "stunned" by the discovery.

"It's difficult to digest," he said.

Some scientists felt qualms about the haste with which the Leicester team announced its results. The findings have not been published in peer-reviewed scientific journals, though the university said they soon would be.

"It's a bizarre way of going about things," said Mark Horton, a professor of archaeology at the University of Bristol -- although he said "overwhelming circumstantial evidence" identified the skeleton as Richard's.

Archaeologist Mike Pitts, editor of British Archaeology magazine, also said he found the evidence persuasive.

"I don't think there is any question. It is Richard III," said Pitts, who was not affiliated with the research team.

The discovery is a boon for the city of Leicester, which has bought a building next to the parking lot to serve as a visitor center and museum.

On Monday, the king's skeleton lay in a glass box in a meeting room within the university library. It was a browned, fragile-looking thing, its skull pocked with injuries, missing its feet -- which scientists say were disturbed sometime after burial -- and with a pronounced s-shape to the spine.

Soon the remains will be moved to an undisclosed secure location, and next year Richard will, at last, get a king's burial, interred with pomp and ceremony in Leicester Cathedral.

It is a day Langley, of the Richard III Society, has dreamed of seeing.

"We have searched for him, we have found him -- it is now time to honor him," she said.



Supersonic skydiver Felix Baumgartner fell at 843.6 mph - that's Mach 1.25

Supersonic skydiver Felix Baumgartner was faster than he or anyone else thought when he jumped from 24 miles up.

According to the official numbers released today, the Austrian parachutist known as "Fearless Felix" reached 843.6 mph. That's equivalent to Mach 1.25, or 1.25 times the speed of sound.

"When you close your visor, it's your own little world. You don't hear anything from the outside anymore."
- Felix Baumgartner

Brian Utley, a jump observer from the International Federation of Sports Aviation, said last October that preliminary figures showed Baumgartner reaching a maximum speed of 833.9 mph.

That amounts to Mach 1.24, which is faster than the speed of sound. No one has ever reached that speed wearing only a high-tech suit.

Either way, he became the first human to break the sound barrier with only his body.

Baumgartner was supersonic for a half-minute during the jump over New Mexico. His heart rate remained below 185 beats a minute, and his breathing was fairly steady.

The leap was from an altitude of 127,852 feet. That's 248 feet lower than estimates.

And yes, not surprising, the jump was sponsored by Red Bull.

Baumgartner came down safely in the eastern New Mexico desert about nine minutes after jumping from his capsule miles above Earth. He lifted his arms in victory, sending off loud cheers from jubilant onlookers and friends inside the mission's control center in Roswell, N.M.

"When I was standing there on top of the world, you become so humble, you do not think about of breaking records anymore, you do not think of about gaining scientific data. The only thing you want is to come back alive," he said after the jump.

The altitude he leapt from also marked the highest-ever for a skydiver.

Baumgartner says that traveling faster than sound is "hard to describe because you don't feel it." With no reference points, "you don't know how fast you travel," he told reporters.

"Sometimes we have to get really high to see how small we are," he said.


Report shows UN discovers Sun gives off intense heat!

UN Experts admit solar activity "may" play significant role in global warming

In January, a leaked report out of the UN shows that the earth has been getting warmer  -- because the sun gives off intense heat!

No kidding folks! A leaked report by a United Nations group that is financed and "dedicated" to climate studies says that heat from the sun "may" play a larger role than previously thought.

Imagine that!

Maybe those jerkweeds at the UN who are worried about Global Warming should get away from their labs now and then and go outside.


Confederados

In the wake of the Civil War, some Confederate sympathizers fled the United States and founded colonies in Mexico and South America.
 
It is a fact that several thousand Southerners chose to settle in Brazil, where they established small villages with names like “Americana” and “New Texas.”
 
These expatriates became known as the “Confederados,” and their descendants can still be found in Brazil to this day.
 
 

Japanese Fire Balloons

One of the most unusual military actions of World War II came in the form of Japanese balloon bombs, or “Fugos,” directed at the mainland United States.

FugoIts true, starting in 1944, the Japanese military constructed and launched over 9,000 high-altitude balloons, each loaded with nearly 50 pounds of anti-personnel and incendiary explosives.

Amazingly, these unmanned dirigibles originated from over 5,000 miles away in the Japanese home islands.

After being launched, the specially designed hydrogen balloons would ascend to an altitude of 30,000 feet and ride the jet stream across the Pacific Ocean to the mainland United States.

Their bombs were triggered to drop after the three-day journey was complete — hopefully over a city or wooded region that would catch fire.

Nearly 350 of the bombs actually made it across the Pacific, and several were intercepted or shot down by the U.S. military.

From 1944 to 1945, balloon bombs were spotted in more than 15 states — some as far east as Michigan and Iowa.

The only fatalities came from a single incident in Oregon, where a pregnant woman and five children were killed in an explosion after coming across one of the downed balloons.

Their deaths are considered the only combat casualties to occur on continental U.S. soil during World War II.


And then there are these bits of trivia ...

• On February 25, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln signed the National Banking Act (originally known as the National Currency Act), which for the first time in American history established the federal dollar as the sole currency of the United States.

• Did you know that pigs are ranked #4 in animal intelligence?

Chimpanzees are ranked at the top together with the gorilla, orangutan, baboon, gibbon and monkey. Dolphins and killer whales are ranked #2. Elephants are #3.

Pigs are #4 because they are very intelligent and can learn to do tricks faster than dogs.

They have learned to push a lever in the barnyard to get a drink of water or a dish of food, and have been taught to tumble, race, pull carts, and dance.

No, there is no truth to pigs being able to fly, worked computers, or make a gin and tonic.

• The 3 Musketeers bar was originally split into three pieces with three different flavors: vanilla, chocolate and strawberry.

When the other flavors became harder to come by during World War II, Mars decided to go all chocolate.

• M&M's actually stands for "Mars & Murrie's," the last names of the candy's founders.

• Fredric Baur invented the Pringles can. When he passed away in 2008, his ashes were buried in one.

• Ben & Jerry learned how to make ice cream by taking a $5 correspondence course offered by Penn State. (They decided to split one course.)

• Singer Carly Simon's dad is the Simon of famed Simon and Schuster. Her dad co-founded the company.

• When the mummy of Ramses II was sent to France in the mid-1970s, it was issued a passport. Ramses' occupation? "King (deceased)."

• The word "PEZ" comes from the German word for peppermint—PfeffErminZ

• The duffel bag gets its name from the town of Duffel, Belgium, where the cloth used in the bags was originally sold.

• In 1939, Hitler's nephew wrote an article called "Why I Hate My Uncle." He came to the U.S., served in the Navy, and settled on Long Island.

• In the 1970s, Mattel sold a doll called "Growing Up Skipper." Her breasts grew when her arm was turned.

• While many believe Hydrox cookies are an Oreo knock-off, Hydrox actually came first—in 1908, four years before the Oreo.

• At Fatburger, you can order a "Hypocrite"—a veggie burger topped with crispy strips of bacon.

• A 1913 New York Times article on portmanteaus includes the word "alcoholiday," which describes leisure time spent drinking.

• Believe it or not, Reno, Nevada, is farther west than Los Angeles, California.

• In 1999, Furbies were banned from the National Security Agency's Maryland headquarters because it was feared the toys might repeat national security secrets.

• Famous Football Coach Bear Bryant was once asked to contribute $10 to help pay for a sportswriter's funeral. According to legend, he said, "Here's a twenty, bury two."

• Kool-Aid was originally marketed as "Fruit Smack."

• Only female mosquitoes will bite you, and I'm betting most men are not surprised at that fact.

• Yes, there really was pirate named Captain Morgan. He was a Welsh pirate who later became the lieutenant governor of Jamaica.

• Once upon a time the term "Jay" was used as slang for a "foolish person." So when a pedestrian ignored street signs, he was referred to as a "jaywalker."

• Duncan Hines was a real person. He was a popular restaurant critic who also wrote a book of hotel recommendations.

• The string on boxes of animal crackers was originally placed there so the container could be hung from a Christmas tree.

• Alaska is the only state that can be typed on one row of keys.
• At the 1905 wedding of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, President Teddy Roosevelt gave away the bride.

• Author William Faulkner refused a dinner invitation from President John F. Kennedy. Falkner said, "Why that’s a hundred miles away. That’s a long way to go just to eat."

• In 1907, an ad campaign for Kellogg's Corn Flakes offered a free box of cereal to any woman who would wink at her grocer.

• Why did the FBI call Ted Kaczynski "The Unabomber"? Because his early mail bombs were sent to universities (UN) & airlines (A).

• The archerfish knocks its insect prey out of over-hanging branches with a stream of spit.

• Male students at Brigham Young University need a doctor's note to grow a beard.

• Believe it or not, in 1991, Wayne Allwine, who was the voice of Mickey Mouse, married Russi Taylor - the voice of Minnie.

• In 1955, the New York State Labor Department ruled that "there is nothing inherently repulsive about a Van Dyke beard."

• Hallmark now sells a line of "encouragement" cards you can send to people who've lost their job.

• The Arkansas School for the Deaf's nickname is the Leopards. Yes, the Deaf Leopards.

• Editor Bennett Cerf challenged Dr. Seuss to write a book using no more than 50 different words. The result? Green Eggs and Ham.

• Hawaiian Punch was originally developed in 1934 as a tropical flavored ice cream topping.

• The 1975 Dictionary of American Slang defines "happy cabbage" as money to be spent "on entertainment or other self-satisfying things."

• Long before President Herbert Hoover became switched from being a Democrat to being a Republican, he was Stanford University's football team manager. At the first Stanford-Cal game in 1892, he forgot to bring the ball. No surprise there huh!


Now For Horse Racing Trivia

• In the first Kentucky Derby in 1875, 13 of the 15 jockeys were black. Of the first 28 Derby winners, 15 were black.

• The Kentucky Derby is the second oldest horse race in America. The race track was built on farmland in Louisville, Kentucky. The first race was held on May 17, 1875, with 10 thousand people in attendance. An African-American named Oliver Lewis rode the winner, Aristides.

• Eddie Arcaro, one of the greatest jockeys in horse race history, rode 250 losers before he won his first race. Ultimately, Arcaro won 4,779 races - including five Derby winners, six in the Preakness, and six in the Belmont Stakes, on such famous horses as Whirlaway, Citation, and Kelso.

• The lightest jockey on record weighed in at 49 lb! That is about 1/20 of the weight of an average race horse (1000 lb).

• Sir Gordon Richards first won the Derby in 1953, when he was 49 years old. Scobie Breasley had to wait until he was 50 for his first Derby win, in 1964.

• Sir Barton won the Belmont Stakes in New York in 1919, to become the first horse to capture the Triple Crown.   This was the first time that the Belmont Stakes had been run as part of thoroughbred racing's most prestigious trio of events.  

Sir Barton had already won the first two jewels of the Triple Crown - the Kentucky Derby in Louisville, Kentucky and the Preakness Stakes in Maryland.  

As for another bit of trivia, Sir Barton was sired by leading stud Star Shoot out of the Hanover mare Lady Sterling. His grand-sire was the 1893 English Triple Crown champion, Isinglass.


Last but not least, an Obama quote!



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