Do you know that…

Did you know that.

Did you know that the can opener was invented 48 years after cans were introduced?

Cans were opened with a hammer and chisel before the advent of can openers. A Londoner, Peter Durand, invented the tin canister, or can, in 1810 for preserving food. There were no can openers yet, and the products labels would read: „cut around on the top near to outer edge with a chisel and hammer.“

The first can opener was invented in 1858 by AAmerican Ezra Warned. The well-known wheel-style opener was invented in 1925. Beer in a can was launched in 1935. The easy open can lid was invented by Ermal Cleon Fraze in 1959.

Since 1972, some 64 million tons of aluminium cans (about 3 trillion cans) have been produced. Placed end-to-end, they could stretch to the moon about a thousand times. Still, cans represent less than 1% of solid waste material – about one quarter of all cans are recycled. Worldwide, some 99 million cans are recycled every hour. Which is good news, considering that it takes a can about 200 years to degrade if you bury it.

It takes paper about a month to biodegrade, a woollen sock about a year, and pplastic hundreds of years.

Did you know that the British royal family changed their surname (last name) in 1917?

The British royal family changed their surname (last name) from Saxe-Coburg-Gotha to Windsor in 1917.

George V was king of England from 1910 to 1936. Son of Edward VII, King of England, and Princess Alexandra of Denmark, he married Queen Mary of Tech (called May) in 1893. Known as the Sailor Prince, he had an active naval career and rose to the rank of vice admiral in 1903.

World War One broke out in 1914 and was in full fury in 1917. In protest, King George V renounced all the German titles belonging to him and his family and adopted the name of his castle, WWindsor.

Did you know that more movies are produced in India than in Hollywood?

Each year, more movies are produced in India than in Hollywood. About 800 movies are released annually in India, about twice the output of Hollywood.

The first movie screened publicly was „La Sortie des Ouvriere des l’Usine Lumière“ which was presented by August and Louis Lumiere in Paris in 1895. The first movie to use sound was „The Jazz Singer,“ released in 1927: the first words, spoken by Al JJolson, were: „Wait a minute, you ain’t heard nothing yet.“

According to the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America), in 1996 the average Hollywood film cost $35.3 million to make and another $17.7 million to market. Disney’s „The Lion King“ cost $45 million to make and employed a total of 800 animators.

The most expensive film ever made, was James Cameron’s „Titanic.“ It cost $200 million, but also was the most successful, in the sense that it won 11 Academy Awards, equalling „Ben Hur“ of 1959.

The top five moneymaking films of all time are: „Titanic“ [$1,835m], Jurassic Park“ [$920m], Independence Day“ [$810m], „Star Wars“ [$780m], „The Lion King“ [$767m]. Notice that they all are family-type movies. In fact, movies with strong sexual or violence content usually bomb at the box office. According to the American Family Association, the average cost to produce a movie in 1996 was $40 million. Sex films grossed on average only $700 000.

Movies with strong Christian or family content each grossed over $37 million.

Did you know that there are 92 known cases of nuclear bombs lost at sea?

The very first bomb that the Allies dropped on Berlin in World War II killed the only elephant in the BBerlin Zoo, it is said. The NATO attack on Serbia last year (the Kosovo war) killed more animals than people. „Smart“ weapons, such the Tomahawk missile is supposed to hit a postage stamp at 300km or more (200 miles or more). But only two out of thirteen actually hit the target. One skimmed over the house of a small farmer

a few kilometres (miles) off target, straight up a track, through bushes, and exploded in the farmer’s field, killing seven sheep, one cow and a goat.

The farmer kept the missile nosecone as a souvenir.

Did you know that it once was law to say „God bless you“ to one who sneezed?

During the 6th Century, it was customary to congratulate people who sneezed because it was thought that they were expelling evil from their bodies. During the great plague of Europe, the Pope passed a law to say „God bless you“ to one who sneezed.

There still are some weird laws on the books. In Washington state, it is against the law to boast that one’s parents are rich. In Maryland, it’s illegal to play Randy Newman’s „Short People“ on the radio. In Alabama it is illegal to play Dominoes on Sunday. And iin Minneapolis, double-parkers can be put on a chain gang.

Did you know that the human head contains 22 bones?

The human head contains 22 bones, consisting the cranium and the facial bones. The cranium is formed by 8 bones: the frontal bone, two parietal bones, two temporal bones, the occipital bone in the back, the ethmoid bone behind the nose, and the sphenoid bone. The face consists of 14 bones including the maxilla (upper jaw) and mandible (lower jaw).

The cranium protects the brain, which, for an average adult male weighs 1375 gram (49oz). The brain of Russian novelist Turgenev, weighed 2021g (71oz), Bismarck’s brain weighed 1807g (64oz), while that of famous French statesman Gambetta was only 1294g (46oz). Women’s brains are slightly smaller than men’s. The largest woman’s brain recorded weighed 1742g (6oz). Einstein’s brain was of average size.

An elephant’s brain weighs 5000g (176oz or 11 lb), a whale’s 10000g (352oz or 22lb). In proportion to the body, the whale has a much smaller brain than man. This seem to give man the edge, until it was discovered that the dwarf monkey has 1g of brain per 27g (0.95oz) of body, and the capuchin monkey has 1g of brain per

17,5g body, whereas man has 1 gram of brain to 44g of body.


The human brain consists of more than 100 billion neurons (nerve cells) through which the brain’s commands are sent in the form of electric pulses. These pulses travel at more than 400 km/h (250 mph), creating enough electricity to power a light bulb. The brain consumes more energy than any other organ, burning up a whopping one-fifth of the food we take in.

It is estimated that computer could rrepresent the mental capacity of a 100-year old human with perfect memory with 10 to the power of 15 bits (one petabit). At the current rate of computer chip development, that figure can be reached in about 35 years. However, that represents just memory capacity, not the extremely complex processes of thought creation and emotions.

But consider this: for all the complexity of the brain, you still have only one thought at a time. Make it a positive thought.

Did you know tthat there are more than 2 700 languages spoken in the world?

The „invention“ of language is not known except for references in the Bible. It is not known what language Adam and Eve spoke. The first mention of different languages iis the reference to the tower of Babel when different tongues were bestowed.

The invention of writing, however, is credited to the Sumerians of Mesopotamia in the 4th Century BC. Their descendants, the Sumero-Babylonians, developed the time system that we use today: an hour divided into 60 minutes, which are divided into 60 seconds.

Today, there are more than 2 700 different languages spoken in the world, with more than 7 000 dialects. In Indonesia alone, 365 different languages are spoken. More than 1,000 different languages are spoken in Africa. The most difficult language to learn is Basque, which is spoken in north western Spain and south western France. It is not related to any other language in the world. Mandarin is tthe most spoken language in the world, followed by English. But as home language, Spanish is the second most spoken in the world.

The youngest language in the world is Afrikaans, spoken by South Africans. Dutch and German Protestants fled persecution from the Roman Catholic Church in the 17th and 18th century to settle in the Dutch colony of Cape of Good Hope on the southern point of Africa. By the early-20th century Afrikaans had developed from Dutch, German and other iinfluences into a fully-fledged language with its own dictionary. After a mere 90 years, it is the second most spoken language in South Africa (Zulu being the most spoken, the Zulu people being the largest ethnic group there).

New languages develop as different cultures meet and mix. Modern transport is influencing the development of languages all over the world as immigrants move to big cities to seek their fortune. In London, for instance, about 700 different languages are spoken. In some suburbs of the London, English is now a second language. The same is happening – or has taken place – in cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Miami and Singapore. There is no doubt that the Internet will also influence the development of languages as people communicate freely across cultural and regional borders.

Did you know that genetically modified plants could grow plastic?

Biotechnologists have created genetically modified (GM) plants that can grow plastic. They managed this by inserting 4 genes from plastic-producing bacteria into varieties of oilseed rape (Eurasian plant) and cress. Conventional plastics are made from oil and do not degrade easily, but the plant plastic is biodegradable. But it is expensive. Petroleum-derived plastic cost about $1 per kkg (2,2 lb) but plant plastic would cost $5 per kg (2,2 lb).

Money doesn’t grow on trees but one day, perhaps, credit cards will.

Did you know that the Bank of America started as the Bank of Italy?

Amedeo Giannini, son of Italian immigrants to the US, started the Bank of America in a converted saloon in San Francisco at 9 am on Monday, 17 October 1904. On the first day, 28 deposits totalled $8,780.

When an earthquake struck in 1907, he ran his bank from a plank in the street. Word quickly spread about his service and by 1916 he had several branches. By 1929, the bank was strong enough to withstand the Great Depression stock crash. Giannini changed the name to Bank of America in 1928 and remained chairman until 1963.

The Bank of Italy in Italy was created in 1893 through the merger of 3 of the 6 banks at the time: Banca Nazionale nel Regno d’Italia and 2 Tuscan banks.

William Patterson founded the Bank of England after King William III of England found himself badly in need of funds to fight a war with France in 1694. Patterson provided the funds after the king agreed to order all the goldsmiths oof London to stop issuing receipts as depositories for precious metals, forcing merchants to store their gold with the new bank. The Bank of England was finally authorised in 1946.

The Reichsbank of Germany was founded by Meyer Amschel Rothschild (1743-1812), who appointed his son Karl over the Bank of Naples, and his son Salomon over the Bank of Vienna. Later, his son Edmund presided over the Bank of Germany, and his son Nathan over the Bank of England.

Did you know that the tomato is the world’s most popular fruit?

The tomato is the world’s most popular fruit. And yes, just like the brinjal and the pumpkin, botanically speaking it is a fruit, not a vegetable. More than 60 million tons of tomatoes are produced per year, 16 million tons more than the second most popular fruit, the banana. Apples are the third most popular (36 million tons), then oranges (34 million tons) and watermelons (22 million tons).

Tomatoes were first cultivated in 700 AD by Aztecs and Incas. Explorers returning from Mexico introduced the tomato into Europe, where it was first mentioned in 1556. The French called it „the apple of love,“ the Germans „the apple of paradise.“

Tomatoes are rich in vitamins

A and C and fibre, and are cholesterol free. An average size tomato (148 gram, or 5 oz) boasts only 35 calories. Furthermore, new medical research suggests that the consumption of lycopene – the stuff that makes tomatoes red – may prevent cancer. Lycopene is part of the family of pigments called carotenoids, which are natural compounds that create the colours of fruits and vegetables. For example, beta-carotene is the orange pigment in carrots. As with essential amino acids, they aare not produced by the human body. Lycopene us the most powerful antioxidant in the carotenoid family and, with vitamins C and E, protect us from the free radicals that degrade many parts of the body.

The scientific term for the common tomato is lycopersicon lycopersicum, which mean „wolf peach.“ It is a cousin of the eggplant, red pepper, ground cherry, potato, and the highly toxic belladonna, also known as the nightshade or solanaccae. There are more than 10,000 varieties of ttomatoes.

Tomatoes are used in many food product, including, of course, tomato sauce (ketchup), pasta and pizza. According to a Steel Packing Council survey of 1997, 68% of chefs use canned tomatoes for convenience, quality and flavouring.

Where is the only place tthat a flag is not saluted?

The only place where a flag flies all day, never goes up or comes down, never flies half-mast and does not get saluted, is the moon.

It is, of course, the American flag, the only country to have landed people on the moon. Between 1969 and 1972, 12 astronauts walked on the moon, spending 170 hours roaming over 100 km (over 60 miles). They brought home 400 kilograms (880 pounds) of soil and rock, and 30,000 photographs.

The Apollo 17 crew were the last men on the moon. With Ronald Evans in the command module, Commander Eugene Cernan and scientist Harrison H. Schmitt drove 34 km (21 miles) in the lunar buggy. On December 11, 1972 they lleft behind a plaque that reads: „Here Man completed his first exploration of the Moon, December 1972 A.D. May the spirit of peace in which we came be reflected in the lives of all mankind.“ Cernan was the last man to have set foot on another celestial body.

Last words

The first words spoken on the moon, by Neil Armstrong, are well known, but what were the last words spoken from the moon?

„America’s challenge of today has forged man’s destiny of ttomorrow.“ – Commander Eugene Cernan, Apollo 17 Mission, 11 December 1972.