It’s pretty easy to hoax people. We all want to be deceived, but only up to a point. Some hoaxes are fun and pleasant, others malicious and unpleasant. We’d like a way to tell the difference (Robert Carroll).

Jan 14, 2009

25 True Amazing Facts

1. Abdul Kassam Ismael, Grand Vizier of Persia in the tenth century, carried his library with him wherever he went. Four hundred camels carried the 117,000 volumes.

2. On average, Americans spend about 6 months of their lives waiting at red traffic lights.

3. Hans Christian Anderson, the creator of fairy tales, was actually word-blind. He was never able to spell correctly. His publishers had to correct his errors.

4. There was only 30 seconds of fuel remaining, when Apollo 11’s lunar module landed on the moon.

5. A Baboon called “Jackie” became a private in the South African army in World War I.

6. If you put a piece of scotch tape on an inflated balloon, then stick it with a small pin or needle, it won’t pop.

7. Camels have three eyelids to protect themselves from blowing sand.

8. The Catholic Church only declared in 1992 that the earth may go round the sun.

9. Cats sweat through the pads of their feet.

10. Dolphins sleep with one eye open.

11. Earth gets heavier every year. Roughly 1000 tones of space dust land of its surface annually.

12. In Ancient Egypt, a Pharaoh would have slaves stand naked in honey to keep the flies away.

13. Albert Einstein was offered the presidency of Israel in 1952 (73 years old), but he declined.

14. Elephants remain pregnant for 2 years, and then cannot become pregnant again for another 2 years afterwards because the female will not ovulate.

15. In 1971, Elvis Presley was appointed an honorary FBI agent by Nixon before Nixon’s resignation.

16. The Burramundy, a fish, grows up as a male, but after 2 years or so, it turns into a female to breed.

17. A person who is lost in the woods and starving can obtain nourishment by chewing on his shoes. Leather has enough nutritional value to sustain life for a short time.

18. An Octopus has 3 hearts.

19. An oyster can change its sex once every seven days.

20. In the 1960’s, the US spent millions developing a zero gravity pen for use in space, and the Russians…., they used pencils.

21. Male feral rabbits urinate on the females to state their ownership.

22. The gender of Reptiles are determined not by the sex genes, but by the temperature in which the egg is incubated. A certain temperature will produce a male and vice versa for a female.

23. In Samoa, it is acceptable for a family who has too many sons, to raise the youngest boy as a daughter. He is known as a fa’afafine and is given a girl’s name and wears feminine clothing… and is even allowed to use the ladies bathroom.

24. Scorpions can be killed by pouring vinegar over them. They’ll ’snap’ and sting themselves.

25. In Tibet there is actually a practice called ‘polyandry’ where many men, usually brothers, marry a single woman? This takes place so that only one set of children will inherit the land.



androgenoide said...

I seem to remember that #20 was shown to be false. If I remember correctly, both the US and the Soviets were using mechanical pencils when Fisher developed the "space pen" (not at government expense) and that both the US and the USSR bought Fisher's pens when they became available. Fisher undoubtedly spent a bundle developing and patenting the pressurized pen but the publicity was priceless.

Michael Pekker said...

You are probably right, pointing out that this is not a true statement.

For some people, it's sport to point out government waste and bureaucratic stupidity, but this story about the space pen won't provide ammunition for it. The government did not fund the development of the pen, it did not cost $12 million to perfect, and neither the Americans nor the Russians consider it desirable to use pencils in space. In fact, both Americans and Russians use the space pen for their flights.

The famous space pen, which is still a popular product today, was developed by Paul Fisher the founder of the Fisher pen company. An engineer who improved ball point technology, he created his "bullet pen" in the 1940's, which became one of the best-selling pens of the Twentieth Century. Later, he perfected a pen that was sealed with pressure inside of the cartridge that made the ink to flow regardless of gravity. It also worked in high and low temperature extremes, underwater, and wrote on many kinds of surfaces. According to the Fisher Pen company, after extensive testing, NASA chose the pen in 1967 for use by Apollo astronauts and it's been a part of space travel ever since. The company says it took Fisher about 2 years and $2 million to develop the space pen. Prior to 1967, there were no pens that worked in space so there were pencils used, but there were concerns about pencil dust floating around the space capsules as well as fears that if the tip of a pencil broke off and drifted into the electronics, there would be problems.

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